Pre-inaugural cruise aboard Regent Seven Seas’ Seven Seas Explorer: St. Tropez

Very special rose wine
Very special rose wine
Aboard the Regent Seven Seas Explorer-Brigitte Bardot (and her bikini) made St. Tropez famous, and all manner of celebrities and movie people followed.
Today, it’s still a hot spot on the French Riviera, and a popular port on many Mediterranean cruises.
As this is the last day of the Regent Explorer’s pre-inaugural cruise, I took a tour that started at Port Grimaud, Provence’s version of Venice. This little town has a fulltime population of just 80 people, but in summer, that number swells into the thousands. The best way to explore the canal and byways is to take a tour boat.
Rubber tire dog
Rubber tire dog

The 20-minute voyage showed me charming and very picturesque pastel painted canal-side homes which, I was told, cost about 600,000 Euro. Docked in front of each home is a vessel of some kind, ranging from sleek sailing vessels to big, big yachts. One of the big ones, I was told, belongs to a French supermarket tycoon.

Lion sculpture
Lion sculpture
According to our tour guide, it was absolutely obligatory to taste the Rose wine that is made here, which is nothing like what we have in the U.S. So a few tour participants split a bottle and found that indeed, this wine is really special–a pale, pale color and a crisp dry taste that’s almost like white wine.
Canals of Port Grimaud
Canals of Port Grimaud

Next stop on my tour was the medieval village of Grimaud, way up in the mountains. Though there’s not much here that caters to tourists, I found a stunning art gallery that feature splendid wood carvings made by sculptor Jurgen Lingl-Rebetz with a chainsaw. Guarding the door to the gallery was a black dog made of rubber tires. Now I know that the French love their dogs, but this guy was priced at 5,000 Euro!

July 11, 2016

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