Special Offer

$250-$750 discount per person on select 2019 and 2020 departures, call for details.

PLUS Free Economy class air from select gateways on select 2020 departures.

*Special offers cannot be combined with other discounts

Exploring France's Wine Region aboard a Premier River Vessel

Overview

Your cruise begins in Bordeaux, the capital of Aquitaine in Southwestern France and one of the world’s undisputed wine capitals. You’ll discover stately chateaux, abundant vineyards, and stunning scenery as you sail along the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers and their surrounding estuaries, calling upon port cities like Cadillac, Bourg, and Libourne. Enjoy tastings of some of the region’s most distinguished wines and visit notable sites before concluding your journey.

Note: This cruise is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as agent in booking your reservation with the ship operator. The itinerary, lecturers, and all other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the cruise line.

Itinerary

Day 1
Bordeaux, France / Embark

Welcome to Bordeaux, where you’ll board your luxurious river cruise. Meet your fellow passengers this evening during a delectable Welcome Dinner...D

Day 2
Bordeaux / Libourne

Sail the scenic waters of Bordeaux this morning and arrive to Libourne, one of Bordeaux’s most elite wine regions, in the afternoon. Join an excursion to Saint Émilion, known for its celebrated vineyards, and while there, explore the monolithic church carved out of one piece of limestone rock with its underground catacombs and caves. Afterwards, enjoy a Grand Cru Classé wine tasting at either Château de Ferrand or Château de Pressac. If you prefer a more active adventure, pedal through the vineyard-rich countryside to Saint-Émilion and then to Château Soutard for a Grand Cru Classé wine tasting. You can also choose to tour the magnificent Château Vayres, one of the most prestigious historic buildings of Aquitaine…BLD

Day 3
Libourne / Blaye

Enjoy a leisurely morning strolling through the colorful, open-air market in Libourne, tasting some of the region’s specialties. Or, you can get your heart pumping by venturing deeper into town on an invigorating bike tour or hiking through one of Libourne’s renowned vineyards. Later in the day, set sail for Blaye, where you’ll enjoy an evening at your leisure…BLD

Day 4
Blaye / Bourg

This morning, enjoy a tour of Blaye’s 17th-century citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site built by the famous military engineer Vauban. From the top of this famous fortress, you can admire fantastic views of the impressive Gironde estuary. For a more active excursion, take a bike ride around the small city known for its red wine and military significance. Later in the day, you can take an optional bike ride from Blaye through the idyllic French countryside to Bourg. While in the ancient village of Bourg, venture out on a walking tour and visit the Carriage Museum, which houses a wonderful collection of horse-drawn vehicles. Experience the hospitality of this charming medieval village with an exclusive wine festival. Meet the local wine growers and sample their wines, while enjoying live music and dancing…BLD

Day 5
Pauillac

Pauillac, a lovely village on the Left Bank of the Gironde Estuary, is a gateway to the famed Médoc region, renowned for producing some of the world’s finest Bordeaux wines. You will see some of the most beautiful and famous wine estates here, including Château Latour, Château Mouton Rothschild, Château Lafite Rothschild, and Château Pichon Longueville. A visit to either Château Gruaud Larose or Château Léoville Poyferré for a tasting of Grand Cru wines will cap off your day in this scenic realm...BLD

Day 6
Cadillac / Bordeaux

This morning in Cadillac, you’ll visit the impressive Castle of Roquetaillade, an amazingly preserved masterpiece of medieval military architecture owned by the same noble family for 700 years. Later, the ship makes her way to the Sauternes wine region to either Chateau de Rayne Vigneau or Chateau Guiraud. Here, you can taste the highly prized golden-hued sweet wines. In the evening, enjoy a spectacular illumination cruise, gazing at the iconic structures of Bordeaux as they glow in the night sky…BLD

Day 7
Bordeaux

Today you’ll see the elegant port city of Bordeaux. The breathtaking capital of the wine world is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and, with over 360 historic monuments within its borders, it is also classified as a “City of Art and History.” You’ll have an opportunity to experience much of the rich culture and architecture here, including a tasting at the Wine Museum. You will see sights like the Pont de Pierre Bridge, Quinconces Monumental Square and the famed water mirror, Mirroir d’eau. Those seeking a more active way to see the city can join a guided bike tour instead. Afterwards, you will have free time to explore the town on your own. A spectacular Farewell dinner awaits you tonight, and the ship will stay in Bordeaux...BLD

