Day 1 - Bordeaux, France
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)
Day 1 - Included Excursion - FRENCH CITY & LIGHTS AFTER DARK- Discover Bordeaux’s architecture, sprawling squares and sculpted fountains as you hear about French city life.
Day 2 - Bordeaux, France
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)
Day 2 - Included Excursion - PANORAMIC BORDEAUX - Tour the capital of the namesake wine-growing region that, save Paris, boasts more protected buildings than any other French city.
Day 3 - Cadillac (Sauternes), France
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)
Day 3 - Included Excursion - CADIALLAC WALKING TOUR - Discover the charming town of Cadillac and sample some of France’s sweetest wines in the town that produces them.
Day 4 - Libourne, France
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)
Day 4 - Included Excursion - LIBOURNE & SAINT-ÉMILION WALKING TOUR - Get to know Libourne, a fascinating town where the Dordogne and Isle Rivers meet. We then move on to Saint-Émilion, one of Aquitaine’s must-see wine-growing towns, an open air museum where it is easy to feel as though you have stepped back in time.
Day 5 - Bourg & Blaye, France
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)
Day 5 - Included Excursion - BLAYE WALKING TOUR & CITADEL - Explore the scenic citadel complex along the banks of the Gironde estuary, a grand fortress built on the orders of Louis XIV.
Day 6 - Medoc & Margaux Wine Country
Cussac-Fort-Médoc is a gateway to the Médoc wine country, home to the famed wine growing villages of Pauillac, Margaux, Saint-Estèphe and Saint-Julien. Collectively, they produce some of the world’s most prestigious wines with four of the five Premier cru classé hailing from the Médoc region; Château Margaux, Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Latour and Château Mouton Rothschild. In addition, there are 60 Grand cru classé vineyards and many more incredible wineries, each offering insight into their rich winemaking heritage that has been passed on for generations.
Day 6 - Included Excursion - MÉDOC & MARGAUX WINE COUNTRY - Sample some of France’s best wines in the Margaux appellation and savor dinner at the elegant Château Kirwan. Join your guide for a scenic drive through the Médoc region through gently rolling hills.
Day 7 - Bordeaux, France
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)
Day 8 - Bordeaux, France
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.