Taste of Bordeaux cruise: Bordeaux

Kristin Karst
Kristin Karst

ABOARD AMADOLCE-Last day blues. Though I’m going off to Paris tomorrow morning, I’m always a bit sad to leave my home-away-from home after cruises like this, when the weather (and the scenery) has been simply gorgeous on both the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers.

I’ve seen so many stately chateaux and verdant vineyards, enjoyed tasting distinguished wines and savoring the exceptional food that came out of the ship’s kitchen. A bonus for me has been the pleasure of seeing prints of the works of one of my favorite artists, Gustav Klimt, all over the ship. An even bigger bonus has been the ebullient presence of the company’s co-owner, Kristin Karst, who makes a point of greeting and chatting with everyone on board.

La Cite du Vin
La Cite du Vin

This morning I took a long walk along the quay, where other ships were docked, including the Scenic Emerald. The skate park near the AmaDolce grabbed my attention, as adorable kids maneuvered boards (and bikes) up and down the hills, perhaps dreaming of challenging gravity as Tony Hawk has done.

Also along the quay are lots of cafes and restaurants, as well as outlet stores representing familiar names like Clarks and Hugo Boss, as well as many French brands.

Wines aboard our ship
Wines aboard our ship

This afternoon, I visited the new attraction called La Cite du Vin, which is much more than a museum and more like an interactive experience that includes exhibitions, films, workshops and everything you can imagine relating to the world of wine in Bordeaux.  Passengers on the AmaDolce were given complimentary tickets, which was very nice as admission is 32 Euro. The  building’s unusual shape represents wine being swirled in glass. If I hadn’t been told, I never would have guessed.

Gustav Klimt is everywhere. This one, off the dining room
Gustav Klimt is everywhere. This one, off the dining room

There have been so many highlights on this “Taste of Bordeaux” cruise. Every day I watch the dedicated cyclists grab their bikes and helmets and embark on long, long rides, exploring the places I’d be seeing by coach, little train and on foot. (I never felt the slightest guilt about doing my explorations the easier way.)

The legendary appellations that came to life during the cruise—places like Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Petrus, Chateau Margaux and more—created moments I will remember for a long time. This cruise was truly a celebration of wine—and of the wonders of travel.

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