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Cruise the heart of the Bordeaux wine country down the Garonne and Dordogne rivers on board a revolutionary Viking Longships.
Caressed by Atlantic breezes, the vineyards that cover the rolling hills along the rivers of Aquitaine have for centuries produced France's most remarkable wines: Saint-Émilion, Pomerol, Sauternes, Médoc and Margaux are but a handful of the appellations that make Bordeaux wines world-famous.
At the region's heart, the city of Bordeaux stretches along the river bank, inviting visitors to savour its grand architecture, tempting cafés and superb museums. Celebrate joie de vivre in this land of wine and oysters, truffles and cognac, as you cruise the Dordogne, Garonne and Gironde Rivers.
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. We remain docked overnight.
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. Visit the Musée d’Aquitaine for a guided tour of the collections that highlight the region’s triangular trade route and Bordeaux’s position in it. 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.
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Begin your day with a tour of Cadillac then head across the river for your excursion to Sauternes where you will learn how the area’s sweet dessert wines are made, and taste some examples during your tour.
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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, 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.
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After a morning at leisure in Libourne, sail to Bourg. Upon arrival, take an afternoon 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 will tour the Camus family business, one of the most tradition-steeped Cognac houses in the area, and try your hand at blending. Early this evening, continue cruising to Blaye.
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Blaye boasts an extraordinary 17th-century citadel, dramatically set on a rock beside the river, incorporating the ruins of an ancient Gothic château that contains the tomb of Charibert II, king of Aquitaine. The citadel of Blaye, its city walls and two other forts are collectively listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a guided tour of the citadel, then return to your ship for lunch as we sail downstream, passing islands and gentle slopes, arriving in Pauillac in the early afternoon. Enjoy a wine country tour featuring several wine-tasting opportunities, including the area’s famous full-flavored Margaux. This evening, travel through the rolling vineyard-laced hills to dinner at a château, accompanied by the château’s own wines.
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Relax aboard your ship this morning 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. You won’t want to miss the Place de la Bourse, with its mirror-like reflecting pool, impressive by day but absolutely stunning at night. You also have the option of taking a full-day excursion to Arcachon, a commune on the Atlantic coast, to see the Victorian-era villas, walk on the boardwalk and taste the oysters, a local delicacy. Or, you have the option of participating in a market visit with the Viking Chef to see where the local chefs of Bordeaux find their fruit, vegetables, meats and fish.
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Introducing the Viking Longship
Designed by legendary naval architects Yran & Storbraaten, the team behind The Yachts of Seabourn, these new vessels offer state-of-the-art engineering, and utmost luxury. The Viking Longships provide guests with more ways to personalize their trip. Choose from a variety of stateroom classes, onboard entertainment options and ship locations from which you can enjoy sailing through the scenery, all the while enriching your time in some of Europe's most remarkable destinations.
Enjoy the indoor-outdoor Aquavit Terrace at the bow of the ship, or relax on the Sun Deck. These "green" ships, featuring energy-efficient hybrid engines, solar panels and an organic herb garden, were named to honor prominent members of the Norse pantheon. Each ship carries 190 guests in comfortable, understated elegance, with hotel-style beds and amenities like 26-inch flat-panel TVs and in-room refrigerators.
* Payable locally.
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The revolutionary new Viking Longships bring together some amazing and innovative design features to both the staterooms and public areas. The patented corridor design allows for larger staterooms, most with either french or full balconies.
Take a Tour of the Accommodation
Viking chefs create a variety of tasty offerings for you, with freshly prepared seasonal local vegetables, European specialties adapted to satisfy the tastes of passengers, and homemade soups prepared daily.
For breakfast, choose from our selections of pastries, cereals, breakfast meats, egg dishes, fresh fruit and selected cheeses. At lunch, select from the soup and sandwich bar, or a choice of entrées and dessert. And for dinner, you are treated to a five-course gourmet menu with regional specialties.
You can also select from carefully chosen regional wines to perfectly complement your meal. And wherever you sail, you will find enhancements reflecting your itinerary-it is all part of experiencing the local culture.
Imagine waking as the mist rolls off the river, stopping in the lounge for a frothy cappuccino, and heading out to the Aquavit Terrace to silently cruise through the early morning light. That is one definition of a Viking happy hour.
Another one is in the more traditional sense: unwinding in the late afternoon with a pint of beer or glass of wine, chatting with friends and enjoying a delicious light bite. With the Aquavit Terrace equipped with grills and plentiful seating, each of these al fresco happy hours will be yours to indulge in.
To complement your onshore excursions, take part in Viking's Cultural Highlights-immersive learning and enhancement activities both on board and ashore:
These in-depth experiences are included as an essential part of discovering more about the places through which you cruise, and each activity is planned specifically to illuminate each itinerary.
Please see cruise itinerary for specific activities available on each cruise
Sometimes you want to dig a little deeper. We offer a series of onboard multimedia lectures to shed light on the history and culture of the places you visit. Learn about:
We have high standards for the English-speaking crews on board our ships. We personally recruit all of our staff members, from your stateroom steward and waiters, to hotel managers and Program Directors.
Proprietary training programs are implemented by our Swiss management team to ensure we always provide the level of service you would find in a fine hotel. The Viking team brings you a level of expertise other companies cannot match.
Best of all, there is no need to do research or make arrangements in advance. We take care of all the details; transportation, reservations, entry fees and more. You return home enriched with wonderful memories.
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Single Occupancy Supplements: Cat F: 50%, Cat E to ES: 100%
Prices are per person based on two sharing and are subject to availability at time of booking. Operators reserve the right to amend published prices prior to a confirmed booking being made.
Please call for latest prices and availability or Request a Callback ...
Why not extend your tour with an extra couple of days in Amsterdam or Budapest or even take 3 days in the beatiful city of Prague
Please call 0800 471 4754 for further information and assistance.
3 nights B&B £899pp
Start your holiday with a night in Paris before embarking on a tour of the Loire Valley from your hotel in Tours. Explore the cities of Tours, Orléans & Poitiers and visit the fabulous Chateaux at Amboise, Chenonceau & Chambord before joining your cruise in Bordeaux.
One night in the Crowne Plaze Paris and 2 nights in the Allicnce Tours (or similar), daily breakfasts and transfers are all included.
3 nights B&B £799pp
Extend your holiday with a 3 night trip to Paris, City of Light. Explore this beautiful city, its museums and palaces, on the included guided tours and under at your own pace.
Three nights at the Crowne Plaze Paris (or similar), daily breakfasts and transfers are included along with the services of a Viking host.
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