Fly to Bordeaux. We meet you at the airport and take you to your ship.* The rest of the day is yours to relax or explore Bordeaux on your own. Second only to Paris in French historic monuments, Bordeaux's thoughtfully preserved 18th-century urban areas make it a desirable film location, and its graceful port on the Garonne River is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Later this evening, you may want to join an escorted evening walk of Bordeaux. While its monuments are beautiful during the day, they are stunning at night. (Dinner)
* Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.
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. Afterward, enjoy free time to explore the city's vibrant pedestrian area. 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Begin your day with a walking tour of Cadillac and then head across the river for your excursion to Sauternes. View picturesque landscapes where vineyards blanket the countryside hills and visit a château to learn how their prized wines are made. Enjoy a tasting before returning to your ship. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
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 this afternoon, 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Enjoy a leisurely morning in Bourg as you take a 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 take a tour of the Camus family business, one of the most tradition-steeped Cognac houses in the area, and try your hand at blending. During lunch, your ship sets sail for Blaye. This afternoon, take a guided tour of the extraordinary 17th-century citadel, dramatically set on a rock beside the river. The citadel of Blaye, its city walls and two other forts are collectively listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Relax on board your ship this morning as we sail downstream, passing islands and gentle slopes, arriving in Pauillac in the early afternoon. Enjoy a wine country tour and tasting, 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Enjoy a final morning of cruising 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. Alternatively, you may choose from a number of optional excursions. Take a full-day tour to Arcachon, a commune on the Atlantic coast. Enjoy a boat ride along the estuary to Cap Ferret, and taste the oysters, a local delicacy. Perhaps learn how wine barrels are made and enjoy the vintage aged within them on an insightful excursion. Or, participate in a market visit with the Viking Chef to see where the local chefs of Bordeaux find their fruit, vegetables, meats and fish. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After a final onboard breakfast, disembark and we take you to the airport for your flight home.* Or, extend your journey with three nights in Paris. (Breakfast)
* Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.
8 Days 7 Guided Tours / 1 Countries
Daily Shore Excursions: 7 included guided tours
Port Charges: Included on all itineraires
Very accommodating and great attention to details. Very easy and efficient. Excellent service.
Viking service was extraordinary, especially at the very end of the trip when our guide took us all the way through Dr Gaulle airport to the check-in desk and even printed out our boarding passes for us. Tremendous service.
We had a wonderful experience on this tour as we did on our first on the Rhine. The staff and all of the guides were so helpful and so knowledgeable. Thank you for another fun filled vacation ! ! !
This was our fourth trip with Viking. Wed don't see any reason to switch brands.
Viking was first class in every way. Great staff, food was extraordinary, good tours daily.
We had very good experience with the Viking crews. They ran the program efficiently, and the staff were all very courteous. The waiters were exceptional; the one serving us went out of his way to ensure we had a wonderful journey. With the exception of Bordeaux City, St. Emilion, and Pauillac that seem interesting, the other cities did not offer much. Also, the river is so short that there wasn't much to see from the cruise.
Our river tour with Viking was one the best vacation experiences we have ever had. The services and people were delightful, accommodations were more than adequate and food aboard was excellent. We also did the Paris extension and found the Viking representatives to be most helpful in all aspects of stay, even to the point of departure. Our only negative would be our hotel stay. Being centrally located, the accommodations while being spacious were inefficient. There wasn't any convenient storage for clothing or bed side articles. All belongs had be stored in closet shelves or remain in your bag, no dressers to store underwear or other personal items. The other issue was, the hotel staff had opened our safe and never mentioned it to us. It appeared the person who stay in our room previously had thought she left her keys in the safe and the staff had opened the safe to check. We know this because she call later asking us to check the safe content. We thought there was a problem with safe after finding it open when returning from dinner.
The trip was well organized and the company provided wonderful service.
Had a Transfer pass in packet but Viking did not show up to pick us up at airport. Had to find own transportation and after much conversation did get reimbursed.
Our booking went flawlessly. The trip was excellent. We have already booked our next Viking Cruise with Affordable Tours.
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