The sun shone on Bordeaux today for the naming of the new MS Cyrano de Bergerac, the latest vessel to join the CroisiEurope fleet.
A suitably impressive parade of local dignitaries, including Alain Juppé, former French prime minister and now mayor of Bordeaux, and assorted French TV personalities were present at the quayside ceremony.
Unusually, this ship has a godmother (wife of the mayor of nearby Blaye), a godfather, actor and TV presenter Bernard Montiel, and a pair of godparents ‘of honours’.
The 180-passenger Cyrano de Bergerac, named after a 17th century French dramatist with a famously big nose (immortalised in a film starring Gerard Depardieu) will sail the Garonne and Dordogne rivers on itineraries ranging from five to eight nights, offering excursions to some of France’s most legendary wine-growing areas as well as the Atlantic beaches around nearby Arcachon.
Although it’s French-owned, the ship caters for international as well as French guests, with excursions, menus and daily programmes in English.
What’s likely to appeal is its prices. CroisiEurope fills a gap in the four-star price bracket in a world increasingly dominated by ultra-luxury river cruising. Cruises start at around £525 including all meals and wine with lunch and dinner (excursions and flights are extra).
Cyrano de Bergerac joins a second CroisiEurope ship, MS Princesse d’Aquitaine, in Bordeaux, a river home port that looks to become increasingly busy by 2014, when both Viking River Cruises and Uniworld start sailing here. In river cruising terms, this is the place to watch.
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