Edie Rodriguez, Americas Brand Chairman of PONANT, the global leader in polar expeditions and experiential cruising, will host an exceptional gastronomy and wine cruise in partnership with Ducasse Conseil and Chateau Latour aboard L’Austral from April 13 to 22, 2019. The ten-day cruise of Northern Europe, called Gastronomy, Vineyards and Grands Crus, will combine the luxury features of a PONANT cruise with the expertise and excellence of Alain Ducasse’s culinary teams during prestigious gala dinners during the journey from Lisbon to Portsmouth.
In addition to a stunning itinerary that covers exciting European wine capitals, Gastronomy Vineyards and Grands Crus features the on-board presence of Jean-Robert Pitte, geographer and wine historian, of noted sommelier Eric Beaumard and of cheese maker and affineur Bernard Antony. Two gala dinners will be prepared by the chefs Xavier Boireau from Rech, a seafood restaurant that is a veritable institution in Paris, and Francis Fauvel, from Ducasse sur Seine. Tastings of Grands Crus, lectures and activities focused on wine will unfold on board ship.
“We are pleased to partner with Alain Ducasse, Chateau Latour and our wine and culinary experts on this exciting itinerary,” noted Edie Rodriguez. “Sharing extraordinary experiences with our passengers is our mission on all of our cruises and expeditions from pole to pole.”
The cruise departs from the port of Leixões in Lisbon where guests can visit Belem Town and Jerónimos Monastery, both UNESCO sites. L’Austral will sail from there to Porto, the “city of granite,” whose historic center is also listed with UNESCO and is renowned for its wine. The ship then continues to Saint-Jean-de-Luz, where guests will discover the Basque Country on wonderful shore 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 in Pauillac, for several wine tastings at beautiful wine 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 held on board ship.
Two days in Bordeaux will follow, including an overnight stay 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 Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Belle-Île-en-Mer and Guernsey before arriving in Portsmouth in the southeast of England, where the gastronomic cruise will draw to an end. Guests have the option of disembarking in Honfleur before the final port.
L’Astral is a superb mega-yacht with 132 staterooms, built with the expertise of the Italian Fincantieri shipyard and French sophistication, as interpreted by designer Jean-Philippe Nuel. L’Austral embodies the PONANT philosophy that in order to create a unique atmosphere, there must be a subtle blend of luxury, intimacy and well-being. Large, arched windows open to the sea and let in the light. L’Austral blends tradition and innovation with a relaxed sophistication that revolves around shades of grey, taupe, white and ivory enlivened by touches of cinnamon. It has the feel of a private yacht.
Fares start at $5,000 per person, which represents a 25% bonus reduction on the full fare. For reservations or information, please call 1 888 400 1082 or your travel advisor.
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