Sailing through the Bordeaux region, a river cruise on Uniworld’s River Royale would be a perfect choice for any fan of the French countryside. Embodying the essence of the region, the River Royale weaves its way along the Garonne and Dordogne rivers, and provides guests with a luxurious and elegant experience from the moment they step onboard. Having benefitted from a refurbishment in 2014, a cruise on the River Royale is an idyllic way of capturing the timeless beauty and diversity of this corner of Europe, and as you’ll be sailing through Southwest France, trips to vineyards and wine tasting will be on the table too!
Passengers The Royale can accommodate up to 130 guests, who can enjoy excellent service from the 41 service onboard. The majority of these guests hail from the USA, but other English-speaking guests are increasingly seen onboard, including well-travelled holidaymakers from the UK, Canada and Australia. Cruising the Bordeaux region, many guests find the prospect of good wine and the cuisine of the region particularly appealing.
Dining The main dining area onboard, known as Le Bordelais Restaurant, can be found on the Bordeaux Deck. The majority of dining throughout the cruise can be enjoyed here, unless you would like to enjoy lighter fare in the Gascogne Lounge on occasion. There are also two cafes onboard – the Blues Café and the Blue Fox Café - which are both comfortable, laidback, and ideal places to pick up a snack and a drink. Breakfast and lunch are served in a buffet format, which includes a number of dishes that take inspiration from the local region, as well as a few popular crowd-pleasers. Dinner is a four-course meal, served by professional waiters, and includes a choice of freshly prepared dishes, including regional specialities and traditional alternatives such as steak and chicken. Throughout a typical Uniworld cruise, drinks are unlimited and complimentary. Local beers, wines, spirits and non-alcoholic drinks are available with every meal, and can also be enjoyed from the bar. Hot drinks, including speciality tea and coffee, are available from the 24-hour beverage station.
Entertainment The Gironde Deck is home to the Salon Gascogne lounge, which is serviced by the Aquitaine Bar. During the evenings, guests tend to congregate here to enjoy eachother’s company as well as the planned evening entertainment that complements the itinerary wonderfully. Guests will also enjoy the opportunity to dress up and mingle with other guests, thanks to the highly anticipated welcome and farewell receptions and dinners.
Activities Onboard, guests can enjoy a good book in the library, or can spend their time watching the world go by as they kick back and relax on one of the sunloungers on the Sun Deck. There is also cultural enrichment onboard, including the opportunity to enjoy at least two Signature Lectures as part of each itinerary. Onshore, guests can enjoy participating in various excursions that make up the ‘Choice is Yours’ programme, ranging from guided ‘do as the locals do’ tours and ‘go active’ trips, to ‘gentle walking’ programmes and exclusive village days. It’s easy to build an itinerary that perfectly suits you on a Uniworld cruise.
Accommodation There are 64 staterooms onboard, sized between 140 and 151 sq. ft., and one 217 sq. ft. suite. Every accommodation option is well-appointed, and benefits from views of the river thanks to the French balconies and full picture windows that feature in most staterooms. Amenities across the board including handcrafted Savoir of England beds fitted with fine linens and pillow menu, built-in wardrobes, hairdryer, in-room safe, individual climate control, flatscreen TV with infotainment and satellite channels and complimentary bottled water. Every stateroom and suite also includes an en-suite bathroom fitted with modern amenities, as well as plush towels, bathrobes and slippers and premium L’Occitane bath products. In addition, suite guests can enjoy special amenities and services, including Nespresso coffee machine and speciality teas, iPod dock, DVD player, daily fruit and cookie platter, bottle of wine on arrival, shoe shine and complimentary laundry services.
Spa/Wellbeing There is a fitness centre, sauna and Serenity River Spa situated on La Gironde Deck, and a spa tub on the Sun Deck – perfect for guests to maintain their exercise regime while onboard, or at least unwind and relax thanks to a pamper session or two.
Itineraries The River Royale currently offers three different itineraries that showcase some of the stunning regions of this beautiful country, sailing along the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers. The eight day ‘Bordeaux, Vineyards & Chateaux’ itinerary, that sails to and from Bordeaux, is perfect for Francophiles and wine lovers as it sails along the rivers through France’s wine region. Included in the itinerary are guided tours of Cadillac, Bordeaux and Saint-Emilion. Other highlights include a trip to the Sauternes vineyards, an artisanal wine pairing lunch at a chateau, a wine tasting and a bicycle ride along the Medoc wine route and a village day in Libourne. The other two itineraries offered, including the 15 day ‘A Portrait of Majestic France’ and the 22 day ‘Ultimate France’, incorporate the previously described itinerary as part of a larger adventure, using two other Uniworld ships for the remaining elements of the journey, including the SS Catherine (Lyon to Avignon) and the River Baroness (to and from Paris).