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Saumur in Loire Valley

Heart of France - The Loire Canal

Example 7 Day Cruise aboard MS Déborah
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This cruise will take you to the heart of authentic terroirs and cities full of character and heritage. Cruise along the Loire Canal, a royal river with legendary beauty. You will explore unique places such as Nevers located in the heart of Burgundy, but also the Fontmorigny Abbey, recounting 8 centuries of monastic history. Discover wine and gastronomic cities such as Pouilly-sur-Loire and Sancerre.
Champagne in ParisWander the cobbled streets of FranceVisit the Tuileries Garden, found in ParisTaste the wines of FranceSaumur in Loire Valley
  • Visit historic, authentic and well-preserved sites and regions in France
  • Taste France's most well-known wines
  • Discover sumptuous and varied landscapes along the Loire River
  • Visit Nevers, famous pilgrimage site with an exceptional history
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Paris to Briare | Embark

Transfer by coach from Paris to join the ship in Briare (duration approximately 2 hours). Passengers can board at 6:00 p.m. After comfortably settling into your cabins, meet the crew at a welcome cocktail and dinner. Then, cruise through the Briare Aqueduct, whose 14 masonry supports were built by the Eiffel Company. Until recently, it was the longest navigable aqueduct in the world. Afterward, the ship returns to Briare.

Day 2: Briare | Lere

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Join a visit of Briare and the Deux Marines Museum. Take a tourist train to discover the village of Briare and its hidden treasures, among them the Chateau de Trousse-Barriere - an imposing 19th-century brick castle - and the town hall, a modest castle that was modified in the 18th century. Traveling along the tree-lined canal, you may also see locks and lock-keeper houses and the quaint bridges that cross the waterways. The 19th-century Church of Saint-Etienne was built on the site of an earlier church and combines elements taken from both Byzantine and Gothic styles of architecture. Then, visit the Deux Marines Museum and learn about the history of the Loire and its canals: the spot that was once considered the most important waterway crossroads in France. Spend the afternoon cruising to Léré. The evening is free to do as you please.

Day 3: Lere | Menetreol-Sous-Sancerre

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Join on an excursion to Sancerre and a goat farm. Set in the historic Berry region, Sancerre overlooks the gorgeous Loire Valley. Discover this beautiful medieval city by following the Fil d'Ariane: a red line painted on the streets taking you past the old wine-making neighborhoods, bakeries, fascinating buildings, and lovely art galleries.

The Fief Tower (optional visit with separate entrance fee; significant stairs to climb) is the only remaining tower of the 14th-century medieval castle. Afterward, you can visit a goat farm and have a tasting of its trademark cheeses and the local Sancerre wine. The family on the farm is raising approximately 200 goats and 60 cows and that are happy to share their cheese-making secrets with you. Spend the afternoon cruising towards Ménétréol-sous-Sancerre. The evening is free to do as you please.

Day 4: Menetreol-Sous-Sancerre | Herry

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Leave by coach for a visit of Pouilly-sur-Loire, where you can drop by at the Tour de Pouilly-Fumé: a wine-tourism center located in a beautiful setting. Visit the vineyards, the wine cellar and enjoy a tasting. Afterward, you may return on board and continue towards Herry. The evening is free to do as you please.

Day 5: Herry | Marseilles-Les-Aubigny

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Leave by coach for a tour of La Charité-sur-Loire and an authentic farm. Begin the exploration with the priory, one of the most important restoration sites in Burgundy for the past 15 years. Then, visit a farm deep in the countryside, where you can experience the rustic calm and authenticity that can be found only in France. Afterward, you may return on board and spend the afternoon cruising. Take advantage of this time to ride one of the onboard bikes or walk along the canal (5km-long). Enjoy the gala dinner tonight.

Day 6: Marseilles-Les-Aubigny | Nevers

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Leave by coach for the visit to the Fontmorigny Abbey, a privately-owned French historical monument. Now one of the main cultural sites in the area, it is a testimony to over 8 centuries of French religious heritage. The contemporary stain-glass windows are not to be missed. Continue the tour to Apremont-sur-Allier and its floral garden. Classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France, this small medieval jewel on the bank of the Allier is an absolute must-see. The village offers a stunning point of view of the castle that overlooks it, also a nice stroll along the Allier river. You may return on board at the end of the morning and cruise to Nevers through the afternoon. Take advantage of this time to ride one of the onboard bikes or walk along the canal (2km-long). At nightfall, leave on a romantic tour of Nevers with lanterns.

Day 7: Nevers | Disembark | Transfer to Paris

  • 1 Breakfast
Enjoy one last buffet breakfast on board before disembarking. Transfer by coach from Nevers to Paris (duration approximately 2 hours.)


MS Déborah

Reception on the MS Déborah
Restaurant on the MS Déborah
Lounge on the MS Déborah

Dates & Prices

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Cabins on the MS Déborah
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Main Deck
10 double cabins equipped with private bath with shower, TV, cabin-to-cabin telephone, safe, and air conditioning.
Cabins on the MS Déborah
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Lower Deck
1 cabin for passengers with reduced mobility equipped with private bath with shower, TV, cabin-to-cabin telephone, safe, and air conditioning.
  • 6 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 6 Dinners
  • 6 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Port Fees
  • Captain’s Welcome Cocktail and Gala Dinner
  • Drinks at all meals (1 soft drink or 1 beer or 1 mineral water + 1 tea or coffee per person for each meal
  • Tips paid in full to the local staff of the country of destination
  • Assistance from our onboard multi-lingual host/hostess
  • Travel assistance and repatriation insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Arrival & Departure Transfers
  • Drinks from the special lists, or drinks ordered during excursions or transfers
  • Passport or Visa fees
  • Cancellation and baggage insurance
  • Tips for the Boat and Lodge staff



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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen
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