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Beautiful Bordeaux, the Dordogne and La Rochelle (Rail & Cruise)

Explore the villages and vineyards of this wonderful part of France

From $ per person


Experience the idyllic landscapes surrounding Bordeaux and explore the most leisurely way possible, on a river cruise sailing through the picturesque Gironde Estuary and along sections of the Garonne and Dordogne. You'll also visit the important maritime towns of the Southwest coast and enjoy great food and free-flowing wines from Bordeaux each dinnertime on this wonderfully inclusive cruise holiday.

The itinerary for your journey
Tour highlights

What’s included

Day 1 - London to Bordeaux
MS Cyrano de Bergerac

We meet at our Departure Office at London St Pancras* and travel on the Eurostar to Paris. On arrival in the French capital, we board a coach that takes us from the Gare du Nord to the Gare Montparnasse. Here we board a train that will whisk us southwards through the French countryside to Bordeaux, centre of one of the world's most famous wine regions and set on the banks of the Garonne River. Here we transfer to our floating hotel for 6 nights, the MS Cyrano de Bergerac. After time to settle in, we are greeted with a welcome cocktail before tonight's 3-course dinner is served, accompanied by free-flowing wine and followed by an evening of entertainment on board.

*If you would like to travel by air, view our Fly & Cruise option here.

Day 2 - Atlantic Coast and wines of Médoc
Pauillac

This morning we cruise into the scenic Gironde Estuary, passing a scattering of traditional wooden fishing huts dotted around the attractive inlets of Cazeau Island and pretty Patiras Island. After taking in these charming scenes at a leisurely pace, we arrive in Pauillac, a sleepy port whose quayside is lined with grand stone houses. We disembark for a tour through the celebrated Médoc wine route and enjoy a tasting at a vineyard along the Route des Châteaux. We return to the ship for lunch before an afternoon excursion to the seaside town of Royan for a tour that takes us past Belle Epoque villas and the retro houses that line the shorefront. Afterwards, make the most of some free time to truly appreciate the aesthetics of Royan, an official town of 'art and history'. We return to the ship this evening for another freshly prepared dinner.

Day 3 - Rochefort and La Rochelle
La Rochelle

After another delicious breakfast, we board a coach bound for Rochefort. It's position on the banks of the Charente River have made it an important maritime destination for centuries, and during our time here, we take a tour that delves into this intriguing past. Entrance is also included to the Corderie Royale, an historic rope-making factory that was the very first industrial building in the country and supplied the French navy for over 300 years.

We continue to one of the most historically important seaports on the European Atlantic coast, La Rochelle. After a lovely lunch at a local restaurant, we set out on a tour exploring the natural and man-made architecture that makes this destination so unique. This is followed by some free time, during which you may like to explore the Old Town and harbour area or visit one of the city's many museums. Back on board, we begin sailing along the Dordogne River to Libourne.

Day 4 - St Emilon
St Emilion

Disembarking in Libourne this morning, we travel to St Emilion for a guided tour of this UNESCO listed city before visiting the Troglodyte cave the monk who founded the town was said to have lived in after escaping the celebrity status bestowed on him for performing a miracle. We'll also see the largest monolithic church in Europe and call at a family-run vineyard, where we enjoy a tasting of some popular local wines before returning to Libourne and beginning our journey back to Bordeaux.

Day 5 - Roquetaillade Château or Cadillac countryside hike
Cadillac Castle

Today we arrive in the marvellous walled town of Cadillac, boasting a rich history dating back to the 13th century. Here you have a choice of excursions. You could take a tour of Roquetaillade Château, a magnificent medieval monument, followed by a tasting of the local Sauternes wine and a guided tour of Cadillac, or head for the hills on an energetic hike through the distinctive countryside surrounding the town. Admire panoramic views of the Garonne River alongside landscapes of lilting vineyards before stopping at a family-run farm for a wine paring session.

Days 6 - Bordeaux
Bordeaux

Following a relaxed 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 UNESCO-protected city boasts an exciting diversity that's palpable in many of its attractions. We embark on a city tour for some deeper insight into Bordeaux's history. Alternatively, you are free to explore at your own pace. Back on board this evening, we enjoy a gala dinner, the perfect end to our holiday.

Day 7 - Bordeaux and London
Eurostar

After a final breakfast on board, this morning we disembark the ship and transfer to the station. We board the train to Paris, where we connect with the Eurostar back to London.

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.

