Day 1 – London to Bordeaux
We meet at our departure office at London St Pancras and travel
on the high-speed Eurostar service to Paris. On arrival in the
French capital, we connect with our onward rail service southwards
through the countryside to Bordeaux – the centre of one of the
world’s most famous wine regions and set on the banks of the
Garonne. Here we transfer to our floating hotel for 6 nights, the
MS Cyrano de Bergerac. After time to settle in, we are greeted with
a welcome cocktail. Tonight’s dinner is followed by an evening of
entertainment on board.
Day 2 – Wines of Mdoc
This morning we cruise into the scenic Gironde Estuary, passing
the scattering of traditional wooden fishing huts dotted around the
attractive inlets, such as Cazeau Island and pretty Patiras Island.
After taking in these charming scenes at a relaxed pace, we arrive
in Pauillac, a sleepy port whose quayside is lined with grand stone
houses. Following lunch on board we visit the renowned Mdoc wine
region on an included excursion. Here some of the world’s most
celebrated red wines are cultivated, grown in sloping vineyards
overlooking the river.
The excursion follows the famous Chteaux Route, with views of
the area’s noted stately homes, including the spectacular chteau
of Lafite- Rothschild which is owned by members of this wealthy and
famous family since the 1800s. Back on board, this evening we enjoy
a dinner of scrumptious French cuisine.
Day 3 – Route de la Corniche Fleurie or underground tour of Blaye
We spend a leisurely morning cruising further into the Gironde
Estuary, passing the atmospheric marshlands and ancient Troglodyte
dwellings that feature prominently around this stretch of the
river. We also pass through Meschers-sur-Gironde, characterised by
its brooding cliffs overlooking the river.
In the afternoon we arrive in Blaye, the starting point for an
afternoon of possible excursions. Your first option is a trip along
the Route de la Corniche, for a closer look at the idyllic and
time-honoured landscapes that have been so well preserved here.
The journey passes along the superb, narrow cliff-top road
overlooking the Dordogne. Flanked by lush vineyards, we’ll enjoy
some time to look around the idyllic walled village of Bourg –
where rustic cottages are stacked almost on top of each other high
on the hillsides. On our way back to Blaye, we make a short stop at
the town’s imposing citadel. Constructed in the late 17th century,
the majestic fortress is now a UNESCO World Heritage site and
affords a magnificent panorama over the river and estuary.
Your other choice is to take an excursion exploring underground
Blaye. Spend time underneath the quaint streets as you discover the
historical secrets stashed away below street level. Afterwards we
enjoy a tasting of local specialties, all washed down with a glass
of regional wine.
Day 4 – To Libourne and St Emilon
Early this morning we leave Blaye and continue our cruise,
navigating the Gironde and joining the peaceful Dordogne River on
our way to the attractive wine town of Libourne. Disembarking, we
travel to St Emilion for a guided tour of this UNESCO listed city
before visiting the Troglodyte cave St Emilion stayed in. We’ll
also see the largest monolithic church in Europe. We then call at a
family-run vineyard, where we enjoy a tasting of some popular local
wines before returning to Libourne.
Day 5 – Cadillac
Today we arrive in the marvellous walled town of Cadillac, with
its rich history dating back to the 13th century. This afternoon we
take a tour of Roquetaillade Chateau, a magnificent 12th-century
listed monument. This castle is a great example of a medieval
fortress that’s adapted to changing styles over the centuries.
Since its initial design, it has hosted kings, cardinals and other
important figures, each one leaving their own indelible mark on the
architecture and interiors.
Days 6 – Bordeaux
Following a leisurely morning on board, this afternoon we arrive
back in Bordeaux, a beautiful city brimming with 18th-century
grandeur. With its broad boulevards and quaint Old Town, the
UNESCO-protected city boasts an exciting diversity that’s palpable
in many of its attractions. We embark on a city tour for some
deeper insight into Bordeaux’s history. Alternatively you are free
to explore at leisure. Back on board this evening, we enjoy a gala
Day 7 – Return to London
After a final breakfast on board, this morning we disembark the
ship and transfer to Bordeaux station. Here we take the train to
Paris, and connect with the Eurostar service back to London.
Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature
the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown
– Travel Options
We offer a Standard Class and First Class rail options for
departures on this tour. You can find out which class each
departure is by clicking on the information button in the pricing