Barge Cruises in France ~
Renaissance chateaus at every turn!
the Cher River in the Loire River valley of France aboard a 6-passenger barge-hotel
(7 days - 6 nights). This small riverboat is a classic Dutch design with shallow
draft and is ideal for navigating the incredibly beautiful but sandy river. The
barge's traditional interior features a warm classic decor of rich varnished hardwoods,
stained glass and a welcoming country home atmosphere.
BARGE CRUISE ITINERARY
(actual program may vary)
1 - Sunday: Moulin de Nitray.
You are met in late afternoon at the designated meeting location (usually the
St Pierre des Corps TGV station near Tours) and taken to the barge, where a champagne
welcome awaits you at the river mooring opposite the 17th-century Moulin de Nitray.
Dinner on the barge.
2 - Monday: Moulin de Nitray to Larçay. A
morning cruise through two locks takes you to the quaint town of Larçay,
where the barge moors for lunch. Afternoon excursion by minibus to the Chateau
de Villandry with its famous Renaissance gardens. Dinner
on the barge.
3 - Tuesday: Larçay to Vallet.
After a morning cruise passing six private chateaus, the barge stops across from
the village of Vallet, a cluster of buildings in the classic regional style of
architecture grouped around an 18th-century mill. From there, travel by minibus
to the chateau of Amboise on the banks of the Loire River. After touring this
magnificent royal chateau and the Clos Lucé, Leonardo Da Vinci's last home,
you'll go back to the barge for dinner.
4 - Wednesday: Vallet to Chissay-en-Touraine.
Morning cruise with a possible stop at the Domaine de Fontenay for a wine-tasting,
then lunch on the barge while moored in Bléré. In the afternoon
you'll cruise through one of the arches under the impressive Chateau de Chenonceau
(a sight to remember forever) and moor at Chisseaux before visiting the chateau.
Continue cruising upstream to Chissay-en-Touraine. Tonight you can enjoy dinner
in one of the local restaurants specializing in regional cuisine.
5 - Thursday: Chissay-en-Touraine to Montrichard. Morning
cruise to the cave-dwelling hamlet of Bourré. A short walk from the next
lock takes you to one of the most unusual dwellings in the area, La Magnaneraie.
The Coquillat family have grown up in this hillside cave dwelling, which has been
in turn wine cellar, limestone quarry, and most recently a silkworm nursery. After
lunch take the minibus to Valençay,
one of the most splendid chateaus of the Loire River valley and the home of Talleyrand,
Napoleon's foreign minister. Returning to the barge, cruise to Montrichard and
moor for the night. Dinner on the barge.
6 - Friday: Montrichard to Nitray.
Following breakfast, take a short walk to the heart of Montrichard and browse
at one of the largest weekly street markets in the Touraine region. You can also
explore the 12th-century chateau overlooking the medieval town square and enjoy
a wine-tasting at a local vineyard. After an early lunch, the barge travels back
down the river through the arches of Chenonceau. Arrival back in Nitray in time
to visit the chateau and rose garden. Enjoy an aperitif from the vineyard before
the Captain's farewell dinner on board the barge.
7 - Saturday: End of cruise.
After breakfast, transfer by minibus to the designated drop off location.
itinerary is subject to change without notice.
Chateau and gardens in Villandry
of Clos Lucé, Leonardo Da Vinci's last home
of Chenonceau - visit and cruise underneath
Renaissance chateaus can be visited when on a charter cruise
to a cave dwelling and silkworm nursery
street market and chateau
with private bath or shower and all meals from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on
with lunch and dinner and selected alcoholic beverages consumed aboard the barge
tours and entrance fees as specified
to and from beginning and end points.
and travel insurance
crew gratuities (suggested 5% of cruise price)
activities when available
items not specifically listed under "Included" above
2 twins; 1 cabin can be set up as twin or double (6 passengers)
81 ft. x 14 ft.
conditioning and central heating
minibus for excursions
Sunday subject to availability, from Jun 22 through Oct 5
barge can be chartered for groups. Various themes and dates can be arranged to
fit the specific interests of each group.