Canals
& Culture Connection

Dive Into the Heart of France

Perhaps best known as the evacuation site of Operation Dynamo, Dunkirk holds a great deal of significant history. But beyond stories of the past, this charming French city also offers culinary treasures, like Domino, a farmhouse cheese made from raw goat's milk, a savory delicacy you will want to try. Staying overnight in the UNESCO-listed Bordeaux, there's time for experiences such as journeying up the Castles Route, which passes eight of the most famous châteaux, including Margaux, Pauillac and Saint-Julien, the perfect combination of wine and history. Radiant legacies of Vikings, Romans and Joan of Arc await in the charming town of Rouen, which you reach by navigating the enchanting Seine River. Relish a culinary adventure to the picturesque town of Cancale from St. Malo, joining your fellow foodies for an oyster tasting amid Edenic scenes. It's even said that Louis XIV, the Sun King himself, indulged in Cancale's famous oysters.

Bordeaux to Zeebrugge

May 27, 2025

10 Nights

World Voyager

SECOND GUEST
SAILS FREE

PLUS

FREE Cultural Immersion

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May 27 Bordeaux, France

Bordeaux, France

There is no region in the world more closely associated with fabulous vineyards than the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bordeaux. Located in the southwest of France, not far from the Bay of Biscay, Bordeaux offers about 60 appellations, 9,000 wine-producing châteaux and 13,000 grape growers - more than you could possibly try. For an amazing overview of Bordeaux wine, journey up the Castles Route, which runs along the length of the Médoc peninsula. This road passes eight of the most famous châteaux, including Margaux, Pauillac and Saint-Julien. Not far off lies the mouth of the Gironde estuary, off the coast of Royan and the Grave headland, where you’ll catch the first glimpse of the famous Cordouan Lighthouse of Le Verdon-sur-Mer, the oldest working lighthouse in France.

May 28 Bordeaux, France Depart: 5:00 pm

Bordeaux, France

There is no region in the world more closely associated with fabulous vineyards than the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bordeaux. Located in the southwest of France, not far from the Bay of Biscay, Bordeaux offers about 60 appellations, 9,000 wine-producing châteaux and 13,000 grape growers - more than you could possibly try. For an amazing overview of Bordeaux wine, journey up the Castles Route, which runs along the length of the Médoc peninsula. This road passes eight of the most famous châteaux, including Margaux, Pauillac and Saint-Julien. Not far off lies the mouth of the Gironde estuary, off the coast of Royan and the Grave headland, where you’ll catch the first glimpse of the famous Cordouan Lighthouse of Le Verdon-sur-Mer, the oldest working lighthouse in France.

May 29 At Sea

At Sea

Spend the day on the high seas pampering yourself at the spa or enjoying some time on deck. Mingle with your fellow explorers and swap stories of your exploits, making plans for new ones together once you get to shore

May 30 St. Malo, France Arrive: 10:00 am Depart: 10:00 pm

St. Malo, France

With a history dating back to the first century BCE, Saint Malo, France has a deep and profound past that has stood the test of time. From the monolithic menhirs and dolmens of the Neolithic era to the Celtic influences and traditions running through its music, festivals and language, this city holds a fascinating story that every explorer can appreciate. Famous for its remarkable ocean tides, the view of the difference between high and low tide in St. Malo cannot compare. Just outside the city limits are the captivating Rochers Sculptes, sculpted rocks carved by deaf and mute French artist Adolphe Julien Fouéré, hugging the cliffs of the Emerald Coast. The city’s Brittany heritage runs strong in its local fare and you can indulge in a helping of moules frites - steamed mussels and chips (fries).

May 31 St. Peter Port,( Guernsey) Channel Islands Arrive: 7:00 am Depart: 5:00 pm

St. Peter Port,( Guernsey) Channel Islands

Legend has it that the enchanted land of St. Peter Port was invaded by fairies once upon a time. For proof, head west to the edge of the island to find a mysterious Fairy Ring known as Pleinmont, walk around it three times and make a wish. Aside from local lore, Guernsey is charmed as the second largest of the Channel Islands ideally situated in the bay of St. Malo, a mere 30 miles from the coast of France and 80 miles from the coast of England. Speaking of England, while Guernsey is considered part of the British Isles, it is not a part of the United Kingdom, as it constitutionally owes allegiance to the English Crown, but has its own separate legislature.

Jun 01 Caen (Normandy), France Arrive: 8:00 am Depart: 10:00 pm

Caen (Normandy), France

Best known as the residence of William the Conqueror and Queen Matilda, there’s an air of royal presence throughout the charming port of Caen. Located in the heart of Normandy, this French commune holds a deep and rich history waiting for you to explore. The grand twin abbeys and Caen Castle, both remnants of William the Conqueror’s rule, inspire a sense of awe with ornate constructions. From this port, history buffs can come together to visit the D-Day Landing Beaches, a quest only made complete with a stop at the Mémorial de Caen. While taking in captivating views of Normandy, sip on a traditional Cambremer cider, a crisp and refreshing drink renowned since the times of King Henry IV, with new friends. For a true taste of Caen, stop in at a local restaurant with your fellow explorers and try the tripes à la mode, a French stew combining tripe with ox feet, vegetables, herbs and spices, cider and apple brandy.