Day 8
Bordeaux / Disembark

Your cruise comes to an end as you prepare for your homeward flight...B

Optional Pre-Cruise Extension:
2 Nights Bilbao, 2 Nights San Sebastian

Day 1
Bilbao
Check into your hotel for the beginning of your Basque Country land program.
Day 2
Bilbao
Immerse yourself in the unique culture of Bilbao on an informative walking tour through the city. Visit an authentic market where you’ll find a variety of local specialties, from cheese to peppers to fish and learn how to order Basque tapas, known locally as pintxos, which are revered for their small size and big taste...B
Day 3
Bilbao / San Sebastian
Delve into the contemporary art scene within the world-famous Guggenheim Museum, a work of art itself. Designed by architect Frank Gehry, the museum features a daring and innovative façade and showcases work by such artists as Andy Warhol, German artist Anselm Kiefer, and Basque masters Eduardo Chillida and Jorge Oteiza. You’ll also travel to the Basque town of Guernica, infamously bombed by German and Italian air forces during the Spanish Civil War—and the subject of one of Picasso’s most renowned paintings. Later in the day, transfer to San Sebastián and check into your hotel. In the evening, enjoy a guided stroll through Old Town, the second oldest neighborhood in the city, where distinctive architecture and pintxos bars beckon, made even more romantic by the evening light...B
Day 4
San Sebastian
Discover the charms of the “City by the Bay of Biscay.” Known in the Basque language as Donostia, San Sebastián was once a prominent fishing village and was burned to the ground in 1813 after being occupied by Napoleonic troops. However, by 1887, after rebuilding, the city flourished as a popular tourist destination and spa resort. Later in the day, enjoy exploring at your leisure in the city renowned for holding the second highest number of Michelin stars per square meter...B
Day 5
San Sebastian / Saint Jean de Luz and Bay of Archachon / Bordeaux / Embark
Check out of your hotel and transfer to Bordeaux via Saint Jean de Luz and Bay of Archachon. Later, embark the ship in Bordeaux for your Taste of Bordeaux cruise...BD

Optional Post-Cruise Extension:
2 Nights Loire Valley, 1 Night Paris

Day 12
Bordeaux / Disembark / Loire Valley / Amboise
Disembark the ship after your Taste of Bordeaux cruise and transfer to the Loire Valley, where you will check into the château...B
Day 13
Amboise
Visit three of the Loire Valley’s regal châteaux starting with the Château de Chenonceau, one of the most beautiful castles in France. This château has been referred to as the “Château de Dames” (Women’s Castle) as it was looked after by many women, including Diane of Poitiers and Catherine de Medicis, whose legacies are honored by the remarkable gardens named for them outside the castle. Château du Clos Lucé was Leonardo da Vinci’s last home where he completed some of his most famous works under the patronage of the King of France. The Château d’Amboise, perched on a promontory overlooking the Loire River, was the first Renaissance château built in the Loire Valley and features extravagant residences, gardens and a Gothic chapel, where Leonardo da Vinci is buried...B
Day 14
Amboise / Paris
Check out of your Amboise hotel and, en route to Paris, visit two more majestic châteaux. While Château de Chambord, located at the heart of Europe’s largest enclosed wooded park, began as an unassuming hunting lodge, it is now the biggest château in the Loire Valley with 426 rooms, 77 staircases and 282 fireplaces. Next, either marvel at the residence of seven kings and ten queens of France at the famous Château de Blois where you'll discover the secrets of the French court, or enjoy time at your leisure. Transfer by motorcoach to your hotel at Charles De Gaulle Airport...B
Day 15
Paris / Depart
Bid farewell to Paris and prepare for your flight home...B

Highlights

Highlights

Sip and savor wine tastings in picturesque ports of call in France's beloved wine region
Cruise the enchanting rivers of Dordogne and Garonne
Optional activities include bike tours, market visits, and city excursions

Details

Length: 8 days
Cost From: $3099  
Arrive: Bordeaux, France
Depart: Bordeaux, France
Lodging: 7 nights aboard a premium river vessel
Meals: All meals included aboard ship (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: River Cruising
Trip Level:

Cultural exploration and walking tours
Cruise collection 2020 brochure

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