Luxury Gay Group Trip: Loire Valley River Cruise vacations

Gay Group Trip: Loire Valley River Cruise

Trip Summary:
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8 days

From

$4599 pp

At a glance

? Our group trips are a great chance to travel with others. We also recommend adding in a few extra nights tailor-made to ensure you build the perfect itinerary.

With vine-covered landscapes of rolling green hills and historic towns, Bordeaux and the Loire Valley are two of the most exciting destinations in France for history lovers and wine connoisseurs. As part of this all-inclusive LGBTQ+ group trip, you’ll board the Croisi Europe Loire Princess, a luxury river cruiser, for five nights of cultural discovery on the Royal Loire River.

Bordeaux is the world’s largest urban Unesco World Heritage Site, containing listed treasures such as Place de la Bourse and Hotels Particuliers. The first two nights of your trip will be spent in the city, exploring the centuries of history that stand on full display before setting off aboard the Loire Princess for five nights of signature entertainment, stunning sightseeing, and late-lunches of artisan wine and fresh local produce.

Alongside a group of like-minded luxury travellers, you’ll visit the regional gems of Nantes, Saint-Nazaire, and Ancenis where a diverse, culturally rich flavour of French culture can be sampled. Bordeaux and the Loire Valley are home to an abundance of Medieval castles and cathedrals – many of which you will tour as you pass through these uniquely-historical regions.

More Information


France has consistently been named as one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world and plenty of recent polls have indicated that a majority of the French population supports same-sex marriage.

  • 22 May, 2024

    • Guaranteed all-LGBT+ charter
    • Two nights hotel accommodation in Bordeaux including daily buffet breakfast
    • Welcome reception in Bordeaux
    • Transfer from the hotel in Bordeaux to the ship
    • Five nights on board the 4-Star CroisiEurope Loire Princesse
    • Complimentary upgraded beer, wine, spirits, and non-alcoholic beverages throughout the cruise
    • Superb dining: all meals included during your cruise
    • Complimentary shore excursions offered daily
    • Signature entertainment
    • Transfers from the Loire Princess to Nantes Atlantique Airport (NTE) or Train Station

    • International flights
    • Travel insurance

In detail

? Don't forget that most of our itineraries can be totally customized. Our expert team will be able to talk you through all the options.

Day 1-3: Bordeaux

For the first two days of your itinerary, you’ll be visiting the beautiful city of Bordeaux. After enjoying a delicious breakfast, you will meet your guides for a tour of the city’s highlights. Bordeaux, also known as the “Port of the Moon,” is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

You’ll visit the famous Stone Bridge with its 17 arches, which offers a stunning view of the docks and harbour. Take a leisurely stroll through the Triangle d’Or, the old part of Bordeaux, and make a stop at Place des Quinconces, the largest public square in France. Bordeaux is the perfect starting point for exploring the surrounding wine region, where you’ll indulge in unforgettable sights and tastes.

Day 1-3: Bordeaux

Day 4: Saint-Nazaire

Known around the world for its shipbuilding industry that emerged in the 19th century. In 1862 the port earned itself an international reputation with the launch of France’s first transatlantic crossings to South America. Thus, Saint-Nazaire became a hub for the building of ocean liners; in 2003 the Queen Mary II was built on the town’s dock.

Whilst in Saint-Nazaire, the group will tour Escal’ Atlantic – a museum exploring the historic liner experience and the story of the Saint-Nazaire shipyard. The evening will be spent aboard a local cruise of the picturesque, and decidedly sleepier, Erdre River. The river is a local treasure and is regarded as one of France’s most beautiful.

Day 4: Saint-Nazaire

Day 5: Nantes

Over the centuries, Nantes, a city in western France, has undergone a transformation into a hub of innovation and culture. Its diverse population of artists, engineers, and students has contributed to its ever-changing landscape, which blends medieval architecture with a rich maritime heritage.

The Château des ducs de Bretagne, located in the historic heart of Nantes, is a must-see attraction; built in the late 15th century by François II, the last Duke of Brittany, and later by his daughter Anne of Brittany, who was twice Queen of France. This castle is filled with six centuries of history and features sophisticated façades and Renaissance-era loggias. Another included excursion is the Muscadet Wine Route and Clisson, a charming medieval town situated in the heart of the Nantes vineyards.

