The 8 passenger Hirondelle cruises some of the most tranquil and beautiful waterways in all of Europe. The large windows, well above the water line, and the sun-deck on the top deck of the boat make it easy for you to enjoy the passing scenery en route.
The entire interior is air conditioned including the four en-suite staterooms. One of the staterooms has a double bed and the other three have twin beds. There are four crew on board including a captain, chef, tour guide and housekeeper.
Save 30% off standard price on all departures in April, May and October 2014. Subject to availability.
Meet our private driver at Gare de Lyon station and transfer to the barge moored in Rogny les Sept Écluses on the Canal de Briare. A Champagne Reception welcomes you on board and gives you a chance to meet the crew. Dinner aboard.
Today, the barge traverses the River Loire via the longest canal bridge in Europe, connecting the Canal du Briare to the Canal Latéral à la Loire. Rogny is the site of the oldest canal lock in France, a seven-step staircase lock built in 1774. After lunch youll visit the beautiful Chateau de Saint-Fargeau with a history spanning a thousand years. Dinner aboard.
After breakfast, you visit the beautiful town of Gien to tour a faïence factory. The faïence of Gien is renowned for its colour and design. We also include a visit to the historic Chateau de St Brisson sur Loire. Built between the 12th and 16th centuries as a fortress, it houses many fine rooms, as well as a collection of huge catapaults, of a kind used as medieval weaponry. We then return to the barge and enjoy a wonderful lunch while the barge cruises southward to Chatillon sur Loire, a pleasant countryside mooring. Dinner aboard.
This morning we will visit Sancerre, situated on an impressive hilltop west of the waterway, where you will have a chance to discover the delights and fabulous views of the vineyards of Sancerre. After a fine lunch in the town we make a stop for a private wine tasting in the charming town of Chavignol where many Sancerre and Pouilly Fume wines are produced. Dinner aboard.
Before we leave our mooring, we visit a local cheese producer to see the famous 'crottin goat cheese being produced. The barge continues her cruise from Menetreol towards La Charité-sur-Loire. We moor in a rural spot called Passy and make our way to La Charité-sur-Loire, an important site of Burgundian Romanesque art. The Clunisian ensemble of La Charité was a hugely important spiritual centre in the early Middle Ages, and a renowned stopping place for pilgrims on the road to Santiago de Compostela. Dinner aboard.
This morning, enjoy a walking tour of Nevers, the capital of the Nivernais, which has a strong Italian influence and a long-standing reputation for ceramics. Nevers is the third largest city in Burgundy and, until the Revolution, seat of the Counts and Dukes of Nevers. The barge cruises from to Le Guetin. Enjoy a short drive to Apremont to visit its wonderful gardens. Apremont is listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France. Farewell Gala Dinner on board.
After breakfast disembark the barge and transfer to Paris with our private driver.
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