- Return flights to Paris & from Bordeaux
- 12 breakfasts (B), 8 lunches (L) & 10 dinners (D)
French Rivers & Wine
$7,890 per person, twin share*
*The fare displayed above is a from price, based on a tour departure in low season and is correct as at . Surcharges may apply to some departure cities & dates. Visit our website or call us for all of our current available departure dates & prices from your departure city.
13 days | Departs Apr to Oct 2019 –
Experience Bordeaux like never before! Discover the picturesque Loire Valley before embarking on a luxury river cruise past Bordeaux’s famous wineries.
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Flights are included in your price (as required)
Home to Airport Transfers included (Adelaide metro area only)
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Discover more about this holiday
Depart Australia on your flight tonight.
Welcome to France! We will meet you at the airport and transport you to your hotel. The evening is yours to relax or enjoy a romantic dinner in the “City of Light.” Your Tour Director is available to help you plan your time in Paris so you can make the most of your visit.
❱ Hotel stay: Le Meridien Etoile or similar (1 night)
After breakfast, check out of your Paris hotel and begin your ride through the French countryside. Our first stop is the city of Orléans, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This city’s long history includes everyone from the Druids, Gauls, Romans and Attila to the famous “Maid of Orléans,” Joan of Arc. During the Renaissance, the area became a fashionable location for châteaux and the University of Orléans achieved great prestige. When France colonized part of North America, they honored Orléans by naming a certain city La Nouvelle-Orléans, or New Orleans. See some of the city’s sights, including the university, the botanic garden and Joan of Arc’s childhood home (now a museum), then take some free time to explore on your own or get some lunch. Continue your journey south to Chambord for a tour of its royal château. Built in the early 16th century by Francis I, a great admirer of Leonardo da Vinci, Château de Chambord is reminiscent of the Tuscan style, centered around a magnificent double spiral staircase. It was later greatly expanded by Louis XIV and today features hundreds of apartments and an elaborate rooftop terrace offering panoramic views of its vast parklands. Later this afternoon, we will travel to Tours, where you will check in to your hotel for a two-night stay. Following your included dinner at the hotel, enjoy the remainder of the evening on your own. Your Tour Director is available to help you plan your time in the Loire Valley so you can make the most of your visit.
❱ Hotel stay: Clarion Chateau Belmont Tours or similar (2 nights)
After breakfast, set off on a guided tour of one of the world’s most beautiful estates: Château Chenonceau. This grand castle, built beside the Cher River in the 16th century by the wealthy Bohier family, was confiscated by Francis I, who enjoyed many festive times there, as did his heir Henry II and Henry’s queen, Catherine de’ Medici. Toward the end of the 16th century, a new wing was built that stretched across the river with graceful arches, a sumptuous ballroom and a kitchen with convenient docking facilities for groceries and arrivals by boat. The last French sovereign to stay in Château Chenonceau was Louis XIV in 1650. The house has been relatively well cared-for, and after serving as a hospital for wounded soldiers during World War I, it has been completely restored, including the lovely formal gardens. Proceed to the village of Amboise for a brief orientation tour, as well as free time for lunch on your own or perhaps to pay a visit to Leonardo da Vinci’s tomb inside the Chapel of Saint-Hubert. Upon your return to Tours, enjoy a guided exploration of the city and the rest of the evening at your leisure.
After breakfast, check out of your hotel. Join a guided visit to Tour’s main cathedral, dedicated to St. Gatien, before beginning your scenic ride through the French countryside. Stop in Poitiers for a brief tour of this picturesque medieval city, once the capital of the Vienne region, which features well-preserved Romanesque architecture and the Baptistery of St. John, thought to be the oldest Christian church in France. Take some free time to look around a bit or grab lunch before continuing on to Bordeaux to embark your river cruise ship.
❱ River cruise: Viking Longship (7 nights)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Relax on board your ship this morning as we sail downstream, passing islands and gentle slopes, arriving in Pauillac in the early afternoon. Enjoy a wine country tour and tasting, 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.
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.
Sadly today marks the end of your Europe holiday. After breakfast, you will be transferred to Bordeaux Airport in time for your flight home.
Arrive back in Australia this morning on your flight from Europe.
Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney
30 Apr 2019, 21 May 2019, 28 May 2019, 04 Jun 2019, 11 Jun 2019, 18 Jun 2019, 25 Jun 2019, 02 Jul 2019, 09 Jul 2019, 16 Jul 2019, 23 Jul 2019, 30 Jul 2019, 06 Aug 2019, 13 Aug 2019, 20 Aug 2019, 24 Sep 2019, 15 Oct 2019, 22 Oct 2019
|Cruise Cabin Type||
Standard Cabin – F, French Balcony Cabin – D, Middle Deck Verandah Cabin – B, Upper Deck Verandah Cabin – A
The following terms & conditions apply to your booking in addition to our General Booking Terms & Conditions:
- Flights are included from all departure cities shown as required. These are based on Emirates ‘U’ Class Economy airfares, and are subject to availability at the time of your booking confirmation.
- The following fees apply for cancellations made once your booking is confirmed:
After deposit is received – loss of deposit;
71 to 130 days before departure – 50% of total booking value plus deposit;
Within 70 days of departure – 100% of total booking value.
We recommend purchasing travel insurance for your holiday.
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