River cruising South of France on board Scenic Sapphire

Magnificent South of France

Scenic Sales Development Manager, Sara Puglia shares her luxury South of France river cruising experience.
I have been to France four times before, but only to Paris. On my recent South of France cruise, I really did get a different perspective on the country, which was a beautiful surprise. River cruising takes you down the backroads of a country and away from the hustle and bustle of the big cities, into the smaller, charming towns that are just bursting with history, beautiful people, art, delectable food, and of course - lots of wine.
I was lucky to travel on Scenic Sapphire, which went through a multi-million dollar refresh in early 2018. This year we added a Vitality Pool plus a Salt Therapy lounge designed to provide health boosting benefits. I stayed in a balcony suite which included a state-of-the-art Sun Lounge allowing me to enjoy my own private space in any kind of weather.

Visit to Châteauneuf-du-Pape

One of my favourite places was the gorgeous town of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Our Scenic Freechoice tour was very informative and our first stop involved a visit to the medieval castle ruins. We then continued to the main
town square for a fascinating walking tour with our local guide followed by some free time to explore.

The next part of our tour was a visit to one of the wineries. This region is extremely fertile and is famous for its pebbled vineyards. Many sized rocks cover the vineyards and we learnt about how unique this is as well as how special
the wine is from the region. The pebbles protect the crop from the elements, and act as an insulator in the summer and winter months. 

My advice when you visit, is to pick up some white wine as a souvenir as it is almost impossible to buy elsewhere.
Scenic Freechoice visit to Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Scenic Culinaire - On Board Cooking School

The sign-up sheet to attend Scenic Culinare is located at reception, but my advice is to sign up early due to limited spaces.

I thoroughly enjoyed a live cooking demonstration with our chefs, learning new techniques, oh and the best part is the taste test at the end.

Palais des Papes Gala Event

The once-in-a-lifetime experience that I truly treasured was our Scenic Enrich event at Palais Des Papes in Avignon. One of the largest medieval gothic buildings that once was a fortress and palace in the
14th century. 

Our exclusive event took place in the ambience of the Grand Tinel room, where it is believed that the Pope would hold lavish banquets and parties.

The character of this grand room is like no other, with its unique curved ceiling enabling exceptional acoustics. Our private dinner was accompanied by a classical concert from an exceptional
Philharmonic quartet.

This was my WOW moment.