National Geographic Expedition — Bordeaux River Cruise with Paris


National Geographic and Scenic Luxury River Cruises have teamed up to launch a new line of National Geographic River Cruises. These itineraries combine Scenic’s all-inclusive luxury river cruise experience with National Geographic's legacy of science, conservation and exploration to create unforgettable experiences along the waterways of Europe and South East Asia.

Aboard each Scenic river cruise expedition a National Geographic Expert will join guests to share their knowledge and insights, and enrich the experience through fascinating presentations and informal discussions. A National Geographic photographer, who will offer photography tips on technique and artistry, will also join European river cruising itineraries.

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Paris > Bordeaux

The name Bordeaux has always evoked impressions of quiet sensual pleasure, where the civilised and the natural coexist in easy harmony, and wine lovers are free to engage in their favourite pastime – savouring the world’s finest wines. In fact, the reality of Bordeaux is not that different from the romantic impression most people have of it. Extraordinary landscapes, delicious fare prepared with a finesse characteristic of the French, winemaking that has been refined to an art, and a wealth of historical riches, from elegant châteaux to churches that have been around for longer than most of the new world. Visit Grand Cru Class wine estates, explore the Cognac region and sample its famous brandy, or fresh oysters from the waters of Arcachon Bay. You’ll find that beautiful Bordeaux is everything you imagined it to be, and more.

12 Day Itinerary

  • Day 1 - Bon Voyage
    Highlights:
    City of light
     
     

    The ‘city of light’ is your host this evening, so kick off your holiday with a welcome reception at your luxurious hotel in Paris.

     

     

  • Day 2 - Paris > Bordeaux
    Highlights:
    Welcome reception
     
     

    Traverse the landscapes of the Loire Valley aboard the TGV train to Bordeaux. Your friendly crew will welcome you on board the luxurious Scenic Diamond for your cruise through France’s southwestern pocket.

    Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

     

  • Day 3 - Bordeaux > Saint-Émilion
    Highlights:
    Sundowners at Château de la Rivière
     
     

    Enjoy a relaxing morning on board as you cruise into the beautiful 13th century port of Libourne. While cruising, perhaps drop into Scenic Culinaire for a French cooking class. Spend the afternoon in the nearby town of Saint-Émilion, a visual feast and the jewel of this ancient wine growing region. You’ll also get to explore the underground catacombs of the Monolithic Church – a true trip highlight.

    Sundowners

    Celebrate the 2,000-year history of wine by enjoying a glass at the estate of Château de la Rivière. Surrounded by the vines, mingle with newfound friends, explore the spectacular property, or discover the artistic heritage of this region and admire a local artist painting the stunning landscape using paint made from the wine grown on the estate.

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

     

  • Day 4 - Libourne > Pauillac
    Highlights:
    Foie Gras in Bergerac
     
     
    Freechoice

    Enjoy a guided tour of Libourne and view its quaint 16th century town-houses and Gothic church. Alternatively, explore the exclusive estate of Château Franc Mayne and taste its Grand Cru Class wine, or view the eclectic city of Bergerac and enjoy a foie gras tasting at a charming local farm.

    During your afternoon at leisure, opt to enhance your culinary prowess in Scenic Culinaire or simply take in the riverside panoramas while cruising to Pauillac.

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

     

  • Day 5 - Médoc
    Highlights:
    Enrich concert at Château Agassac
     
     
    Freechoice

    Travel the scenic Médoc wine route and discover why this region is viewed as the world’s leading red wine producer. Afterwards, sample the region’s finest at the Château Gruaud-Larose estate. Alternatively, cycle through the region to a local château and sample delicious wine produced on the estate.

    Enrich

    Set in spectacular surrounds in the Médoc countryside, Château Agassac is truly enchanting. Dating back to the 13th century, the Château is one of the oldest winemaking establishments in the region and is the venue for your unforgettable evening concert. Soak in the ambience of this magnificent property as live musicians perform classical masterpieces for your exclusive enjoyment.

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

     

  • Day 6 - Pauillac > Cadillac
    Highlights:
    Leisurely cruising
     
     

    Soak in the vistas as you cruise on board the luxurious Scenic Diamond past the picturesque landscapes of the Garonne River into Cadillac, some of the most beautiful scenic cruising in the Bordeaux region. While on board, you may choose to further develop your cooking skills with a lesson in Scenic Culinaire. Tonight, this remarkable space comes to life when fabulous local entertainers perform live in the Panorama Lounge for your exclusive enjoyment.

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

     

  • Day 7 - Cadillac
    Highlights:
    Roquetaillade Castle
     
     
    Freechoice

    This morning, venture into the Sauternes region for a tasting of the prestigious Château Guiraud dessert wines. Alternatively, cycle through the rolling vineyards of Sauternes to the Grand Cru Class estate of Château Myrat for a tasting.

