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Ultimate France

21-Night Cruise from Bordeaux to Avignon

UNI Ultimate France
UNI Ultimate France map
2024 & 2025 Departure Dates & Pricing

Bordeaux to Avignon - 21 nights/ 22 days

Ships - S.S. Bon Voyage (Bordeaux cruise),S.S.Joie de Vivre (Seine cruise), S.S. Catherine (Rhone cruise)


Detailed Itinerary:

Note: The itineraries presented are subject to modification due to water levels, closures because of public holidays or other uncontrollable factors. Every effort will be made to operate programs as planned, but changes may still be necessary throughout the cruise. This day-to-day schedule is subject to change. Your final day-to-day schedule will be provided onboard on the first day of your cruise.

Day 1: Bordeaux (Embarkation)

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 cruise representative and transferred to the ship.

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. Visit Château Royal de Cazeneuve, site of Henry IV’s and Queen Margot’s tempestuous love. Meet the owner around a glass of Sauternes in the reception hall.

In the evening, a special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.

Choose between Private owner's tour of Royal Chateau with Sauternes toast -OR- The Colorful life of Toulouse Lautrec at Chateau de Malrome

Note: Sailing this stretch of the Garonne depends on the tides. If it is not possible to sail to Cadillac, you will be transferred to your destination via motorcoach.

Day 3: Cussac Fort Médoc

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 through the storied Médoc wine route, followed by a wine tasting at a beautiful wine estate.

Featured Excursion: Fresh Médoc oysters tasting

Choose between Médoc Châteaux route with private wine tasting -OR- “Let’s Go” bike in the Médoc vineyards

Day 4: Blaye, Bourg Sur Gironde

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. Once you arrive, you’ll discover the wonders of this historic fortress, a UNESCO-designated citadel that once protected Bordeaux from attacks by sea.

Choose between Panorama of Route de la Corniche Fleurie with Blaye Fortress -OR- Intimate Experience with Local Wine and Art Connoisseurs

Day 5: Libourne (Saint-Émilion)

With Libourne as your base, travel to nearby breathtaking Saint-Émilion and immerse yourself more deeply in the region’s history and wine culture. 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 Grand Cru estate.

Note: Today's lunch will be on your own; ask your Cruise Manager for recommendations on the best nearby restaurants.

Featured Excursion:Saint-Émilion walking tour with wine tasting

Day 6: Liborne, Bordeaux

France’s rich agricultural tradition is the heart and soul of the region’s exquisite cuisine—and what better way to get a taste for the freshest vegetables, cheeses, breads and fruits than with a visit to Libourne’s lively farmers’ market?

Featured Excursions: Libourne “Village Day” with farmer's market; Night's Out: After Hours at the Bassins des Lumières,

Day 7: Bordeaux

Discover Bordeaux’s many charms today, either on foot with a local expert or on two wheels—the locals’ preferred way to navigate the city’s charming backstreets. You have a wonderful selection of active opportunities to see this magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Choose between “Do as the Locals Do” Bordeaux walking tour -OR- ”Let’s Go” bike Bordeaux backstreets

In the evening, a special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.

Day 8: Bordeaux (Disembark), Transfer to Paris via High-Speed TGV Train (Embark)

Disembark the breathtaking S.S. Bon Voyage and transfer to Paris via high-speed 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. 

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 9: La Roche-Guyon, Vernon, Giverny

Today is a celebration of northern France’s natural beauty, with an excursion to a splendid château 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 Château de La Roche-Guyon, surrounded by beautiful gardens and offering sweeping views over the Seine. Later, you can visit the home and gardens of Claude Monet. Or take in the beautiful French countryside in a more invigorating way, with a guided bike ride from Vernon to Giverny.

Choose between Château La Roche-Guyon -OR- "Let's Go" hike on the Crests trail -OR- Monet’s gardens at Giverny -OR- “Let's Go” bike ride from Vernon to Giverny

This evening, a special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.

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 the spot where Joan of Arc was martyred, Rouen is a treasure trove for the culturally curious. 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.

Featured Excursions: Rouen walking tour, the Dukes of Normandy’s capital; Night's Out: Private Concert at the Rouen Cathedral

Day 11: Caudebec-en-Caux (Honfleur or Étretat)

Caudebec-en-Caux, a lovely little town on the right bank of the Seine Estuary, 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.

Choose between Honfleur walking tour -OR- “Let's Go” golfing in Étretat

Day 12: Rouen (Normandy Beaches)

There are moments when we travel that move us on an otherworldly level—experiences that stir a profound emotional connection. The Normandy beaches certainly have that effect. On your full-day outing, you’ll visit Normandy’s beaches, including Utah Beach and Ste-Mère-Église, with a choice to venture to either the American, British and Australian or Canadian beaches. After, you’ll go to the American cemetery and partake in a private ceremony at the Omaha Beach Memorial—a sentimental remembrance of Operation Overlord.

Choose between Normandy Beaches: highlights of American sites -or- Normandy Beaches: highlights of British & Commonwealth sites -or-  Normandy Beaches: highlights of Canadian sites

Day 13: Mantes-la-Jolie (Versailles)

How did France’s rulers live over the centuries? Step into the private rooms of the Palace of Versailles, the lavish palace built by the Sun King, to find out.

Choose betweenVersailles Parks and Queens Hamlet” -OR- Versailles Palace secret apartments -OR- Versailles Secret Apartments with Gardens

A special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.

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.

Choose between Paris city tour -OR- Paris Walking Tour of the Latin Quarter -or- “Let's Go” Seine riverbanks bike ride

Day 15: Paris (Disembark) - transfer to Lyon via TGV high-speed train (Embark)

You’ll transfer from the magical S.S. Joie de Vivre in Paris to the striking S.S. Catherine in Lyon via high-speed TGV train for the final leg of this fabulous grand tour. Once you’ve settled into your new home, you’ll have some time to explore delightful Lyon, which is nestled alongside the Saône River.

