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Excursions on the Gironde

A stroll through the older section of Cognac

A stroll through the older section of Cognac, listed as a Ville d'Art et d'Histoire (French City of Art and History) since 2012. Take in the major sites—including the castle where Francis I was born and the lavish homes of salt and brandy merchants—as you walk along the narrow, history-laden cobblestone streets. Five centuries of everyday life in Cognac exist within this urban heritage. Afterwards, we’ll visit the Musée des Arts du Cognac, where you'll familiarize yourself with the liquor’s passionate history through recollection of its viticulture, oenology, distillation, cooperage, commerce, and glassworks—as well as its modern packaging designs. The experience is a veritable homage to local production skills and techniques for its namesake product. Of course, we will enjoy a tasting of the most famous brandy in the world to make sure it keeps up to its reputation.

PLEASE NOTE

  • Return to the boat on foot.
  • Good walking shoes are recommended.
  • The order of the visits can change.
  • Times are approximate.
Panoramic tour of Royan

Join us for a panoramic tour of Royan, a seaside city and an official French “ville d’Art et d’Histoire.” Villas from the Belle Epoque and the charming “retro” homes from the 1950s line the waterfront. In the Foncillon District, we’ll have a look at the fascinating church and learn about its conception. Enjoy some free time before returning to the ship. This is the perfect time to stroll along the port and re-discover the city at your own pace. Some of the most popular sites include the covered market, the modern Palais des Congrès, or the shell auditorium (the spitting image of the famous Boston Hatch Shell). Or you could just decide to have a seat in one of the multitude of cafés along the boardwalk, do some shopping, and even enjoy a great meal!

PLEASE NOTE

  • The order of the visits can change.
  • Times are approximate.
Nantes: the machines de l'ile, secret courtyards and covered passageways

Leaving from the dock in Nantes, you'll set out to discover the magical world of the Machines de l'île. This totally unprecedented artistic project is a cross between the imaginations of Jules Verne and Leonardo da Vinci. After this exceptional tour, we'll continue on to explore Nantes through its hidden courtyards and covered passageways reflecting the glorious past of the city's grand families from the 15th century to today.

PLEASE NOTE

  • Times are approximate.
  • The order of the visits can change.
  • Wear comfortable, sturdy walking shoes and suitable clothing.
Pauillac and the Châteaux du Medoc Route

Departure by coach from Pauillac to discover the Médoc, prestigious wine-growing region. A corner of the world that produces the most prestigious red wines on the planet, tightly wedged between an ocean and an estuary. A mild, humid microclimate which has been favorable to the development of the vines. We will go through most of the Médoc appellations (Saint Julien, Margaux, Haut-Médoc). On the famous Châteaux Route, we will stop to taste the famous wines of the region. On the way you will see major domains such as Châteaux Laffitte-Rothschild, Latour and Mouton Rothschild. Return to the boat at the end of the afternoon.

PLEASE NOTE

  • Visit mostly by coach.
  • Alcohol can be harmful to your health. Please drink in moderation.
  • Valid only if pre-booked.
  • The order of the visits can change.
  • Times are approximate.
Excursion on the Route de la Corniche Fleurie and guided tour of Bourg and Blaye

We'll leave by coach with a tour guide for a journey along the Route de la Corniche Fleurie. You'll see the old, traditional fishing huts on stilts and the remarkable limestone cliffs. We'll also stop in Bourg to take in the impressive views and walk to the market center where you'll be able to taste the local figs. After we return to Blaye, we'll have a guided tour of the citadel built by Vauban, including the monastery and several army barracks. We'll finish up our tour with a tasting of the famous Blaye "praslines."

PLEASE NOTE

  • Comfortable shoes are recommended.
  • The order of the visits can change.
  • Time are approximate.
Day trip in the Arcachon Bay (lunch included)

Departure by coach from Bordeaux for the Bassin d'Arcachon. We will start our tour with a boat trip on the Bassin d'Arcachon. You'll be able to see the Bird Island, the famous "Cabanes tchanquées" houses on stilts and the oyster beds. Then, we will visit of the Oyster Centre and Museum located in Larros Port in Gujan Mestras. A modern, interactive scenography will help you discover oyster farming and the history of the oyster. We will have lunch in a local restaurant. In the afternoon, we will go to the Great Dune of Pilat. Culminating at 107m, it is the highest sand dune in Europe. The view from the top is awe-inspiring. Return to Bordeaux at the end of the day.

PLEASE NOTE

  • Good walking shoes are recommended.
  • The order of the visits can change.
  • Times are approximate.
  • Lunch included (without drinks)
  • Alcohol can be harmful to your health. Please drink in moderation.
Guided tour of Saint Emilion and wine tasting

Departure by coach from Libourne for the excursion to Saint-Emilion. Guided tour of the underground monuments in Saint-Emilion village. Your guide will tell you all about the history of the medieval town. You will then visit an exceptional troglodytic site with, undoubtedly, its most original monument, the Monolithic church. Hewn entirely in limestone, it is the largest in Europe. You will then depart for a visit of a family-owned wine-growing estate, where you will be welcomed by the owner, who will explain the stages of the wine-making process in Saint-Emilion. A commented wine-tasting* session will complete the visit. Return to Libourne by coach.

