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A Portrait of Majestic France

Paris to Bordeaux | 15 Days
Date Range: Mar 2015 - Nov 2015Ships: River Baroness, River Royale

Paris to Bordeaux | 15 Days

Print Day-To-Day
Program offerings are subject to change.
Day 1:
Paris MotorcoachEmbark/Disembark
Arrive at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, where you will be transferred to the ship.
Day 2:
Vernon (Giverny), Les Andelys Choice Is YoursUniworld ExclusiveMotorcoachMuseumGo Active
Featured Excursions: Choice of Monet’s Giverny and hike to Château Gaillard or exclusive guided “Go Active” Nordic walking tour

Visit Monet’s home in his beloved village of Giverny, where he lived and worked for more than 40 years. When Monet bought the property, most of it was an orchard; he transformed it over the years into the enchanted vision that he painted, essentially creating each work of art twice: once as a living garden and again as a painting. Stroll through the gardens and admire the familiar Japanese bridge and water garden that inspired him. Though the town suffered bomb damage during WWII, you’ll still be able to recognize many scenes from the master’s iconic paintings. Step even further into the past with a hike to Château Gaillard. Your adventure takes you to the dramatic white-stone remains of the English king’s stronghold. You’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the river and surrounding countryside. Or take a guided Nordic walking tour along the popular trail to Château Gaillard and the cliffs above St. Jaques hospital. In the evening, enjoy a Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner.

Note: Giverny will be closed during the March 16, March 23 and March 30 cruise departure dates.  Instead of Giverny, guests will visit Versailles Palace.
Day 3:
Rouen (Normandy Beaches) Choice Is YoursMotorcoachMuseum
Featured Excursions: Full day Normandy Beaches with choice of D-Day Museum at Arromanches or Juno Beach and Canadian Center or Tapestry Museum in Bayeux

Normandy’s proximity to the sea has made it the site of many battles, including the famous D-Day Invasion by Allied forces during WWII. Before visiting the beaches of Normandy, you’ll go to Mulberry Harbor at Arromanches and explore the D-Day Museum. Or choose to visit Juno Beach where the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division landed, and take in the exhibits at the Canadian Center. Or, after spending time in Arromanches, drive to Bayeux to see the famous 11th-century tapestry depicting the Battle of Hastings. Continue to the Allied landing sites at Omaha Beach before visiting a haunting reminder of the Allied forces’ hard fight for freedom—the American Cemetery. Located in Colleville-sur-Mer, near the section of coastline designated “Omaha Beach,” the cemetery and memorial honor American soldiers who lost their lives while fighting in Europe. Uniworld guests can participate in a special ceremony during their visit that involves a wreath laying, the American national anthem, and a moment of silence.
Day 4:
Rouen Choice Is YoursUniworld ExclusiveGo Active
Featured Excursions: Choice of Rouen walking tour or exclusive guided “Go Active” bike ride along the Seine River

Rouen, founded in pre-Roman times and the Medieval capital of the region, has managed to preserve many notable buildings despite being invaded, conquered, and bombed countless times over the years. Your visit will take you to the stunning Gothic cathedrals, the haunting Medieval quarter and the Gros Horloge, a Renaissance clock tower. The walk ends at Vieux Marché, where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake by the English in 1431. Or enjoy a bike ride along the Seine with an expert guide. The Seine River banks are popular with locals, and cycling on the docks is part of the art of enjoying Rouen.
Day 5:
Caudebec-en-Caux (Honfleur) Motorcoach
FEATURED EXCURSION: Honfleur walking tour

After crossing the river delta via the majestic Normandy Bridge, travel through the Calvados countryside to Honfleur, a charming French harbor town re-created in paintings by such artists as Monet, Courbet, and the painter who inspired so many others to come to Honfleur: Eugene Boudin. Charles Baudelaire, the French poet, called Boudin’s stormy pictures of the harbor “meteorological beauties.” Tour the former smugglers’ harbor of Vieux Bassin—the most frequently painted scene in Honfleur—whose streets reveal the rich history of the port, and St. Catherine’s Church, which was built by shipwrights.
Day 6:
Mantes-la-Jolie (Versailles), Paris Motorcoach
Day 7:
Paris UNESCOChoice Is YoursUniworld ExclusiveMotorcoachInsiderGo Active
Day 8:
Paris (disembark), transfer to Bordeaux via high speed TGV train (embark) Embark/DisembarkMotorcoach
Day 9:
Cruising the Garone River and Gironde Estuary, Pauillac MotorcoachBuffet BreakfastLunchWelcome Gala Dinner

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Médoc panoramic tour with exclusive wine tasting or exclusive guided “Go Active” vineyard bicycle ride with wine tasting

Set sail on the Garonne for the pretty town of Pauillac, gateway to the storied Médoc wine route. In Pauillac, you’ll begin a panoramic tour of the heart of the Haut-Médoc AOC (or appellation d’origine contrôlée, a geographical designation that denotes where grapes are grown) before enjoying a visit to a winery where you’ll get a chance to taste the celebrated Médoc wines. Or experience the terroir in an entirely different way: with a guided bike ride through the beautiful Médoc vineyards. You’ll get an up-close look at the vines and a real feel for the atmosphere—the earth, the sunshine—of this famous wine-growing region. In the evening, enjoy a Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner.

