The Loire Valley is a treasure trove of historical attractions and architectural marvels to discover and explore. The Loire River is a little over a thousand kilometers long making it the longest among France’s waterways. It runs from the area of Mont Gerbier de Jonc through Nevers and through Tours then into Nantes before it empties out into the Atlantic at Saint Nazaire. It has several tributaries that can also be traversed by paddle boats or barges.
Excursions from a Loire Valley cruise give travelers a close look into French historical and cultural heritage. The beautiful landscape have attracted a good number of royals and aristocrats. Over the years, the Loire Valley has grown to be a favored spot for castles and chateaus that served as homes for the rich and powerful.
The city of Nantes is the starting port for the Loire Princess paddleboat cruises. Nantes is known as Europes’ most livable city and is a convenient access to the Loire chateau attractions as well as the lush pastures and forests. The history of this city, spanning the 15th to the 18th century, is housed within the walls of the Castle of the Dukes of Brittany. Outside, the castle stands magnificent with its Renaissance facade. Inside, it is teeming with historical heritage meticulously curated in a museum.
A collaboration of the old and new, the Saint Machines of the Isles of Nantes is another must-see when you go on a Loire paddleboat cruise. Artistic machine builders took inspiration from Leonardo da Vinci’s mechanical world and combined it with the industrial heritage of Nantes. Some parts of the exhibition are interactive and can be operated by the guests. One of the popular attractions is the 12-meter high Gigantic Sultan’s Elephant.
Cruises and tours of the Loire may also include a guided tour of Angers. This is quite a modern city, but rich in history and culture. At the Chateau de Angers, you will find one of the most important pieces from the locale, the Apocalypse Tapestry. Other Loire chateau attractions that can be found in the Chateau of the Loire Valley include: the master piece of the first French Revolution, the Chateau d’ Azay-le-Rideau; the centenary trees and vineyards of Chateau de Brissac; the colorful patterned gardens of Chateau Villandry, and the fairy tale-like Chateau d’ Usse.
Many of the attractions and destinations in Loire Valley take you down memory lane into the pages of Loire history as far back as the Renaissance. The flourishing of arts and culture during that period is evident in the design and construction of the chateaus and structures all around the Loire Valley. The management of many of these chateaus is now in the hands of current generations of royalties.
The French and English language 96 passenger Loire Princess paddleboat offers 6 and 8 day cruises. A pre cruise package visiting additional chateau is available on limited dates. As the Loire Princess is the only passenger cruise ship on the Loire, and with her small size, she books up well in advance. The upper deck features private balconies. Rates start at $2248 for the 8 day lower deck and $2700 for the upper deck. The 6 day cruise starts about $2000 for the lower deck and $2372 for the upper deck. The per person rate includes the cruise, all meals, a beverage package, port taxes and Wi-Fi. Sightseeing packages are not included and can be pre ordered or booked on board.
Contact Europeanbarging.com for availability, pricing and special offers. 888-869-7907 Jan@europeanbarging.com