Renaissance - Classic Cruise in Western Burgundy & the Upper Loire
Chatillon-sur-Loire to Montargis
Sunday, Day 1 Châtillon-sur-Loire to Briare
Guests are met at the Hotel Westminster and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to the spacious Renaissance where a Champagne welcome with canapés awaits you and you meet the Captain and crew. We enjoy a short evening cruise to Briare, crossing Gustave Eiffel’s magical aqueduct over the River Loire, an amazing 10,000 ton, 662 metre Pont Canal, which was completed in September 1896. Time perhaps for a walk or cycle ride before dinner on board.
Monday, Day 2 Briare to La Gazonne
Morning visit to a renowned winery in Sancerre, such as Domaine Henry Bourgeois, in Chavignol for a tour and private tasting. This medieval hilltop village overlooks a vibrant region which has known viticulture since Roman times. After lunch, we enjoy an afternoon cruise to La Gazonne, a beautiful mooring surrounded by lakes and ponds that provide water for the workings of the Canal de Briare Dinner on board.
Tuesday, Day 3 La Gazonne to Rogny-les-Sept-Ecluses
A morning cruise further along the canal, with plenty of opportunities for walking or cycling along the towpath, to our mooring at Rogny-les-Sept-Ecluses near its 350-year-old 7 lock-flight, which is well worth exploring. After lunch on board, we visit the delightful, privately-owned Château de La Bussière, known as the ‘fishermen’s castle’, with its wonderful ornamental and vegetable gardens. Dinner on board.
Wednesday, Day 4 Rogny-les-Sept-Ecluses to Montbouy
After a leisurely breakfast of fresh croissants, baguettes and assorted pastries, we visit Gien, home of the Faience pottery, renowned for its beautifully decorated and vibrant dinnerware. There is also time to explore the bustling market. After lunch back on board, we enjoy a relaxing afternoon cruise to the lovely village of Montbouy. Dinner ashore at the Michelin-starred Auberge des Templiers in Les Bezards.
Thursday, Day 5 Montbouy to Montcresson
We leave Montbouy this morning for a gentle cruise to just outside of the village of Montcresson and our peaceful mooring. This afternoon, we visit Château Sully-sur-Loire. The castle originally belonged to Georges de la Trémoïlle, who infuriated Joan of Arc by encouraging the Dauphin to devote himself to idle hunting in the forests around Sully. After Joan's failure to liberate Paris 1430, de la Trémoïlle imprisoned her in the castle. In the 18th century, Voltaire, exiled from Paris, also spent time at the château. Dinner on board.
Friday, Day 6 Montcresson to Montargis
We enjoy a morning cruise through Little Venice, past flower-bedecked bridges and medieval watercourses joining France’s oldest canal. Our visit this afternoon is to the splendid Château de Fontainebleau, a national museum and UNESCO World Heritage Site. To walk through this palace is to walk through the history of France. It is the only royal and imperial château to have been continuously inhabited for seven centuries and every French royal family has added its own architectural style and features when in residence. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.
Saturday, Day 7 Montargis
After breakfast, guests are transferred to the Hotel Westminster in Paris.
*This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction.