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4774Papa

Best river cruise in Bordeaux region of France?

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I've looked at river cruises for this area, found good ones for AMA and Grand Circle.   Anyone that has done a great cruise there, let me know.

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I sailed with Uniworld about two years ago. Good cruise and fun time. The ship has recently been upgraded to a super ship and may be pricier than when I sailed.

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We sailed on Scenic River Cruises in the Bordeaux region this past June and had a fabulous time.  Service was top notch.  Great mix of passengers.  

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I sailed Bordeaux on GCT River Chanson in 2015. GCT picked up the boat second hand from River Cloud and the boat was easily the most elegant of any of the half dozen GCT boats I have sailed on. Our PD was the best I have ever had and the others were very good! A great trip, BUT the River Chanson is scheduled on the Rhône in 2020, and I see nothing listed for GCT in Bordeaux in 2020. Did I just miss seeing something?

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AMA's week river cruise runs  $3,899

Scenic starts at                         $4,199   (that is for one cruise only then increasing by $300-$500)

Uniworld                                     $3,099

Viking                                          $2,499

 

Vantage World Travel doesn't have one

 

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Just a note that Scenic’s cost many times includes air.  I’m not sure about all of the others.

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We cruised the Bordeaux region in 2016 with Viking and it was a wonderful trip.

 

Would love to go back and do it all over again, actually.

 

Not a ton of actual cruising, but it was a great itinerary.

 

Jeff

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On 8/7/2019 at 11:18 AM, TravelerThom said:

I sailed Bordeaux on GCT River Chanson in 2015. GCT picked up the boat second hand from River Cloud and the boat was easily the most elegant of any of the half dozen GCT boats I have sailed on. Our PD was the best I have ever had and the others were very good! A great trip, BUT the River Chanson is scheduled on the Rhône in 2020, and I see nothing listed for GCT in Bordeaux in 2020. Did I just miss seeing something?

 

Unfortunately you didn’t miss anything. They didn’t even run all the scheduled cruises this year. I don’t know definitely, but I don’t think they sold well. There were a fair amount of last minute specials for that itinerary. 

 

IIRC it was an itinerary with more nights in hotels than on the ship. It was on my list, but . . .

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12 hours ago, CPT Trips said:

 

Unfortunately you didn’t miss anything. They didn’t even run all the scheduled cruises this year. I don’t know definitely, but I don’t think they sold well. There were a fair amount of last minute specials for that itinerary. 

 

IIRC it was an itinerary with more nights in hotels than on the ship. It was on my list, but . . .

That Grand Circle cruise with tour was very well priced considering what was included.  Well, perhaps GC will come back with a Bordeaux river cruise.

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On 8/9/2019 at 7:01 PM, CPT Trips said:

 

Unfortunately you didn’t miss anything. They didn’t even run all the scheduled cruises this year. I don’t know definitely, but I don’t think they sold well. There were a fair amount of last minute specials for that itinerary. 

 

IIRC it was an itinerary with more nights in hotels than on the ship. It was on my list, but . . .

I was booked for that cruise on GCT for last October...they cancelled all cruises after June and offered us a deal to go earlier.  We went in May.  Having done 6 or 7 river cruises ( with Uniworld and GCT) I have to say this one was a disappointment.  Just plain blah, in my view.  We were told the ship was being moved to Provence, where the demand is much higher.

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On 8/6/2019 at 7:53 PM, 4774Papa said:

Anyone that has done a great cruise there, let me know.

 

@4774Papa what  for you would make a 'great cruise'?

 

I think all the lines that cruise Bordeaux go to the same places, so your deciding factors will be - I presume - quality of cabin, food, drinks, included and optional tours and wineries visited.

 

The boats don't travel far; they start and end in the city of Bordeaux. Of the nine river cruises I have done with Viking this was the exception in that it was first and foremost about the wine. Different wines were served each day from the appellation we were in, we visited wine estates and tasted wines there and on board ship. This was the only  Viking tour to have an on-board sommelier (although to be frank, he was willing but not very knowledgeable.)

 

I'm a wine lover and big fan of Bordeaux so when the coach drove through famous villages and past famous chateaux I was very happy.

 

If you're not a wine lover and the wines and the names mean nothing to you I'd suggest another tour.

 

If you are a wine lover who wants to visit the home of the worlds greatest wines - or even to learn about and taste them - then this tour is good. But check how much tasting and which properties you'll visit as they don't all visit the same properties, and if you have a favourite property check which - if any - line visits it.

 

Also be aware that  really famous names listed as places you'll 'see' means 'see' from the road as most don't take visitors.

 

As mentioned, I travelled with Viking and a highlight was dinner in Ch Kirwan one evening with unlimited pours of their top label.

 

 

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Considering a Bordeaux cruise on AMAWaterways.  In selecting a cabin, is one side more likely to have better views (particularly while docked). Thanks in advance for your advice

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We did Avalon's Burgundy & Provence cruise a couple of years a go and enjoyed it. It goes all the way up the Saone to the little village of St. Jeane de Losne, giving you some extra sailing. Avalon is one of the few lines to offer "cruise only" options for those who want to skip the typical Paris or Nice excursions on either end.

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We did Viking in 2016 and had a great time. The big surprise for me was Bordeaux. It was a great city with lots going on and to see. Whichever line you pick, maximize your time in B!

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On 8/6/2019 at 2:53 PM, 4774Papa said:

I've looked at river cruises for this area, found good ones for AMA and Grand Circle.   Anyone that has done a great cruise there, let me know.

