Limited availability NEW FOR 2021 £50 deposit

Castles and Gardens of the Loire

The châteaux and gardens of the Loire Valley in France are justly famous for their fairy-tale architecture and formal splendour. For the first time we are delighted to offer the unique opportunity to tour these iconic sites while enjoying all the pleasures of river cruising. On board the MS Loire Princesse, especially designed for the wide but shallow River Loire and propelled by paddle wheels, we can expect refined French cuisine, with drinks included, along with a personal welcome from Captain and crew.

On shore, choose from a range of excursions that will take you to some of the outstanding sites of the Loire. These include the châteaux of Ussé, the inspiration behind ‘Sleeping Beauty’; Villandry, with its superb formal gardens and Angers, where a tiny garden and vineyard are concealed within the massive walls. Wine lovers can also enjoy a tour of the Muscadet region.

What's included?

  • Accommodation
  • Services of a professional tour manager
  • Comfortable coach travel throughout
  • Meals - as per the itinerary
  • Train travel

Full Price
£1,995

Today's Price
£1,895

Saving
£100

Benefit from this limited time offer:

  • Pay a low deposit of £50, was £100.

Single supplement: £600

Tour highlights:

  • Fast and comfortable rail journeys between London and Nantes by Eurostar/TGV
  • The fairy-tale châteaux of the Loire valley
  • The excellent Ocean Liner museum and impressive shipyards of St Nazaire
  • Local wine tasting opportunities
  • Exploring the mighty walls of the Château d’Angers

Tour details

Dates 2 July 2021 - 7 July 2021
Duration 6 days
Cost
Full Price
£1,995
Today's Price
£1,895
Saving
£100

Benefit from this limited time offer:

  • Pay a low deposit of £50, was £100.
Single supplement: £600 Balance due by 9 April 2021
Activity Level
Tour code BCGL210702

Call for availability

2 July 2021: Itinerary

We depart by Eurostar train from London St Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord, where a local coach will be waiting to transfer us to the Gare Montparnasse. We continue by TGV (high-speed train) to Nantes. On arrival we will be met and transferred to our ship,  the MS Loire Princesse, a spacious and well-appointed river cruiser accommodating up to 96 passengers, designed especially for the shallow waters of the Loire and propelled by paddle wheels rather than screws. With its large, comfortable forward lounge, a well-stocked bar and a separate restaurant, the ship has a tasteful, relaxed and distinctively French ambience. There is also an attractive, partially-covered sun deck area and the friendly and attentive crew will cater for your every need.  The cabins are spacious and well-equipped, with twin berths, shower and toilet, TV, safe and wi-fi. All have windows which offer excellent views, the largest being on the upper deck.

Prior to dinner there will be a welcome cocktail reception with the chance to meet the crew and ask any questions you may have. After dinner you have the option of boarding a local boat for a cruise on the River Erdre, a tributary of the Loire. We overnight here in Nantes.

Included meals: Dinner only

Meals include: Dinner

Hotel: MS Loire Princesse

After breakfast on board we have the option of joining an excursion which includes a guided tour of the city of Nantes, which has been an important port since Roman times, and the Castle of the Dukes of Brittany, an imposing fortress that houses an extensive museum charting the history and culture of the city.

In the afternoon we sail to St Nazaire, the centre of the French shipbuilding industry and also a port of strategic importance. Our optional excursion begins with a visit to Escal’Atlantic, a fascinating museum, housed in the German U-Boat pens from World War II, which recounts the history of French ocean liners through a number of interactive exhibits and recreations. Your visit ends in a unique way, quite unlike any other museum… We then tour the St Nazaire shipyard, one of the largest in Europe, responsible for building huge cruise ships as well as other merchant and naval vessels. Please note you must have your passport to gain access.

Returning on board in St Nazaire, we enjoy an evening of dancing after dinner.

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

All meals included

Hotel: MS Loire Princesse

This morning we cruise upstream towards Ancenis. After lunch on board this afternoon’s optional excursion takes us along the Muscadet Wine Route to the charming medieval town of Clisson with its imposing ruins.

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

All meals included

Hotel: MS Loire Princesse

We cruise towards Bouchemaine, which as the name suggests is where the rivers Maine and Loire come together.

This afternoon’s optional excursion takes us to Angers, where we explore the historic city centre and visit the Château d’Angers, the enormous 13th century castle which rears up in the centre of the city on the banks of the River Maine. Hidden away in the rampart walks, there are flower-filled parterres, tree-lined gravel paths and even a tiny vineyard. The Château is notable also for its Tapestry Museum which houses some extremely ancient examples of the art, including the priceless series known as ‘The Apocalypse’.

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

All meals included

Hotel: MS Loire Princesse

After breakfast we depart on a full day excursion (included) that takes in three of the most notable and iconic Loire châteaux. Azay-le-Rideau was built on an island in the River Indre by Gilles Berthelot (Treasurer of François I) between 1518 and 1527 in a distinctive rectangular form. The castle now houses a museum of Renaissance furniture and art.

The Château de Villandry was completed toward 1536 and was the last of the large châteaux built in the Loire Valley during the Renaissance. The magnificent gardens are a reconstruction of the formal gardens of the 16th century and, as such, are unique in France. Here we will see a vast array of fruit and vegetables in the ornamental kitchen garden framed by annual flowers.

The Château d’Ussé dates back to Norman times but has been extensively rebuilt over the centuries and features a fine parterre terrace attributed to Andréle Nôtre. With its fairy-tale turrets and towers it is also traditionally held to be the castle that inspired Charles Perrault to write ‘The Sleeping Beauty’.

Returning to the ship we enjoy a gala dinner this evening, as we start sailing back towards Nantes.

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

All meals included

Hotel: MS Loire Princesse

Following breakfast we disembark the ship and transfer to the railway station in Nantes for our TGV service back to Paris Gare Montparnasse. Once again we transfer by coach across the city to the Gare du Nord where we board the Eurostar service to London St Pancras, with arrival due in the evening.

Included meals: Breakfast only.

Meals include: Breakfast

Optional Excursions

Erdre River cruise                                                 £55.00

Nantes and the Palace of the Ducs de Bretagne       £60.00

Ocean Liner Museum and St Nazaire Shipyard         £72.00

Muscadet Wine Tour and Clisson                             £60.00

Chateau d’Angers                                                  £55.00

2 July 2021: Additional Info

2 July 2021: Accommodation

The MS Loire Princesse cruises on the Loire River between Saint-Nazaire and Angers. It was constructed in 2015 and has 48 cabins and can hold 96 passengers. There is a restaurant, bar, sun deck and area for fitness on board  

Cabins include a TV, Telephone (for internal calls), a bathroom with shower and toilet, a safe and Wi-Fi.

2 July 2021: Enquiries

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