Founder’s Grand Cruise: Day 7
Scouting Bordeaux, France: Day 7’s Excursions in Bordeaux, France
Morning Excursion: “Do as the Locals Do” Bordeaux Walking Tour
The first excursion to leave on Day 7, the walking tour invited travelers into the heart of Bordeaux to see landmarks, shops, and unique cafes. It took the largest number of cruisers from the ship, so everyone was split into one of two groups to make navigating the crowded, narrow streets of Old Town easier.
Morning Excursion: “Let’s Go” Bike Bordeaux Backstreets Tour
The other tour brought us across a large portion of Bordeaux, while also giving us time to take in the sights and find a few hidden gems. With our Bordeaux By Bike guide and bicycles sourced from the ship, we set out from the Quai Chartrons, the riverside shopping center where our ship was moored.
Over the next four hours we visited an extraordinary number of attractions. On the left bank we first cycled by War War II Submarine pens, avant-garde architecturally designed residences, a repurposed wine repository-turned-business school and the stunning and totally unique Cité du Vin. Crossing over the Pont Jacques Chaban Delmas to the right bank, we visited the Darwin Project, a repurposed military barracks now filled with shops, venues, a skatepark, and eco-friendly living. After, we were treated to superb views across the Garonne to the classic facades of Bordeaux. Our guide led us across the river once more via the Pont de Pierre, whereupon we entered Old Town and navigated the tiny squares, narrow streets, the Bell Tower and the Bordeaux Cathedral. For the next hour, our guide led us through several inner commercial and residential districts in this classical city, as we cycled through the Jardin Botanique de Bordeaux and past the remaining wall of a 2nd century Roman amphitheater – the Palais Gallien – before arriving back at the ship.
The group that participated in this excursion was incredibly happy to have been given access to so much of Bordeaux within four hours, praising this as one of the best tours on the Founder's Grand Cruise so far.
Afternoon Excursion: A Visit to the Cité du Vin Museum
Upon arriving, we showed our tickets and made our way into the wine decanter-shaped museum. With exhibits taking up many of its floors, the Cité du Vin was the perfect place to learn everything there is to know about Bordeaux wine. The museum features a sprawling gift shop and its own wine store, a beautiful, cylindrical room that highlights wines from all over France. We found everything from premium Grand Crus, costing thousands, to small winery bottles that were only a few euros. Further into the museum, we visited a library of wine books and exhibits that revealed the winemaking process and its history.
Two of the greatest features of the Cité du Vin are its observation deck and restaurant, located on the top two floors of the museum. Each overlooks the city of Bordeaux from above, one serving delicious food and the other an ever-changing list of Bordeaux wines. Though a quick afternoon activity, the museum was a great attraction that we’d recommend anyone visiting Bordeaux make time for.
The Retro Tour stopped twice on its route, once at our guide’s favorite place to find canelés – Bordeaux’s famous pastry – and again for a glass of champagne. Driving around the city at nighttime, you could feel the romance of France come more alive with each passing minute. The tour offered one of the most picturesque experiences on the entire trip, an experience of Bordeaux’s nightlife that few ever get to see.
A Retrospective of Day Seven’s Excursions
Day Seven of the Founder’s Grand Cruise allowed us the best access to Bordeaux that we’d had so far. Packed with adventures, our last full day in France was one that the Authentic Voyages team will remember fondly. Each excursion was unique in its own way – the walking tour allowed us to truly take in and learn about Old Town Bordeaux, while the cycling tour showed us a broader picture of one of the world’s most bicycle friendly cities. The Cité du Vin, one of Bordeaux’s most beautiful buildings, gave us greater insight to the local wine, and the retro sidecar tour offered a classically French, romantic night on the town.
If one could fit them all in, we’d recommend every excursion of the day, as they were all brilliant in their own right. For our last full day in France, this was certainly one for the books. We look forward to keeping you updated on the next leg of our journey, as we depart France and take the Authentic Voyages Pyrenees Express to Pamplona, Spain.
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