Day 5: Nantes

Day 6: Chalonnes-Sur-Loire

Your journey today takes you to the charming town of Chalonnes-sur-Loire. Here, you will visit the magnificent Château de Brissac, known as the tallest castle in France.

Originally built in the 11th century by the Counts of Anjou, the castle was later rebuilt as a fort-like structure during the 15th century. During the French Wars of Religion in the 16th century, the castle was taken over by Henry of Navarre, who later became King Henry IV of France. As a reward for his support, the castle was given to Charles II of Cossé, who was also granted the title of Duke of Brissac.

Today, you’ll also explore the castle’s cellars and enjoy a wine-tasting session, immersing yourself in the rich history and culture of this beautiful region.

Day 6: Chalonnes-Sur-Loire

Day 7: Loire Valley

Located in the heart of France, the Loire Valley is a region renowned for its breathtaking scenery, quaint towns, and magnificent castles. The area takes its name from the Loire River, which meanders through the region, providing fertile soil for vineyards and crops.

With over 300 châteaux, many of which date back to the Renaissance era, the Loire Valley is a treasure trove of French history and culture. These castles were once the luxurious summer residences and hunting lodges of French nobility and are now popular tourist destinations. Among the most famous are Château de Chambord, Château de Chenonceau, and Château de Amboise, each offering a unique blend of architecture, history, and landscapes.

Recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Loire Valley is a testament to the rich cultural heritage of France.

Day 7: Loire Valley

Day 8: Nantes

Enjoy one last breakfast in breathtaking Nantes before disembarking from the luxurious decks of Croisi Europe Loire Princess.

Day 8: Nantes

Optional Excursion: Discover the Loire From Above

Takes place May 26th, in place of the Muscadet Region tour, for $195 per person.

Embark on an exhilarating helicopter journey from Ancenis Airport, where you’ll meet your pilot for an unforgettable helicopter tour over the Loire. Marvel at the landscape unfolding beneath you, from the towering medieval architecture of the Oudon Tower to the majestic châteaux de Clermont, a Renaissance masterpiece and former residence of the iconic French actor Louis de Funès.

Glide over the Île d’Or golf course, set on a picturesque Loire island, before sweeping back towards Ancenis, capturing a stunning panoramic view of the Loire from Champtoceaux. This aerial adventure offers a unique perspective on France’s breathtaking beauty.

Optional Excursion: Discover the Loire From Above
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More Information

? Don't forget that most of our itineraries can be totally customized. Our expert team will be able to talk you through all the options.

Deck Plan

Exclusively designed for CroisiEurope, this innovative ship is the first French vessel built to navigate the “wild” Loire River. Launched in 2015 with unique side paddle wheels and a shallow draft hull, its interior blends burgundy, pearl, and copper tones – creating a regal atmosphere.

A central lounge fireplace pays homage to the historic “inexplosibles” boats that once plied the Loire. Large windows bathe public areas in natural light, while upper deck cabins feature private terraces with outdoor furniture. All meals are served in the main deck restaurant.

The top deck houses a lounge/bar area perfect for onboard entertainment, music, and dancing – plus a cosy patio with picturesque views. The sun deck provides ample loungers for relaxation. At the reception, you can admire the paddle wheel mechanisms in action during sailing.

Deck Plan

Upper Deck Balcony Room

Discover the allure of the Upper Deck staterooms, where private open-air balconies and floor-to-ceiling sliding windows invite the outside in. Enjoy the tranquility on your balcony, outfitted with comfortable deckchairs for two. Each stateroom is thoughtfully designed with a queen-size bed, adaptable to twin beds upon request.

Spanning 145 sq ft, these staterooms blend space with luxury. Every cabin is equipped with modern amenities for your comfort and convenience, including bedside cabinets, a smart HDTV, radio, internal-call phone, table with stool, wardrobe, electronic safe, and a sleek en-suite bathroom complete with vanity, shower, hairdryer, and toiletries. Individually controlled air-conditioning ensures your space is always just as you like it.

