4 – 7 Night Bordeaux River Cruises

You’ll be raising your glass many times in Bordeaux, which is renowned for its wines, considered amongst the best in the world. As the capital of the department Gironde in the region Aquitaine, it has over two and a half million inhabitants in its metropolitan area. After years of neglect, the former wet docks are the country’s new hot spot, with a number of cafés, gardens, and museums springing up all the time. A lively university community of over 60,000, (Bordeaux Campus is the largest in France) establishes that Bordeaux is about more than just wine.

Bordeaux is a flat city, built on the banks of the Garonne River. It is also one of the largest French cities by area and geographically one of the largest in Europe. The Garonne merges a dozen kilometers below the city with another river, the Dordogne River to form the Gironde Estuary, which is the biggest estuary in France.

The city center is located west and south of the Garonne. To the east are a few hills – the only ones in the vicinity. These hills mark the beginning of an industrial zone and suburbs. Because it is a flat city, bicycles make excellent modes of transport, especially as the city has more than 580 km of cycle tracks. Bordeaux is among the most economically dynamic cities in France.

Due to the weakness of the subsoil, there are no skyscrapers in Bordeaux, which explains its sprawl. The center of the town has retained its traditional stone mansions and smart terraces, hence the reason behind the city being called “Little Paris”. Bordeaux also features the world’s largest reflecting pool with interactive fountains.

Modern buildings can be found to the west (administrative center) and south (university) of the city. Travel to France’s legendary wine capital, Bordeaux, Iconic châteaux, timeless vineyards and delicious wine tastings are plentiful as you visit Libourne, Blaye, Bourg, Pauillac and Cadillac. This trip is a must for anyone interested in the best of French culture, lifestyle, wine and food.

Being at the center of a major wine-growing and wine-producing region, Bordeaux remains a prominent powerhouse and exercises significant influence on the world wine industry. Non wine production is conducted within the city limits. It is home to the world’s main wine fair, Vinexpo, and the wine economy in the metro area takes in 14.5 billion euros each year. Bordeaux wine has been produced in the region since the 8th century. The historic part of the city is on the UNESCO World Heritage List as “an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble” of the 18th century.  After Paris, Bordeaux has the highest number of preserved historical buildings of any city in France.

Towns visited from a Bordeaux cruise include:  Cadillac, Pauillac, Blaye, Bourg, Saint-Emilion, as well as several wineries for tastings.

BLAYE, is known for its 17th century Citadel, built by Vauban.  Around the Blaye Citadel, there are lots of shops, cafes, restaurants and small hotels.

CADILLAC was founded in 1280 to serve as a river port for the castle of Benauges by the lord of the castle, Jean I de Grailly.  Cadillac is directly across the Garonne river from Sauternes, and is known for producing sweet dessert wines under the Cadillac AOC designation.

Possible excursion from Cadillac includes traveling by coach for the Château de Roquetaillade. This magnificent and prestigious medieval castle built between the 12th and 14th centuries is a listed historic monument. You will see its medieval keeps, the first Renaissance chimneys in the region (1600), but above all its unique 19th-century interiors, a masterpiece by Viollet-le-Duc today listed as a historic monument.

PAUILLAC – From this port is the stepping stone to the famous Grands Cru Wine Route of Medoc – a region producing some of the most famous Red Wine in the world.  As you drive through the region, you will pass through charming towns, acres of vineyards and sunflowers as well as beautiful chateau.

SAINT-EMILION’S – history goes back to prehistoric times and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with fascinating Romanesque churches and ruins stretching all along steep and narrow streets.  The town features the Monolithic church of Saint Emilion – built into a limestone cliff rock.

Monolithic Church of Saint Emilion

The Romans planted vineyards in what was to become Saint-Émilion as early as the 2nd century. In the 4th century, the Latin poet Ausonius lauded the fruit of the bountiful vine.

The town, previously called Ascumbas, was renamed after the monk Émilion (d.767), a traveling confessor, who settled in a hermitage carved into the rock there in the 8th century. The monks who followed him started up the commercial wine production in the area.  Saint-Émilion is one of the principal red wine areas of Bordeaux along with the Meoc, Graves and Pomerol. The region is much smaller than the Médoc and adjoins Pomerol. As in Pomerol and the other appellations on the right bank of the Gironde, the primary grape varieties used are the Merlot and Cabernet Franc, with relatively small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon also being used by some châteaux.

There are a variety of cruise options in Bordeaux:  Barge cruises as well as several river cruise options.  There are short Bordeaux Cruises of 4 night, 5 night and 6 night as well as 7 night cruise itineraries.  On an AmaWaterways 7 night Taste of Bordeaux cruise, you will enjoy an extensive lineup of included tours, wine with dinner, daily happy hour and included Wi-Fi. In many cases, you will have a choice of excursions, such as standard tours, bike tours, hikes and Special Interest Tours. We always include a large variety of activities so that you can choose how you want to explore.   The international cruise line CroisiEurope, offer short France River cruises with classic and active optional excursions.  CroisiEurope includes a beverage package as well as Wi-Fi in their cruise rates.   No matter your preference, your days will be full of discovery and wonder.

For more information contact:  Europeanbarging.com  /  888-869-7907  /  jan@europeanbarging.com

 

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