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Ultimate France

A trio of Uniworld’s most-loved French cruises, Ultimate France, showcases three of the best regions of this delightful country – Paris and the Normandy coast, vineyard-strewn Bordeaux, and the picturesque rural delights of Burgundy and Provence.

Enjoy the excitement of France’s capital city, explore quintessential French towns and historic villages, and savour the delectable cuisine and wines of some of the world’s best vineyards. Discover the ultimate French menu of culture, history, and heritage.

This cruise is served by three Uniworld Super Ships, each unique and personally appointed, with the smaller S.S. Joie de Vivre able to dock in the heart of Paris. Enjoy elegant accommodation, five-star leisure facilities, and award-winning dining.

4.45
Star Image
from 53 reviews
  • Cruise Line: Uniworld
  • Ship: S.S. Bon Voyage + 2 more
  • Duration: 21 Nights
  • Departure: May – Oct 2024, Mar – Oct 2025
£11,199pp
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Ultimate France Cruise Itinerary

A blend of three of our most popular French cruises, Ultimate France, is a 21-night voyage blending Paris with the Normandy coast, Bordeaux, and Burgundy. Enjoy tranquil pastoral landscapes, quaint villages, and historic towns with the luxury of a mooring in central Paris on the Seine. This cruise blends quintessential French culture and heritage with more than a generous helping of award-winning wines and gourmet cuisine. Three Uniworld Super Ships service the journey, each unique, but all sharing a blend of five-star comfort and amenities with award-winning dining.

Day 1

Bordeaux

Arrive at Bordeaux-Mérignac International Airport and receive a warm welcome from your Uniworld representative. Transfer to your luxury cruise ship.

Day 2

Cadillac

Explore the 14th-century Château Royal de Cazeneuve on a private tour perfectly finished with a glass of sauterne, a delicious dessert wine with the castle’s owners. Tonight, enjoy a special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner.

Day 3

Cussac Fort Médoc

This region needs no introduction; renowned for its wines, historic vineyards, and magnificent châteaux. Enjoy a panoramic tour of the Médoc peninsula with a private tour of a chateau and wine tasting, or cycle through the iconic Médoc vineyards.

Day 4

Blaye, Bourg Sur Gironde

Drive to Blaye Fortress, a UNESCO-designated landmark on the Route de la Corniche Fleurie, one of the most picturesque roads in France. There is also a Masterpiece Collection tour to Rémy Martin’s distillery, the iconic brandy producers.

Day 5

Libourne (Saint-Émilion)

From Libourne, travel to medieval Saint-Émilion and immerse yourself in the region’s history and viticulture. There is a walking tour of the town, vineyards, and a famous 12th-century underground church plus a winery excursion and tasting.

Day 6

Libourne / Bordeaux

Stroll around Libourne’s lively farmer’s market with an amazing array of cheeses and bread. Later, enjoy an after-hours visit to Bordeaux’s Port de la Lune, a former submarine base, and watch the Bassins des Lumières, a stunning and immersive light show.

Day 7

Bordeaux

Enjoy a ‘do as the locals do’ walking or cycle tour with an expert guide around the beautiful 18th-century architecture of Bordeaux, the inspiration for Napoleon III’s redesign of Paris. Guests can choose a Masterpiece Collection retro sidecar tour.

Day 8

Bordeaux (Disembark), Transfer to Paris on High-Speed TGV Train (Embark)

Disembark the S.S. Bon Voyage and take the high-speed TGV train direct to Paris. Embark the S.S. Joie de Vivre moored on the Seine in the heart of the city.

Day 9

La Roche-Guyon, Vernon, Giverny

In the morning, choose between a scenic hike through the landscape that inspired the artist Claude Monet or a visit to the hilltop Château de La Roche-Guyon with stunning views over the Seine. Later, explore the beautiful gardens at Monet’s home.

Day 10

Rouen

Rouen is Normandy’s medieval capital, with a remarkable historic quarter and a treasure trove of culture and antiquities. Guests can enjoy a private concert at Rouen Cathedral, a hotch-potch of architectural styles from Gothic to Renaissance.

Day 11

Caudebec-En-Caux (Honfleur or Étretat)

From the pretty town of Caudebec-en-Caux, guests drive through the picturesque Calvados countryside to Honfleur, a stunning coastal location, or travel to Étretat for a game of golf. There is also a Masterpiece Collection tour to the Abbey of St. Wandrille.

Day 12

Rouen (Normandy Beaches)

Visit Normandy’s historic beaches, the location of the Allied Landings in 1945, marking the beginning of the end of the Second World War. Visit the British Commonwealth or Canadian beaches with a private ceremony at the Omaha Beach Memorial.

Day 13

Mantes-la-Jolie (Versailles)

Experience the private rooms, the royal apartments, and the iconic Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles with exquisite interiors, textiles, and furniture from the 18th century. Enjoy a special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner tonight on board ship.

