Taste of Bordeaux River Wine Cruise & Tours, August 1-8, 2019 with Charles Krug

MAP – Bordeaux Cruise 2019
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Bordeaux

PRE-CRUISE TOUR OPTION: BILBAO & SAN SEBASTIAN

SUNDAY, JULY 28 – THURSDAY, AUGUST 1, 2019

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DAY 1, SUNDAY JULY 28

BILBAO, SPAIN

Arrive in Bilbao and check-in to your hotel.

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DAY 2, MONDAY JULY 29

BILBAO SIGHTSEEING

Bilbao is a city of contrasts as it successfully blends its traditional Basque culture with a new vision for the future.  Superb architecture includes the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum, a timeless Metro system designed by Sir Norman Foster, Zubizuri–a stunning suspension cable footbridge, the Torre Iberdrola by Cesar Pelli and the extraordinary Vizcaya Bridge, a World Heritage site built in 1893. The medieval part of the city, Casco Viejo, is also locally known as “las 7 calles” in Spanish or “Zazpi Kaleak” in Basque (the seven streets), since these were the seven streets that formed the original medieval town. The beautiful narrow streets are mostly pedestrian-only and are filled with an abundance of taverns offering many opportunities to sample the local fare. (B)

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DAY 3, TUESDAY JULY 30

BILBAO – SAN SEBASTIAN

After checking out of the hotel, you’ll visit the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, representing a magnificent example of the most groundbreaking 20th-century architecture. Of the 24,000 square meters occupied by the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, 11,000 are reserved for exhibition spaces. Once inside the museum, visitors access the Atrium, the real heart of the Museum and one of the signature traits of Frank Gehry’s architectural design. With curved volumes and large glass curtain walls that connect the inside and the outside, the Atrium is an ample space inundated with light and covered by a great skylight. The three levels of the building are organized around the Atrium and are connected by means of curved walkways, titanium and glass elevators, and staircases. The museum houses prominent modern and contemporary works. After visiting the museum, transfers to the seaside resort of San Sebastian and check into your hotel. Enjoy an evening walk through San Sebastian’s Old Town, Parte Vieja, which is the heart of San Sebastian. Pedestrian-friendly streets are lined by centuries-old buildings that house numerous restaurants, shops and bars. Its main square, Plaza de la Constitución, is an old bullring converted into the perfect place to relax and absorb the city’s colorful atmosphere. (B)

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DAY 4, WEDNESDAY JULY 31ST

SAN SEBASTIAN

San Sebastian has the longest history in the Basque Country, and proudly reigns as its capital – a “small country with a big identity,” whose language and traditions are some of the oldest in Europe, and still thriving today. On your tour, you’ll discover why San Sebastian is one of the world’s most beautiful cities. In addition to culinary excellence, it’s home to breathtaking natural wonders, including the “shell beach,” Playa de la Concha, one of the city’s three beaches, and one of Europe’s most beautiful urban shorelines. It’s also home to an abundance of eclectic architecture with some of the finest located in the area called the New Town. Laid out on both sides of the broad Avenida de la Libertad are enchanting buildings with sprout towers and turrets, domes and steeples. Styles range from Neoclassical to French Revival to Art Nouveau—especially notable along Prim and Reyes Católicos Streets—with elaborately carved wooden doorways, stunning stained-glass panels and unusual ceramic-tile touches. (B)

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DAY 5, THURSDAY AUGUST 1ST

ARCACHON, FRANCE – BORDEAUX – EMBARKATION

Check-out of your hotel and board a motorcoach to the legendary land of wine, Bordeaux. En route to the ship, you’ll stop in the resort town of Arcachon, one of the gems of the French Atlantic coast, offering a mix of beaches, extensive Belle Époque architecture, great atmosphere and its famous oysters. (B,D)

CRUISE: A TASTE OF BORDEAUX RIVER CRUISE

EMBARKATION: THURSDAY AUGUST 1 – THURSDAY, AUGUST 8, 2019

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DAY 1, THURSDAY AUGUST 1ST

BORDEAUX – EMBARKATION

Welcome to Bordeaux, where you’ll board your luxurious river cruise. Meet your fellow passengers this evening. (D)

CADILLAC

DAY 2, FRIDAY AUGUST 2ND

CADILLAC

Visit the impressive Castle of Roquetaillade, an amazingly preserved masterpiece of medieval military architecture owned by the same noble family for 700 years. Afterwards, travel to the Sauternes wine region to either Château de Rayne Vigneau or Château Guiraud to taste the highly prized golden-hued sweet wines produced here. (B,L,D)

Chateau Leoville-Poyferre barrel room

DAY 3, SATURDAY AUGUST 3RD

PAUILLAC

Pauillac, a lovely village on the Left Bank of the Gironde Estuary, is gateway to the famed Médoc region renowned for producing some of the world’s finest Bordeaux wines. You will see some of the most beautiful and famous wine estates, including Château Latour, Château Mouton Rothschild, Château Lafite Rothschild and Château Pichon Longueville. You’ll then visit either Château Gruaud Larose or Château Léoville Poyferré for a tasting of Grand Cru wines. (B,L,D)

Blaye – Citadel King’s Gate

DAY 4, SUNDAY AUGUST 4TH

BLAYE – BOURG

Once in Blaye, you can join a tour of its 17th-century citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For a more active excursion, take a bike ride from Blaye through the idyllic French countryside. During the afternoon, you can cruise to Bourg or join a bike tour along Santiago’s path—a famous pilgrimage route—to Bourg. While in the ancient village of Bourg, visit the Carriage Museum, which houses a wonderful collection of horse-drawn vehicles and then explore the underground passageways that lead you to the immense oil tanks from the Second World War. Later in the day, experience the hospitality of this charming medieval village with an exclusive wine festival complete with live French music, dancing, wine and hors d’oeuvres. (B,L,D)