PLEASE NOTE

  • The tour will take place entirely on foot, so wear sturdy shoes
  • The visit of the underground sites involves certain rooms which may be poorly lit and confined.
  • *alcohol abuse is dangerous to your heath, consume with moderation.
  • The order of visits can be modified.
  • Times are approximate.
Bordeaux, the Chartrons District, Wine and Commerce Museum

The Chartrons District, Wine and Commerce Museum. Set out with your guide on foot to explore the old neighborhood where wine merchants performed their trade—the Chartrons District. You'll visit the Wine and Commerce Museum to trace the history of Bordeaux's classic nectar. We'll enjoy a tasting of wine.*

PLEASE NOTE

  • Please wear sturdy shoes
  • *alcohol abuse is dangerous to your heath, consume with moderation.
  • The order of visits can be modified.
  • Times are approximate.
The seaside cities of Rochefort and La Rochelle

We’ll leave by coach for Rochefort. Rochefort was originally chosen by Jean-Baptiste Colbert as a refuge, defense, and supply post for the French navy back in the mid-1660s. Its arsenal remained a naval base and dockyard until as late as 1926. The historical downtown area boasts lovely private mansions and beautiful homes where the legendary sailors and explorers lived and which still retain their air of adventure and glamor. We’ll then visit the Corderie Royale, a historical rope-making factory. Built between 1666 and 1669, it was the first industrial building in France, and the factory provided ropes for the French Navy and its ships for over three centuries. We’ll tour the main building and learn about the techniques used to produce the ropes used on the large sailing ships. Afterwards, we’ll head to La Rochelle. We’ll stop for lunch in a local restaurant. The over 1,000-year-old city of La Rochelle is the capital of the Charente Maritime. It’s tucked along the Bay of Biscay and contains some of the most beautiful natural and architectural heritage in the area. During a guided tour of the old town and port, you’ll learn about the Grosse-Horloge gate, the Renaissance arcades, the lovely half-timbered homes, finely sculpted facades of the private mansions, and the cathedral. Enjoy some free time before returning to the ship. At the end of our afternoon, we’ll return to Royan.

PLEASE NOTE

  • The order of the visits can change.
  • Times are approximate.
Blaye and its underground monuments

We'll leave on foot to visit the Blaye Citadel, built in the 17th century by Vauban in order to better protect the city of Bordeaux. You will explore the underground passages that soldiers once used and learn how the site was developed using older buildings that Vauban preserved and reused. After our tour, we'll walk a few more feet to a local vineyard and taste some regional products with an excellent glass of wine.*

PLEASE NOTE

  • Times are approximate.
  • The order of the visits can change.
  • Wear comfortable, sturdy walking shoes.
  • *Alcohol can be harmful to your health. Please drink in moderation.
''Pick-me-up'' walk in cadillac

You'll set out for a guided tour on foot of the hillsides in Cadillac. Departing from the port, we will walk along the Garonne River on the former towpaths and then climb up a slope crossing woods and vineyards. During your walk you can admire lovely fishing huts, a hail cannon, chartreuse homes typical of Bordeaux, a medieval castle and a magnificent panoramic view on the Garonne River valley, the Sauternes vineyard, the fortifide town of Cadillac and its ducal castle. The walk will finish up with a gourmet pick-me-up at a family farm, where you'll visit the cellars, taste a few wines* and indulge in matching dishes.

PLEASE NOTE

  • Wear comfortable, sturdy walking shoes and appropriate clothing.
  • Length: approx. 8 km/5 miles and an altitude difference of 58 m/0.04 miles.
  • Times are approximate.
  • The order of the visits can change.
  • If the ship is not moored in Cadillac, be prepared for an additional fee or about 15€ for the return trip to Bordeaux.
  • *Alcohol can be harmful to your health. Please drink in moderation.
Guided tour of Bordeaux by night

Departure by coach for the guided tour of Bordeaux "by night", taking in all the main monuments. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Bordeaux has been awarded the precious label in the "cultural site" category. Half of the city, from the boulevards to the banks of the Garonne has thus gained recognition for the quality of its architectural heritage.

PLEASE NOTE

  • Visit by coach.
  • The order of the visits can change.
  • Times are approximate.
Guided tour of St Emilion and wine tasting

Departure by coach from Libourne for the excursion to Saint-Emilion. Guided tour of the underground monuments in Saint-Emilion village. Your guide will tell you all about the history of the medieval town. You will then visit an exceptional troglodytic site: the cave of the monk Emilion, founder of the town, the Trinity Chapel built in his honor and the catacombs. Finally, undoubtedly the most original monument, the Monolithic church. Hewn entirely in the limestone, it is the biggest in Europe. You will then depart for a visit of a family-owned wine-growing estate, where you will be welcomed by the owner, who will explain the stages of the wine-making process in Saint-Emilion. A commented wine-tasting* session will complete the visit. Return to Libourne by coach.

