Biking along the Gironde

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BORDEAUX - PAUILLAC - BLAYE - LIBOURNE - SAINT-EMILION - CADILLAC - BORDEAUX

 

DAY 1: BORDEAUX

Passengers are welcome to board our ship at 6 p.m. After comfortably settling into your cabins, we’ll introduce our crew at a welcome cocktail. Sit back and enjoy a presentation about your CroisiCyclo vacation. Dinner will be served on board, followed by an evening of entertainment.

DAY 2: BORDEAUX - PAUILLAC(1)

All meals included. We’ll spend the beginning of the morning cruising to Pauillac. Towards the middle of the morning, we’ll set off on our bikes for the day. We will first bike to Saint-Estèphe, a town famous for its Baroque architecture, and its stunning view of the Garonne. We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch. In the afternoon, you’ll bike along some of the most prestigious vineyards in the world and catch a glimpse of some of France’s biggest wine estates. It will also be the opportunity to taste some wine in a world-famous castle renowned for its Bordeaux. On our way back to Pauillac, you'll be able to see a few prominent wine estates like Chateau Pontet-Canet, Chateau Pichon Longeville Baron and Chateau Lynch-Bages. We’ll enjoy an evening of entertainment, and remain in port overnight.
Biking itinerary: in the morning from Saint-Estèphe 7 mi./11.3 km. (249 ft./76 m. elevation gain) — in the afternoon from Pauillac 22 mi./35.4 km (698 ft./213 m. elevation gain)

DAY 3: PAUILLAC (1) - Gironde Estuary - BLAYE

Blaye itinerary: 19 mi./30.6 km. (1000 ft./305 m. elevation gain)
Saint-Gervais itinerary: 31 mi./49.9 km. (427 m./1400 ft. elevation gain)
All meals served on board. We’ll leave early and spend the morning cruising the Gironde to the estuary. We’ll cruise along the marshes and see the steep cliffs of Meschers-sur-Gironde, troglodyte homes and fishing cabins before reaching Blaye. We’ll leave on our bikes in the afternoon. The itinerary will bring you to Blaye, with its vineyards, rich croplands and castles. You’ll bike on hilly roads overlooking the magnificent Garonne area. You’ll pass through Plassac and its Roman ruins, Marmisson and its infamous troglodytes (entry fee not included), and Bayon-sur-Gironde—where you’ll have a stunning view of the “Bec d'Ambès,” the confluence of the Garonne and Dordogne rivers. You’ll then head to Bourg. If you feel like it, you can bike a few miles more to Saint-Gervais, where you’ll be able to contemplate magnificent landscapes from the shadow of its medieval church, before returning to Blaye for the evening. After you return to the ship, enjoy an evening of dancing. We’ll remain in port overnight.
Biking itinerary to Blaye: 19 mi./30.6 km. (1000 ft./305 m. elevation gain) - to Saint-Gervais: 31 mi./49.9 km. (1400 ft./427 m. elevation gain)

DAY 4: BLAYE - LIBOURNE or BOURG(1) - SAINT-EMILION

All meals served on board. Early in the morning, we’ll cruise on the Dordogne towards heritage-rich Libourne. In the afternoon, you’ll start your bike tour through Saint-Émilion. Today’s itinerary will bring you through the most renowned Bordeaux wine-growing areas like Pomerol, or estates like the Chateau du Cheval Blanc. In Saint-Émilion, we’ll visit its underground monuments. Enjoy some free time in the city, strolling along its lively streets and taking in its incredible monuments and unique architecture. Besides being incredibly beautiful, this city is also one of the main red wine-producing regions. Tonight’s entertainment will be provided by the crew. We’ll remain in port overnight.
Biking itinerary from Libourne: 21 mi./33.8 km. (698 ft./213 m. elevation gain) or from Saint-Émilion: 13 mi./20.9 km. (600 ft./183 m. elevation gain)

