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Quirky Cruise
December 23, 2018

QuirkyCruise News: Ponant’s Gastronomy, Vineyards and Grand Crus Cruise

Ponant’s Gastronomy, Vineyards and Grand Crus Cruise 🍷

By Anne Kalosh.

French cruise line Ponant is planning a fabulous gastronomy and wine sailing aboard one of its sexy mega-yachts — and, ooh la la, would we love to be on this one! 😍🍷🤩

Ponant's Gastronomy, Vineyards and Grand Crus Cruise

Sexy mega-yacht L’Austral will sail the nine-night cruise. * Photo: Ponant

The “Gastronomy, Vineyards and Grand Crus” cruise features gala dinners by noted chefs, grand cru tastings and lectures and activities focused on wine. It’s operated in partnership with Ducasse Conseil, the consulting firm of Alain Ducasse (who in 2005 became the first chef to have three restaurants with three Michelin stars at the same time), and Château Latour, a Bordeaux wine estate classified as Premier Grand Cru.

Edie Rodriguez, Ponant’s Americas brand chairman, is going to host the nine-night Northern Europe cruise aboard L’Austral in April. It will embark at Leixões, near Lisbon, and end at Portsmouth in the southeast of England.

Ponant's Gastronomy, Vineyards and Grand Crus Cruise

Edie Rodriguez, Americas brand chairman for Ponant, will host the cruise. * Photo: Ponant

Guest experts include the 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 Xavier Boireau from Rech, a seafood restaurant that is a veritable institution in Paris, and Francis Fauvel, from Ducasse sur Seine.

Ponant's Gastronomy, Vineyards and Grand Crus Cruise

Gala dinners will be prepared by chefs of the Alain Ducasse group. * Photo: Ponant

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 wines, especially ports. 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.

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 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, with its wild coastline, pastoral Guernsey in the Channel Islands and Honfleur in Normandy.

Prices for the April 13-22 cruise start at $5,000 per person with a 25 percent “Ponant Bonus” savings off the full fare.


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