Uncover the proud legacy and heritage of Southwest France. Set sail along three stunning rivers, the Garonne, Dordogne and Gironde, on one fascinatingly historical and invigorating journey. Explore the country’s breathtaking backdrops, wines and cultural treasures across the region in Bordeaux, Fort Médoc, Cadillac, Blaye, Libourne and more. Wander through archaeological marvels, historic landmarks and magnificent vineyards where you’ll be treated to a sampling of quintessentially French experiences. Enjoy an exquisite wine tasting in Fort Médoc before discovering World War II in France from the enemy’s point of view with a visit to a defensive army camp and portions of the Atlantic Wall.
Embark on a scenic drive from Blaye to Bourg along the Route de la Corniche Fleurie and marvel at the sights of Blaye Fortress and Lansac Windmill along the way. Or, choose to experience that same impressive scenery from the seat of a bike. Slow things down in Libourne and on your return to Bordeaux with multiple wine tastings, village tours, a farmers’ market visit and Bordeaux Heritage walking tour. Join us on a showcase of the best Southwest France has to offer.
Day 1: Bordeaux (Embark)
Arrive at Bordeaux-Mérignac International Airport. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.
Day 2: Bordeaux, Pauillac
Journey from Bordeaux, the “Pearl of the Aquitaine,” a famed wine-growing region, to the historical village of Cussac-Fort-Médoc, before arriving in coastal Pauillac later in the afternoon. Pauillac, once a crucial enemy stronghold during World War II, is still home to remnants of its war-torn past. Embark on an afternoon Bunker Archaeology tour, where you’ll begin to understand WWII from the enemy’s point of view. Led by a local guide, tour the remains of defensive army camps, wander inside bunkers and get up close and personal with the Atlantic Wall, an extensive coastal defense system and series of fortifications built by Nazi Germany that lies along the coast of numerous European countries.Featured Excursions:
Wine passion in Médoc: intimate château visit and wine tasting
Bunker Archaeology tour
Day 3: Cadillac
Satisfy your sweet tooth in elegant Cadillac, a town known for its production of sweet dessert wines and perfectly situated in the center of an acclaimed international wine region. The town, which still holds on to its medieval structure, is home to a plethora of impressive wine estates, beautiful chateaus and trails perfect for enjoying the French countryside. We’ll treat you to an exclusive artisanal wine-pairing lunch at Château Royal de Cazeneuve prior to an appropriate photo stop at Château d’Yquem.
Day 4: Blaye, Bourg sur Gironde, Libourne
Spend your morning on a scenic drive along the Route de La Corniche Fleurie. Marvel at the spectacular homes etched into cliffs, sprawling gardens, Blaye Fortress and Lansac’s windmills along your way. Or, choose to experience it by bike, where you’ll cycle towards quiet roads, riverside paths and charming villages.Featured Excursions:
Scenic drive along the Route de la Cornice
“Let’s Go” bike tour: Corniche Fleurie from Blaye to Bourg
Bourg walking tour
Day 5: Libourne
A full day in Libourne means you’ll have plenty of time to explore the majestic landscape of villages and vineyards. Nestled along the confluence of the Isle and Dordogne rivers, the quaint town is as pretty as a postcard. On the outskirts of Libourne, you’ll find neighboring Saint-Émilion. Discover the wine-making town by foot on a tour of its most picturesque sights, such as the magnificent Monolithic Church, all capped by a wine tasting at a beautiful château.Featured Excursions:
Landscapes of Saint-Emilion village discovery tour with wine tasting
Day 6: Libourne, Bordeaux Cité du Vin
Before making the journey back to Bordeaux, you’ll have plenty of time to continue exploring Libourne’s Gothic architecture, splendid chateaus and charming streets. Stroll around the main square which is flanked by medieval buildings, restaurants and cafés, shops and town hall. Get a feel for the local life with a pit stop at the town’s farmers’ market. Arrive back in Bordeaux that night, just in time for an exclusive tour of the city as seen under the glow of the night sky.Featured Excursions:
Exclusive “Bordeaux under the Stars” tour
Day 7: Bordeaux (Quai des Chatrons)
There’s so much to discover with a full day in Bordeaux’s port of Quai des Chatrons. The architecture is impressive, the wine is exquisite and the shopping is to die for. Explore La Cité du Vin, a one-of-a-kind cultural center and museum that brings the heritage of wine to life through interactive exhibits, shows, academic seminars and more. Do as the locals do and uncover Bordeaux’s unique heritage on a walking tour or choose to traverse the city by bike. Celebrate the end to a spectacular trip with a farewell dinner onboard.Featured Excursions:
“Do as the Locals Do” Bordeaux Heritage walking tour
”Let’s Go” biking in Bordeaux backstreets
Day 8: Bordeaux (Disembark)
Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Bordeaux-Mérignac International Airport for your flight home.Or transfer by TGC to Paris for A Portrait of Majestic France itinerary.
You will visit the following 5 places:
Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne River in southwest France, with an estimated (2008) population of 250,082. The Bordeaux-Arcachon-Libourne metropolitan area, has a population of 1,010,000 and constitutes the sixth-largest urban area in France. It is the capital of the Aquitaine region, as well as the prefecture of the Gironde department. Its inhabitants are called Bordelais. Bordeaux is the world's major wine industry capital. It is home to the world's main wine fair, Vinexpo, while the wine economy in the metro area moves 14.5 billion euros each year. Bordeaux wine has been produced in the region since the eighth century. The historic part of the city is on the UNESCO World Heritage List as "an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble" of the 18th century.
City of Cadillacf
Libourne is a commune in the Gironde department in Aquitaine in southwestern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department. It is the wine-making capital of northern Gironde and lies near Saint-Émilion and Pomerol. The Gothic church, restored in the 19th century, has a stone spire 232 ft (71 m) high. On the quay there is a machicolated clock-tower which is a survival of the defensive walls of the 14th century; and the town-house, containing a small museum and a library, is a quaint relic of the 16th century. It is located by the main square, the Place Abel Surchamp, which hosts every week end one of the largest fresh food market in the region.