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Classic Loire Valley Cruise (7 Days)

The 6-passenger Nymphea is of classic Dutch design. With her shallow draft, this barge is ideal for navigating the incredibly beautiful yet somewhat sandy reaches of the river Cher in the Loire valley. Refitted throughout, her traditional ship interior features a warm decor of rich varnished hardwoods, stained glass and a welcoming country house atmosphere. She has three comfortable cabins providing two twin-bedded staterooms and one twin or double stateroom with en-suite facilities. The Nymphea’s crew of three – a Captain, Chef and Tour Guide – are exceptional hosts and their knowledge of all aspects of this fascinating area will ensure your journey is one to remember.





A local transfer from a main station to the barge is included. Further details available on request.

Day 1: Moulin de Nitray

Please note that this is a sample itinerary only and may be subject to change. On alternate weeks the cruise will run in the opposite direction. Arrive and transfer to the Nymphea, where a champagne welcome awaits you at the mooring opposite the 17th Century Moulin de Nitray. Settle into your cabin at your leisure before enjoying your first gourmet dinner on board.

Day 2: Moulin de Nitray - Larcay

The Nymphea makes passage through two locks before reaching the quaint town of Larcay. Here the barge will dock under charming weeping willows while you enjoy your lunch on board. In the afternoon there is an excursion to Chateau de Villandry which boasts world-renowned renaissance gardens. Return to the barge for a delightful dinner aboard.

Day 3: Larcay - Vallet

A gentle morning cruise will take you past a number of private chateaux. Then, after arriving at the hamlet of Vallet – a cluster of classic Tourangeau architecture grouped around an 18th century mill – head to Amboise by minibus. Situated on the banks of the Loire, pay a visit to Amboise’s Royal Chateau and Leonardo da Vinci’s home, the Clos Luce. Tonight another scrumptious dinner will be served on board.

Day 4: Vallet - Chissay en Touraine

While cruising in the morning there may be an opportunity to stop at the tiny landing stage next to Domaine de Chateau de Fontenay. A courtyard offering tastings of a range of Touraine wines is located only a two-minute walk away. This serves as an ideal aperitif before lunching on board at Blere. In the afternoon take a cruise under the 5-arch bridge of the impressive Chateau de Chenonceau to dock at Chisseaux. From there depart by minibus for a visit to the Chateau. Continue cruising upstream to Chissay en Touraine and tonight you will dine at one of the local restaurants specialising in regional cooking.

Day 5: Chissay en Touraine - Montrichard

This morning the Nymphea cruises to the troglodyte village of Bourré. Take a walk to one of the Loire Valley's more unusual dwellings, La Magnaneraie, a troglodyte habitation which has served in turn as a wine cellar, a quarry and lastly a silkworm nursery! Following lunch take a drive east to Valencay, one of the most magnificent chateaux of the Loire. Later the cruise continues to Montrichard where the Nymphea remains moored for the night.

Day 6: Montrichard - Nitray

After breakfast, take a short stroll to the heart of Montrichard, into the midst of one of the largest weekly street markets in Touraine. You can also explore the 12th century Chateau of Folques Nerra overlooking the medieval town square. After an early lunch, the Nymphea will set off downstream again, for another passage under Chenonceau and then arrive at the hamlet of Nitray in time to visit the Chateau and rose garden of Nitray. Enjoy a wonderful pre-dinner aperitif from their vineyards, followed by the Captain's Farewell Dinner on board.

Day 7: Nitray

After breakfast disembark and bid farewell to the barge, Captain and crew. You are then transferred to the local station for your onward journey.


Disembark after breakfast on the last day for a transfer to the station.


  • Six nights' accommodation on board Nymphea
  • Full board during the cruise (from dinner on day one to breakfast on the last day)
  • Chauffeured and guided sightseeing as detailed in the itinerary
  • Use of bicycles
  • Regional wines with lunch and dinner
  • Open bar with a large selection of alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages
  • Local transfers to and from the barge


  • International transportation
  • Personal insurance
  • Crew gratuity

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