Beautiful Bordeaux

Three years ago Marc and I booked a riverboat cruise with Scenic however with the advent of Covid, it continued to be postponed. Finally it happened and what a delightful experience it turned out to be. We have agreed it will not be our last river cruise.

We arrived in Bordeaux two days before the cruise, which allowed us to catch our breath from the travel and get our bodies on local time. It also afforded us the time to explore Bordeaux a little.

Bordeaux, capital of Gironde département, Nouvelle-Aquitaine région, southwestern France lies along the Garonne River 15 miles (24 km) above its junction with the Dordogne and 60 miles (96 km) from its mouth, in a plain east of the wine-growing district of Médoc. This was to be the route of our cruise with daily day excursions, usually two or three to chose from.

Cruising along the Garonne and enjoying a drink and the view

We visited the towns of Calillac, Libourne, St. Emilion, Bergerac, Bourg, Blaye and many chateaux and castles along the route. At times there were coach excursions that took us an hour or more from the river for a half day of exploring but never to early in the morning and always back by 13h00 for amazing lunches.

This next batch of photos is wandering around Cadillac

We did not usually “cruise” at night but instead, mid afternoons, arriving in our next port usually near 18h00 or so. I loved it as it permitted us to sit in the sunshine, enjoy a gab, a drink, and take in the countryside. In addition to enjoying our time with Pat and Gary we also met several wonderful people from various parts of the world. The cruise contained 149 passengers (one solo traveler), and about 50+ crew. We all had a butler and a cabin manager, both available with a quick call and anything we required, it was there in minutes. We have been totally spoiled.

This next batch was taken when I was on my 30 km bike ride in the Sauternes Region visiting Chateau Benauge. I loved the24 hour boulangerie sitting on the side of the road in the middle of nowwhere!

Scenic had organized excursions both in the day and a couple of times in the evenings. One of those evening events was a reception and classical concert at Château d’Agassac. What a treat that was. All four of us enjoyed a visit to Chateau Lagrange with exquisite wine tasting.

I can’t say enough about the Scenic experience. Most days there was one surprise or another. An impromptu cheese tasting afternoon, the delivery of 300+ fresh oysters from a private farm and a contest to see who could eat the most!!! It seemed they spared no expense allowing us to truly feel that we were in a five star situation.

This next batch is from Libourne

After a while the days seemed to blur and we truly lost track of time. If it wasn’t for the “port talks” each day, where they shared the next days itinerary (which because of covid and weather was a moving target) Marc and I totally forgot which day of the week it was! Not a bad frame of mind to be in on holidays.

This next batch St. Emillion. The legend tells us about a monk from Brittany who fled from Vannes, his hometown, to seek refuge in one of the natural caves in a place called Ascum bas (former name of the village) in the 8th century.
His name was Emilion. Living the life of a hermit he accomplished a few miracles and rapidly became famous in the region and even far beyond its border s. Soon he had many disciples and with their help he evangelized that place and made it become a great religious center. Even after his death his followers carried on his legacy and even called the town after him: Saint-Emilion.

Each tour was led by a local guide and groups were kept relatively small, which allowed us to truly be “in the experience”. Most of them were not only knowledgeable but also quite entertaining. This next batch was taken in St. Emilion at a gallery where a local artist, the painter François Peltier had painted the history of the Apocalypse. Here are a few of my favouite images.

Bergerac is found on the northern bank of the Dordogne River. The highlight of a trip to Bergerac is the old town and the whimsical statutes of Cyrano de Bergerac. Both Marc and Gary were under the weather so Pat and I did this one on our own.

The town of Bourg and a lovely walking tour.

A highlight for us was a visit to the Chateau la Roche Courbon.

Built in the 15th century, the castle of La Roche Courbon has been damaged by time and has benefited from numerous restorations.

Long before Versailles, the castle of La Roche Courbon was adorned with French gardens just as sumptuous. The former 15th century stronghold has given way to a superb 17th century residence with large windows. Our guide was wonderful and our hour long tour flew following which we could explore the gardens to our heart’s content.

