We did the Chateaux, Rivers & Wine itinerary with Viking at the end of May 2014. The trip begins and ends in Bordeaux with a mid-week visit to the city. Since Bordeaux is a lovely city with much to see and appreciate, I did not mind having more time there than in the usual embarkation/debarkation city. The ship-led trips only scratch the surface, but helped familiarize us with the city so we could explore comfortably on our own. We also stopped at Blaye with bus to Bourg Sur Gironde, Libourne with bus to St-Emilion, and Cadillac with bus to Sauternes area. The first day was a bus tour of the Paullac/Medoc region, viewing some famous wineries, stopping at one for tasting (each bus went to a different winery), and rejoining at Chateau Kirwan for a fabulous dinner and wine experience. My favorite town to visit was charming St-Emilion where I would love to have had more time to explore. We did not do the optional excursions, but I heard very positive reviews. I'm not a wine aficionado More
but enjoyed all the culture/history presented throughout. Our meals were prepared by executive chef Magalie and her staff--all wonderful.
Cruisers on this trip need to appreciate that the 3 rivers are a complex of estuaries, more like being on the ocean shore in terms of being affected by the tides. The tides control timing and scheduling for getting under bridges, much like rain can affect passage under bridges on inland rivers.
Viking is not the only company to travel this route, so another boat may be sharing the dock at any stop. None of that diminished my enjoyment! Less
This is a Main Deck cabin, with a window somewhat high on the outer wall but good light. Contrary to some people's expectations, the cabin is not below water level, but close to the water offering a very different perspective from the upper decks. The room is just as big as the French Balcony rooms with the addition of space in front of the window as an ~18" window sill or ledge, which is perfect for laying out washables to dry.