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Portugal and France river cruises, flying out Aug. 31 2021


terry&mike
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11 minutes ago, Canal archive said:

The captain of a vessel has to have special qualifications to navigate the Napolian bridge. Out of interest does your Captain look far to young to be at the helm or a bit like a British Airways pilote?

Our captain is on the younger side. When we went under the stone bridge in Bordeaux we had 3 captains and a (river) pilot onboard for the navigation. I believe the person who actually steered may have been named Jeremy, tall, grey hair, polished looking. 

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Today is a busy day, with a morning bike tour through the Sauternes region, and a visit and tasting at Chateau  Lafaurie-Peyraguey for their Sauternes wines, owned by the owners of Lalique Crystal. 
This afternoon we are off on an active walk. 

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48 minutes ago, Gourmet Gal said:

This cruise seems more active than those I’ve taken.  Are bike tours available everyday?  Are there choices  of tours each day or only one tour at a time?

I answered this but don’t see it, so pardon if duplicate. 
This is my 8th river cruise and it has more active options than any others I’ve encountered. 
Of the 10 day itinerary there were biking tour options offered on 5 of the days. There were other touring options offered as well of different levels of activity. 
I’ll post an example below. 

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After this mornings bike ride we enjoyed a nice lunch, and joined a local guide for a fast paced 4 mile hike through some vineyards and small towns. 
 

Other touring options available during this same time were:

Visit to Chateau Roquetaillade, or

Truffle Farm and Tasting, or

exploring or relaxing on your own. 

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Tonight was our dinner seating in L’Amour and it was very good. We had 6 courses (5 scheduled and an extra one) paired with a sparkling, white and red. 
Afterwards was music trivia in the lounge, but we decided to turn in and relax after 2 active tours today. 

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14 hours ago, Gourmet Gal said:

Me too!  Our next booking will probably be a French river…

Me too😃........I have been wanting to do a cruise on The Seine for a long, long time........I know I should find one for the spring 2022 and just book it!.......Gotta do some research, Uniworld, AMA, Scenic.........

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We woke up docked in Bordeaux and to rain today. We cancelled our bike ride, and had a relaxed morning. We then attended an onboard cooking class of beef steak cafe’ de Paris, and a dessert featuring a marshmallow type pastry. 
After that, the rain had cleared and DH took a long stroll, and window shopped along Rue St Catherine.
We stopped at a brasserie for some wine when a rain shower came up. We were asked for our Pass Sanitaire, Mike showed his PS and I showed my vaccine card and all was well. 
When the rain cleared again we headed off for some more strolling, and then made our way back to the ship.

They are bringing on fresh oysters from the coast at 5p, so I’ll try to catch that. 

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1 hour ago, Lois R said:

Me too😃........I have been wanting to do a cruise on The Seine for a long, long time........I know I should find one for the spring 2022 and just book it!.......Gotta do some research, Uniworld, 

1 hour ago, Lois R said:

Me too😃........I have been wanting to do a cruise on The Seine for a long, long time........I know I should find one for the spring 2022 and just book it!.......Gotta do some research, Uniworld, AMA, Scenic.........

I would check Tauck as well.  Too bad Crystal is so limited to Rhine-Danube.

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9 minutes ago, Gourmet Gal said:

 

I agree....I looked at Crystal when they first started offering river cruises and noticed they had chosen not to have any itineraries out of France.  I guess they don't feel the need.

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Scenic includes a laundry concierge service with each booking. This entitles you to 1 kg of laundry in one laundry bag per cabin per cruise washed complimentary. DH wanted a few of his active wear clothes done as we’ve done a lot of biking and hiking. He sent out about 10 pieces on Friday evening and they were delivered back cleaned, folded, and wrapped in tissue Saturday evening. Very nicely done. 

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Today we joined the excursion to Arcachon, France, a charming beach town on the Atlantic Ocean (far west of France).  It’s about an hour drive each way, and we had a brief tour, and then 1.5 hours of free time to roam around on our own. Delightful day. 
There were several other tour options including a visit to the Cite de Vin (wine museum), climbing a giant sand dune, or a visit to a former submarine base that is an art exhibit now, or free time in Bordeaux. 
We returned to the ship at 1:30p, had lunch, and then I took myself on a long walk, making it back just before 3:30p, the all on board time. We are now sailing away for the day. 

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Many years ago my eldest daughter went interailing and visited Arcachon just for the sand dunes she got the bug about them when we visited Death Valley in the states. On our visit my husband climbed it but I’ve got a slight heart condition and was advised before we went not to. So sat at the bottom and watched its purported to be the highest in Europe. Oh I am so green. 

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10 hours ago, terry&mike said:

Scenic includes a laundry concierge service with each booking. This entitles you to 1 kg of laundry in one laundry bag per cabin per cruise washed complimentary. DH wanted a few of his active wear clothes done as we’ve done a lot of biking and hiking. He sent out about 10 pieces on Friday evening and they were delivered back cleaned, folded, and wrapped in tissue Saturday evening. Very nicely done. 

That’s a nice inclusion that is missing on Uniworld and Tauck unless you’re in a suite.

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Last night Covid tests were left in our rooms to do this morning before we head out to Cognac for the day.  
The test are by Gargtest, and are what is called spit tests often. Scenic is providing them for free.  Our results should be back Tuesday night. 
Today is Monday, and this  will work for most passengers who are flying out after disembarking on Wednesday. We are flying out on Thursday, so it should still work for us for flying out, but we’ll know for sure when we actually see the results letter.  
If not, we’ll use the Abbott tests we brought along for back up.  

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23 hours ago, Gourmet Gal said:

That’s a nice inclusion that is missing on Uniworld and Tauck unless you’re in a suite.

Uniworld provides 1 free bag of laundry per person if they have cruised previously with the line, no matter what their cabin level is. Once you cruise with them you are considered  a River Heritage member. We enjoyed their Seine - Paris to Normandy Cruise in 2019 and just returned from Burgundy and Provence. We are so fortunate and happy we went. 

Edited by skinnylegs
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Today we had a full day tour to the town of Cognac, and a visit to Remy Martin for a tour and Cognac tasting. 
In the town we were given a brief walking tour, and then free time for 2.5 hours. Scenic gave us each 20 euros to buy our own lunch, or do with it what we liked. 
This evening was a disembarkation briefing (for Wednesday), and a Gala Dinner. 

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We docked in the town of Blaye, France today until 2p.  We had signed up for a long bike ride down the Captains Road, but when we saw nice the town looked, we changed our to the Active Walking Tour. This turned out to be a great tour through the very interesting Citadel, around some vineyards and walking paths on the edge of town, and some alley lanes in town. 
 

Just after lunch we received our negative Covid tests back, and the wording looks sufficient to get us through from Paris to Tampa, transiting in Belgium, on Thursday. 
 

Tomorrow we will fly on a mid-day flight from Bordeaux to Paris.  

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