Spectacular South of France
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.
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.
You’re sure to love Mâcon. Be fascinated by its history and delighted by the surrounding picturesque farming region renowned for its five wine appellations and gastronomy. Take the opportunity to treat your taste buds to the renowned Bresse Chicken at the regional corner of Crystal Dining. Retrace the traditional life of the region on your visit to the Bresse Museum, or treat yourself to a wine tasting in the Beaujolais region. Alternatively, visit Cluny, a village built around the great Benedictine Abbey.
Awake today in Lyon, the gastronomic heart of France! 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. As an option, consider an after-dinner stroll into town. As there are no overnight sailings your Scenic Space-Ship will be docked right in the heart of town, which means you’ll be free to explore to your heart’s content.
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.
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.
Enjoy a walking tour of Viviers, and experience an organ recital in the town’s cathedral. 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 in an adventurous mood, you can canoe through one of Europe’s largest natural canyons, or drop into the beautiful provincial town of Grignan.
Today explore Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Enjoy sampling the local wine at a charming Côtes du Rhône vineyard on your included tour. Take in the impressive panorama as you cruise by the Pont d’Avignon for your arrival to the famous city of Avignon. Then enjoy a walking tour that includes a visit to the city’s architectural jewel, the Pope’s Palace.
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. Alternatively, ‘Shop with a Chef’ at a local food market and treat yourself to some of the unique tastes of the region. Explore Avignon at leisure this afternoon.
Today discover the spectacular La Camargue National Park. Take in the wild beauty of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, or if you’re an avid bird watcher visit the 60 hectare Parc Ornithologique. You can also enjoy a visit to the Petite Camargue and the village of Aigues-Mortes. If you wish, relax on the Sun Deck, or take in a live music performance by a gypsy band from the Camargue region while cruising round-trip from Tarascon towards the Mediterranean Sea.
The town of Tarascon exudes a distinctly medieval character and is dominated by its impressive riverside castle. Explore the artistic heritage of Arles, and see the striking Arles Arena, or stop in at the hilltop village of Les Baux. Alternatively, pay a visit to Saint-Rémy and Saint-Paul de Mausole Monastery where Van Gogh was held, or delight in the Tastes of Provence on your visit to an olive and lavender farm.