Day 14

Paris

Join a local expert for a walk through two famous neighbourhoods or cycle along the Left Bank. There is also a panoramic bus tour of the city’s most famous landmarks, including the Pont Alexandre Bridge, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower.

Day 15

Paris (Disembark), Transfer to Lyon via High-Speed TGV Train (Embark)

Transfer from the S.S Joie de Vivre in Paris via high-speed TGV train to the S.S Catherine moored in Lyon. Guests have time this afternoon to explore Lyon, the gastronomic capital of France and a paradise for foodies.

Day 16

Lyon

Enjoy a tour of Lyon with its Roman origins and beautiful Renaissance houses. Visit ‘Les Traboules,’ the city’s historic quarter, or explore further afield with a cycle ride along the banks of the Rhône and the Saône. Enjoy a Welcome Dinner tonight on board ship.

Day 17

Macon (Beaune)

Peaceful Beaune, the former home of the Dukes of Burgundy and the capital of the region’s wine trade, is full of history and interesting architecture. Explore the medieval Hospices de Beane with its world-famous wine auction.

Day 18

Tain-L’Hermitage (Tournon)

Stroll the historic twin villages of Tournon and Tain-L’Hermitage, located on the riverside in the heart of the Côtes du Rhône. Visit local wine cellars and taste famous vintages. Guests can opt instead to hike through the peaceful terraced vineyards with river views.

Day 19

Viviers

Viviers has a fascinating history dating back more than 1,600 years with architectural gems providing a visual timeline on a guided tour. Guests can also enjoy a Masterpiece Collection tour of a truffle farm and Chateauneuf du Pape wine tasting.

Day 20

Avignon

The walled city of Avignon is one of the most beautiful in southern France. On a walking tour, visit the Palace of the Popes and the Clock Tower Square. There is an excursion to the Pont du Gard Roman Aqueduct. Enjoy the Captain’s Farewell Dinner.

Day 21

Arles

Arles inspired Van Gogh, who painted 200 pictures in the town, famous for its remarkable Roman ruins. There is also a Masterpiece Collection tour to a digital exhibition in a unique quarry setting, followed by a visit to an olive farm.

Day 22

Arles

Disembark the ship and transfer to Marseille Airport for flights back to the UK.

Day 1

Arles

Arrive at Marseille Airport and receive a warm welcome from your Uniworld representative. Transfer to your luxury cruise ship.

Day 2

Arles

Arles inspired Van Gogh, who painted 200 pictures in the town, famous for its remarkable Roman ruins. There is also a Masterpiece Collection tour to a digital exhibition in a unique quarry setting, followed by a visit to an olive farm.

Day 3

Avignon

The walled city of Avignon is one of the most beautiful in southern France. On a walking tour, visit the Palace of the Popes and the Clock Tower Square. There is an excursion to the Pont du Gard Roman Aqueduct. Enjoy the Captain’s Farewell Dinner.

Day 4

Viviers

Viviers has a fascinating history dating back more than 1,600 years with architectural gems providing a visual timeline on a guided tour. Guests can also enjoy a Masterpiece Collection tour of a truffle farm and Chateauneuf du Pape wine tasting.

Day 5

Tain-L’Hermitage (Tournon)

Stroll the historic twin villages of Tournon and Tain-L’Hermitage, located on the riverside in the heart of the Côtes du Rhône. Visit local wine cellars and taste famous vintages. Guests can opt instead to hike through the peaceful terraced vineyards with river views.

Day 6

Macon (Beaune)

Peaceful Beaune, the former home of the Dukes of Burgundy and the capital of the region’s wine trade, is full of history and interesting architecture. Explore the medieval Hospices de Beane with its world-famous wine auction.

Day 7

Lyon

Enjoy a tour of Lyon with its Roman origins and beautiful Renaissance houses. Visit ‘Les Traboules,’ the city’s historic quarter, or explore further afield with a cycle ride along the banks of the Rhône and the Saône. Enjoy a Welcome Dinner tonight on board ship.

Day 8

Paris (Disembark), Transfer to Lyon via High-Speed TGV Train (Embark)

Transfer from the S.S Joie de Vivre in Paris via high-speed TGV train to the S.S Catherine moored in Lyon. Guests have time this afternoon to explore Lyon, the gastronomic capital of France and a paradise for foodies.

Day 9

Paris

Join a local expert for a walk through two famous neighbourhoods or cycle along the Left Bank. There is also a panoramic bus tour of the city’s most famous landmarks, including the Pont Alexandre Bridge, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower.

Day 10

Mantes-la-Jolie (Versailles)

Experience the private rooms, the royal apartments, and the iconic Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles with exquisite interiors, textiles, and furniture from the 18th century. Enjoy a special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner tonight on board ship.

Day 11

Rouen (Normandy Beaches)

Visit Normandy’s historic beaches, the location of the Allied Landings in 1945, marking the beginning of the end of the Second World War. Visit the British Commonwealth or Canadian beaches with a private ceremony at the Omaha Beach Memorial.

