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Ultimate France

21-Night Cruise from Bordeaux to Avignon

UNI Ultimate France

UNI Ultimate France map
2019 & 2020 Departure Dates & Pricing

Bordeaux to Avignon - 22 days

For further assistance call 1-800-526-8539
Ships - S.S. Bon Voyage (Bordeaux cruise),S.S.Joie de Vivre (Seine cruise), S.S. Catherine (Rhone cruise)
Ask about our Travel Insurance

Detailed Itinerary: 

Day 1: Bordeaux (Embarkation Day)

Arrive at Bordeaux-Mérignac International Airport, where you will transfer to the ship.

Day 2: Blaye - Bourg Sur Gironde

FEATURED EXCURSION: Bourg sur Gironde Walking Tour

Choice of “Let’s Go” yoga in the historic heart of Blaye Fortress or Scenic drive along the Route de la Corniche Fleurie with Blaye Fortress

Day 3: Bourg Sur Gironde - Cussac Fort Médoc - Pauillac la Fayette, Bordeaux

FEATURED EXCURSION: “Let’s Go” bike in the Médoc Vineyard

Choice of Médoc Châteaux route with exclusive wine tasting or Bunker Archaeology tour

Day 4: Blaye - Cadillac - Libourne

Sauternes vineyard with private artisanal wine tasting at Château de Cazeneuve or The colorful life of Toulouse Lautrec at Château de Malromé

Day 5 : Libourne

A full day in Libourne means you’ll have plenty of time to explore the majestic landscape of villages and vineyards. Nestled along the confluence of the Isle and Dordogne rivers, the quaint town is as pretty as a postcard. On the outskirts of Libourne, you’ll find neighboring Saint-Émilion. Discover the wine-making town by foot on a tour of its most picturesque sights, such as the magnificent Monolithic Church, all capped by a wine tasting at a beautiful château.

FEATURED EXCURSION: Saint-Émilion walking discovery tour with wine tasting

Day 6: Libourne - 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.

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Libourne “Village Day” with farmer's market, Bordeaux night stroll

Day 7: Bordeaux

There’s so much to discover with a full day in Bordeaux’ port of Quai des Chatrons. The architecture is impressive, the wine is exquisite and the shopping is to die for. Explore La Cité du Vin, a one-of-a-kind cultural center and museum that brings the heritage of wine to life through interactive exhibits, shows, academic seminars and more. Do as the locals do and uncover Bordeaux’ unique heritage on a walking tour or choose to traverse the city by bike. Celebrate the end to a spectacular trip with a farewell dinner onboard.

Choice of “Do as the Locals Do” Bordeaux heritage walking tour or ”Let’s Go” bike Bordeaux' backstreets

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, 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.

Choice of Monet’s gardens at Giverny or “Let's Go” bike ride from Vernon to Giverny

Generations Excursion: Bike tour from Vernon to Giverny. This excursion is only available on sailings that belong to the Generations program.

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

Day 10: Rouen (Normandy Beaches)

The Normandy coast will forever be associated with the Allies’ D-Day invasion, a day that comes vividly to life today on an excursion to the beaches of 1944. 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.

FEATURED EXCURSION: Omaha Beach and Normandy American Cemetery

Generations Excursions: Under US Wings tour at the Airborne museum, Wreath laying ceremony at the US Cemetery. These excursions are only available on sailings that belong to the Generations program.

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 set atop Normandy’s Alabaster Coast at the windy cliffs of Étretat .In a word, magnifique. Not into golf? Stroll through the beautiful Calvados countryside to seaside Honfleur, captured on canvas by generations of artists.

Choice of Honfleur walking discovery tour or Exclusive “Let's Go” golfing in Étretat

Generations Excursions: Tour at Naturospace, Mini-Golf Tournament. These excursions are only available on sailings that belong to the Generations program.

Day 12: 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.

FEATURED EXCURSION: Capital of the dukes of Normandy

Generations Excursions: Le Gros Horloge - Clocktower tour in Rouen, Paint class at Monet's studio. These excursions are only available on sailings that belong to the Generations program.

Day 13: Mantes-la-Jolie (Versailles)

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

Choice of Palace of Versailles secret apartments or "Let's Go" biking Versailles Gardens and the Queen's Hamlet

Generations Excursions: Visit Marie Antoinette's Estate, Bike ride in Versailles Gardens. These excursions are only available on sailings that belong to the Generations program.

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, or join a local expert for a walk through two much-loved neighborhoods.

Choice of Paris city tour or “Do as the Locals Do” Île de la Cité and Latin Quarter walking tour

Generations Excursions: Eiffel Tower tour, National Museum of Natural History, Versailles gardens illuminations and royal fireworks. These excursions are only available on sailings that belong to the Generations program.

Day 15: Paris (disembark), transfer to Lyon via TGV high-speed train (embark)

Disembark the S.S. Joie de Vivre and transfer via high-speed, first-class TGV train to Lyon for the fantastic final leg of your French adventure, where you’ll find the striking S.S. Catherine waiting to carry you through Burgundy and Provence.

Day 16: Mâcon (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. Located in the southernmost part of Burgundy, Mâcon, a Saône River port, is your gateway to Beaune.

