Baltic Or Bordeaux? Reader Needs Avid Cruisers To Help Her Decide

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Our reader thinks she will like a small ship like the Prinsendam. We enjoyed being able to dock in the city center of Bordeaux on the similar-sized Regatta.

Avid Cruisers, can you help? Our reader can decide on a small ship that calls on Bordeaux or a newer, larger ship that calls on the Baltic. What would you recommend?

Q. We are trying to decide between MS Prinsendam‘s Bordeaux Explorer cruise in June or the MS Eurodam‘s Gem of Baltics. My husband is in Afghanistan, and we will meet in Amsterdam in June. We THINK we like the small feel of Prisendam and those ports; we KNOW we liked the Ryndam, so the Eurodam would be nice. We want time alone, but nice dinners, atmosphere, etc. Shore excursions are no problem on either trip. We have not cruised in either of the regions. So if we want rest and relaxation, which one? We are 57 and 52.

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But Eurodam cruises to the beautiful capitals of Northern Europe. We adore Stockholm, pictured here. Tough decision, eh?

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  • You could not make a mistake with either choice!  I was on Regent’s “Voyager” last year and cruised up the river to Bordeaux.  Magical — calm, quiet and the scenery was gorgeous in the early dawn.  As per Ralph’s photo, we also docked right in the center of town.  Bordeaux is the town upon which Paris was designed — lovely.  You many take a short walk with your camera and stop at any one of the stunning little bistros along the river.  I suggest the pink wine (yum), but not the escargot if prepared in tomato sauce (no, no — it needs garlic & lemon!).  You can take a day trip to vineyards or cognac producers.  Oh the chateaus!  In the evening, locals gather along the river and there is a sort of French Picnic going on right beside your cruise ship.  Enchanting!  Absolutely a highlight of my 59 day cruise last season.  I’m setting off on Prinsendam on Monday, so maybe I can give you feedback on that ship in a few weeks.

    • Sounds wonderful! I like the excursion to St. Emilion from Bordeaux.

  • Having been to the Baltic area, I can say that it has lots of neat things to see. BUT: Consider that the Prinsendam will spend the night in Bordeaux during its Fete le Vin (Bordeaux Wine Festival) and I would say without a doubt that that would be the deciding factor for the cruise to take. Not only is the city/region beautiful, but you can sample/experience many different regional wines right off your boat. Also, this cruise docks at a number of smaller ports that you normally wouldn’t get to see (e.g., Fowey, Cornwall; St.Peter Port, Guernsey and L’Orient {for Quimper}) and not on most itineraries. Finally, there are opportunities to go farther afield and see quality sights (e.g., Powerscourt from Dublin if you get tired of the big city).
    Just to declare full transparency, my wife and I are taking the Prinsendam on this leg.


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