ST. EMILION - OVERNIGHT AT GRAND BARRAIL
Delight in the medieval atmosphere of Saint-Emilion as you tour the village's marquee attractions and then savor a tasting of its distinctive wines, which have brought even further acclaim to this unforgettable region of France.
Disembark from the ship in Bordeaux and enjoy a brief orientation tour of the city as you drive toward Saint-Emilion, a region revered for its outstanding wines and natural beauty. The region and its namesake village have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site because Saint-Emilion represents a historic vineyard landscape that has survived intact. Viticulture was introduced here by the Romans and then greatly enhanced in the Middle Ages.
Upon arriving in the medieval village of Saint-Emilion, which overlooks the fertile Dordogne Valley, you will tour several of its landmark attractions. Both the ramparts and sections of the lovely Collegiale church date to the 12th century. A wonderful timbered house from the 15th century flanks the arched Cadene gate, which may once have been equipped with a chain to control traffic between the upper and lower towns. The striking King's Tower offers a panoramic view of the countryside and hints at the fortress that once stood here. Still, the most unusual attraction is the underground cathedral that was carved out of a cave where the Benedictine monk Saint Emilion once lived as a hermit.
Following check in at the spectacular, 19th-century Grand Barrail Hotel, you will enjoy a magnificent dinner in the hotel's acclaimed restaurant before retiring for the evening.
After breakfast and checking out of the hotel, you will drive to the cellars of a nearby wine chateau estate for an inspired wine tasting. The Saint-Emilion wine appellation is one of the most prolific in the Bordeaux region, and its wines are predominately made from Merlot and Cabernet Franc, a reflection of the clay and chalk-rich soils around Saint-Emilion.
Later, you will return to the village of Saint-Emilion and spend several hours of free time exploring areas that may have piqued your interest the day before. You might enjoy meandering along the cobbled streets, browsing the boutiques and having lunch on your own. Of course, toasting the occasion with a glass of Saint-Emilion's finest wine.
Afterwards, you will drive back to the ship in Bordeaux.
Overland Program Step by Step: The order of sites visited may vary to avoid congestion. The times indicated are only approximate, given here for general reference purposes and subject to change.
DAY ONE Sunday, September 15, 2013
5:00pm Depart the ship for a brief tour of Bordeaux
5:30pm Transfer to Saint-Emilion
6:15pm Tour Saint-Emilion
7:15pm Transfer to the Grand Barrail Hotel
7:30pm Check-in at the hotel
8:30pm Dinner at the hotel
Overnight at the Grand Barrail Hotel
DAY TWO Monday, September 16, 2013
Breakfast at the hotel
10:15am Check out of the hotel
10:30am Tour a wine chateau estate, followed by a wine tasting
11:30am Drive from the estate to Saint-Emilion
11:45am Free time in Saint-Emilion
2:30pm Drive back to Bordeaux
3:30pm Arrive at pier in Bordeaux
Expected Weather: A temperate climate with an average temperature 22-25°Celsius (71-77° Fahrenheit)
What to Bring:
Flat, comfortable shoes are strongly recommended due to the cobble stone streets in the village of Saint-Emilion and possible uneven grounds at the wine estate. A warm jacket or sweater is recommended in the underground monuments in Saint-Emilion.
Luggage: One overnight bag per person
Documents and Visa Requirements: A passport is necessary
Accommodation: A Superior Room in the Grand Barrail Hotel & Spa
Land transportation in minibus or small coach, depending on the number of participants.
Dinner at Grand Barrail Hotel, including one glass of champagne, five-course dinner (starter, fish entrée, meat entrée, cheese, dessert), and beverages (wines, mineral water, coffee or tea)
One-night accommodation at the Grand Barrail Hotel, including buffet breakfast, luggage handling and taxes
Entrance fees to the underground monuments in Saint-Emilion
Tour of a wine chateau estate and a tasting of two wines
Any personal expenses not mentioned above such as phone calls, Internet, TV, laundry and minibar.
Lunches on Day One and Day Two
Gratuities to guides and drivers
Please note: Land programs that encompass multiple days ashore customarily include extensive and prolonged activity, while those of shorter durations typically have more moderate activity levels. However, each program varies and participants should be prepared to negotiate a mixture of surfaces, which may include inclines, cobblestones, sand, and gravel or natural paths. There may also be a need to climb steps or stairs on occasion. Guests who utilize a wheelchair and those with mobility concerns are advised to check with the cruise line in advance to see if any portion of the tour program may not be considered suitable for their individual situation. Weather-appropriate clothing such as hats, sunglasses, and flat comfortable walking shoes are generally recommended.