Starting with Nantes, the chic capital of the Loire Atlantic region, Croisi EuropePrincess Loire is the only river cruiser on the longest river in France. Without a doubt, it is also the most beautiful river in France.
Built-in 2014, this innovative 90-meter-long cabin riverboat is paddle-powered, just 0.8 meters deep from the waterline. A five-night cruise that combines a river cruise and a coach trip will showcase the charm of the West Loire region. Enjoy glorious chateaus, delicate Muscadet wines, the checkered history of Nantes, and the finest French cuisine of Cruise Europe.
Princess Loire looks like a paddle steamer in Mississippi, but it’s an elegant riverboat that exudes French sophistication with particularly good food.
The captain will receive the luggage as soon as he approaches Princess Loire. All hands are on the deck for a very warm welcome. After a glance at our ticket, the entertainment director will guide us to our cabin and set the air conditioner to suit our personal requirements. All guests meet at 7 pm to enjoy welcome cocktails and canapés. The crew will be introduced at a spectacular ceremony that is a cross between the catwalk and the disco. Even before the cocktail, the lounge bar is open. Unless you drink champagne and fine wine, most drinks, including tea and coffee, are included in the price.
In the clean white cabin upper deck, the beds are pulled together as a double or separated as a single, focusing on the view of the Loire painting window. Two chairs are irresistibly waiting on the balcony.
There is a mini desk behind the bed with access to the wardrobe. Once everything is unpacked, there is plenty of space under the bed to slide the case. The screen that emerges from the ceiling shows the programs and menus of the day. BBC World is one of the available TV channels.
The shower is very spacious for a cruise ship. Many land hotels can learn a lot from both simplicities of operation and water pressure. Toiletries are Croisi Europe’s own brand.
Start your day with a buffet breakfast that includes the option to cook eggs on order at the elegant restaurant with panoramic river views. The waiter carefully replenishes coffee, orange juice, and the buffet.
The three-course lunch and dinner alternate with the buffet. Squid ink linguine is grilled with pork in a creamy sauce on a voyage dish. Dark chocolate pudding with a soft souffle center is a favorite dessert for most guests.
Waiters wear extra gold blades for gala dinners. She starts with a rich cappuccino-sized mushroom soup, then foie gras, veal, and along the way to reblochon cheese. This is basically a 5-course tasting menu in the area. The fiery Grand Marnier drama that accompanies Baked Alaska concludes a spectacular feast.
Today, CHIC Nantes is the sixth most populous city in France. Croisi Europe’s classic tour guides passengers through the rapidly expanding city of the 18th century and builds a magnificent neoclassical opera house to show interest in the arts. The richness of the 19th century prompted the creation of perhaps the most beautiful shopping gallery in the world, Passage Pomera. An evening cruise on the tranquil Erdre River, where boats are forbidden to make waves, shows where Cooper and Washer Woman once worked.
Despite the closure of the Nantes shipyard in the 1980s, a difficult time has come. Cruising downstream through the estuary art trail, Princess Loire passes under the vast bridge of Saint-Nazaire and then anchors on a tour of the shipyard currently relocated to Saint-Nazaire.
The cruise line business is booming and will be full of purchase orders over the next eight years. Guests can see how a ship, costing over € 1 billion and accommodating more than 6,700 passengers and a crew of 2,100, is being built section by section. A visit to the Escal Atlantic Museum, also in Saint-Nazaire, shows the charm of Reiner, who ran across the Atlantic before the era of air travel.
Loire is synonymous with Muscadet, and it’s time to sample wine after visiting the stunning Italian village of Clisson with its romantic castle ruins.
The highlight of Angers Excursion is the world’s largest tapestry dating back to the 14th century. It took seven years to complete the tapestry of the apocalypse, 144 meters wide and 6 meters high. This gives an amazing insight into the medieval beliefs of heaven and hell.
The day’s excursion begins with the fairytale Château Da Zile Rido, built on an island on the Indre River, where the mirror moat reflects a gray slate roof and a defensive conical tower. Lunch is served in the restaurant surrounded by the magnificent gardens of Villandry Castle. Each of the geometric gardens curated by 10 gardeners has themes such as love, music, and vegetables that recreate the style of the Renaissance.
Other nice touches
All cabins are equipped with two audio devices and one charger. On the tour, guests can easily hear the guide’s commentary. Usually French and English. After dinner, entertainment is provided in the lounge bar, often with dance and live music. Upon returning to the ship, after each excursion, guests will be welcomed back to the ship with an ice soft drink.
Croisi Europe’s 6-day Loire cruise on MS Loire Princesse runs from April to October, with all meals, drinks, and port taxes starting at £ 1,487 per person.
CroisiEurope’s guide is a wonderful and entertaining expert across architecture, culture and history. Before exploring the old castles of the Loire all day, Jean-Louis gave a presentation on the history of the region, including some castles that we do not have time to visit.
He explained that the stairs were not straight but spiraled until the arrival of Catherine de’Medici. Meals could only be eaten with a knife. It was Catherine who introduced the fork of civilization. However, she is also suspected of poisoning locked drawers to eliminate her political rivals.
A gourmet cruise for foodies around one of France’s most dramatic regions. A swarm of white waders quietly jumps over the quiet Loire, a region that has witnessed centuries of political plots from the Hundred Years War to the French Revolution.
In so many ways, Princess Loire offers an unforgettable cruise and a true taste of France.