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The Loire Valley Waterways

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Relaxing, peaceful, excellent food and wine.
Mr K Butters
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You are viewing the 2019 itinerary

Itineraries and pricing may vary by departure year

(Tour code: CLV19)


Cruise serenely along the idyllic waterways of the Loire Valley and take in the historic towns and villages that have grown prosperous on the bounty of the region's world-class wine trade.

  • Briare & Léré
  • Château de Trousse-Barrière
  • Sancerre and Pouilly-sur-Loire
  • Chapelle Montlinard
  • La Charité-sur-Loire
  • Fontmorigny Abbey & Lantern-lit tour of Nevers
What’s Included
  • Standard Class Rail
  • All-Inclusive Board Basis
    MS Deborah
  • Selected Departures Guaranteed

The Loire Valley Waterways 2019Tour Details

Print Itinerary
Day 1 Eurostar

London to Briare

Meet your group and Tour Manager at our dedicated Departure Office in London St Pancras, where you meet your Tour Manager before boarding the Eurostar service to Paris. From here, transfer to your barge, The Deborah, at Briare. After meeting the crew, enjoy dinner on board, cruising through the Briare Aqueduct. The aqueduct was once the longest navigable aqueduct in the world between 1896 and 2003 until the introduction of the Magdeburg Water Bridge. The Briare Aqueduct was originally designed to replace a river-level crossing as it was too susceptible to being flooded. From embarkation until the end of the tour, all meals are served on board. Wine, beer and soft drinks are included with lunch and dinner, as are many drinks from The Deborah's bar.

  • Dinner
Day 2 Briare

Briare to Léré

Today, we take the charming tourist train through the village of Briare, seeing the 19th-century Château de Trousse-Barrière, an old farmhouse bought by engineer Hugues Cosnier at the time of the construction of Briare's canal. Later make a visit to Briare's Museum Conservatory, dedicated to the Loire Valley and its canals. Become immersed in the traditions of this proud canal-faring region as you learn about the development of boating on the Loire and the navigational techniques that sailors used to utilise.

Following time at the museum continue cruising to Léré, a small town set amidst a popular farming area and by the banks of the Loire.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 Sancerre

Léré to Ménétréol-sous-Sancerre

Today explore beautiful, medieval Sancerre, an attractive hilltop town that overlooks the undulating scenery of its surrounding region. Léré was formerly in the land of Gaul and settled by the Celtic Bituriges tribe, more recently Sancerre was a regional command centre for the French Resistance in the Second World War, coordinating the destruction of many bridges in the region to hinder German movements. After time here, you are treated to a tasting of the region's famous aromatic Sauvignon Blanc, along with a selection of cheeses at a goat farm.

Whilst Sancerre was once known for its Pinot vintages, a terrible case of phylloxera insects decimated the vineyards. During the replanting process, the formerly favourable Pinot grapes were replaced with Sauvignon Blanc crops, which it is famous for today.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 Loire Valley Vineyard
Loire Valley Vineyard

Sancerre to Chapelle Montlinard

Today enjoy a visit to Pouilly-sur-Loire, an idyllic town which is famous for its white wines. Take a tour of the vineyards and cellars where the Pouilly-Fumé grape is grown and the wine stocked. The grapes of this wine form a grey bloom coating at maturity, which is the colour of smoke, hence the 'Fumé' name; however, Fumé also describes the celebrated 'gun smoke' bouquet of this particular wine. Indulge in a tasting that allows you to experience the famous flavours of this delightful wine first hand. Fittingly, the wine cultivated in this area of France would be exclusively exported and delivered by barge, after the opening of the Canal de Briare in 1642. Afterwards, continue to Chapelle Montlinard, a rural village that comprises of farmland and a small collection of rustic hamlets.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 La Charite Sur Loire
La Charite Sur Loire

