Day 6 |
May 03, 2010

Bordeaux, France

By Hans-Peter Reinthaler, Biologist

Co-ordinates: 44°50´N, 00°34´W

Weather: cloudy

Early in the morning, the Prince Albert II entered the mouth of the Garonne River. From there, the vessel still needs around five hours to reach Bordeaux. After a delicious breakfast with guests I joined the presentation from my colleague Gordon Corrigan in The Theatre. “Operation Franklin” was the title and Gordon told the story on the raid of Bordeaux in December 1942.

Around 11 o’clock the Prince Albert II reached the port of Bordeaux and a lot of our guests enjoyed the berthing on the outside deck. The center of the city is just 10 minutes on foot from the pier away. Because of this, lunch was just fabulous because one could sit in The Restaurant and look at the beautiful skyline of Bordeaux.

Soon after lunch, the first excursion group to St. Emilion left the ship and for the guests who stayed on board many took advantage of the close berthing site to take a walk into town.

As I was not on the tour to St. Emilion, my colleague Stefan Kredel reported to me that the excursion was interesting, and St Emilion is a nice little village with narrow streets and good wine. The guests enjoyed the excursion, especially the part in the wine cellar, where they learned more about the famous wine of Bordeaux region. Although the village is famous for its wines it is named after a hermit who lived and worshipped in an underground church that he and his successors excavated over a period of several centuries.

Shortly after the tour to St Emilion arrived on board, the next tour left the Prince Albert II. On this tour, our guests had dinner in the Chateau Kirwan. My colleague Nicki D’Souza, of the Expedition Team, went on this tour and reported back to me:

The drive to the Chateau took about 40 minutes and once guests arrived they were shown around the vats and wine cellar by the owner of the Chateau and learned how the wine is produced here. It is quite an intricate and labour intensive production and one can understand the prices of good wines. We were then treated to the first wine tasting of the evening with hors d’ oeuvres before the sumptuous meal started. With the delicious meal we enjoyed more wine and one of the guides explained the differences of the wines served. A thoroughly enjoyable evening.

The tour returned a bit later than scheduled to the ship – everyone was enjoying it too much and surely one of the highlights of this cruise!