One of the world’s wine capitals is so close, on the west coast of France just down the channel. La perle d’Aquitaine (The Pearl of Aquitaine) or also known as La Belle au Bois Dormant or Sleeping Beauty, Bordeaux is on many short cruises, or on the way to other Mediterranean or Canary Island destinations. Bordeaux is famous for wine (mainly red), which it has produced since the 8th century as well as it’s 400 historical monuments. Modern Bordeaux is also famous for craft beers, art and one of the longest pedestrian commercial areas in Europe; Rue Santa Catherine. It also has the highest ‘lifting bridge’ in Europe, Pont Jaques Chatan Delmas. Whilst the east coast of France is famous for many established artists Bordeaux has the large CAPC modern art museum in an old converted trade warehouse. If you prefer more conventional art, then head for the Musée des Beaux-Arts which is in the grounds of the Palais Rohan, Hôtel de Ville, or City Hall as it is collectively known. Bordeaux is a pretty town to walk round, and has lively areas like Ferrand Lafarge, known as the square that never sleeps where the the wine and beer flows. The Capucins food market’s worth a visit but those keen on wine might take the local tram to the wine museum, Cité du Vin where the history and culture of wine is revealed. There is also a small road train tour to the vineyards of St. Emillion, a wine you may know, or think you do.
For those looking for an relaxing day at this port city on the Garonne River, that has been fought over throughout history, including the Romans, you can walk along the river bank engaged by the mix of shops, cafés and bars. Then pass the many 18th century mansions that you saw as the ship arrived, and find your way to the Gothic Cathédrale Saint-André. This is the external site of the tourist office, maps and tours. Fred Olsen and SAGA are probably chance of having a designation here on an ocean cruise. It appears on many river cruises.