Travel to France’s legendary wine capital, Bordeaux on-board a luxury Ama Waterways ship and experience iconic châteaux, historic vineyards and plentiful wine tastings as you explore Libourne, Blaye, Bourg, Pauillac and Cadillac. This river cruise is a must for anyone interested in the ultimate combination of French culture, lifestyle, wine and food.
During the cruises, you will enjoy an extensive inclusion of many alternative tours such a bikes, hikes and special interests appealing to all customers, not just those interested in wine. Special cruise dates are set aside for 'Wine Cruises' when you will be hosted by a wine expert. These special Wine Cruise offers guests a perfect blend of wine-related experiences learning how wine is made and, of course, partake in tastings – all at no additional cost.
There are always a large variety of activities included so that you can choose how you want to explore. No matter your preference, your days will be full of discovery and enjoyment.
‘At-a-Glance’ Illustrative Itinerary
Arrive into Bordeaux and be transferred through to your ship for the Taste of Bordeaux, seven night cruise.
Your first morning of cruising will be scenic as you pass iconic sights on your way to Libourne, gateway to one of Bordeaux most special wine regions, home to the celebrated wines of Saint Émilion where your excursion will deep beneath the famous monolithic church carved out of one piece of limestone rock. Here you will discover caves and catacombs that the monks used in the preparation and storage of wines. Today the notable Grand Cru Classé continued to be stored in the same way. Enjoy a a Grand Cru Classé wine tasting at either Château de Pressac or Château de Ferrand.
For those who may prefer some more active adventure you have the opportunity to cycle through the countryside onto Saint-Émilion and then to Château Soutard for a Grand Cru Classé wine tasting. Alternatively you could choose to tour the magnificent Château Vayres, one of the most prestigious historical buildings of Aquitaine.
Libourne is not a notable place itself, being an interconnecting rail point in between Saint Emillion and Pomeral, but there is the magnificent Château de Montaigne worthy of a visit during your short stay in Libourne. A stunning 19th-century castle of the Mahler-Besse family and the place where the first vines, Fronsac, of the Libourne wine region were planted some 2,000 years ago. Alternatively you can work up an appetite and thirst by hiking through one of Libourne’s renowned vineyards and rewarding yourself with a wine and tapas tasting.
You will depart for Blaye later in the day, and enjoy the evening at leisure.
Today can be a busy day of exploring by bike, on foot and then enjoying wine at the charming medieval village of Bourg. Blaye itself is renowned for its major historical feature, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a fortified 17th-century citadel. So in the morning your touring options are either to take a tour of the citadel or you can opt for the more active adventure of a bike ride around Blaye.
Later in the day, you will visit the ancient village of Bourg which you can choose to bike to through the peaceful and tranquil French countryside. Once in the village take a walking tour and visit the Carriage Museum, which is home to a wonderful collection of horse-drawn vehicles. The hospitality of this delightful village will come to life at an exclusive wine festival in the evening, showcasing the local wine growers, their artisan foods, lively French music and dancing.
Your cruise continues on through the idyllic French countryside with the next stop being Pauillac, a lovely village on the Left Bank of the Gironde Estuary. Pauillac is the gateway to the famous Médoc region, renowned for producing some of the world’s most celebrated Bordeaux wines - Château Latour, Château Mouton Rothschild, Château Lafite Rothschild and Château Pichon Longueville.
You will see some of these most beautiful and famous wine estates, and then you will visit either Château Gruaud Larose or Château Léoville Poyferré for a tasting of Grand Cru wines. (B,L,D)
This morning you have the opportunity to visit the impressive Castle of Roquetaillade. This fortified castle still inhabited and owned by the same noble family for over 700 years, The castle is a classified historical monument notable for its unique style in that there are two fortresses within the stone castle walls.
Following this visit you will then travel onto the Sauternes wine region to either Chateau de Rayne Vigneau or Chateau Guiraud where you will get to taste the highly prized golden-hued sweet wines. This evening is a highlight as you will enjoy a spectacular illumination cruise, passing downstream viewing the iconic Bordeaux scenery and historical structures as they glow against the night sky.
On your final day you will have returned to the breathtaking capital of the wine world, Bordeaux. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and classified as a “City of Art and History.” Today you have an opportunity to experience much of the rich architecture and culture on a city tour or explore the city’s incredible network of bicycle paths. Both the city tour and bicycle tour will be followed by a visit to an awe-inspiring building, the Bordeaux Wine Museum.
Savour the final night on-board your ship with a lovely dinner and some further fine wines to end a truly memorable experience.
Disembark the ship to be transferred back to the airport for your flight home, or onto another city to extend your French journey. We would be delighted to help you plan an extension to Paris, the Champagne region or the south coast for some relaxation.