Enjoy the rare privilege of being entertained in Chateau Royal de Cazeneuve amongst the vineyards of Bordeaux
Visit one of Bordeaux's finest cooperages to discover local wine making traditions and see how oak barrels are made
Spend an afternoon exploring Saint Émilion, and enjoy a glass of bubbly at the underground cellars of Les Cordeliers
These once-in-a-lifetime moments allow you to experience an unforgettable world of exclusive moments, incredible cultures and charming surprises
Allow us to offer you a first-hand insight into the charmed world of imperial Europe
If you’re feeling active, explore Europe’s idyllic landscapes from a bicycle, led by expert guides
Give your holiday a personal touch with a choice of included sightseeing or dining options
Upon arrival into Bordeaux, transfer to your river ship. After settling in, meet your guides, and get fitted for your bike before a briefing on the upcoming daily rides. This evening, delight in a Welcome Reception.
Stay: Seven Nights: an Aria River Ship
Visit Château de Cazeneuve and sit down to dinner in the Grand Salon while you are entertained by a charming Baroque band.
Disembark your ship and cycle along the Roger Lapebie cycle path and continue to Entre Deux Mers by a winding valley route. Pass through the 13th century bastide town of Creon, then reach La Sauve to visit the ruined Abbey and the historic 12th-century site of Maison du Vin in the old Tithe Barn. Continue riding to Dardenac, and perhaps stop for a coffee break, before turning south to head back to the Garonne, passing through Saint-Leon, as well as the beautiful Château Vermont, whose spectacular vineyard produces some of France's finest red wine, including the first vintage of Entre-Deux-Mers in 1874. Upon reaching Cadillac, re-board your ship Duration: 3 hours, Intensity: medium, a few slopes; Trail length: 56 kilometres.
Non-cycling options include a sailing morning, followed by an afternoon tour of Cadillac and Saint-Macaire, or visit Sauternes and try their dessert wine.
Those not wishing to cycle will visit one of the few remaining family-owned cooperages to see how wooden wine barrels are produced, followed by a wine tasting with your very own oenologist.
Enjoy a relaxing morning on board, then take a ride from Paulliac to Saint Viviene-de-Medoc, passing vineyards and quaint villages along the way. After a coffee break, or even a cheese tasting, head towards the Garonne following its banks back to Pauillac. Perhaps visit Château Laffite Rothschild, Château d’Armailhac or Château Pontet-Canet for some wine tastings before riding back to the ship (Duration: 4-5 hours, Intensity: easy, slight gradient; Trail length: 86 kilometres).
In the afternoon, you may like to travel to Cognac for a tour through this rural town. Stop at Château de Cognac, a French cognac house founded in 1795, for a tour of the storehouses, as well as a tasting. Alternatively, sail to the beautiful town of Bourg and take a walking tour to discover the delightful town centre, medieval ramparts and picturesque harbour. Both groups return to the ship now docked in Bourg.
Awake to stunning landscapes as you continue along the Dordogne River. Step ashore to discover the town of Blaye with a walk around the 17th-century citadel. Overlooking the Gironde, this impressive structure was built by order of Louis XIV, King of France, to prevent enemies from sailing to Bordeaux. Later, savour the freshest gourmet local produce as you dine on board.
Today's ride flows along the Dordogne River from Bourg to Libourne. Head east, then cross to the west bank of the Dordogne at Saint Vincent de Paul. From here, follow uninhabited roads through lush farmland, and eventually arrive at the medieval castle of Château de Vayres, for a stop to wander its magnificent landscape gardens. A short ride to Libourne completes your journey Duration: 2-3 hours, Intensity: medium, a few slopes; Trail length: 45 kilometres.
Otherwise, alight in Libourne and travel to Saint-Émilion for a tour. After lunch, head beneath the streets to explore the underground cellars of Les Cordeliers, where exclusive sparkling wines have been made and aged in this 14th-century cloister since 1892. Finish with a glass of the famous sparkling wine and a fine selection of Saint-Émilion’s renowned macarons.
Cycle along the Dordogne’s wonderful meandering banks, stopping at charming towns such as Castillon la Bataille on your way to Saint Foy-La-Grande. Here, take a short break at one of the many riverside terrace cafés, before following the Route des Vins into the vineyards of Bergerac, famous for its dessert wine. Our ride back to Libourne takes you via Montcaret Duration: 5 hours, Intensity: medium, a few slopes; Trail length: 104 kilometres.
Alternatively, join a guide for a tour of Bergerac to discover the wonderfully restored Old Town. Another option is a guided tour through Libourne to visit a caviar estate for a tasting.
Tonight, enjoy the Captain’s Farewell Dinner as you cruise towards Bordeaux.
At the heart of the most extensive wine producing region in France lies the city of Bordeaux. Considered the region's cultural gem, much of the city is now World Heritage-listed. In recent years, however, numerous historic sites have been revitalised with modern concepts. The best example of this is the stunning Miroir d’eau water mirror that you will be able to see outside the Place de la Bourse as part of your city tour. Other highlights include the tower of Pey-Berland and the Pont de Pierre stone bridge.
Be transferred to the airport.
From degustation dinners to lunches in the sun, there’s always something new to savour in one of many venues on board