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Sailing the South of France 2020
(National Geographic Cruise)

11 days with Scenic  Rating: Deluxe

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  • Save an additional $300 per couple. This deal is combinable with other offers. Expires March 31. Click here for eligible departures.

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River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Lyon
Welcome to Lyon. Upon arrival transfer to the Scenic Sapphire where your friendly crew await to welcome you on board. (Dinner)

Day 2 Lyon > Tournus
Relax on board as you cruise along the Sâone River towards Tournus, perhaps enjoy a massage in the Wellness area, appreciate the health benefits of the Salt Therapy Lounge or sharpen your skills on French cookery at a lesson in Scenic Culinaire.

Freechoice: Experience Château de Cormatin, boasting beautiful gardens and water features. Or join the intelligent hounds and their owners in a nearby quaint village to locate and sample French truffles. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3 Chalon-sur-Sâone
Freechoice: Explore Beaune, including a visit to Les Hospices de Beaune. Alternatively, visit the estate of Château Meursault and taste some of the acclaimed wines from this premium estate located in the heart of the Burgundy region or, visit the photography museum and learn about the history of photography in the town it was first invented. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4 Tournon
Perhaps start your day with a stretching class on board the sun deck or simply enjoy a leisurely morning as you take in the picturesque riverside panoramas as you glide effortlessly toward Tournon. If you are feeling more active you have the opportunity to cycle from Andance to Tournon.

Freechoice: Enjoy wine tasting at a local winery, or join a guided walk of Tain l’Hermitage including a tasting at Valrhona Chocolates. You could also enjoy a hike to Heritage Hill for a tasting of the region’s delicious varietals among the vines. Alternatively, explore the spectacular landscapes of the Doux Valley by Velorail. This is unique and active way to cycle along bridges, through tunnels and alongside stunning National park. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5 Avignon
A Scenic Culinaire cooking class is on offer this morning as you cruise toward Avignon. Learn to make regional delicacies and French classics with your dedicated chef.

Freechoice: Take a walking tour of this magnificent city, famously dominated by the impressive Palais des Papes (Popes Palace). During your walking tour stroll through the cities ancient ramparts and narrow streets seeing the Popes Palace and St. Benezet Bridge, the famous Pont d’Avignon. Alternatively, sample the celebrated wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape at a Côtes du Rhône vineyard.

Enrich
Be treated to a truly unforgettable experience at the prestigious Popes’ Palace of Avignon. After the doors close to the general public, you’ll enjoy an exclusive gala classical concert in one of the grandiose rooms. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6 Avignon
Freechoice: Shop with a Chef at a local food market and cook up a storm in Scenic Culinaire with your fresh ingredients. Alternatively, drop into the villages of the Luberon region including Gordes and the nearby Sénanque Abbey, or take an excursion to Uzès and Pont du Gard, the impressive Roman aquaduct.

Sundowners
Sail past the famous Pont d’Avignon with a drink in hand and take in this beautiful location with your fellow guests on board your Scenic Space-Ship.

This afternoon you have free time to explore this beautiful city at your leisure, your ship will not depart until the next morning so you will have ample opportunity to enjoy Avignon’s night life if you so wish. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 7 Tarascon
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. Alternatively, pay a visit to Saint-Rémy and Saint-Paul de Mausole Monastery where Van Gogh was held for a year or take an active walk and embrace the natural scenery of La Camargue National Park.

After lunch you have the afternoon at leisure to explore the medieval charm of Tarascon, perhaps explore the castle that dates back to the 15th century or simply stay on board for a Provencal Soap making workshop. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8 Viviers
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 kayak through one of Europe’s largest natural canyons, or drop into the beautiful provincial town of Grignan. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 9 Lyon
Take in the vistas of the Rhône River as you spend a full day relaxing on board your luxurious Scenic Space-Ship towards the gastronomic heart of France, Lyon. Enjoy the passing scenery from the sun deck or panorama lounge and bar. Commentary from your Scenic Tailormade device will describe the captivating view unfolding before you. Or why not visit Scenic Culinaire and pick up a trick or two to add to your culinary prowess. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 10 Lyon
Freechoice: Discover Lyon’s historic significance by traversing its hidden traboules, secret passageways dating back to the 4th century, and visit Notre Dame Basilica for views across Lyon or, traverse Lyon by foot, set on the confluence of the Rhône and Sâone Rivers, explore the city sights by the river stopping along the way to sample some of the regions delicacies. Alternatively, walk the cobblestone paths in the medieval hilltop town of Pérouges. Or visit the exclusive culinary school of Paul Bocuse for a demonstration on perfecting the art of French cuisine before sampling some of the delicious fare. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 11 Lyon
All good things must end, and after a delicious breakfast, disembark your Scenic Space-Ship and transfer to Lyon airport, taking with you memories to last a lifetime. (Breakfast)

Tour Map
All This Included
Discover medieval hilltop towns, follow in the footsteps of the ancient Romans in Arles and Avignon, and marvel at prehistoric cave art. Explore the enchanting landscapes that inspired Vincent van Gogh on hiking, biking, and canoeing excursions. Along your journey, sample the region’s culinary splendors, tasting your way through Lyon—the gastronomic heart of France—and sampling wines from acclaimed vineyards, including the world-renowned wine estates of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. As we sail these storied waterways, enjoy the freedom and flexibility to tailor the itinerary to your interests, choosing from a variety of available excursions at each port of call—from guided tours of iconic sites to culinary experiences and active adventures.

These departures will be accompanied by a National Geographic expert who will give talks throughout the week and join guests on off-ship excursions. Additionally, a National Geographic photographer will be on board to share techniques and help guests hone their photography skills. We’ve added extra choice excursions as well, from hikes and bike rides to in-depth learning experiences that focus on the natural world, culture, and history.

National Geographic Photographer (July 30, 2020 departure): Stephen Alvarez
Stephen Alvarez is an award-winning photographer and filmmaker covering stories on archaeology, exploration, culture, and adventure. He has published more than a dozen feature stories for National Geographic magazine,traveling on assignment from the highest peaks in the Andes tosome of the planet’s deepest caves. His latest National Geographic story, “The Origins of Art” (January 2015), led from early human sites on the southern coast of Africa to Paleolithic art caves in Europe, including Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc in southeastern France. Moved by the power of humanity’s earliest artworks, Alvarez founded the non-profit Ancient Art Archive, which is dedicated to using the photography and the newest image-based VR technology to explore, preserve and share humanity’s oldest artworks.Stephen is also a frequent consultant and commentator on how new photographic technology is changing the world; in 2016, heset outto photograph the seven natural wonders of the world using Microsoft smartphones. His images have won awards in Pictures of the Year International and Communication Arts, and have been exhibited at Visa Pour L'Image in Perpignan, France.
  • 29 meals including 10 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches and 10 Dinners
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: Cabin onboard Scenic Sapphire
Notes
  • Pre release itinerary subject to change.
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.



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