Cruising The South Of France: Carcassone And Narbonne With Voyages To Antiquity  

23 Jul 2016

Day 5, Sete, 06  June 2016 

Overnight we sailed to Sete a little village in the South of France. The day was going to be very intense: a full day excursion in the Medieval town of Carcassone and Narbonne: cruising the South of France has been amazing so far!

I had breakfast as usual in the magnificent Terrace café, every day was amazing as I sat down on the spacious deck and chose my breakfast from the astonishing buffet selection. I forgot to mention the exquisite service delivered by the staff: every morning as I walked in the waiters, including the head waiter, were smiling at me wishing me a good morning. After having filled up my plate with food, one of them would come and take my plates to my preferred seat for me. Once sat down, they would place my napkin on my knees. Afterwards the person in charge of the coffee would ask me if I preferred a coffee or a tea. I couldn't believe how courteous and attentive they were to me.

breakfast cruising the South of France
breakfast on board cruising the South of France

The quality of the breakfast was superb as well, every mouthful was delicious, that morning I tried out the scrambled eggs, and some bacon etc..

Carcassone and Narbonne whilst cruising the South of France

carcassone cruising the South of France
narbonne cruising the South of France

After a proper breakfast, the rest of the group and I met the guide at the bus. We had a two hour drive to the village of Carcassone.
Carcassone is a pretty little village, it looks like something out of a fairy tale, thanks to the distinguishing towers typical from the Northern France castle. The town was of very strategic importance and we admired the city on an interesting walking tour, which included plenty of information about gothic cathedrals (this reflected the topic of the lecture on board the previous day). Later on we had some free time to buy souvenirs.

narbonne crucarcassone ising the South of France
Next, we sat down on the coach for nearly one hour to drive to the romantic city of Narbonne, which is defined as the Venice of France.

We stopped for lunch in a restaurant just outside of the town which was very nice. Before I tell you about what I ate I want to stress that Voyages to Antiquity provide not only free excursions but also complimentary meals at restaurants when a full day excursion is on the program.

salad cruising the South of France
Salad – starter
duck a l orange cruising the South of France
Duck a l’orange
cake cruising the South of France

To start we had salad with feta, chicken, olives, peppers, tomato and a basil sauce. But what surprised me was the main course, which was a typical French dish very refined and tasty: Duck a l’orange, the meat was accompanied by roasted tomato and a mushroom and potato flan: simply delicious. The dessert was also exquisite a chocolate and vanilla cake combining different consistency and flavours: an explosion for your taste buds.

lunch narbonne cruising the South of France
Afterwards, we went to Narbonne town centre. Many people decided to explore the town individually as they were quite tired: I personally decided to go on with the rest of the tour that lasted just over one hour, we explored the old gothic cathedral and searched for clues and secret jewels: our guide was superb and kept our attention level high by combining historic facts with fun facts. narbonne cruising the South of France

hotel de la cite cruising the South of France
Carcassone: prestigious hotel
narbonne cruising the South of France

The evening on board

We returned to our ship at about 5 o’clock, the journey back lasted less than one hour.
I met with the rest of my group for pre-dinner drinks at the lido bar which was in the pool but slightly elevated. There the view was stunning and we enjoyed the views as the ship sailed away from the port: this was our last night on board and was very emotional. The sound of the waves, the reflection of the sun rays on the sea, the intense azure of the ocean and the slightly pink sky contributed to the uniqueness of the moment.

After the drinks we went to eat at the main buffet, the Terrace café which was incredible as always. I tried the delicatessen from the Tapas station and the fried calamari. They were very impressive and the menu a la cart was full of surprises. The sun was still so high, we could fully appreciate the beauty and sense of freedom given by the sea.

dinner cruising the South of France
DINNER VTA cruising the South of France

That evening we saw our favourite cruise director, Richard Sykes, on stage with a brilliant performance about the “Swinging Sixties”. The performance was brilliant, he is a very talented singer and performer. The general public welcomed the songs and many people started dancing.

cruising the South of France night onboard

After the performance we sat down in the Charleston lounge and enjoyed the Great, late melodies from Deborah on the piano. We also indulged in the late night snacks, how can you resist succulent canapes, chocolate coated strawberries and the chocolaty nuts?
As it was our last night it was sadly the end of this incredible experience on board such a fantastic ship, Aegean Odyssey with amazing company and enriching activities!

I headed back to my cabin where one last surprise was waiting for me. I could see a collection of the 5 different chocolates I had accumulated during my cruise waiting for me on my pillow.