Day 1 | Highlights: City of light
Celebrate the start of your France holiday at this evening’s welcome reception and relax at one of our luxurious city central hotels for an overnight stay in Paris. A world of wonder awaits you.
Day 2 | Chalon-sur-Saône Highlights: Welcome reception
Traverse the Île de France countryside aboard the TGV train to Dijon. Known worldwide for its famous mustard exports you’ll enjoy an orientation tour and time at leisure before transferring to Chalon-sur-Saône. Your friendly crew await to welcome you on board your luxurious Scenic Space-Ship for your journey through France’s iconic south.
Day 3 | Chalon-sur-Saône > Tournus Highlights: Burgundy region
Freechoice: This morning explore Beaune, including a visit to Les Hospices de Beaune. Alternatively, visit the estate of Château de Savigny-les-Beaune to see the impressive collection of motorcycles, race cars, and fighter planes.
Day 4 | Tournus > Mâcon Highlights: Riverside cycling
Freechoice: Experience the magnificent Château de Cormatin, boasting beautiful gardens and water features. Alternatively, join the intelligent hounds and their owners in nearby quaint villages to locate and sample French truffles – a gastronomic delicacy. Enjoy leisurely cruising to Mâcon this afternoon, or opt for a class in French cuisine in Scenic Culinaire on board. Alternatively, cycle from Tournus to Mâcon and meet the ship there.
Day 5 | Mâcon Highlights: Beaujolais wine region
You’re sure to love Mâcon. Be fascinated by its history and delighted by the surrounding picturesque farming region acclaimed for its five wine appellations and gastronomy.
Freechoice: Retrace the traditional life of the region on your visit to the Bresse Museum, or enjoy wine tasting in the celebrated Beaujolais region. Alternatively, visit Cluny, a village in Burgundy that was constructed around the great Benedictine Abbey, once the world’s largest basilica.
Day 6 | Lyon Highlights: Enrich Scenic Rouge cabaret
Awake today in Lyon, the gastronomic heart of France.
Freechoice: Discover Lyon’s historic significance by traversing its hidden traboules – secret passageways that date back to the 4th century, and visit Notre Dame Basilica, offering a fabulous vantage point for views across Lyon. Alternatively, walk the cobblestone paths of yesteryear in the medieval hilltop town of Pérouges. Or, if you wish, visit the exclusive culinary school of Paul Bocuse and perfect the art of French cuisine before sampling some of the delicious fare (available on selected dates, will be replaced with In Cuisine Lyon when not available, enquire for details).
Lyon’s Botanical Gardens and Zoo are perfect for a leisurely bike ride this afternoon.
Experience the French extravaganza that is the can-can amidst other performances when you are treated to the exclusive gala spectacular, Scenic Rouge, under the big-top onshore this evening in Lyon.
Day 7 | Tournon Highlights: Sundowners at Tournon Castle
Cruising from Lyon you’ll have the opportunity to soak in the picturesque riverside panoramas as you glide effortlessly toward Tournon. You may choose to visit Scenic Culinaire whilst cruising and pick up a trick or two to add to your culinary prowess. On arrival in Tournon enjoy a fun lecture on the French paradox and etiquette.
Overlooking the Rhône, Tournon Castle is a must-see for visitors, both for its historic interest and its breathtaking outlook. Enjoy an afternoon aperitif on the terrace of the castle accompanied by local musicians. You’ll find it a great soundtrack to a truly awe-inspiring backdrop.
Day 8 | Tournon > Viviers Highlights: Chocolates and wine
Freechoice: Enjoy a unique wine tasting in the wine cave of Tournon Castle, or join a guided walk of Tain l’Hermitage including a tasting at Valrhona Chocolates. You could also enjoy a group bike ride along the Rhône to neighbouring villages, or hike the famed Saint-Joseph vineyard for a tasting of the delicious varietals amidst the vines.
Scenic cruising to Viviers this afternoon.
Day 9 | Viviers > Châteauneuf-du-Pape Highlights: Ardèche National Park
Enjoy a walking tour of Viviers including an organ recital in the town’s cathedral.
Freechoice: Explore the Ardèche National Park and immerse yourself in the Caverne du Pont-d’Arc Museum, or visit the aromatic Lavender Museum. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can canoe through one of Europe’s largest natural canyons, or drop into the beautiful provincial town of Grignan (seasonal option, operating on select departures, enquire for details).
Day 10 | Châteauneuf-du-Pape > Avignon Highlights: Côtes du Rhône
Freechoice: Join an exclusive cooking class in Scenic Culinaire on board, or sample the celebrated wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape at a charming Côtes du Rhône vineyard.
Enjoy picturesque cruising to Avignon this afternoon. Then take a walking tour that includes a visit to the city’s architectural jewel, the Pope’s Palace.
Day 11 | Avignon Highlights: Enrich dinner at Pope’s Palace
Freechoice: Shop with a Chef at a local food market and cook up a storm in Scenic Culinaire with your fresh ingredients. Alternatively, drop in to the villages of the Luberon region including Gordes and l’Isle-sur-la-Sourge, or take an excursion to Uzès and Pont du Gard.
