So, we’re aboard! Off on MS Cyrano de Bergerac with CroisiEurope to explore the Gironde estuary and the delights of Bordeaux and its vineyards.
Did you know? ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’ is the name of a play written in 1897 by Edmond Rostand. The real man, on whom the story is loosely based, was called Hercule Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac, a nobleman and soldier in the French Army. He is brash, strong-willed, a remarkable duellist, a poet and musician. However, he also has an extremely large nose which prevents him from expressing his love for his distant cousin, the lovely Roxane. It’s a tragic love story – during which Cyrano invents the word ‘Panache’ to describe himself – so let’s hope the ship has plenty of it!
Our first evening aboard
It’s a wet evening with grey clouds clearing from the south as we cross the threshold of the ship, Cyrano, into the reception area. The crew is lined up, smiles all round, and we’re made to feel very welcome. The boat is smart, tidy and attractively presented, one of four white ships moored on the elegant sweeping half-moon quayside in Bordeaux.
We’re swiftly escorted to our cabin by Ursula who shows us the main features of our suite. It’s brightly lit in turquoise and white decor, with TV, air-con, masses of storage in a full length wardrobe and shelving unit, vanity cupboard unit with mirror, and a large sliding window the length of the cabin. Suitcases slide easily under the bed. One bedside lamp, no kettle but two electric sockets (220v) and one in the bathroom too. It’s all spotless and everything looks new.
Later we discover that the beds and pillows are as comfortable as they look and although we have a middle deck cabin in the centre of the boat, with bar to one side and salon and dance floor to the other, there is no disturbance at all, and we sleep the sleep of the good.
River cruise dinners
Dinner, at half past seven, after the glittering introduction to the crew, is very good. As vegetarians we often get more imaginative food. Although the starter was a rather unimaginative goat’s cheese salad it had a delicious dressing. The main course was very tasty. Light vegetarian rissoles with green beans and dauphinoise potatoes, and then a chantilly, ice cream and coffee dessert. We chose the house red wine, Chateau de Simon, which is very drinkable – moderately fruity and nicely smooth.
Dinner service seems very efficient, with Henri, the Pursar, distributing trays of dishes via the dumb waiter from the galley below, and Stefane, the assistant Pursar, and four waitresses serving each table. We stay at the same river-view table with the same fellow passengers all week.
Tempted? Discover more about Bordeaux river cruises.
Read more about our cruise aboard MS Cyrano de Bergerac: