The wine-lovers’ way to river cruise

A lunchtime dessert on board tastes even better with a glass pf chilled white wine

Discover the best of Bordeaux’s wine with AmaWaterways next summer

Not many things can beat drinking in a beautiful view, with a chilled glass of wine in your hand and the sun on your back. So, if you love wine, or just like to quaff the occasional glass, then a wine-themed river cruise could be your perfect trip. With AmaWaterways in particular, it’s a great way to discover the places behind the famous names in wine, combining epicurean experiences on board with the fruits of the vine ashore.

Great tasting sailings

Aboard AmaWaterways’ top-notch vessels you can glide through wine country, relaxing on the sun deck, in the lounge or at your choice of restaurant, where specially-selected wine-pairings complement beautifully-presented dishes, at no extra cost. On board, your friendly wine expert host will talk you through their personal wine journey and introduce you to their own vintages at illuminating tasting sessions. And ashore, you can look forward to touring, hiking or biking through vineyard estates, meeting the wine makers and most of all to enjoying the delicious results of their labours. It all adds up to wonderful blend of exciting travel, luxury living and new wine discoveries. 

Discover a taste for Bordeaux

Sounds good? Then how about exploring Bordeaux, the legendary wine capital of south-west France, next August in the company of like-minded wine-lovers and a dedicated wine expert aboard the 150-passenger AmaDolce? Over a week, you’ll travel in style to iconic castles, citadels and Grand Crus to places that vibrate with the language of wine like Saint Émilion, Château Margaux and Château Lafite Rothschild. This is the natural home of the renowned Medoc appellation where the gravelly soil lends itself to the production of full-bodied, rich reds from its cabernet and merlot grapes. And better yet, Silver Travel Advisor have an exclusive discounted price available, find out more.

Set your own pace ashore

Cruising is an easy, unhurried way to get into the rhythm of life in the heart of this historic region, idling along the Garonne and Dordogne rivers with the days as full of activity as you choose to make them.

AmaWaterways includes a wide range of shore excursions at each place you visit, many of them wine-themed, with a choice of gentle, regular or active options to suit your mood or mobility. Every tour is accompanied by excellent local guides whose stories about each place bring it all to life. And you can hear every word with AmaWaterways’ ‘Quiet Vox’ earpieces. Pop one in your left ear, touch your handset to the special paddle carried by the guide and you can stroll around, even right at the back of the group, and still not miss any of the guide’s commentary – a real plus when there are so many photos you’ll want to take of the scenery and sights. Quiet Vox is one of those really clever gizmos that make you wonder how you managed before without it. 

Alternative ways to explore

The only time you won’t need the Quiet Vox is if you go cycling. AmaDolce carries a fleet of bikes on board that you can use to explore independently, or in a group with guides front and back to keep everyone safe and together, and to give a bit of background about where you are riding. It’s a great way to get a bit of exercise (though there is a fitness room and a walking track on board) and a real feel for a place. Another option if you have energy to spare is hiking with a tour guide, perfect for exploring the vineyard estates as well as the UNESCO sites.

Home comforts

Stateroom are well-equipped, many with floor-to-ceiling windows and a french Balcony
Stateroom are well-equipped, many with floor-to-ceiling windows and a french Balcony

On board, meanwhile, you can enjoy watching the scenery unfold in your own time. Your stateroom will prove a restful home from home, with ensuites offering multi-jet showers, plus fabulously comfortable beds, generous wardrobes and river views – and many rooms also feature floor-to-ceiling windows and a French balcony. 

Dining that’s a cut above

Dining with AmaWaterways is a special pleasure, from delicately garnished Avocado Tartine or Eggs Benedict for breakfast to well-judged four or five course lunches – delicious but not too heavy – and as wide a selection for delicious open-seating dinners too. As a change to the Main Restaurant, the Chef’s Table’s seven course tasting menu is a treat you are welcome to enjoy more than once, without charge. In addition, your wine expert will host a specially curated food and wine pairing dinner as a further highlight of your cruise. All meals have wine, beer or soft drinks included with them and sip-and-sail cocktails are provided each evening too which all helps create a friendly, relaxed atmosphere where many people choose to share tables as an unforced way of meeting fellow passengers.   

Talking and tasting all things wine

Conversations spring up effortlessly at the wine tastings on board too, where perhaps you’ll compare wines from your host’s own vineyards with those made from similar grapes in the famous estates ashore. And as something special on this Bordeaux sailing, there’s also an exclusive wine festival included at the medieval village of Bourg, with live music and dancing plus the chance to meet the wine growers in person and taste their produce. It promises to be a really memorable night!

It’s the sort of grace-note that AmaWaterways like to bring to their cruises. On a recent wine-themed sailing, AmaWaterways passengers were treated to an exclusive after-hours visit to a 1,000-acre estate where following a tour of the 500-year-old castle, the Count himself conducted wine-tastings that included a delicious un-oaked Chardonnay and an Austrian red pressed from vineyard’s own Zweigelt grapes. It’s this sort of privileged access that defines an outstanding cruise with AmaWaterways – and leaves memories that will last a lifetime.  

Find out more

To find out more or book our Silver Travel Advisor’s wine-themed cruise with AmaWaterways in August 2024, at an exclusive discounted price, call our Advisors on 0800 412 5678.

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Gill Haynes

Traveller, writer & Associate at Silver Travel Advisor

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