Taste of Bordeaux River Cruise, April 25 - May 2, 2019 with Spann Vineyards

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Bordeaux vineyard

2 NIGHTS IN BILBAO, 2 NIGHTS IN SAN SEBASTIAN – PRE CRUISE TOUR OPTION

SUNDAY APRIL 21 - WEDNESDAY APRIL 24, 2019

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PRE-CRUISE TOUR DAY 1, SUNDAY APRIL 21ST

BILBAO, SPAIN

Arrive in Bilbao and check-in to your hotel.

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PRE-CRUISE TOUR DAY 2, MONDAY, APRIL 22ND

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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PRE-CRUISE TOUR DAY 3, TUESDAY APRIL 23RD

BILBAO – SAN SEBASTIAN

After check out visit the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, a magnificent example of the most innovative 20th-century architecture. Of the 24,000 square meters occupied by the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, 11,000 are reserved for exhibition spaces. Inside the museum 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. The three levels of the building are organized around the Atrium, connected by means of curved walkways, titanium and glass elevators and staircases. The museum houses prominent modern and contemporary works.  This afternoon transfer to to the seaside resort of San Sebastian. 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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PRE-CRUISE TOUR DAY 4, WEDNESDAY APRIL 24TH

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, San Sebastian is home to breathtaking natural wonders including the “shell beach” Playa de la Concha, and one of Europe’s most beautiful urban shorelines. Eclectic architecture is omnipresent with some of the finest examples in 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)

A Taste of Bordeaux River Cruise

EMBARKATION DATE: THURSDAY APRIL 25, 2019

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DAY 1, THURSDAY APRIL 25TH

BORDEAUX – EMBARKATION

Board the M/S AmaDolce, where you’ll board your luxurious river cruise. Meet your fellow passengers this evening. (D)

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DAY 2, FRIDAY APRIL 26TH

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)

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DAY 3, SATURDAY APRIL 27TH

PAUILLAC

Pauillac, a lovely village on the Left Bank of the Gironde Estuary, is the 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)

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DAY 4, SUNDAY APRIL 28TH

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. Alternatively, visit a prehistoric cave, Pair non Pair, offering one of the best examples of art made by prehistoric man. 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)

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DAY 5, MONDAY APRIL 29TH

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 APRIL 30TH

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 can visit Fronsac, where you can taste some of the regional wines at a grand wine cellar; or if you missed the countryside hike in the morning, you can do it in the afternoon, followed by a wine tasting. (B,L,D)

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DAY 7, WEDNESDAY MAY 1ST

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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POST-CRUISE DAY 1, THURSDAY MAY 2ND

BORDEAUX – DISEMBARKATION – TOURS & AMBOISE

Disembark your ship in Bordeaux (program ends here for Cruise Only passengers).  Those on the Loire Valley post cruise tour continue 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. Later check into our  hotel in Amboise. (B)

POST CRUISE - 2 NIGHTS LOIRE VALLEY, 1 NIGHT PARIS CDG AIRPORT

FRIDAY MAY 2ND - SUNDAY MAY 5, 2019

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POST-CRUISE DAY 2, FRIDAY MAY 3RD

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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POST-CRUISE DAY 3, SATURDAY MAY 4TH

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 learn about the secrets of the French court. Afterwards, transfer by motorcoach to your hotel at Charles De Gaulle Airport. Most all flights to North America depart in the morning and midday hours.  (B)

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POST-CRUISE DAY 4, SUNDAY MAY 5TH

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. Many of the guided tours provided on your cruise are walking tours.  Guests join an expert guide walking through a village or to (and through) an attraction, like a local winery with a centuries-old wine cellar.  Additionally, 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 to 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.