Exploring the Medoc

A leisurely morning on board. We sail from Bordeaux around 9am and enjoy an overview of the days ahead presented by our cruise director, Ercelia, in the lounge. There’s also a lecture about the Aquitaine region, and an oyster tasting with our Executive Chef Lucian Constantin. At 12.30 we arrived in Pauillac and after lunch we joined our Medoc panorama tour with local guides. We split up into smaller parties and visited different Medoc wine chateaux for exclusive tours with tastings. Beautiful chateaux, wonderful hosts and amazing wines! We are almost experts by late afternoon.

Returning from the Medoc tour, we test our captain’s expertise as we ask him to sail across to Patiras Island. The river estuary here has strong currents and there are only certain channels to use, so it is challenging to manoeuvre a large river cruise ship. Our captain does brilliantly, of course.

We are VIP visitors to Patiras Island for a very exclusive cocktail party. The island’s lighthouse and restaurant has been opened especially for us. Some delicious snacks and wine is being served. The sun is shining and we’ve even brought along our own entertainment … a guitarist is wandering around playing and singing as he goes! The deep fried spinach cakes are simply divine – and we now have the recipe!

When we return to River Royale, the tide has gone further out and our (flat bottomed) ship is sitting carefully on the soft sand. We embark and enjoy dinner. The tide comes back in. The captain sails away. Despite being the first time River Royale has moored at Patiras, everything was clearly researched and planned in advance. Congratulations to the captain and his team.