Tailor Europe Your Way: A Guide to Scenic Freechoice Activities on Europe's Rivers

When you’re planning your Europe river cruise, one of the most important decisions will be choosing where you want to visit. And, when you arrive in each destination, there will be so many sights to uncover. With Scenic, you can tailor your days on shore with our Scenic Freechoice program of activities. 
These all-inclusive excursions are designed to let you discover the ‘must-see’ sights, sounds and tastes of an area with the expert knowledge of local guides, as well as allowing for just the right amount of flexibility to explore at your own pace. We understand that everyone travels at a different pace. Whether you’re looking to fill your holiday with as much as possible, or you would prefer to explore in a more relaxed manner, Scenic Freechoice gives you the freedom to shape your holiday to suit you.

Our extensive choice of shore excursions have been handpicked by our Journey Designers, letting you immerse yourself in the local culture, witnessing local landmarks and uncovering hidden gems away from the popular tourist path. From guided bicycle rides and city walking tours to the chance to visit a local art gallery or savour the flavours of the region during an interactive tasting class, you will be spoilt for choice.

Personalise your river cruise and experience Europe you way, at your own pace, with Scenic. Be inspired by some of our most popular Scenic Freechoice excursions.

Choose Your Pace

We recognise that everyone travels in different ways and every guest has unique interests. You can set the pace of your river cruise with Scenic Freechoice. Perhaps you want to relax and enjoy every moment as it comes; or you’d like to see as much as possible, at every opportunity; or maybe you would like to combine a mix of highly active days with a calmer pace in between.
All of our Scenic Freechoice activities have been divided into three categories: active, moderate, and relaxed pace. You can choose whichever experiences and excursions suit you, as well as setting your own pace, depending on where your interests lie day-to-day. For those seeking a more active pace, opt for a guided hike or bicycle tour with our on board e-bikes*. Walking tours and interactive tastings are the perfect choice if you are seeking a more moderate pace. Traditional performances and on board masterclasses are ideal if you would prefer to sit back, relax and immerse yourself in the local culture within comfortable surrounds.

The freedom of our Scenic e-bikes

Experience your destination in a new light during a ride on one of our e-bikes*. A bike ride is a fun way to see more of a place; you can soak up the beautiful landscapes on one side and iconic landmarks on your other side during a picturesque route along the river. Simple to use and easily adjustable to match your level of fitness, our e-bikes make cycling simple. All you need are the basic skills of bike riding and a sense of curiosity!
Our Scenic Freechoice e-bike tour activities are available in a number of destinations, tailored to a small group. You can also head off independently on our e-bikes, utilising your Scenic Tailormade App. Here are some of our most popular locations to explore by e-bike.
Dürnstein and Melk

One of our most popular guided bike rides is along the 32km banks of the Danube between Dürnstein and Melk (pictured). You can enjoy this picturesque route as part of our Jewels of Europe river cruise and our Gems of the Danube river cruise. From terraced vineyards to medieval castles, there are plenty of sights to take in during your ride.
Captain’s Road, Bordeaux

History enthusiasts can embark on a 30km roundtrip along the Captain’s Road in Bordeaux as part of our Beautiful Bordeaux river cruise and Bordeaux Affair river cruise. Named in honour of the WWI captains who purchased their homes along this beautiful stretch, the route will take you past the city’s historic sights and serene waterways.
Vernon to Giverny

If you’re feeling up for a challenge, explore around the Seine River on a self-guided cycling tour that starts in Vernon. Your Scenic Tailormade App will act as your tour guide, showing you the way. Choose our Highlights of Normandy & the Seine river cruise or our Normandy & Gems of the Seine river cruise to enjoy this e-bike ride, ending in Giverny, home of celebrated painter Claude Monet.

Scenic Freechoice on the Rhine, Main and Danube

Art enthusiasts can delight in immersive gallery tours, gourmands can savour tasting masterclasses of regional specialties, and avid history aficionados can learn more about historical landmarks with in-depth guided tours –⁠ all as part of our Scenic Freechoice program. Wherever your interests lie, there is an excursion to suit you. 
See below for a small selection of some of the experiences on offer as part of our Rhine, Main and Danube river cruises.
Take the Romantic Road to Rothenburg

Located along the so-called Romantic Road, Rothenburg (pictured) is a short coach ride from Würzburg. Surrounded by villages that are over 1,000 years old, alongside more modern and traditional farms, the area is particularly charming. When you arrive in Rothenburg, your local guide will take you on a guided tour, letting you learn more about the well-preserved medieval Old Town. You’ll get the chance to see the Gothic and Renaissance City Hall, and the famous City Councillors’ Tavern –⁠ the various clocks of the tavern reenact the legend of the town’s heroic mayor, the ‘Master Draught’.
Embark on a Guided Hike to Buda Hill in Budapest

