Arrive at Bordeaux-Mérignac International Airport. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.
The French phrase “la douceur de vivre” is an accurate description for your time in Cadillac, known for its deliciously flavored dessert wines. Visit Château Royal de Cazeneuve, site of Henry IV’s and Queen Margot’s tempestuous love. Meet the owner around a glass of Sauternes in the reception hall.
Cussac Fort Médoc
The legendary Médoc region abounds with prestigious wine châteaux in a dizzying array of architectural styles, as well as miles of grapevines stretching to infinity. Take a scenic drive through the storied Médoc wine route, followed by a wine tasting at a beautiful wine estate.
Blaye, Bourg sur Gironde
The Route de la Corniche Fleurie…could this be the most beautiful road you’ve ever traveled? Find out today on the drive to Blaye Fortress, passing through one impossibly picturesque hamlet after another. Once you arrive, you’ll discover the wonders of this historic fortress, a UNESCO-designated citadel that once protected Bordeaux from attacks by sea.
With Libourne as your base, travel to nearby breathtaking Saint-Émilion and immerse yourself more deeply in the region’s history and wine culture. The medieval town of Saint-Émilion is an ideal place to linger. Wander its cobblestone lanes lined with wine shops and bakeries, and stop to admire the amazing rock-hewn church that extends beneath the city’s streets.
France’s rich agricultural tradition is the heart and soul of the region’s exquisite cuisine—and what better way to get a taste for the freshest vegetables, cheeses, breads and fruits than with a visit to Libourne’s lively farmers’ market?
Discover Bordeaux’s many charms today, either on foot with a local expert or on two wheels—the locals’ preferred way to navigate the city’s charming backstreets. You have a wonderful selection of active opportunities to see this magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Bordeaux (Disembark), Transfer to Paris via High-Speed TGV Train (Embark)
Disembark the breathtaking S.S. Bon Voyage and transfer to Paris via high-speed TGV train. Your next ship, the magical S.S. Joie de Vivre, waits to carry you along the Seine on the next leg of your adventure.
Note: Ship schedule and order of sightseeing may change throughout the itinerary. Tour to port of destination by motorcoach and substitute visits to other sites may occur during your trip due to the impact of water levels, closures because of public holidays or other uncontrollable factors.
La Roche-Guyon, Vernon, Giverny
Today is a celebration of northern France’s natural beauty, with an excursion to a splendid château and gardens situated in an equally grand setting, plus a chance to immerse yourself in the very landscapes that inspired Impressionist master Claude Monet. In the morning, choose between a scenic hike or a visit to the hilltop Château de La Roche-Guyon, which is surrounded by beautiful gardens and offers sweeping views over the Seine. Later, explore the beautiful gardens of Monet. You'll have the opportunity to take in the French countryside on your way there with an invigorating bike ride, or opt to arrive by coach instead.
Walk in the footsteps of greatness in Normandy’s medieval capital, a city with a historic quarter that remains amazingly intact. From the cathedral Monet painted dozens of times to the cross marking the spot where Joan of Arc was martyred, Rouen is a treasure trove for the culturally curious. The roll call of famous people who lived or died in Rouen is long and varied—Richard the Lionheart, Joan of Arc, Gustave Flaubert and Claude Monet are among them.
Caudebec-en-Caux (Honfleur or Étretat)
Caudebec-en-Caux, a lovely little town on the right bank of the Seine Estuary, is your base for one of two very different excursions. You could drive through the beautiful Calvados countryside to Honfleur, a delightful seaside harbor and city of painters, or head to the windy cliffs of Étretat for a game of golf.
Rouen (Normandy Beaches)
There are moments when we travel that move us on an otherworldly level—experiences that stir a profound emotional connection. The Normandy beaches certainly have that effect. On your full-day outing, you’ll visit Normandy’s beaches, including Utah Beach and Ste-Mère-Église, with a choice to venture to either the American, British and Commonwealth, or Canadian beaches. After, you’ll partake in a private ceremony at the Omaha Beach Memorial—a sentimental remembrance of Operation Overlord.
How did France’s rulers live over the centuries? Step into the private rooms of the Palace of Versailles, the lavish palace built by the Sun King, to find out.
Whether you’re a first-time visitor to the “City of Light” or you’ve been here many times before, there’s something for everyone today in Paris. Enjoy a panoramic overview of the city, join a local expert for a walk through two much-loved neighborhoods, or pedal your way along the Left Bank, a fresh and fun way to take in the sights.
