Both Viking River Cruises and Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection will operate river cruises in the Bordeaux region of France in 2014.
This is a new river route for U.S. river cruise lines, which typically offer France river cruises either on the Rhone and Saone rivers in Provence, or in Paris and Normandy in the North.
Uniworld will operate seven-night roundtrip cruises starting in Bordeaux that will sail the Dordogne, Garonne and Gironde rivers between March and November.
Uniworld will sail its 132-passenger River Royale on the new Bordeaux itinerary. The River Royale was launched in 2006 and remodeled in 2012, and will be updated one more time prior to the Bordeaux sailings, according to Uniworld President Guy Young.
Viking's seven-night Bordeaux itinerary will be offered on the 190-passenger Viking Forseti, a Longship launching in 2013. Like the Uniworld itinerary, Viking’s Bordeaux itinerary will begin and end in Bordeaux.
Viking will sail the Bordeaux cruises from March through December 2014.
“The region is known for its beautiful chateaux and wine estates,” Young wrote in an email about why Uniworld is heading to Bordeaux. He added that currently, Croisi Europe, a French river cruise company, is one of the only lines that offers cruises in this part of France. Follow Michelle Baran on Twitter @mbtravelweekly.