Day 1 Welcome to Paris
Enjoy a welcome dinner before cruising out of Paris with the beautiful city as a backdrop. (Dinner)
Day 2 Les Andelys:
Enjoy the opulent amenities of your floating hotel as you glide peacefully through the Île-de-France region to Les Andelys.
Freechoice: Join a hike with a difference and visit King Richard the Lionheart’s Château Gaillard, or journey to Lyons la Forêt, one of the most beautiful villages of France, and visit a local farm to sample cider, the region’s specialty. Alternatively, join your local guide for a walking tour of the quaint village of Les Andelys, or take a bicycle tour through this beautiful village, set on the banks of the Seine. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 3 Rouen
Enjoy a walking tour of Rouen, the capital of the Normandy region. Take in the famous sites relating to Joan of Arc and the historic Rouen Cathedral. Walk the winding medieval laneways and admire the city’s half-timbered houses. Alternatively, learn about the Viking Warlord Rollo ‘The walker’ who will host a guided walking tour through the medieval lanes of Rouen.
This evening, a local patissier will come on board with a selection of their finest desserts for your dining pleasure. This region is also the gateway to the historic Western Front, and after dinner you’re able to gain fascinating insights into the Somme Battlefields with a fascinating lecture to learn about what life was like for a soldier during WWI. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4 Rouen
Freechoice: Get a glimpse of 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 103 years since. You may choose to visit the Australian National Memorial, containing the newly built Sir John Monash Centre as well as the Caterpillar Valley Memorial, dedicated to the New Zealand citizens who perished during the Battle of the Somme or, opt to visit the Lochnagar Crater, the Newfoundland memorial park and the Thiepval memorial. 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5 Rouen > Honfleur
Relax on board as you cruise toward the open waters of the English Channel.
Freechoice: Explore Honfleur, with its quaint architecture, relaxed coastal atmosphere and colourful fishing boats bobbing up and down on its waters. Alternatively, immerse yourself in the beautiful La Côte Fleurie region on France’s northern beaches and discover dashing Deauville, playground of the rich and famous.
Back on board, kick up your heels on the dance floor as a fabulous local swing band performs the best of the 1920s in the Panorama Lounge tonight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6 Honfleur
Freechoice: 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. From here you have two options, take a moment to reflect on the momentous impact of that day, as you look out from your hilltop position above Omaha Beach or visit the Juno Beach Centre, a museum that focuses on the Canadian war effort. Alternatively, learn about history of a different era and visit the Bayeux Tapestry, a hand embroidered masterpiece that depicts the tales of the Norman conquest of England and dates back to the 11th century. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 7 Honfleur > Caudebec-en-Caux
Freechoice: Visit Fécamp and its mighty palace. Situated in spectacular surrounds, the city’s natural setting contrasts perfectly with its architectural centrepiece, the Benedictine Palace. Or, sitting proudly atop dramatic seascape is the town of Étretat, where you’ll enjoy a guided tour and time at leisure. 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. Alternatively, travel to the hilltop village of Bolbec and view fabrics at the fascinating Textile Museum before visiting a traditional Normandy farm nearby. For the more adventurous, join a guided cycling tour to the charming village of Villequier and visit the Victor Hugo Museum. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 8 Vernon
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.
Freechoice: Visit Giverny and Monet’s former residence and gardens. Or if you’re feeling more adventurous, you can explore by bike with a self-guided cycling tour that starts in Vernon. You can also discover Vernon with Scenic Tailormade at your own pace. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 9 Conflans > Paris
Cruise to the charming medieval town of Conflans, with its distinctive barge houses docked within reach of the quaint main square.
Freechoice: Discover the charms of Auvers-sur-Oise and see Vincent van Gogh’s room, or step inside the magnificent Chantilly Castle for a guided tour of this remarkable château, set amidst beautiful parklands. Alternatively, visit the great stables on the grounds of Chantilly, essentially a palace for the horses living on the estate. The stables also house a museum dedicated to the relationship between man and horse throughout time. Or you may choose to visit Château de Malmaison for a guided tour. Once owned by Empress Joséphine and her husband Napoleon I of France, the estate has been restored to its former glory and is considered to be of significant historical importance.
After a leisurely afternoon of cruising, the evening will see us returning to Paris, the ‘city of light’, and you’ll have the chance to view the beautiful illuminated skyline, and the soaring Eiffel Tower. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 10 Paris
It’s your choice today to either spend time exploring France’s most celebrated city or embark on a discovery beyond the city limits.
Freechoice: Shop with a Chef when you visit one of Paris’ local food markets and enjoy exquisite tastings, or walk through the trendy Marais district with a resident expert and hear tales that only the locals know. Or, you may wish to explore beyond Paris and tour the 17th century estate of Château Vaux-le-Vicomte, Louis XIV’s inspiration for Versailles Palace. Alternatively, admire the extravagance and grandeur of the famous Opera Garnier on a guided tour. From the ornately decorated theatre to the opulent chandeliers and the ceiling painted by Chagall, the interior of this building will take your breath away.
