A relaxing cruise through the Dordogne valley
The Award Winning Leader in Escorted Worldwide Rail Holidays
Enjoy this relaxing cruise through one of Europe's most famous wine regions. From the handsome city of Bordeaux, we navigate the Garonne and Dordogne, two of France's most scenic rivers, enjoying the unique landscapes lining their banks.
We meet at our dedicated departure office at London St Pancras International and travel on the high-speed Eurostar service to Paris. On arrival in the French capital, we connect with our onward rail service and continue southwards through the countryside to Bordeaux - the centre of one of the world's most famous wine regions, set on the banks of the Garonne. Here we transfer to our floating hotel for six nights, the 5-Star MS Cyrano de Bergerac. After time to settle in, we are greeted with a welcome cocktail. Tonight's dinner is followed by an evening of entertainment on board.
This morning we cruise into the scenic Gironde Estuary, passing the scattering of authentic, traditional wooden fishermen's huts dotted around the attractive inlets such as Cazeau Island and pretty Patiras Island. After taking in these charming scenes at a relaxed pace, we arrive in Pauillac, a sleepy port whose quayside is lined with fine, grand stone houses. Following lunch on board we visit the renowned Médoc wine region on an optional excursion. Here some of the world's most celebrated red wines are cultivated, grown in sloping vineyards overlooking the river.
The excursion follows the famous Châteaux Route, with views of the area's noted stately homes, including the spectacular château of Lafite-Rothschild. Back on board this evening we enjoy entertainment after dinner.
We spend a leisurely morning cruising further into the Gironde Estuary, passing the atmospheric marshlands and ancient Troglodyte dwellings that feature prominently around this stretch of the river. We also pass through Meschers-sur-Gironde, which is characterised by its dramatic, brooding cliffs overlooking the river.
In the afternoon we arrive in Blaye, the starting point for our excursion to the idyllic walled village of Bourg - where the rustic cottages are stacked almost on top of each other high on the hillsides. The journey to the village is a beautiful one, passing along the superb, narrow cliff -top road overlooking the Dordogne, flanked by lush vineyards.
On our way back to Blaye we make a short stop at the town's imposing citadel. Constructed in the late 17th century, the majestic fortress is now a UNESCO World Heritage site and affords a magnificent panorama over the river and estuary. We remain moored in Blaye overnight.
Early this morning we leave Blaye and continue our cruise, navigating the Gironde and joining the peaceful Dordogne River as we make our way to the attractive wine town of Libourne. Disembarking, we travel to St Emilion for a guided tour of this UNESCO listed city before visiting the exceptional Troglodyte cave of St Emilion himself, as well as the largest monolithic church in Europe. The excursion also calls at a family-run vineyard, where we enjoy a tasting of the popular local wine before returning to Libourne.
Today we arrive in the marvellous walled town of Cadillac, with its rich history dating back to the 13th century. This afternoon we take a tour of the Roquetaillade Chateau, a magnificent 12th-century listed monument.
Following a leisurely morning on board, this afternoon we arrive back in Bordeaux, a beautiful city brimming with 18th century grandeur. With its broad boulevards and quaint Old Town, the UNESCOprotected city boasts a diversity that makes it exciting to visit. You are free to explore this lively city's many attractions at leisure, or perhaps take the optional city tour for a deeper insight into Bordeaux and its history. Back on board this evening, we enjoy a gala dinner and dancing.
After a final breakfast on board, this morning we disembark the ship and transfer to Bordeaux station. Here we take the train to Paris, where we connect with the Eurostar service back to London St Pancras International.
Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.
Optional shore excursions are not included in the price of your tour and are payable on board ship.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.
An escorted experience and all travel arrangements
Delicious meals included
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
Enhancing your tour
Please note: This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.
of travellers would recommend this tour
based on 6 verified reviews
great food, great boat & great tour manager
Food and beverage provision and service was faultless
well org and the sun anised, train and connections. Boat was comfortable and food was good. Am travelling again with GRJ next year, Oh! and the sun shone!
Everything was brilliant including company of fellow passengers and Nigel the courier
Beautifully organised. Excellent accomodation. Food superb.
Enjoyed the slow pace, lovely food and wine. Also the blue decor was very pleasing. Staff quiet and very helpful. All perfect. Have you any more like that
Boat was very good. We found the transfer across Paris tiring as we had long walks between train and coach at both stations.
This was our third River Cruise and was probably our least favourite. The rivers were not as good nor were the excursions. However the boat was very nice , the food and the staff excellent.
The meals were all good and Well presented. The meal service was good and fast,we both enjoyed the meals and there was very little we did not like. The excursions were very interesting and i Would recommend the cruise to a Friends.
There were a couple of factors that were not worthy of excellent. The Ambassador hotel provided an inappropriate breakfast box. Cereal in our room overnight would have been better. The seat on Eurostar outbound was not at a window so the only view was through a small part of a window over the left shoulder. This I felt was not good enough for a tour by GREAT RAIL JOURNEYS. We didn't think Libourne matched the rest of the places visited.
A relaxing cruise through the Dordogne valley