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.
See the best of Bordeaux and beyond with James Martin
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With breathtaking scenery and glorious weather almost all year
round, the Atlantic coast of France is home to medieval landmarks
and magnificent vineyards. And on this eight-day luxury river
cruise along the Garonne, Dordogne and Gironde, you'll experience
the region's full flavour - with one of the UK's most popular
chefs, James Martin.
The chef, who hosts his own ITV show - Saturday Morning with James Martin - says his early trips to the Bordeaux region are what cemented his passion for food and set him on the path to a culinary career. He worked as a trainee in the Michelin-starred Hostellerie de Plaisance in Saint-Emilion, and is a regular visitor to this beautiful part of France.
He'll share his love of the area during an exclusive talk, a French classics cooking demonstration, an oyster-tasting (March 28 departure) or gourmet tour of Bordeaux (March 21 departure) before designing and cooking a very special gala dinner designed by James alongside Uniworld's French executive chefs. Also on this fabulous foodie experience will be wine expert (and Saturday Kitchen regular) Susy Atkins, who will take part in tastings of the region's delicious wines with you and select the wines to pair with your special gala dinner.
Setting off from Bordeaux, you'll discover the Unesco-listed citadel in Blaye, where you can do yoga in the heart of the fortress. And you'll travel through stunning wineries and chateaux's in Saint-Emilion and Libourne, before returning to your starting point.
You'll travel on the newest and most luxurious river cruise ship in France, the S.S. Bon Voyage. It's uniquely designed to immerse guests in French culture, art and wine, from its stunning polished-wood lobby to the marble-bathroomed staterooms. On board, you will find a choice of restaurants offering freshly-prepared, five-star cuisine with all meals and unlimited drinks including fine wines and spirits, an infinity pool and sun deck, fitness centre and the luxury Serenity River Spa.
Exclusive dinner cooked by James Martin
Cooking demo, Oyster tasting and Q&A with James
Wine tastings with Susy Atkins
Sail in supreme luxury
Your expert guides
An award-winning broadcaster, journalist and author, Susy Atkins has travelled the world writing, tasting and educating about wine for more than 25 years. Susy's credits include being a wine expert and presenter on BBC1's Saturday Kitchen, the resident wine expert on Channel 4's Richard & Judy, a regular contributor to Radio 4 and the author of 11 popular books, including Wine Wisdom, How to Choose Wine and How to Make Your Own Drinks.
- 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 SS Bon Voyage is a luxury river ship uniquely designed to immerse guests in French culture, art, and wine, from its stunning polished wood lobby to the staterooms with luxury marble bathrooms and Savoir beds. On board, you will find a choice of restaurants offering freshly prepared five-star cuisine and fine wines. There is nothing better than relaxing on the sundeck enjoying the ever-changing scenery or taking a dip in the only infinity pool on the world's rivers.
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