To Marseilles-lès-Aubigny

Today enjoy a tour of La Charité-sur-Loire, built around its priory - the original Cluniac priory in the area which has withstood much turmoil in its long history, including a great fire and the French Wars of Religion - during which it endured an 8-month siege by Catholic forces. During the French Revolution a road was planned to cut through the land on which the priory stood, but thankfully it was saved by a report by Prosper Merimée, the first inspector of monuments, who thought the priory was historically significant enough to be spared. Make a visit to the priory before heading to a nearby farm. After time to explore, return to the ship, where a Gala dinner is served tonight.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 Fontevraud Abbey
Fontevraud Abbey


Explore Fontmorigny Abbey today, a former Cistercian monastery that is now privately owned and has seen a resurgence of late, becoming one of the most popular monuments in the region. You then see the floral gardens of Apremont-sur-Allier, where there is free time to discover the delight of its gardens - considered some of the most beautiful in France - at your own pace. Tonight, enjoy a lantern-lit tour of Nevers.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 Eurostar

Return home

After breakfast disembark in Nevers then transfer to Paris for the Eurostar service to London.

  • Breakfast

Itinerary Changes

For Departures CLV1903 and CLV1904

Due to low water levels on the Upper Loire side canal your itinerary and barge have been altered to accomodate this.

New Barge - MS Deborah

New Itinerary:

  • Day 1 -  Eurostar to Paris where you board the MS Deborah
  • Day 2 - Paris to Evry. Morning spent cruising the Seine. Guided tour of Evry in the Afternoon
  • Day 3 - Evry to Melun. Morning spent cruising towards Melun. Visit the village of Barbizon in the afternoon.
  • Day 4 - Melun to Moret-Sur-Loing. Cruise towards Moret-Sur-Loing in the morning. Tour of Palace of Fontainebleau and its gardens in the afternoon.
  • Day 5 - Moret-Sur-Loing  to Montereau-Fault-Yonne. Morning spent cruising to Montereau-Fault-Yonne. Guided tour of Provins in the afternoon with rose honey tasting.
  • Day 6 - Montereau-Fault-Yonne to Sens. Cruise the Yonne River in the morning. After arriving in Sens in the afternoon you have a tour of the city before spending the rest of the day at leisure.
  • Day 7 - Sens and home. After breakfast disembark the MS Deborah and travel by coach to Paris where you catch the Eurostar back to London.

Included in your Tour


In historic Briare we see the beautiful 19th century Château and visit the Museum Conservatory for a splendid insight into the Loire Valley's canals.


Sancerre is famous for its Sauvignon Blanc wines and its delicious goat's cheese, and we are privileged enough to be able to sample both during our time here.


Another French town famous for its distinctive wines, Pouilly-sur-Loire is home to the unmistakable Pouilly-Fumé, known for its 'gun smoke' bouquet, which we sample during our time here.

La Charité-sur-Loire

This town's historic priory was charms us as we discover its history and how the town developed around it.

Recommended airports

For this tour, we recommend arriving to, and departing from, London Gatwick or London Heathrow airport (LGW or LHR). London Gatwick is approximately 30 miles from your start and end point, and London Heathrow is approximately 19 miles from your start and end point.

Visa Requirements

It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.

Departure Times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

What’s included

An escorted experience and travel during your tour

  • The services of a professional Tour Manager up to embarkation & from disembarkation of The Deborah
  • Exclusive meeting point at our dedicated Departure Office in St Pancras
  • Standard Class rail travel 

Comfortable accommodation in your destination

  • 6-night cruise aboard The Deborah 

Delicious meals included

  • 17 meals including 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 6 dinners, including 1 gala dinner
  • All inclusive selection of complimentary beers, wines and soft drinks


Exciting excursions and free time to explore

  • Excursion to Briare including Briare's Museum Conservatory
  • Excursion to Sancerre including a cheese and wine tasting
  • Excursion to Pouilly-sur-Loire including a traditional wine tasting
  • Excursion to La Charité-sur-Loire and its priory
  • Nevers including an excursion to Fontmorigny Abbey

Not Included

  • Flights and Airport transfers
Vaugnel Fletcher
Dimitri Zgonis
The Loire Valley Waterways



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