• Special Opportunity!

Chateaux, Rivers and Wine in France: A Photo Safari on Viking River Cruises

Travel on Viking River Cruises with Washington Photo Safari to the Bordeaux Region in France

Quick Details

Chateaux, Rivers and Wine in France:
A Photo Safari on Viking River Cruises
October 10-17, 2020

 Over the past 3 years Washington Photo Safari has taken you to the best photo ops in and around the nation’s capital, on river cruises from Paris to Normandy and Amsterdam to Basel, on a sea cruise from Baltimore to the Bahamas, and to street photography in Cuba.

Now our newest offering for you is a food and wine photography tour along the Chateaux rivers and Wine Country in France in October of 2020. 

This 8 day river cruise on Viking River Cruises will take us through Bordeaux 18th century urban areas into one of the world’s leading wine capitals with its own unique style of cuisine near the Atlantic coast. We will sample excellent seafood along with delectable French Classics on a wide variety of cheeses, sausage, lamb , goose and pork prepared with subtle Basque flavors.

Our cruise will also take us to the wine country of Lebourne, Cadillac and Pouillac with an opportunity to photograph wineries and sample and photograph French cuisine.

The photographic techniques taught on this safari will include:

–        Food and winery photography

–        Architectural photography

–        Travel photography

–        Street photography

–        Nighttime photography

–        Interior Museum and Chateaux photography

–        Outdoor portraiture

–        Interior Ship Photography

 The safari will be led by E. David Luria, professional architectural photographer, founder and director of the Washington Photo Safari, which has trained over 37,000 amateur photographers in camera technique and composition since 1999. Washington Photo Safari has been given Trip Advisor’s Hall of Fame Award due to dozens of 5-star customer reviews and in 2019 was voted among the Top Two Best Photography Services in DC by the readers of DC’s City Paper.

Trained in Paris at the Parsons School of Design by a protege of Henri Cartier Bresson, Mr. Luria has seen his photographs appear in over 100 publications and 20 magazine covers. He is fluent in French and has traveled widely in France ever since the age of 17, when he spent six weeks with a wine merchant’s family near Belfort!


 And here is the kicker: if you register for this Safari before May 31st, 2019, you are guaranteed a round-trip airfare of only $599 from most US cities to Bordeaux.  If you are a past guest on Viking River cruises you also are eligible for past guest savings of $400 per person, $800 per couple. If you are new to Viking you get a $200 on-board credit/person IF YOU BOOK AND PAY IN FULL BY JUNE 30, 2019. (Cabin prices are listed below)


The $599 round-trip air rate is from selected U.S. airports.  The airports listed on the Viking website are: Atlanta, Boston, Miami, New York, Newark, Orlando, Philadelphia, Washington, DC., plus other gateway cities.

The $599 rate is also for arriving the day of the departure.  If someone wants to come earlier and not do pre-hotels through the cruise line, Viking will charge an air deviation fee of $100 per person.  This will also mean that the client is responsible for getting transfers on their own.

 If someone has to cancel before 121 days prior to the sailing, the cancellation fee is only $100 per person.  If you cancel closer than 121 prior to the sailing, there could be a penalty for the air if it is already ticketed as well as the standard cancellation fee schedule. 

If you do the Viking air to arrive on the ship departure date, but choose to extend your vacation and fly home later than the cruise end date, there will be a deviation fee of $100*.  You would get the transfers to the ship at the beginning of the cruise but not to the hotel or airport at the end.  If you want to arrive early and do hotel on your own but fly home on the scheduled cruise end date, there would be the deviation fee.  You would not get transfers to the ship but would get transfers to the airport at the end.  Fees may vary.

 You can book this air travel and the cruise through our travel agent, Renee Gerber at Dream Vacations at [email protected].


Once there is money on the booking, there will be a cancellation penalty of $100 per person as long as the booking is canceled no later than 121 days prior to departure (June 1, 2020) .  Even if the booking is paid in full, the penalty is $100 per person as long as the cancellation request is received no later than 121 days prior to departure.  All cancellations must be sent to Renee Gerber via email as Viking needs this in writing.

 The penalty increases as you get closer to the departure date.  See below for Terms and conditions with the cancellation schedule. Air can be deleted from a booking at any time without a penalty as long as it hasn’t been ticketed.

