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NANTES • SAINT-NAZAIRE • ANCENIS • ANGERS • The Châteaux of the Loire Valley
SAUMUR • BOUCHEMAINE • ANCENIS • NANTES

June 29 - July 6, 2015 • 8 Days
beginning and ending in Nantes, France (airfare additional)

Only $2,407 per person, (sharing) Main deck, on same deck as dining room
$2,917 per person  (sharing) Upper deck with balconies
Single supplement: $884 (limited number of singles.) We’ll arrange shares!

Feel like royalty aboard the MS Loire Princesse, a brand-new sparkling deluxe barge, as we ply the Loire River in France. 2015 is an off-year for convention, but a perfect time to renew Phi Mu connections on an 8-day cruise from Nantes featuring the Châteaux of the Loire Valley.

We have chosen a summer departure in order to include families and teachers on an academic schedule.

We have 48 spacious cabins with all the amenities. The 30 upper deck cabins have lovely balconies, and we’ll gather together in the splendid main deck dining room that can seat us all. A huge lounge bar with central dance floor is a pleasant area to mingle with other Phi Mus and family, guests of Phi Mu and while the large sun deck is an ideal place to relax. The elegant décor in contemporary colors is in perfect harmony with the good spirit on board. Labeled the “Green Ship”, the MS Loire Princesse was created with ecological designs having great respect for the environment.

EXPLORE UNESCO-designated sites for economical Optional Guided Excursions:

  • Nantes  Evening  on what King Francis I called the “most beautiful river in France”: The Erdre.
  • Saint-Nazaire – Escal-Atlantic and shipyard or Guérande medieval town and salt marshes·     
  • Ancenis, Muscadat Region tasting, Château Cassemichère, medieval Clisson·     
  • Angers  See the extraordinary Apocalypse Tapestry at Château d’Angers ·     
  • Cadre Noir French National Equestrian School and fortified city Saumur·     
  • The Castles of the Loire: Château d'Azay-le-Rideau Château de Villandry. Château d’Ussé.·     
  • Bouchemaine Corniche Angevine and tasting at château des Vaults
We’ll arrange train transport from Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris to and from Nantes if you wish, and we’ll suggest a nearby hotel for those arriving early.

Click for larger view

NANTES • SAINT-NAZAIRE • ANCENIS • ANGERS • The Châteaux of the Loire Valley
SAUMUR • BOUCHEMAINE • ANCENIS • NANTES

June 29 - July 6, 2015 • 8 Days
beginning and ending in Nantes, France (airfare additional)

Only $2,407 per person, (sharing) Main deck, on same deck as dining room
$2,917 per person  (sharing) Upper deck with balconies
Single supplement: $884 (limited number of singles.) We’ll arrange shares!

Feel like royalty aboard the MS Loire Princesse, a brand-new sparkling deluxe barge, as we ply the Loire River in France. 2015 is an off-year for convention, but a perfect time to renew Phi Mu connections on an 8-day cruise from Nantes featuring a full day excursino to the Châteaux of the Loire Valley.

We have chosen a summer departure in order to include families and teachers on an academic schedule.

We have 48 spacious cabins with all the amenities. The 30 upper deck cabins have lovely balconies, and we’ll gather together in the splendid main deck dining room that can seat us all. A huge lounge bar with central dance floor is a pleasant area to mingle with other Phi Mus and family, guests of Phi Mu and while the large sun deck is an ideal place to relax. The elegant décor in contemporary colors is in perfect harmony with the good spirit on board. Labeled the “Green Ship”, the MS Loire Princesse was created with ecological designs having great respect for the environment.

EXPLORE UNESCO-designated sites for economical Optional Guided Excursions:

  • Nantes  Evening  on what King Francis I called the “most beautiful river in France”: The Erdre.
  • Nantes City tour
  • Saint-Nazaire – Escal-Atlantic and shipyard or Guérande medieval town and salt marshes
  • Ancenis, Muscadat Region tasting, Château Cassemichère, medieval Clisson
  • Angers  See the extraordinary Apocalypse Tapestry at Château d’Angers
  • Cadre Noir French National Equestrian School and fortified city Saumur
  • The Castles of the Loire: Château d'Azay-le-Rideau Château de Villandry. Château d’Ussé. (Full day excursion included with lunch)  
  • Bouchemaine Corniche Angevine and tasting at château des Vaults
We’ll arrange train transport from Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris to and from Nantes if you wish, and we’ll suggest a nearby hotel for those arriving early.