Day 12

Caudebec-En-Caux (Honfleur or Étretat)

From the pretty town of Caudebec-en-Caux, guests drive through the picturesque Calvados countryside to Honfleur, a stunning coastal location, or travel to Étretat for a game of golf. There is also a Masterpiece Collection tour to the Abbey of St. Wandrille.

Day 13

Rouen

Rouen is Normandy’s medieval capital, with a remarkable historic quarter and a treasure trove of culture and antiquities. Guests can enjoy a private concert at Rouen Cathedral, a hotch-potch of architectural styles from Gothic to Renaissance.

Day 14

La Roche-Guyon, Vernon, Giverny

In the morning, choose between a scenic hike through the landscape that inspired the artist Claude Monet or a visit to the hilltop Château de La Roche-Guyon with stunning views over the Seine. Later, explore the beautiful gardens at Monet’s home.

Day 15

Bordeaux (Disembark), Transfer to Paris on High-Speed TGV Train (Embark)

Disembark the S.S. Bon Voyage and take the high-speed TGV train direct to Paris. Embark the S.S. Joie de Vivre moored on the Seine in the heart of the city.

Day 16

Bordeaux

Enjoy a ‘do as the locals do’ walking or cycle tour with an expert guide around the beautiful 18th-century architecture of Bordeaux, the inspiration for Napoleon III’s redesign of Paris. Guests can choose a Masterpiece Collection retro sidecar tour.

Day 17

Libourne / Bordeaux

Stroll around Libourne’s lively farmer’s market with an amazing array of cheeses and bread. Later, enjoy an after-hours visit to Bordeaux’s Port de la Lune, a former submarine base, and watch the Bassins des Lumières, a stunning and immersive light show.

Day 18

Libourne (Saint-Émilion)

From Libourne, travel to medieval Saint-Émilion and immerse yourself in the region’s history and viticulture. There is a walking tour of the town, vineyards, and a famous 12th-century underground church plus a winery excursion and tasting.

Day 19

Blaye, Bourg Sur Gironde

Drive to Blaye Fortress, a UNESCO-designated landmark on the Route de la Corniche Fleurie, one of the most picturesque roads in France. There is also a Masterpiece Collection tour to Rémy Martin’s distillery, the iconic brandy producers.

Day 20

Cussac Fort Médoc

This region needs no introduction; renowned for its wines, historic vineyards, and magnificent châteaux. Enjoy a panoramic tour of the Médoc peninsula with a private tour of a chateau and wine tasting, or cycle through the iconic Médoc vineyards.

Day 21

Cadillac

Explore the 14th-century Château Royal de Cazeneuve on a private tour perfectly finished with a glass of sauterne, a delicious dessert wine with the castle’s owners. Tonight, enjoy a special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner.

Day 22

Bordeaux

Disembark the ship and transfer to Bordeaux-Mérignac International Airport for flights back to the UK.

Ultimate France Cruise Ships

Trustpilot Reviews

Ultimate France Deals

Enjoy the Delights of Paris, Bordeaux, and Burgundy with Crui.se

21 Nights
May – Oct 2024
Mar – Oct 2025

Ultimate France

  • Bordeaux
  • Cadillac
  • Cussac Fort Médoc
  • Blaye / Bourg Sur Gironde
  • Libourne (Saint- Émilion)
  • Libourne - Bordeaux
  • Bordeaux / Paris
  • La Roche-Guyon / Vernon / Giverny
  • Rouen
  • Caudebec-en-Caux (Honfleur or Étretat)
  • Rouen (Normandy Beaches)
  • Mantes-la-Jolie (Versailles)
  • Paris
  • Paris - Lyon
  • Lyon
  • Macon (Beaune)
  • Tain-L’Hermitage (Tournon)
  • Viviers
  • Avignon
  • Arles
£11,199pp Est. Price per person
  • S.S. Bon Voyage + 2 more ships  
  • Garonne

Ultimate France Cruise Review

“Great facilities on board. Fantastic range of shore excursions. Appreciated the formation of a gentle walkers group for those of us not as mobile as our younger counterparts.”

Dianne Grech, Huddersfield

Ultimate France FAQ

Find answers to some of the most common questions about river cruising here.

Where will the ship dock?

The local harbour authorities determine where Uniworld ships can dock, and this can depend on how busy the port is and the river conditions. The S.S. Joie de Vivre is a smaller vessel specifically designed to dock in the heart of Paris.

Is there a laundry service available on board the ship?

The Grand Suites and Suites on all three Uniworld Super Ships that service this cruise offer a free in-suite laundry service.

Can you accommodate special diets on board the ship?

Uniworld appreciates that some guests have specific dietary requirements for medical reasons or due to food intolerances. You can record your particular needs on the Passenger Information Form; our chefs will strive to accommodate these. All food is prepared fresh daily. A ‘Travelling Lite’ menu for guests who want low-calorie options and vegan and vegetarian meals is available.

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