RIVER CRUISES / THE EXCEPTIONAL REGION OF BORDEAUX
DAY 1 | BORDEAUX
Boarding between 6.00 and 7.00pm . Settling into your cabin. Meet the crew during a welcome cocktail reception. Dinner on board followed by an evening of entertainment.
DAY 2 | BORDEAUX - PAUILLAC - THE MEDOC (1)
We set sail early this morning, and have breakfast as we cruise. We head down the river Garonne and then join the river Gironde , passing Cazeau island and Patiras island before arriving Pauillac at the end of the morning. Built long ago by wine merchants and ships’ captains, Pauillac has managed to preserve the fine houses belonging to the old nobility that were built from great blocks of stone along its quaysides . After lunch on board, our optional excursion this afternoon is to visit the Médoc (reservation in advance is essential - see with your agency) – a renowned region and an “away-from-it-all” spot where the most famous of all red wines in the world are cultivated: a strip of land squeezed between ocean and estuary. Here a mild, humid climate has made it easy to cultivate and develop the vines. We pass through most of the great Médoc appelations such as Saint Julien, Margaux, Haut-Médoc and many more, following the famous castles trail. We also have the opportunity to see the “must see” châteaux Lafite-Rothschild, Latour and Mouton Rothschild. We return on board for dinner and an evening’s entertainment provided by our crew. We moor for the night in Pauillac .
DAY 3 | PAUILLAC - BLAYE
Departure of the boat in the early morning We leave Pauillac and have breakfast on board as we cruise. We arrive in Blaye around 9.00am. In days gone by, this superb acropolis was the perfect look-out post to watch for invaders. Vauban had a citadel built here and this fortress is without doubt the biggest attraction in Blaye . We set off on our optional excursion along the Corniche , or cliff route. Narrow and picturesque, the road snakes alongside the river Dordogne before reaching the Gironde estuary. As we travel, we catch a glimpse of charming gardens, ancient fishermen’s houses, remarkable dwelling places carved out of the heart of the cliff, not forgetting the famous carrelets, the unique fishermen’s huts perched on wooden stilts on top of the water. The scenery here is a quite unusual combination of river, rocks and vines. We stop in the village of Bourg, a charming city built on a rocky outcrop enclosed by medieval ramparts. We then return to Blaye, where we visit the citadel. Majestic and imposing, it overhangs the Gironde estuary and affords magnificent panoramic views over the Gironde. We return on board for lunch, and continue our cruise towards Cadillac. Shortly after passing the island of Cazeau, we join the river Garonne and head for Cadillac, where we arrive during the evening. We return on board for a gala dinner followed by an evening of dancing. We moor for the night.
DAY 4 | BLAY-LIBOURNE OR BOURG (2)
After breakfast on board, we have an optional excursion to Saint-Emilion this morning. We have a guided visit of the underground monuments of Saint-Emilion village as our guide introduces us to the history of the medieval city. We then visit an exceptional troglodyte settlement – the cave of Emilion, the monk who founded the city, the chapel of the Holy Trinity built in his honour and the catacombs. Finally we see what is undoubtedly the most original of all the monuments – the monolithic church. Carved out entirely from the limestone rocks, it is the largest church in Europe. We next head off to visit a family-run vineyard and wine-producer where we are welcomed by the owner who explains the steps involved in producing the great wines of Saint-Emilion. Naturally we have a tasting to conclude our visit. We rejoin our floating hotel in Libourne for lunch on board and continue our cruise to Bordeaux, where we arrive around 6.00pm. After dinner on board, we set off on our optional guided tour of Bordeaux by night. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bordeaux obtained this classification in the category of “cultural site”. Half of the town – the boulevards on the banks of the river Garonne – has also been recognised for its architectural heritage. We set off by coach for a guided panoramic tour of the city, and we see the key buildings and monuments before we visit old Bordeaux on foot. From the broad avenues of the neo-classical areas of Quinconces and the Grand Théâtre to the narrow alleyways of the Saint-Pierre district, this tour gives us the opportunity to see the diversity of Bordeaux’s rich heritage. We return on board and moor for the night.
DAY 5 | BORDEAUX
After breakfast on board, we disembark around 9.00am. End of our journey.
NB: Please note that the ship’s captain reserve the right to modify the cruising itinerary to ensure the safe navigation of the vessel. This cruise is dependent on the sea and tides, and arrivals at stopovers may have to be adjusted accordingly.
(1) Optional excursions.
(2) Depending on tide.
Alcohol abuse can damage your health. Drink in moderation.