Click for larger view

Preliminary Day by Day Itinerary

June 29  DAY 1: NANTES  
Monday
Passengers are welcome to board our ship in Nantes between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. After you’ve comfortably settled in your cabin, we’ll introduce our crew during our welcome cocktail party and have dinner on board. Afterward, join us for a cruise on what King Francis I called the “most beautiful river in France”: The Erdre. We’ll discover the history of this river and its many castles as we gently cruise along. (D)

Aboard MS Loire Princesse in Nantes

June 30  DAY 2: NANTES – SAINT-NAZAIRE
Tuesday
After buffet breakfast on board, set off on an optional tour of Nantes (you must reserve this excursion in advance). You’ll discover the small streets of the medieval Bouffay quarter and the beautiful Flamboyant-style Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul. We’ll visit the île Feydeau and its exceptional buildings dating back to the 18th century, and then on to the quays. After, you’ll discover the shopping districts created in the 18th century around the Théâtre Graslin and the Passage Pommeraye. We’ll then continue our tour to the Castle of the Dukes of Brittany. The last castle before the river reaches the ocean, this Breton monument with its outstanding 15th to 17th century buildings will transport you back in time. This urban stronghold was built in the late Middle Ages by Duke Francis II and his daughter, Anne of Brittany, to defend the independence of the Duchy of Brittany, then under threat from the Kingdom of France. The ensemble is remarkable for its striking whiteness, its elegance and its fine stone carvings, in sharp contrast with the rough exterior walls. After our morning visit, we'll return on board for lunch. We’ll spend the afternoon cruising to Saint-Nazaire, and arrive during the evening. Tonight, we’ll enjoy dinner on board, followed by an evening of entertainment. We’ll remain in port overnight. (B-L-D)

Aboard MS Loire Princesse in Saint-Nazaire

July 1 DAY 3: SAINT-NAZAIRE – ANCENIS
Wednesday
After buffet breakfast on board, we’ll set out on an optional excursion to Saint-Nazaire, with a visit to the Escal’Atlantic and the shipyard. We’ll begin our visit with the Escal’Atlantic, which ingeniously retraces the history of Norman and French ocean liners through a unique experience. Then we’ll continue on to the Saint-Nazaire shipyard, one of the largest and well-renowned in Europe. Once the birthplace of the most outstanding French transatlantic liners, today it is the construction site for elegant cruise ships. While following a tour designed especially for understanding the complexity of constructing these veritable modern floating palaces, you’ll discover the immensity of this site (267 acres), the stunning logistics, and the advanced technology put in place to build the ships. (This excursion must be pre-booked in advance.   Each passenger will be asked to produce a valid passport or identity card in order to gain access to the shipyard). 

Or we’ll leave for an optional guided visit of Guérande. Famous writers such as Flaubert, Gracq and Balzac used Guérande as backdrops to their novels, after falling in love when visiting.  The tour will continue to the salt marshes, the undeniable symbol of the region. With our guide,  you’ll discover the process of harvesting Guérande salt and how the marshes work. After our  morning visit, we'll return on board for lunch. The afternoon will be spent cruising to Ancenis. Enjoy our onboard entertainment during our cruise. We’ll remain in Ancenis overnight. (B-L-D)

Aboard MS Loire Princesse in Ancenis

July 2 DAY 4: ANCENIS - ANGERS
Thursday
We’ll set off on an optional excursion to the Muscadet region. We’ll continue toward La Chapelle Heulin and stop at the Château Cassemichère (or similar site). In this exceptional location, you will have the opportunity to learn about its historic vineyard, visit the cellars and taste the lovely white wine: dry, light, fruity and floral. Then we’ll leave for Clisson, a charming medieval city with 15th century vestiges and a slight Italian feel. We'll return on board and continue our cruise to Angers, arriving early in the evening. After dinner on board, tonight’s entertainment will provided by the crew. We’ll remain in port overnight. (B-L-D)

