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8 Days | Bordeaux River Cruises


Caressed by Atlantic breezes, the vineyards that cover the rolling hills along the rivers of Aquitaine have for centuries produced France’s most remarkable wines: Saint-Émilion, Pomerol, Sauternes, Médoc and Margaux are but a handful of the appellations that make Bordeaux wines world-famous. At the region’s heart, the city of Bordeaux stretches along the river bank, inviting visitors to savor its grand architecture, tempting cafés and superb museums. Celebrate joie de vivre in this land of wine and oysters, truffles and cognac, as you cruise the Dordogne, Garonne and Gironde Rivers.

IN THE LOIRE VALLEY. Click HERE for details.

Day 1 | Bordeaux, France. Fly to Bordeaux. We meet you at the airport and take you to your ship; the rest of the day is yours to relax or begin exploring Bordeaux a little bit on your own. Second only to Paris in French historic monuments, Bordeaux’s beautifully preserved 18th-century urban areas make it a desirable film location and its graceful port on the Garonne River is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We remain docked overnight. (D)

Day 2 | Pauillac (Margaux). Sail along the Gironde River this morning, docking at Pauillac in the Médoc region before lunch. This afternoon, take a wine country tour featuring several wine-tasting opportunities, including the area’s famous full-flavored Margaux. Relax on board this evening, or explore Pauillac’s marina and the Plaza Lafayette—Pauillac is where the Marquis de Lafayette set sail to the New World. Undisputed capital of the Médoc wine region, Pauillac is home to Châteaux Lafite Rothschild, Latour and Mouton Rothschild, among others. You may also catch a glimpse of the lighthouse on the Île de Patiras in the middle of the Gironde. (B, L, D)

Day 3 | Blaye (Cognac). Early this morning we sail to Blaye, arriving during breakfast. Blaye boasts an extraordinary 17th-century citadel dramatically set on a rock beside the river, which incorporates the ruins of an ancient Gothic château. The château contains the tomb of Charibert II, king of Aquitaine—and legend has it that the Frankish hero Roland, who served Charlemagne, is also buried there. The citadel of Blaye, its city walls, and two other forts are collectively listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a guided tour of the citadel, then enjoy some free time in Blaye—or you may choose to take an optional excursion to the charming medieval town of Cognac, birthplace of one of the world’s best-known types of brandy. We lift anchor late this afternoon and dine while sailing toward Libourne, where the Isle and Dordogne Rivers meet. (B, L, D)

Day 4 | Libourne (Saint-Émilion).This morning’s tour takes you to Saint-Émilion, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you see the town’s superb medieval streets and buildings and taste some local vintages, like the robust red Pomerol varietals. Spend a pleasant afternoon exploring the town’s boulevards, gardens and shops—or take an optional excursion to Bergerac in the Dordogne, which offers some of the finest wines in the Bordeaux region as well as truffles, a great French delicacy—plus, see two very different statues of Edmond Rostand’s famous character Cyrano de Bergerac. We remain docked in Libourne until early morning, so you can take a stroll after dinner to see the Gothic church, clock tower and the Town Hall on the main square. (B, L, D)

Day 5 | Cadillac (Sauternes). Enjoy scenic cruising along the idyllic Garonne River all morning, stopping after lunch at Cadillac. Disembark for your excursion to Sauternes. Learn how the area’s sweet dessert wines are made and taste some examples during your tour. Return aboard for dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 6 | Cadillac. Bordeaux. Take a walking tour of the working town of Cadillac this morning to see the ancient harbor, the fishing boats and the townspeople plying their trades. You will also see the elegant 16th-century château, complete with grand courtyard and moat, and the city walls with their iconic Clock Gate and Sea Gate. Return aboard for lunch as we begin sailing along the Garonne toward Bordeaux, where we arrive in the late afternoon. Dine aboard or go ashore—we remain docked overnight so you are free to explore the city’s restaurants, bars and nightlife. (B, L, D)

Day 7 | Bordeaux. This morning’s tour of the city center shows you some of Bordeaux’s highlights, including the Place des Quinconces, one of the largest squares in Europe; the neoclassical Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux; and several spectacular churches. Your afternoon and evening are at leisure, giving you more time to appreciate the well-preserved architecture by Louis XV favorites Jacques Ange Gabriel and son and to taste the city’s cuisine and wine appellations—perhaps pick up a few bottles to take home with you. Do not miss the Place de la Bourse, with its mirror-like reflecting pool—impressive by day but absolutely stunning at night. You also have the option of taking an afternoon excursion to Arcachon, a commune on the Atlantic coast, to see the Victorian-era villas, walk on the boardwalk and taste the oysters, a local delicacy. (B, L, D)

Day 8 | Bordeaux. After a final onboard breakfast, disembark and we take you to the airport for your flight home. (B)


NOTE: Itinerary is subject to change without notice. For the most up-to-date information, please refer to the itinerary schedule you receive with your final documents. *Airport meet and greet transfers included when air is purchased from Viking River Cruises.

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