    Freechoice

    This afternoon visit Roquetaillade Castle; founded by Charlemagne, it’s one of the region’s most impressive historic sites, and you’ll tour it with the family that now lives within its walls. Alternatively, visit a truffle farm and sample the delicious regional delicacy, or perhaps enjoy a 12 kilometre roundtrip hike from Cadillac to the village of Loupiac.

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

     

  • Day 8 - Bordeaux
    Highlights:
    Shop with a Chef
     
     
    Freechoice

    Shop with a Chef at a local food market and cook up a storm in Scenic Culinaire afterwards. Or, enjoy a guided tour of Bordeaux and her many attractions. For the more energetic, cycle the historic regions of Bordeaux. Cross beautiful bridges to witness sites such as the Royal Gate and the Palais Rohan, before cycling through public gardens back to the luxury of your floating hotel.

    Spend the afternoon at leisure to immerse yourself in the culture of the Bordelais. Enjoy a special dinner on board showcasing regional delicacies before an illuminations cruise on the Garonne River. A fabulous local soloist will perform live in the Panorama Lounge to round off a magical evening.

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

     

  • Day 9 - Arcachon > Bourg
    Highlights:
    Arcachon Bay and surrounds
     
     

    Situated on the northern tip of Europe’s longest coastal beach, Arcachon is the jewel of France’s western coastline.

    Freechoice

    Journey to Arcachon and join a walking tour including a visit to the local Baltard market. Or climb Europe’s largest sand dune and take in the expansive panoramas. Alternatively, stay in Bordeaux and take a local tram to the Cité du Vin museum and enjoy an interactive journey of wine discovery. This afternoon, if you fancy something sweet, stay on board and enjoy a fabulous Mademoiselle de Margaux chocolate and wine-pairing event.

    Later, take a leisurely cruise into Bourg, perhaps join a masterclass in French cooking in Scenic Culinaire. Tonight enjoy a lively jazz performance on board.

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

     

  • Day 10 - Cognac
    Highlights:
    Tasting at Rémy-Martin property
     
     

    Today explore the unique northern shores of the Gironde Estuary.

    Freechoice

    Discover the Carriages Museum in the enchanting Bourg Castle including a visit to the 16th century passageway to the guards rooms and immense WWII oil tanks. Alternatively, spend a full day exploring the fortified town of Cognac, renowned for its production of fine brandy. Afterwards, enjoy a tasting at the acclaimed property of Rémy Martin.

    This afternoon, unwind on the Sun Deck cruising on the Gironde River into the historic port of Blaye.

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

     

  • Day 11 - Blaye > Bordeaux
    Highlights:
    Cycle the Captain’s Road
     
     

    Discover the remarkable Blaye region, established to protect the Bordeaux region from invasion.

    Freechoice

    Stroll through the charming Citadel of Blaye, or take a more active walk throughout the town. Alternatively, join a 30 kilometre roundtrip cycle along the Captain’s Road which is named in honour of the WWI Captains who chose to purchase their homes along this beautiful stretch of waterway in the early 20th century.

    Enjoy a cooking class in Scenic Culinaire or simply relax on board as we cruise past beautiful uninhabited islands, bound for Bordeaux. Dine at the Captain’s farewell dinner on board this evening.

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

     

  • Day 12 - Bordeaux
    Highlights:
    Farewell
     
     

    Disembark after breakfast and transfer to Bordeaux Airport or Bordeaux Train Station.

    Meals included: Breakfast

     

Departures and Pricing

24 May 2019 — From $9,635 per person

Fly for $595pp
Fly for $595pp on your National Geographic Expedition Bordeaux River Cruise with Paris*. Book by 31 December 2018 to enjoy this amazing offer.

Save $1,200 per couple
Book by 31 December 2018 to secure a discount of $1,200 per couple*. Not combinable with flight offer.

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Meet the Experts

Expert — Don George

Award-winning travel writer and speaker Don George is an Editor at Large for National Geographic Traveler and a popular expert for National Geographic Expeditions. A fervent Francophile, Don has written for Traveler about how living in France after college changed his life; he has also penned articles about cuisine in Nice, art in Paris, and tracing Joan of Arc’s route in Champagne.  Over four decades as a travel writer and editor, Don has traveled throughout France, but he is especially passionate about Bordeaux for its wine, cuisine, culture, and history. Don is the author of How to Be a Travel Writer and The Way of Wanderlust: The Best Travel Writing of Don George

 

Photographer — Bob Krist

National Geographic photographer Bob Krist has shot several articles for National Geographic magazine and more than 30 articles for National Geographic Traveler, where he is a contributing editor. His many assignments have taken him to all seven continents and his images have won awards in the Pictures of the Year, Communication Arts, and World Press Photo competitions. His latest book on travel photography, Travel Photography: Documenting the World's People and Places, was recently published in the Digital Masters series. Bob will be on hand to help you photograph the stunning scenery and vibrant cultures we will encounter throughout the expedition.

 

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