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Three rivers, six wine regions and 7000 castles

Bike Cruise in France with MS Bordeaux

NEWThe perfect cycling cruise for the Francophile wine lover, through the legendary wine regions of Saint-Émilion, Pomerol, Sauternes and Médoc.

€7,498.00
In stock
Travel Code
KR-78
A wine kingdom

With M/S Bordeaux you now have the opportunity to experience the area around Bordeaux – one of the most beautiful and famous in France. Here, where the rivers Garonne, Dordogne and Gironde meet before continuing into the Atlantic Ocean, you'll find one of the world's finest wine regions. On the lush slopes some of France's most famous wines are grown, such as Saint-Émilion, Pomerol, Sauternes, Médoc and Margaux.

During the week-long tour you cycle through 6 different wine regions, past a myriad of stylish wine châteaux and beautiful vineyards – perhaps with the possibility of a wine tasting or two along the way.

In the middle of the week MS Bordeaux moors in Bordeaux, and you'll then have a whole day to explore this UNESCO World Heritage city, either by foot or by bicycle. Enjoy the amazing buildings, the beautiful squares and the cosy atmosphere along the river. A visit to the newly built and spectacular wine museum is also possible.

Accommodation

The boat MS Bordeaux is your floating hotel on the whole tour. It is an older well-maintained boat, 78 m long and 10 m wide, with 49 cabins, and it can accommodate 96 guests.  
At one end of the upper deck, you'll find the boat's cosy panorama lounge with a bar, sofas and a small dance floor. At the other end, is the restaurant where breakfast and dinner are served.
On top of the boat is the sun deck with chairs and tables – as well as bike parking.

Decks: Both decks are located above the water line. All cabins are outside cabins and have a small window that can be opened (not during sailing), private bath and toilet, air conditioning, TV and a mini-safe.
The upper deck has 11 double cabins (approx. 8 sqm) with 2 separate beds and 2 single cabins (approx. 6 sqm).
The lower deck has 34 double cabins (approx. 8 sqm) with 2 separate beds and 2 suites (approx. 11.6 sqm).

The tour is with full board. This means a buffet breakfast, small lunch on board or a packed lunch for the bike ride, and a 3-course dinner in the evening.

It's an international departure, and there will be guests from many different nations on board. Very often friendships are formed across all borders, when talking about the day's many experiences while relaxing in the bar.

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrival in Castets-en-Dorthe.  

Individual arrival from 15.00h and with the opportunity for a small test bike ride of about 10 km along the Entre-Deux-Mers canal which connects the Atlantic Sea with the Mediterranean. The area around Castets is flat and fertile, and you'll continue a bit inland past groves with walnuts and kiwi trees and along lush fields. Your cabin will be ready around 17.00h, followed by a welcome drink and dinner on board.

Day 2. Castets-en-Dorthe – Sauternes – Cadillac. Cycling distance 35-50 km.  
Today it's the Sauternes area, with the sweet wines, which is to be explored on bike. You cycle along the Ciron river, which winds through the landscape. The cool water of the Ciron river blends with the warmer waters of the Garonne river. In the autumn, when the climate is dry and warm, it's exactly this combination of the warmth and cool that gives the favourable conditions for the production of the famous Sauternes wine. Along the peaceful country roads, you'll find the vineyards and the small castles, and the atmosphere is characterized by medieval impressions from when the English ruled in the region.  
Late in the afternoon, the boat leaves the berth and sails down the Garonne river to Loupiac or Cadillac, a nice little town with a towering castle.

Day 3. Loupiac/Cadillac – Entre-deuz-Mers/Graves – Bordeaux. Cycling distance approx. 40 km.
Cadillac is a fortified town, in French a "bastide", located in the Entre-Deux-Mers wine region between the Dordogne and Garonne rivers. Today you cycle in the wine region "Premier Côtes de Bordeaux". If you wish, you can visit the author Francois Mauriac's house as well as the Château Malromé from the 16th century, where the painter Toulouse-Lautrect lived. Of course, the area also offers several tempting wine tasting places.  
In the afternoon, you sail along the Garonne river to Bordeaux, where the ship moors at the quay in the city centre, overlooking the famous stone bridge Pont de Pierre, Place de la Bourse and Quai des Chartrons.
Enjoy a nice evening in Bordeaux's old streets and cosy squares with well-kept palaces in the background. Or relax on the boat, overlooking the lights over Bordeaux and the Garonne river.

