Saint Tropez The SeaDream Way
The pastel colours, sunny climate, pretty beaches, and beautiful people are all here in the south of France. Much as it does in the numerous towns and villages in this most attractive part of the world, life in Saint-Tropez proceeds at a languid pace in a place where friendly locals strive to maintain a true community atmosphere. Despite a name famous throughout the world, Saint-Tropez is unexpectedly shy about its global recognition. This may come as surprise to the visitors who visit Saint-Tropez seeking a sybaritic holiday on the Mediterranean. Aside from the tryhards whose attire is held together by myriad designer labels displayed prominently head to toe on their clothing and accessories, visitors to Saint-Tropez are happy to discover a real town beyond the touristy façade.
Saint-Tropez’s two principal attractions could not be more different. The fish market is more a covered passage lined with vendors selling the day’s catch, yet it is curiously evocative of the livelihoods of the fishermen who follow in the wet footsteps of their fathers and grandfathers. Another aspect of French culture is apparent in the Annonciade Museum, located in a deconsecrated chapel right at the scenic port. L’Annonciade may look like an insignificant, smalltown cultural centre, but in France the size of a museum often belies the quality of its contents. And so it is in L’Annonciade, where on display are priceless works by famous French painters as well as a highly regarded ceramic collection by Pablo Picasso.
One of the pleasures of small-ship cruising is visiting smaller ports such as Saint-Tropez which behemoth vessels (thankfully) cannot access easily. SeaDream yachts are the perfect option for yachting rather than cruising to wend a way down less trodden paths or even create a brand new path to destinations previously unknown. The excitement of discovery is very much part of the SeaDream experience, though passengers also get excited about what they find on board SeaDream I and SeaDream II, the two vessels currently maintained by this exclusive company catering to refined travellers. The spacious staterooms and suites, complete with full-size showers, are on par with many a deluxe European hotel room. The food served on SeaDream yachts smashes the notion that shipboard dining is subpar to what is available on land. In fact, it is quite the opposite; the highly experienced executive chef is a master at creating interesting menus related to the places visited, using the freshest of local ingredients loaded at ports of call along the itinerary, making the onboard culinary experiences among the most pleasing aspect of a SeaDream voyage. Attentive servers remember guests’ favourites and of course adjustments to the menu are made to accommodate specific dietary needs.
One of the pleasures of a SeaDream visit to Saint-Tropez is the private wine tasting experience on a small square during market day. Anyone passing by La Cave du Golfe wine shop on picturesque Place des Herbes during one of these landside moments could easily mistake the excursion as a private party of friends. That is the SeaDream way.