Cruise the Loire Valley canals in slow, stylish comfort on our bespoke Loire Valley River Cruise. Champagne receptions, historical insights, and exclusive entry into the region’s iconic chateaux… let Ker & Downey make you feel like royalty at every turn.

Luxury Loire Valley River Cruise

Suggested journey at a glance: 12 days/11 nights including six nights on a luxury barge traveling through the Loire Valley and pre- and post-cruise extensions in Paris, Chambord, and Fontainbleu

Chateaux of France - Loire Valley River Cruise – Ker & Downey-Fontainebleau-Palace

Our Loire Valley river cruise is just one of many ways to discover France. Ker & Downey’s designers are at their best when crafting a journey unique to you; so contact us to get started planning, and read on to see one example of what’s possible on a river barging itinerary.


First begin your journey in the City of Love. Your time in Paris will be all about glitz and glamour. For instance, you will sail along the Seine, tour the city in a vintage car, and participate in a private cooking class at the Ritz.

Paris - Ker & Downey - Custom Trip to France


Next let Ker & Downey take you on an after-hours tour of the 16th-century Chateau de Chambord. While here, you will be free to wander its chambers and gardens. Feel like a king at the famous Château de Chenonceau. This castle is a jewel of French architecture and the former home of Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de’ Medici. Finally, a private hot air balloon ride offers you a unique birds’ eye view over the Loire Valley chateaux.

Chambord – Ker & Downey - Custom Trip to France

Loire Valley River Cruise

Then it is time to embark on your Loire Valley river cruise. A champagne welcome awaits you aboard the Renaissance luxury barge. This ultra-deluxe eight-passenger vessel will serve as your floating hotel for the next week. As you cruise along the Canal de Briare, witness the elegant chateaux, small countryside villages, and the famed wine-growing region of Sancerre. This is France’s oldest canal after all.

Of course, there will be many highlights during your Loire Valley river cruise. Visit Château de Fontainebleau and enjoy a private behind-the-scenes tour of the French military school and stables. Journey along the 350-year-old seven-lock flight at Rogny-Les-Sept-Ecluses, a stop in Gien to learn about the famous Faience pottery artisans. Then set off on an exploration of the turreted towers of Château de Ratilly and cruise across the aqueduct at Briare, built by Gustave Eiffel. Indeed, you will have plenty of opportunities for walking and biking along the canal and through the village markets.

Chateaux of France - Loire Valley River Cruise – Ker & Downey-Canal


Conclude your Loire Valley river cruise journey with an extension in Fontainebleu. While here, learn how stonemasons, carpenters, loggers, and blacksmiths constructed a castle in the 13th century. Finally, Ker & Downey has prepared a special evening at the Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte. Tour the castle and gardens, illuminated by candlelight and accompanied by the owner. The gardens were designed by Le Notre who also dreamed up Versaille’s expansive landscape.

Chateaux of France - Loire Valley River Cruise – Ker & Downey-Fountainebleau

Custom Trips to Western Europe

Are you ready to discover the chateaux of France on our Loire Valley river cruise? Contact a Ker & Downey designer to customize your own journey to France. Read more about the seasonality and pricing on the Ker & Downey Difference.