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Therese Carpentier

Auburn, Maine Travel Agent
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Therese Carpentier

Auburn, Maine Travel Agent
A Full-Service Travel Leaders Associate Agency
Years of Experience: 21
18 Reviews | 100% Recommended
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Chateaux, Rivers & Wines with Viking River Cruises

I had the best experience this past July/August 2018 on my Viking River Cruise that did Chateaux, Rivers & Wines in the Bordeaux region of France.  This was a 7 night river cruise that went actually cruised on 3 rivers - the Garonne, the Gironde and the Dordogne.  The cruise started and ended in the beautiful town of Bordeaux.  With excursions included everyday there is generally no need to purchase an optional excursion but I will tell you the optional excursions on this trip were top notch.  My friends and I went on the Truffle Hunt excursion in Perigord and we enjoyed the Oyster excursion that took us to Arcachon, a beautiful seaside town.  Both optional excursions had fabulous personal touches.  

On the Truffle Hunt we met Edward.  His family has been traveling the world over to help people set up truffle farms in climates that can accommodate truffles.  After watching a demonstration on how the dog finds the truffle and it is dug out of the ground we were welcomed in his home where his wife cooked us a 5 course meal.  Each course including truffles.  The culmination of the meal was vanilla ice cream served with a caramel truffle sauce that Edward makes and does not share that recipe.  It was delicious.

The Oyster excursion took us out by boat in the beautiful bay to the other side where the oyster farms were located.  We met the owner of the farm who then walked us through the process of growing and harvesting oysters.  As we were doing that his wife set up a couple of picnic tables with fresh oysters for us to enjoy.  He showed us the correct way to eat a raw oyster only with lemon.  According to him "all those fancy sauces just ruin the oyster".  Once we were done at the oyster farm we walked into town and ate at l'Escale restaurant.  The three course meal served with all the wine you wanted was excellent.  

Besides visiting wineries and getting to drink plenty of wine on this tour.  The highlight had to be the night Viking bussed the whole staff and all of us on board to Chateaux Kirwan for a wine tasting dinner.  It was an amazing experience that will not be soon forgotten.  Having the staff there to take care of us was such a wonderful personal touch.  The five course meal accompanied by wine with each course was exceptional.  

I must say the chef on this sailing was young and had a love for food which was contagious for all of us.  He would come out every night about 15 minutes before dinner was served and explained all the meal options for the evening.  The regional specialties were focused on the region we were in that night and I must say every meal on the ship was great.  

In closing I would like you to know that I would definitely do this river cruise again and kudos to Viking for their staff and all the personal touches we received on this vacation.  It was FANTASTIC!!!!!

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Bordeaux
Bordeaux River Cruise with Viking