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The Loire - A Royal Legacy



                 Usse Castle                                                                                                      Nantes


Enjoy the authentic beauty in a region full of diversity.  A rich palette of colours in the landscapes which can be seen along the water, in addition to the memorable Castles and Wines of the Loire make this 6 day cruise memorable for all the right reasons.

Days: 6 Days
Code: NSN

Day 1



Board in Nantes between 6 – 7 pm.  Check into cabins. Welcome cocktail in the lounge bar and introduction to the crew. Dinner this evening is followed by a welcome party on board and a cruise excursion along the Erdre, "the prettiest river in France" according to Francis I. Discover the history of this river and its many castles as you cruise along.


After buffet breakfast on board, set off on a guided visit of Nantes. You will walk along the little streets in Bouffay (the medieval quarter), through to the beautiful and flamboyant Gothic Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul. Next you will visit Feydeau Island, a former island now joined to the rest of the town, and a superb example of 18th century architecture, before heading for the quays in Nantes. Then you will have a discovery tour of the new shopping areas which began to appear in the 19th century around the Graslin Theatre and the famous "Passage Pommeraye" shopping mall. The tour then continues to the Castle of the Dukes of Brittany. The last castle along the banks of the Loire before the river reaches the ocean, this Breton monument, with its remarkable buildings from the 15th and 17th centuries, is a magical and compelling part of Nantes' history and heritage. Return on board for lunch.


Set off by coach from Nantes for a tour of Saint Nazaire, a town on the sea. We begin with a visit of Escal'Atlantic, which retraces the story of the two great liners (the Normandie and the France) in a quite ingenious way, using real film footage and actual artefacts, mixed with some special effects. This is a wonderful natural representation commemorating these two great "monsters of the sea". Continue on to the Saint Nazaire shipyard, one of the largest shipyards in Europe. It is recognised the world over for its shipbuilding know-how, both in the past with the construction of the great ocean liners (France and Normandie) and nowadays with the giant ocean-going cruise liners. Thanks to a specially arranged tour, you will be able to see the vastness of the industrial site (covering some 108 hectares), the astonishing logistics and how present day high tech ships are assembled. The tour gives you an understanding on the various stages of construction of these modern floating palaces – very impressive!  (Each passenger will be asked to produce a valid passport or identity card in order to gain access to the shipyard). Re-join the ship in Saint Nazaire for dinner, followed by an evening of music and dancing. 


The vessel sets sail early this morning. Buffet breakfast on board. The entire morning is spent cruising. We arrive in Ancenis in the early afternoon. Set off for an excursion along the Muscadet Wine Route, passing through several villages where there is much evidence of the importance of wine production in this region. Continue the tour to La Chapelle Heulin and stop at the Chateau Cassemichère (or similar). In this exceptional location, you will have the opportunity to learn about its historic vineyard, visit the cellars and taste the lovely white wine: dry, light, fruity and floral.  Next, head for Clisson, a charming medieval town where there are fine relics from the 15th century and a real flavour of Italy. Return on board. After dinner on board, there is an evening of entertainment.


Buffet breakfast on board and set sail for Angers. The entire morning is spent cruising. Set off on an excursion of the town of Angers, capital of the Anjou region. Angers has many artistic and historic treasures and has become famous as much for its rich heritage as for its modernity and excellent quality of life.  Former home of the House of Plantagenet and a thriving Renaissance city, Angers also contains the famous medieval fortress of King René, with its enormous walls, where the world renowned Apocalypse tapestry hangs. 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. You will then cross the city of canons, remnants of Roman and Plantagenet Gothic style art before finally arriving in la Doutre, a village in the very heart of Angers. Return on board for dinner, followed by an evening of entertainment provided by the crew.


After buffet breakfast on board, the day is spent on an excursion to visit the Castles of the Loire Valley. Set off by coach and head for the castle at Azay-le-Rideau. Built on an island in the middle of the Indre, the building that you can see today was created by a wealthy financier of Francis I, Gilles de Berthelot, who wanted to reconcile innovative ideas from Italy with the French style of construction. Listed as a historic monument by UNESCO, the castle at Azay-le-Rideau has preserved, with the passing years, all the refinement, elegance and grace of an exceptional Renaissance chateau.  Continue on to Villandry, for lunch. After lunch, there's time to enjoy a stroll through the famous gardens of the castle at Villandry: laid out on three levels in a happy marriage of beauty, diversity and harmony. Continue on to Rigny-Ussé to visit Ussé Castle. Built in the 15th and 16th centuries, this quite magnificent castle looks just like a fairy tale castle with its fortified towers, turrets and steeples. Nowadays, the castle is still inhabited and offers the visitor a trip back in time to the land of fairy tales and legends. Moreover, it is believed that the castle inspired Charles Perrault to write "The Sleeping Beauty". We return on board at Ancenis. Gala dinner on board followed by an evening of music and dancing. The ship sets sail during the evening for Nantes and continues through the night.


Buffet breakfast on board. Disembark at 10.00 am. End of services.




This itinerary is a guide only. For reasons of navigational safety, the captain and crew of the boat alone may decide to modify the itinerary.

Please note Croisi cruises are bilingual with on board commentaries in both French & English. Sightseeing tours are guaranteed in English with either bilingual guides or audiphones.


This offer includes: The cruise on full board from dinner on the first day to breakfast on the final day, local wine, beer and fruit juice at lunch and dinner (on board meals only), Open bar including a variety of French and regional wine and spirits  (excluding Champagne and premium drinks),  accommodation in a twin air conditioned cabin with shower and WC, entertainment, the assistance of our hostess on board, the welcome cocktail, the gala evening, port taxes and pre-paid English sightseeing (subject to minimum numbers)


This offer does not include:  insurance, personal expenses, Drinks - wine selected from the premium drinks list and those purchased on shore excursions, shore excursions.

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