'Gastronomy, Vineyards and Grands Crus'
The 10-day Northern Europe cruise aboard L’Austral is set to embark April 13 at Leixões, near Lisbon, ending at Portsmouth in the southeast of England. 'Gastronomy, Vineyards and Grands Crus' will combine the luxury features of a Ponant cruise with the skill of Alain Ducasse’s culinary teams during gala dinners.
Xavier Boireau of Rech and Francis Fauvel of Ducasse sur Seine
Joining the cruise will be geographer and wine historian Jean-Robert Pitte, noted sommelier Eric Beaumard and cheese maker and affineur Bernard Antony. Two gala dinners will be prepared by the chefs Xavier Boireau from Rech, a seafood restaurant that is a veritable institution in Paris, and Francis Fauvel, from Ducasse sur Seine. Tastings of grands crus, lectures and activities focused on wine will unfold aboard ship.
'We are pleased to partner with Alain Ducasse, Château Latour and our wine and culinary experts on this exciting itinerary,' Rodriguez said. 'Sharing extraordinary experiences with our passengers is our mission on all of our cruises and expeditions from pole to pole.'
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
At Leixões passengers can visit Belem Town and Jerónimos Monastery, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. L’Austral will sail from there to Porto, whose historic center is also listed with UNESCO and is renowned for its port wine. The ship then continues to Saint-Jean-de-Luz, where passengers can discover the Basque country on excursions that cover the French and Spanish sides of the region.
Pauillac and Château Latour
L’Austral will then make its way up the Gironde estuary for a stop at Pauillac, for several wine tastings at estates in the Saint-Estèphe, Margaux and Pauillac appellations. In the evening, the moored ship will have Château Latour as a magnificent backdrop for a gala dinner of food and wine pairings.
Two days in Bordeaux follow, including an overnight stay in this wine capital of the world, with a visit to the medieval village of Saint-Émilion and other châteaux. The last stops will be Belle-Île-en-Mer, Guernsey and Honfleur before arriving in Portsmouth. Passengers have the option of disembarking at Honfleur.
Fares start at $5,000 per person, a 25% savings on the full fare.