It was almost like fairy-tales being part of a unique French River Cruise on a modern-day paddle ship, the Loire Princesse, as I discovered royal and aristocratic palaces lining while floating through the UNESCO-listed Loire Valley. The whole journey was a novel experience in itself.
The Loire Princesse cruises on France’s longest river between Saint-Nazaire and Angers. When river cruising was a privilege for the wealthy, CroisiEurope developed a cruising experience appealing to every traveler. CroisiEurope is the first river cruise line to launch a hotel boat, and the 96-passenger Loire Princesse uses modern paddlewheel technology to sail along the picturesque stretch of the river from Nantes, in western France, where my voyage of discovery began. The cruise turned out to be an adventure both on water and dry land as the mooring spot is opposite Les Machines de l’ile, where a fantastic regeneration project has been inspired by the futuristic ideas of science fiction writer Jules Verne, who is Nantes’ famous literary son.
Back on board, I enjoyed a real taste of the region as CroisiEurope puts a lot of emphasis on its French heritage. Leisurely buffet breakfasts with freshly baked baguettes and a variety of hot and cold dishes were followed by lunches and dinners showcasing dishes such as Quiche Lorraine, duck in wine sauce, French cheeses and wonderfully decadent desserts – all washed down with excellent wines.
The culinary treats continued ashore with an excursion to a local vineyard, and a tour around Angers, the capital of the historical Anjou province where I strolled along quaint cobbled streets and stopped to buy the local produce.
With its brightly colored contemporary décor, sun deck and well-equipped cabins, the Loire Princesse provided a very comfortable floating home. The panoramic lounge bar is a focal point, with live musicians, dancing and entertainment most evenings.
This overall experience was yet another highlight wouldn’t happen without the assistance of Paveway Explorer Holidays, a boutique travel company based in Singapore, that invited me to join the enchanting cruise filled with magical sights.