French Cruise Waterways to Offer Wine Tastings and Private Motorcoaches

French Country Waterways is returning to the Upper Loire Valley in 2011, using the luxury eight-passenger Princess on this itinerary for the very first time. 

The barge, formerly the private barge of shipping magnate Daniel K. Ludwig, sails between Châtillon-sur-Loire and Montargis every Sunday from April 3 through Oct. 30.  Highlights of the sailing include a private cellar tour and wine tasting in the village of Sancerre; dinner ashore at the Michelin-starred Auberge des Templiers in les Bezards; a visit to the medieval town of Gien, a leading center for French faience; and a day trip – including lunch – to the Chateau de Chambord, the largest of the Loire Valley chateaux. 

Guests are escorted via private motorcoach to and from Paris.  Prices for the weekly Sunday departures, April through October, range from $5,495 to $6,695 per person, double.           

Guests aboard the Princess also enjoy a host of luxury amenities that are par for the course on all of French Country Waterway's cruises including: four-course candlelit dinners accompanied by Grand Cru and Premier Cru wines from Burgundy; all breakfasts, lunches and dinners, including one dinner ashore at a Michelin-starred restaurant; daily sightseeing excursions and private wine tastings; time to relax on the sundeck and walk or bicycle along canal towpaths. Hot-air ballooning is also an option.

The Princess has four suites with king-size beds, a salon with large picture windows, a well-stocked bar, a formal dining room, a separate library, a powder room and a canopied sundeck for relaxing or al fresco meals. The Princess chef shops in farmers’ markets and local bakeries each morning to provide guests with freshly baked breads, croissants, local cheeses, produce, meats and fish to prepare his menus.

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