Before gracing UK televisions, James Martin travelled throughout France working in the kitchens of French châteaux. At 21, he opened the Hotel and Bistro du Vin in Winchester as Head Chef, where he changed the menu daily. James' TV shows have included James Martin: Home Comforts, British favourite Saturday Kitchen and James Martin's French Adventure. He can be found at James Martin Manchester and The Kitchen at Chewton Glen.
Experience Bordeaux and the Médoc with James Martin
New October 2021 departure just announced!
The Government has given the go-ahead for all river cruises. For up-to-date advice on travel and COVID-19, see our homepage.
Glorious châteaux, delicious wines, stunning scenery, a luxurious ship and the company of one of Britain's best-loved chefs - you have all the ingredients for the perfect river cruise.
The Bordeaux region is where it all began for James Martin as a
trainee in the Michelin-starred Hostellerie de Plaisance,
Saint-Émilion, and he's been coming back to this beautiful part of
France ever since.
On this eight-night journey, you will try clarets, including tastings with wine expert Susy Atkins. You will also join James at an oyster tasting, hear about his life in a talk, learn how to cook French classics and enjoy a very special dinner designed by James himself. You'll also take in farmers' markets, go on guided tours and do yoga at Blaye's historic fortress.
What's more, your ship SS Bon Voyage is one of the newest and most luxurious ships operating in France. She has been uniquely designed to immerse guests in French culture, art and wine. On y va, alors?
Reasons to book
Exclusive dinner cooked by James Martin
Cooking demo, Oyster tasting and Q&A
Ultimate luxury all-inclusive
Wine tastings with Susy Atkins
Peace of Mind
Your expert guides
Susy Atkins is a familiar face to most food and drink lovers, having made regular appearances as a wine expert and presenter on BBC One's flagship cookery show Saturday Kitchen. Her 11 books include Wine Wisdom, Wine Made Easy and the bestselling Girls' Guide to Wine. She has won the Glenfiddich Food & Drink award and the Prix du Champagne Lanson wine writing award, and is the wine editor of Delicious magazine and consultant editor of the South West Independent Gin & Artisan Spirit Guide.
- Travel with Uniworld, consistently ranked as the best river cruise line
- Return flights from a range of UK airports, or Eurostar or self-drive
- Seven night's all-inclusive on the new Super-Ship S.S. Bon Voyage, in Classic stateroom
- Oyster and wine tasting
- Gala dinner cooked by James Martin
- Cooking demonstration with James Martin
- Exclusive talk and Q&A with James Martin
- Wine tastings with Susy Atkins, including stunning wineries in Libourne and Saint-Emilion
- All meals on board, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
- Six days of immersive, flexible and specially curated excursions
- All gratuities included, both on ship and land
Day1Arrive in BordeauxBordeaux, France
Arrive from the UK via flight, Eurostar or Uniworld's new self-drive option. On arrival you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.
Day2Blaye and BourgBlaye, France
Drive along the beautiful Route de la Corniche Fleurie to Blaye Fortress. Explore this Unesco World Heritage site and enjoy a yoga sessio in the heart of the citadel. Tonight you will enjoy an exclusive Q&A session with James as he discusses his life and love of food - from his French roots and culinary adventures to his presenting career.
Day3Fort Medoc and PauillacPauillac, France
This morning as you sail to the Médoc, James will give a private cooking demonstration on the French Classics on the top deck of the Café Du Soleil? When you reach the legendary Médoc region, he will also join you to experience the local produce with an exclusive oyster tasting session.
After a day of sightseeing and wine tasting at a beautiful wine estate you will enjoy a exclusive gala dinner, designed and prepared by James alongside Uniworld's French executive chefs.
Day4Cadillac and LibourneCadillac, France
The French phrase "la douceur de vivre" is an accurate description for your time in Cadillac, known for its deliciously flavoured dessert wines. Visit Château Royal de Cazeneuve, site of Henry IV's and Queen Margot's tempestuous love. Meet the owner around a glass of Sauternes in the reception hall. Later today Susy Atkins will host a small get together where you can get to know your guest over a glass of fine wine.
Day5Saint-EmilionSaint Emilion, France
Wander its cobblestone lanes of Saint Emilion which are lined with wine shops and bakeries, and stop to admire the amazing rock-hewn church that extends beneath the city's streets. Susy will accompany you on an unforgettable tour and wine tasting at Château Beauséjour Bécot, a perfect way to immerse yourself in the regions rich wine culture.
France's rich agricultural tradition is the heart and soul of the region's exquisite cuisine-and what better way to get a taste for the freshest vegetables, cheeses, breads and fruits than with a visit to Libourne's lively farmers' market? Later today feel inspired as Susy Atkins gives an incredible insight into her career and hosts a fantastic wine tasting on board.
Discover Bordeaux's many charms today, either on foot with a local expert or on two wheels-the locals' preferred way to navigate the city's charming backstreets. You have a wonderful selection of active opportunities to see this magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site. Later on this afternoon enjoy an opportunity to take part in an interactive tour to the La Cité du Vin.
Day8Return home from BordeauxBordeaux, France
Your culinary journey has come to an end. Disembark the ship to begin your journey home. If you have travelled by plane or train your transfer will be waiting to drop you to the airport. Or opt for the self-drive option.
SS Bon Voyage
Sailing with Uniworld is like cruising in a five-star hotel – you’ll enjoy industry- leading service throughout your journey through the beautiful countryside. The new SS Bon Voyage is one of the world's finest river ships uniquely designed to immerse guests in French culture, art and wine, from its stunning polished wood lobby to the marble-bathroomed staterooms and Savoir Beds. On board, you will find a choice of restaurants offering freshly-prepared five-star cuisine with all meals and unlimited drinks including fines wines and spirits, a sun deck with stunning infinity pool, well-equipped fitness centre and the luxury Serenity River Spa.In your Classic Stateroom you will find hand-crafted Savoir Beds.
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