Lyon, the Dorgogne Valley and Bordeaux River Cruise

12 days
France is the ultimate destination for food and wine lovers. Taste the bold red wines of Bordeaux. Indulge in the foie gras, cheese, and decadent artisan offerings of the Dordogne Valley. Top off the trip in Lyon, France’s culinary capital, to feed your sweet tooth. Learn the history and traditions of the land while taking in the country’s villages and countrysides.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 10 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 3 lunches, 7 three-course dinners with beer or wine, 2 wine tastings

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Toulouse today.

Toulouse 2 nights

Day 2: Arrival in Toulouse

  Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Toulouse, known as la ville rose (the Pink City), thanks to its grand red brick buildings. Gather with your fellow travelers and Tour Director at a welcome dinner this evening.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Toulouse

  Included meals: Breakfast

Set out with a local guide for a walking tour of Toulouse.

• Explore the Place du Capitole, a square lined with grand government buildings

• Admire the city’s historic mansions and the Basilica of St. Sernin

• Stroll through an outdoor market to browse fresh flowers

• Board the Maison de la Violette, a barge anchored on the Canal du Midi, where you’ll sample sweet and savory treats made from the violet flower

Enjoy a free afternoon in Toulouse or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Medieval Carcassonne: Castles & Cassoulet $99pp* Details

Carcassonne

Visit the UNESCO-recognized Cité of Carcassonne today with a local guide leading the way. You’ll walk through the citadel, where fortified city walls surround the castle, Gothic cathedral, and medieval streets. Then, spend free time exploring Château Comtal, an impressive medieval castle, or visiting the Bastide Saint-Louis and the banks of the Canal du Midi. End your visit with a dinner of local specialties in Carcassonne. Your meal will include the signature dish of cassoulet, a meat and white bean stew that originated in the region, and will be served with pairings of local wines.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $109)

Cruise 4 nights

Day 4: Sightseeing tour of Bordeaux

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

This morning, head to Bordeaux for a guided sightseeing tour of its UNESCO-listed historic district.

• Stop at the Place des Quinconces, one of the largest city squares in Europe

• Drive along the Garonne River, stopping at Place de la Bourse

• Pass the lively hub of the Place de la Comédie and the Grand Théâtre

This evening, embark on your cruise.

Day 5: Pauillac

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Arrive in Pauillac this afternoon and enjoy an excursion to the Medoc region. Here, you’ll tour the wine lands and chateaux.

Day 6: Blaye

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Stop in Blaye for an excursion along the corniche, or cliff route. Take a guided tour of the citadel, which was built as an outlook to spot invaders. And finally, indulge in a tasting of the famous Blaye pastries called praslines.

Day 7: Libourne & Saint-Émillion

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Begin the day by cruising on the Dordogne towards Libourne. Stop in Saint-Émiliion to tour the medieval village. This evening, enjoy a gala dinner aboard the ship.

Please note: Appropriate attire recommended for gala dinner

Dordogne Valley 1 night

Day 8: Périgueux via Bordeaux & Bergerac

  Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Wine tastings

Disembark from the cruise this morning and enter the Bordeaux region.

• Head to the Vineyards of Graves, said to be one of the oldest vineyards in the Bordeaux region, for a wine tasting

• Hear about the region’s history of wine production and the AOC designation

• Sample various wines along with cheese and charcuterie

Enjoy free time in Bordeaux for lunch before heading to Bergerac.

• Stop at Château de Monbazillac for your next wine tasting

• Learn about the history of the small castle and discover how its residents lived during medieval times

• Taste wines and foie gras, a French delicacy

Take in views of the Dordogne Valley  countryside as you transfer to Perigueux, where you’ll enjoy a free evening.

Lyon 3 nights

Day 9: Lyon via Périgueux

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

With your Tour Director leading the way, take a walking tour of Périgueux.

