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Getting To Know Bordeaux – Cruise Port Guide


As with Seville, Bordeaux is another City 60 km upriver, this time on the magnificent Gironde. This makes for a spectacular journey passing under bridges, past wineries and beautiful Chateaux’s and the stunning countryside of France. Get to know more about this fascinating destination in our Bordeaux cruise port guide.

Bordeaux is a City known for it’s wine and cuisine and there is an abundance of places to experience the culinary delights of the region. The City is also steeped in history and historical places of interest, with strong ties to the French Revolution. A good example is Esplanade des Quinconces, the largest public square in France. This is also the home to the Monument aux Girondins – a historical landmarks of Bordeaux. More on this later.

When in Bordeaux, we highly recommend you book a wine tour. You’ll pay roughly €2 to €8 per glass glass of wine and it’s recommended to try one of the cheese plates too, washed down with what else but a glass or two of Bordeaux wine! That is how to experience this great city, but if time allows, upgrade to a full winery tour and let the experts indulge your taste buds.

If you’re simply looking to relax and take in some shops, Rue Saint-Catherine is where you want to head.

Bordeaux is a great city and a perfect No Fly Cruise destination whether you visit as an embarkation port or during a cruise to the Med.

Travel Tips:

If you are planning a cruise that takes in Bordeaux it’s well worth looking for a ship that stops at Port de la Lune. This is the port that is right in the heart of the city and means you can literally step off the ship and straight into Bordeaux. There are two other ports that will both require transport into the city.

You also want to ensure your ship overnights in the city, as its a wonderful place to explore in the evening and many ships will remain in port overnight here for that very reason. If your cruise embarks in Bordeaux which many do, it’s a very quick and inexpensive taxi ride from Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport to Port de la Lune, so don’t worry too much about pre-planned transfers, unless this comes with your cruise package, of course.

If you’re into your photos and instagram, you must climb the 229 stairs up the monument (mentioned earlier) to capture the amazing panoramic view of the city!

Key Highlights of Bordeaux

  • Multiple vineyard and winery tours including tasting
  • Classic City tours on bikes and electric scooters
  • Bordeaux Old Town & Markets
  • Arcachon & Pyla Sand Dune Tour (Largest dune in Europe)

Cruise Expert Insider 🔎 Bordeaux Cruise Port by Jane Archer

Jane Archer No Fly Cruises

I know, I know. You think because this is about Bordeaux, I am going to start eulogising about wine. Well maybe, but not yet because while the city might be in the centre of many of France’s top wine districts, it has a lot more going for it than the noble grape.

Quite simply, it is gorgeous. The palatial 18th-century façades around the Place de la Bourse, the quirky miroire d’eau which reflects the buildings by day and night (and is great for cooling off on a hot summers day), the Garonne River where smaller cruise ships dock (think Regent or Azamara size).

Venture in to the city and you’re into a maze of streets that would have such exciting stories to tell if they could but talk. Of the English kings who once ruled this part of France; of all the sailing ships that used to call with wares here from around the world; of the hundreds of people who lost their heads during the French Revolution; of the German occupation in Word War Two.

There’s lots to keep an eye out for. The colonnaded Grand Theatre, the Grosse Cloche, or big bell, which rings to celebrate Bastille Day, the imposing gothic cathedral, the trams. Trams? Absolutely. Look carefully in the old city and you’ll see they hover over rails.

The futuristic technology was part of a massive clean-up started in 1995 that removed centuries of grime from the buildings, replaced run-down riverside warehouses with a promenade that’s always buzzing with walkers, cyclists, couples, families, joggers, hid car parks underground and did away with unsightly tram wires.

And then there is the wine. With the wine chateaux of the Medoc, St Emilion and Sauternes on the doorstep, it doesn’t get much better than Bordeaux for oenophiles; in the city itself, La Cite du Vin is devoted to all things wine.

There is just one more Bordeaux attraction to tick off. As your ship prepares to sail, head upstairs and watch as the middle section of the Pont Jacques Chaban-Delmas lifts to let you out. OK, we’re in geek territory now but it’s so spectacular that locals time a walk to watch. You get a grandstand view!

Jane Archer

Award-winning Cruise & Travel Journalist

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