Explore Avignon at leisure this afternoon.
Be treated to a truly unforgettable experience at the prestigious Pope’s Palace of Avignon, among the most visited sites in France. After the doors close to the general public, you’ll be ushered in for an exclusive gala dinner and classical concert in the grandiose Grand Tinel room.
Day 12 | La Camargue Highlights: La Camargue National Park
Choices today include the spectacular La Camargue National Park.
Freechoice: Enhance your French cooking skills by joining a lesson in Scenic Culinaire. Or take in the wild beauty of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer and visit the 60 hectare Parc Ornithologique whilst there. You can also choose to visit the fortified Mediterranean village of Aigues-Mortes.
This afternoon, relax on the Sun Deck while cruising roundtrip from Tarascon towards the Mediterranean Sea. Tonight, a Camargue gypsy band performs live for your listening pleasure on board.
Day 13 | Tarascon Highlights: Villages of Provence
The riverside town of Tarascon exudes a charming medieval character.
Freechoice: Explore the artistic heritage of Arles, and see the striking Arles Arena, or stop in at the pretty hilltop village of Les Baux before touring a charming family-run olive farm to sample their delicious products in a delightful setting. Alternatively, pay a visit to Saint-Rémy and Saint-Paul de Mausole Monastery where Van Gogh was held for a year.
Day 14 | Tarascon > Nice Highlights:
After breakfast, disembark your Scenic Space-Ship and travel to Nice, on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, where you’ll spend two relaxing days at your hotel and get to explore the charming Cote d’Azur region.
Day 15 | Monte Carlo Highlights:
With her beautiful old town and picturesque seaside promenade, Nice will delight and surprise you. Enjoy a little free time there before taking a scenic journey to neighbouring Monte Carlo in Monaco. Here you’ll visit the Prince’s Palace of Monaco, which includes entry to the Palace State Apartments with its wonderfully ornate furnishings and elaborate décor.
Day 16 | Nice > Rapallo Highlights:
Bidding adieu to France, you begin your Italian discovery by travelling along the beautiful Mediterranean coast, stopping in historic Genoa, the birthplace of Christopher Columbus. A former European Capital of Culture, this Italian Riviera city boasts a multitude of hidden gems in its labyrinth of quaint alleyways. Enjoy an orientation tour followed by time at leisure before your afternoon arrival in Rapallo. You’ll enjoy another orientation tour before checking in for a two night stay at your exquisite hotel in Rapallo on the coast of the beautiful Ligurian Sea.
Day 17 | Cinque Terre Highlights:
The rugged coastline known as the Cinque Terre, or ‘Five Lands’, is a World Heritage-listed site that comprises the five villages of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. They’re accessible only via walking paths, train or boat, but this only lends to the already considerable charm of these unique 11th century villages. Today, you’ll enjoy a full day exploring this picturesque coastline and you’ll very quickly come to appreciate why it’s one of Italy’s most visited regions.
Day 18 | Pisa > Florence Highlights:
Travel to Pisa and explore the town on a walking tour before visiting the Square of Miracles for a view of the legendary ‘Leaning Tower’. Although known principally for its leaning tower (the bell tower of the city’s cathedral), Pisa has a wealth of historic churches, palaces and bridges. After spending a little time discovering this historic maritime republic, you’ll travel to San Gimignano to discover the Communal Palace and Duomo, among other wonderful attractions. This afternoon, you’ll arrive at your hotel in Florence for a two night stay, the jewel in the crown of Italy’s alluring Tuscany region.
Day 19 | Florence Highlights:
Florence is often called the ‘capital of arts’, and for good reason. According to UNESCO, sixty percent of the worlds’ most important works of art are located in Italy and half of those are in beautiful Florence. Enjoy a walking tour of the city, starting at the Academy of Fine Arts, where you’ll get to admire Michelangelo’s David. You’ll also see the Duomo, Giotto’s Belltower, and get to walk on the Ponte Vecchio.
Day 20 | Florence > Rome Highlights:
Traverse the Tuscan countryside this morning to Rome, where you’ll be introduced to many famous sights, including the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain and Piazza Navona. You’ll stay at your centrally located hotel in Rome.
Day 21 | Rome Highlights:
Begin today’s sightseeing in the world’s smallest country, the Vatican City, where you’ll visit the Vatican Museum, the breathtaking Sistine Chapel, and the world’s largest church, St. Peter’s Basilica, before emerging into St. Peter’s Square. Officially the Vatican City State, it’s one of Europe’s last six remaining absolute monarchies, and consists entirely of one walled enclave within the city of Rome. From there you’ll continue to the Roman Forum, surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings in Rome’s centre, before concluding your tour at the mighty Colosseum. Enjoy a free afternoon to explore Rome’s magnificence before a special farewell dinner with new found friends in Italy’s alluring capital city. What a wonderful way to celebrate such a fabulous holiday.
Day 22 | Rome Highlights:
After breakfast, your discovery of the beautiful treasures of France and Italy concludes. You may say farewell to your fellow travellers, but not to the many memories you’ve collected along the way. Transfer to Rome Airport for your onward or homebound flight.