The longest river in France, the Loire is lined with traditional farms, valleys of vines from which world-renowned wines are created, and perfectly preserved dwellings built centuries ago. This cruise takes you right into France’s rural heartland. You’ll discover medieval treasures in riverside towns and stroll through sleepy streets of quiet villages. You’ll taste fresh goat’s cheese and Sancerre wine on a farm deep in the countryside. There will also be plenty of time to enjoy the scenery as we glide through unspoilt landscapes.
Titan Travel VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home, for your flight to Paris. On arrival, our coach will transfer us to the port in Briare to embark MS Déborah (4T), with time to settle in before a welcome cocktail party and dinner. Our cruise begins, traversing the remarkable Briare Aqueduct, which until 2003 was the longest navigable aqueduct in the world.
Day 2 - Briare - Léré
We take a tourist train to discover the hidden treasures of Briare, a village with a town hall modified from a modest feudal castle, and an imposing 19th century brick castle – Chateau de Trousse-Barriere. The town was once considered the most important waterway crossroads in France, and as we travel along the tree-lined canal, see the quaint old bridges and lock-keeper houses. We visit the Church of Saint-Etienne and then Le Musée des Deux Marines to learn about the history of the Loire and its canals, the perfect introduction to our cruise. This afternoon, enjoy the scenery as we cruise to Léré, with the option to borrow one of the bikes on board to follow the canal path.
Day 3 - Léré - Ménétréol-sous-Sancerre
Just a few miles away, in the historic Berry region, Sancerre overlooks the gorgeous Loire Valley. We discover this beautiful medieval city, taking in the old wine-making neighbourhoods, bakeries and art galleries. You can choose to climb the Fief Tower, the only remaining tower of the 14th century medieval castle, for a small fee. Afterwards, we visit a family-run goat farm and taste its trademark cheeses and the local Sancerre wine. We spend the afternoon cruising to Ménétréol-sous-Sancerre, where we dock overnight.
Day 4 - Ménétréol-sous-Sancerre - Herry
This morning we travel by coach to Pouilly-sur-Loire, where we visit the vineyards and wine cellar of the Tour du Pouilly-Fumé. After tasting the local wine, we return to the ship and continue towards Herry. This journey offers the opportunity to cycle along a portion of the EuroVélo 6, the cycle route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Black Sea. We remain overnight in port.
Day 5 - Herry - Marseilles-lès-Aubigny
We start today with a tour of La Charité-sur-Loire, a book town with fine Romanesque architecture, and the only town successfully defended against Joan of Arc during the Hundred Years’ War. Its magnificent, UNESCO-protected priory church was built in 1059 by the powerful order of Cluny, and soon became a major stop on the pilgrim road to Santiago de Compostela. We then visit a farm deep in the countryside, to experience the authentic rustic calm of rural France. Afterwards we return to our vessel for a journey to Marseilles-lès-Aubigny, passing outstanding vistas of the Val de Loire Natural Reserve, an area with a unique abundance of nature, culture and heritage. Tonight, our gala evening is held on board.
Day 6 - Marseilles-lès-Aubigny - Nevers
Today a coach will take us to Fontmorigny Abbey, a monument to over eight centuries of French religious heritage. It also had great influence on the economic success of the surrounding area. We continue on to Apremont-sur-Allier, one of the most beautiful villages in France. At the heart of its medieval charm are the Château and its Parc Floral, a fairytale garden of flowers and waterfalls. We take a stroll along the Allier River and return to our vessel to take lunch as we cruise to Nevers through the afternoon. At nightfall, we have an optional, romantic tour of Nevers with lanterns. This lively town is better known for its porcelain, but it was once an important depot for Julius Caesar, and has some gorgeous medieval landmarks.
Day 7 - Nevers - Paris - UK
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. Upon arrival your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.
Built in 2016, the MS Deborah is one of CroisiEurope’s Small Barge vessel sailing on the Upper Loire. With 11 Double/Twin cabins, she features comfortable accommodation throughout. Cabins are compact and well designed, featuring twin or double beds; an en-suite bathroom with shower, basin and WC, wardrobe, safe and TV, Independent air conditioning & WIFI Meals are served in the main restaurant,all tables take into account the panoramic views with a casual but elegant athmosphere. There is also a lounge which is tastefully decorated, it’s a quiet place where you can spend time with your friends and family. Equipped with sofa and a bar you can relax before and after dinner, serving complimentary drinks. The top deck features a sun deck/ Terrace with tables, chairs and loungers and roof top Jacuzzi.
10 comfortable cabins 86 ft², 1 adapted Double cabin 118 ft² Standard cabins are around 86ft² in size with picture windows and feature twin beds, en-suite bathroom with shower, TV, climate-controlled air conditioning and an in-room safe.
Single Supplement £1200 for sole use of a Twin cabin VIP door-to-door travel service Travel with us and your holiday starts the moment you step out your front door. There’s no worry about taxi fares, train timetables or having to lug your bags on public transport – we take care of the whole journey for you. Hassle-free transfers* As the pioneers of door-to-door transfers, our service is industry-leading. No matter where you’re flying from, our drivers will pick you up from home (or another address if that’s easier) and take you to your departure airport. When you return, they’ll be waiting at the terminal to bring you back home again. If you’ve chosen to stay in a hotel the night before your flight, that’s not a problem – we’ll collect you the day before and take you to the hotel. Everyone’s a VIP – no matter how far you are from the airport We won’t ask you to pay extra just because you live further away. There are no mileage limits or supplements to pay for our airport transfers – we cover every UK address (with the exception of the Scottish Islands and Sark, where we’ll pick you up from a mainland address of your choice). *The majority of our VIP door-to-door service transfers are not exclusive to one holiday booking and journeys to and from the airport may be undertaken via additional addresses and may involve a change of vehicle.
Titan Travel is the only escorted tour river cruise operator to offer free home transfers on every itinerary and every departure date with no mileage supplement to pay. You can cruise through the very soul of France, as you enjoy the peace and quiet far from the hustle and bustle of the modern world gently cruising along peaceful waterways. Truly, an ideal opportunity to unwind! To cruise along France’s canal network is to set off on an adventure. Here, life is simplicity itself as you float along. A canal cruise in France is also the chance to learn about the region through which you are travelling; it’s flora and fauna, its history, its culinary specialities and much more. As the barge cruises along the canals, it is never far from the land. This gives you the chance to appreciate and savour the wide range of regional gastronomical dishes, accompanied of course by carefully chosen local wines. These small customer designed canal barges have been equipped with maximum comfort in mind for unforgettable and relaxing holidays. Passengers are very well looked after and pampered by a crew completely at their disposal, so you can relax on board and have a truly wonderful time.