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The Garonne (Stony River) flows from the central Spanish Pyrenees to the Gironde estuary at the French port of Bordeaux, coursing serenely through one of France’s most idyllic countrysides, carving a path steeped in fascinating history, architecture, and cuisine, not to mention wine!. Its sloping vineyards produce many of the world’s best vins amid a wealth of lush landscapes in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. Its capital city of Bordeaux bears the name that is synonymous with its vineyards and villages evoking centuries of la belle vie passed through generations. From quaint country hamlets to quiet vineyards, châteaux to cathedrals, and French kitchens to famous wine cellars, a tidal current of bountiful can be found along the grape-lined Garonne.

 Gifts of the Garonne River 

Sloping vineyards, striking architecture, and stirring experiences in French food, culture, and wine await in Bordeaux. 


    Picture yourself relaxing in a Bordeaux château, savouring the sweet, zesty sips of golden-yellow Sauternes. Delivered with a flowery bouquet and fruity aromas, Sauternes sweetens the day in true French tradition.  


    Why is the Garonne River brown? By converging with the Dordogne and Garonne Rivers to create Europe’s largest estuary, the salty Atlantic seawater turns the tides on the river’s clay sediment to create a cloudy ochre-colored appearance.  



    Château de la Brêde was the home of the great political thinker and philosopher Montesquieu. He was born, lived, and wrote many of his works in this 14th-century Gothic castle – including De L’esprit des lois (The Spirit of Laws), an inspiration to America’s founders in crafting the U.S. Constitution.


    The seaside resort of Arcachon on the Atlantic coast will sweep you off your feet with sweeping sculpted sand, soothing ocean swells, stately belle-époque villas, and gardens galore. It only gets better with wine and oysters–with an annual catch of about 10,000 tons raised from the gulf each year.

Who loves the GARONNE?

While we love the river that flows through the Bordeaux region of Southwestern France for its wonderful wines, we are also wowed by the winsome villages, world-class architecture, and winning cuisine that tempt travelers who crave boundless, immersive exploration along the Garonne and Dordogne.

International Newbies

First time in Europe? First time sailing its picturesque rivers? A cruise on the Garonne through the bountiful beauty of Bordeaux is the perfect way to ignite your wanderlust for stunning scenic landscapes, legendary culture and cuisine, and the beloved traditions of la belle vie. Life truly is beautiful on the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers—the perfect way to fall in love with river cruising.


Experienced travelers know the value of digging deeper into Europe’s legendary destinations and cultures. Cruising through Southwestern France on the Garonne River goes deeper into the treasured traditions and tastes of the Bordeaux region—with visual feasts served with a deeper appreciation of its artistic treasures as well. Perfect for seasoned sight-seekers who have set their sights on something more!


For those who have enjoyed Europe, we invite you to join us again for an all-encompassing, new view of the Old World. From enchantment in the City of Light along Paris’ famed and lesser-known avenues to the stunning beauty of the Normandy region and its moving history of heroes—to the serenity and sumptuous delights of Bordeaux, Avalon French river cruises color your world by reveling in la vie en rose!


The sloping vineyards of the Garonne produce many of the world’s best wines amid legendary landscapes and classic architecture in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Bordeaux region.

Image Gallery

  • Garonne Image Gallery BordeauxVineyards
  • Garonne Image Gallery Saint Emilion
  • Garonne Image Gallery Fontaine Des Trois Grace


You don't know Bordeaux until you've sailed with Avalon! Sure, you may have heard of its famous wines, but there's much more to see and do. And don't worry, the wine will be flowing along the Garonne River too! 

You Had Me at Châteaux!

What’s in a name? With Bordeaux evoking a purple haze of other delicious terms like burgundy, maroon, and claret, a Merlot by any other name would not taste as sweet anywhere else.

Ooh, Ahh & Ooh La La!

The epic beauty of La Belle Époque (the Beautiful Age) is simple to see in the elegant and extravagant 19th-century villas of Arcachon.

It’s Hip to See Squares

Join a guided walking tour to discover the heart of Bordeaux with a stroll amid its stunning squares, avenues, and cathedrals.

The Forefather’s Forefather

Château de la Brêde—birthplace of Montesquieu—served as the inspired setting of theories of civil liberty which helped to birth constitutions around the world.

Hail a Cab-ernet!

Catch a ride to a Médoc Château to taste Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon in the settings where their grapes inspired greatness.

A Knack for Cognac

Explore the legendary home of world-class Cognac at the Rémy Martin tasting if the mood strikes and “sante” one of the most celebrated brandies in the world.

Pedal through a Postcard

Glide through the stunning scenes of Bordeaux’s Médoc area by e-bike in a living postcard of vineyard perfection. A grape day!

Crack a Smile on the Coast 

Smiles all around with a round of wine and the best oysters in France served fresh from the gulf in seaside Arcachon.

City on the Hill

Perfectly preserved and poised on a hilltop overlooking the Gironde Estuary, the Citadelle de Blaye stands as a fortress, casting a shadow over history, as it has for centuries.

Wonder Road

Drive the Route de la Corniche along shores of the River Dordogne. Take in the panoramic beauty of the Gironde Estuary on this road nestled between sheer cliffs and river’s edge where fishermen’s stilted huts, homes, and gardens create a picturesque drive like no other.

Savoring Saint-Émilion.

The heart of the Bordeaux wine region, wind and bend along the medieval and magnificent cobblestone streets and squares of Saint-Émilion. Sharpen your chef’s skills while baking a traditional French choux pastry and savor the singular pleasure of pairing two French favorites on a chocolate-and-wine-pairing excursion