Budapest is home to some of Europe’s most celebrated architecture. Join your fellow travellers on a beautiful hike up to Buda Hill, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site to the north west of the city. You will wander past Matthias Church and Fisherman’s Bastion (pictured). Once you reach the top, magnificent views over the Danube River are yours to enjoy.
Tour the Medieval Town of Cochem

The quaint German town of Cochem will charm you with its calming riverside views and historic architecture. Journey to the town by coach before exploring the area on a walking tour. You’ll also visit the town’s famous medieval castle, Reichsburg Castle, which dates back to the 11th century.
Embrace Viennese Coffee Culture

As well as its esteemed reputation as the European capital of classical music, Vienna is also home to a famous coffee culture. The inhabitants here have propelled the making and drinking of coffee to something of an art. During a guided tour of the city, you will be able to embrace the love for this social ritual. Visit Café Central, one of Vienna’s grandest coffee houses. Offering the quintessential coffee experience, the café has attracted many famous historical figures, including Sigmund Freud and Vladmir Lenin.
Savour On Board Beer Tastings

On board experiences will be just as much of a highlight of your journey as those excursions on shore. Unwind among the comfort surrounds of your Scenic Space-Ship with a special beer tasting experience on selected river cruises through Germany. You’ll learn about the process behind crafting traditional German beers and have the chance to taste these fine brews. 

Scenic Freechoice in France

When you join us on a France river cruise, you can delight in a rich mix of cultural, culinary and wine experiences. Here are some our France Scenic Freechoice highlights.
Visit Roquetaillade Castle

The historic Roquetaillade Castle is an architectural jewel of southwest France. Initiated by Charlemagne, the castle has been occupied by the same family for more than 700 years. You will learn about the history of the castle and its ancestors on a guided tour led by the current resident.
Explore the Luberon Region 

Visit several of the villages that make up the Luberon region in southern France (pictured). Located near Avignon, the area is beautifully adorned with vineyards, orchards and flowering fields. Explore the hilltop village of Gordes and the spectacular Sénanque Abbey.
Journey to the Somme Battlefields

Another excursion designed for avid historians, you can visit the Somme Battlefields on a full day excursion. The location of the infamous Battle of the Somme, which claimed the lives of more than 150,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers, the area is home to a fascinating war history. As part of your tour, you will visit the Australian National Memorial found near Villers-Bretonneux where you can pay tribute to the 10,773 Australian soldiers killed with no known grave on the Western Front during WWI. You will also have the opportunity to visit the Lochnagar Crater, the Newfoundland Memorial Park, and the Thiepval Memorial.
Hike to Château Gaillard with ‘Richard the Lionheart’

Step back in time to the age of Robin Hood along the Seine River. Our medieval-themed walking tour will let you follow in the footsteps of the 12th century King Richard, known as ‘Richard the Lionheart’. Explore the historical secrets of the picturesque Norman town of Les Andelys and venture up to the famed castle of Château Gaillard (pictured). Take in the majestic views over the River Seine from your viewpoint in the castle.
Discover the Normandy Beaches

A must-visit for history enthusiasts, join a full day excursion to the D-Day landing beaches of Normandy in northern France (pictured). Discover the Arromanches Landing Museum and Omaha Beach Cemetery and Memorial. Your tour guide will provide insight into this historic area and the part Normandy played in WWI. Take a moment to reflect on the momentous impact of D-Day on world history, as you look out from your hilltop position above Omaha Beach.

Scenic Freechoice in Portugal

Home to a vibrant mix of cultures and some of the best wines in Europe, our Scenic Freechoice activities on our Portugal river cruises showcase the very best of the country. Here are some highlights.
Visit the Fairytale Quinta Aveleda

One of the most renowned wineries along the Douro Valley, the fairytale property and manicured gardens of Quinta Aveleda are sure to enchant you. Known for its sparkling wines, both the property and gardens of the quinta act as the perfect backdrop to this delicate wine. Your tour will include wine tastings and the chance to wander the beautiful gardens.
Indulge in the Tastes of the Côa Valley

As the name says, our ‘Tastes of the Côa Valley’ excursion lets you indulge in the local delicacies of this region. You will visit Casa Painova, participating in a sweet almond workshop and a tasting session with their famous almond, olive and fruit products.
Explore Porto By Cable Car

Colourful and bold, Porto is at the heart of Portugal’s port wine production. During your active walking tour, you will also take a cable car ride across the city. Traveling 600m with a maximum elevation of 63m, a ride in Porto’s cable car will let you soak up views of the quaint buildings, zig-zagging staircases and calm Douro River from above.

Tailor Europe Your Way with Scenic Freechoice

When you travel on a Scenic river cruise through Europe, you will have an abundance of choice to tailor your journey to suit your interests and match your desired pace. From incredible historical excursions to indulgent foodie experiences, our included Scenic Freechoice program has something for everyone. Start planning your all-inclusive luxury river cruise by viewing our complete collection or learn more by ordering your free brochure.