The farewell dinner is organised on Thursday August 29 as a dining cruise on the Erdre river. Rendez-vous at 7.50 pm Quai de la Motte, where the boat will depart at 8.00 pm. The Quai de la Motte is in short walking distance from the tramway stop "Motte Rouge”. From La Cité Nantes Events Centre, go to the tramway stop "Duchesse Anne Chateau" and take line 1 direction "François Mitterand" or "Jamet". Step off at “Commerce” and commute to line 2, direction “Orvault Grand Val”. From "Motte Rouge" cross the Erdre River, using the bridge " Pont Général de la Motte Rouge". It will take you approximately 20 minutes to reach the boat departure location.
Climb aboard a Bateau Nantais for a cruise down the Erdre river. The Erdre which means “little river” in Celte (erdam) will enchant you by the many chateaux along its shore.
Indeed, the Erdre is known as “the river with 365 castles” or as François the 1st enjoyed, “the most beautiful river of his kingdom”. The Erdre feeds out of the Maine and Loire area, one hundred kilometers from Nantes. Until the 20th century, it fed into the Loire river.
The Erdre was long ago a small swampy river. During the 6th century, St- Felix, Bishop of Nantes, began hydraulic work on the river to regulate and clean it. In the 18th century, canals were created to favour the development of the city. In 1804, Napoléon, a victim of a British embargo, decided to link Nantes to Brest via a waterway. The Erdre was chosen and he built canals, dams and bridges. In 1842, the famous canal from Nantes to Brest was opened : it is 320km long and over one thousand barges navigate along the canal every year.
Until the early 20th century, the Erdre fed into the Loire river at a place called “the rateau” which today no longer exists. In 1929, the canal inside of the city of Nantes was filled-in because of insalubrity and to favour the development of the city.
During the cruise, you will be able to admire many different castles, including the chateau de la Gascherie, the chateau de la Gaudonnière and the Chateau du Meslier to mention only a few.
For more information and a virtual visit, go to www.bateaux-nantais.fr/.