LIBOURNE – Open Air Market

DAY 5, MONDAY AUGUST 5TH

LIBOURNE

Libourne provides a gateway to one of Bordeaux’s most elite wine regions, Saint-Émilion, known for its picturesque architecture, monuments and celebrated vineyards. Join an excursion to historic Saint Émilion, and while here, explore the monolithic church carved out of one piece of limestone rock, and then go under the church to discover its catacombs and caves. Afterwards, enjoy a wine tasting at either Château de Ferrand or Château de Pressac. Prefer a more active adventure, pedal through the vineyard-rich countryside to Saint-Émilion and then to Château Soutard for a Grand Cru Classé wine tasting. (B,L,D)

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DAY 6, TUESDAY AUGUST 6TH

LIBOURNE

Tour the magnificent Château Vayres, one of the most prestigious historic buildings of Aquitaine, or spend time discovering the Bastide town of Libourne and then stroll through its colorful open-air market tasting some of the region’s specialties. For a more active exploration of the countryside, enjoy a hike followed by a wine tasting. Later in the day, you will have two options of excursions. Visit Château de Montaigne, a stunning 14th-century castle that was the family residence of philosopher Michel de Montaigne and enjoy a lovely wine tasting. Alternatively, visit Fronsac, where you can taste some of the regional wines at a grand wine cellar. (B,L,D)

Europe, France, Gironde (33), Bordeaux, Place de la Bourse, Listed as World Heritage By UNESCO

DAY 7, WEDNESDAY AUGUST 7TH

BORDEAUX

The breathtaking capital of the wine world, Bordeaux, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and classified as a “City of Art and History.” You’ll have an opportunity to experience much of the rich culture and architecture on a city tour followed by a visit to the Bordeaux Wine Museum, housed in an awe-inspiring building. Bike enthusiasts will wish to join a tour along the city’s amazing network of bicycle paths. (B,L,D)

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DAY 8, THURSDAY AUGUST 8TH

BORDEAUX – DISEMBARKATION – TOURS & AMBOISE

Disembark your ship in Bordeaux (program ends here for Cruise Only passengers).  Make your way to the airport for your onward travel plans. (B)

POST-CRUISE TOUR OPTION: LOIRE VALLEY & PARIS (CDG)

Start Date: THURSDAY, AUGUST 8 – SUNDAY, AUGUST 11, 2019

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DAY 8, THURSDAY AUGUST 8TH

BORDEAUX – DISEMBARKATION – TOURS & AMBOISE

Disembark your ship in Bordeaux and continue your journey by TGV train to Tours, France — gateway to the Loire Valley châteaux. Renowned for good food and good living and teeming with art, history and lovely gardens, it’s the perfect place to explore or join a walking tour. You’ll then be transferred to your hotel in Amboise. (B)

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DAY 9, FRIDAY AUGUST 9TH

AMBOISE

Visit three of the Loire Valley’s regal châteaux starting with the Château de Chenonceau, one of the most beautiful castles in France. This châteaux has been referred to as the “Women’s Castle” since it is the only castle in the region that has been built, inhabited and saved by women during the Renaissance. Château du Close Lucé was Leonardo da Vinci’s last home where he completed some of his most famous works under the patronage of the King of France. The Château d’Amboise, perched on a promontory overlooking the Loire River, was the first Renaissance château built in the Loire Valley and features extravagant residences, gardens and a Gothic chapel, where Leonardo da Vinci is buried. (B)

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DAY 10, SATURDAY AUGUST 10TH

AMBOISE – PARIS

En route to Paris, visit two more majestic châteaux. While Château de Chambord, located at the heart of Europe’s largest enclosed wooded park, began as an unassuming hunting lodge, it is now the biggest château in the Loire Valley with 426 rooms, 77 staircases and 282 fireplaces. Next, marvel at the residence of seven kings and ten queens of France at the famous Château de Blois where you’ll discover the secrets of the French court. Afterwards, transfer by motorcoach to your hotel at Charles De Gaulle Airport. (B)

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DAY 11, SUNDAY AUGUST 11TH

DEPART PARIS

Bid farewell to Paris and prepare for your flight home. (B)

Enticing Douro Collage 2

PLEASE NOTE:

A reasonable degree of mobility is required for all passengers on this program. Most of the guided tours provided on your cruise are walking tours.  Many historic villages in Europe are located on hilltops, where it is necessary to walk up and down hilly, cobblestone streets that may have narrow passageways.  Ships docked in port are often rafted side-by-side with another river ship.  Passengers are then required to ascend and descend flights of 12 or more stairs to walk up to observation deck, down to gang planks to enter or exit the rafted ships. To participate in tours and get on and off the ship, travelers must be able to walk unaccompanied.

Disabilities and Wheelchairs
Persons with a walking disability or an injury, or who require a wheelchair, must have another dedicated person traveling with them to assist/push etc.  The ship’s crew and other cruise guests cannot be expected to assist persons with limited mobility. On customized pre or post cruise land programs, the Expanding Horizons tour manager is authorized to remove, or ask to leave from the tour, any traveler incapable of, unwilling to, or impeding the overall movement and progress of the tour group.