Cruise through one of France’s premier wine-producing regions on a relaxing and luxurious APT river cruise along the Garonne and Dordogne rivers.
• Exclusive visit to Château de Cazeneuve, once home of the Kings of Navarre and later King Henri IV of France. Enjoy a private tour before savouring dinner in the Grand Salon
• Visit one of the few remaining family-owned cooperages in the Médoc region and learn the secrets of wine production.
Aria River ships
The boutique-style Aria river ships are some of the most luxurious river ships in the world. There are 74 suites which feature either twin windows or floor-to-ceiling windows that open out as a French balcony. Dining on board is an absolute pleasure with each Aria ship a member of the prestigious La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs culinary society. At the two on-board restaurants expect exceptional cuisine inspired by local flavours created using regional produce where possible. Facilities include a heated whirlpool, fitness centre and a spa. There are bikes on board allowing you to explore at your own pace.
Is this for you?
Exploring the heart of one of France’s premier wine regions in indulgent luxury, this cruise is a must for wine lovers. Savour local produce as you sail along the Garonne and Dordogne rivers to discover idyllic landscapes.
Good to know
• Itineraries are subject to change.
What to expect
Day 1 UK to Bordeaux, France Depart the UK on your flight to Bordeaux. On arrival, transfer from Bordeaux airport to the Garonne River to board your APT Aria River Ship. Enjoy a Welcome Reception where you can meet the Cruise Director and your fellow guests.
Day 2 Cadillac, France Pass sheer limestone cliffs and charming fishing huts that rise above grassy wetlands as you cruise along the Garonne River. On arrival in the walled village of Cadillac, you can choose from one of two sightseeing activities. One option is to explore Cadillac on a guided tour before visiting the tiny medieval village of Saint-Macaire. Alternatively, head to the well-preserved castle, Château de La Brède, in Sauternes for a guided tour. Afterwards, you’ll travel to Château Smith Haut Lafitte for a tour and a tasting of Sauternes’ world-famous dessert wines. Tonight’s Signature Experience is a visit to Château de Cazeneuve, once home of the Kings of Navarre and later King Henri IV of France and his wife Queen Margot. Enjoy a private tour and dinner in the Grand Salon.
Day 3 Pauillac, France Take in the sights today as the ship threads its way along the spectacular Gironde Estuary. Disembark in Pauillac and journey through the famous Médoc wine region. Set to the north of Bordeaux, the Médoc’s flat, fertile grounds produce some of the most prestigious and expensive wines in the world. Today you are treated to another Signature Experience, where you’ll enjoy a fascinating insight into wine production with a visit to one of the few remaining family-owned cooperages. A tasting in the charming village of Ludon concludes today’s wine-filled experience.
Day 4 Blaye & Bourg, France Step ashore to discover the town of Blaye with a walk around the 17th-Century citadel. In the afternoon, a choice of sightseeing activities is on offer. Travel to Cognac for a tour before visiting Château de Cognac, or sail to the town of Bourg and take a walking tour.
Day 5 Libourne & Saint-Émilion, France Today, the choice is yours. From Libourne, travel to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Saint-Émilion with its idyllic cobbled streets, Romanesque church, 13th-Century Tour du Roy and historic vineyards. Alternatively, head beneath the streets to discover the magnificent subterranean Monolithic Church and explore the underground cellars of the 14th-Century cloister of Les Cordeliers. Sample a glass of the sparkling wine and a selection of Saint-Émilion’s renowned macarons.
Day 6 Libourne, France Today you again have the freedom to choose from a range of activities. Join a guide for a tour of Bergerac to discover the wonderfully restored Old Town, with its charming stone buildings, tree-lined squares and pleasant half-timbered houses. Alternatively, spend your day exploring Libourne on a guided tour. Back on board, enjoy the Captain’s Farewell Dinner as you cruise towards Bordeaux.
Day 7 Bordeaux, France At the heart of the most extensive wine-producing region in France, Bordeaux is considered the cultural capital of the area. Join a city tour which includes visits to the Pont de Pierre and the Miroir d’eau, or perhaps enjoy a guided bike tour or a round of golf.
Day 8 Bordeaux, France Following disembarkation, transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK.
Departing 26 April 2018; the same itinerary is available on alternative dates, please call for details.
Included in price
• Private home-to-airport transfers by car (within 75 miles of the airport; longer journeys subject to extra cost)
• 2 Signature Experiences
• Breakfast, lunch and dinner on board
• Complimentary beverages throughout the day (French Champagne, select fine wines and premium spirits are excluded)
• Shore excursions and entrance fees as per the itinerary
• English-speaking guides and APT Cruise Director
• All specified flights.