Expanding its portfolio of itineraries Viking River Cruises has announced the launch of its first route along the Dordogne, Garonne and Gironde Rivers in Southern France. Leading the way, the award-winning river cruise company will be one of the only cruise lines in the UK to offer the itinerary, which is due to go on sale in 2013 and the first sailing will be in March 2014.
The eight-day cruise will begin and end in Bordeaux, giving passengers the opportunity to savour the city’s grand architecture, tempting cafes and superb museums. Visiting the stunning historical towns of Pauillac, Blaye, Libourne and Cadillac, the itinerary stops at three UNESCO sites, including Blaye’s 17th Century Citadel and Saint-Emilion, and takes in the scenic landscapes as it sails along the rivers.
Aptly named the ‘Heart of Bordeaux’ the itinerary will also appeal to foodies, with plenty of opportunity to enjoy the regions specialities such as oysters, truffles and cognac. Of course no trip to Bordeaux would be complete without sampling the region’s famed wines, with plenty of time built in to tour the wine country.
On board enrichment during the cruise has been designed with the assistance of local experts and will provide passengers with a deeper appreciation of the Aquitaine Valley. Guests can learn to make caneles, a caramalised custard pastry, begin or expand their appreciation of fine Bordeaux wines with the guidance of a master sommelier, and brush up on their conversational French with optional on board lessons.
Guests will be able to enjoy the cruise from the comfort of the Viking Foresti, marking the first time an award-winning Viking Longship will be deployed in France. Stylish and supremely comfortable the patented design has been specifically created to capitalise on scenic routes such as this one, with wraparound verandas providing 270-degree views and spacious all-weather indoor/outdoor Aquavit Terrace allowing guests to enjoy panoramic views from a relaxing and comfortable public space.
With an excursions package, on board meals and wine with lunch and dinner included in the price, this holiday – like all Viking river cruises – offers remarkable value.