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The Loire, a Royal River

8 days with CroisiEurope  Rating: Deluxe

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River Cruise Itinerary
DAY 1: NANTES
Boarding in Nantes between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. Crew presentation and welcome drink. Dinner on board.
 
DAY 2: SAINT-NAZAIRE - NANTES
Full board on board. Excursion to Saint-Nazaire, a city by the sea. The Escal'Atlantic which ingeniously retraces the history of Norman and French ocean liners through a unique experience, then the Saint-Nazaire shipyard. Each passenger will be asked to produce a valid passport or identity card in order to gain access to the shipyard.
 
Afternoon spent cruising to Nantes. In the evening, cruise on what King Francois the first called the “most beautiful river in France”: The Erdre and evening of entertainment. Overnight.
 
DAY 3: NANTES - ANCENIS
Tour of Nantes, the city of the Dukes of Brittany, and the Castle of the Dukes of Brittany. Afternoon spent cruising to Ancenis, arriving during the evening. Evening of entertainment. Overnight.
 
DAY 4: ANCENIS - BOUCHEMAINE
After buffet breakfast on board, set off on an excursion along the Muscadet Wine Route, passing through several villages where there is much evidence of the importance of wine production in this region. Continue the tour to La Chapelle Heulin and stop at the Cassemichère Château (or similar). In this exceptional location, you will have the opportunity to learn about its historic vineyard, visit the cellars and taste the lovely white wine: dry, light, fruity and floral. Next, head for Clisson, a charming medieval town where there are fine relics from the 15th century and a real flavour of Italy. Return on board for lunch and the cruise continues to Bouchemaine where we arrive during the evening. After dinner on board, there is an evening of entertainment provided by the crew. Overnight stop.
 
DAY 5: Angers
After buffet breakfast on board, set off for a tour of the town of Angers. Capital of the Anjou region, Angers has many artistic and historic treasures and has become famous as much for its rich heritage as for its modernity and excellent quality of life. Former home of the House of Plantagenet and a thriving Renaissance city, Angers also contains the famous medieval fortress of King René, with its enormous walls, where the world renowned Apocalypse tapestry hangs. You will visit the fortress from the 13th century and see the Apocalypse tapestry, which is the most important set of medieval tapestries still in existence in the world today. You will then cross the city of canons, remnants of Roman and Plantagenet Gothic style art before finally arriving in la Doutre, a village in the very heart of Angers. Return on board for lunch. The afternoon will be spent on a visit to the Cadre Noir (1) and the town of Saumur. In 2011, the French tradition of horsemanship and the Cadre Noir de Saumur were listed by UNESCO as part of the Cultural Heritage of Humanity and this horse-riding school is quite unique in France. Traditional French horsemanship is the art of riding, built on a harmonious relationship between man and horse, excluding the use of any physical force. You will begin a voyage of discovery of the Cadre Noir School, established in 1825, with a visit to the Grand Manège, the stables and the Prestige tack room. The visit continues with a walk around the fortified town of Saumur, dominated by its castle on high (exteriors only). Dinner on board is followed by an evening of music and dancing. Overnight stop.
 
DAY 6: BOUCHEMAINE – THE LOIRE CHÂTEAUX
After buffet breakfast on board, the entire day is spent on an excursion to visit the Castles of the Loire Valley. Set off by coach and head for the castle at Azay-le-Rideau. Built on an island in the middle of the Indre, the building that you can see today was created by a wealthy financier of Francis I, Gilles de Berthelot, who wanted to reconcile innovative ideas from Italy with the French style of construction. Listed as a historic monument by UNESCO, the castle at Azay-le-Rideau has preserved, with the passing years, all the refinement, elegance and grace of an exceptional Renaissance chateau. Continue on to Villandry, for lunch. After lunch, there’s time to enjoy a stroll through the famous gardens of the Villandry Château: laid out on three levels in a happy marriage of beauty, diversity and harmony. Continue on to Rigny-Ussé to visit Ussé Château. Built in the 15th and 16th centuries, this quite magnificent castle looks just like a fairy tale castle with its fortified towers, turrets and steeples. Nowadays, the castle is still inhabited and offers the visitor a trip back in time to the land of fairy tales and legends. Moreover, it is believed that the castle inspired Charles Perrault to write “The Sleeping Beauty”. Return on board for dinner. Entertainment on board. Overnight stop.
 
DAY 7: BOUCHEMAINE – ANCENIS – NANTES
Buffet breakfast on board. Excursion along the Angevine Corniche. Set off by coach towards the Loire Angevine levee road. Along this route there are many wonderful views of the great river and it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue along the Angevine corniche road, passing pretty little villages and many viewing points along the Loire. We rejoin the ship at Ancenis in time for lunch. Afternoon spent cruising on the Loire: along its banks you can see a wonderful natural garden which has been shaped by the river over the centuries. During the cruise, you will have time to appreciate the most beautiful sights along the last untamed river in France. Arrival in Nantes during the evening. Gala dinner on board followed by an evening of music and dancing. Overnight stop.
 
DAY 8: NANTES
Buffet breakfast on board. Disembark around 10.00 am. End of our services.
Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • Ship innovative design 
  • First time cruises on the Loire 
  • CroisiEurope is leader in Loire river cruising 
  • Rediscover the Loire, the longest river in France 
  • The landscapes and castles of the Loire Saumur and the Cadre Noir 
  • Nantes – a real journey through time 
  • Saint Nazaire, a town on the sea 
  • Angers, capital of the Anjou region 
  • The wines of the Loire (the Muscadet wine route)
All This Included
  • Unlimited complimentary onboard beverages, including beer, fine wine, spirits, mineral bottled water, soft drinks specialty coffees and tea. 
  • All meals onboard for Superb French Cuisine 
  • Farewell Gala dinner 
  • Free WiFi 
  • Complimentary Samsung Galaxy Tablet for guests' use Shore excursions with wireless audio system 
  • Port Talk 
  • Captain Welcome cocktail Reception 
  • Assistance from our onboard multi-lingual host/hostess 
  • Entertainment : On board professional entertainment & Crew Team show 
  • Travel assistance and repatriation insurance 
  • All port fees
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: Cabin onboard MS Loire Princesse
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • The cruise schedule may vary according to tides and the order of the excursions may be changed to ensure the best organization of your cruise. 
  • For the safety of our passengers, the captain and crew of the boat may decide to modify the navigational itinerary. 
  • The cruise schedule may vary according to tides and arrival times at ports of call may be subject to change. 
  • (1) Guided tours do not guarantee the presence of the ecuyers or the horses in training, especially when the Cadre Noir riders are away or at competitions.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.



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