Archives : Upper Loire

Bike and Barge Cruises in the Upper Loire

March 25th, 2014

Do you hear the word “cruise” and imagine endless buffets, infinite vistas of ocean water, and wonder if there are more exciting ways to spend a vacation? Are you the type that needs to be active in order to feel alive? If so, then you don’t need to avoid a cruise—you just need to find the right kind of cruise. With the most active of our barge theme cruises, you have the chance to explore the French countryside from the seat of a bicycle, and enjoy as much activity as you desire.

Experience France with bike and barge vacations

Barge Meanderer Bike and Barge Cruise for FamiliesMeanderer Bike and Barge Cruises for Avid BikersOn barge Meanderer, Captain George, an avid biker, has designed a series of biking options for each full day of your cruise.

If you are also an avid, conditioned biker, he has created 55-85+ mile tours of medium elevation through a succession of scenic towns scattered across the French countryside. If you’re a weekend biking enthusiast, he has a lighter-elevation set of tours which cover 25-45 miles per day and also take you through picturesque villages adjacent to the Briare Canal. Casual biking along the canal and through small villages is also available.

Sightseeing options for passengers of varied interests

Barge Meanderer on Briare Canal Aqueduct, Upper Loire

The Briare Canal Aqueduct designed by Gustave Eiffel

One of the great things about combining biking and barging is that you might want to travel with someone who likes time to relax as well as be active. Meanderer takes this into account as well, providing easier biking options along the canal itself for those who want to get off the boat in a more leisurely way. Biking and/or sightseeing – the choice is yours. There are daily tours of fascinating sites, such as the beautiful palace of Fontainebleau, home to generations of French royalty.

Visit Chateau de Fontainebleau with Barge Meanderer

Chateau de Fontainebleau, home of French kings and Napoleon

Or enjoy the ever-changing French countryside, like the 7 locks at Rogny. Built in the late 16th Century, these seven locks (now inactive) are at the point of division of waters between the Loire and the Seine. It is the first work of this type built in France and now classified as an “Historic Monument”.

Seven locks of Rogny on the Briare Canal

The 7 ancient locks of Rogny

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, whether biking or relaxing on the elegant teak deck of your barging home-away-from-home, you will find the opportunity to sip a glass of French wine and dine on gourmet meals freshly-prepared with local ingredients to be the perfect ending for an active day of biking and cruising.

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Other Theme Cruises – golf, food and wine, family cruises and more

If you’re ready to enjoy this perfect blend of luxury and activity, contact us today to make your reservations.

Beth Hanson
Barge Cruise Specialist since 1988
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