With 2019 marking the 500th anniversary of three milestones in the French Renaissance, European Waterways is promoting its hotel barge cruises in the Loire Valley, a region that was at the epicenter of the movement.
Departures on the company's six-passenger Nymphea hotel barge, which cruises the Cher River, feature numerous excursions to the region's many exhibitions, festivals and gastronomic events that will observe the occasion.
"The Cher River is close to some of the more significant Renaissance sites," said Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways, adding that the Nymphea is one of the few vessels that can navigate the river's shallow draft. "Our smaller groups also allow us to be more flexible with our itinerary to participate in the celebrations and visit these attractions."
France's Loire Valley this year will mark the 500th anniversary of three major milestones that shaped the Renaissance: the death of Leonardo da Vinci, who spent his final years there; the start of construction of the Chateau de Chambord, considered the ultimate embodiment of Renaissance architecture; and the birth of Catherine de' Medici in Florence, who married King Henry II to become queen of France.
Among the stops on the Loire Valley sailings is the Chateau d'Amboise, home to the tomb of Leonardo da Vinci, as well as the Chateau du Clos Luc, where he lived until his death.
Rates for the six-day cruises start at $4,650 per person, based on double occupancy, and include accommodation, gourmet cuisine, open bar, fine wines, daily excursions, and guided tours.