Did Bordeaux with AMA + Loire extension this summer. Great trip, service and excursion guides ( special *** for Herve and Isabelle) in Bordeaux & the Loire AMA does everything for you without being intrusive. We were on the AMA Dolce and from thwe time we arrived @ the dock in Bordeaux to our end @CDG   Paris  we felt well taken care of .Now looking @ our 4th AMA cruise.

 

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Last fall we took a CroisiEurope Bordeaux cruise and enjoyed it very much as well as the city. 

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On 10/4/2019 at 2:12 PM, CaroleLee said:

Did Bordeaux with AMA + Loire extension this summer. Great trip, service and excursion guides ( special *** for Herve and Isabelle) in Bordeaux & the Loire AMA does everything for you without being intrusive. We were on the AMA Dolce and from thwe time we arrived @ the dock in Bordeaux to our end @CDG   Paris  we felt well taken care of .Now looking @ our 4th AMA cruise.

 

We will be doing this in 4/2020 with the pre and post extensions. Any recommendations?

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On 10/8/2019 at 6:50 PM, rzmz89 said:

We will be doing this in 4/2020 with the pre and post extensions. Any recommendations?

Bordeaux- Cite du Vin was a highlight. Very interactive. Visit ends with a glass of wine ( your choice of hundreds from all over the world) and a beautiful view indoor & outdoor from the top floor. Try not to return to the ship for lunch instead go next door to Les Halles( food hall)have lunch, wine and relax there. It should take about 20-30 min to stroll back to the ship. Bordeaux is a beautiful very easy to walk  city. Very good tram system ( buy tkt prior to boarding).

Libourne- unless you are there on a Sunday-when market is in full swing its a sleepy town. You will be taken to the indoor market for a quick tasting of cheese & meats, a chocolate shop and a quick walk around town.

St Emilion- very interesting history & sites. Be warned the streets are VERY steep wear non slip shoes

Blaye * Bourg- The fortress in Blaye is fascinating. Bourg is Fete du Vin-music, singing and wine tasting, carriage museum (interesting to see how carriages evolved)

Pauilliac- wine tasting & Roquetaillade castle. The castle has been lived in by the same family for 700+ yrs. 

 

Loire extension-the chateaux blew away my DH. Each one is more magnificent than the prior. Be prepared for lots of walking.

Amboise- Leonardo Da Vinci- models, holograms etc of his work. The chapel hold his (maybe) tomb.

In Bois you will have time for lunch. Just watch the golden dragons at Houdin's House of Magic. Houdin was a magician and the dragons are automated. Hopefully there will be some small children in the square watch and smile as they run up to the and away from the dragons,

 

If you are returning via CDG and are at the Pullman(Paris CDG) its very simple to get to the actual airport. Walk out the hotel's front door to the station( a few yards), make a right turn in the station and take the escalator for the terminal that your flight  is departing from.I you are not sure google CDG departures/airline

Shuttle runs every few minutes . The entire process is free. Simple  and very easy.

Let me know if you need suggestions for restaurants etc.

Have a great trip

Carole

 

 

 

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On 10/2/2019 at 1:30 PM, FuelScience said:

We did Avalon's Burgundy & Provence cruise a couple of years a go and enjoyed it. It goes all the way up the Saone to the little village of St. Jeane de Losne, giving you some extra sailing. Avalon is one of the few lines to offer "cruise only" options for those who want to skip the typical Paris or Nice excursions on either end.

 

I did an Emerald Waterways Provence cruise with friends back in June. We did a few pre-nights in Nice, caught the ship in Arles, and then did 3 nights post cruise in Lyon. Emerald allows you to do "whatever" on your own, pre or post cruise (although, doing so negates them providing free transfers for those portions where you book stuff "on your own".  Oh, and we had their discounted airfare special!

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On 10/11/2019 at 10:08 AM, CaroleLee said:

Bordeaux- Cite du Vin was a highlight. Very interactive. Visit ends with a glass of wine ( your choice of hundreds from all over the world) and a beautiful view indoor & outdoor from the top floor. Try not to return to the ship for lunch instead go next door to Les Halles( food hall)have lunch, wine and relax there. It should take about 20-30 min to stroll back to the ship. Bordeaux is a beautiful very easy to walk  city. Very good tram system ( buy tkt prior to boarding).

Libourne- unless you are there on a Sunday-when market is in full swing its a sleepy town. You will be taken to the indoor market for a quick tasting of cheese & meats, a chocolate shop and a quick walk around town.

St Emilion- very interesting history & sites. Be warned the streets are VERY steep wear non slip shoes

Blaye * Bourg- The fortress in Blaye is fascinating. Bourg is Fete du Vin-music, singing and wine tasting, carriage museum (interesting to see how carriages evolved)

Pauilliac- wine tasting & Roquetaillade castle. The castle has been lived in by the same family for 700+ yrs. 

 

Loire extension-the chateaux blew away my DH. Each one is more magnificent than the prior. Be prepared for lots of walking.

Amboise- Leonardo Da Vinci- models, holograms etc of his work. The chapel hold his (maybe) tomb.

In Bois you will have time for lunch. Just watch the golden dragons at Houdin's House of Magic. Houdin was a magician and the dragons are automated. Hopefully there will be some small children in the square watch and smile as they run up to the and away from the dragons,

 

If you are returning via CDG and are at the Pullman(Paris CDG) its very simple to get to the actual airport. Walk out the hotel's front door to the station( a few yards), make a right turn in the station and take the escalator for the terminal that your flight  is departing from.I you are not sure google CDG departures/airline

Shuttle runs every few minutes . The entire process is free. Simple  and very easy.

Let me know if you need suggestions for restaurants etc.

Have a great trip

Carole

 

 

 

Thanks for the info. Looking forward to it.

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No problem. Let me know if you need any other info re Paris, CDG etc. Have a wonderful trip

Carole

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