Day 1 | Highlights: Welcome reception
Enjoy a welcome dinner before cruising out with the beautiful city of Paris as a backdrop.
Day 2 | Les Andelys Highlights: Cider and beauty
Enjoy the opulent amenities of your floating hotel as she glides her way peacefully through the Île-de-France region to Les Andelys.
Day 3 | Les Andelys > Rouen Highlights: Joan of Arc sites
This morning we wake in Rouen.
Day 4 | Rouen Highlights: Somme battlefields
Experience what the Somme battlefields might have been like for those caught up in this terrible World War I battle, which claimed the lives of more than 150,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers. This full-day excursion commemorates the 101 years since, and includes a visit to the Australian National Memorial and Victoria School in Villers-Bretonneux. Alternatively, explore the collection of Impressionistic paintings, including masterpieces by Renoir and Monet, at the Museum of Fine Arts, which was founded by Napoleon Bonaparte (operating on selected departures, will be replaced with Joan of Arc Museum when not available, enquire for details).
Day 5 | Rouen > Honfleur Highlights: Sundowners at Manoir d’Appreval
You’ll love cruising toward the open waters of the English Channel, so simply sit back and enjoy the trip.
Day 6 | Honfleur Highlights: Normandy D-Day beaches
Walk the historic Normandy beaches, the site of the D-Day landings, before visiting the Landing Museum at Arromanches. You’ll be struck by the sombre ambience surrounding the 9,387 graves of the Normandy Cemetery and whilst there, take a moment to reflect on the momentous impact of that day, as you look out from your hilltop position above Omaha Beach. Alternatively, explore Normandy’s famous Calvados Route, and delight in the many charming villages that dot the landscape. It’s also a great opportunity to sample the region’s famous varietals.
Day 7 | Honfleur > Caudebec-en-Caux Highlights: Enrich dinner at Benedictine Palace, Fécamp
With steep limestone cliffs that plunge dramatically towards the emerald waters of the English Channel below, the beauty of the Alabaster Coast will leave you breathless. Sitting proudly atop this dramatic seascape is the town of Etretat, where you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a guided tour and time at leisure. Alternatively, travel to the hilltop village of Bolbec and view fabrics at the fascinating Textile Museum before visiting the Normand Traditions Museum nearby. Or visit the new Seine Museum for an insight into this fascinating river system. For the more adventurous, join a guided cycling tour to the charming village of Villequier and visit the Victor Hugo Museum.
Day 8 | Caudebec-en-Caux > Vernon Highlights: Monet’s house & gardens, Giverny
In a region rich in visual treasures, enjoy a full morning of relaxation and take in the incredible scenery as you cruise into Vernon. It’s easy to understand why this region of France inspired beautiful paintings by many of history’s most famous artists.
Day 9 | Vernon > Conflans > Paris Highlights: Chantilly Castle
This morning we cruise to the charming medieval town of Conflans, with its distinctive barge houses docked within easy reach of the quaint main square.
Day 10 | Paris Highlights: Palace of Vicomte
Today you have the thrilling choice of either spending time exploring France’s most celebrated city, or a discovery beyond the city limits.
Day 11 | Paris > Bordeaux Highlights: Welcome Reception
Traverse the World Heritage-listed landscapes of the Loire Valley in style aboard the TGV to Bordeaux. Your friendly crew will welcome you on board the luxurious Scenic Diamond for your cruise through France’s celebrated southwestern pocket.
Day 12 | Bordeaux > Saint-Émilion Highlights: Sundowners at Château Siaurac
Enjoy a relaxing morning on board as you cruise in style into the beautiful 13th century port of Libourne. Whilst cruising, perhaps drop into Scenic Culinaire for a French cooking class. You’ll spend the afternoon in the nearby town of Saint-Émilion, an absolute visual feast and the jewel of this ancient wine growing region. You’ll also get to explore the underground catacombs of the Monolithic Church – a true trip highlight.
Celebrate the two thousand-year history of wine by enjoying a glass at the exclusive estate of Château Siaurac. Boasting a glorious château and garden that has been recognised as a national heritage site in France due to the significance of the estate’s architectural and cultural heritage, the sheer tranquillity of this picturesque property is captivating. The vines glow red and gold at sunset, and with a glass of the estate’s vintage in hand whilst a local guitarist provides an acoustic soundtrack, it really is hard to imagine a more elegant way to enjoy this beautiful region.
Day 13 | Libourne > Pauillac Highlights: Foie Gras in Bergerac
Awake in charming Libourne.
Freechoice: Enjoy a guided tour of Libourne and view its quaint 16th century town-house and Gothic church. Alternatively, explore the exclusive estate of Château Franc Mayne and taste its Grand Cru Class wine, or view the eclectic city of Bergerac and enjoy foie gras tasting at a charming local farm.
After your afternoon at leisure, opt to enhance your culinary prowess in Scenic Culinaire or simply soak in the riverside panoramas while cruising to Pauillac. Enjoy an evening of fabulous local entertainment on board tonight.