PLEASE NOTE

  • The order of the visits can change.
  • Times are approximate.
  • Good walking shoes are recommended.
  • *Alcohol can be harmful to your health, please drink in moderation.
Pauillac and the Châteaux du Médoc Road

Departure by coach from Pauillac to discover the Médoc, prestigious wine-growing region. A corner of the world that produces the most prestigious red wines on the planet, tightly wedged between an ocean and an estuary. A mild, humid microclimate which has been favourable to the development of the vines. We will go through most of the Médoc appellations (Saint Julien, Margaux, Haut-Médoc…) On the famous Châteaux Route, we will stop to taste* the famous wine of the region. On the way you will see major domains such as Châteaux Laffitte-Rothschild, Latour and Mouton Rothschild. Return to the boat at the end of the afternoon.

PLEASE NOTE

  • The order of the visits can change.
  • Times are approximate.
  • Alcohol can be harmful to your health. Please drink in moderation.
Guided tour of the Château de Roquetaillade and Cadillac

Departure by coach for the Château de Roquetaillade. This magnificent and prestigious medieval castle is listed as a 12th and 14th centuries historic monument. You will see its medieval keeps, the first Renaissance chimneys in the region (1600), but above all the unique 19th century interiors, a masterpiece by Viollet-le-Duc today classified as a historic monument. Along the way, we will visit a vineyard in the Sauternes area where we'll enjoy a tasting of the famous Sauternes wine*. Return to Cadillac and guided tour of the town. Located on the right bank of the Garonne, the Grailly family, lords of Cadillac, founded this "bastide" (walled town) where the Duke of Epernon built his sumptuous castle. See its gates and ramparts listed as historic monuments, its central square surrounded by arcades, its antique houses and its 15th century church. Return to the boat by coach.

PLEASE NOTE

  • Good walking shoes are recommended.
  • The order of the visits can change.
  • Times are approximate.
  • *Alcohol can be harmful to your health. Please drink in moderation.
Excursion on the Corniche road and guided tour of Bourg and Blaye

We'll leave by coach with a tour guide for a journey along the Route de la Corniche Fleurie. You'll see the old, traditional fishing huts on stilts and the remarkable limestone cliffs. We'll also stop in Bourg to take in the impressive views and walk to the market center where you'll be able to taste the local figs. After we return to Blaye, we'll have a guided tour of the citadel built by Vauban, including the monastery and several army barracks. We'll finish up our tour with a tasting of the famous Blaye "praslines."

PLEASE NOTE

  • The order of the visits can change.
  • Times are approximate.
  • Good walking shoes are recommended.
Libourne by bike and wine tasting

Libourne by bike and wine tasting. Guided tour of Libourne. Discover this former English bastide. Located at the confluence of the Isle and Dordogne Rivers, Libourne expanded around its port. We'll see the Saint John the Baptist Church, Abel Surchamp Square, and the imposing clock tower in the grand harbor.   Then, we'll hop on our bikes and head over to the Pomerol wine-growing area. We'll enjoy a tasting of wine.*

PLEASE NOTE

  • Please wear sturdy shoes
  • *alcohol abuse is dangerous to your heath, consume with moderation.
  • The order of visits can be modified.
  • Times are approximate.
The Bassins des Lumières

The Bassins des Lumières With our guide leading you, discover this unique digital art center within a former submarine base built by the Germans during their occupation of France during World War II. Each year, the center hosts a different multimedia exhibit, perfectly adapted to the architecture's grandeur and reflective waters.

PLEASE NOTE

  • Good walking shoes are recommended.
  • The order of the visits can change.
  • Times are approximate.
Guided tour of Bordeaux by night

Departure by coach for the guided tour of Bordeaux "by night", taking in all the main monuments. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Bordeaux has been awarded the precious label in the "cultural site" category. Half of the city, from the boulevards to the banks of the Garonne has thus gained recognition for the quality of its architectural heritage.

PLEASE NOTE

  • The order of the visits can change.
  • Times are approximate.
Helicopter ride of the Médoc and an art and wine tasting

Discover the Médoc Region as never before! Taking off from the Château-d’Arsac, you’ll experience breathtaking views of the prestigious vineyards producing the Margaux wines. You’ll see the point where the Dordogne and Gironde Rivers meet up to form the extraordinary Gironde Estuary. After your flight, you’ll tour the wine cellar and taste three AOC wines. The Château d’Arsac incorporates 1,000 years of history as one of the oldest wine domains in the Medoc producing exceptional wines and possessing singular works of art.

Duration of the helicopter ride : approx. 10 min

  • Flight subject to favorable weather conditions - RESERVATIONS MUST BE MADE BEFORE THE CRUISE BEGINS AND ARE SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY.
  • The order of the visits can change.
  • Times are approximate.

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