Upper Deck Balcony Room

Main Deck Cabin

Occupying 145 sq ft, main deck cabins are adorned with two windows situated near the ceiling, filling the room with an abundance of natural light (due to their height, they’re designed to provide light, rather than views).

Every cabin in this category is a sanctuary of comfort, equipped with a queen-size bed that can be converted into two twins upon request. The living space is thoughtfully arranged with bedside cabinets, a smart HDTV for entertainment, and a small table with a stool for your convenience. Storage is neatly handled with a small wardrobe and an electronic safe box for your valuables. The en-suite bathroom, complete with modern amenities including a shower cubicle, hairdryer, and toiletries, adds to the cabin’s convenience. Individual air-conditioning allows guests to tailor the room’s climate to their comfort.

Main Deck Cabin

On-Board Entertainment

Emma Lindars
Trained at The Brit School and Mountview Academy, Emma has starred in London’s Made in Dagenham, Shrek The Musical, Priscilla Queen Of The Desert, and Groundhog Day. Known for her vibrant stage presence and television appearances, including the 60th James Bond 007 anniversary event, Emma’s performances are not to be missed. Explore more about Emma and her music, including her debut album, “As We Grow Older.”

Tom Knowles
A versatile pianist from Trinity Laban Conservatoire, Tom is well-versed in musical theatre, jazz, and pop. With a rich background in professional music arrangement and a knack for engaging audiences with West End anecdotes, Tom’s performances alongside Emma and in solo sets are eagerly anticipated.

On-Board Entertainment

On-Board Activities

Welcome Party: Arrival Night
Meet your hosts and fellow travellers in Bordeaux, wearing a t-shirt that showcases where you’re from. It’s a fun way to introduce yourself as you connect for the first time.

Gala Dinner: May 26th, 2024, Nantes @ 6:45pm
Tonight, Nantes transforms into a spectacle of French elegance and exuberance. Dress in your fancy attire, and embrace the spirit of kings, queens, and can-can. The evening promises cocktails, dinner, and unforgettable entertainment, all under the banner of rainbows and glitter. Toast to the night and enjoy this chic celebration in style.

On-Board Activities

On-Board Facilities

Restaurant
Situated on the main deck, the restaurant serves all cruise meals, offering guests panoramic views while they dine. The atmosphere strikes a balance between casual and elegant, creating a perfect setting for culinary exploration.

Lounge Bar with Dancefloor
The tastefully decorated lounge, located at the ship’s front, provides panoramic vistas of the sea. Here, guests can enjoy cocktails, and engage in games, dance, and entertainment.

Sun Deck
The sun deck is an ideal spot for relaxation, furnished with chairs and loungers for cooling off while taking in the panoramic scenery.

Fitness
Morning fitness classes on the sun deck offer a revitalising start to the day, combining exercise with stunning views, inviting guests to refresh both body and spirit.

On-Board Facilities

FAQs

What are the passport and visa requirements?
While some European countries require just three months of remaining passport validity, others mandate six months even for transit. We recommend ensuring your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your final travel date. U.S. citizens do not currently need a visa for the EU, but other nationalities should check entry requirements with consulates for each country visited.

What if I have dietary requirements?
We accommodate dietary needs with 45 days’ notice before departure.

What are pre-paid gratuities?
Gratuities for included services are pre-paid to ensure excellent service, but additional tipping remains at your discretion.

What are the excursions like?
Most excursions are in groups of 25 with expert English-speaking guides utilising wireless audio systems. Difficulty ranges from 1/5 (very easy) to 5/5 (strenuous) based on terrain and distance. Refer to individual descriptions and request any needed accommodations when booking.

Is there a dress code?
No strict dress code, just avoid extremes like thongs/mankinis in dining areas. We’ll advise if specific clothing is required for climates or cultural sites.

Will there be smoking areas?
For guest comfort, smoking is not permitted in suites or indoor public areas. Designated smoking areas are available outside on the sun deck and at land properties.

FAQs

Why book with us?

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