Castles and Gardens of the Loire

Visiting: Nantes, Ancenis, Bouchemaine


Duration: 5 Nights

Physical rating: Gentle

Special diets catered: Vegetarians, Vegans, Meat, Please contact Brightwater with any specific dietary requirements

Tour code: BCGL

Tour operator: Brightwater Holidays

Group size: 6 - 25

Age range: 1-99

Tour operated in: English


Prices From: $2631

Tour Overview

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. Single cabin upper deck                     £875.00 Twin cabin upper deck                       £275.00 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

Highlights

  • iconClick here to see route map
  • iconLocal wine tasting opportunities
  • iconExploring the mighty walls of the Château d’Angers
  • iconThe fairy-tale châteaux of the Loire valley
  • iconThe excellent Ocean Liner museum and impressive shipyards of St Nazaire
  • iconFast and comfortable rail journeys between London and Nantes by Eurostar/TGV

Itinerary

icon Day 1

Accommodation Name: MS Loire Princesse

Meals: Dinner

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

icon Day 2

Accommodation Name: MS Loire Princesse

Meals: All Meals

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.

icon Day 3

Accommodation Name: MS Loire Princesse

Meals: All Meals

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.

icon Day 4

Accommodation Name: MS Loire Princesse

Meals: All Meals

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.

icon Day 5

Accommodation Name: MS Loire Princesse

Meals: All Meals

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.

icon Day 6

Meals: Breakfast

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.

What's Included

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    Train travel

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    Drinks with Meals

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    All Domestic Transportation (including internal flights)

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    Services of a professional tour manager

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    Accommodation

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    Entrance Fees

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    Comfortable coach travel throughout

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    Meals - as per the itinerary

Book with Confidence

  • icon
    Low Deposit

    Brightwater Holidays requires a deposit of 15% to secure a place on this tour, and the final balance is not due till 70 days before departure..

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    Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Brightwater Holidays allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform Brightwater Holidays, 25 days before departure.

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    Secure payments

    All payments to TourHub are deposited into an externally regulated Trust account.


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Dates & Availability

Instant Booking Available

Saturday Jun 11, 2022

Nights

5

Available

25

$2631.05

Instant Booking Available

Monday Sep 19, 2022

Nights

5

Available

25

$2631.05

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