DAY 1: NANTES
Passengers are welcome to board our ship at 6 p.m. After comfortably settling into your cabins, we’ll introduce our crew at a welcome cocktail. Sit back and enjoy a presentation about your CroisiCyclo vacation. Dinner will be served on board, followed by an evening of entertainment.
DAY 2: NANTES - SAINT-NAZAIRE
All meals included. This morning, your bike trip will follow the curves of the Loire River. You’ll pass under verdant canopies in magnificent forests and enjoy the peacefulness of the river. Your countryside journey will take you to Saint-Etienne-de-Montluc and around Lavau-sur-Loire. We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch. In the afternoon, you’ll jump back on your bike and continue to follow the river. In the southern-most part of the Loire, you’ll discover sumptuous and varied landscapes. At the end of the day, you’ll arrive in the old port city of Saint-Nazaire on the Atlantic coast. Take a tour of the shipyard museum before returning to the ship. In the evening, cruise on what King Francois Ist called the “most beautiful river in France”: The Erdre.
Bike itineraries: to Lavau-sur-Loire 17 mi./27.4 km. (400 ft./122 m. elevation gain) - to Saint-Nazaire 35 mi./56.3 km. (600 ft./183 m. elevation gain) - from Nantes to Saint-Nazaire: 45 mi./70.8 km. (100 ft./305 m. elevation gain).
DAY 3: SAINT-NAZAIRE - ANCENIS
All meals served on board. Today's tour will begin with a trip to La Baule, a spectacular seaside resort where the most beautiful villas in France majestically line the ocean beaches. We’ll then continue on to the Guérande salt marshes, and you’ll have some free time to visit on your own. This medieval city is loaded with history and its fortifications are among the best preserved in the country. You’ll once again set off through the Brière Regional Natural Park before returning to the ship for lunch. We’ll spend the afternoon cruising. Take advantage of this time to relax and admire the scenery from the sun deck.
Bike itinerary: to La Baule 8 mi./12.9 km. (200 ft./61 m. elevation gain) — to the salt marshes 21 mi./33.8 km. (600 ft./183 m. elevation gain).
DAY 4: ANCENIS - BOUCHEMAINE
All meals served on board. You’ll set off today for Oudon, known for its impressive medieval castle. Your journey will bring you through quaint villages such as Mauves-sur-Loire before returning to the ship. Spend the afternoon catching some rays on the sun deck or exploring the countryside near the port. Dinner will be followed by an evening of entertainment by the crew. We’ll remain in port overnight.
Bike itinerary: to Oudon 19 mi./30.6 km. (698 ft./213 m. elevation gain) — to Ancenis 25 mi./40.2 km. (801 ft./244 m. elevation gain).
DAY 5: The Loire Valley and its châteaux
All meals included. We’ll take a minivan to the starting point of today’s journey into the heart of the Loire Valley, passing in front of the most beautiful castles in the world. Take some time to stop at the Château de Villandry. Once owned by Napoléon Bonaparte, this majestic palace includes what many consider to be the most stunning gardens ever conceived. The water garden and decorative flower garden are not to be missed. Then you’ll get back on your bikes for a pleasant trip to the Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, one of the oldest Renaissance castles in France. In Rigny-Ussé, enjoy a picnic lunch. Spend the afternoon touring the Château d’Azay-le-Rideau on your own. Your journey for today will finish up with a glimpse of vineyards and troglodyte homes before you arrive at your final destination, Saumur. You’ll return to the ship in Bouchemaine and enjoy an evening of dancing. We’ll remain in port overnight.
Bike itineraries: to Villandry 16 mi./25.7 km (600 ft./183 m. elevation gain) to Rigny-Ussé 39 mi./62.8 km (1401 ft./427 m. elevation gain) - to Saumur 43 mi./69.2 km (1499 ft./457 m. elevation gain).
DAY 6: The Loire Valley and its châteaux
All meals included. Today’s trip will begin with a ride along the south bank of the Loire. You’ll pass through Les Ponts-de-Cé—the scene of a brief conflict between Marie de Medici’s troops and her son’s army in 1620—and Brissac Quincé, where the Château de Brissac is located. We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch. The afternoon will be spent at the Château de la Mulonnière, where we’ll be able to taste some wines. Afterwards, you’ll continue through the charming countryside and return to the ship. We’ll enjoy an evening of entertainment and remain in port overnight.
Bike itineraries: to Thouarcé 21 mi./33.8 km (699 ft./213 m. elevation gain) - to Bouchemaine 39 mi./62.8 km (1299 ft./396 elevation gain) - to Rochefort-sur-Loire 31 mi./72.4 km. (1400 ft./457 m. elevation gain).
DAY 7: BOUCHEMAINE - ANCENIS - NANTES
All meals served on board. You’ll begin your trip in Chalonnes-sur-Loire (or Bouchemaine depending on the water level) for your last journey through the Loire. The ship will be waiting for us in Ancenis at the end of the morning. The afternoon will be spent cruising to Nantes. Spend one last afternoon on the sun deck enjoying the scenery float by. Tonight is our festive gala evening.
Chalonnes-sur-Loire bike itinerary: 31 mi./38.6 km. (1400 ft./122 m. elevation gain)
DAY 8: NANTES
Enjoy one last buffet breakfast on board before disembarking at 9:00 a.m