Central Holidays

Guests are met at the designated meeting point and transferred to the spacious Renaissance moored in Montargis where a Champagne Welcome awaits you. Then there is time to explore the pretty village of Montargis by foot or bicycle. Dinner on board. (D)

Morning cruise through the Loire countryside with towpath cycling to Montcresson. After lunch we transfer to Chateau de Fontainebleau. To walk through this palace is to walk through the history of France, and every French royal family added its own architectural style and features when in residence. Return to the barge and enjoy a late evening cruise to Montbouy, before dinner on board. (B,L,D)

Morning cruise to historic Rogny and its 350 year old 7 lock-flight. Today's excursion is to Chateau Guedelon. A team of fifty people have taken on an extraordinary task to build a castle using the very same techniques and materials as in the Middle Ages. Work on the site began in 1997 and is scheduled to take 25 years to complete. Guedelon offers a unique opportunity to witness the different stages of a castle's construction with each phase being of interest in its own right. Alternatively we visit the Chateau de Saint Fargeau which is 1000 years old. In 980, Heribert, Auxerre's bishop and biological son of King Hugues Capet, built this fortified hunting meeting place. Dinner on board. (B,L,D)

After a leisurely breakfast of fresh croissants, baguettes and assorted pastries we visit Gien, home of the Faience pottery. 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. (B,L,D)

Morning cruise to Briare and Gustave Eiffel's magical aqueduct across the River Loire with walking and bicycling for those that wish to do so. We preview Friday's crossing of this amazing 10,000 ton, 662 meter Pont Canal which was completed in September 1896. This afternoon we visit Chateau de Sully sur Loire. The castle originally belonged to Georges de la Tremoille, who infuriated Joan of Arc by encouraging the Dauphin to devote himself to idle hunting in the forests around Sully. After Joan's failure to liberate Paris in 1430, de la Tremoille virtually imprisoned her in the castle. In the 18th Century Voltaire, exiled from Paris, also spent time at the Chateau. Dinner on board. (B,L,D)

This morning wander around the fruit and vegetable, seafood, cheese and French fashion stalls in the market in Briare and then a short cruise across the aqueduct before lunch on board. Afternoon visit to a family run vineyard in Sancerre. This medieval hilltop village overlooks a vibrant and pulsating region which has known viticulture since Roman times. Captain's Farewell Dinner on board. (B,L,D)

After breakfast we return you to the designated drop off point. (B)

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