Day 10:
Cruising the Gironde Estuary, Blaye UNESCOMotorcoachBuffet BreakfastLunchDinner

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Scenic drive along the Route de la Corniche Fleurie with Blaye Fortress and exclusive private evening tour of Bordeaux

Be treated to a scenic drive alongside limestone cliffs on a little road called the Route de la Corniche Fleurie. The road winds through the picturesque hamlets of Pain de Sucre, Marmisson, and Roque de Thau, where you’ll find charming stone houses built by 19th-century ship captains. Return to Blaye for a guided walk through the 17th-century citadel built by famed military engineer Vauban. Its fortress and tunnels are a UNESCO monument. Board the ship to sail back to Bordeaux. Upon returning to Bordeaux, enjoy an exclusive evening tour. Bordeaux under the stars—what could be more magical? After Paris, Bordeaux has more protected buildings than any other French city. From the alleyways of the Saint-Pierre district to the avenues of the Place des Quinconces, you’ll see why Queen Elizabeth II deemed Bordeaux “the essence of elegance.”

Day 11:
Libourne (Bergerac) MotorcoachBuffet BreakfastDinner

FEATURED EXCURSION: Bergerac city tour

Bergerac, which is located in the southernmost part of the Périgord and boasts 12 AOCs, is your jumping-off point for today’s adventure. On your walking tour of the town you’ll explore the popular farmers’ market, hear the fateful story of Cyrano de Bergerac and his Roxanne, and watch the flat- bottom boats glide along the river. Stop at the 16th-century Château de Monbazillac, which offers marvelous views overlooking Bergerac and the Dordogne River. The drive along the Dordogne is an especially scenic one, and you’ll cross bridges to explore charming bastide villages on both sides of the river.

Day 12:
Libourne (Saint-Émilion), cruising the Dordogne River, Bordeaux UNESCOMotorcoachBuffet BreakfastLunchDinner

FEATURED EXCURSION: Saint-Émilion walking tour with wine tasting

Saint-Émilion offers exceptional historic architecture, and historic vineyards, too. The Romans were the first to plant grapes here, and this was the first vineyard region to be protected by UNESCO. The town, built atop limestone hills, offers many interesting shops, but what makes it extraordinary is what exists below the cobbled streets—Saint- Émilion’s Monolithic Church, which dates back to the 12th century. After touring Saint-Émilion, you’ll visit the cellars of a Premier Grand Cru estate where you’ll taste some of the world’s most highly rated wines.

Day 13:
Bordeaux, Cadillac MotorcoachBuffet BreakfastLunchFarewell Gala Dinner

FEATURED EXCURSION: Cadillac, châteaux, and Sauternes vineyards with exclusive artisanal wine-pairing lunch at Château d’Arche

Vous êtes arrivé à Cadillac, the area known for producing sweet dessert wines under the celebrated Cadillac AOC designation. Today, you’ll embark on a study of Sauternes, the sweet wine which is named for the region. Sauternes is made from grapes that have been affected by Botrytis cinerea, or noble rot, a fungus that causes a raisin-like decay, resulting in a concentrated and distinctly flavored sweet wine. You’ll meet the winemakers and enjoy an elegant wine-pairing lunch at Château d’Arche, a nearly 100-acre vineyard with a 17th-century manor house. Enjoy a fabulous luncheon paired with three Sauternes wines of different estates and vintages. You’ll discover the characteristics of each wine: the flavors that result from the different terroir and the different personalities of the wine makers. This wine not only pairs well with desserts—it also proves an exciting match to smoked salmon and beautifully balances a spicy meal. Learn how easy (and fun!) it is to pair a sweet wine with a whole new variety of dishes. The tour concludes with an opportunity to see the grounds of the legendary wine estate, Château d’Yquem, a Premier Cru Supérieur and producer of some of the world’s most sought-after and exclusive wines. A special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.

Day 14:
Bordeaux UNESCOBuffet BreakfastLunchDinner

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Bordeaux walking tour or exclusive guided “Go Active” bicycle ride through the city

See Bordeaux à pied on a fascinating walking tour of the Golden Triangle, where you’ll encounter the very best the city has to offer. Explore luxury food halls, sample Bordeaux’s famous canelés and chocolates, discover marvelous 18th-century architecture, and visit an elegant wine bar popular with locals. If you’re looking for something more active, enjoy the “Pearl of Aquitaine” from the seat of a bike on a guided ride. You’ll have plenty of free time to further enjoy Bordeaux on your own. Revisit some of the places you saw on your tour, explore new sights, or indulge in a little shopping. The choice is yours!

Day 15:
Bordeaux (disembark), transfer to the airport Embark/DisembarkMotorcoachContinental Breakfast/Buffet Breakfast

Disembark the ship and transfer to Bordeaux– Mérignac International Airport for your flight home.


Note: Order of sightseeing may change throughout the itinerary.  Substitute visits to other sites may occur during your trip due to water levels or other uncontrollable factors.
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