Châteaux, Rivers & Wine 2020 Viking River Cruise
Discover the ports, vineyards, farms and forests of Aquitaine, once Europe’s richest kingdom. See Bordeaux’s fountains and cellars. Hunt for truffles in Périgord, then taste them in a home-cooked meal. Create your own personal blend of Cognac at the Camus distillery. Savour France’s finest oysters fresh from the bay at Arcachon. Sip Saint-Émilion, Médoc and Sauternes in their own terroir on an 8-day cruise through Bordeaux—a region synonymous with fine wine and finer living.
From Bordeaux airport we take you to your Viking Longship where you can settle in and relax or begin to explore. A port city located on the Garonne River, graceful Bordeaux is a UNESCO World Heritage site, with beautifully restored neoclassical architecture and many elegant boulevards.
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.
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.
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.
After a morning at leisure in Libourne, sail to Bourg. Upon arrival, take an afternoon stroll through the historic village. 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. Early this evening, continue cruising to 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. 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 return to your ship for lunch as we sail downstream, 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. This evening, travel through the rolling vineyard-laced hills to dinner at a château, accompanied by the château’s own wines.
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.
After breakfast, we take you to Bordeaux airport for your return flight to the UK.
Please note all departure dates are listed in the enquiry form.
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Extend Your Cruise
Extend your stay, pre or post cruise, with these great value cruise extensions! Simply give our award winning team a call for full details on 0800 810 8220
- 3 Nights pre cruise stay in Loire Valley from only £949pp
- 3 Nights post cruise stay in Paris from only £599pp
- Savings of up to £750pp on selected dates - book by 31 December 2019
- Onboard gratuities
- Return scheduled flights from the UK from a choice of up to 14 regional airports at no extra cost. Please call for details
- 8 days on board in a river-view stateroom
- 6 guided tours, including 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites: Bordeaux’s historic centre, Citadel of Blaye, Saint-Émilion
- Included meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners, featuring regional specialities
- Specially selected house wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner on board
- Free Wi-Fi on board (restrictions will apply)
- Enjoy sampling Bordeaux wines, participate in classes from a master sommelier, learn ’how to say it in French', and how to pair the perfect wine with every meal
- All port charges, airport taxes and overseas transfers
- Complimentary Business Class upgrade when you book an Explorer Suite. Subject to availability
- PRICE GUARANTEE: Once you have paid in full for your trip, you are safe from any additional charges. Airfare increases, currency fluctuations, increased fuel surcharges, new government taxes—none of these will apply to you.