Day 14 | Médoc Highlights: Enrich dinner and concert at Château Giscours
Travel the scenic Médoc wine route today and discover why this region is viewed as the world’s leading red wine producer. Afterwards, sample the region’s finest at the Château Gruaud-Larose estate, or cycle to Château Lagrange, featured on Napoleon III’s 1855 Classification, for a wine tasting.
The spectacular Médoc countryside boasts many fine aristocratic châteaux but none more opulent than Château Giscours. You’ll be escorted to the charming 18th century Farm Suzanne on the Giscours estate to enjoy unforgettable four-course dining with Grand Cru Class wines and live musicians performing classical masterpieces for your enjoyment. A truly wondrous evening.
Day 15 | Pauillac > Cadillac Highlights: Full day cruising
Soak in the Garonne River vistas as you spend a luxurious full day aboard the Scenic Diamond. Cruising the picturesque landscapes of the Garonne River into Cadillac provides some of the most beautiful scenic cruising in all of the Bordeaux region. Whilst cruising you may choose to implement your cooking skills with a lesson in Scenic Culinaire. This remarkable space comes to life when fabulous local entertainers perform live in the Panorama Lounge for your exclusive enjoyment this evening.
Day 16 | Cadillac Highlights: Roquetaillade Castle
Venture into the Sauternes region for a tasting of the prestigious Château Guiraud dessert wines. Alternatively, cycle through the rolling vineyards of Sauternes to the Grand Cru Class estate of Château Myrat for a tasting.
Freechoice: Remain on board and join a master class in French cuisine in Scenic Culinaire. Or visit Roquetaillade Castle, founded by Charlemagne it’s one of the region’s most impressive historic sites and you’ll tour it with the family that now lives within its walls. Alternatively, discover the medieval village of Saint Macaire, or perhaps enjoy a 12 kilometre roundtrip hike from Cadillac to the neighbouring village of Loupiac.
Day 17 | Bordeaux Highlights: Shop with a Chef
Freechoice: Shop with a Chef at a local food market and cook up a storm in Scenic Culinaire afterwards. Or enjoy a guided tour of Bordeaux and her many attractions. For the more energetic, cycle the historic regions of Bordeaux. Cross beautiful bridges to witness sites such as the Royal Gate and the Palais Rohan, before cycling through public gardens back to the luxury of your floating hotel.
A city that exudes atmospheric charm, you’ll enjoy a full afternoon at leisure to immerse yourself in the culture of the Bordelais. Enjoy a special dinner on board showcasing regional delicacies before an illuminations cruise on the Garonne River. A fabulous local soloist will perform live in the Panorama Lounge tonight. What a magical evening.
Day 18 | Arcachon > Bourg Highlights: Arcachon Bay and surrounds
Situated on the northern tip of Europe’s longest coastal beach, Arcachon is the jewel of France’s western coastline.
Freechoice: For those fancying something sweet, why not stay on board and enjoy a fabulous Mademoiselle de Margaux chocolate and wine pairing event in Scenic Culinaire. Alternatively, explore Le Teich Bird Reserve, home to over 250 bird species. Or climb Europe’s largest sand dune and drink in the expansive panoramas. You may choose instead to join a walking tour of Arcachon including the local Baltard market.
In the afternoon, cruise leisurely into Bourg and, in the evening, enjoy a lively jazz performance on board.
Day 19 | Cognac Highlights: Tasting at Rémy-Martin property
Today explore the unique northern shores of the Gironde Estuary.
Freechoice: Discover the Carriages Museum in the enchanting Bourg Castle including a visit to the 16th century passageway to the guards rooms and immense WWII oil tanks. Alternatively, spend a full day exploring the fortified town of Cognac, renowned for its production of fine brandy. Afterwards, enjoy a tasting at the acclaimed property of Rémy Martin.
This afternoon, unwind on the Sun Deck cruising on the Gironde River into the historic port of Blaye.
Day 20 | Blaye > Bordeaux Highlights: Cycle the Captain’s Road
Discover the remarkable Blaye region, established to protect the Bordeaux region from invasion.
Freechoice: Stroll through the charming Citadel of Blaye, or join a 30 kilometre roundtrip cycle along the Captain’s Road which is so named in honour of the WWI Captain’s who chose to purchase their homes along this beautiful stretch of waterway in the early 20th century.
You’ll have the opportunity to enjoy an exclusive cooking class in Scenic Culinaire or simply relax on board as we cruise past beautiful uninhabited islands bound for Bordeaux.
Dine in style at the Captain’s farewell dinner on board this evening.
Day 21 | Bordeaux > Madrid Highlights:
Disembark and fly from Bordeaux to Madrid where you’ll spend three nights at the luxurious Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques hotel.
Day 22 | Madrid Highlights: Madrid’s Royal Palace
This morning, enjoy a tour of Madrid, including the 17th century Austrian Quarter and the Sabatini Gardens.
Day 23 | Madrid Highlights: Magnificent Madrid
Today is yours to enjoy at leisure in Spain’s largest city. Stroll the city’s fashionable boutiques, relax in one of Madrid’s many manicured gardens, or explore the surrounding area.
Day 24 | Madrid Highlights: Farewell
Depart after breakfast, with truly fabulous memories intact, and transfer to Madrid Airport for your flight home.