Bordeaux is a lovely destination and becoming more and more popular since the Mayor, Alain Juppe, set out on a huge programme of improvements. The TGV from Paris is so quick that Parisiens are now buying weekend accommodation in the city. The airport is well served by an Express bus and a regular bus to the centre, and the tram system is exceptional.
Warm, sunny October half term days and cool evenings, and a huge fair just along from Chartrons where the Princesse of Aquitaine was moored. Boarding was early evening and we were “the English party” – just two of us! The staff were excellent. Some charming Americans in a group, many French couples, some local, and three Danish ladies with whom we shared a table. Single menu meals were well presented.. Drinks were included in the price. Breakfast the next morning was plentiful with a cooked option or eggs to order. Lunch was included. The staff were splendid and a gentle keep fit class on deck was a highlight. Sailing by day gave us the opportunity to enjoy the view. Excursions were available, although we took local taxi, train or bus. We went to the cinema in Pauillac and at Blaye where we were moored just by a splendid Vauban fort, and particularly enjoyed charming St Emilion and the little train.
We have been on a river cruise (Rhone) with a balcony with opening doors, but this little boat is not so modern, and as we went out into the bay of the Gironde to see the troglodyte dwellings in the cliffs, we realised why the windows didn’t open – little waves just below our cabin! Very comfortable beds and good storage space. The small numbers on board made it a most agreeable way to spend five days and we returned looking very well from the sunshine. We didn’t do any of their excursions but their coach party didn’t miss the train at St Emilion and didn’t have to wait two hours for the next one.
We enjoyed being in port overnight as we could go out in the day without looking at our watches and go out again in the evening. And the river cruising is delightful.
Holiday was found for us at the last minute by CroisiEurope and then packaged with easyJet flights (cheaper than the train) for us by Ponders Travel who were very competent.