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Chateaux, Rivers & Wine Bordeaux to Bordeaux

Saint-Émilion, Pomerol, Sauternes, Médoc and Margaux are but a handful of the appellations that make Bordeaux wines world famous. At the heart of this legendary region, the city of Bordeaux invites 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.Please Note: The Garonne, Gironde and Dordogne Rivers are part of a tidal river system that results in changing water levels in the region. Every effort is made to follow the scheduled itinerary, however, based on tides it may be amended or modified as required.

  • Price starts at: $2249
  • Tour length: 8 Days
  • Trip Type: River Cruise

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Itinerary & Activities

Itinerary Map
(click for larger version)
Itinerary

Bordeaux

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 explore Bordeaux on your own. Second only to Paris in French historic monuments, Bordeaux’s thoughtfully 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)

Cadillac

Tour the city center this morning and see 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. Visit the Musée d’Aquitaine for a guided tour of the collections that highlight the region’s triangular trade route and Bordeaux’s position in it. Later this afternoon, we sail upstream along the Garonne River to Cadillac, a small town with a towering castle that gave its name to the American car brand. (B, L, D)

Cadillac

Begin your day with a tour of Cadillac then head across the river for your excursion to Sauternes where you will learn how the area’s sweet dessert wines are made, and taste some examples during your tour. (B, L, D)

Saint-Emilion

Disembark this morning for a leisurely stroll to Libourne’s picturesque city square, lined with buildings dating as far back as the 16th century; or take part in one of two optional excursions: an exploration of the Bergerac area in the Dordogne to learn more about truffles, a great French delicacy; or a wine tasting, at a nearby château, of some local vintages from the Saint-Émilion and Pomerol appellations. Later, take a tour to Saint-Émilion, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you see the town’s superb medieval lanes and delightful views of the surrounding vineyards from the upper town. Spend a pleasant afternoon exploring the town’s streets and shops. (B, L, D)

Blaye

Blaye boasts an extraordinary 17th-century citadel, dramatically set on a rock beside the river, incorporating the ruins of an ancient Gothic château that contains the tomb of Charibert II, king of Aquitaine. Legend has it that the Frankish hero Roland, who served Charlemagne, is also buried here. 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. Return aboard for lunch, and later take an afternoon stroll through the historic village of Bourg. 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. Here, you will tour the Camus family business, one of the most tradition-steeped Cognac houses in the area, and try your hand at blending. (B, L, D)

Pauillac

We sail downstream this morning, passing islands and gentle slopes, arriving in Pauillac in the early afternoon. Enjoy a wine country tour featuring several wine-tasting opportunities, including the area’s famous full-flavored Margaux. Travel through the rolling vineyard-laced hills to dinner at a château, accompanied by the château’s own wines. Relax aboard your ship this evening, or explore Pauillac’s marina and the Plaza Lafayette, where the Marquis de Lafayette set sail to the New World. Pauillac, the undisputed capital of the Médoc wine region, is home to Châteaux Lafite Rothschild, Latour and Mouton Rothschild, among others. Before returning to your ship, catch a glimpse of the Île de Patiras lighthouse in the middle of the Gironde. (B, L, D)

Bordeaux

Relax aboard your ship this morning as we make our way back to Bordeaux. You have the afternoon at leisure, giving you more time to appreciate the well-preserved architecture of 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. You won’t want to 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 a full-day 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. Or, you have the option of participating in a market visit with the Viking Chef to see where the local chefs of Bordeaux find their fruit, vegetables, meats and fish. (B, L, D)

Bordeaux

After a final onboard breakfast, disembark and we take you to the airport for your flight home.* Or, extend your journey with three nights in Paris. (B)


Things to Know

Preparing For Your Trip
  • Make Sure to Bring All of Your Important Documents: Passport, Foreign visa (if applicable), Itinerary, Trip confirmation, Airline ticket, Drivers license, Credit cards, Travel documents.

  • Vaccinations Are Required for Entry to Some Countries. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) can provide you their recommendations for vaccinations and other travel health precautions for your trip abroad.

  • Are You Taking Any Prescriptions or Other Medications? Pack enough to last your entire trip, including some extra in case you are unexpectedly delayed.

  • Insurance: Purchase travel insurance to cover yourself against unexpected situations. You never know when something might happen, so always be prepared.
While Traveling
  • Keep an eye on your belongings. Do not leave your belongings unattended in public spaces

  • Always have local cash. Not every place takes credit cards.
Pavlus Travel Referral Program

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How does our referral program work?

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More information on our referral program.

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