Set sail into the picturesque region of the South of France as you glide along the Saône and Rhône Rivers. Wander along medieval hilltops, explore ancient landmarks and enjoy biking, hiking and canoeing excursions, offering a unique and authentic experience. Travelling from Lyon to Zurich, discover the enchanting lands that inspired the worlds most famous artist Vincent van Gogh and sample the region’s famed delicacies and wines from acclaimed vineyards. You will be joined onboard by National Geographic experts and photographers who will enrich your river cruise experience with unique insight and photography guidance using the spectacular South of France as your backdrop.

Trip highlights

Explore the historic Pont-d’Arc Cavern in Ardèche alongside a National Geographic expert which features reproductions of the prehistoric drawings found in the renowned Chauvet Cave.

Experience the grand tradition of an exclusive gala dinner and classical concert at the incredible Popes’ Palace in Avignon, the largest Gothic palace in the world.

Visit numerous vineyards in the South of France, tasting local wines and learning more about their award-winning wine cellars.

With local guides and their hounds, go truffle hunting in Tournus, seeking and sampling the delicacy.

Itinerary - 15 Days

1 Lyon

Welcome to Lyon. Upon arrival transfer to the Scenic Sapphire where your friendly crew await to welcome you on board. (D)

2 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. (B,L,D)

3 Chalon-sur-Saône

Freechoice: Explore Beaune, including a visit to Les Hospices de Beaune. Alternatively, visit the estate of Château Meursault and taste some of its acclaimed wines or, visit the photography museum and learn the history of photography in the town where it was first invented. (B,L,D)

4 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. If you are feeling more active, cycle from Andance to Tournon.

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.

5 Avignon

A Scenic Culinaire cooking class is on offer this morning.
Freechoice: Take a walking tour of the magnificent city of Avignon. Alternatively, sample the celebrated wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape at a Côtes du Rhône vineyard.


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. (B,L,D)

6 Avignon

Freechoice: Shop with a Chef at a local food market and cook up a storm in Scenic Culinaire. Alternatively, drop into the villages of the Luberon region including Gordes and Sénanque Abbey, or take an excursion to Uzès and Pont du Gard.
Sail past the famous Pont d’Avignon with a drink in hand and take in this beautiful location on board your Scenic Space-Ship (B,L,D)

7 Tarascon

Freechoice: Explore the artistic heritage of Arles, and visit Arles Arena, or stop in at the pretty hilltop village of Les Baux before touring an olive farm. Alternatively, pay a visit to Saint-Rémy and Saint-Paul de Mausole Monastery where Van Gogh was held for a year or take an active walk through La Camargue National Park. Or, you may choose to join an expert for a guided tour of Antique history at the Musée départemental Arles.

Later, enjoy time at leisure to explore the medieval charm of Tarascon, or simply stay on board for a Provencal Soap making workshop. (B,L,D)

8 Viviers

Enjoy a walking tour of Viviers including an organ recital.

Freechoice: Explore the Ardèche National Park including the Caverne du Pont-d’Arc Museum, or visit the aromatic Lavender Museum. Alternatively, kayak through one of Europe’s largest natural canyons, or drop into the town of Grignan. (B,L,D)

9 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. (B,L,D)

10 Lyon

Freechoice: Discover Lyon’s historic significance by traversing its hidden secret passageways, and visit Notre Dame Basilica or, traverse Lyon by foot, set on the confluence of the Rhône and Saône Rivers, explore the city sights by the river and visit the museum in Saint-Romain-en-Gal.. Alternatively, walk the cobblestone paths in the medieval hilltop town of Pérouges. Or visit the exclusive culinary school of Paul Bocuse for a cooking demonstration. (B,L,D)

11 Lyon > Montreux

Departing Lyon we cross the Switzerland border and make our way to Montreux. Tonight you will get the chance to luxuriate at your hotel, located on the shores of picturesque Lake Geneva, where you’ll be enjoying a two night stay. (B)

12 Montreux

Delight in a panoramic train journey to Château-d’Œx. Upon arrival witness traditional cheese-making
at the Restaurant Le Chalet. The cheesemaker will transform milk into a hard cheese right in front of your eyes. At the end of the demonstration you’ll have an opportunity to taste the freshly made cheese. (B,L)

13 Montreux > Bern

Ascend the Swiss Alps to the breathtaking village of Gstaad. Then continue to Bern for your overnight stay. (B)

14 Bern > Lucerne > Zurich

Journey to Lucerne and discover this charming town on an orientation tour with your Tour Director. Continue to Zurich, Switzerland’s largest city and home to a host of treasures. Enjoy an overnight stay. (B,D)

15 Zurich

Transfer to Zurich airport with wonderful memories. (B)

Please note: Pre release itinerary subject to change.

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