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Saint-milion, Pomerol, Sauternes, Mdoc and Margaux are a handful of the appellations that make Bordeaux wines world famous. At the heart of this legendary region, the city of Bordeaux invites you to savor its grand architecture, tempting cafs, and superb museums. Celebrate joie de vivre in this land of wine and oysters, truffles and cognac. During the cruise, you will enjoy a wide sampling of 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. You will get a chance to visit three UNESCO world heritage sites.
Elegant, stylish, and exceptionally comfortable, the world's largest fleet of river cruise ships is also the most beautiful. And since Viking River Cruises operates all the vessels in their fleet, there is no detail that goes unnoticed. On board, you are greeted with an abundance of space with room to relax, fresh air to breathe and all the comforts of a fine hotel, one that is designed to blend seamlessly with the spectacular panorama of ever-changing views. You will cruise on Viking Longship Forseti.
Exceptional accommodations aboard the newest, most deluxe river cruise fleet include the spacious Explorer suites - featuring separate sleeping and sitting quarters, a wrap-around veranda with 270 degrees views, a French balcony and modern amenities. Features:
Boasting sweeping river views, the Veranda staterooms are comfortable and airy, with hotel-style beds, a private bathroom, roomy closets and storage space, and amenities like flat-panel TVs and premium bath products.
Meals are scheduled around the days programs and activities. There is an early risers breakfast and a full breakfast buffet between 06:00 and 09:00. Lunch is served between 11:30 and 14:00, and dinner is served around 19:00 to 21:00. Meals are single seating with an open-seating format, so you can come in when they are ready and sit where you like.
Fly to Bordeaux. Viking River Cruises will 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, Bordeauxs 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.Your ship remains docked overnight.
Tour the city center this morning and see some of Bordeauxs highlights, including the Place des Quinconces, one of the largest squares in Europe; the neoclassical Grand Thtre de Bordeaux; and several spectacular churches. Visit the Muse dAquitaine for a guided tour of the collections that highlight the regions triangular trade route and Bordeauxs position in it. Later this afternoon, you 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, and then head across the river for your excursion to Sauternes where you will learn how the areas sweet dessert wines are made, and taste some examples during your tour.
Disembark this morning for a leisurely stroll to Libournes 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 chteau, of some local vintages from the Saint-milion and Pomerol appellations. Later, take a tour to Saint-milion, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where you see the towns superb medieval lanes and delightful views of the surrounding vineyards from the upper town. Spend a pleasant afternoon exploring the towns streets and shops.
Blaye boasts an extraordinary 17th-century citadel, dramatically set on a rock beside the river, incorporating the ruins of an ancient Gothic chteau that contains the tomb of Charibert II, king of Aquitaine. Legend has it that the Frankish hero Roland, who served Charlemagne, is also buried here. 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 enjoy some free time in Blaye.
Return aboard for lunch, and later take an afternoon stroll through the historic village of Bourg. Or, you may choose to take an optional excursion to the charming medieval town of Cognac, birthplace of one of the worlds 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.
You will sail downstream this morning, passing islands and gentle slopes, arriving in Pauillac in the early afternoon. Enjoy a wine country tour featuring several wine-tasting opportunities, including the areas famous full-flavored Margaux. Travel through the rolling vineyard-laced hills to dinner at a chteau, accompanied by the chteaus own wines.
Relax aboard your ship this evening, or explore Pauillacs marina and the Plaza Lafayette, where the Marquis de Lafayette set sail to the New World. Pauillac, the undisputed capital of the Mdoc wine region, is home to Chteaux Lafite Rothschild, Latour and Mouton Rothschild, among others. Before returning to your ship, catch a glimpse of the le de Patiras lighthouse in the middle of the Gironde.
Relax aboard your ship this morning as you make your 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 citys cuisine and wine appellations. Perhaps you would like to pick up a few bottles to take home with you. You wont 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 River Cruises chef to see where the local chefs of Bordeaux find their fruit, vegetables, meats and fish.
After a final onboard breakfast, disembark, and Viking River Cruises will take you to the airport for your flight home (the transfer is on request). Or, you can extend your journey with three nights in Paris.
You will cruise along the Dordogne, Garonne, and Gironde rivers of Bordeaux region, France.
For breakfast, choose from the selections of pastries, cereals, breakfast meats, egg dishes, fresh fruit, and selected cheeses. At lunch, select from the soup and sandwich bar, or a choice of entres and dessert. And for dinner, you are treated to a five-course menu with regional specialties. You may also select from the regional wines to perfectly complement your meal. And wherever you sail, you will find enhancements reflecting your itinerary; it is all part of experiencing the local culture.
The closest airport is Bordeaux-Merignac Airport (BOD). Viking River Cruises will pick you up from the airport on request.