Come Join Us: River Cruise in the Bordeaux Region of France
For years, our readers have requested that we organize small group tours in which they could come join us for all the fun.
We listened and responded with a small group outing to Santa Fe last year, we have an upcoming small group outing coming in May for an Alaskan Cruise, and now we’re very excited to announce that we’re bringing a small group with us for a fabulous cruise on three rivers in the Bordeaux region of France.
Come join us for this fabulous 8-day river cruise in France on July 20, 2014!
For this fabulous voyage, we’ve selected the award-winning Uniworld luxury river cruise line, and here’s why:
- Award-winning – the list of awards garnered by this river cruise line is long and impressive. Condé Nast readers voted Uniworld the “Best River Cruise Line”, Travel + Leisure calls Uniworld the “World’s Best River Cruise Line”, and the Zagat® Cruise Line Survey rated Uniworld with the “Top Dining and Top Cabins” awards. Pretty impressive. Right?
- Truly all-inclusive – Uniworld is the world’s only true all-inclusive authentic boutique cruise line in Europe. Included are all gratuities, unlimited wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, coffee, tea, and water; all meals onboard, all scheduled airport transfers, all shore excursions hosted by English-speaking experts, free Wi-Fi access onboard, complimentary bicycles and Nordic walking sticks, and the finest river-view staterooms afloat.
- World-class dining – Uniworld offers the only Zagat-rated restaurants on the rivers of the world. All meals onboard are included and prepared using the finest ingredients, which are often brought onboard from local farmers markets. Plus the meals are prepared by a certified Global Master Chef.
- The Destination – the Bordeaux region of France is world-renown for its centuries-old vineyards, world-class cuisine, and the charm of historic Aquitaine cities hugging the rivers.
- The Ship – newly remodeled, the River Royale will host our journey. She carries a maximum of 132 guests, the staterooms are lavishly appointed with handcrafted Savoir® of England beds draped in 100% high-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets, European duvets, and a menu of pillow options. Plus, staterooms on the Azure Deck have French Balconies.
Solo Travelers: No Single Supplement Charge on this sailing!
The Bordeaux, Vineyards, and Châteaux Itinerary:
Bordeaux to Bordeaux | 8 Days
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Médoc panoramic tour with exclusive winery visit and tasting or exclusive guided “Go Active” vineyard bicycle ride
Set sail on the Garonne for the pretty town of Pauillac, gateway to the storied Médoc wine route, where you’ll begin a panoramic tour of the heart of the Haut-Médoc AOC (or appellation d’origine contrôlée, a geographical designation that denotes where grapes are grown). Enjoy an exclusive visit to a celebrated winery, Châteaux d’Arsac, where you’ll discover your personal “wine sign” with a special blind tasting. Or experience the terroirin an entirely different way: with a guided bike ride through the beautiful Médoc vineyards. You’ll get an up-close look at the vines and truly take in the atmosphere—the earth, the sunshine—of this famous wine-growing region. In the evening, enjoy a Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner. (BB, L, WD)
FEATURED EXCURSION: Choice of scenic drive along the Route de la Corniche Fleurie with Blaye Fortress or exclusive guided “Go Active” Nordic walking tour of Blaye Fortress
Today you’ll sail across the Gironde Estuary to Blaye. The scenic journey through the estuary offers a unique look at the delta, where fishing huts rise above grassy marshlands edged by limestone cliffs. Running along those cliffs is a little road called the Route de la Corniche Fleurie. The road winds through the picturesque hamlets of Pain de Sucre, Marmisson, and Roque de Thau, where you’ll find charming stone houses built by 19th-century ship captains. Upon returning to Blaye, your guide will take you through the 17th-century citadel built by famed military engineer Vauban. Its fortress and tunnels are a UNESCO monument. Then enjoy some free time to explore the town on your own. Or take part in a guided Nordic walking tour of Blaye Fortress. (BB, L, D)
FEATURED EXCURSION: Bergerac city tour
Bergerac, which is located in the southernmost part of the Périgord and boasts 12 AOCs, and is your jumping-off point for today’s adventure. On your walking tour of the town you’ll explore the popular farmers’ market, hear the fateful story of Cyrano de Bergerac and his Roxanne, and watch the flat-bottom boats glide along the river. Stop at the 16th-century Château de Monbazillac, which offers marvelous views overlooking Bergerac and the Dordogne River. The drive along the Dordogne is an especially scenic one, and you’ll cross bridges to explore charming Bastide villages on both sides of the river.