And there you have it. Three years of waiting, but worth it. I can’t say enough about our Scenic experience and would be happy to answer any questions. Suffice to say, we enjoyed it so much we had lengthy discussion on our trip home about perhaps finding another riverboat cruise for 2024. Wanna come????

26 thoughts on “Beautiful Bordeaux

  1. Absolutely gorgeous and very tempting!


    1. I don’t know you well but let me tell you, I think you would love it very much.


  2. WOW! merci de partager avec nous 🙂 Les photos sont magnifiques mais je suis sûre qu’elles ne représentent pas toute la beauté et l’ambiance des lieux et du voyage.


    1. Yes mon amie, you are so correct. What a magical experience. You would have been in your glory.


  3. It looks like you had an awesome tour!🤩


    1. Twas totally amazing and worth every penny.


  4. What an lovely narrative with accompanying photos! It truly is an amazing place to be on a cozy, small ship with a small, intimate group. It lends itself to be sweet and personable. Wouldn’t it be grand to have all your dearest show up for your next river cruise! What a gathering that will be!! Thank you Rand for this.xo


    1. More than half the pleasure was doing it with you two. Thanks so much for introducing us to Scenic


  5. Randy..I love the commentary of your travels…Rick Steves could not do it better..Dick and I went on several river cruises and loved them..I loved touring the different towns each day.👏


    1. Thanks Juice. I can certainly appreciate why you loved them now that I’ve had my first one under my belt. What a life huh?


  6. Quels beaux souvenirs chers Marc et Randy: good company, great discoveries, and outstanding food, the perfect combination. Once again the photos and story are very special…

    Marie & Bernard

    Hon Marie-P. Charette-Poulin, B.A., LL.B., M.A.



    1. Merci Marie and Bernard. It truly was a wonderful experience, one we will not soon forget.


  7. Well, I clearly missed out this time around. Thank you for sharing the experience through pics and commentary. I’m super excited now looking forward to Aug 2024 Amsterdam to Zurich….. Here I come !!!!!


    1. You certainly did miss out but if it’s any consolation, your name came up many times. LOL You will LOVE your upcoming cruise.


  8. It looks quite amazing, and I have not yet made it to Bordeaux region. My favourite wine appellation is Saint Emilion – there are incredible Grand Crus made in that region and I have been buying and aging the last couple of years. Seems now I must go! Thanks for all the great pictures.


    1. I thought of you often and truly, you will love it. The wines served on the boat daily, plus the extensive wine list of which you could order whenever you liked, was mind boggling. The visits to the vineyards can be as often as you like given there was at least one Chateau amongst the excursion choices each day. With Scenic there are absolutely no hidden fees. You literally don’t need to bring another penny with you.


  9. Absolutely mind blowing! Thank you so much posting this. Randy, you and Marc have experienced something I have been dreaming about for years. So in answer to your question: a wholehearted “Yes” me old trout!


  10. I had just been thinking that you’d soon be home, if you aren’t already. The trip sounds absolutely wonderful and the photos, sublime. Lots has happened here, but nowhere near as lovely as what was happening there. More in an email.


    1. Thanks mon amie. We certainly made the best of our time away and yes, it was lovely.


  11. An amazing blog of photos & info as usual. I have to say it looked wonderful & the food looked so delicious. Cruises do offer great food & I learned over the years on cruises that you have to learn how to eat so as to not gain weight.


    1. You aren’t kidding!! Pacing oneself is crucial on this sort of voyage otherwise it’s pajama’s all the way home!!! It truly was sublime and I can’t wait to plan our next one.


  12. Nice photos Randy….looks like your having a wonderful time!


    1. Thanks Al. It was a great trip, I guess this is how the rich and famous live all the time!!


  13. Another fabulous vicarious journey. Thanks, looking forward to the Algarve!


    1. Thanks Gord, we too are not literally counting down the days but sure looking forward to heading off.


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