France and Portugal Indepth

Historical sites, architectural splendour, and artistic mastery. Discover the treasures of France and Portugal during this 41 day luxury river cruise.

41 Days
Paris to Porto
From (AUD)
$ 33,430
Dates & Pricing

2020 Paris > Porto

Tour Map
Tour Code:
SFBD
Duration:
41 days
Departure City:
Paris
Return City:
Porto

Selected Itinerary

41 Day Itinerary

  1. Day 1 - Welcome to Paris

    Enjoy a welcome dinner before cruising out of Paris with the beautiful city as a backdrop.

    Meals Included: Dinner

  2. 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.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  3. 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.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  4. 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.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  5. 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.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  6. 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.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  7. 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.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  8. 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.

    Enrich

    Built into a steep rock face overlooking the Seine River and the small village bearing the same name, Château de La Roche-Guyon is a sight to behold. Experience the opulence and grandeur of yesteryear as you enjoy a classical concert performed by the region’s most reputable musicians. The Château dates back to medieval times and you’ll be sure to have fond memories of this special experience for a long time.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  9. 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.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  10. 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.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  11. Day 11 - Paris > Lyon

    Travel in style on board the high speed TGV train to Lyon. Upon arrival, transfer to the Scenic Sapphire where your friendly crew await to welcome you on board. Spend the afternoon exploring the many features and amenities of your Scenic Space-Ship. Perhaps relax in the on board Salt Therapy Lounge and soak in the healing properties of the salt or simply take a beverage on to the Sun Deck and admire the magnificent views across the city of Lyon.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

  12. Day 12 - Lyon > Tournus

    Relax on board as you cruise the Saône River towards Tournus. Perhaps sharpen your skills on French cookery at a lesson in Scenic Culinaire.

    Freechoice

    Explore Château de Cormatin, boasting beautiful gardens and 17th century architecture. Or, join the highly trained hounds and their owners in a nearby quaint village to locate and sample French truffles – a gastronomic delicacy. Alternatively visit the three star Michelin Chef, Georges Blanc’s Restaurant for a cooking demonstration.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  13. Day 13 - Chalon-sur-Saône

    Freechoice

    Explore Beaune, including a visit to Les Hospices de Beaune. The former hospital is a prime example of traditional 15th century Burgundian architecture and now houses a fascinating museum. 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 the history of photography in the town where it was first invented.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  14. Day 14 - 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.

    Freechoice

    Enjoy wine tasting at a local vineyard, 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, or choose to join a guided cycling tour along the Rhône to neighbouring villages.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  15. Day 15 - Avignon

    A Scenic Culinaire cooking class is on offer this morning

    Freechoice

    Take a walking tour of the magnificent city of Avignon including entrance to the Popes’ Palace and the famed St. Benezet Bridge, also known as the Pont d’Avignon. Alternatively, sample the celebrated wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape at a Côtes du Rhône vineyard.

    Enrich

    Enjoy a truly unforgettable experience at the prestigious Palais des Papes. After the doors close to the general public, be treated to an exclusive classical concert in one of the grandiose rooms.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  16. Day 16 - 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 Sénanque Abbey, or take an excursion to Uzès and Pont du Gard. The Pont du Gard is an engineering masterpiece dating back to the middle of the first century, designed to carry water to the city of Nimes.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  17. Day 17 - Tarascon

    Freechoice

    Explore the artistic heritage of Arles, and visit the striking Arles Arena, or stop in at the pretty hilltop village of Les Baux before touring a charming family-run olive farm. Alternatively, follow in the footsteps  of Vincent Van Gogh during an excursion to Saint-Rémy and Saint-Paul de Mausole Monastery, or take an active walk through La Camargue National Park.

    This afternoon stay on board for a Provençal Soap Making workshop or enjoy time at leisure to explore the medieval charm of Tarascon. It is the perfect city to cycle around so why not jump on an e-bike and cycle the riverside paths along the Rhône.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  18. Day 18 - 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, a replica museum depicting the collection of engravings, paintings and drawings found in the nearby Chauvet Cave, or visit the aromatic Lavender Museum and learn how lavender is harvested in this region and how it is used. Alternatively, if you are feeling adventurous, you can kayak through one of Europe’s largest natural canyons, or drop into the beautiful provincial town of Grignan.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  19. Day 19 - Lyon

    Take in the vistas of the Rhône River as you sail towards the gastronomic heart of France, Lyon. Why not visit Scenic Culinaire and pick up a trick or two to add to your culinary prowess.

    Enrich

    Admire the beauty of one of the city’s greatest baroque buildings, Trinity Chapel. Built in the 17th century, the interior is decadently covered in Carrera marble.  As an exclusive experience with Scenic, join your fellow guests for a breathtaking acapella choir performance in this wonderful setting.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  20. Day 20 - Lyon

    Freechoice

    Discover Lyon’s historic significance by traversing its hidden secret passageways dating back to the 4th century, and visit Notre Dame Basilica for magnificent views across the city. Or, if you’re feeling more active, you can also explore Lyon on foot and explore the city sights along the waterways. Alternatively, walk the cobblestone paths in the medieval hilltop town of Pérouges.

    This afternoon you have time at leisure to further explore this magnificent city. Use your Scenic Tailormade app on your personal device to explore the largest single renaissance quarter in France, Le Vieux Lyon or savour your last opportunity to sample some more of Lyons gastronomic delights.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  21. Day 21 - Lyon > Bordeaux

    Today join your included flight to Bordeaux. Your friendly crew will welcome you on board the luxurious Scenic Diamond for your cruise through France’s southwestern pocket.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

  22. Day 22 - 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.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  23. Day 23 - 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.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  24. Day 24 - 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.

    Enrich

    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.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  25. Day 25 - 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.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  26. Day 26 - 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.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  27. Day 27 - 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.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  28. Day 28 - 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.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  29. Day 29 - 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.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  30. Day 30 - 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.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  31. Day 31 - Bordeaux > Porto

    Today fly to Porto for your Douro Valley cruise.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

  32. Day 32 - Porto > Entre-os-Rios

    Freechoice

    Discover the historic treasures of Porto, including a visit to Palacio da Bolsa, a neoclassical style building which started construction in 1842 and took over 65 years to complete or if you’re feeling more active, join a walking tour that includes a cable car ride allowing you to see Porto from a different perspective.

    Enjoy a relaxing afternoon of cruising as your luxurious Scenic Space-Ship meanders its way to Entre-os-Rios.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  33. Day 33 - Entre-os-Rios

    Freechoice

    Guimarães was the seat of the first King of Portugal and is dominated by the impressive Ducal Palace, which dates back to medieval times. It’s a great tour to kickstart your interest in this fascinating region. Alternatively, you could choose a tasting at the fairytale property of Quinta da Aveleda. Located in the famous Vino Verde region and a renowned regional sparkling wine producer, the incredible gardens alone make the excursion worthwhile.

    Enjoy a blissful cruise to Regua where you have the chance to explore the Douro Museum at your leisure. Learn about the culture, history and identity of the people living in this wine growing region of the Douro Valley.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  34. Day 34 - Regua

    This morning, discover the captivating Varosa Valley and visit the charming village of Tarouca where you’ll explore the restored Monastery of Saint John of Tarouca. Enroute, walk the fortified bridge of Ucanha, Portugal’s first toll bridge, spanning the crystal-clear waters of the Varosa River.

    Freechoice

    Tour the elegant town of Lamego, with its many fine Baroque structures such as the Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios and the Lamego Museum, both of which you will get the opportunity to visit. Alternatively, enjoy a guided visit of Mateus Palace, the historic icon depicted on the labels of Portugal’s famous Mateus rosé wine.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  35. Day 35 - Regua > Vega de Terron

    Enjoy a full day cruising the Douro Valley’s Vinhateiro wine growing region. A World Heritage-listed Site, Vinhateiro has a history of wine production that stretches back for 2,000 years. In fact, its impeccable port wines have been world-famous since at least the 18th century.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  36. Day 36 - Salamanca

    Take your time absorbing the architectural splendour of Salamanca, a city as visually striking as it is historically intriguing. From humble beginnings during the Iron Age to darker times, such as economic crises and the War of the Spanish Succession, Salamanca has been shaped over time to become the fascinating beauty it is today. Explore the city on a guided tour before enjoying the ‘Tastes of Spain’ during a market visit followed by free time. Your lunch today will be accompanied by an energetic Flamenco dance performance.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  37. Day 37 - Pocinho > Pinhão

    Enjoy a leisurely cruise to nearby Pocinho for our Côa Valley discovery.

    Freechoice

    Visit the award-winning Côa Valley Museum and enjoy a pre-historic workshop. If you’re more adventurous at heart, take a canoeing excursion on the Sabor River. Alternatively, you could join the ‘Tastes of the Côa Valley’ excursion and visit Casa Painova for a sweet almond workshop and a tasting of their almond, olive and fruit products.

    Tonight, be entertained by a traditional Portuguese musical performance on board.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  38. Day 38 - Pinhão

    Visit the remarkable village of Provesende, showcasing the Portugal of yesteryear, and wander the quaint streets with locals as they proudly introduce you to their way of life – including their local bakery. This is a specially choreographed experience exclusive to Scenic guests. You’ll also visit the church for a special recital, and enjoy wine tasting at the restored manor house of Morgadio da Calçada.

    Freechoice

    Top off a truly unforgettable day with a visit to a local estate for a tasting of their famous export. Or, if you’re feeling energetic, you could choose a walk through the hillside vineyard for a tasting among the vines.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  39. Day 39 - Pinhão > Porto

    Having spent the previous eight days discovering the treasures of the Douro, Varosa and Côa Valleys, enjoy an exclusive Douro Valley Wine Review. Otherwise, simply enjoy the beauty of the region as you cruise back into Porto.

    Enrich

    The sheer beauty of São Francisco Church is sure to impress. The facade is a mix of Gothic and Baroque architecture, while the interior glows with intricate wood carvings swathed in gold. Immerse yourself in the heart and soul of Portuguese music as you witness a spectacular private concert in these wondrous surroundings.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  40. Day 40 - Porto

    Freechoice

    Step outside of Porto and join an excursion to Aveiro for a guided tour including a cruise on the waterways that meander through this historic and colourful city. Alternatively, visit a local corking factory and learn how cork is produced as well as its multitude of uses. Or visit Vila Nova de Gaia, the historic district set on the banks of the Douro River, for a tasting of the region’s famed drop in one of the most famous cellars of Porto.

    You have the opportunity to explore Porto at your leisure this afternoon or simply make the most of the remainder of your time aboard Scenic Azure.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  41. Day 41 - Porto

    Your cruise concludes after breakfast as you’re transferred to Porto airport. Your time in Portugal’s Douro Valley may have come to an end, but you’ll leave with wonderful memories and newfound friends.

    Meals Included: Breakfast

Pricing & Availability