With remarkable attractions at every turn, enjoy time at leisure this afternoon to explore Paris and create your own unique memories. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 11 Paris > Bordeaux
Traverse the landscapes of the Loire Valley aboard the TGV train to Bordeaux. Your friendly crew will welcome you on board the luxurious Scenic Diamond for your cruise through France’s southwestern pocket. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 12 Bordeaux > Saint-Émilion
Enjoy a relaxing morning on board as you cruise into the beautiful 13th century port of Libourne. While cruising, perhaps drop into Scenic Culinaire for a French cooking class. Spend the afternoon in the nearby town of Saint-Émilion, a 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 13 Libourne > Pauillac
Freechoice: Enjoy a guided tour of Libourne and view its quaint 16th century town-houses and Gothic church. Alternatively, explore the estate of Château de La Rivière with a wine tasting or, if you’re feeling more active join a bike tour through the region to the estate, or view the eclectic city of Bergerac and enjoy a foie gras tasting at a charming local farm.
During your afternoon at leisure, opt to enhance your culinary prowess in Scenic Culinaire or simply take in the riverside panoramas while cruising to Pauillac. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 14 Médoc
Freechoice: Travel the scenic Médoc wine route and discover why this region is viewed as the world’s leading red wine producer. Afterwards, sample the region’s finest at a local estate. Alternatively, cycle through the region to a grand château and sample delicious wine produced on the estate.
Set in spectacular surrounds in the Médoc countryside, Château d’Agassac is truly enchanting. Dating back to the 13th century, the Château is one of the oldest winemaking establishments in the region and is the venue for your unforgettable evening concert. Soak in the ambience of this magnificent property as live musicians perform classical masterpieces for your exclusive enjoyment. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 15 Pauillac > Cadillac
Soak in the vistas as you cruise on board the luxurious Scenic Diamond past the picturesque landscapes of the Garonne River into Cadillac, some of the most beautiful scenic cruising in the Bordeaux region. While on board, you may choose to further develop your cooking skills with a lesson in Scenic Culinaire. Tonight, this remarkable space comes to life when fabulous local entertainers perform live in the Panorama Lounge for a night of entertainment. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 16 Cadillac:
Freechoice: This morning, 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: This afternoon 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, visit a truffle farm and sample the delicious regional delicacy, or perhaps enjoy a 12 kilometre roundtrip hike from Cadillac to the village of Loupiac. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 17 Bordeaux
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.
Back on board your Cruise Director will organise a special treat for you, with a tasting of fresh oysters delivered straight from the waters of Arcachon Bay. Spend the afternoon at leisure to immerse yourself in the culture of the Bordelais. Tonight 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 to round off a magical evening. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 18 Arcachon > Bourg
Situated on the northern tip of Europe’s longest coastal beach, Arcachon is the jewel of France’s western coastline.
Freechoice: Journey to Arcachon and join a walking tour including a visit to the local Baltard market, or climb Europe’s largest sand dune and take in the expansive panoramas. Alternatively, stay in Bordeaux and take a tram to the Cité du Vin museum and enjoy an interactive journey of wine discovery.
This afternoon, if you fancy something sweet, stay on board and enjoy a fabulous chocolate and wine-pairing event. Later, take a leisurely cruise into Bourg, perhaps join a masterclass in French cooking during Scenic Culinaire. Tonight enjoy a lively jazz performance on board. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 19 Cognac
Today explore the unique northern shores of the Gironde Estuary.
Freechoice: Discover the Carriages Museum in the enchanting Bourg Castle and visit the 16th century passageway to the guards rooms and see the immense WWII oil tanks. Alternatively, spend a full day exploring the fortified town of Cognac, renowned for its production of fine brandy and 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 20 Blaye > Bordeaux
Discover the remarkable Blaye region, established to protect the Bordeaux region from invasion.
Freechoice: Stroll through the charming Citadel of Blaye, or take a more active walk throughout the town. Alternatively, join a 30 kilometre roundtrip cycle along the Captain’s Road, which is named in honour of the WWI Captains who chose to purchase their homes along this beautiful stretch of waterway in the early 20th century. Or, explore the stunning beauty of the fairytale Château de La Roche Courbon. This fortified castle was originally built in the 15th century and is surrounded by magnificently manicured gardens.
Later, enjoy a cooking class in Scenic Culinaire or simply relax on board as we cruise past beautiful uninhabited islands, bound for Bordeaux. Dine at the Captain’s farewell dinner on board this evening. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 21 Bordeaux
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to Bordeaux Airport or Train Station. (Breakfast)