In 2025, Avalon Waterways will offer one, two and three-week sailings through Bordeaux, a hub of the famed wine-growing region in southwestern France.
With new cruises on the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers and cruise combinations that also include the Seine, Saône, Rhône and Rhine Rivers, the river cruise line says it is increasing its France offerings by 30 per cent.
From the historic halls of castles and Châteaux to romantic cellars and kitchens where wine bouquets and bon-vivant cuisine tempt the palate, Avalon is bringing Bordeaux to life with Active, Discovery and Classic excursions on its new France-focused itineraries.
“Wine-lovers aren’t the only cruisers raising a glass to Avalon’s new Bordeaux itineraries,” said Pam Hoffee, president of Avalon Waterways. “Along the shores of the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers, we’re elevating immersive experiences for guests, offering them deeper discoveries of the richest traditions in Southwest France. From unparalleled panoramic cruising aboard the Avalon Artistry II to on shore Châteaux visits, Sauternes tastings and crème puff baking classes mixed with e-biking through vineyards and free time in postcard-perfect places like Saint-Émilion, Bourg and Arcachon, for Avalon guests in Bordeaux, the world is their oyster to enjoy as they please.”
The all-new France cruise being unveiled by Avalon Waterways in 2025 is Bonjour Bordeaux: Châteaux, Wineries & Charming Villages.
The eight-day cruise starts and ends in Bordeaux with visits to Cadillac-sur-Garonne, Cussac Fort Médoc, Blaye, Bourg and Libourne.
Avalon’s new, eight-day itinerary can also be combined for two- and three-week cruising options. They are:
- French Masterpiece: Paris, Normandy & Bordeaux. This 15-day cruise from Paris to Bordeaux sails on two Suite Ships on the Seine, Garonne and Dordogne Rivers. It combines Avalon Waterways’ Paris to Normandy itinerary with the river cruise line’s new Bordeaux cruise.
- France, Uncorked: The Rhône, the Seine & Bordeaux. This 22-day cruise from Arles to Bordeaux sails on three Suite Ships on the Rhône, Saône, Seine, Garonne and Dordogne Rivers. It combines Avalon Waterways’ Grand France itinerary with its new Bordeaux cruise.
- Vineyards, Châteaux & Bordeaux. This 22-day cruise from Basel to Bordeaux sails on three Suite Ships on the Rhine, Seine, Garonne and Dordogne Rivers. It combines three itineraries: the Romantic Rhine, Paris to Normandy and new Bordeaux cruises.
A post-pandemic trend, according to Hoffee is a rise in the length of trip people want to take.
“In the past, many of our guests have chosen seven to 10-day journeys with us. Others have even opted to test the cruise waters on micro-cruises of three and four nights. But our new ‘Wish List’ survey results indicate that river cruisers are increasingly looking for longer vacations," Hoffee said.
Of those 15,000 past Avalon Waterways guests who were surveyed, most (66 per cent) said their next vacation will be two weeks or more compared to those (34 per cent) who are planning to book a one-week vacation.
“Our new, two- and three-week cruise combinations for 2025 – all of which feature Bordeaux – perfectly fit with this trend,” added Hoffee. “They invite our guests to cater their experience to their interests, their budgets and their time, offering them the opportunity to enjoy a more thorough and in-depth vacation through Europe.”
Travel advisors can get details on the travel agent portal.