Day 1 - London - Paris - Briare.
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home, for your journey to London Heathrow Airport and a direct, scheduled British Airways flight to Paris. On arrival, our coach will transfer us to the port in Briare to embark MS Déborah (4T), with time to settle in before a welcome cocktail party and dinner. Our cruise begins, traversing the remarkable Briare Aqueduct, which until 2003 was the longest navigable aqueduct in the world.
Day 2 - Briare - Léré
We take a tourist train to discover the hidden treasures of Briare, a village with a town hall modified from a modest feudal castle, and an imposing 19th century brick castle - Chateau de Trousse-Barriere. The town was once considered the most important waterway crossroads in France, and as we travel along the tree-lined canal, see the quaint old bridges and lock-keeper houses. We visit the Church of Saint-Etienne and then Le Musée des Deux Marines to learn about the history of the Loire and its canals, the perfect introduction to our cruise. This afternoon, enjoy the scenery as we cruise to Léré, with the option to borrow one of the bikes on board to follow the canal path.
Day 3 - Léré - Ménétréol-sous-Sancerre
Just a few miles away, in the historic Berry region, Sancerre overlooks the gorgeous Loire Valley. We discover this beautiful medieval city, taking in the old wine-making neighbourhoods, bakeries and art galleries. You can choose to climb the Fief Tower, the only remaining tower of the 14th century medieval castle, for a small fee. Afterwards, we visit a family-run goat farm and taste its trademark cheeses and the local Sancerre wine. We spend the afternoon cruising to Ménétréol-sous-Sancerre, where we dock overnight.
Day 4 - Ménétréol-sous-Sancerre - La Chapelle-Montlinard
This morning we travel by coach to Pouilly-sur-Loire, where we visit the vineyards and wine cellar of the Tour du Pouilly-Fumé. After tasting the local wine, we return to the ship and continue towards La Chapelle-Montlinard. This journey offers the opportunity to cycle along a portion of the EuroVélo 6, the cycle route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Black Sea. We remain overnight in port.
Day 5 - La Chapelle-Montlinard - Marseilles-lès-Aubigny
We start today with a tour of La Charité-sur-Loire, a book town with fine Romanesque architecture, and the only town successfully defended against Joan of Arc during the Hundred Years’ War. Its magnificent, UNESCO-protected priory church was built in 1059 by the powerful order of Cluny, and soon became a major stop on the pilgrim road to Santiago de Compostela. We then visit a farm deep in the countryside, to experience the authentic rustic calm of rural France. Afterwards we return to our vessel for a journey to Marseilles-lès-Aubigny, passing outstanding vistas of the Val de Loire Natural Reserve, an area with a unique abundance of nature, culture and heritage. Tonight, our gala evening is held on board.
Day 6 - Marseilles-lès-Aubigny - Nevers
Today a coach will take us to Fontmorigny Abbey, a monument to over eight centuries of French religious heritage. It also had great influence on the economic success of the surrounding area. We continue on to Apremont-sur-Allier, one of the most beautiful villages in France. At the heart of its medieval charm are the Château and its Parc Floral, a fairytale garden of flowers and waterfalls. We take a stroll along the Allier River and return to our vessel to take lunch as we cruise to Nevers through the afternoon. At nightfall, we have an optional, romantic tour of Nevers with lanterns. This lively town is better known for its porcelain, but it was once an important depot for Julius Caesar, and has some gorgeous medieval landmarks.
Day 7 Nevers - Paris - London
After breakfast this morning, we disembark and transfer by coach to Paris Airport for a direct, scheduled British Airways flight to London Heathrow Airport. On arrival you will be met and guided to your Titan vehicle, for the journey home.