Cruise the Loire Valley canals in slow, stylish comfort on our bespoke Chateaux of France Loire Valley River Cruise. Champagne receptions, historical insights, and exclusive entry into the region’s iconic castles will ensure you feel like royalty at every turn.

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. The Ker & Downey designers are at their best when crafting a journey unique to you; contact us to get started planning, and read on to see one example of what’s possible on a river barging itinerary.


Sail along the Seine, tour the city in a vintage car, and participate in a private cooking class at the Ritz. Your time in Paris will be all about glitz and glamour.

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


We will take you on an after-hours tour of the 16th-century Chateau de Chambord, where you will be free to wander its chambers and gardens. Feel like a king at the famous Château de Chenonceau—a jewel of French architecture and the former home of Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de’ Medici. A private hot air balloon ride over the surrounding landscape offers you a unique birds’ eye view over the Loire Valley chateaux.

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

Loire Valley River Cruise

A champagne welcome awaits you aboard the Renaissance barge, an ultra-deluxe eight-passenger vessel and your floating hotel for the next week. Witness the elegant chateaux, small countryside villages, and the famed wine-growing region of Sancerre as your luxury barge leads you along the Canal de Briare, France’s oldest canal.

Highlights of your Loire Valley river cruise include a visit to Château de Fontainebleau and private behind-the-scenes tour of the French military school and stables, a 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, an exploration of the turreted towers of Château de Ratilly, and a cruise across the aqueduct at Briare, built by Gustave Eiffel over the River Loire. Along the way, you will have excellent opportunities for walking and biking along the canal and through the village markets.

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


Learn how stonemasons, carpenters, loggers, and blacksmiths constructed a castle in the 13th century. A special evening is in store 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. Every journey you’ll read about on our website is completely customizable. We have hundreds of itineraries designed by Ker & Downey experts, ready to be tailored just for you – get in touch to get started on your own custom journey.