Enchanting Rhône (8 days, Chalon-sur-Saône - Tarascon, 2014)
The tone of this cruise is set by the famous Beaujolais wine region, before arriving in Renaissance Lyon, the gastronomic heart of France. The Rhône flows through the sunny South of France, and our guests sample the tastes of local wines and culinary delights while travelling by hilltop vineyards and ancient riverside villages.
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There are a number of ways to travel to Chalon-sur-Saône. Fly from your choice of 15 UK regional airports to Lyon via Paris or Amsterdam with Air France / KLM; or travel with British Airways from London Heathrow. Alternatively, fly direct with BMI from Birmingham or Manchester. On arrival in Lyon, transfer* to Chalon-sur-Saône to embark on your river cruise. Prefer not to fly? Travel Standard Premier aboard Eurostar from St. Pancras International to Paris Gare du Nord. On arrival change stations (own expense) to Paris Gare de Lyon and take the TGV to Chalon-sur-Saône, where you will transfer to the Scenic Emerald.
This morning enjoy the spectacular scenery as you cruise to Mâcon. With its buildings painted burnt sienna, buttermilk and rose, Mâcon has a distinctly Mediterranean feel. But above all, Mâcon is famous for its wine, and particularly its great whites. In Mâcon, you will have the opportunity to choose one of the following included Scenic FreeChoice tours: (1) travel to the ‘Golden Stone’ region of Beaujolais where you will enjoy a tasting of the delicious wines of this famous region (2) visit Cluny, a village built around the great Benedictine Abbey, once the largest Christian building in the world until the completion of St. Peter’s of Rome. This afternoon set sail for Lyon.
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Lyon is full of architectural Renaissance buildings and beautiful monuments. The city is also famed as being the gastronomic heart of France and for its historic silk trade. Enjoy a guided tour before choosing from one of the following included Scenic FreeChoice activities (1) explore Lyon by bike on your self-guided discovery of this UNESCO World Heritage City (2) the silk trade of the 19th century saw Lyon emerge as an important industrial centre. Discover the skill of this art on your visit to a traditional silk factory (3) visit the medieval village of Pérouges, perched atop a hill on the Rhône river plateau. This afternoon, why not take a gourmet tour of Lyon at your leisure with Scenic Tailormade? The city is known as the French capital of gastronomy, with wonderful food created from regional produce and often served with local Beaujolais wine. The city has over 1,800 restaurants, 15 of which have been awarded Michelin stars.
Today choose one of the following included Scenic FreeChoice tours: (1) discover Vienne’s Roman and Medieval architecture on a guided walking tour of the city (2) enjoy a hike through Vienne and the surrounding area (3) board your mini-train ride to Vienne’s Roman arena. Later, enjoy a cool drink onboard your Scenic ‘Space-Ship’ in the open and inviting Panoramic Lounge, or venture to the warmth of the Riverview Terrace, and watch the splendorous scenery of the Rhône unfold as we sail slowly by its enriched shores on a leisurely cruise. Nestled on the right bank of the river and among the famous vineyards, the city of Tournon sits clustered around its massive feudal castle dating back to the 10th century. Scenic Enrich: A special experience awaits you this evening as you learn about everyday living on your visit to a typical French family home. Savour their hospitality as you are treated to a home-cooked meal by the family.
Often described as a town waiting to be discovered, Viviers remains relatively untouched by modern development. Rich vegetation and green grasses and trees abound in the region; it is a fresh and pristine land perfect for nature lovers. This morning enjoy an included walking tour of Viviers, including a special organ recital for Scenic Tours guests. Located between hills and the Rhône, Viviers reveals ancient homes and an unusual cathedral. This afternoon, relax onboard as you sail through a number of locks on the way to Avignon.
Today choose from one of the following included Scenic FreeChoice activities (1) visit the majestic Palais-des-Papes on your guided city tour, one of the largest and most important medieval Gothic buildings in Europe, and among the most visited places in France (2) take an excursion to Uzès, a town with a skyline that marks the region from afar, including a visit to Pont du Gard. This afternoon enjoy time at leisure in Avignon. Known as the ‘City of Popes’, Avignon was once the residence of seven Popes in the 14th century and is famous for its history, architecture and the annual international theatre festival. You could wander the narrow streets inside the fortified walls for days without tiring of them. Or you can relax in the Place de l’Horloge, a long square in front of the Hotel de Ville, with vibrant terrace cafés along both sides.
Relax onboard this morning as we sail into the Provençal town of Tarascon. This ancient fortified town on the banks of the beautiful Rhône River is home to one of the most beautiful and well preserved medieval castles in France. Here, you will have the choice of three included Scenic FreeChoice activities: (1) enjoy your tour of Arles, home to an ancient Roman amphitheatre and a city that has inspired many artists (2) visit the picturesque hilltop village of Les Baux, set atop a rocky outcrop and crowned with a ruined castle overlooking the plains to the south. Also enjoy visit to an olive farm and sample some of the produce (3) visit the charming Provençal village of Saint-Rémy made famous by Vincent Van Gogh, including a visit to Saint Paul de Mausole Monastery where Van Gogh was held for a year.
After breakfast, transfer* to Marseille Airport for your flight home: fly to your choice of 15 UK regional airports via Paris or Amsterdam with Air France / KLM; or travel with British Airways to London Heathrow. Alternatively, travel first class rail from Avignon to Lille and then Standard Premier aboard Eurostar onwards to St. Pancras International.
B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner, HD – Highlight Dinner
* Please check your transfer entitlements with the UK office.