Jun 02 Rouen (Paris), France Arrive: 8:00 am OVERNIGHT

Rouen (Paris), France

Along the shoreline of the Seine sits a quintessentially French port, Rouen. Filled with Gothic architecture, Norman houses and a wealth of history that dates back to the 10th-century Vikings and Romans, it is a destination that invites you and your fellow explorers to let your imagination run wild. The enchanting spires of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen may strike a chord, as they often appeared in the paintings of the city’s most famous resident, Claude Monet. Gather with newfound friends to sip on a Bénédictine, a French liqueur blended with honey and saffron that gives notes of citrus fruit, herbs and spices. Indulge your sweet tooth with an abundance of treats from so many confectionaries throughout Rouen. Take about a two-hour drive to Paris for all the highlights of the City of Lights. Or instead, make the drive to the UNESCO-listed Notre-Dame de Chartres Cathedral, a masterpiece of French Gothic art and architecture.

Jun 03 Rouen (Paris), France Depart: 5:00 pm

Rouen (Paris), France

Along the shoreline of the Seine sits a quintessentially French port, Rouen. Filled with Gothic architecture, Norman houses and a wealth of history that dates back to the 10th-century Vikings and Romans, it is a destination that invites you and your fellow explorers to let your imagination run wild. The enchanting spires of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen may strike a chord, as they often appeared in the paintings of the city’s most famous resident, Claude Monet. Gather with newfound friends to sip on a Bénédictine, a French liqueur blended with honey and saffron that gives notes of citrus fruit, herbs and spices. Indulge your sweet tooth with an abundance of treats from so many confectionaries throughout Rouen. Take about a two-hour drive to Paris for all the highlights of the City of Lights. Or instead, make the drive to the UNESCO-listed Notre-Dame de Chartres Cathedral, a masterpiece of French Gothic art and architecture.

Jun 04 Dunkirk, France Arrive: 10:00 am Depart: 7:00 pm

Dunkirk, France

Perhaps best known as the evacuation site of Operation Dynamo, where almost 400,000 troops were rescued from German forces during WWII in May of 1940, France’s third-largest port Dunkirk holds a great deal of significant history. The city also holds a place in scientific research with the lesser-known Dunkirk Belfry, one of the poles that played a role in the 18th century that led to the creation of the standard meter length measurement. Beyond the city’s rich history, explore miles of golden-sand beaches, charming boutiques and a treasure trove of local restaurants. Find a local cheese shop to discover your new favorite variety, from Domino, a farmhouse cheese made from raw goat’s milk, to Boulette de Cambrai, a rindless cheese seasoned with chives, parsley and tarragon. Gather a group of new friends to visit the nearby Lille, a beautiful city with grand architecture, bell towers and a distinct art collection at Palais des Beaux-Arts.

Jun 05 Zeebrugge (Bruges), Belgium Arrive: 7:00 am OVERNIGHT

Zeebrugge (Bruges), Belgium

Characterized by medieval architecture, canals and cobblestone streets, the Belgian city of Bruges is a picture straight out of a fairytale. It’s this historic and charming image that made the whole city a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. The picturesque Rozenhoedkaai (Quay of the Rosary) offers idyllic views along the waterfront, complete with local boaters, that is now one of the most photographed sites in the city. Its port, Zeebrugge, acts as a commercial center for European trade and fishing. When visiting Belgium, make sure to try a craft beer brewed by Trappist monks, with only 11 breweries in the world permitted to make it.

Jun 06 Zeebrugge (Bruges), Belgium Arrive: 8:00 am

Zeebrugge (Bruges), Belgium

Characterized by medieval architecture, canals and cobblestone streets, the Belgian city of Bruges is a picture straight out of a fairytale. It’s this historic and charming image that made the whole city a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. The picturesque Rozenhoedkaai (Quay of the Rosary) offers idyllic views along the waterfront, complete with local boaters, that is now one of the most photographed sites in the city. Its port, Zeebrugge, acts as a commercial center for European trade and fishing. When visiting Belgium, make sure to try a craft beer brewed by Trappist monks, with only 11 breweries in the world permitted to make it.

Bordeaux to Zeebrugge

May 27, 2025

10 Nights

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  • FREE cultural immersion
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  • FREE events hosted by a Tastes & Traditions Expert on select expeditions
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Exclusively on Cultural Expeditions

  • FREE cultural immersion
  • FREE enrichment programs and workshops on select expeditions
  • FREE authentic, local experiences and on board events on select expeditions
  • FREE Josper Grill Dining Experience at 7AFT Grill
  • FREE Atlas Ocean Voyages backpack
  • FREE use of water toys on select expeditions

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