Aboard MS Loire Princesse in Angers

July 3 DAY 5: ANGERS
Friday
After buffet breakfast on board, set off for an optional tour of the town of Angers. Angers was the capital of the historical Anjou province and is distinguished not only by its legacy, but also by its modern nature. Angers, particularly rich during the Renaissance, was home to the House of Plantagenet. The immense walls of the famous Château d’Angers contain the extraordinary Apocalypse Tapestry. We’ll visit the 13th century castle and discover the Apocalypse Tapestry, one of the most important collections of medieval tapestries in the world. Lastly, we’ll visit La Doutre, a village-like neighborhood in the heart of the city. After our morning visit, we'll return on board for lunch. We’ll visit the Cadre Noir* and the city of Saumur this afternoon (you must reserve this excursion before your departure). In 2011, UNESCO added the Equitation in the French Tradition and the Cadre Noir to its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity as a school of horseback riding that emphasizes harmonious relations between humans and horses, guided by non-violence and lack of constraint. We’ll discover the history of this school, founded in 1825, by visiting the Grand Manège, the stables and the tack room. Will continue our visit with a walk through the fortified city of Saumur, dominate by its chateau. Tonight, we’ll enjoy dinner on board, followed by an evening of entertainment. We’ll remain in port overnight. (B-L-D)

*Guided tours do not guarantee the presence of the jockeys or the horses in training, especially when the Cadre Noir riders are away or at competitions. 

Aboard MS Loire Princesse in Angers

July 4 DAY 6: ANGERS – The Châteaux of the Loire Valley
Saturday
Enjoy a buffet breakfast on board before a full day’s excursion to the Châteaux of the Loire Valley (lunch included). We’ll leave by coach for the Château d'Azay-le-Rideau. Built on a small island in the middle of the Indre River, the château as it is seen today was built under Francis I by Gilles Berthelot, a wealthy financier who wanted to incorporate its medieval past alongside the latest architectural styles of the Italian renaissance. The chateau is a French national monument and possesses all the refinement found in the French Renaissance. We’ll continue to Villandry for lunch. After lunch, enjoy a walk through the lovely gardens surrounding the Château de Villandry. Afterward, we’ll continue our tour and visit the Château d’Ussé. Rebuilt in the 15th and 16th centuries, this stronghold with fortified towers, turrets and steeples looks like something out of a fairytale. The castle is still inhabited today and takes visitors back to a time of legends and fairytales It is thought to have inspired Charles Perrault when writing “Sleeping Beauty”. After our tour, we'll return on board for dinner. Enjoy our onboard entertainment during our cruise. We’ll remain in port overnight. (B-L-D)

Aboard MS Loire Princesse in Angers

July 5 DAY 7: ANGERS – BOUCHEMAINE – ANCENIS – NANTES
Sunday
You'll begin your day with a breakfast buffet on board. We’ll begin our cruise early this morning and head for Bouchemaine, the departure point for the optional excursion along the Corniche Angevine. We’ll leave by coach to travel along the levees of the Loire Angevine, admiring the picturesque villages and several viewpoints along the Loire. We’ll stop at the château des Vaults (or a similar site), an authentic site in the middle of a beautiful park. We’ll enjoy a tasting of the local wines and continue along the Corniche Angevine. We’ll rejoin the ship in Ancenis in time for lunch. This afternoon will be spent cruising the Loire: along its banks you’ll admire the landscape which has been shaped by the river over the centuries. We’ll arrive in Nantes during the evening. Tonight, we’ll enjoy our gala dinner together, followed by an evening of music and dancing. We’ll remain in port overnight. (B-L-D)

Aboard MS Loire Princesse in Nantes

July 6 DAY 8: NANTES
Monday
Enjoy one last buffet breakfast on board before disembarking at 10:00 a.m.

The cruise schedule may vary according to tides and the order of the excursions may be changed to ensure the best organization of your cruise.

Please note: For the safety of our passengers, the captain and crew of the ship may decide to modify the navigational itinerary. The cruise schedule may vary according to tides and arrival times at ports of call may be subject to change. (B)

Expected rates for options

Description / Price

  • Loire – Edre Cruise / $53.00 After dinner on the first night
  • Guided visit of Nantes / $72.00
  • Guided visit of Saint Nazaire / $102.00 or Guerande and Salterns / $60.00
  • The Muscadet Region / $72.00
  • Guided visit of Angers / $67.00
  • Guided visit of Saumur and the Cadre Noir / $80.00
  • The Corniche Angevine / $72.00

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