Standard Classic Barge Cruise Itinerary
We are delighted to offer Nymphea, currently the only hotel barge navigating the heart of the Loire Valley. The Valley of the Kings is as rich in history and legend as it is in beauty — little has changed over the centuries.
Sunday, Day 1 - Moulin de Nitray
Guests are met near Tours and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to hotel barge Nymphea where the crew and a Champagne Welcome await you at our mooring opposite the 17th century Moulin de Nitray. Dinner on board.
Monday, Day 2 - Moulin de Nitray to Vallet
After breakfast we stroll up to Nitray to visit the château and rose garden. We taste their range of Touraine wine before returning to the barge and cruising up to the hamlet of Vallet. In the afternoon, we enjoy an excursion to Château de Villandry on the banks of the Loire. The château is world-renowned for its amazing array of ornamental, water, vegetable and herb gardens. Dinner on board.
Tuesday, Day 3 - Vallet to Civray-de-Touraine
After a short morning cruise we enjoy a pre-lunch aperitif at Bruno Curassier's Domaine de la Grange before continuing our cruise to Civray de Touraine. After lunch on board, we tour the Château d'Amboise, a royal residence of the Kings of France for 200 years. We also visit Château du Clos Lucé nearby, Leonardo Da Vinci's home for the last 3 years of his life. Dinner on board.
Wednesday, Day 4 - Civray-de-Touraine to Chissay-en-Touraine
This morning we cruise under the 5-arch bridge of the impressive Château de Chenonceau before mooring at nearby. From here we take a short drive in the air-conditioned minibus to visit Chenonceau, often called "the ladies château", after those such as Henry II's mistress, Diane de Poitiers, who added the bridge over the River Cher and the beautiful gardens. Evening cruise to Chissay-en-Touraine and dinner ashore at a local restaurant, La Boulaye.
Thursday, Day 5 - Chissy-en-Touraine to Montrichard
A morning cruise takes us towards the troglodyte village of Bourré and we moor near one of the more unusual dwellings, La Magnaneraie. The Coquillat family have grown up in this hillside troglodyte habitation, which has been in turn a wine cellar, a quarry for the tuffeau stone, and lastly, a silkworm nursery. After lunch we drive to Valençay, one of the most splendid châteaux of the Loire. We then cruise to Montrichard where we moor for the night. Dinner on board.
Friday, Day 6 - Montrichard to Moulin de Nitray
Following breakfast, we explore the street market of Montrichard and the 11th century château overlooking the medieval town square, as well as the local vineyard of the Meriau family, to taste the regional Touraine vintages. In the afternoon, we cruise back downstream to Nitray before the Captain's Farewell Dinner on board.
Saturday, Day 7 - Moulin de Nitray
After breakfast, guests are transferred by private chauffeured minibus to the drop-off point near Tours.
- This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.
- The itinerary is in reverse direction on alternate weeks.