DAY 1: Bordeaux (Embark)
Arrive at Bordeaux–Mérignac International Airport. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship. Your ship is conveniently docked right in the heart of the city, so if time allows, why not stroll to the nearby food markets or take the tram to the popular Saint-Michel flea market, which is just a few stops away? Note: Ship schedule and order of sightseeing may change throughout the itinerary. Tour to port of destination by motorcoach and substitute visits to other sites may occur during your trip due to the impact of water levels, closures because of public holidays or other uncontrollable factors.
DAY 2: Cadillac
The French phrase “la douceur de vivre” is an accurate description for your time in Cadillac, known for its deliciously flavored dessert wines. Meet a local Sauternes producer and also enjoy a delectable wine-pairing lunch at a 14th-century fortress. Vous êtes arrivé à Cadillac, the area known for producing sweet dessert wines under the celebrated Cadillac AOC designation. You’re in for a treat!
Cadillac, cha^teaux and Sauternes vineyards with exclusive artisanal wine-pairing lunch at Cha^teau de Cazeneuve
DAY 3: Cruising the Garonne River and Gironde Estuary, Pauillac
The legendary Médoc region abounds with prestigious wine châteaux in a dizzying array of architectural styles, as well as miles of grapevines stretching to infinity. Take a scenic drive to the tip of the peninsula or join a guide for a vineyard bicycle ride, followed by a wine tasting at a beautiful wine estate. Enjoy the waters of the Garonne River and the Gironde Estuary before heading to the pretty town of Pauillac, gateway to the storied Médoc wine route and the prestigious “châteaux road.” Visit a celebrated winery for an exclusive special tasting. Or take a guided bicycle ride through the Médoc vineyards.
Choice of Me´doc cha^teaux route with exclusive wine tasting or Exclusive guided “Let's Go” vineyard bicycle ride with wine tasting
DAY 4: Blaye, Bourg-sur-Gironde, Cruising the Dordogne River, Libourne
The Route de la Corniche Fleurie…could this be the most beautiful road you’ve ever traveled? Find out today on the drive to Blaye Fortress, passing through one impossibly picturesque hamlet after another, with exotic flowers (brought here by local sea captains) all along the way. Sail across the peaceful waters of the estuary, where fishing huts rise above grassy marshlands edged by limestone cliffs, as you make your way to the town of Blaye. A visual feast awaits you on a storied road named for the many flowers that line it.
Scenic drive along the Route de la Corniche Fleurie with Blaye Fortress
DAY 5: Libourne (Saint-Émilion)
The medieval town of Saint-Émilion is an ideal place to linger. Wander its cobblestone lanes, lined with wine shops and bakeries, and stop to admire the amazing rock-hewn church that extends beneath the city’s streets. Another treasure awaiting you underground? A wine tasting in the cellars of a premier Grand Cru estate. With Libourne as your base, travel to nearby Saint-Émilion and immerse yourself more deeply in the region’s history and wine culture.
Saint-Émilion walking discovery tour with wine tasting
DAY 6: Libourne, Cruising the Garonne River, Bordeaux
The French insist that the key to their superb wines is the soil in which they’re grown, the terroir. That same terroir also makes for extraordinary produce—the foundation for the country’s acclaimed cuisine—as you’ll discover today at a local farmers’ market.
Libourne “Village Day” with farmers’ market
DAY 7: Bordeaux
For Francophiles who are all Eiffled out, the city of Bordeaux is a delightful find, as elegant and sophisticated as big sister Paris, but with a younger and hipper vibe. Discover its many charms today, either on foot with a local expert or on two wheels, the locals’ preferred way to navigate the city’s charming back streets. How to spend your last day in Bordeaux? You have a wonderful selection of exclusive opportunities to see this magnificent place, whose seamless blend of classical and neoclassical architecture led to its being designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. “Do as the Locals Do” with a walking tour of the city, or venture out on a bicycle ride through the city. Either way, you’ll have an up-close and personal view of one of the world’s most bustling and dynamic cities.
Choice of Exclusive "Do as the Locals Do" Bordeaux walking tour or Exclusive guided “Let's Go” bicycle ride through the back streets of Bordeaux
DAY 8: Bordeaux (Disembark), Transfer to Paris via High-Speed TGV Train (Embark)
Disembark the breathtaking River Royale and transfer to Paris via high-speed, first-class TGV train. Your next ship, the magical S.S. Joie de Vivre, waits to carry you along the Seine on the next leg of your adventure.
DAY 9: La Roche-Guyon, Vernon (Giverny)
Today is a celebration of Northern France’s natural beauty, with an excursion to a splendid chateau and gardens situated in an equally grand setting, plus a chance to immerse yourself in the very landscapes that inspired Impressionist master Claude Monet. Visit the hilltop Chateau La Roche-Guyon, surrounded by beautiful gardens and offering sweeping views over the Seine. Later, you can visit the home and gardens of Impressionist master Claude Monet—the inspiration for many of his most beloved works. Or, take in the beautiful French countryside in a more invigorating way, with a guided bike ride from Vernon to Giverny.
