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Biarritz & Bordeaux Cruise

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Pristine beaches, delicious wine and some of the most enchanting views one could imagine await your rail and cruise discovery in southwestern France.

You are viewing the 2023 itinerary. Select your departure year
20222023
10 days From $3,915 per person
Travel among a group of like-minded travelers led by a professional tour manager
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2023 Tour code: GR-BIRA-23

About the tour

Spend 10 days unearthing the wonder of southwestern France on this thoughtful journey, which combines travel by train and luxury cruise ship. We begin with time along the Basque Coast in Biarritz, an elegant resort town that features centuries of history and seaside charm. Even more of the region's beauty is captured with a ride aboard the La Rhune Mountain Railroad, which takes us through the dramatic scenes of the Atlantic Pyrenees Mountains. From the coast, we travel to the world-famous wine region of Bordeaux by train, and it is here that our floating hotel, the MS Cyrano de Bergerac, awaits. This 5-day cruise through the Gironde Estuary and along the Dordogne River offers captivating ports of call, unforgettable excursions and luxurious amenities. Enjoy experiences in picturesque locations such as the Médoc wine region, Blaye, Libourne, St Emilion, Cadillac and Bordeaux. From wine tastings to chateaux, and from famous caves to 12th-century sites, the intrigue presented on this journey is not easily forgotten.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - London to Biarritz

Meet your group and Tour Manager at London St Pancras ahead of our journey to Paris on the Eurostar. Once in Paris we continue by rail through to Biarritz, checking into our hotel on arrival.

Day 2 - Uncovering Biarritz

Your full first day in Biarritz is free to begin exploring. The resort, with its sweeping promenade and vast beaches, offers a range of activities for you to enjoy. You might like to try your luck in the casino or visit the town's lighthouse. If you're feeling energetic, you could perhaps take a stroll past the atmospheric Old Port to Rocher de la Vierge, a statue on a rocky headland said to protect the safe return of local fishermen, now connected to the town by a footbridge.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - La Rhune Mountain Railroad

On today's excursion we travel by coach to Col de Saint-Ignace, where we connect with the superb Petit Train de la Rhune. This classic rack-and-pinion railway takes us through the dramatic Atlantic Pyrenees in lovingly restored wooden carriages - overcoming a height difference of 2,415 feet during the journey. The route takes us through steep-sided rocky valleys, with a fabulous panorama over the rolling meadows and impressive foothills of the nearby Basque region. Before long we arrive at the summit of La Rhune, which not only marks the border between France and Spain, but at 3,000 feet also offers a magnificent panorama over the Bay of Biscay. After time to admire the views, we descend the mountain then continue to the lively fishing port of St Jean-de- Luz.

Here you have a little time to explore; perhaps take a stroll along the promenade and watch the charming fishing boats bring their catch back to the sheltered harbour. Otherwise, the medieval centre is a delight to wander around. We enjoy a 3-course lunch with wine in a local restaurant before returning to Biarritz.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 4 - Beautiful Bordeaux, the Dordogne and La Rochelle

Following breakfast in the hotel, we make our way back to the railway station in time for our train to Bordeaux - the centre of one of the world's most famous wine regions and set on the banks of the Garonne. Here we transfer to our floating hotel for 6 nights, the MS Cyrano de Bergerac. After time to settle in, we are greeted with a welcome cocktail before tonight's 3-course dinner is served, accompanied by free-flowing wine and followed by an evening of entertainment on board. Overnight ship.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Roquetaillade Château or Cadillac countryside hike

Today we arrive in the marvellous walled town of Cadillac, boasting a rich history dating back to the 13th century. Here you have a choice of excursions. You could take a tour of Roquetaillade Château, a magnificent medieval monument, followed by a tasting of the local Sauternes wine and a guided tour of Cadillac, or head for the hills on an energetic hike through the distinctive countryside surrounding the town. Admire panoramic views of the Garonne River alongside landscapes of lilting vineyards before stopping at a family-run farm for a wine paring session. Overnight ship.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 – Wines of Médoc

This morning we arrive at Cussac, a sleepy village on the banks of the Gironde. Here we disembark for a tour through the celebrated Médoc wine route and enjoy a tasting at a vineyard along the Route des Châteaux. On board this evening, we enjoy another freshly prepared dinner alongside some entertainment. Overnight ship.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 - St. Emilion

Disembark in Libourne this morning and travel to St Emilion. Here, enjoy a guided tour of this UNESCO listed city before visiting the Troglodyte cave the monk who founded the town was said to have lived in after escaping the celebrity status bestowed on him for performing a miracle. Additional highlights include seeing the largest monolithic church in Europe and visit to a family-run vineyard, where we enjoy a tasting of some popular local wines. Later, we return to Libourne and begin our journey back to Bordeaux. Overnight ship. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8 - Rochefort and La Rochelle

After another delicious breakfast, we board a coach bound for Rochefort. It's position on the banks of the Charente River have made it an important maritime destination for centuries, and during our time here, we take a tour that delves into this intriguing past. Entrance is also included to the Corderie Royale, an historic rope-making factory that was the very first industrial building in the country and supplied the French navy for over 300 years.

We continue to one of the most historically important seaports on the European Atlantic coast, La Rochelle. After a lovely lunch at a local restaurant, we set out on a tour exploring the natural and man-made architecture that makes this destination so unique. This is followed by some free time, during which you may like to explore the Old Town and harbour area or visit one of the city's many museums. Back on board, we begin sailing along the Dordogne River to Libourne. Overnight ship. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9 - Bordeaux

Following a leisurely morning on board, this afternoon we arrive back in Bordeaux, a beautiful city brimming with 18th-century grandeur. With its broad boulevards and quaint Old Town, the UNESCO-protected city boasts an exciting diversity that's palpable in many of its attractions. We embark on a city tour for some deeper insight into Bordeaux's history. Alternatively you are free to explore at leisure. Back on board this evening, we enjoy a gala dinner. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10 - Return to London

After a final breakfast on board, this morning we disembark the ship and transfer to the station. We board the train to Paris, where we connect with the Eurostar back to London.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Please Note

Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above. Optional shore excursions are not included in the price of your tour and are payable on board ship.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotel

Mercure Biarritz Centre Plaza, Biarritz

Mercure Biarritz Centre Plaza, Biarritz

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Train

La Rhune Mountain Railway

Ship

MS Cyrano de Bergerac

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