Saga Pearl II blog - Captains' blogs
3rd August, 2018
This morning saw us arrive at the Radar Controlled section of the La Gironde. This is where the pilots guide us in via radar, towards the pilot station. This is very similar to an Air Traffic Controller guides a plane in to land. We embarked our pilot at 0820 which was just off the town of Royan. Our pilot and the bridge team then navigate and guided us up the River La Gironde, and later the River La Garonne. The transit took us about 5 and half hours, and just before 1200 we sailed under the Pont Jacques Chaban-Delmas Bridge which had been raised in order to allow us pass.
For us Bordeaux is restricted to the times of when we can arrive and depart and this is due to the large tidal range experienced here. During our call the tide will change by almost 5 meters between low water and high water. Our berth for our stay in Bordeaux is one of the most central berths available. We dock on the Quai Louis XVIII along with various River Cruise Boats.
During the arrival as it was lunchtime our wonderful F&B department put on an amazing tapas and BBQ lunch.
Bordeaux is the hub of the famous wine growing region. Here we have the gothic Cathédrale Saint-André and notable art museums such as the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux. There are many public gardens that line the river front and in the evening, it became a hive of life as people were dancing the night away in front of the Place des Quinconces. Many people were also cooling down in the water fountains in front of the Musée National des Bouanes. Temperatures today hit a high of 37c which is 98.6f! No wonder they were cooling down in the fountains!
We are here for two days and have tours going out this afternoon and tomorrow. A few of these as you would imagine took in the wine aspect of our Wine, Walking and Tapas cruise. We have had tours going around Bordeaux and further afield to the world famous Margaux Wine District. We also took our guests to the historic Château de Cognac and the Otard Distillery. We also took in the cultural side of the region and visited the UNESCO site of the Blaye Citadel and Medieval Bourg.
With a quiet night alongside, many of our guests and crew took the chance to see Bordeaux by night and the cooler temperature of 27c or 80f. There were many people enjoying the evening sitting on the grassed area near to the ship enjoying wine and food as they watched the world go by.
We continued with our Al Fresco dining tonight, and it was well received by our guests. Wishing you a good night from Bordeaux!
Simon D Westall - Staff Captain
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