Choice of Burgundy wine landscapes or Mâcon walking discovery tour

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

Day 17: 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 patisserie-fueled bike ride—a great way to see the sights. Two rivers: one tranquil, one torrential. Two hills: one for labor, where the sound of the silk weavers’ looms used to echo; the other for prayers, crowned by a spectacular basilica. Two cities, as different as night and day: one boasting colorful Old World façades, medieval mansions and hidden passageways; one with a sophisticated urbanity reminiscent of Paris. Situated at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers, and with roots stretching back over 2,000 years to the days of Julius Caesar, Lyon is a place of fascinating dualities. Today you have your choice of ways to explore this city of contrasts: Sample its culinary riches with a visit to its peerless market hall or follow the footsteps of the silk weavers in the old quarter. For a more active option, see the city from its extensive—and lovely—bike paths.

FEATURED EXCURSION: “Let's Go” Lyon peninsula bicycle tour

Choice of "Do as the Locals Do” Lyon silk weavers or Lyon capital of Gastronomy tour

Day 18: Tournon (Tain l'Hermitage)

If you love fine wine, you’ll love the twin villages of Tournon and Tain-l’Hermitage. Whether you opt for a guided walk or a more vigorous vineyard hike, you’ll also have a chance to taste the local specialty—wonderful wines made primarily from Syrah grapes.

Choice of “Let's Go” Hermitage terrace vineyards hike with wine tasting or Exclusive Tournon and Tain-l’Hermitage twin villages stroll with wine tasting

Day 19: Viviers

Meet some new friends today in the village of Viviers; encounters that really get at the heart and soul of the French people and their culture and traditions. No matter whom you get to know—a pottery maker, a dance teacher or a local homeowner—you’ll have an enjoyable and truly authentic experience, something you’ll remember for years to come. 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: Exclusive 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. Avignon is home to the medieval bridge immortalized in the folk song “Sur le Pont d ’Avignon,” as well as the mighty Palace of the Popes. From a distance, the picture-perfect city center looks as though it has been lifted straight from the pages of a history book, but all you need to do is step inside its medieval walls to discover the prosperous heart of contemporary Avignon.

Choice of Avignon walking discovery tour with Palace of the Popes or Pont du Gard Roman Aqueduct visit

Day 21: Tarascon (Arles or Tarascon)

Explore one of two sun-drenched Provençal towns today, each with an allure all its own. Known for its remarkable Roman ruins, Arles so inspired Van Gogh that he painted some 200 paintings there; Tarascon boasts an ancient castle, as well as a local legend about a ferocious dragon. 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 and facilitating the expansion of their empire. Long renowned as one of the region’s most attractive cities, it lured artist Vincent van Gogh, who painted hundreds of works here (including Sunflowers and The Yellow House) in just 15 months. A short distance from Arles is the ancient and charming town of Tarascon. Its many medieval sites include a 12th-century church and a 15th-century castle that is rich with tales of a beloved ruler. Bask in the warmth of the Provençal sunlight in either of these friendly Mediterranean towns.

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Mediterranean Arles walking discovery tour, Tarascon walking discovery tour

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

Day 22: Avignon (Disembarkation Day)

Disembark the ship and transfer to Marseilles Airport, where you will return 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.
  • 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.

2019 and 2020 Departures

Start City
Rates are in $ USD and are PER PASSENGER sharing a twin cabin.
From Bordeaux
Cruise Start Date
French Balcony
Grand Suite
Apr 14, 2019
Apr 28, 2019
May 12, 2019
Jun 9, 2019
Jun 23, 2019
Jul 7, 2019
Jul 21, 2019
Aug 4, 2019
Aug 18, 2019
Sep 15, 2019
Sep 29, 2019
Mar 29, 2020
Apr 12, 2020
Apr 26, 2020
May 10, 2020
May 24, 2020
Jun 7, 2020
Jun 21, 2020
Jul 5, 2020
Aug 2, 2020
Aug 16, 2020
Aug 30, 2020
Sep 13, 2020
Sep 27, 2020
Oct 11, 2020
IMPORTANT: Dates, Prices & Itineraries are subject to change.
Port Charges: Additional $510 per person (2019 departures); Additional $570 per person (2020 departures).
For Single Traveler: Single Supplement applies. Please inquire.

Prices Include:

▪ 21 nights 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 Galas and 3 Captain's Farewell Dinners
▪ Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, specialty coffee and tea, and bottled water
▪ Shore excursions, including "Choice is Yours" options, fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
▪ Guided “Go Active,” “Do as the Locals Do,”  “Village Day,” and “Let's Go" programs
▪ 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
▪ Services of an experience Cruise manager and attentive, all English-speaking staff
▪ State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio headset system on all shore excursions
▪ Captivating onboard local entertainment and lectures
▪ Cultural enrichment, including Signature Lectures
▪ All gratuities for all onboard and onshore services
▪ Free Internet and Wi-Fi access onboard
▪ All transfers on arrival and departure days; subject to terms and conditions.
▪ Taxes

Prices Do Not Include:

▪ Individual arrival and departure (airfare)
▪ Travel Insurance
▪ Port charges
▪ Personal expenses

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