Situated on the Garonne River, 70 miles (113 km) inland from the Atlantic, Bordeaux's origin can be traced back to the 3rd century when it was Aquitaine's Roman capital called Burdigala. From 1154 to 1453, the town prospered under the rule of the English, whose fondness for the region's red wines gave impetus to the local wine industry. At various times, Bordeaux even served as the nation's capital: in 1870, at the beginning of World War I, and for two weeks in 1940 before the Vichy government was proclaimed. View more
Embrace the scenic splendour and flavours of Bordeaux and the Route des Châteaux during this full-day excursion to a Médoc wine château, and a city tour with lunch.
Medoc Wine Chateau Road and Vineyards
Depart the pier for the scenic, approximately 1-hour drive to the Medoc area. Upon arrival, continue along the famous Route des Châteaux, the Medoc wine château road, which is located between the Gironde Estuary and Landes Forest, and offers magnificent views of vine-covered land as far as the eye can see. Medoc vineyards are orderly and well-kept almost to the point of fanaticism, and the region's famous châteaux produce divine wines that include Moulis, Listrac, Saint Julien, Saint Estèphe, Pauillac, and Margaux (with the celebrated château of the same name).
Wine Estate Chateau Tour and Tasting
During your drive through this beautiful region, a guided visit is made to the cellars of a famous wine estate château, such as Giscours, Kirwan, Cantenac Brown, Lascombes, Rausan Gassies, or Prieuré Lichine, among others. Learn about the estate's winemaking techniques, then proceed for a tasting of two wines from the estate. Following your visit, enjoy a 3 course lunch in a French café where the cuisine is only made with fresh and seasonal local products. After lunch, re-board your coach and continue on to Bordeaux City (1-hour drive).
Upon arrival in Bordeaux City, take a short, panoramic tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. This distinction recognizes the beauty and unity of style of Bordeaux's architectural heritage, which has developed harmoniously over the centuries and remained remarkably well-preserved. Discover some of the city's major highlights, including the WWII German submarine base and approximately 29.6-acre (about 12-hectare) L'Esplanade des Quinconces. One of Europe's largest squares, it features a column commemorating the French Revolution. Other sights include the Place de la Bourse, Riverfront, Cailhau Gate and Opera House, also known as the 'Grand Theatre', one of the most beautiful theatres in Europe.
Free time in Old Bordeaux and Shopping
Next, proceed to the city center where you will have 1 hour free time in the pedestrian and shopping area. At the conclusion, re-board your coach to drive back to the pier in Bordeaux.
Please note: This tour requires advance booking 15 days prior to the start of the cruise. Cancellations received after this deadline will incur penalty charges of up to 100%, which will be billed to your shipboard account.
This tour involves a moderate amount of walking, at times over cobblestone surfaces, with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach, and stairs and steps at the wine estate château. Walking in Bordeaux City is at the discretion of each guest. This tour is suitable for guests with limited mobility, but is not wheelchair-accessible. Lightweight, comfortable clothing with flat, closed-toe walking shoes and sun protection are recommended. The tour sequence may vary.
Spend an unforgettable lunch in the convivial, historic atmosphere of Château Giscours in the famed Margaux appellation, part of the Médoc area. The vineyards of Médoc, north of Bordeaux city, concentrate a lot of the flagship wine estates along its wine chateau road. There, lie the prosperous Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Chateau Latour, Chateau Mouton Rothschild, and Chateau Margaux.
Château Giscours, one of the Medoc wine estate, has a long history which is going back to the 14th century; its wine was classified in 1855 and some references are even made as being served to King Louis XIV in the 17th Century.
Since 1995, a Dutch businessman, Eric Albada Jelgersma, took over management and set about meticulously renovating the vineyard and buildings to make this prestigious estate fully worthy of its ranking, the third Grand Cru Classé in 1855.
"He who knows how to taste does not drink, wine, he savours secrets" Salvador Dali was fond of saying…
Secrets such as those that a glass of Château Giscours will whisper to the taste buds of lovers of wines. Aged in high quality oak barrels, this mostly Cabernet and Merlot based wine acquires its complexity over a period of months, subtly combining aromas of dark fruits and spices with the tannins in the wood, to reach a sublime balance. The complex blending procedure, an important stage in the production of this great wine, requires the most advanced skills of the cellar master and their team.
Robert Parker gave the 2009 vintage a very respectable 94 points.
Today, after visiting the property, enjoy your lunch with an elegant, four-course affair accompanied by several of the château's excellent wines. Afterwards, you will have a walk and photo opportunity at top estate Chateau Margaux, before a return to ship repositioned in Bordeaux.
Please note: This tour requires advance booking one month prior to the start of the cruise. Cancellations received after this deadline will incur penalty charges of up to 100%, which will be billed to your shipboard account.
This tour involves a moderate amount of walking, with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach and in the wine cellars. This tour is suitable for guests with limited mobility, but is not wheelchair-accessible. Lightweight, comfortable clothing with flat, closed-toe walking shoes and sun protection are recommended. The tour sequence may vary. Guests must be at least 21 years old to be served alcoholic beverages.
The timeless beauty of Bordeaux is yours to discover during this orientation tour of the city and surrounding areas.
Depart the pier for the drive by coach to Bordeaux. On your way, you will drive along the famous « Route des Châteaux », the Medoc wine Chateau road, which is located between the Gironde estuary and the Landes Forest, and provides magnificent views of vine-covered gravely, rises as far as the eye can see. Medoc vineyards are orderly and well-kept almost to the point of fanaticism, and the region's famous châteaux produce wines that are nothing short of divine... Moulis, Listrac, Saint Julien, Saint Estèphe, Pauillac and Margaux (with the celebrated château of the same name).
Reaching Bordeaux, you'll have a short panoramic drive through the city, before being dropped off to enjoy a few hours of free time to explore at your leisure. Take advantage of this opportunity to shop, visit museums or just stroll about and discover more about the history of the city. Some of the city highlights are Place de la Bourse, the riverfront, Cailhau Gate, Grosse Cloche from the English Period, the Bordeaux Cathedral, and Gambetta Square. Don't miss the Grand Theater, one of the most beautiful 18th-century theaters in Europe. The pedestrian friendly city center and waterfront have many shops, cafes and restaurants for you to choose from as well as a number of museums. Whatever you choose to do, you'll have a wonderful time in Bordeaux.
The drive between Le Verdon and Bordeaux is approx 2 hrs and 15 mins and you will have approx 4 hrs and 30 mins free time in Bordeaux.
Please note section: The cathedral Saint-André is closed between 12h00 and 14h00 and on Monday morning. Flat, comfortable shoes recommended. Walking in Bordeaux is at the discretion of each guest.