Sailing from France
Setting sail from Lyon
Situated at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers, Lyon is one of France's most appealing cities. Its reputation for gastronomic excellence is well deserved, with hundred of wonderful restaurants, from lavish Michelin-starred affairs to family-run joints tucked away down a back alley. What's more, the UNESCO listed historic centre boasts a marvellous ensemble of Renaissance-era buildings, best appreciated from the top of the soaring Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière.
Eating out in Lyon is the best – starve yourself for days in advance in order to be able to make the most of this foodiest of cities.
The riverside town of Tournus is known for the magnificent Benedictine Abbey of Saint Philibert, of which the Romanesque 11th-century church is the main surviving element. Other nearby sights include the splendid Château de Cormatin, the medieval village of Brancion and the Mâconnais wine region, home of the Chardonnay grape.
Chalon-sur-Saône was once a key trading centre and port, situated at the meeting of Roman roads, the river Saône and several other inland waterways. The city’s distinguished history is reflected in its handsome buildings, and this is an excellent base from which to explore the southern Burgundy wine regions.
France: Tain I'Hermitage
The twin villages of Tournon-sur-Rhône and Tain l’Hermitage sit on opposite banks of the Rhône, around 50 miles south of Lyon. Visit Tournon’s hilltop castle and charming old town, then sample some of Tain l’Hermitage’s excellent wines and the famous Valrhona chocolate.
The former papal stronghold of Avignon cuts a dramatic figure, perched above the Rhône and ensconced behind towering walls. The Palais des Papes was home to a succession of 14th century pontiffs, and still looms large over Avignon’s atmospheric old town.
Tarascon is one of Provence’s lesser known towns, situated on the Rhône between Avignon and Arles. Points of interest include the 15th century castle and the pretty Moulin de Daudet, a windmill that belonged to the author Alphonse Daudet. Tarascon is also an important centre for Provençal textiles.
The little town of Viviers, on the right bank of the Rhône, is a delightful place to explore on foot, with its narrow, cobbled medieval streets and elegant cathedral. A lot of history is packed into a small space, including Roman remains and the Renaissance era Maison des Chevaliers.
Arriving in Lyon
Getting around by public transport is great, with TGVs, trains, trams, trolleybuses, and a tube network which includes two funicular railways.
Your home from home
Scenic's pair of 149-guest ships - Sapphire and Diamond - were given a full makeover in 2017, bringing a new level of luxury to the rivers of France.
What we love
The recently refurbished Sapphire and Diamond offer stylish, spacious accommodation and a luxurious all-inclusive experience. The innovative onboard cooking school, Scenic Cullinaire, is a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in the flavours of southern France.
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Relaxed and informal during the day, giving way to an elegant evening atmosphere.
Tailor-make your trip
Where to stay in Lyon
We love the Cour des Loges in the heart of old Lyon.
What to do around Lyon
This is a great base to set forth for wine tasting in Beaujolais.