Day 4. Around Bordeaux. Cycling distance approx. 16 km.
The city council in Bordeaux has done a lot to make it easy and safe for the cyclists to get around. Cycle along the river or follow the bicycle signs around the city. You can also sign up for a guided cycling tour (can be purchased on board).
There is a lot to look at, but among the most famous attractions we can mention the Porte Cailhau (the royal city gate), the Pey Berlans bell tower at the cathedral, the Golden Triangle area surrounded by three fine boulevards, the impressive fountain Girondins, the water mirror at the Place de la Bourse, and much more. There are plenty of sights to discover, but don't forget to also make a stop at a café and taste the classic canelé cake from Bordeaux.
A visit to the modern wine museum, La Cité du Vin, is also recommended.  

Day 5. Bordeaux – Lamarque – Margaux (Médoc) – Bourg. Cycling distance approx. 40 km.
In the morning, the ship sails from Bordeaux to Lamarque in the Gironde estuary, where you start the day's cycling stage in the famous wine region of Médoc. As you wind your way through the vineyards, you'll discover some of Médoc's most beautiful castles and prestigious wineries, which proudly present several prized wines. Make a stop at one of these great wineries for a visit and wine tasting, and learn all about the classification of wines, before returning to the boat in Lamarque.
Late in the afternoon, we'll sail along the Gironde's wide estuary to Bourg, a picturesque small village where the rivers Gironde and Dordogne join together.

Day 6. Bourg – Blaye Fortress and vineyards – Fronsac/Libourne. Cycling distance 35-50 km.  
After cycling out from Bourg, you'll soon reach the Cotes de Blayes vineyards. The area's wine châteaux are less known, but their wine production fully measures up to their more famous neighbours on the river bank opposite Médoc. You will be impressed to see what secrets this region is hiding behind its hilly landscape, covered with endless vines and littered with fairy-tale castles and elegant manor houses. Since the Middle Ages, countless pilgrims have passed through this region on their way to Santiago de Compostela. In Blaye you can take a short detour through the Vauban fortress (UNESCO World Heritage Site) to admire this military masterpiece built during King Louis XIV's reign. Return to Bourg on a beautiful, quiet road along the river bank. In the evening you sail to Fronsac/Libourne on the Dordogne river.

Day 7. Fronsac/Libourne – Pomerol & Saint-Émilion. Cycling distance 35-50 km.  
In Libourne, you can stroll to the picturesque square, surrounded by buildings dating as far back as the 16th century. You can visit the weekly market on Friday morning before heading out on your bike to explore the famous wine regions of Pomerol and Saint-Émilion. Again, the landscape is one of countless vines. A true paradise for wine lovers! Explore the medieval streets of the beautiful village of Saint-Émilion and the surrounding vineyards. It's not without reason, that the area is protected by UNESCO. The route continues on small picturesque roads and paths where you'll get a glimpse of some of the world's most famous vineyards such as Angelus, Ausone, Cheval Blanc and Petrus.

Day 8. Checkout.  
After an eventful week, it's time to depart for home. 
Debarkation and transfer (if purchased) at 09.00h.  

Travel Info

MS Bordeaux sails either from Castets-en-Dorthe to Fronsac/Libourne, or from Fronsac/Libourne to Castets-en-Dorthe. 

The tour described here is from Castets-en-Dorthe to Fronsac/Libourne, and it departs on the following Saturdays in 2018:

28th of April, 12th and 26th of May, 9th and 23rd of June, 7th and 21st of July, 4th and 18th of August, 1st, 15th and 29th of September, 13th of October.

From Fronsac/Libourne to Castets-en-Dorthe, the tour description is to be read in reverse. From Fronsac/Libourne the tour departs on the following Saturdays in 2018:

5th and 19th of May, 2nd, 16th and 30th of June, 14th and 28th of July, 11th and 25th of August, 8th and 22nd of September, 6th of October.

Extra tours: 
Castets-en-Dorthe to Libourne/Fronsac: 14th of April 2018.
Libourne/Fronsac to Castets-en-Dorthe: 21st of April and 20th of October 2018.

