Enveloped in dazzling French summer sunshine, and with clear blue skies high above me, I journeyed along the Loire River in France. Over the course of five glorious days in July, I discovered remarkable fortresses, explored vast renaissance gardens and strolled around fairytale-like Chateau. It was a trip that I will fondly remember for a long time. I had not expected to find so many treasures in such density nor that I would see so much in such a concise time period.
I was invited by Croisieurope to go on their Loire Princesse river cruise. I willingly accepted as I have found other river cruises I have done to be a hassle-free and enjoyable way to travel. Journeying along peaceful European rivers and docking in the heart of villages or towns to visit nearby sights is a relaxing respite from the bustle of modern-day life.
This trip appealed to me as they are the only river cruise line that is able to travel along the Loire. It is a shallow river, with shifting sandbanks. This makes it impossible for regular river boats to sail in, despite their already shallow draft. So CroisiEurope designed a specific ship for the river – the Loire Princesse. It has two paddles on either side of it to propel it along the river. This means it can sail in water as shallow as 70 centimetres if needed.
However, even this unique ship was outmanoeuvred by the river on our cruise. We could not sail as far inland as the schedule planned on one day, and had to dock some miles from Angers and bus a bit further to the excursion on that day. River cruising can be subject to changes like this. The level of water fluctuates during the season based on rainfall, and so changes and tweaks to schedules are always possible.
The sights I saw along the Loire were remarkable during this trip. The best way to bring them alive is to show them rather than write about them. So I have chosen a few highlights from each of the places we visited to illustrate how magnificent the destinations and sights were. The only destination I cannot show in detail is at Saint Nazaire, where we visited the huge shipyards that built ships like Queen Mary 2. Security regulations meant I could not take any photos.
To see all the photographs I took visit my CroisiEurope Loire River Cruise Album.
Loire River Cruise Video Highlights
I made a video talking about the river, ship, cabin and places visited that you can watch below.
Get more about my trip by visiting tipsfortravellers.com/croisieurope-loire. I travelled as a guest of CroisiEurope on this cruise.