NEW! Bordeaux: Vineyards, Vintages & Chateaux
A Tour of Wine and Roses
I?ll start my review by saying that of my 14 OAT/GCT trips, this is my favorite. It?s not your average trip, but a superb combination of land tour and river cruise. It?s far more active than most river cruises; I was very glad to have comfortable walking shoes. The pacing, I felt, was excellent and I appreciated the chance to get a taste of the Loire Valley and to see so much of Southwest France.
Several important points: There really was an emphasis on wineries; we visited several, very different, but all offering great tastings. One of the optionals offered two more wineries and the home-hosted has been replaced by a visit to a family-owned winery (we were divided into groups and visited different ones). Many of these establishments had beautiful old buildings and lush gardens, including some of the loveliest roses I?ve ever seen.
There are many meals _on your own?. This wasn?t a problem for me, I usually have my main meal at lunch and I found the prices comparable with those here in Southern California. Also, we had several picnics, just buying wine, bread, cheese, desserts, etc at one of the convenient grocery stores.
The hotels were clean and pleasant, but, more importantly, very well located. Les Jardins du Marais was in easy walking distance of the Place des Vosges and the Carnavalet Museum, as well as the metro and the bus lines. On the post-trip the Best Western Capitouls, quirky, but clean and comfortable, was right in the heart of the town center, with restaurants, shopping, and parks nearby.
The River Chanson is a lovely ship, very comfortable, with the usual wonderful GCT staff. On this trip, the ship does not sail very much, but usually goes from one small town to the next. Take this into consideration: if you enjoy long days of sailing, looking at the passing scenery, you may be disappointed
A shout-out to our wonderful guides, Barbara Teetsov and Heloise Amboise. Ladies, you made my trip marvelous!
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.