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Snow drops...

March-April, 2015

Bordeaux Wines, Scottish Fare and Plenty to Love at Home

Spring is in the air...finally! As an intrepid foodie, you're probably just as excited as we are for all the irresistible edibles the season has to offer. It's an especially wonderful time to visit Europe--the markets fill with springtime produce and the temperatures warm enough to venture into nature.

Now is the perfect time to book our wine lover's river cruise through Bordeaux. The ship stops in the region's most iconic winemaking villages and you'll even get to meet a local family that has been producing wine for two centuries. Our new five-day tour of Scotland features a daylong foraging lesson with the country's only full-time professional forager. If you needed extra incentive for either trip, just take a peek at the current exchange rate. A strong dollar is always a great excuse to hop across the pond. If you're staying stateside, our nearly sold-out Fabulous Hamptons trip includes visits to one of the region's top wineries and an artisanal dairy farm. And keep an eye out for details on our Hudson Valley weekend: you'll get to go hunting for wild mushrooms and take a cooking class with renowned chef Anita Lo.

Views along the Dordogne River

A Perfect Pairing in Bordeaux

by Kathy Morton and Debra Fioritto

Wine is and has been the lifeblood of Bordeaux for centuries. Each visit to the area reveals secrets previously unknown. Last fall, we discovered one of the best ways to discover these secrets is a leisurely cruise along the Gironde estuary and the Dordogne and Garonne rivers.

Anytime is Bordeaux time, but in fall the vineyards glow with leaves of red, gold, and various shades of bronze on the vines. The pace of life in this kingdom of wine slows down after harvest time. What is a perfect pairing with this? The pace of life onboard CroisiEurope's river cruise, A Renowned Land of Plenty. Our ship, the three-deck, MS Cyrano de Bergerac, was an ideal home base as we sailed through Aquitaine's rich and diverse landscape exploring vineyards, castles and medieval villages for one week.

While slowly sailing from port to port, passengers enjoy informational programs about local history, food and wine, with tastings. Afternoon guided excursions include visits to well-known, iconic areas of the region such as the UNESCO heritage city of Bordeaux (where the cruise begins and ends), Pauillac and the M├ędoc, Blaye, Libourne, Saint-Emilion, Cadillac and the Sauternais-Barsac area to meet a local family who has been cultivating vines since 1814.

Although we loved our fall cruise, spring and summer are also fabulous times to learn more about local history, food and, of course, wine. Did we mention that every meal onboard features local products prepared by the ship's talented chef and the wonderful local wines of the region?

Call us on 888 345 3005 for more information and to book your cruise with CroisiEurope!

Salmon fishing on the River Findhorn

A Scottish Culinary Adventure

This is the year of Food & Drink Scotland and our new 5 day itinerary is perfect for foodies who want to experience Scotland's natural larder and taste some delicious local food and drink. The tour will take you through stunning Highland scenery and over to Scotland's wild and rugged west coast. It will include 2 nights in a secluded and romantic castle in the heart of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. You will also spend 2 nights on the remote and dramatic Inner Hebrides island of Mull in the beautiful fishing town of Tobermory. Mull, as well as having a great natural larder, is rich in history and heritage as well as wildlife. The island is one of the best places in Scotland to see the magnificent Sea Eagle.

Clients will meet the renowned chef Graig Grozier and enjoy a private meal at the stunning and magical Duchray Castle. The itinerary will also include a seafood experience with an exclusive trip to Mull Oyster Farm to meet the team there and sample some of the freshest oysters, enjoyed with a glass of dry white wine.

An optional extra includes a day or half day wild foraging wild fungi, plants and seaweed with Mark Williams, who is Scotland's only full time wild forager and he is passionate about wild foods. For more information and pricing, click here.