DAY 5: LIBOURNE or BOURG(1) - CADILLAC

All meals served on board. Our ship will cruise for Cadillac. Its preserved countryside, hilly landscapes and many small and quiet villages hold a wealthy heritage. You’ll start biking towards the south in the afternoon, along the Garonne. You’ll bike through the Sauternais, a region known for its sweet dessert wines, and Sainte-Croix-du-Mont, where you’ll have a stunning view of the valley. The famous Sauternes and Barsac vineyards will be the highlight of today’s journey. You’ll bike past the Château d’Yquem, famous for its liquors and refined wines. Sauternes wine is world-famous for its quality and its unique sweetness. The region benefits from an oceanic climate, which favors the proliferation of the Botrytis cinerea fungus. This fungus confers the sweetness and distinct color to the Sauternes wine. After your day of biking, you’ll return to the ship. The evening is free to do as you please. We’ll remain in port overnight.
Biking itinerary from Cadillac: 24 mi./38.6 km. (898 ft./274 m. elevation gain)

DAY 6: CADILLAC - BORDEAUX

All meals served on board. We’ll start biking early this morning. While you’ll be enjoying the French scenery from your bike, the ship will cruise towards Bordeaux, its final destination. Your tour will begin with the fortified city of Cadillac and will end in Bordeaux. Stops are planned in La Sauve and Cenac. We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch next to the Sauve-Majeure Abbey, which used to be a Benedictine monastery. Although it is in ruins, the abbey remains a tourist attraction thanks to its Romanesque architecture and sculpted capitals. This beautiful structure is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the afternoon, you’ll continue heading to Bordeaux, where you'll have the afternoon to roam across the city on your bike at your own pace. Tonight is our festive gala evening.
Biking itinerary from La Sauve in the morning: 18 mi./29 km. (1400 ft./427 m. elevation gain); or from Latresne 28.5 mi./46.7 km. (1699 ft./518 m. elevation gain) - from Bordeaux in the afternoon: 36 mi./57.9 km. (1801 ft./549 m. elevation gain)

DAY 7: BORDEAUX - Arcachon Bay - BORDEAUX

All meals included. Although your vacation is coming to an end, your adventure is not over. After breakfast, a minivan will drive you to your departure point on the Atlantic coast. After travelling through the vineyards, you’ll now discover the coast and the ocean. You’ll bike along the coast and the Pyla Dune, the tallest sand dune in Europe at more than 328 feet above sea level. You’ll enjoy a picnic lunch in Arcachon, a famous seaside resort frequented by aristocrats since the second half of the 19th century.
After lunch, you’ll board a boat with your bike and head for Cap Ferret, renowned for its oyster farms. Once onshore, we’ll bike through a pine forest until we reach the shuttle, which will bring us back to the boat. We’ll return on board in Bordeaux at the end of our long day. After dinner, we’ll enjoy an evening of entertainment.
Biking itinerary from Arcachon: 22 mi./35.4 km. (800 ft./244 m. elevation gain) — from Lège-Cap-Ferret: 35 mi./56.3 km. (1099 ft./335 m. elevation gain) - from the Atlantic Ocean: 45 mi./72.4 km. (1400 ft./427 m. elevation gain)

DAY 8: BORDEAUX

Enjoy one last buffet breakfast on board before disembarking at 9:00 a.m.

 

For navigational safety reasons, the company and the captain are the only authorized persons who can modify the cruise itinerary. The cruise schedule may vary according to tides and arrival times at ports of call may be subject to change. The order of the visits can change. The program is guaranteed only for a minimum of 8 passengers. (1) Depending on mooring availability, the stopover in Pauillac could be replaced by a stopover in Cussac-Fort-Médoc and the stopover in Libourne by a stopover in Bourg. Alcohol can be dangerous to your health. Please drink in moderation.
More info

COORDINATION
We will provide technical and maintenance assistance throughout the entire cruise. Our bike guides will ensure that your bike tours take place under the best conditions. You will have detailed maps and overviews every day, and we will be available to go over any points or questions onboard about each trip.

