Exploring culinary delights is usually the centerpiece of any visit to France’s Bordeaux region. Scenic fine tunes the focus on these cherished guest experiences with its 12-day “Breathtaking Bordeaux” itinerary – combining the scenic beauty of the French countryside with an extensive list of activities, explorations, and entertainment.
Guests get to enjoy numerous wineries including the Grand Cru desert wines of Château Guiraud; and, during a cycling tour, the Sauternes of the 500-year-old winery, Château de Myrat. Other highlights, among dozens, is a hike to Loupiac, the center of the sweet white wine appellation; sailing along the UNESCO-protected Dordogne River; learn about foie gras at a local farm in Bergerac; and indulging in a Mademoiselle de Margaux chocolate and wine pairing. An evening welcome gala in Paris kicks of the trip. Sailings from May through September start at US$6,230 per person, double, and include free or reduced airfare.
Continuing to find ways to polish the experience for their guests, Scenic is redesigning their France-based Space-Ships for 2017. One of the most exciting changes is the inclusion of a private cooking emporium offering tailored cooking classes. The new and exclusive Scenic Culinaire is an on board cooking school using dedicated space that features cooking stations and a cheese and wine cellar as well as real-time cameras and screens to ensure each participant can see every cooking move in detail. Fresh ingredients are sourced from local markets, and the cooking instructors will introduce guests to regional recipes based on the itinerary regions.
Guests start their adventure with an evening in Paris, boarding a high-speed TGV train the next morning to transfer to the 155-guest Scenic Diamond. Cruise features include the aforementioned cooking classes in Culinaire (plenty of sessions are scheduled; however, with class size limits, guests are encouraged to register their interest early); exploring the catacombs of Saint-Émilion’s Monolithic Church; numerous winery visits including Château Franc Mayne, Château Gruaud-Larose, Château Siaurac and Château Lagrange; soaking in the picturesque scenery along the Garonne River; enjoying the custom electric-assist bikes on several cycling tours–or independently; climbing Europe’s largest sand dune with its expansive panoramas; a tasting of fine brandy at Rémy Martin; and exploring castles and medieval villages. Exclusive to Scenic guests is an evening at the charming 18th-century Farm Suzanne on the Château Giscours estate in the Médoc countryside, along with a four-course dinner, Grand Cru wines and a classical concert.
Other highlights of the redesigned ships include reducing the number of cabins/guest to 78/155 from the current level of 84/167 while keeping the same crew count for even greater personal service; two new 510 ft² Royal Owners Suites; larger wellness centers; and a vitality pool.
The five-star Scenic Space-Ships offer all-inclusive luxury experiences – from private butler service and unlimited complimentary beverages and spirits including mini-bar re-stocked daily, to full-size private balcony staterooms. Everything makes use of Scenic’s unique Sun Lounge technology, where the walkout open-air balcony can convert to an all-weather lounge with a push of a button, expanding the living area of the stateroom. On board river highlights and shore experiences are made exceptional by the included Scenic Tailormade handheld GPS guided tour system provided to every guest for use on tours or for independent exploration.
On board cuisine allows for up to six dining options, including the tradition of dégustation at Table La Rive, fine dining at L’Amour, and the more casual fare at the River Café. As with all Scenic river cruises, guests will never have to reach for the wallet or purse as everything is included (except a haircut or massage): tips and gratuities, expert local guides, Scenic Culinaire, all Scenic Freechoice activities that allow for a more personalized vacation, plus Scenic Enrich events which are exclusive to Scenic and its guests, transfers, all meals, etc.
Scenic offers award-winning, all-inclusive escorted tours in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, the Americas, and elsewhere, while offering the same level of expertise and the only truly all-inclusive river cruises in Europe and the Mekong, Irrawaddy, and Russia.
Additional information on these and other cruises, brochures, and reservations can be obtained via travel agents or www.scenicusa.com.
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