• Stroll this charming town’s quaint streets

• View Roman and medieval architecture

• Stop by the outdoor markets where you can sample fresh produce, goat cheese, foie gras, and truffles

After, transfer to Lyon.

Day 10: Sightseeing tour of Lyon

  Included meals: Breakfast

This morning, a local guide introduces you to France’s culinary capital on a tour through Lyon’s UNESCO-recognized city center.

• Take in the Gothic and Renaissance architecture as you pass by the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière

• Step inside Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste and walk through centuries-old traboules, or underground passages

Learn the French art of pastry-making this afternoon when you partake in a cooking lesson with local chefs. Make and taste pastries such as macarons, chocolates, and cupcakes under the direction of professional and assistant cooks. After, the evening is yours to explore Lyon on your own.

Day 11: Free day in Lyon

  Included meals: Boxed lunch, Dinner

Enjoy a free day in Lyon or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Medieval Village of Pérouges $59pp* Details

Make your way to the charming village of Pérouges, a favorite among the French for its winding cobblestone streets and medieval architecture. Visit the central Tilleul Square for a panoramic view of the area and explore the Fortress Church of Sainte-Marie Madeleine. After taking in the scenery, stop at a local bakery to sample some of the region’s sweetest specialties, including galette (a round, flat tart filled with berries) and hypocras, a spiced wine flavored with honey, ginger and cinnamon.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Day 12: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or extend your stay to explore Paris.

Add Three-night Paris Extension Starting from $699 pp

Paris 3 nights

Day 12: Transfer to Paris

  Included meals: Breakfast

Transfer from Lyon to Paris by way of TGV train. Once you arrive, you’ll have the rest of the day to aquaint yourself with the city.

Enjoy a free evening in Paris or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Dinner in Paris & Seine River Cruise $115pp* Details

Take in the nighttime allure of the City of Light on a special evening excursion. The event begins with dinner at a local restaurant. After you dine, board a boat cruise along the Seine. As you coast along the river and under Paris’ bridges, you’ll behold the illuminated monuments of the city glittering alongside the riverbanks. Please note: The dress code may vary depending on the restaurant for your dinner. Your Tour Director will advise you on what to wear, but shorts and sneakers are likely to be considered inappropriate attire.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $125)

Day 13: Sightseeing tour of Paris

  Included meals: Breakfast

This morning, take a guided tour of Paris. Take in the architecture, scenery, and history of the City of Light’s many neighborhoods, called arrondissements.

• Drive down the sycamore-lined Champs-Élysées to view the famed Arc de Triomphe

• Pass Pont Neuf and the legendary Notre-Dame Cathedral, located on an island in the Seine River

• See the Eiffel Tower, the Palais Garnier opera house, and Place de la Concorde, the city’s grandest square

• Marvel at the iconic architecture of the Louvre and Hôtel des Invalides

Enjoy a free afternoon in Paris or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Versailles Palace & Gardens $115pp* Details

The reign of Louis XIV, known as the “Sun King,” set new standards for decadence among the crowned heads of Europe. It took 50 years and 35,000 workers to turn Versailles, once a small hunting lodge, into the most magnificent château in all of France and the envy of royalty worldwide. On this excursion, you will see the palace in all its glory as you tour the State Apartments and the glittering Hall of Mirrors. Then, stroll through the lavish gardens to admire their fine statuary, splendid fountains, and colorful flowerbeds. Please note: The four rooms of the Queen's State Apartment are closed for renovations through 2017.

Must be booked 45 days before departure

Day 14: Free day in Paris

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day in Paris or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Eiffel Tower Lunch $109pp* Details

Enjoy a meal at one of the world's most famous landmarks. Head to restaurant 58 Tour Eiffel, located about 180 feet above the ground on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower. Peer down through the transparent glass floor, see an immersive show about the iconic monument, and visit its historic spiral staircase. Then, sit down to savor a three-course meal with drinks while taking in panoramic views of the city. Please note: This excursion does not include access to the top of the Eiffel Tower—those tickets must be purchased separately. You may purchase tickets online at www.toureiffel.paris/en/preparing-your-visit/opening-times.html. We recommend booking them 30 days in advance, and making your reservation for between 9am and 11am. If you do book tickets to the top floor, please keep in mind that we can only guarantee this excursion will run if the minimum number of travelers sign up.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Day 15: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Dordogne Valley
  • Lyon, France
Temperature Precipitation
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Passport & visa requirements

  • In order to enter France, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry.

