Cruising in the Upper Loire region
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Click to explore this region and see barge cruise routes

Images of the Upper Loire Region - Glorious chateaux Images of the Upper Loire region - Meanderer in a lock Images of the Upper Loire region - Eiffel designed aquaduct

The following barges cruise in this area:

Barge Name Price Range (per person) and Maximum number of guests
C'EST LA VIE $5000-$6000
8 guests
MEANDERER **Special Offer Available**
6 guests
8 guests

Where is it?

West side of Burgundy, on the Canal Latéral à la Loire, between (just west of) Digoin and Montargis.

What are the cruises like?

Through open countryside and small villages and towns, with flower covered bridges and the like. This area is often referred to as ‘the garden of France’ due to its colourful, attractive landscape and unspoilt natural surroundings.

Landmarks on this cruise route include the amazing Briare Aqueduct stretching over the wide River Loire, designed by the famous Gustave Eiffel (right-below). The glorious Meanderer barge that cruises this illustrious route (right) and the awe-inspiring Chateau Vaux le Vicomte (above right). The Upper Loire has many hidden treasures and is well worth a visit...

How does this area compare with others in Europe?

In past centuries it was one of the most important branches of the canal network, ensuring that product transferral between the centre of rural France and its grand capital, Paris, remained possible. It was so essential to be able to cross the huge River Loire that lay in its pathway, that Gustave Eiffel designed the famous Aqueduct at Briare (above-right) which spans the entire width of the huge River Loire below it. Cruising across here is something very special, particularly if you happen to be lounging in the spa pool on the gracious Meanderer drinking Champagne as you do so! The beautiful Meanderer (above-right), her lovely spa pool (below right) and sun deck (below left) await you!

Images of the Upper Loire region of France - Dining on deck Images of the Upper Loire region of France - On deck jacuzzi

Now of course the need for commercial traffic to float here is much less urgent, and it remains to the hedonists of this world to enjoy its natural pleasures and delightful open landscapes that lead us from one charming village to the next.
Images of the Upper Loire region of France - Charming villages Images of the Upper Loire region of France - Plush cabin

Pretty villages bedecked with flowers await you, as do the plush, luxurious cabins on the Meanderer. Space and comfort are in abundance here, plus of course excellent food and wine at every meal.

Why would I want to cruise here?

- Because of the ‘undiscovered’ feel to the region—you won’t feel like you’re on the usual ‘tourist trail’.

- Because of the chateaux and fairy-tale castles that dot the landscape, and are of course visited on your cruise. Château de Fontainebleau and St Fargeau just have to be seen!

- Because the region offers fine wines of both Burgundy and the Loire Valley—lately becoming very popular and for good reason too! Wine tasting of Pinot Noir and Sauvignon in the Sancerre vineyards is a must!

- Temperatures are never usually too high, but there is plenty of pleasant sunshine between April and October

How can I travel to this area?

While most cruises in this region pick up and drop off in central Paris, there is an airport and TGV train station in this region:

TGV train station
  • Le Creusot
Click here to go to the Barge Company dedicated 'trains' website to find out more about travelling around France on the TGV High Speed Rail network

Phone: +33 561 59 20 07, Fax: +33 561 59 23 54
Phone (Toll-Free from USA + Canada): 1-800-688-0245

The Barge Cruise Company Ltd, 2 Allée de Castelnouvel, 31490 Léguevin