This afternoon you will be picked up by our tour guide and transferred to the Apres Tout which is moored on the Canal Lateral a la Loire in the port of Nevers. The crew will welcome you on board with a wonderful champagne reception followed by an afternoon cruise towards the Pont de Guetin. Caroline your Corden Bleu trained chef will be busy preparing your first dining experience on board accompanied by some of our selected fine wines.
After a relaxing breakfast of fresh pastries, fruits, yogurts and bread or a hearty cooked breakfast for those who prefer something hot – our tour guide transfers you to Apremont. This is reputed to be one of the most beautiful villages in France, nestling on the banks of the River Allier. Take time to enjoy the amazing gardens and the atmosphere of this charming village steeped in history. During the middle ages its prosperity came from the activity of local quarry men who transported by barge the cut stones used to build the Cathedral of Orleans and the Abbaye of St Benoit sur Loire.
Return to the Apres Tout for a leisurely lunch as Rory get the ropes off and cruises to Marseilles le Aubigny for tonight over night mooring. Perhaps enjoy a pre dinner stroll in this small village .
During the morning the barge continues to cruise along this peaceful canal to the mooring at Herry. After lunch your guide takes you to the magnificent Chateau de Tracy set in the rolling hills of Pouilly Fume. We have arranged for a private visit to their cellar for tasting wine directly from the barrels and then finish with a wine and goat cheese tasting over-looking the Loire from their estate.
Return to the boat for a drink or two on the deck followed by another sumptuous meal from Caroline’s kitchen.
Start the morning with breakfast and then transfer to Chavignol famed for its production of fine Sancerre wines and the locally producted ‘Crotin de Chavignol’, goats cheese. We visit the Domain Henri Bougeois before enjoying lunch at the family’s bistro ‘La Cote des Monts Damnes’. After lunch take a leisurely stroll through the meandering streets of the impressive hilltop medieval town of Sancerre, with its stunning views of the surrounding countryside, situated on an impressive hilltop west of the waterway.
Rory is busy preparing the boat and breakfast is served as we start our cruise onward towards Lere. After a light lunch of meats and lots of salads and of course, cheese – your guide transfers you to the charming village of Saint Fargeau. This remarkable Chateau was once the home to ‘La Grande Mademoiselle’, cousin of Louis XIV who exiled her to this property early in his reign. We have a private visit through the rafters of the Chateau and learn about its fascinating history.
This morning we visit the busseling market town of Briare situated on the Loire river at the junction of the Canals de Briare and Lateral de la Loire, joined by this impressive canal bridge which we will cruise over this afternoon. Spend time at the open air market surrounding the highly decorative Eglise St Eteinne de Briare. Continue to Gien to visit a faience factory. The china of Gien is renowed for its colour and design – we have special permisson to walk through the design area and see painters at work.
Return to the barge for lunch and a truly memorable cruise crossing over this stunning bridge to our final destination at the port of Briare. The crew will toast your week with us tonight with a special dinner to celebrate a most wonderful week.
After breakfast disembark the barge and transfer to Paris by luxury private minibus