This Safari will be limited to just 12 photographers. This includes Photographers paying full tuition ($188/day, or $1500) and their accompanying Photographer Companions paying half-tuition ($750). Non-photographer companions are welcome for a minor service fee of $75.

If you are traveling without a photographer companion or non-photographer companion, we will make every effort to pair you up with  another photographer participant of the same gender to share cabin costs.

Our group rates on this Cruise negotiated for us by Renee Gerber of Dream Vacations will start at $2874 per person double occupancy for the standard cabin. All cabins have a river view.

Viking River Cruises also provides an opportunity for pre and post packages to the Loire Valley and to Paris.  Current pricing for the Pre and Post packages are as follows:

  • Pre-Loire Valley 3-night extension- $1349 per person double occupancy
  • Post-Paris 3-night extension- $899 per person double occupancy

Here is the day by day itinerary of this 8-day cruise with Viking River Cruises.

Day 1:

Place De La Bourse Fountain – Bordeaux, France
Honored as a City of Art and History, Bordeaux is a Little Paris of beautiful boulevards, stunning churches and green parks and gardens.

Day 2:

Pont De Pierre Sunset – Bordeaux, France
Set on the Garonne River in southwestern France, Bordeaux’s graceful port is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 3:

Chateau d’Arche Sauternes – Cadillac (Sauternes), France
A small commune in the Gironde department of Aquitaine, Cadillac and its 17th-century castle retain much of their old-world charm.

Day 4:

Market Cheese -Libourne, France
Libourne enjoys a respected status as a French wine-making capital and hosts one of the largest fresh food markets in the area.

Day 5:

La Grave vineyards (Bourg ); Vauban Citadel (Blaye)  –  Bourg & Blaye, France
A producer of fine red wines, scenic Blaye boasts an extraordinary 17th-century citadel, dramatically set on a rock along the Gironde River.

Day 6:

Médoc and Margaux Wine Country – Pauillac, France
Pauillac is a community in the Gironde department of Aquitaine, France; its population is about 5,000.

Day 7:

Opera National Building – Bordeaux, France
Many of Bordeaux’s elegant buildings date back to its 18th-century Golden Age. Bordeaux is second only to Paris in French historic monuments, its rich heritage is thoughtfully preserved.

Day 8:

After an onboard breakfast, disembark for the airport or an extended journey.

Itinerary and shore excursions are subject to change and may vary by departure.


Please make your cabin reservations directly with Renee Gerber at Dream Vacations by placing a deposit on your cabin of $500/person of which $400 is fully refundable during the next six months. The full cabin fare must be paid by June 30, 2019 to take advantage of the past guest or new guest on-board credit. Otherwise, if you do not wish to take advantage of those savings, full payment does not have to be paid until 10/1/19.

To make your reservations, you must contact Renee Gerber directly at [email protected] 



 For those of you coming as Photographers there is a photography tuition fee of just $188 per day, or a total of $1,500, payable directly to Washington Photo Safari.

Your Companion Photographer is only charged $750. A Non-photographer companion will pay only a $75 service fee to Washington Photo Safari. (A Companion Photographer is defined as a spouse or friend or also gets to participate in all photo workshops and instruction.

Non-photographer Companion is a spouse or friend who just wants to be along for the ride and participates in all the Viking-arranged guided tours.)

Our previous excursion in 2018 from Paris to Normandy on Viking river cruises was a big success. We found many opportunities to photograph during the well-planned guided tours set up by Viking and during private excursions that we took on our own which we will also do during this Cruise.

This is a great opportunity for people who love not only photography but also food and wine we hope that you can join us by meeting the May 31st deadline to take advantage of that extraordinary bargain round trip airfare of $599



Here are the discounted group fares we have obtained through our travel agency, Dream Vacations:

Chateaux, Rivers & Wine, 10/10/20 – 10/17/2020

Viking Forseti

  • Category F (Standard)- $2874.00 per person double occupancy
  • Category E (Standard)- $2974.00 per person double occupancy
  • Category D (French Balcony) – $3674.00 per person double occupancy
  • Category C (French Balcony) – $3774.00 per person double occupancy
  • Category B (Veranda) – $4074.00 per person double occupancy
  • Category A (Veranda) – $4174.00 per person double occupancy

Here is what is included in your cruise fee:

