Hop aboard a purpose-built paddle steamer and cruise to the heart of the Loire Valley. You'll discover the elegant châteaux that grace the banks and wander medieval towns along your journey.
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
Total meals included:
Travel to Nantes where you will be met and transferred to your ship for embarkation. Perhaps join the optional cruise excursion along the Erdre, “the prettiest river in France” according to Francois I. Discover the history of this river and its many castles as you cruise along.
After breakfast, join an optional guided visit of Nantes and stroll along the winding streets of the Bouffay medieval quarter to the flamboyant Gothic Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul. Next, visit Feydeau Island, a former island now joined to the rest of the town and a superb example of 18th-century architecture. On the quays, explore the shopping area around the Graslin Theatre and the famous 'Passage Pommeraye' shopping mall before visiting the Castle of the Dukes of Brittany. This Breton monument houses a residential palace with elegant facades and loggias dating from the Renaissance period. After dinner back on board, set sail for Saint-Nazaire.
Take an optional tour of Saint-Nazaire, a commune in western France framed with quaint fishing cabins. Begin with a visit to the museum Escal'Atlantic, housed in former German World War Two submarine pens, to explore the historic ocean liner experience. Head to Saint-Nazaire shipyard, one of the largest in Europe, recognised the world over for its shipbuilding know-how. Alternatively, visit the medieval city of Guérande, overlooking the salt marshes, the undisputed symbol of the region.
Today, perhaps visitthe town of Angers, capital of the Anjou region on an optional excursion. 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. Alternatively, visit Chateau de Brissac and the castle cellars with a wine tasting.
A full day optional visit the chateaux of the Loire Valley. Drive to the elegant Château Azay-le-Rideau, a historic UNESCO monument, built on an island in the middle of the Indre. Visit the grand country house of Villandry and wander the incredible gardens. After lunch, head to Rigny-Ussé to visit the fairytale-like Ussé Castle, built in the 15th and 16th centuries and believed to have inspired Charles Perrault to write 'The Sleeping Beauty'.
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK.
The following cruise optional excursion package can be purchased at the time of booking from £219 per person and includes:
Day 1: Erdre River Cruise
Day 2: City tour
Day 3: Shipyard Visit
Day 3: The Muscadet Region
Day 4: City tour
Day 5: Castles of the Loire
Note: All optional excursions are subject to change and a minimum number of participants are required for them to operate. Please note that the optional excursion package can only be booked up to 35 days prior to departure.
Please call our Travel Specialists to book this holiday with an optional excursion package.
Prefer to book your own flights and transfers? You have the freedom to do that with our Tour Only holiday option.
Let us take care of everything. Our package option includes return flights from your chosen airport, plus overseas transfers to your hotel.
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