Cruise through the former Berry province and the Sologne region. Take a magnificent tour of delightful sites, historic cities, and prestigious vineyards.
DAY 1: Paris - BRIARE
Transfer by coach from Paris to join our ship in Briare (duration ~2:15.) Passengers are welcome to board at 6:00 p.m. After comfortably settling into your cabins, we’ll introduce our crew at a welcome cocktail and dinner. We’ll cruise through the Briare Aqueduct, whose 14 masonry supports were built by the Eiffel Company. Until recently, it was the longest navigable aqueduct in the world. Afterwards, we’ll return to Briare.
DAY 2: BRIARE - LERE
Join us on a visit of Briare and the Deux Marines Museum. We’ll take a tourist train to discover the village of Briare and its hidden treasures, among them the Chateau de Trousse-Barriere - an imposing 19th-century brick castle - and the town hall, a modest castle that was modified in the 18th century. Traveling along the tree-lined canal, we’ll also see locks and lock-keeper houses and the quaint bridges that cross the waterways. The 19th-century Church of Saint-Etienne was built on the site of an earlier church and combines elements taken from both Byzantine and Gothic styles of architecture. Then, we’ll visit the Deux Marines Museum and learn about the history of the Loire and its canals: the spot that was once considered the most important waterway crossroads in France. We’ll spend the afternoon cruising to Léré. Kick back and enjoy the scenery as it rolls by or borrow one of the bikes on board to ride along the canal.
DAY 3: LERE - MENETREOL-SOUS-SANCERRE
Join us on an excursion to Sancerre and a goat farm. Set in the historic Berry region, Sancerre overlooks the gorgeous Loire Valley. You’ll discover this beautiful medieval city by following the Fil d'Ariane: a red line painted on the streets taking you past the old wine-making neighborhoods, bakeries, fascinating buildings, and lovely art galleries.
The Fief Tower (optional visit with separate entrance fee; significant stairs to climb) is the only remaining tower of the 14th-century medieval castle. Afterwards, we’ll visit a goat farm and have a tasting of its trademark cheeses and the local Sancerre wine. The family on the farm is raising approximately 200 goats and 60 cows and will be happy to share their cheese-making secrets with you. We’ll spend the afternoon cruising towards Ménétréol-sous-Sancerre.
DAY 4: MENETREOL-SOUS-SANCERRE - HERRY
We’ll leave by coach for a visit of Pouilly-sur-Loire, where we’ll visit the Tour de Pouilly-Fumé: a wine-tourism center located in a beautiful setting. We’ll visit the vineyards, the wine cellar and enjoy a tasting. Afterwards, we’ll return on board and continue towards Herry. Take advantage of this moment to ride along a portion of the EuroVélo 6, the bike route traveling from the Atlantic Ocean to the Black Sea.
DAY 5: HERRY - MARSEILLES-LES-AUBIGNY
We’ll leave by coach for a tour of La Charité-sur-Loire and an authentic farm. We’ll begin our visit with the priory, one of the most important restoration sites in Burgundy for the past 15 years. We’ll then visit a farm deep in the countryside, where we’ll experience the rustic calm and authenticity that can be found only in France. Afterwards, we’ll return on board and spend the afternoon cruising. During our journey, discover the unique abundance of nature, culture and heritage. You’ll have an outstanding view of the Val de Loire Natural Reserve. Tonight is our gala evening.
DAY 6: MARSEILLES-LES-AUBIGNY - NEVERS
We’ll leave by coach for the visit to the Fontmorigny Abbey, a privately-owned French historical monument. Now one of the main cultural sites in the area, it is testimony to over 8 centuries of French religious heritage. The contemporary stain-glass windows are not to be missed. We’ll continue on to visit Apremont-sur-Allier and its floral garden. Classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France, this small medieval jewel on the bank of the Allier is an absolute must-see. The village offers a stunning point of view of the castle that overlooks it, also a nice stroll along the Allier river. We’ll return on board at the end of the morning and cruise to Nevers through the afternoon. At nightfall, we’ll leave on a romantic tour of Nevers with lanterns.
DAY 7: NEVERS - Paris
Enjoy one last buffet breakfast on board before disembarking at 9:00 a.m. Transfer by coach from Nevers to Paris (duration ~2:15.) End of our services.