Château La Roche-Guyon
Choice of Monet’s gardens at Giverny or Exclusive guided “Let's Go” bicycle ride to Giverny
DAY 10: Rouen
Walk in the footsteps of greatness in Normandy’s medieval capital, a city with a historic quarter that remains amazingly intact. From the cathedral Monet painted dozens of times to the cross marking to spot where Joan of Arc was martyred, Rouen is a treasure trove for the culturally curious. The medieval capital of Normandy, Rouen has managed to preserve much of its historic core, despite being turned into a battlefield numerous times. The roll call of famous people who lived or died in Rouen is long and varied— Richard the Lionheart, Joan of Arc, Gustave Flaubert and Claude Monet are among them.
Rouen gourmet walking discovery tour
DAY 11: Caudebec-en-Caux (Honfleur or Étretat)
Golfing? On a river cruise? This delightfully unexpected excursion—a Uniworld exclusive—features a dramatic links course atop Normandy’s Alabaster Coast. In a word, magnifique. Not into golf? Stroll through seaside Honfleur, captured on canvas by generations of artists. Caudebec, a lovely little town on a serene loop of the Seine, is your base for one of two very different excursions. You could drive through the beautiful Calvados countryside to Honfleur, a delightful seaside harbor and city of painters, or head to the windy cliffs of Étretat for a game of golf.
Choice of Honfleur walking discovery tour or Exclusive guided “Let's Go” golfing in Étretat
DAY 12: Rouen (Normandy Beaches)
The Normandy coast will forever be associated with the Allies’ D-Day invasion, a day that comes vividly to life on today’s excursion to the beaches of 1944. Or travel even further into the past with an up-close look at the thousand-year-old Bayeux Tapestry, depicting the Norman conquest. Immerse yourself in the tactics, desperate courage and horrendous human cost of the 1944 Allied invasion of France, the first step in the ultimately victorious land campaign against the Third Reich. It began here, on these Norman beaches, each of which was assigned a code name by the Allies as they planned their attack.
Arromanches and the American Cemetery
Choice of Utah and Omaha beaches with Sainte-Mère-Église or Juno Beach or Bayeux
DAY 13: Mantes-la-Jolie (Versailles)
If you’ve ever wondered what life was really like for the French rulers of yesteryear, find out today with a visit to one of two over-the-top residences—the Palace of Versailles or the private rooms of Château de Malmaison, once home to Napoleon’s beloved Empress Josephine. How did France’s rulers live over the centuries? Step into the private rooms of either Versailles, the lavish palace built by the Sun King, or Malmaison, home to Napoleon Bonaparte’s empress Josephine, to find out.
Choice of Palace of Versailles or Château de Malmaison
DAY 14: Paris
Whether you’re a first-time visitor to the “City of Light” or you’ve been here many times before, there’s something for everyone today in Paris. Enjoy a panoramic overview of the city, join a local expert for a walk through two much-loved neighborhoods, or pedal your way along the Left Bank, a fresh and fun way to take in the sights. You have a host of options for exploring incomparable Paris: See all the important sights via boat and motorcoach, explore the heart and soul of the city on a walk from Notre Dame to the Latin Quarter, or bike along the quays with a knowledgeable guide.
Choice of “Heart of Paris” cruise and city tour or Exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Île de la Cité and Latin Quarter walking tour or Exclusive guided “Let's Go” Left Bank bicycle ride
DAY 15: Paris (Disembark)
Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport for your flight home.
The quintessential voyage for gourmets, oenophiles and lovers of all things French
This picture-perfect journey blends your passion for the good life—art, culture and gastronomy—with a broad sweep of lovely French landscapes. Experience the romance of Paris and then sail the Seine to Normandy, discovering the gems of the region. Marvel at magnificent Rouen Cathedral, and tour the former smugglers’ harbor in Honfleur and follow in the footsteps of Monet at his beloved Giverny.
Travel to beautiful Bordeaux and delight in the countryside of southwest France. Explore Roman Saint-Émilion, with its astonishing Monolithic Church, and ancient Blaye, with its famous citadel. Journey through a land of noble wines, tasting the flavors of the regions as you go.
Enjoy the best France has to offer with Uniworld’s plethora of exclusive excursions (including an exclusive wine tasting of famous Médoc and Sauternes wines and an extraordinary evening tour of Bordeaux) as you cruise four rivers, visit bustling cities and charming towns and sample myriad culinary delights.
Who will enjoy this cruise
Gourmets, oenophiles and lovers of life’s finer things will savor this quintessential French voyage.
A Portrait of Majestic France is a combination of Paris & Normandy and Bordeaux, Vineyards & Châteaux.
All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
14 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 14 dinners
2 Captain's Welcome and 2 Captain's Farewell Receptions
2 Welcome and 2 Farewell Gala Dinners
Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, specialty coffee and tea, soft drinks and mineral water
12 days of excursions, including “Choice Is Yours” options, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
Guided “Go Active,” “Do as the Locals Do,” “Village Day” and “Gentle Walking” programs
State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audioheadset system on all excursions
Use of bicycles and Nordic walking sticks
14-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the magical S.S. Joie de Vivre and the breathtaking River Royale
Lavishly appointed riverview staterooms and suites have handcrafted Savoir® of England beds, high-thread count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, and a menu of pillow options
Free Internet and Wi-Fi access
1 country: France
5 UNESCO World Heritage sites
Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise Manager
Captivating onboard local entertainment
Cultural enrichment, including 2 Signature Lectures
Exclusive Connoisseur Collection and Generations Family Program on select summer departures
First class TGV train between Paris and Bordeaux
All transfers on arrival and departure days
All gratuities, both onboard and onshore
Cruising: Cabin onboard S.S. Joie de Vivre and River Royale