French Rivers with Bordeaux

From £1299pp
11 Nights
Europe

Highlights:

  • Scenic cruise along the Gironde, Garonne & Seine
  • Tour to Paris from Rouen
  • Discover the many historical sights of beautiful Bordeaux

Making full use of her smaller size, Balmoral takes you on a discovery of meandering waterways, gorgeous landscapes and fascinating, culture-rich riverside cities. Discover the very best of Bordeaux; Balmoral docks alongside the promenade in this elegant city, so you can simply step off the ship and explore. You’re perfectly placed to take in highlights such as Cathédrale Saint-André, the Grand Théâtre and Cité du Vin. Alternatively, tour to one of Medoc’s small family run vineyards, to learn the region’s wines and taste them straight from the barrel. Your departure from Bordeaux will be memorable too, sailing the scenic Gironde and Garonne rivers.

Picture-perfect scenes of lush-green countryside fronted by quaint communes come into view during a gentle journey along the Seine. Meanwhile, Rouen awaits your exploration on the banks of the river; this enchanting city alive with French history and wandering the charming streets amongst its highlights, such as the gothic cathedral and medieval architecture of Place du Vieux-Marché, is like walking back through centuries. Rouen is also close enough to Paris for tours to see the capital’s iconic landmarks. At the mouth of the river, the cobbled streets and historic Vieux Bassin of Honfleur are also yours to explore.

Price Includes:

  • Comfortable, stylish cabins and suites equipped with a Smart TV, hairdryer, tea and coffee making facilities, a fridge and individually controlled air conditioning

  • A tempting choice of cuisine every day throughout your cruise – with five-course à la carte dinners, casual breakfast and lunch buffets, late-night snacks and much more

  • Unlimited, self-service tea and coffee available 24hrs at selected venues, complimentary afternoon tea* with sandwiches and cakes, and in-room sandwiches and snacks

  • A full programme of evening entertainment, including cabaret shows, comedy, dancing and live music

  • Full use of on board leisure facilities, including swimming pools, Jacuzzis and gym

  • A wide choice of engaging on board activities and lectures throughout the day

  • All UK port taxes (where collectable in advance)

  • Luggage porterage between your cabin and the drop-off/pick-up point

  • Formal welcome and/or Captain’s Drinks Party and Gala Buffet

Itinerary

  • August 29 Depart Rosyth, Scotland

    Edinburgh, Scotland's historic capital, is one of the U.K.'s finest cities. Combining beautiful architecture, engrossing cultures and an extensive heritage, this Scottish delight is a must-visit destination.

    From the UNESCO-listed Old Town & New Town districts within the city centre to the lush parks and rolling hills on the outskirts, Edinburgh is a city that begs to be explored, offering something for everyone.

    To see some of Scotland's most famous and beautiful sights, be sure to explore the historic Old Town quarter which is home to the city's magnificent castle, the famous Holyrood Royal residence, the parliament building and St Giles' Cathedral. Or if you prefer to indulge in a little retail therapy, you can wander the high-end stores and independent boutiques that line Princes Street, George Street and other areas in the New Town.

    Edinburgh is also renowned for its annual celebrations and events, including the world-famous Military Tattoo and New Years Hogmanay.

  • September 1 Lorient, France

    The Brittany town of Lorient is a fusion of heritage and landscapes. Its houses, beaches and quays point to the conquest of India and the East Indies, deep-sea fishing, the Second World War and the restored pride of the Celtic nations

    A former German U-Boat base, Lorient played a huge role in the Second World War and was a primary target for Allied bombing raids. Today’s rebuilt city is awash with post 1950's architecture and a number of museums and galleries to explore.

    Close to Lorient harbour, the Cité de la Voile (City of Sailing), is a modern interactive exhibition with giant audio-visual presentations that highlight the city’s importance in shipbuilding, fishing and, now, ocean racing. With its proud Celtic connections, a glorious mix of kilts, Breton bagpipes, Irish fiddles and Galician pipes, come together at the annual Festival Interceltique.

    Away from Lorient, a trip across the water to Port Louis offers up the National Maritime Museum and French East Indies Company Museum. Housed in 16th century military buildings, these museums are rare examples of Lorient’s original architecture and are must-visit sites.

  • September 2-3 Bordeaux, France

    Widely regarded as the world’s wine capital, the graceful French city of Bordeaux offers far more than just vineyards and claret. Having shaken off its rather sleepy image over the last few years, Bordeaux is now amongst France's most exciting and dynamic cities. While a sizeable number of the city's visitors are still enticed by the chance to taste what makes this wine-rich region so special, Bordeaux has many other surprising secrets.

