Day 3: Cadillac – Bordeaux
Cadillac/Graves – Sauternes round tour (35-50 kms) - Level 3
Today, discover the Sauternes region, where sweet dessert wines are made. We start by enjoying the view from Sainte-Croix du Mont before visiting the grave of painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The route then follows the winding banks of the Ciron River, whose icy waters flow into the warmer waters of the Garonne. In the autumn, when the climate is warm and dry, the combination of the two different temperatures produce the mist that descends on the vineyards, promoting the perfect conditions for the famous Sauternes wine. You will pass the famous vineyards of Château d’Yquem, Château Guiraud, Clos Haut Peyraguey and many more. Wine tastings are offered here! Cadillac is located in the region of Graves, also known as the birthplace of Bordeaux wines. It is a fortified medieval village known as the Bastide in the Entre-Deux-Mers wine region in between the Garonne and Dordogne rivers. Once back to the MS Bordeaux, you will sail on the Garonne River to the majestic city of Bordeaux. You will enjoy the best panorama of the city: "Port of The Moon" with the "Pont de Pierre", "Place de La Bourse" and the beautiful Quais which lead to the historical wine merchant area, the Quai des Chartrons, transformed into outlet shops and restaurants, a pleasant place to visit!
Day 4: Bordeaux
Bordeaux UNESCO bike tour (16 kms) - Level 1
Bordeaux is a UNESCO world heritage site for a reason. The list of buildings and hidden gems is worth seeing: Walk into the city via La Porte Cailhau, the royal entrance. We suggest a thorough tour: Bordeaux is a City that doesn’t just glow due to its individual buildings, but through the grandiose, well preserved old city. Worth seeing is the Capuchine Market (perhaps with tastings of wine and oysters), the basilica, the Pont de Pierre, the first bridge of the city, which was built back in the day on Napoleons orders. You may admire the many squares, the Big Bell of Pey Berlan, the Golden Triangle, the Girondins column, the Water Mirror and more. Take time to ride through the newly opened Cité du Vin, Chaban Delmas bridge and Darwin ecosystem, a refurbished factory where you will enjoy the view of the Quais, drinking a good coffee in a tree-filled place. A wonderful city to explore by bike or on foot. Many opportunities for shopping, souvenirs, food and wine tastings. And for bike challengers who want to ride a long loop, the Roger Lapébie’s cycling lane will take you to Créon and Sauveterreen-Guyenne, in the Entre-Deux-Mers wine region.
Day 5: Bordeaux to Lamarque and Lamarque to Bourg
Margaux – Médoc round bike (42 kms) - Level 1
In the morning, the ship will leave Bordeaux for Lamarque, here you will be in the Médoc wine region, one of the most famous ones. You will quickly find yourselves near Château Lamothe Bergeron, Cru Bourgeois du Médoc, where wine and tourism are quite highlighted. Then, prestigious properties will come one after another: Maucaillou, Poujeaux, Rauzan Ségla, Palmer, Issan, Prieuré Lichine, Kirwan and last but not least Château Margaux. Many chances to stop on your road, taste, learn about Grand Crus classification and learn about wine making process. A secondary road is available here as a different loop or an additional one to the first in Margaux. You will reach Pauillac and Saint-Espèphe wine regions. Obviously, you will ride near Château Mouton Rothschild, Lafite Rothschild, Latour, Lynch-Bages, Cos d’Estournel, Pontet Canet, Pichon Longueville and many other Grands Crus Classés wines. The end of the day is the perfect time for a dining cruise while the boat will cross the Estuary to reach the other bank of Gironde River. We will stop at Bourg, a beautiful little town, partially built on cliff. The old city centre allows you to overlook the Estuary.
Day 6: Bourg to Libourne/Fronsac
Côtes de Bourg vineyards – Citadelle of Blaye (25-41 kms) - Level 4
This region offers hilly landscapes covered with vines and dotted with scattered fairy tale chateaux and manor houses. The opportunity to discover very pleasant wines and Châteaux such as Monconseil-Gazin, Eyquem, Marquis de Vauban and others: another good reason to stop and enjoy visit and wine tastings! The Gironde Corniche road is a must see of this round tour: a calm and beautiful road which split beautiful manors on the one hand and gardens on the other. In Blaye, take a loop through the Citadelle of Blaye, a Vauban Fortress built on Louis XIV, the Sun King’s request and now on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Visit underground passages of the Citadelle to understand the whole history of the Fortress. Back in Bourg, you can stop to the typical and historical wash house. Water is very refreshing on your face after this biking day! In the evening, the MS Bordeaux will sail to Libourne/Fronsac on the Dordogne River.
Day 7: Libourne
Libournais and Saint-Emilion vineyards (33-51 kms) - Level 2
Today's exploration will allow you to discover Libourne, as well as some well known vineyards of Saint-Emilion and Pomerol. In Saint-Emilion, you will visit this stunning medieval UNESCO World Heritage village, with surrounding vineyards of the same name. Panoramas are unique here. The Monolithic Church in the centre of the town is a monument not to be missed. Your ride will continue on small picturesque back roads. Along the way, see some of the classified and famous Châteaux, such as Angelus and its special bells, Beauséjour, Ausone, Cheval Blanc, La Dominique, Trottevieille, Gaubert, Barde-Haut, Clos La Madeleine, Bel Air Monange, Laroque, Fombrauge, Grand Corbin, Gazin and Petrus, Petit Village, Nenin…some of the world’s most famous wines. A very pleasant road, prestigious Châteaux and wine shopping in Saint-Emilion.
Day 8: Libourne
After your last breakfast on board it will be time to say farewell and disembark. Disembarkation will take place between 09:00am - 09:30am. The is an optional bus to the centre of Bordeaux for an additional cost.
- Tour and Accommodation on board in the booked cabin category
- Full board; 7 x breakfast, 6 x picnic lunch during bike tours, 7 x three course dinner
- Daily cleaning of the cabin; daily change of towels is possible
- Welcome cocktail, presentation of the ship + crew and briefing on the first evening
- Tour Leader (English & French speaking) with daily briefings of bike tours, some short walking tours; individual semi-guided tours: tour leader is not guiding the group, but cycling in the area and can be contacted during bike tours by mobile phone in case of questions or emergencies (fully guided cycling is on option – surcharge detailed below)
- Printed instructions and detailed maps for individual daily bike tours, 1 set/cabin
- GPS tracks and Free GPS available (deposit 100€ )
- Complimentary coffee and tea everyday until 16:00pm.
- 2 Bus Transfers: Saturday at 14:00pm from meeting point in the centre of Bordeaux to ship (Castets-en-Dorthe or Libourne respectively) and return on the next Saturday at 09:00am from ship to meeting point in Bordeaux (transfer time: 1 hour each) From AUD $95.00 per person return.
- Package guided cycling
- Rental bicycles and/or e-bike (easier to ride through hilly countryside)
- Other transfers, parking fees, entrance fees & excursions & wine tastings
- Drinks on board
- Personal Insurance
- Gratuities (at your discretion – 5% suggested)
- Special diets on request / surcharges may apply.
- Rental Bike with 21 gears, hand brakes, pannier bag: From AUD $142.00 per person
- Rental E-Bike: From AUD $311.00 per person (limited number available, early bookings strongly recommended)
- Guided Bike tour (in English, 15 pax max/group): From AUD $283.00 per person
Tour Prices are per person twin share in Australian Dollars. Conditions apply and group tours are subject to change and availability. Prices are subject to currency fluctuations. (acf)