Discover the hub of the famed wine-growing region of France aboard the luxury barge Rosa for a 7-day intimate cruise. Sail across one of the longest masonry aqueducts in France, which spans the River Garonne. Explore the historic architecture of the region, including a visit to the medieval town of Nerac to tread in the footsteps of King Henry IV and Queen Margot, the 13th Century fortified village of Vianne and the 14th Century Château de Duras. En route to Bordeaux, through Graves vineyards, Marvel at the medieval town of Saint Emilion, a UNESCO World Heritage site and center of the most famous of the Bordeaux appellations. Learn more about the complex science of viticulture, including of course a tasting of some superb and long-lived “Grand Cru” vintages.
Tour of the famous Saint Emilion
Visit the impressive Château de Duras
Explore the Bastide village of Vianne and ancient Barbaste
Taste the famous local wines, cheese and Armagnac of the Bordeaux region
Morning cruise to Serignac-sur-Garonne, cross the Plan Canal d’Agen, one of the longest aqueducts in France which spans the River Garonne. After lunch, visit the medieval town of Nerac and tread in the footsteps of King of France Henry IV and Queen Margot. The château was built in the 15th century, but much was destroyed during the French Revolution and today only the impressive north wing remains. Finally, stop at the Lapeyrade Estate for a cellar tasting of Armagnac, the oldest alcohol in France. Dinner on board.
This morning, depart early to enjoy the colorful market of Aiguillon and then cruise to our mooring at Buzet-sur-Baise, a pretty fortified village with pastel-colored houses. After lunch, head to the 13th-century bastide village of Vianne and see a skilled glassblower at work, then en route back to the barge, visit the cork museum at Mezin to learn about the history of cork-making. In the evening you can go to Barbaste with its fortified mill, protected by four square towers, and the nearby 12th-century bridge with its 12 curved arches. Dinner ashore at ‘Le Moulin des Saveurs’, a local auberge in Barbaste.
Start the day with a relaxing cruise to the lovely little village of Lagruère, with time to walk or cycle the towpath through stunning countryside. Following lunch on board, cruise along the Garonne river aboard a traditional flat-bottomed boat, after which you can visit the beautiful village of Le Mas d’Agenais, its 11th century church playing host to an ornate Romanesque doorway and an original masterpiece by Rembrandt. After this, take a short drive to an artisanal dairy farm at Ramier where you can experience the entire cheese making process, culminating in a delicious tasting. Dinner, if the weather permits, is a gourmet barbecue beside the barge, overlooking the River Garonne.
Morning cruise to the village of Meilhan-sur-Garonne with a view over the valley of the Garonne. In the afternoon, visit the 14th-century Château de Duras, an architectural wonder, which has been both a fortress and a stately home over its 900-year history. You can wander through its 35 rooms and museum before returning to the hotel barge. Dinner on board.
Today, your final cruise is to Castet-en-Dorthe, following the nearby River Garonne. In the afternoon visit the medieval town of Saint Emilion, a UNESCO World Heritage site and center of the most famous of the Bordeaux appellations. Later, we stop at Château Beau-Sejour-Becot, producer of the premier and grand crus wines, where you can discover the secrets of the vine and, of course, enjoy a tasting. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.
Day 7: Castet-en-Dorthe | Disembark
After breakfast, guests are transferred by private chauffeured minibus to their choice of location in Bordeaux.
Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!