Loire Barge Cruise

Hotel Barge Nymphea


Accommodating up to six passengers, Hotel Barge Nymphea provides three comfortable cabins, all with en-suite facilities. Her English speaking crew of Captain/Tour Guide and Chef are very knowledgeable about the history in this spectacular area of France, and are excellent hosts for this all-inclusive river cruise in the Loire Valley. Included are a variety of excursions, gourmet cuisine, wines and an open bar. Below is our most popular cruise itinerary.

Six Nights, All Inclusive

  • Local transfers to and from the hotel barge.
  • All meals on board for the duration of the voyage.
  • An open bar, plus all wines.
  • The use of barge facilities.
  • Entrance fees for all excursions.

The Classic Cruise Itinerary

Nymphea Hotel Barge Cruising

Day 1  ·  A Champagne Welcome

Moulin de Nitray – Your first evening on board is spent unwinding from your day of travelling. Simply unpack, settle in and enjoy a ‘Champagne Welcome’ followed by a delicious evening meal.


Day 2  ·  Château de Villandry and its Famous Renaissance Gardens

Moulin de Nitray to Larcay – Your day starts with a sumptuous breakfast spread. After cruising through two locks we arrive at the quaint town of Larcay where we moor for lunch under the weeping willows.

In the afternoon you will be driven by minibus to the Château de Villandry, with its world-renowned renaissance gardens. Return to the barge for refreshments and evening dinner served aboard.


Day 3  ·  Château d’Amboise and Leonardo da Vinci’s home

Larcay to Vallet – Enjoy the scenery on our leisurely morning cruise as we pass several private chateaux scattered along the riverside. We moor opposite the hamlet of Vallet, a cluster of classic Tourangeau architecture grouped around its 18th century mill.


After lunch we leave for our excursion by minibus to the town of Amboise on the banks of the Loire River, where we visit the Royal Château d’Amboise and the Clos Luce, Leonardo da Vinci’s home. Dinner is served aboard.


Loire Valley River Scenes

Day 4  ·  Wine Tasting and Visit the Château de Chenonceau

Vallet to Chisseaux – While cruising in the morning we may pull in to the tiny landing stage next to Domaine de Fontenay. A two minute walk brings us to their courtyard where we can taste their range of Touraine wines as an aperitif before lunch moored at Bléré.
In the afternoon we cruise under the 5 arch bridge of the impressive Château de Chenonceau and moor at Chisseaux. From there we depart by minibus to visit the Château. You will be taken out tonight in one of the local restaurants specializing in regional cooking.


Day 5  ·  Château de Valençay and a Troglodyte Home

Chisseaux to Montrichard – A cruise in the morning takes us towards the troglodyte village of Bourré. After lunch we drive to Valencay, and visit one of the most splendid chateaux of the Loire and the home of Talleyrand, Napoleon’s foreign minister. 


Once back on board we cruise to the next lock from where we take a short walk to visit one of the more unusual dwellings in the Loire Valley, La Magnaneraie. The Coquillat family have grown up in this hillside troglodyte habitation and over the years it has been, a wine cellar, a quarry for the tuffeau stone, and lastly a silkworm nursery.


Returning to the barge we cruise to Montrichard where we moor for the night. Dinner is served aboard.


Day 6  ·  Busy Street Market and Wine Tasting

Montrichard to Nitray – After breakfast, we take a short stroll to explore one of the largest weekly street markets in Touraine, held in the historic town of Montrichard. Wander around the 12th Century Château of Foulques Nerra and its dungeon which overlooks the medieval town square. 


Before lunch we can visit the local vineyard of the Meriau family, to taste the regional Touraine vintages.


After an early lunch, Nymphea sets off downstream, for another passage under Chenonceau and arrives at the hamlet of Nitray in time to visit the Château and ‘English rose garden’ of Nitray.


Enjoy a pre-Captain’s dinner aperitif from their vineyards. Captain’s Farewell Dinner is served aboard.


Day 7  ·  Nitray to Tours

Nitray to Tours – After breakfast, disembark, and return by minibus to St Pierre des Corps Station arriving there at 9.30am

This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change

An optional hot air balloon ride is available on the cruise. The balloon company charge approximately €200 per person which is to be paid to the balloon owners on the day of the flight. Please let us know at the time of booking if you are interested.

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