Day 16: Lyon

As the epicenter of French gastronomy, Lyon is a city of tantalizing contrasts. There’s much to explore here, from the work of culinary visionaries to silk weavers’ secret passageways. After your choice of excursions, embrace the locals’ favorite mode of transportation with a bike ride—a great way to see the sights.

Choose between Lyon Panoramic Tour with Traboules Visit -OR- Silk weavers walking tour - OR- "Let's Go" Lyon peninsula bike tour

A special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.

Day 17: Macon (Beaune)

The pace of life is decidedly more relaxed in Burgundy, where endless rows of grapes hang heavy on the vine. The capital of the region’s wine trade, Beaune is renowned for its history, beauty and highly prized wine, as well as its medieval-era hospital—the Hospices de Beaune.

Featured Excursion:Burgundy landscapes, Beaune and the hospices

Day 18: Tournon (Tain l'Hermitage)

If you love fine wine, you’ll love the twin villages of Tournon and Tain-l’Hermitage. Tournon may be a small town, but stirring events took place here: A castle was raised on the hilltop in the 10th century to protect the region, and new fortifications were added over the centuries, including two “new” towers built to defend against Protestant attacks in the 16th century. You’ll see the handsome houses constructed by wealthy merchants and garrison officers when you walk through the Rue de Doux area, and you’ll pass the 14th-century church and the oldest secondary school in France.

Choose between Tournon and Tain-l’Hermitage twin villages stroll with wine tasting -OR- “Let's Go” Hermitage terrace vineyards hike with wine tasting.

Day 19: Viviers

An enchanting village where time seems to have stopped centuries ago, Viviers has a long and storied past that goes back more than 1,600 years—and a splendid architectural heritage to match. At one time, Viviers was divided along religious lines—the clergy lived in the upper part of the town, the laity in the lower part. Your exploration of the town will take you through both parts, as you begin at the crest and make your way to the riverbank..

Featured Excursion: Intimate Viviers “Village Day”

Day 20: Avignon

The walled city of Avignon is one of the most fascinating towns in southern France, with a host of historic gems to explore—including the fortress residence of rebellious popes who broke from Rome and once lived and ruled here. You’ll see the Palace of the Popes and much more today, and also have a chance to kayak under a 2,000-year-old Roman aqueduct.

Choose between Avignon walking tour with Palace of the Popes -OR-Pont du Gard Roman aqueduct visit

A special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.

Day 21: Tarascon (Arles)

Explore a sun-drenched Provençal town today with an allure all its own. Known for its remarkable Roman ruins, Arles so inspired Van Gogh that he painted some 200 paintings there. Arles has existed since the sixth century BC, when the ancient Greeks founded it and named it Theline. It was here that the Romans built their first bridge across the Rhône River, creating a vital overland route between Italy and Spain.

Featured Excursion: Arles walking tour

Day 22: Avignon (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 Marseille International Airport for your flight home.

Departures & Pricing


  • A valid passport is required for travel. Passports must be valid at least 6 months after the last day of travel.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.
  • Order of sightseeing may change throughout the itinerary. Substitute visits to other sites may occur during your trip due to water levels or other uncontrollable factors.
  • For reasons of navigation and passenger safety, the cruise operator and the Captain of the ship reserves the right to modify the itinerary of the cruise.
  • Travel Protection is recommended. Click here TG_logo for more information.

Departure Dates& Per Person USD Rates

Cruise Start Date from Bordeaux
French Balcony
Grand Suite
Mar 4, 2024
Apr 7, 2024
Apr 21, 2024
May 5, 2024
Jun 16, 2024
Jun 30, 2024
Jul14, 2024
Jul 28, 2024
Aug 11, 2024
Sep 8, 2024
Sep 22, 2024
Oct 6, 2023
Mar 30, 2025
Apr 13, 2025
Apr 27, 2025
May 11, 2025
May 25, 2025
Jun 8, 2025
Jun 22, 2025
Jul 6, 2025
Aug 3, 2025
Aug 17, 2025
Sep 14, 2025
Sep 28, 2025
Oct 12, 2025
IMPORTANT: Dates, Prices & Itineraries are subject to change.
Port Charges: Additional $630 USD per person (2023 departures); additional $660 USD per person (2024 departures)
For Single Traveler: Single Supplement applies. Please inquire.

Prices Include:

▪ 21-night cruise in selected riverview stateroom 
▪ First class TGV train between Lyon and Paris, and Paris and Bordeaux
▪ All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
▪ 21 breakfasts, 18 lunches, 21 dinners
▪ 3 Captain’s Welcome Gala and 3 Farewell Dinners
▪ Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, specialty coffee and tea, and mineral water
▪ Shore excursions including “Choice Is Yours” options, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
▪ Guided “Let's Go,” “Do as the Locals Do,” and “Village Day” programs
▪ 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
▪ State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio headset system on all shore excursions
▪ Use of bicycles and Nordic walking sticks throughout your cruise
▪ Captivating onboard local entertainment
▪ Cultural enrichment, including Signature Lectures
▪ Services of an experienced Cruise Manager and attentive, all English-speaking staff
▪ All gratuities for onboard personnel (Ship staff, crew, Cruise/Tour Director)
▪ Free Internet and Wi-Fi access onboard
▪ Transfers on Embarkation and Disembarkation Days.Transfers are subject to transfer guidelines. Please ask for details.
▪ Taxes
Prices Do Not Include:
▪ Individual arrival and departure (airfare)
▪ Travel insurance
▪ Gratuities for local drivers and tour guides
▪ Port charges
▪ Personal expenses

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