Bordeaux River Cruise Tips

A cruise around France’s Bordeaux region, among the world’s most celebrated areas for wine, is just a relatively fresh addition to Europe’s rivers — but a welcome one.

Situated in southwestern France, Bordeaux offers gastronomy, pastoral charm and easy use of the Atlantic Ocean. What sets this destination aside from other famous wine regions is how close the itinerary takes you to the heart of rural France, where people still shop daily for that evening’s dinner in country markets.

Voyages are based in Bordeaux, which sits on the Garonne River. Dubbed a mini-Paris for the cosmopolitan feel, Bordeaux is just a UNESCO World Heritage site and mixes gorgeously restored historic buildings with a vivid riverfront and exceptional shopping and dining. Visit https://wikitravel.org/en/Bordeaux for travsel info about Bordeaux

Beyond the town, most tourism revolves around the wine chateaus outside of town, including Margaux, Haut-Medoc, Lafite-Rothschild, Sauternes, Saint-Emilion, Graves and Cognac. Some lines offer an unforgettable tour to Arcachon, a coastal resort town that is certainly one of France’s leading resources of fresh oysters.

This voyage presents challenges. Itineraries travel on three waterways: the Garonne and Dordogne rivers and the Gironde estuary, which are highly influenced by dramatic tides that dictate when ships can sail. So, the schedule could be rigid — or can require skipping planned ports (buses transport passengers the short distances between towns, which means you won’t overlook the sites).

Fans of scenic days on the river should know that the compactness of the region means there aren’t many chances for daylight sailing. And whilst the region is utterly beautiful, it doesn’t have the stark, dramatic topography of a Rhine River or Danube River cruise. But if you like wine, culinary arts, beautiful gardens and palatial homes, Bordeaux will suit just fine.

Best Time for Bordeaux River Cruises
Value season in Bordeaux is in March and April and then again in November, when weather could be very variable. The best time to visit is during the harvest months of September and October (it’s also the most comfortable, temperature wise), but May through August are delightful as well.

Bordeaux River Cruise Lines
While France-based CrosiEurope has long offered river cruises in Bordeaux, it wasn’t until 2014 that Viking River and Uniworld dedicated ships to the region. In 2015, Scenic Cruises and Grand Circle Cruise Line also began offering cruises there.

Bordeaux River Cruise Itineraries
Interestingly, Bordeaux itineraries vary little — or not at all — by cruise line. The principal offering, a seven-night trip, comes with a few days in Bordeaux and visits to small towns where you could tour wine regions including the Medoc, Sauternes, Cognac and Saint-Emilion. Some cruise lines, such as Viking and Uniworld, include an option to visit the Atlantic seacoast town of Arcachon, with its bay filled with oyster farming, and the Dune du Pilat, Europe’s largest sand dune.

CrosiEurope offers four- to six-night cruises, along with standard seven-night trips. Scenic Tours provides a nine-night option that visits exactly the same ports but allows for more time in each.

Most cruise lines provide a Paris add-on (and there is a TGV fast train to Bordeaux from the City of Lights). Bordeaux also has a thriving airport for individuals who want to fly there directly.

Best Time for Bordeaux River Cruises
Value season in Bordeaux is in March and April and then again in November, when weather could be very variable. The best time to visit is during the harvest months of September and October (it’s also the most comfortable, temperature wise), but May through August are delightful as well.

Bordeaux River Cruise Lines
While France-based CrosiEurope has long offered river cruises in Bordeaux, it wasn’t until 2014 that Viking River and Uniworld dedicated ships to the region. In 2015, Scenic Cruises and Grand Circle Cruise Line also began offering cruises there.

Bordeaux River Cruise Itineraries
Interestingly, Bordeaux itineraries vary little — or not at all — by cruise line. The principal offering, a seven-night trip, comes with a few days in Bordeaux and visits to small towns where you could tour wine regions including the Medoc, Sauternes, Cognac and Saint-Emilion. Some cruise lines, such as Viking and Uniworld, include an option to visit the Atlantic seacoast town of Arcachon, with its bay filled with oyster farming, and the Dune du Pilat, Europe’s largest sand dune.

CrosiEurope offers four- to six-night cruises, along with standard seven-night trips. Scenic Tours provides a nine-night option that visits exactly the same ports but allows for more time in each. Visit https://www.tripindicator.com/bordeaux-top-boat-cruises-sailing-tours/1/468/N/3 for more information about Bordeaux boat and cruise tours.

Most cruise lines provide a Paris add-on (and there is a TGV fast train to Bordeaux from the City of Lights). Bordeaux also has a thriving airport for individuals who want to fly there directly.

Bordeaux River Cruise Tips
Choose your cabin wisely. As a result of tidal issues, ships — which dock for many nights in Bordeaux — are tangled up facing exactly the same direction. City-facing cabins can hear more noise (ships are docked on a wonderful, if socially gregarious, promenade) and could have less privacy. If that bothers you, request a river-front cabin.

Business

Leave a Reply

Comment
Name*
Mail*
Website*