Explore the Upper Loire aboard 'Renaissance' as one of only eight privileged guests. Taste local vintages at a family-owned vineyard. Cruise on Gustav Eiffel's famous canal bridge, and visit Château de Ratilly with its spectacular turreted tower.
Day 1 - SUNDAY
Meet in Paris and transfer to ‘Renaissance,’ moored in Montargis. After a welcome reception, there is time to settle into your spacious cabin before a gourmet dinner on board.
Day 2 - MONDAY
The morning cruise to Montbouy offers excellent opportunities for walking or cycling. After lunch, visit the distinguished palace of Fontainebleau, home to generations of French royalty who continuously added personal embellishments. The immense estate, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, includes acres of landscaped parkland. Your private tour includes Napoleon III's Imperial Theatre, which is not usually open to the public.
Day 3 - TUESDAY
Visit Château de la Bussière today with its formal garden designed by renowned 17th-century landscape architect André le Nôtre where you'll enjoy a cooking demonstration using wild and medicinal plants. Then cruise to Rogny-les-Sept-Écluses to see the impressive 350-year-old staircase of seven locks, originally built to connect the Loire and Seine rivers.
Day 4 - WEDNESDAY
At Château de Rosa Bonheur this morning, visit the studio of one of the most celebrated female artists of the 19th century with lunch ashore in her salon.
Day 5 - THURSDAY
Cruise to Briare this morning. After lunch on board the barge, visit a family-run vineyard at Sancerre for a private tour and tasting of local vintages. The picturesque village here has many old houses lining narrow streets.
Day 6 - FRIDAY
Wander the market in Briare today before 'Renaissance' crosses the Pont-Canal de Briare, a magnificent canal bridge built in the late 19th century by Gustav Eiffel. Then visit Château de Ratilly, a charming medieval castle dating from the 13th century where you will see traditional pottery being made. Cruise to Châtillon-sur-Loire for a celebratory farewell dinner on board to end the cruise week.
Day 7 - SATURDAY
After breakfast, transfer to Paris, where your journey ends.