    Stretched along the banks of the Garonne River, this City of Art and History is home to 362 historic monuments, with some buildings dating back to Roman times. Awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2007, Bordeaux’s historic centre is home to the Gothic Cathédrale Saint-André, 18th century mansions and popular art museums, such as the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux, and many other impressive treasures to discover. This urban and architectural ensemble includes public gardens that line the curving river quays, and the imposing Place de la Bourse, which overlooks the reflecting pool, Miroir d’Eau. The Place des Quinconces, one of the largest squares in Europe, is a fine space to while away some hours.

    Alternatively, other distractions include barista-run coffee shops, delicious food trucks, and exceptional restaurants and, of course, more fine wine than can ever be possibly drunk.

  • September 5 Cruising the River Seine, France

    Slicing through the gorgeous lush-green countryside of Normandy's Parc naturel régional des Boucles de la Seine, the route Fred. Olsen's smaller cruise ships sail along the River Seine - connecting the historic cities of Honfleur and Rouen - presents guests with simply unforgettable views to enjoy in comfort on board.

    Simply sit back, relax and take in stunning scenes of rolling valleys, floral fields and charming communes dotted with historic churches and traditional houses that have inspired many famous artists over the years, including Claude Monet and Henri Matisse.

  • September 5-7 Rouen, France

    The ‘City of a Hundred Bells’, Rouen, is capital of the French region of Normandy. This 2,000-year-old port city on the River Seine, important in Roman times and the Middle Ages, is a unique city rich with monuments and museums.

    Rouen’s narrow pedestrianised streets lined with tall, half-timber houses and a statue marking the spot where Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake, is a pointer to the city’s dark history. Devastated by fire, the plague and bombs in the past, modern Rouen is now a vibrant cultural centre, and one of Normandy’s most engaging destinations.

    The skyline is dominated by the spires of Cathédrale Notre-Dame, much-painted by Claude Monet. The Gothic churches of Saint-Maclou and Saint-Ouen are also must-see attractions, two of the best examples of gothic architecture in France and a important part of Rouen’s history.

    The city's beautiful botanical garden – Jardin de Plantes de Rouen, is also worth a visit. Its 600 different plant species and various gardens, including a rock garden, rose garden and a garden full of medicinal plants, are a joy to wander through.

  • September 7 Honfleur, France

    Historic Honfleur in northern France's Lower Normandy region is a quaint little port with a rich cultural and artistic heritage. One of France’s most visited towns, Honfleur – with its beautiful 15th and 16th century architecture and distinctive harbour – was the inspiration for Impressionist painters and poets.

    Vieux-Bassin, Honfleur’s colourful old harbour, is lined with 16th to 18th-century lofty slate-and-timber fronted houses. Its sloping cobbled streets have long been a subject for artists including Claude Monet and native son, Eugène Boudin.

    A visit to the 15th century St. Catherine's Church, a vaulted timber structure erected by shipbuilders, is a must, as is the maritime museum and Notre Dame de Grâce – a 17th century chapel containing various paintings and models. The chapel also offers fabulous views of the town, the Seine estuary and the impressively-engineered Normandy Bridge that crosses it.

  • September 9 Return to Rosyth Port, Scotland

    Edinburgh, Scotland's historic capital, is one of the U.K.'s finest cities. Combining beautiful architecture, engrossing cultures and an extensive heritage, this Scottish delight is a must-visit destination.

    From the UNESCO-listed Old Town & New Town districts within the city centre to the lush parks and rolling hills on the outskirts, Edinburgh is a city that begs to be explored, offering something for everyone.

    To see some of Scotland's most famous and beautiful sights, be sure to explore the historic Old Town quarter which is home to the city's magnificent castle, the famous Holyrood Royal residence, the parliament building and St Giles' Cathedral. Or if you prefer to indulge in a little retail therapy, you can wander the high-end stores and independent boutiques that line Princes Street, George Street and other areas in the New Town.

    Edinburgh is also renowned for its annual celebrations and events, including the world-famous Military Tattoo and New Years Hogmanay.

Customers Say

From £1299pp
11 Nights

Highlights:

  • Scenic cruise along the Gironde, Garonne & Seine
  • Tour to Paris from Rouen
  • Discover the many historical sights of beautiful Bordeaux

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