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Wine, Culture & The Arcachon Basin





On this 8-day cruise you will find yourself undulating through the valleys of the Medoc, Libourne and the Entre-deux-Mers whilst exploring the enchanting and mysterious Bordeaux Region.  A chance to follow the famous Chateau Route and see some of the best preserved chateaux in France, and also visit the highest sand dune in Europe on an excursion to the Arcachon Basin.

Days: 8 Days
Code -  BOA



We board the Gironde Princess between 6.00 pm and 7.00 pm in Bordeaux. After settling into our cabins, we have a welcome drink in the lounge and are introduced to the crew. After dinner, we have a welcome party on board.


We head down the River Garonne and then join the River Gironde, passing Cazeau Island and Patiras Island before arriving Pauillac in time for lunch on board. Built long ago by wine merchants or ships' captains, Pauillac has managed to preserve the fine houses belonging to the old nobility that were built from great blocks of stone along its quaysides. After lunch on board, our excursion this afternoon is to visit the Médoc  – a renowned region and an "away-from-it-all" spot where the most famous of all red wines in the world are cultivated: a strip of land squeezed between ocean and estuary. Here a mild, humid climate has made it easy to cultivate and develop the vines. We pass through most of the great Médoc appellations such as Saint Julien, Margaux, Haut-Médoc and many more, following the famous Châteaux Route. We also have the opportunity to see the "must see"  châteaux of Lafite-Rothschild, Latour and Mouton Rothschild. We return on board for dinner and an evening of entertainment. We moor for the night in Pauillac.


We set sail early this morning, cruising along the Gironde to the estuary. We pass the marshes, Meschers-sur-Gironde with its steep cliffs, Troglodyte houses and fishermen's huts, before arriving in Blaye. We have lunch on board, and arrive in Blaye around 2 pm. In days gone by, this superb acropolis was an ideal look-out post to watch for invaders. Vauban had a citadel built here and this fortress is without doubt the biggest attraction in Blaye. We set off on our excursion along the Corniche, or cliff route. Narrow and picturesque, the road snakes alongside the River Dordogne before reaching the Gironde Estuary. As we travel, we catch a glimpse of charming gardens, ancient fishermen's houses, remarkable dwelling places carved out of the heart of the cliff, not forgetting the famous carrelets, the unique fishermen's huts perched on wooden stilts on top of the water. The scenery here is a quite unusual combination of river, rocks and vines. We stop in the village of Bourg, a charming city built on a rocky outcrop enclosed by medieval ramparts. We then return to Blaye, where we visit the citadel. Majestic and imposing, it overhangs the Gironde Estuary and affords magnificent panoramic views over the Gironde. We return on board for dinner, followed by an evening of dancing. We moor for the night in Blaye.


We have breakfast as we cruise this morning, heading for Cadillac. After passing the island of Cazeau, we head back upstream along the Gironde before joining the Garonne again. We pass the city of Bordeaux and arrive in Cadillac in time for lunch. This afternoon we have guided visits to the château at Roquetaillade and to Cadillac. We set off by coach for the château at Roquetaillade. This famous, magnificent medieval château is a listed historic monument built during the 12th and 14th centuries. We also see the castle keep from the Middle Ages, the first ever Renaissance chimneys in the region (dating from 1600) but most important of all, the unique 19th century interiors – created by Viollet-le-Duc and today listed as part of France's historic heritage. We return to Cadillac and our guided visit of the town. Located on the right bank of the Garonne, the Grailly family, the lords of Cadillac, established this walled town where the Dukes of Épernon then built their magnificent château. We see the gates and ramparts (listed historic monuments), the central square with its arches, ancient houses and the church dating from the 15th century. We return on board for dinner. The rest of the evening is free. We moor for the night in Cadillac.  


We set sail early this morning, taking breakfast as we cruise, heading towards Libourne. Cruising along the Garonne, we pass the city of Bordeaux. Shortly after passing the island of Cazeau, we join the River Dordogne and head for Libourne where we arrive in the early afternoon. After lunch on board, we set off by coach on our excursion to Saint-Émilion. We have a guided visit of the underground monuments of Saint-Émilion village as our guide introduces us to the history of the medieval city. We then visit an exceptional Troglodyte settlement – the cave of Émilion, the monk who founded the city, the Chapel of the Holy Trinity built in his honour and the catacombs. Finally we see what is undoubtedly the most original of all the monuments – the Monolithic church. Carved out entirely from the limestone rocks, it is the largest church in Europe. We next head off to visit a family-run vineyard and wine-producer where we are welcomed by the owner who explains the steps involved in producing the great wines of Saint-Émilion. Naturally we have a tasting to conclude our visit. We rejoin our floating hotel in Libourne at the end of the afternoon. After dinner on board we have an evening's entertainment provided by our crew before we moor for the night.



We have breakfast and lunch on board today as we continue our cruise back to Bordeaux, where we arrive in the early afternoon. We set off by coach on our guided tour of Bordeaux. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bordeaux obtained this classification in the category of "cultural site". Half of the town – the boulevards on the banks of the River Garonne – has also been recognised for its architectural heritage. We set off by coach for a guided panoramic tour of the city, and we see the key buildings and monuments before we visit Old Bordeaux on foot. From the broad avenues of the Neo-classical areas of Quinconces and the Grand Théâtre to the narrow alleyways of the Saint-Pierre district, this tour gives us the opportunity to see the diversity of Bordeaux's rich heritage. We return on board for dinner and the rest of the evening is free.  


After breakfast on board, we set off on our excursion to the centre of the Arcachon Basin (lunch included). We begin with a visit to the great dune at Pilat, the highest dune in Europe at an altitude of 107 metres. At the summit, the view is awe-inspiring. Next we head for Arcachon, where we have a boat trip on the Arcachon Basin. During our trip we see the Ile aux Oiseaux (or Bird Island), the Tchanque cabins (which originally sheltered the watchmen in charge of the surveillance of the oyster beds), the oyster beds, the peninsula of the legendary cap Ferret, the fishermen's villages and the Arcachon seafront with views of the Pilat dune. After lunch in a local restaurant, we set off by coach to Gujan-Mestras, where we visit an oyster house, complete with la Maison des Huitres, or Oyster Farming Museum, located in the port of Larros. Through modern and interactive exhibitions and displays, we are given a glimpse into the work of the oyster farmers and the history of the oyster. We then visit the Oyster cabins and taste some oysters. We return to Bordeaux at the end of a fascinating day. Our gala dinner on board is followed by an evening of dancing.


After breakfast on board, we disembark around 9.00 am. End of CroisiEurope's services.


This itinerary is a guide only. For reasons of navigational safety, the captain and crew of the boat alone may decide to modify the itinerary.

Please note Croisi cruises are bilingual with on board commentaries in both French & English. Sightseeing tours are guaranteed in English with either bilingual guides or audiphones.



This offer includes: The cruise on full board from dinner on the first day to breakfast on the final day, local wine, beer and fruit juice at lunch and dinner (on board meals only), Open bar including a variety of French and regional wine and spirits  (excluding Champagne and premium drinks),  accommodation in a twin air conditioned cabin with shower and WC, entertainment, the assistance of our hostess on board, the welcome cocktail, the gala evening, port taxes and pre paid English sightseeing (subject to minimum numbers)



This offer does not include:  insurance, personal expenses, Drinks - wine selected from the premium drinks list and those purchased on shore excursions, shore excursions.

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