Welcome to Portugal. Enjoy a warm welcome reception on board the luxurious Scenic Azure. Tonight, as an introduction to Portugal you will be seduced by a soulful Fado performance on board.
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. Instead, 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.
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. 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.
Later, 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.
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 (St John not available all departures and will be replaced with visit to Villa Real). En route, 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, or enjoy a guided visit of Mateus Palace, the historic icon depicted on the labels of Portugal’s famous Mateus rosé wine.
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.
Today you have the opportunity to cross the Spanish border.
Freechoice: 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 the 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 free time to explore at your leisure. Alternatively, you may choose to visit the Portuguese village, Freixo de Espada à Cinta for a guided tour and visit to their silk museum. Freixo de Espada à Cinta is the only municipality where handcrafted silk is still processed entirely by hand.
Freechoice: Visit the award-winning Côa Valley Museum and enjoy a pre-historic workshop, or 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.
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.
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.
The sheer beauty of São Francisco Church is sure to impress. The façade 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.
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 Porto’s most renowned port wine aging cellars.
You have the opportunity to explore Porto at your leisure this afternoon, or simply make the most of the remainder of your time on board Scenic Azure.
Take your included flight from Porto to Paris where you’ll cruise out of Paris with the beautiful city as a backdrop.
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.
Freechoice: Enjoy a walking tour of Rouen, the capital of the Normandy region. Take in the famous sites relating to Joan of Arc, and admire the city’s half-timbered houses and the historic Rouen Cathedral. Or learn about the Viking Warlord Rollo ‘the Walker’, who will host a guided walking tour through the medieval laneways of Rouen.
This region is also the gateway to the historic Western Front, and this afternoon you’ll have the opportunity to gain fascinating insights into the Somme battlefields and learn about what life was like for a soldier during WWI with a fascinating lecture. After dinner, a local pâtissier will come on board with a selection of their finest desserts for your dining pleasure.
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. You may choose to visit the Australian National Memorial, containing the 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, you may choose to visit the Lochnagar Crater, the Newfoundland memorial park and the Thiepval memorial. Alternatively, stay in Rouen and explore the collection of impressionist paintings, including masterpieces by Renoir and Monet, at the Museum of Fine Arts which was founded by Napoleon Bonaparte.
Relax on board this morning as you cruise toward the open waters of the English Channel.
Freechoice: Explore Honfleur on a guided walking tour, with its quaint architecture, relaxed coastal atmosphere and colourful fishing boats bobbing on the water, or visit charming Norman villages and discover their traditional Cheeses and Calvados. The small town of Pont l’Eveque is renowned for producing a cheese of the same name, and you will get to sample this and more during your guided tour.
Freechoice: Visit the historic Normandy beaches, the site of the D-Day landings that took place in June 1944. Here you have three equally fascinating options to choose from. Explore the involvement of the British forces as you visit the Bayeux War Cemetery, Museum of the Battle of Normandy and the Landing Museum in Arromanches, finishing at the British Normandy memorial, or learn about the US contribution to the battle at Utah Beach and Memorial before a visit to the Normandy American cemetery and visitor centre or view the battle through the eyes of Canadian forces as you visit Juno Beach Centre, a museum that focuses on the Canadian war effort as well as the Bény-sur-Mer Canadian cemetery and Pegasus Bridge & Museum. Alternatively, learn about history of a different era and visit Bayeux including its famous Tapestry, a hand embroidered masterpiece that depicts the tales of the Norman conquest of England and dates back to the 11th century.
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. Afterwards visit the beautiful seaside town of Étretat, sitting proudly between dramatic rock faces. Or 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 to learn more about the famous French writer.
In a location rich in visual treasures, it’s easy to understand why this region of France inspired many of history’s most famous artists.
Freechoice: Visit Giverny and Monet’s former residence and gardens. Many of the artists most famous art works were inspired by this impressive location, or get your heart pumping on a self-guided cycle through Vernon to Giverny where you have the opportunity to visit Monet’s garden. After exploring these spectacular gardens you may feel inspired to join a painting class on board this afternoon
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 experience for many years to come.
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. The stables also house a museum dedicated to the relationship between man and horse throughout time.
Today it’s your choice to either spend time exploring France’s most celebrated city, or embark on a discovery beyond the city limits.
Freechoice: Walk through the trendy Marais district with a resident expert and hear tales that only the locals know, or admire the extravagance and grandeur of the famous Opera Garnier on a guided tour. Alternatively, see the highlights of Paris during a city tour and marvel at the many iconic sights of the city, 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.
Your trip concludes after breakfast as you disembark and transfer to Paris airport.
This itinerary is a guide only and may be amended for operational reasons such as high and low water. As such, the cruise may operate altered from that stated above. Please refer to our terms and conditions.
Scenic provided an exceptional trip via staff, meals, and experiences. Our tour guide was extraordinary and handled even the slight setback of low water with ease and grace. I would recommend them to anyone interested in river travel.
People didn't really dress for dinner. Men in jeans were allowed in the dining room at night for dinner. That did not happen at another Scenic Cruise we were on. Very disappointed about this. We belong to a private Country Club and men will be turned away at the entrance for this dressing in jeans. Scenic is lowering their standards by doing this. We won't travel Scenic again because of the lower dress codes. Not a top of the line company if this is allowed.
Scenic delivered an Above & Beyond Experience that we will cherish forever. The ENTIRE ship personnel was the epitome of what customer service should be!
Scenic River Cruise was fantastic. Service and food were both absolutely wonderful. Exceeded our expectations and will travel again with Scenic.
The ship was luxurious. The staff were professional and attentive. We would definitely travel with Scenic again.
Scenic River Cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest was a wonderful experience. The ship's staff and amenities afforded us a very comfortable experience. The food sometimes challenged us to try new and regional dishes, which we really enjoyed. But alternate choices were always available, as well. The other passengers were friendly and we made many new acquaintances on our trip. Best part...? All inclusive! We may have made a small tip here and there, but nothing was expected during excursions, tours, dining, bar or hospitality services. Great entertainment on various occasions.
Scenic were exceptional.They have to be the best operators of river cruises.Every aspect of the trip with them was of a very high standard.The cabins (suites) were large and very comfortable (we had the lowest level,so I can imagine what the higher levels would have been like!). All the meals served were excellent with plenty of variety and imagination.Every member of staff we encountered was helpful and smiley.The excursions were excellent with high level guiding .Overall a very good experience.and I would highly recommend them.
The tour description matched the tour exactly.
Wonderful Trip at the right price
Scenic Tours delivers a flawless river cruise experience. They truly take care of everything - all at one price. The ships are beautiful and the staff is cheerful and accommodating. The cabins are incredible feats of design that make use of every inch of space. We were gone for two weeks and never felt cramped. The food is diverse and wonderful and the excursions are very interesting and well-planned.
Scenic did a great job. It was all inclusive so we had no bill at the end, including tips. The trip was 14 days down the Danube, Main, and Rhine. The food, service, and excursions were all very good and included. The only note I would make is that you stopped at so many towns that you did not have enough time to really explore them. But overall, it was a very good trip!
The Scenic Jewel Amsterdam to Budapest cruise certainly exceeded our expectations. The Scenic Jewel staff could not have been better. We were certainly pampered the entire cruise and the staff could not do enough to insure the trip was a success. We did not have one staff person who was only average--everyone was exceptional. Our cruise director kept everything humming right along and he and the captian went above and beyond to solve a water level issue.
Scenic was more expensive than our other trips But quality was outstanding!
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