The “gastronomic meal of the French” is so indelibly linked to the country’s identity that it was added to UNESCO’s list of “intangible cultural heritage”in 2010, and tonight you will discover why during an extra special dinner. World-famous French Master Chef Philippe Etchebest has loaned his gastronomic genius to River Royale’s culinary team. His interpretation of the region’s delicacies will inform a specially crafted onboard dinner menu for Uniworld guests only. Bon appétit! (BB, L, D)
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Saint-Émilion walking tour with wine tasting and private evening tour of Bordeaux
Saint-Émilion offers exceptional historic architecture, and historic vineyards too. The Romans were the first to plant grapes here, and this was the first vineyard region to be protected by UNESCO. The town, built atop limestone hills, offers many interesting shops, but what makes it extraordinary is what exists below the cobbled streets—Saint-Émilion’s Monolithic Church which dates back to the 12th century. 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. Once you’re back in Bordeaux, you will enjoy an evening tour. Bordeaux under the stars—what could be more magical? After Paris, Bordeaux has more protected buildings than any other French city. From the alleyways of the Saint-Pierre district to the avenues of the Place des Quinconces, you’ll see why Queen Elizabeth II deemed Bordeaux“the essence of elegance.” (BB, L, D)
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Cadillac, châteaux and vineyards of Sauternes with exclusive artisanal lunch and wine tasting at Château d’Arche
During a tour to nearby Cadillac you’ll embark on a study of Sauternes, the sweet wine which is named for the region. Sauternes is made from grapes that have been affected by Botrytis cinerea, or noble rot, a fungus that causes a raisin-like decay, resulting in a concentrated and distinctly flavored sweet wine. You’ll meet the winemakers and enjoy an elegant wine-pairing lunch at Château d’Arche. You’ll also see the grounds of legendary Château d’Yquem. In the evening, enjoy a Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner. (BB, L, FD)
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Bordeaux walking tour or exclusive guided “Go Active” bicycle ride along the Garonne River banks
See Bordeaux à pied on a fascinating walking tour of the Golden Triangle, where you’ll encounter the very best the city has to offer. Explore luxury food halls, sample Bordeaux’s famous canelés and chocolates, discover marvelous 18th-century architecture, and visit an elegant wine bar popular with locals. If you’re looking for something more active, consider joining a guided bicycle ride along the scenic banks of the Garonne River. You’ll have plenty of free time to further enjoy Bordeaux on your own. Revisit some of the places you saw on your tour or explore new areas. It’s a great chance to do a little shopping too. (BB, L, D)
Disembark the ship and transfer to Bordeaux–Mérignac International Airport for your flight home, or extend your stay in Biarritz. (CB/BB)
Note: Order of sightseeing may change throughout the itinerary. Substitute visits to other sites may occur during your trip due to water levels or other uncontrollable factors.
Besides this fabulous river cruise itinerary, Carol and I will also be planning a pre or post cruise experience in Paris for three or four days. If you like, you’re welcome to join us for that as well!
Your River Cruise Travel Investment
Well, now that we’ve got you all excited, “how much?”, you ask. This fabulous 8-day all-inclusive river cruise starts at only $3,749. There are three different cabin levels available, and if you like, there’s even a suite available on the ship.
Solo Traveler? No single supplement charge!
For your convenience, we’ve even got a handy one-sheet brochure for you to print out. Simply click the photo to the right.
Carol and I would sure love to have you along with us!
For more information on pricing, flights, our upcoming pre or post Paris trip, and anything else that comes to mind, call us at (480) 550-1235.
If you prefer to work by email, use our handy online travel information request by CLICKING HERE.
One last note, river cruises tend to fill up quickly, so don’t delay with your questions. Call us today!
Come on. Life’s a trip. Let’s go have fun!