- Travel Options

We offer a Standard Class and First Class rail options for departures on this tour. You can find out which class each departure is by clicking on the information button in the pricing grid.

Departure Dates

All prices are per person and assume full occupancy of the room.
Please always refer to the website for up-to-date prices and availability.

Trains
Eurostar
Eurostar

The high speed Eurostar trains link St Pancras International in London with Paris and Lille in France as well as Brussels in Belgium.

Eurostar's Standard Class coaches feature two seats on either side of the central aisle, most of which is arranged in an 'airline' seating configuration with drop down tray tables. There are two tables for four per carriage. Passengers travelling in Eurostar Standard Class coaches can take advantage of the Bar-Buffet which sells a range of snacks, meals, hot and cold drinks - including Champagne!

The highest class of Eurostar travel available for leisure customers is Standard Premier Class. In your dedicated Standard Premier carriage you'll find a less dense seat configuration, meaning the seats are larger and you have ample space to relax and stretch out. As part of the service you'll enjoy complimentary drinks and refreshments, served at your seat by friendly, helpful waiting staff.

For the class of travel used on your chosen tour, please refer to the 'What's Included' section of the tour page.

Hotels
Ships
MS Cyrano de Bergerac
CroisiEurope ship

We enjoy this river cruise aboard the MS Cyrano de Bergerac which offers great cuisine, an exciting package of included shore excursions and modern amenities on every deck - all combining to make for a wonderfully enjoyable cruise.

Upgrades

We offer a selection of upgrades and 'add-ons' designed to help you make the most of your holiday - and make it even easier!

Door to door luggage from £180
Door to door luggage from £130

Whether as an added luxury, or essential to your enjoyment of the tour, door-to-door luggage collection and delivery services can really enhance your holiday experience. Travelling across Europe by train is so much more relaxing without the burden of your suitcase, and we can help arrange for your case to be collected from home prior to the holiday and for it to be waiting for you on your cruise ship as you arrive.

We are pleased to provide the services of the GRJ Luggage Concierge Service - supported by our partner The Baggage Man, offering luggage transport from as little as £180 for one suitcase and £260 for two suitcases.

Please contact us for details of this service.

Upgrade to Standard Premier Class on Eurostar
Eurostar

Your holiday begins the moment you meet your Tour Manager at St Pancras International and board the Eurostar train for mainland Europe. If you wish to get your holiday off to an extra special start, why not consider upgrading your on-board accommodation from Standard Class to Standard Premier Class?

As well as all the amenities enjoyed in Standard Class, Standard Premier travellers benefit from extra spacious, comfortable seats, complimentary newspapers and magazines and a light snack with drinks served at your seat during the journey. Before 11am, the light snack comprises breakfast pastries, yoghurt, fruit juice and tea or coffee. After 11am there is a choice of 2 main dishes and a dessert, accompanied by soft drinks, wine or beer and tea or coffee.

Prices for an upgrade from £85 each way. Please call us for more details.

London Hotels
London hotels

Spending a night in London before your tour can make such a difference to the first day of your holiday - you can arrive in the capital in good time, relaxed and ready to join your Tour Manager the next morning. You may even want to take in a show on the West End, or dine in one of London's famous restaurants. Perhaps on your return to London, you would like to break your journey with an overnight stay before continuing home.

We are able to book a wide range of hotels in central London or, for our holidays beginning with a flight, at Heathrow, Gatwick or Manchester Airport for the night before or after your holiday. The hotels listed below are some of the more popular hotels our customers book in Central London, others are available on request.

Hotel       Room Rate From Price 
The Ambassador Hotel      From £65 per person

Above prices are approximate, subject to availability, and per room per night based on two people sharing. If you require a quote for single occupancy at any of the hotels please contact us on 01904 734 805. 

UK rail connections
UK train tickets

Buying tickets for UK train services can be a tricky business - there are so many fares to choose from, each with different rules and restrictions. As you are connecting with an international departure, we strongly recommend that you book a fully flexible ticket to ensure that should the departure times for your holiday change, your rail ticket can allow for these changes.

We can book fully-flexible UK rail tickets from your local station to join your holiday whether this be a European holiday from St Pancras or a UK holiday. The prices are competitive and tickets are not restricted to a particular train or time of day, and in most cases offer you a free choice of routes.

For an up to date quote from your local station, please ask one of our Tour Advisors.

This page was printed from www.greatrail.com/au/tours/garonne-and-dordogne-cruise/#BBR21 on 10 May 2021.
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