  • We recommend having at least one blank passport page for entry stamps.

  • There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens.

  • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.

Tour pace

  • You will walk for about 2 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including cobblestone streets and unpaved paths, with some steep stairs and hills.

  • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance.

  • You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times.

  • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.

Transportation & arrival information

  • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead arrive in Toulouse and depart from Lyon (or Paris on the tour extension). A Go Ahead representative will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival.

  • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead for an additional cost.

  • The cruise transportation, including necessary transfers at ports of call, is included in the cost of the trip.

  • The tour extension includes a high-speed TGV train ride between Lyon and Paris.

  • All other included transportation is by private motor coach.

Baggage allowance

  • Airlines have varying weight restrictions on baggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs.

  • Contact your airline for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights.

  • One carry-on bag of 45 total inches (length + width + height) is also permitted.

  • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag.

Clothing & packing tips

  • We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket or rainwear.

  • A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing.

  • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.

  • It is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).

  • The cruise includes one gala. Most men opt for a dark suit instead of a tuxedo, and women choose cocktail dresses rather than lavish gowns. The remaining nights are casual or smart casual with sport shirts and slacks recommended for men, and skirts, khakis, or casual dress for women.

Health

  • There are no major health risks associated with traveling to any of the countries on this tour.

  • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov.

  • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.

  • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead at least 30 days prior to departure by logging in to your account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.

Cuisine

  • For a picnic with French flair, stop at a small grocery store for cheeses, pâtés, cured meats, fresh-baked bread, and fruit. In the cities, sidewalk vendors are known for their steaming crepes, while mouthwatering pastries and hot café au lait beckon from cafes. In restaurants, the prix fixe option is a popular way to enjoy a set three- or four-course menu for a good price.

  • Although lunch is generally served from noon until 2pm, dinner is served from 7:30pm onward. Those wishing to eat earlier can stop at a cafe, where light entrées and sandwiches are available throughout the afternoon and evening.

  • Some of the must try local foods on this tour include crepes, croissants, cheeses, Dijon mustard, beef bourguignon, macarons, and lyonnaise potatoes (which you can try at a traditional restaurant, or bouchon, in Lyon).

  • France's wine regions offer some of the most famous varietals in the world. Sample the robust reds in Bordeaux. The Dordogne Valley is known for its sweet whites and the famous brandy produced in the Cognac region is a must try.

Electricity & air conditioning

  • France operates on the European standard 220-240 volts and uses Types C, E, or F plugs with two small, round pins.

  • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other electrical device without a built-in converter.

  • The strength of the air conditioning in European hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel.

  • Hotels may provide hairdryers, irons, and other small appliances, but these amenities cannot be guaranteed.

Connectivity

  • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply.

  • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches.

  • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.

Time zones

  • France is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST).

  • When it’s noon in New York, it’s 6pm in Paris.

Currency

  • You will use the euro.

  • Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive.

  • We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed.

  • You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees.

  • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

  • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.

Tipping

  • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.

  • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD/CAD to $10USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver.

  • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide.

  • Tips can only be paid in cash.

Purchasing excursions on tour

  • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour.

  • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa, or MasterCard as payment for excursions.

  • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged.

  • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information.

International travel is, by its very nature, unpredictable. We must therefore reserve the right to change this itinerary, without advance notice, to meet with local conditions at the time of travel. We appreciate your understanding. Please refer to our website for Terms & Conditions, dates, and prices.

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