The Bordeaux region, with its special 'terroir', has been producing wine for around 2000 years and some of the chateau estates have gained worldwide recoginition for their superb and long-lived vintages. On your cruise barge there will be the opportunity to learn more about the complex science of viticulture on tours to such places as Saint-Emilion, including of course tasting of some fine wines. We will also explore the countryside surrounding the Val de Garonne and see towns such as historic Nerac and elegant Marmande.
The barge was completely refitted in 2010. The saloon features wood-panelling, comfortable seating and a cosy bar. There are four air-conditioned staterooms, each will full en suite facilities and offering comfortable accommodation for 8 passengers. Outside there is a spacious sun deck with comfortable furniture.
Guests are met in Bordeaux and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to the barge. Following a champagne welcome, there is time for a stroll before returning for your first dinner on board.
Castet-en-Dorthe to Meilhan-sur-Garonne.
This morning is spent cruising the picturesque canal, following the River Garonne, to the port of Meilhan-sur-Garonne. In the afternoon, we visit the medieval town of Saint Emilion, a UNESCO World Heritage site and centre of the most famous of the Bordeaux appellations. Later, we stop at Château Beausejour-Bescot, producer of premier and grand crus wines, where we discover the secrets of the vine and, of course, enjoy a tasting. Dinner on board.
Meilhan-sur-Garonne to Le Mas d’Agenais.
After breakfast, we cruise to the charming little village of Le Mas d'Agenais. During the cruise you can cycle or walk the tow path and enjoy the stunning countryside. In the afternoon, we visit the 14th century Château de Duras, an architectural wonder, which has been both a fortress and a stately home over its 900-year history. We wander through its 35 rooms and museum before returning to the hotel barge. Dinner on board.
Le Mas d’Agenais to Buzet-sur-Baise
This morning we depart early and enjoy the colourful market of Marmande and the Church of Our Lady with its French gardens and Renaissance cloisters. We then cruise to Damazan, a pretty fortified village with pastel-coloured houses. After lunch we visit the pretty village of Le Mas d’Agenais. Its 11th century church has a beautiful Romanesque doorway and an original masterpiece by Rembrandt. We then visit a cheese workshop, where you can see the different stages of manufacture and enjoy a tasting of goats' cheeses, including some flavoured with ash and chilli. Dinner ashore at a local Auberge.
Buzet-sur-Baise to Serignac-sur-Garonne.
In the morning, we visit the traditional cooperage of St. Martin, where we discover the secrets of making the barrels that enhance the great wines of Bordeaux. We then head to the 13th century bastide village of Vianne and on to Barbaste with its fortified mill protected by four square towers, and the nearby 12th century bridge with its 12 curved arches. The afternoon is devoted to relaxation and cruising further along the canal to our mooring at Serignac-sur-Garonne. Dinner on board.
Serignac-sur-Garonne to Boé.
We start the day with a visit to the medieval town of Nerac and tread in the footsteps of King Henry IV and Queen Margot. The château was built in the 15th century but much was destroyed during the French Revolution and today only the impressive north wing remains. We then stop at the Lapeyrade estate for a cellar tasting of Armagnac, the oldest alcohol in France. In the afternoon, we cruise towards our final destination of Boé, crossing the Plan Canal d’Agen, one of the longest aqueducts in France which spans the River Garonne. Captain’s farewell Dinner on board.
After breakfast, guests are transferred to the designated drop off spot in Bordeaux.
This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction.
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