A delightful new tour combining a taste of Paris and the visits of the legendary Châteaux de Chambord and Chenonceau with a 5-night cruise on an authentic paddle riverboat
For all 2024 bookings made by 31 October 2023, deduct £60 per person
Day 1 - Paris
Day 2 - Châteaux de la Loire
Day 3 - Saint-Nazaire
Day 4 - Nantes / Ancenis
Day 5 - Bouchemaine / Angers
Day 6 - Châteaux de la Loire / Nantes
Day 7 - Paris
The Loire Valley is often referred to as the Garden of France due to its green and lush landscape, enchanting scenery and wine-planted valleys producing wines of great diversity.
An inspiration for the famous English water-colourist William Turner but also for Jean de la Fontaine, Baudelaire and Victor Hugo, the Loire Valley was designated in 2000 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the heading of Living Cultural Landscapes and defined as ‘an outstanding cultural landscape of great beauty, containing historic towns and villages, great architectural monuments (the châteaux), and cultivated lands formed by many centuries of interaction between their population and the physical environment, primarily the river Loire itself’.
Rising in the southern Massif Central, the Loire is the longest river in France and the 171st longest in the world. Used as a key trading route as early as the stone age and remaining the most important means of communication for the transit of goods until the 19th century, the river is now a major attraction for visitors due to its many historical monuments and vineyards making the region renowned Worldwide. Also known as the river of the Kings of France due to its astonishing châteaux each with distinct architecture and style dating from the early medieval to the late Renaissance periods and the place of residence of the Kings of France.
Where the River Loire meets the Atlantic Ocean, Saint-Nazaire, best known for its shipbuilding industry, had a major part in the river navigation and the marine industry and was the departure and arrival point for France’s first transatlantic crossings to South America. Today it is a centre for building ocean liners; the Queen Mary II was built here in 2003.
Travel by Eurostar from London to Paris and enjoy an evening in the capital before heading towards the Loire Valley. Embark on a new generation of paddle riverboats paying tribute to the naval industry and engraved in the history of the Loire to explore all the prestigious sites from the comfort of your vessel.
Culture & Riverscapes
Jules Verne Representative
Day 1 Travel to Paris by Eurostar. Transfer to the 4-star Villa Montparnasse in the centre of Paris. Dinner in a typical French brasserie. (D)
Day 2 Travel to the Loire Valley and visit the Château de Chambord, one of the most distinct châteaux in the world with its characteristic architecture blending traditional French medieval forms and classical Renaissance structures. Continue to Chenonceau, stopping for lunch in a local restaurant. Afternoon visit of the Château de Chenonceau, one of the best-known and most-visited châteaux in the Loire Valley with an architecture mixing late Gothic and early Renaissance. Travel to Nantes and embark on your vessel for a five-night cruise. Welcome cocktail. The ship will sail to Saint-Nazare. (B, L, D)
Day 3 Morning visit to the seaside town of Saint-Nazaire with its long tradition of fishing and shipbuilding. Visit Escal’Atlantic, a museum focusing on the historic ocean liner experience and the Saint-Nazaire shipyard, one of the largest shipyards in Europe and once the birthplace of the most outstanding French transatlantic liners. Boat tour on the Erdre, one of the most beautiful rivers in France. Cruise back to Nantes. (B, L, D)
Day 4 Discover Nantes this morning in a walking tour. You'll discover the small streets of the medieval Bouffay quarter and the beautiful Flamboyantstyle Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul. We'll visit the île Feydeau and its exceptional buildings dating back to the 18th century, and then on to the quays. After, you'll discover the shopping districts created in the 18th century around the Théâtre Graslin and the Passage Pommeraye. We'll continue our tour to the Castle of the Dukes of Brittany. The last castle before the river reaches the ocean, this Breton monument with its outstanding 15th to 17th century buildings will transport you back in time. Enjoy the beautiful scenery while cruising towards Ancenis. Afternoon excursion of the Muscadet Wine Route and Clisson, a charming medieval village with 15th-century ruins. Cellars visit and wine tasting. Evening of entertainment on board. (B, L, D)
Day 5 Cruise to Bouchemaine. Visit the historical Angers, renowned for its rich heritage and excellent quality of life. Visit the Château d'Angers dominating the old town and admire the extraordinary Apocalypse Tapestry, one of the most important collections of medieval tapestries in the world. Visit the cathedral area, combining Roman art ruins and rich Gothic-style architecture. Evening of entertainment on board. (B, L, D)
Day 6 Full day excursion to the Châteaux of the Loire Valley. Visit the Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, built on a small island in the middle of the Indre River and a French National Monument showing all the refinement of the French Renaissance. Continue to Villandry for lunch. Enjoy a stroll through the beautiful gardens at the Château de Villandry. Travel back to the time of legends and fairy tales visiting the Château d’Ussé with its fortified towers, turrets and steeples. It is thought to have inspired Charles Perrault when writing “Sleeping Beauty.” Evening gala dinner on board. Cruise overnight to Nantes. (B, L, D)
Day 7 Disembark and transfer to Paris for your return Eurostar to London. (B)
Cabins are available from 5pm on arrival and until 9am on departure.
Whilst the vessel carries more, the group size specified refers to transfers and excursions.
The programme may be altered due to navigational factors with locks, water levels or congestion at certain sites.
A charming 4-star hotel in the heart of the Montparnasse district, walking distance from the Luxembourg Gardens. Restaurant, bar and WiFi (free). 46 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, safe, mini-bar and satellite TV.
Launched in 2014 the ‘new generation’ MS Loire Princesse is registered in France with a mainly European crew and announcements in French and English. For 20 years Jules Verne has been the main UK partner of the innovative French cruise company, CroisiEurope, established 40 years ago, now boasting the largest European river fleet (over 40 ships), yet still operated by the same family. All drinks, except premium brands are included throughout the cruise. Enjoy International and French cuisine with a choice of wines in an elegant one-sitting dining room. Breakfast is a buffet, lunch and dinner waiter service with the occasional buffet. The vessel is specially designed for cruises on the Loire between Saint Nazaire and Angers and does not usually sail at night. Reception, lounge bar with small dance floor, sundeck, WiFi (free/limited). 48 air-conditioned cabins with private facilities, hairdryer, safe and TV. 30 twin/double cabins (145 sq. ft.) on the Upper Deck with picture window and private balcony and 18 twin/double cabins (145 sq. ft.) with picture window on the Main Deck.
per person in a twin/double Main Deck cabin
Eurostar from London St. Pancras
For all 2024 bookings made by 31 October 2023, deduct £60 per person
Supplements per person
Single supplement (double for sole use) £925
Upper Deck (twin/double) £265
Upper Deck Single (twin/double for sole use) £1190
Eurostar Standard Premier Class £225
Rail travel and taxes, all port charges, transfers, 1 night accommodation, breakfast daily, 5-night cruise, full board and drinks on cruise vessel, excursions, Jules Verne Representative, local expert guides and representatives. If our specially negotiated rail fares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply.
Travel insurance, optional excursions, tipping, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.
Please complete this form and a member of our sales department will contact you as soon as possible to confirm your booking and take payment. Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 5.30pm and Saturdays 10am to 2pm