Renaissance has been designed to carry her guests in ultimate luxury along the Canal de Briare, France’s oldest canal and steeped in history on a cruise route that features elegant chateaux, small countryside villages and the famed wine-growing region of Sancerre.
She is a very spacious hotel barge and the beautifully-appointed saloon with its wooden beams, classic dining furniture and artworks, invokes the atmosphere of a classic French manor house. The comfortable leather sofas and hand-built bar where you can enjoy your pre-dinner aperitif, add to the feeling of onboard opulence.
The ‘Renaissance mood’ extends to the four very generously-sized twin or double bedded bedroom suites, (approx. 265sq ft including en suite), each one fully air-conditioned and complemented by a large en suite bathroom.
Outside, the large forward deck includes a covered roof extension with a circular table for alfresco dining, comfortable hardwood sun loungers and a heated spa pool.
With her refined onboard ambience, Renaissance is the perfect vessel on which to cruise a historic canal and experience the splendour of landmarks en route, including Gustav’s Eiffels’s aqueduct across the mighty River Loire.
Renaissance Deck Plan
Click image to enlarge
Guests are met at our meeting point in Paris** and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to the spacious Renaissance where a Champagne welcome with canapés awaits you and you meet the Captain and crew. Time enough for a walking tour of the pretty village of Montargis before dinner on board.
This morning, we embark on our first cruise through the Loire countryside, with great towpath walking and cycling opportunities, to moor at Montbouy. After lunch on board, we visit the Château de Fontainebleau, a national museum and UNESCO World Heritage Site where we enjoy a behind the scenes tour of the French Military School of Horse-riding, accompanied by a passionate French Colonel. We continue our tour through the magnificent château itself; the only royal and imperial residence to have been continuously inhabited for seven centuries, to walk the halls of Fontainebleau is to stroll through the history of France. Dinner on board.
This morning we visit the privately-owned Château de La Bussière, known as the ‘fishermen’s castle’, with its wonderful ornamental and vegetable gardens. Following lunch back on board, we enjoy an afternoon cruise to our mooring at the pretty village of Rogny-les-Sept-Ecluses, near its 350-year-old 7 lock-flight, which is well worth visiting on foot. Dinner on board.
After a leisurely breakfast of fresh croissants, baguettes and assorted pastries we visit Gien, home of the Faience pottery, renowned for its beautifully decorated and vibrant dinnerware, and also explore the town’s bustling market. After lunch, we enjoy an afternoon cruise to La Gazonne, a beautiful mooring surrounded by lakes and ponds that provide water for the workings of the Canal de Briare. Dinner ashore at the Michelin-starred Auberge des Templiers in Les Bezards.
A morning cruise to our mooring at the little town of Briare, site of Gustave Eiffel’s magical aqueduct across the River Loire, again with excellent walking and bicycling opportunities. We preview Friday’s crossing of this amazing 10,000 ton, 662 metre Pont Canal which was completed in September 1896. Our afternoon visit is to a renowned winery in Sancerre, such as Domaine Henri Bourgeois in Chavignol, for a tour and private tasting. This medieval hilltop village overlooks a vibrant region which has known viticulture since Roman times. Dinner on board.
This morning we wander around fruit and vegetable, seafood, cheese and French fashion stalls in the market in Briare before returning to the hotel barge for a short cruise across the aqueduct and lunch on board. This afternoon, we visit the delightful Château de Ratilly and its rather spectacular selection of turreted towers, construction of which began in 1270! Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.
After breakfast, guests are transferred by private chauffeured minibus to Paris**.
*This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction.
**other locations available for Private Charter bookings
Crossing the aqueduct at Briare
Champagne on deck