The association « The Friends of Mariners’ Museum »
The association « The Friends of Mariners’ Museum » was created in 1984 to bring to life the collection that was left by a donor couple.
The aim of the association is to safeguard the collection and historic heritage of the Loire mariners. Having around 60 members today, its objectives are introducing, highlighting and passing on this Loire heritage, both from a cultural and historic point of view.
The museum offers a permanent exhibition as well as a temporary one which is renewed every season.
The Mariners’ Museum is located on the quays by the Loire river. It adjoins the town hall which was built at the exact place of the covered market of yesteryear.
Thematic panels, superbly designed and illustrated by Nicolas Jolivot, an artist from Saumur, will enhance your visit. They will tell you more about the history of village people at the time of the Loire mariners and river navigation.
Chouzé sur Loire
Being a Loire village, at the boundary of the confluence between the Loire and the Vienne rivers, Chouzé-sur-Loire offers tourists, strollers, and inquisitive persons a lovely meeting place to discover the past of former Loire mariners.
The village has always lived at the same rhythm as the Loire and has experienced a prestigious past thanks to the river navigation. https://marinierschouzesurloire.fr/a-propos/chouze-sur-loire/ (in French)
The Loire inland water shipping, its traditions, its jobs and its ships
In the 19th century, the Loire navigation with its men and its ships were the center of life in Chouzé-sur-Loire.
Various and numerous occupations were linked to the Loire inland water shipping : mariner, bargee, ship’s carpenter, miller, fisherman, stones conveyor, rope maker, etc.
To learn more about it https://marinierschouzesurloire.fr/musee-et-batellerie/les-metiers-de-rive/ (in French)
Between the Loire and heritage, the Mariners’ Museum in Chouzé invites you to relive the journey of these freshwater sailors during their glory period – the 19th century historical epoch for the river and the area – at this time when mariners were said to be reading the Loire!
Among the crafts commonly used on the Loire during the economic boom of the 19th century, the one called « toue cabanée » had a prominent place. It’s a flat-bottomed ship with a retractable mast enabling easy navigation under bridge arches, ensuring the effective transport of persons and goods on the Loire.
La Martinienne II
The « Martinienne II » was built and launched in June 2018, being the second « toue cabanée » created by approx fifteen volunteers from the association « The Friends of Mariners’ Museum ».
The museum is open all year long and many events are organised : rambles, festival, food tasting expeditions on the Loire, boat trips toward Montsoreau, etc.
https://marinierschouzesurloire.fr/activites/balades-en-bateaux/ (in French)
From June to September, get on board our « Toue Cabanée » called « la Martinienne II » for a « gourmet ride ». This boat ride is co organized by the wine-growers of Saint-Nicolas de Bourgueil and the Friends of Chouzé Mariners’ Museum. This partnership enables you to discover the banks of the Loire from another perspctive, in a tasteful and friendly way. You will enjoy tradition, heritage, nature… and discover local products. However it is worth noting that every expedition is closely linked to the conditions of navigation on the Loire.
Explore the history of the mariners, the old houses, the windmills « caviers » (built on a cellar), the quays, the flood markers…(an accompanying booklet is available on request, only in French).
Practical information https://marinierschouzesurloire.fr/evenements/informations-pratiques/ (in French)
How to reach the Museum
The Mariners’ Museum is located in Chouzé-sur-Loire (37), near the confluence of the Loire and the Vienne rivers, next to Saumur, Bourgueil, Chinon and Avoine.
In the heart of the Regional Nature Park of Loire-Anjou-Touraine, this beautiful village is located at a real crossroads, at the extreme South-East of the Indre-et-Loire French department, adjoining the Maine-et-Loire department and not far from the Vienne department.
During the following French school holidays : spring and All Saints holidays, and from June 15 to September 15, the Mariners’ Museum is open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, from 2 to 6 p.m.
We welcome you all year long by prior arrangement as well.