This enchanting showcase of the stunningly beautiful French countryside takes you from Paris to Nice to dazzling Monte Carlo, visiting Lyon, Avignon and Arles on your Scenic luxury river cruise down the majestic Rhône. Begin your wonderful journey with three nights’ luxury hotel accommodation in fabulous central Paris; explore the Arc de Triomphe, Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Champs Elysées, the Louvre, Eiffel Tower or a cruise of the Seine, and dinner at the world-famous Lido cabaret, before embarking on your spectacular Rhône journey.
Along your idyllic cruise, see splendid historical sites and the awe-inspiring architecture of historic cathedrals and palaces; experience quaint village life and genuine French culinary delights; and taste the famous Beaujolais region’s delicious wines, before arriving on the Mediterranean’s shores. Spend three luxurious nights in magnificent Monte Carlo in Monaco, exploring the Prince’s Palace and this sparkling principality’s many highlights; and go on an excursion to the glamorous seaside town of Nice, along the French Riviera.
Day 1 | Highlights: Welcome reception
A world of wonder awaits you with a three night stay at one of our luxurious city central hotels.
Day 2 | Paris Highlights: Louvre Museum
Treat yourself to a sightseeing tour of Paris, or visit the world-renowned Louvre Museum. Alternatively, take a walking tour with a Parisian.
Day 3 | Paris Highlights: City of light
Enjoy a day of leisure in Paris, the ‘city of light’.
Day 4 | 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 5 | 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 6 | 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 7 | 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 8 | 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.
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 9 | 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 10 | 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 11 | 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.
Day 12 | 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 13 | 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 14 | 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 15 | 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 16 | Tarascon > Barcelona Highlights: Two countries in one day
After breakfast, travel to Spain’s beautiful city of Barcelona. On arrival, enjoy an included orientation tour.
Day 17 | Barcelona Highlights: Poble Espanyol de Montjuic
Enjoy a tour of Barcelona, including Gaudi’s Cathedral of the Sagrada Familia and Parc Güell.
Day 18 | Barcelona Highlights: A day by the sea
Enjoy a full day of leisure in beautiful Barcelona. Your Tour Director will be on hand to assist you with any plans you’d like to make for the day. Enjoy a special Spanish dinner in the city this evening.
Day 19 | Barcelona Highlights: Farewell
All good things end eventually so after enjoying a great breakfast, transfer to Barcelona Airport for your onward or homebound flight.