Arrive at Bordeaux–Mérignac International Airport, where you will be transferred to the ship.
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Cadillac, châteaux and Sauternes vineyards with exclusive artisanal wine-pairing lunch at Château de Cazeneuve You’re in for a treat as you embark on a fascinating study of Sauternes, the highly prized, golden-hued sweet wine that takes its name from the region. Visit one of the area’s finest estates for a wine tasting, and then be treated to a delectable wine-pairing lunch at Château de Cazeneuve, an 85-acre estate. Learn how easy (and fun) it is to pair a sweet wine with a whole new variety of dishes. Extend your celebration into the evening with the Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner. Note: Sailing this stretch of the Garonne depends on the tides. If it is not possible to sail to Cadillac, you will be taken to your destination via motorcoach.
Cruising the Garonne River and Gironde Estuary, Pauillac
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Médoc city tour with exclusive wine tasting OR exclusive guided “Go Active” vineyard bike ride with wine tasting Sail the Garonne River and the Gironde Estuary before heading to Pauillac, gateway to the storied Médoc wine route and the prestigious “châteaux road.” You’ll have a panoramic tour of the heart of the celebrated Haut-Médoc wine-growing region and taste wines at one of its estates. If you wish for a more active exploration of the region, take a guided bicycle ride through Pauillac and the lush landscapes of historic estates that have seemingly remained unchanged for centuries. Do all those beautiful vineyards make you yearn to sample their fruit? Luckily, this adventure includes a stop at Château Lynch-Bages for a wine tasting.
Blaye, cruising the Gironde Estuary and Dordogne River, Libourne
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Scenic drive along the Route de la Corniche Fleurie with Blaye Fortress Sail across the peaceful waters of the estuary, where fishing huts rise above grassy marshlands edged by limestone cliffs, as you make your way to the town of Blaye. A visual feast awaits you on a storied road named for the many flowers that line it, Route de la Corniche Fleurie, which wends its way through picturesque hamlets filled with old stone houses. Stop in the medieval walled village of Bourg-sur-Gironde, with a rich historic and architectural heritage, before heading back to Blaye, where you’ll be guided through the imposing 17th-century Blaye Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Saint-Émilion walking discovery tour with wine tasting Hilltop Saint-Émilion offers both exceptional architecture and historic vineyards. The Romans were the first to plant grapes here, and this was the first vineyard region to be protected by UNESCO because of its history. Saint-Émilion is entered by way of one of the seven gates that are part of the original medieval fortifications. Inside the walls, discover steep, narrow cobblestone streets, stores brimming with wine and wine tools, and the extraordinary 12th-century Monolithic Church, carved into a cliff—only the tower is above ground; the rest of the church is subterranean. After touring Saint-Émilion, you’ll visit the cellars of a premier Grand Cru estate where you’ll taste some of the world’s most highly rated wines.
Libourne, cruising the Garonne River, Bordeaux
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Libourne “Village Day” with farmers’ market, and exclusive “Bordeaux under the Stars” tour How could you visit this rich agricultural land without delving into a farmers’ market? Libourne’s sprawling farmers’ market is a food lover’s paradise, with stands selling fresh produce, cheeses, charcuterie and more. Explore its bounty with a local expert and take a peek inside the workshops of talented local artisans. Cap the day off with the “Bordeaux under the Stars” tour via an open-top bus for a view of this extraordinarily beautiful city illuminated at night.
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Bordeaux walking tour OR exclusive guided “Go Active” bike ride through the Bordeaux backstreets How to spend your last day in Bordeaux? You have two exclusive opportunities to see this magnificent place, whose seamless blend of classical and neoclassical architecture led to its being designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. “Do as the Locals Do” as you stroll the most graceful streets with your local expert, including luxury food halls, local delicacies such as canelés and chocolates, and popular wine bars. If you prefer a more active experience, join a guide for a bicycle ride through city. Celebrate your last evening onboard with the festive Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner.
Bordeaux (disembark), transfer to the airport
Disembark the ship and transfer to Bordeaux–Mérignac International Airport for your flight home.