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A voyage of grape expectations

May 28, 2016 Cruise No Comments Email Email
French luxury and expedition cruise line PONANT has released details of a new itinerary, a rare opportunity for lovers of New World wines to experience a voyage of oenology to the very heart of iconic Old World First Growth wines – featuring an exclusive visit to Château Latour.

This 9 night “Vineyards & Grands Crus” voyage, aboard the 132 cabin luxury yacht Le Soleal, departs Lisbon on 15 April 2017 for Porto, known not only for its wine but also for its remarkable historic town centre listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

From Porto, where guests will visit the Taylor’s Port Cellars, Le Soleal will sail to small ports along the Portuguese and Spanish coasts bound for Pillar and Bordeaux. Then, on to the westerly Ponant Island of Belle-ile-en-Mer, Ouessant and the coastal fortress of Saint Malo, crossing the English Channel to arrive in the historic Royal Navy port of Portsmouth.

  • The highlight of the cruise will be the visit to Bordeaux, regarded as the world capital of wine, where an exclusive PONANT inclusion will be a private visit to the 78 hectare grand wine estate Château Latour in Pauillac.
  • In the company of Chateau Latour President Frédéric Engerer, who will be travelling onboard Le Soleal, and special guests Frédéric Engerer and Hélène Génin from Château Latour, enjoy a private tour of the ancient vineyards and cellars, and enjoy an exclusive Chateau Latour wine tasting.

“What a rare and appealing opportunity this is, the chance for a behind-the-scenes visit to one of the world’s Premier Cru wineries bound to appeal to wine connoisseurs globally, and, no doubt, going to sell quickly” said Monique Ponfoort, Vice President PONANT Australasia. 

Rated “Premier Cru Classé” since 1855, Château Latour is one of the oldest vineyards of the Médoc region of France, its readily identifiable label featuring the 1620s circular tower (La Tour), so highly regarded around the world.

Guests on this voyage will have the opportunity to learn about the rich oenological tradition of Bordeaux at the newly opened “La Cité du Vin” in the medieval town of Saint-Emilion, and an extensive wine tasting at Château Siaurac.

This “Vineyards & Grands Crus” voyage will be enhanced by the presence and knowledgeable assistance of famous sommelier Eric Beaumard and specialist lecturer in gastronomy and wine Jean-Robert Pitte, who will conduct wine workshops and wine tastings on Le Soleal. 

On board, enjoy French luxury and ambiance, and experience the difference small ship cruising with PONANT offers. Perhaps a dip in the swimming pool, followed by spa therapy to ease tired muscles or simply as a pampering indulgence. An inclusive Open Bar provides guests the chance to relax with a beer, wines, champagne and, later, the choice of fine cuisine, including a Gala Dinner prepared by a Michelin-starred chef, the flavours complimented with world-class wines.

All in all a very civilised way to travel, imbued with PONANT’s trademark dash of panache.

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