THE CROISICYCLO CONCEPT
During your CroisiCyclo vacation, the ship cruises while you bike. No need to pack up your belongings every day, since you’ll return to your cabins every evening. If you want to skip a day’s tour, no problem! Take a break on the ship and enjoy the view of the riverbanks from the sun deck.

EFFORT LEVEL
Easy. No special training needed. Minor elevation gains.

CROISIBIKE
Practical Information
 
 

+ Types of bikes:

  • Unisex hybrid bikes that can be used by both men and women (flat handlebars), similar or equivalent to the Alpenchallenge AC01 with Shimano 105 or Ultegra derailleurs.

- High-quality Shimano 105 or Ultegra derailleurs make climbing hills easier
- Disc brakes for better stopping ability and avoiding skidding during rain
- A maximum 10 kg (22 lbs.) bike weight for optimal comfort

 

  • The bikes used currently are BMC Alpenchallenge AC01 Deore XT/SLX. Our partner will be upgrading their fleet in 2017.
  • Extra-padded seats for women.
  • Pouch for accessories (camera, windbreaker, etc.). Please do not carry large items with you.
  • Each bike is equipped with a GPS programmed with the day’s itinerary so that everyone can bike at their own pace.
  • Passengers can bring their own cleated cycling shoes, but you must also bring your own pedals so that they can be attached to our bikes.

 

+ Where we bike:

  • On paved roads or bike paths.
  • We will not go on mountain bike routes.

 

+ Biking while the ship cruises

  • One or more minivans with guide(s) will follow the group of cyclists.
  • Bikes will be stored in the minivan and picked up each day by passengers.
  • For the slightest problem, the driver of the minivan will either repair the bike or replace it.

 

Here is a FAQ list for several recurring questions:

 

  • Can I stop cycling during the day's tour, and if so, how do I get back to the ship?
           o Yes. Vans will be provided with an extra seat for each passenger if needed.
           o The return to the ship will be done at the first opportune moment; the passengers on the bike tour will remain our immediate priority.

 

  • Can we request an e-bike?
           o Yes. Please ask for our rates.

 

  • What happens if I get a flat tire?
           o Our guides will repair it!

 

  • Some travel agencies think that tours over 31 miles per day (50 km) are too much for the average client.
           o That’s why the shortest option each day will not be over 22 miles (35 km), except for one specific day on the Rhine.
           o If needed, our vans will be available for passengers who would like to stop.
           o Don’t forget that elevation gain is a very important aspect of biking: 31 miles (50 km) along the flat Danube route is very different than even 6 miles (10 km) up to Mont-Sainte-Odile.
           o Our goal is to offer as many options as possible so that different level passengers can participate in the same tours.
           o Even beginner cyclists will enjoy our tours because the shortest itinerary will never be longer than 22 miles (35 km).

 

Just for kids:

  • Do you have bikes for kids? What age must they be and what are the sizes?
            o We can provide wheels for children under the following conditions:


                         Kids’ bikes
                               • Children can ride on their own from 8 years and up
                               • 20” bike for children between 3’ 11” and 4’ 3” (120 to 130 cm)
                               • 24” bike for children between 4’ 3” and 5’ 1” (130 to 155 cm)

 

                         Trail-a-bike
                               • Maximum weight = 83 lbs. (38 kg)
                               • For ages 4 to 7

 

                         Bike trailer
                               • Maximum weight = 60 lbs. (27 kg)
                               • For ages 1 to 3


                  o Parents must have the Trail-a-bike or bike trailer attached to their bikes
                  o PLEASE NOTE: you must request these accessories when placing your order

 

  • Are the tours and itineraries adapted to children?
            o All of our tours are designed to limit contact with road traffic as much as possible.
            o If vehicle circulation during a specific tour becomes excessive, transfers for the children will be organized to remove them from any possible danger.

 

  • If our kids get tired, can they recuperate in the minivan?
            o This is always possible when accompanied by a parent.
            o For children less than 4 years, parents must provide an adapted car seat for the van.
            o For children who are older, booster car seats are usually provided.

 

  • Can children ride in the minivan without a parent?
            o NO

     

 


If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with us. We update this information sheet regularly.