Cruise guests can enjoy the gastronomy, wine bars, and the ‘grand crus’ of Medoc in Bordeaux (Image: Jonathan Vindiolet)
This article was first published in the Itinerary Planning Special Report. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.
A total of five river cruise companies and six ships sail on the Garonne river, Dordogne river and Gironde Estuary: CroisiEurope, Uniworld, Viking River Cruises, Grand Circle Cruise Line and Scenic Tours.
Cyrano de Bergerac, Princesse d’Aquitaine, River Royal, AmaDolce, Viking Forseti and Scenic Diamond operate from March to November, offering an itinerant trip between river and vineyards. From 110 to 135 metres long, these elegant river cruise ships accommodate 90-200 guests.
During a five- or seven-day cruise, guests can discover Bordeaux, a vibrant city with over 350 UNESCO-listed buildings or registered historical monuments. They can also enjoy the hallmarks of local lifestyle: the southern gastronomy, wine bars, terraces, markets, shops, festivities and more.
Above all, guests can set sail for a breath of fresh air, mixing nature with wine and culture. They discover a fertile territory, a renowned terroir for the ‘grands crus’ of Médoc, Saint Emilion and Sauternes. River cruising is an occasion to explore the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Citadel of Blaye or the Cussac Fort, designed by Vauban. The Blaye and Bourg village, Libourne, the Saint Emilion medieval city, the Entre-Deux-Mers and Cadillac environs reveal a rich heritage and a multitude of small peaceful villages. Very soon, Royan will also offer a pontoon with new tour opportunities.
In 2017, 25,000 guests enjoyed river cruising on the Gironde estuary, finding themselves a new way to take time and appreciate the beauty of the south-west of France.
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