Paris (Disembark), Transfer to Lyon via High-Speed TGV Train (Embark)
You’ll transfer from the magical S.S. Joie de Vivre in Paris to the striking S.S. Catherine in Lyon via high-speed TGV train for the final leg of this fabulous grand tour. Once you’ve settled into your new home, you’ll have some time to explore delightful Lyon, which is nestled alongside the Saône River.
As the epicenter of French gastronomy, Lyon is a city of tantalizing contrasts. There’s much to explore here, from the work of culinary visionaries to silk weavers’ secret passageways. After your choice of excursions, embrace the locals’ favorite mode of transportation with a bike ride—a great way to see the sights.
The pace of life is decidedly more relaxed in Burgundy, where endless rows of grapes hang heavy on the vine. The capital of the region’s wine trade, Beaune is renowned for its history, beauty and highly prized wine, as well as its medieval-era hospital—the Hospices de Beaune.
If you love fine wine, you’ll love the twin villages of Tournon and Tain-l’Hermitage. Tournon may be a small town, but stirring events took place here: A castle was raised on the hilltop in the 10th century to protect the region, and new fortifications were added over the centuries, including two “new” towers built to defend against Protestant attacks in the 16th century. You’ll see the handsome houses constructed by wealthy merchants and garrison officers when you walk through the Rue de Doux area, and you’ll pass the 14th-century church and the oldest secondary school in France.
An enchanting village where time seems to have stopped centuries ago, Viviers has a long and storied past that goes back more than 1,600 years—and a splendid architectural heritage to match. At one time, Viviers was divided along religious lines—the clergy lived in the upper part of the town, the laity in the lower part. Your exploration of the town will take you through both parts, as you begin at the crest and make your way to the riverbank.
The walled city of Avignon is one of the most fascinating towns in southern France, with a host of historic gems to explore—including the fortress residence of rebellious popes who broke from Rome and once lived and ruled here. You’ll see the Palace of the Popes and much more today, and also have a chance to kayak under a 2,000-year-old Roman aqueduct.
Explore a sun-drenched Provençal town today with an allure all its own. Known for its remarkable Roman ruins, Arles so inspired Van Gogh that he painted some 200 paintings there. Arles has existed since the sixth century BC, when the ancient Greeks founded it and named it Theline. It was here that the Romans built their first bridge across the Rhône River, creating a vital overland route between Italy and Spain.
Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to the Marseille Airport for your flight home.
We are excited to welcome one of our newest Super Ships to the rivers of Bordeaux—the S.S. Bon Voyage— designed to immerse guests in French culture, art, and wine, from its stunning lobby clad in polished wood, subtle brass details and hand-crafted balustrade, to the stylish emerald tones found in bar Le Salon Champagne, inspired by Yves Saint Laurent’s personal abode, Villa Majorelle.
The dining venues also capture the essence of France. The quintessential La Brasserie, with its natural green and pops of yellow décor inspired by the famous Bouillon Pigalle, serves traditional bistro fare. Le Grand Fromage offers menus reflective of the local cuisine, prepared from locally-sourced ingredients. La Cave des Vins is an intimate space where connoisseurs can gather for expert food and wine pairing dinners upon request.
The stunning Soleil Deck, awash in vibrant fabrics, features the only infinity pool on the rivers and spectacular views of the French countryside. Poolside service at Le Café du Soleil offers casual French cuisine as well as open-air cooking demonstrations from our chefs.
In addition to the public spaces, the S.S. Bon Voyage features four new spacious suites, and every stateroom has received an exquisite redesign with cool marble bathrooms and unique features.
Note: Designated suites provide triple-accommodation options. Adjoining staterooms are available; please inquire at the time of booking.
Uniworld is committed to building a fleet of ships that represents the absolute best in luxury river cruising, combining quality craftsmanship with high-tech innovations and custom-designed interiors. Our second Super Ship, S.S. Catherine, continues this proud tradition of excellence with sumptuous materials and meticulous attention to detail. The vessel’s opulent interiors include a two-story lobby with a specially commissioned Murano glass chandelier and whimsical life-size glass horse.
Deluxe Balcony staterooms and Suites on the Camargue Deck have open-air balconies that, with the touch of a button, will raise the glass to create a completely enclosed conservatory. Designated suites provide triple accommodation options. Adjoining staterooms are available; please inquire at the time of booking.