Briare Canal and Latéral to the Loire Canal.
7 days, 6 nights. Highlights: Sancerre winery, Faiencerie of Gien, Château of St Fargeau, Montargis, Château of la Bussière, Canal bridge of Briare, local restaurant, 2 Golf courses.
Paris to the “C’est la Vie” moored on the Canal Latéral to the Loire.
You will be met in Paris by our driver at 3.00 pm, for charter groups your party will be met at one hotel of your choice.
For individual cabin bookings, pick up is at the hotel Madison, 143 Boulevard St Germain 75006 Paris.
From Paris you will be driven to the C’est La Vie moored in the hamlet of “Les Fouchards” situated 6 miles from Sancerre.
With a glass of champagne we welcome you to the C’est La Vie, and after introductions to the crew, you have time to settle into your spacious cabins before your first gourmet dinner aboard.
Cruise to Montbouy
After your first breakfast of locally baked croissants and other pastries, now is the perfect time to put on your walking shoes and stroll on the tow path alongside the C’est La Vie as we cruise to the village of Montbouy.
After lunch you will be driven to the Domaine de Vaugouard, Chateau & Golf course (click here to visit their website) for 9 or 18 holes. For non golfers it’s a visit to the Château of La Bussiere, a prime example of a medieval fortress built in the 12th Century. Open to the public since 1962, when Count Henri de Chasseval decided to exhibit his extensive collection of material and pieces of art from around the world about fishing, but it’s not all about fishing, there are the grounds to visit with its 18th century vegetable garden and a pond with a 300 year old Lebanon Cedar tree standing close by and much more.
Dinner on board the C’est La Vie.
Cruise to Rogny -les -Sept-Ecluses
Before we start our afternoon cruise to Rogny les Sept Ecluses, we take a short ride back to Montargis for a tour of this fine town, with its 131 bridges, you can see why its nick name is “little Venice”. With many buildings from 15th & 16th centuries, you will never be short of interesting architecture to look at, discover the feudal castle, the half timbered buildings, shops and cafes. Perhaps buying some Pralines for which Montargis is famous.
Lunch is waiting for your return, before we cast off and start the next part of our journey.
An afternoon of meandering along the canal, relaxing on the front deck or why not take a bike or walk on the tow path following the boat to our overnight mooring.
Rogny les Sept Ecluses is a charming town on the banks of the canal and it boasts a feet of engineering from the 17th century. At the request of Henry IV, 7 locks (hence its name Sept Ecluses) were built to join the Seine river with the Soane river making it easier to transport goods between the north and the south, they are still standing and remind us of days gone by.
There’s time for a stroll to the old locks before cocktails and dinner.
Cruise to Ouzouer sur Trézée
The town of Gien, famous the world over for its splendid tableware is where we are headed this morning, after a visit to the pottery, take a walk through this market town and discover its remarkable history, built on the banks of the Loire River, there has been a settlement here since Romans times. The Chateau of Gien has been turned into a hunting museum and overlooks the river; it was built for Anne of France, daughter of the king Louis XI, in the 15th century.
Returning to the C’est La Vie for lunch and an afternoon cruise, we are taking the 6 new locks, but as we pass the 7 old ones, there’s time for that perfect photo shot.
Making our way to the town of Ouzouer sur Trézée, there is plenty of walking opportunities, or if you prefer take a bike, its downhill all the way.
Tonight’s dinner is ashore at the 1 star Michelin restaurant “Coté Jardin,” in Gien.
Cruise to Chatillon sur Loire.
This morning’s cruise takes us to the town of Chatillon sur Loire, crossing over the Loire River at Briare on the “Pont Canal”, this aqueduct designed by Gustave Eiffel, was constructed in 1890. It was built to replace a river- level crossing that was hazardous in times of flood and is a total of 662m long and 2.2m deep; it has just been restored over the past 2 years.
After lunch you will be driven to the Golf course of Sancerre (click here to visit their website) for 9 or 18 holes or to the Château of St Fargeau, dating from the 10th century; it was built by the bishop of Auxerre. Rebuilt in 1453 it has undergone many additions and restorations over the years. It was home to Anne-Marie-Louise d’Orléans , the cousin of Louis XIV during her exile from court for her part in an uprising against the king known as the Fronde in 1652. Her monograms can still be seen on the walls of the inner court yard.
Returning to the C’est La Vie in time for cocktails and dinner.
Cruise to “Les Fouchards”
Our final cruise takes us to the hamlet of “Les Fouchards” situated 8 miles from Sancerre and close to the town of Cosne sur Loire.
After a buffet lunch we will take a short drive through the vineyards to visit the fortified town of Sancerre. This hill top medieval site gives you panoramic views over the Loire River and of the neighbouring vineyards of Pouilly Fumé.
The town of Chavignol (also famous for its goat’s cheese) is where you will have a private wine tasting of this famous Sauvignon Blanc, but red wines are making a comeback in this region, you will be surprised by their excellence.
The C’est La Vie awaits your return for the Captains dinner, which ends your cruise in style.
After breakfast, at 9.30 you will be chauffeured back to Paris for the end of the morning.
We look forward to your company again on the “C’est la Vie”!
Please note that the route is run in reverse on alternate weeks and can be different due to local conditions.
Golf clubs can be hired from the golf courses if required.
Please let us know if you are interested in hiring a golf cart.
The days of golfing may change depending on availability.
If requested the golf courses of Sully sur Loire and Roncemay can be added during the week. The golf fees (not included) are paid directly at the golf courses, please ask for prices if interested.
All golf courses are known to Deb & Olivier, either one would be very happy to join you for around or 2, time permitting.
We had a wonderful, relaxing time on the barge. The whole crew were top notch, friendly and professional. The food, wine & cheese were outstanding; we also enjoyed the company of our fellow travellers. This was the 2nd barge trip for us, in totally different parts of France, C’est La Vie and the Marne itinerary […]
In my North Carolina French – C’est La Vie est extraordinaire. The food, wine, accommodations, service, excursions and ambience were all superb and easily exceeded our lofty expectations. Olivier, Deb, Tom, Adam, Alix & Heloise seemed to anticipate our every need or desire, for drinks, food, this & that – and all with such warmth […]