French Riviera Adventure - Part Deux
7th October 2014
Sales Support Executive Hannah Logan travelled with Cruise Consultants Alison Osborne and Carley Lancaster as they continued part-deux of the French Riviera sailing.
Stepping foot onto the teak decks we immediately felt at home. Familiar faces who we'd met on board Royal Clipper the year before welcomed us back. A quick change into cooler clothing we headed to the sundeck to take in the last of the days rays whilst the majority of guests explored Sanary-sur-Mer. A refreshing dip in one of the two pools and a snooze before getting ready for our first dinner on board. Sitting in one of the booths in the intimate dining area, we choose from a beautiful selection of dishes, tortellini, a green apple sorbet to follow along with fresh seabass as the main dish.
The evening's entertainment was melodies with the on board pianist. Some guests relaxed in the Tropical Bar whilst others had taken a tender to shore after dinner as sail away was taking place at midnight. There is something quite special with a night-time sail away. The masts are lit up with fairy lights, you can see the glistening lights in the distance from nearby towns and on a very clear night, a blanket of stars in the sky which gives it a very romantic ambience.
Not a usual Thursday morning for the three of us, an early morning breakfast followed by the first tender ashore to a stunning beach in St. Tropez. Even at 9am in the morning, it was a very comfortable temperature as we ventured to land. Only a few people dotted along the coastline this early, it really did feel like we had our very own private beach. The watersports team bring all of the equipment ashore. Some guests immediately took out the kayak on to the calm waters whilst the watersports team set up the rest of the activities.
Our afternoon spot was St. Tropez town. We had been told that as soon as you step off the tender, you will see the Star Clippers shop and we were not disappointed. We took our positions outside for a cheeky photo and then proceeded to have a wander around. Dotted along the harbour were independent stools selling souvenirs and incredible artwork, away from the main hustle and bustle were quiet streets home to the likes of Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton.
Serious shoppers would find St. Tropez a little shopping haven. We bought a large ice cream each and found a quiet spot to people watch before heading back to our floating home for the few days. Making your way back to the ship, it is at this point that you get to really see Star Flyer, this super sleek yacht that oozes elegance and charm.
It was Captain's dinner tonight. After watching the sunset with a glass of Prosecco we ventured to the dining area with our fellow guests that we had met at the bar and worked our way through the exquisite menu, the delights of lobster tail and Chateaubriand. Feeling comfortably full we retired to the Tropical Bar to listen to the local entertainment before another midnight sailaway. What a lovely way to unwind before bed, magical!
Next year our sailings operate in and out of Cannes. We knew this morning would require a lot of exploration so after a hearty breakfast our first port of call was celebrity hand-spotting where the Cannes Film Festival takes place, great fun seeing the hands of Meryl Streep, Cameron Diaz and Sylvester Stallone. For anyone spending a day or two in Cannes before or after a sailing, there is plenty going on, many shops to visit and a number of restaurants and cafes, you will be completely spoilt for choice. Feeling active we climbed to a viewing point which gave us amazing views over Cannes.
To cool down after our walk, Alison & Carley went for a swim in the mild Mediterranean sea whilst I relaxed on the beach. Wanting to sample the delights of the Oriental lunch we then spent the afternoon on the sundeck. Some guests took a tour of the engine room allowing them access to previously unseen areas.
For me though, I decided to experience a massage on board the ship. Set up in a private canopy on the sundeck, guests can book a number of treatments with the ships masseuse, I opted for a 30 minute back and neck massage. A cool breeze blowing and sounds of the sea are perfect surroundings to be pampered in.
This evening we sailed away from Cannes as the sun was setting. As the music started, the sails were raised and those on boats in the area looked up at Star Flyer in awe as she began her journey to Monaco. All guests were up on the deck soaking up the atmosphere, the bar staff had set up on the sundeck for those customers wishing to sip a glass of champagne on the final sailaway of this trip.
Monaco is certainly the lifestyle for the rich and the famous. It was everything we thought it would be....and more. The sun shone around the stunning harbour area and we eagerly wanted to explore this beautiful place before our flight home.
You say Monaco and conjure up images of Formula 1 and extravagant cars circulating Casino Square. We had our very own tour guide, our Alison as she was lucky enough to visit Monaco earlier this year. She frog-marched us up-hill to show us the various hotels we use, the Casino and Casino Square and the famous hair-pin bend of the Formula 1 circuit. The harbour is home to some incredible yachts that make you feel very small in comparison. I can only imagine the thrill and excitement of what it would be like for the Grand Prix final, a hive of activity, restaurants and cafes full to the brim. Monaco - we will be back to explore more one day, however maybe in our next life as we sail in on our very own super sleek yacht!