The tour price does not include gratuity (tips). It's standard to tip the crew. The level is approx. 5 EUR/person/day, and in your cabin, you'll usually find an envelope already prepared for tips, or the tips can be put in a glass at the bar.

Degree of difficulty

The tour's total cycling distance is approx. 200-250 km in easy and flat terrain on peaceful small roads and cycle paths. The daily stages are between approx. 16 and 50 km, and some days you can choose between a shorter or longer stage.  
Good, detailed cycling maps are provided (1 set per cabin), so it's easy to find your way. In addition, every evening, the following day's stage is reviewed in English and French by the boat's tour guide.  

If you wish to cycle with an English-speaking guide the whole week, this can be purchased for 200 EUR/person. This possibility requires that at least 8 people sign up for it. The group will have a maximum of 20 participants.

* We note that the map is indicative and therefore does not contain precise route information.

Bikes and cycling equipment

You can rent a good 21-gear bike. The bikes have hand brakes and are equipped with a bike bag.  
You can also rent an electric bike. 

If you wish to ride wearing a bicycle helmet, you'll need to bring it yourself, but this is not a requirement in France. 

How to get there

You must make your own way to the point of embarkation in Castets-en-Dorthe or Libourne/Fronsac in France.  

The nearest airport is Bordeaux. 
You can find air travel at www.momondo.com.

From Bordeaux Airport to the Bordeaux Gare St. Jean Train Station in the city centre, there is an airport shuttle. Read more here: http://www.bordeaux.aeroport.fr/en/info/bordeaux-airport-shuttle-service

Bus transfer can be arranged from Bordeaux Gare St. Jean Train Station to the boat, and back again at the end of the tour.
Departure from Bordeaux Gare St. Jean at 14.00h. 
Departure from the boat when returning to Bordeaux Gare St. Jean at 09.00h.
Transfer time approx. 1 hour. 
Price: 50 € (375 DKK) for a return ticket. Must be booked and paid from home in advance.  

Book here

Week 14: Arrival Date 30.03.2019 duration 7 nights

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Week 16: Arrival Date 13.04.2019 duration 7 nights

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Week 18: Arrival Date 27.04.2019 duration 7 nights

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Week 20: Arrival Date 11.05.2019 duration 7 nights

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Week 24: Arrival Date 08.06.2019 duration 7 nights

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Week 26: Arrival Date 22.06.2019 duration 7 nights

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Week 28: Arrival Date 06.07.2019 duration 7 nights

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Week 30: Arrival Date 20.07.2019 duration 7 nights

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Week 32: Arrival Date 03.08.2019 duration 7 nights

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Week 34: Arrival Date 17.08.2019 duration 7 nights

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Week 36: Arrival Date 31.08.2019 duration 7 nights

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Week 38: Arrival Date 14.09.2019 duration 7 nights

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Week 40: Arrival Date 28.09.2019 duration 7 nights

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Week 42: Arrival Date 12.10.2019 duration 7 nights

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Week 44: Arrival Date 26.10.2019 duration 7 nights

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Practical information

Cabins are on request. 

Prices include:

  • Accommodation in shared double cabin with private bath and toilet
  • Full board (breakfast, picnic lunch, 3-course dinner) 
  • Welcome drink
  • Coffee and tea every afternoon
  • Route descriptions and maps (in English)
  • Daily briefings in English/French 

Supplements:

  • Rental of 21-gear bike with bike bag: 81 EUR
  • Rental of electric bike with bike bag: 175 EUR
  • Bus transfer from Bordeaux to/from the boat: 50 EUR
  • English-speaking bike guide cycling along on the route: 120 EUR (2018 price)
  • Single cabin supplement varies between 210 and 371 EUR depending on the choice of deck and season. 

 

Terms & Conditions:

Ruby is the agent and intermediary for this tour. The organizer is Boat & Bike Tours, and the tour takes place according to the organizer's terms & conditions.
See terms & conditions and read about Boat & Bike Tours here www.boatbiketours.com.

Your tour is still covered by Ruby's membership of the Danish Travel Guarantee Fund, member no. 206.

Ruby has a price match guarantee, so we'll match the price if it is cheaper with another provider at the time of booking.  

 

And remember - you can always take advantage of our expertise and guidance.

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