Cruising Upper Loire Valley on the Meanderer ~ 713-240-6753 ~ 888-869-7907: The 6 passenger deluxe Meanderer is the only barge offering multiple excursion options. Choose from escorted cycling tours, walking tours or tours by mini van. Aboard this luxury barge cruise in France, you’ll get an opportunity to experience life there from a truly unique perspective.


Ballooning from the Meanderer barge

Carrying between 1-6 guests, the Meanderer barge cruise is ideal for a group of family or friends. You can charter your own barge or reserve a cabin with other guests.

Your cruise will cover the full length of the Canal de Briare, the first connecting canal built in France. Construction began in 1604 during the reign of Henry IV (who instigated the Louvre in Paris) and was completed in 1634. The Canal was built to enable produce from the Burgundy and Loire regions to be taken to Paris.


Cycling in the Upper Loire


The Loire region is often referred to as the “Garden of France,” a typically French landscape with peaceful, rolling countryside. Your cruise begins at Montbouy, the northern end of the Canal de Briare close to the regional capital of Montargis. The picturesque town of Montargis welcomes visitors with fabulous floral displays. The canal, once the lifeblood of the capital, winds through the heart of the town passing 17th century buildings and crossing the many smaller waterways which dissect the narrow streets.


The section of the canal beyond Montargis follows the course of the River Loing through villages and hamlets, many of which pre-date the canal. At Montbouy, the remains of the Roman Baths and Amphitheatre are clearly visible as a testimony to the heritage of this prosperous region. In Chatillon-Coligny the original riverside washhouses make way for the imposing feudal castle, once home to the Counts of Champagne. Although almost destroyed during the French revolution, the labyrinth of tunnels, chambers and the imposing keep still remain.


SEVEN LOCKS AT Rogny-les-Sept-Écluses

The original flight of seven locks at Rogny-les-Sept-Écluses (the highest point of the canal) is now preserved as a National Historic Monument. The new course of the canal takes us via a shorter flight of locks to the village of Rogny itself, considered by many to be the most unspoilt village of the region. The magnificent lakes of the Puisaye at the summit of the canal supplied the water for the canal before modern pumping stations were installed to allow uninterrupted use of the locks. The Puisaye is famous for the clay used by local tradesmen to produce some of the finest pottery in Europe.

A gentle descent to the town of Briare takes us through majestic woodland and open farmland to the most famous waterway landmark in France. The 700 yard long aqueduct, which carries the canal across the River Loire at Briare, was built by the great engineer Eiffel (better known for the famous Parisian tower) to replace the original crossing.  Our cruise comes to a close in the town of Léré on the Canal Lateral a la Loire on the banks of the River Loire.
Contact us for more information, availability and specials.  888-869-7907 / 713-240-6753  /