  • 8-day cruise making 7 stops
  • One complimentary shore excursion in every port of call
  • Unlimited free Wi-Fi
  • Visits to 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Enrichment lectures & Destination Performances
  • Beer, wine & soft drinks with onboard lunch & dinner
  • 24-hour specialty coffees, teas & bottled water
  • All port taxes & fees
  • Airport transfers on embarkation/disembarkation day with Viking Air purchase
  • River-view stateroom
  • Hotel-style bed with optional twin-bed configuration; luxury linens & pillows
  • 40″ flat-screen LCD TV with complimentary Movies On Demand
  • 110/220 volt outlets & USB ports
  • Refrigerator; security safe; hair dryer
  • Spacious glass-enclosed shower
  • Heated bathroom floor & anti-fog mirror
  • Premium Freyja® toiletries; plush robes & slippers
  • Stateroom steward & twice-daily housekeeping


The per person cost for the 8-day Viking cruise including the cruise, cabin berth, all meals, and excursion tours booking by May 31, 2019, start at $2,874 per person double occupancy, or $359.25 per day, plus RT airfares of $599. (The per person berth fees go as high as $4,174 per person double occupancy, or $521.75 per day, depending upon the cabin selected.)  A 2-person cabin can be reserved with a $500 per person deposit (or $1,000 for a single cabin)Single person cabin pricing will be higher than the double occupancy rate stated.  Check with Renee Gerber for the exact pricing. If a reservation is cancelled before June 1, 2020 there is a $100 per person fee.  If cancelled after June 1, 2020, the cancellation fee schedule will apply. Optional (but recommended) trip cancellation insurance ranges from $299 to $399/person.  (Based on the cruise fare and air fee.  If pre or post extensions or AirPlus is added, the insurance may be higher.)
AirPlus can be added for $150 per person.  AirPlus allows passengers to work with Renee and Viking to select the flights you would like as long as they are within the allowable limits for Viking Cruises.  You can also choose which carrier you would like to fly.

If cabins are booked in May of 2019 there are certain promotions below.  However, using these promotions requires Final Payment by 6/30/19. 

  • 2-for-1 deposit
  • $200 pp Onboard Credit for New Viking Guests
  • Past Passenger discount of $400 per person
  • Final payment of 6/30/19

Pre-cruise and post-cruise options are also available through Dream Vacations.




Our travel agent, Renee Gerber, with Dream Vacations-Gerber & Associates will process all payments via credit card with Viking Cruises. She can be reached at [email protected]

All passengers must have a valid Passport.  The passport must be valid until 6 months after the return date of the cruise.  Renee Gerber will need a copy of your valid passport emailed to her prior to booking your cabin.

Travel protection insurance is highly recommended.  This will be quoted depending on the cabin you choose to book.  If you have a pre-existing condition that you need covered by insurance, the premium for the insurance must be paid at the time of deposit for the cruise. Once a deposit is paid and space is confirmed, all changes are subject to a $30  charge per change through Viking Cruises.


Cancellation received                                                      Charges will apply
120+ days or more prior to time of departure:       $100.00 per person
119-90 days prior to time of departure:                    20% of Full Fare
89-70 days prior to time of departure:                     35% of Full Fare
69-50 days prior to time of departure:                     50% of Full Fare
49-30 days prior to time of departure:                     75% of Full Fare
29-0 days prior to time of departure:                      100% of Full Fare 

Questions?  call me at 202-669-8468, or write to [email protected] 

  • Chevron down What to Bring
    • Camera
    • Lenses – with ranges from 14mm-400mm – an all-in-one zoom is preferable, so that you don’t have to carry a lot of lenses
    • Multiple memory cards, formatted and ready for use
    • Extra batteries and a charger
    • Tripod
    • Accessories – filters, remote release, flashlight
  • Chevron down Where to Meet
  • Viking River Cruise dock, Bordeaux, France

  • Chevron down Your Instructor
  • E. David Luria is founder and director of the Washington Photo Safari, which has trained 36,000 amateur photographers – an average of 5 people every day, 365 days a year, since it was founded in 1999. Trained in Paris by a protégé of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Mr. Luria is a member of the American Society of Media Photographers and the Society of Photographic Educators and has had his images of DC appear in over 100 publications, calendars, and postcards and on 30 magazine covers.