Bordeaux vineyards chateaux Dordogne Garonne rivers France

Day 1: Bordeaux (embark)

Arrive at Bordeaux–Mérignac International Airport, where you will be transferred to the ship. Your ship is conveniently docked right in the heart of the city, so if time allows, why not stroll to the nearby food markets or take the tram to the popular Saint-Michel flea market, which is just a few stops away?

Day 2: Cadillac, Bordeaux

The French phrase “la douceur de vivre” is an accurate description for your time in Cadillac, known for its deliciously flavored dessert wines. Meet a local Sauternes producer and also enjoy a delectable wine-pairing lunch at a 14th-century fortress.

Vous êtes arrivé à Cadillac, the area known for producing sweet dessert wines under the celebrated Cadillac AOC designation. You’re in for a treat!

Day 3: Cruising the Garonne River and Gironde Estuary, Pauillac

The legendary Médoc region abounds with prestigious wine châteaux in a dizzying array of architectural styles, as well as miles of grapevines stretching to infinity. Take a scenic drive to the tip of the peninsula or join a guide for a vineyard bicycle ride, followed by a wine tasting at a beautiful wine estate.

Enjoy the waters of the Garonne River and the Gironde Estuary before heading to the pretty town of Pauillac, gateway to the storied Médoc wine route and the prestigious “châteaux road.” Visit a celebrated winery for an exclusive special tasting. Or take a guided bicycle ride through the Médoc vineyards.

Day 4: Blaye, cruising the Gironde Estuary and Dordogne River, Libourne

The Route de la Corniche Fleurie…could this be the most beautiful road you’ve ever traveled? Find out today on the drive to Blaye Fortress, passing through one impossibly picturesque hamlet after another, with exotic flowers (brought here by local sea captains) all along the way.

Sail across the peaceful waters of the estuary, where fishing huts rise above grassy marshlands edged by limestone cliffs, as you make your way to the town of Blaye. A visual feast awaits you on a storied road named for the many flowers that line it.

Day 5: Libourne (Saint-Émilion)

The medieval town of Saint-Émilion is an ideal place to linger. Wander its cobblestone lanes, lined with wine shops and bakeries, and stop to admire the amazing rock-hewn church that extends beneath the city’s streets. Another treasure awaiting you underground? A wine tasting in the cellars of a premier Grand Cru estate.

With Libourne as your base, travel to nearby Saint-Émilion and immerse yourself more deeply in the region’s history and wine culture.

Day 6: Libourne, cruising the Garonne River, Bordeaux

The French insist that the key to their superb wines is the soil in which they’re grown, the terroir. That same terroir also makes for extraordinary produce—the foundation for the country’s acclaimed cuisine—as you’ll discover today at a local farmers’ market. Tonight, see Bordeaux under the stars on an exclusive illuminations tour of the city.

Day 7: Bordeaux

For Francophiles who are all Eiffled out, the city of Bordeaux is a delightful find, as elegant and sophisticated as big sister Paris, but with a younger and hipper vibe. Discover its many charms today, either on foot with a local expert or on two wheels, the locals’ preferred way to navigate the city’s charming back streets.

How to spend your last day in Bordeaux? You have a wonderful selection of exclusive opportunities to see this magnificent place, whose seamless blend of classical and neoclassical architecture led to its being designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. “Do as the Locals Do” with a walking tour of the city, or venture out on a bicycle ride through the city. Either way, you’ll have an up-close and personal view of one of the world’s most bustling and dynamic cities.

Day 8: Bordeaux (disembark), transfer to the airport

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