The first of three enchanting cities you’ll visit on this fabulous French foray is Rouen, situated in the heart of historic Normandy. An overnight stay in the ‘City of a Hundred Spires’ will afford you plenty of time to discover an abundance of attractions, including the spectacular Gothic-style Cathédrale Notre-Dame, the iconic Gros Horloge and the exact spot where Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake at Place du Vieux-Marche. Alternatively you could tour to the Claude Monet House and Gardens; or head to nearby Paris in the evening and uncover the romantic French capital’s world-famous landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe. Your departure from Rouen is sure to be magical, sailing 60 nautical miles along the River Seine and taking in unspoilt views of lush green countryside and quaint communes dotted along the riverbanks.
You’ll also experience memorable scenic cruising of the gorgeous Gironde and Garonne Rivers as your ship sails into beautiful Bordeaux. Once docked in the centre of the city, a collection of attractions will be just the length of the gangway away; and, as you’ll stop here overnight, there’s no reason to not take them all in. Over 360 historic sites await your discovery in Bordeaux's UNESCO-listed heart, including Calihau Gate, the 13th century Cathédrale Saint-André, the Grand Théâtre and Cours du Chapeau-Rouge; while the incredible Cité du Vin offers a culinary experience that lovers of French food and wine won’t want to miss. There’s also a chance to tour to the renowned vineyards of the beautiful Medoc region to find out more about how some of the world’s very best wines are crafted. Finally it’s on to Lorient, a city that feels typically French today but was once one of Germany’s most important U-boat bases. Here you can visit the concrete caverns of the Keroman Submarine Base; admire the post-war architecture; and take in the fine selection of galleries and museums, all before Braemar heads back to Southampton.