Welcome to this month’s instalment of Enrich Experience, in which we’re showcasing some of the most extraordinary events and experiences featured in the Scenic Enrich programme.
So far in the series, we’ve unearthed the marvellous experiences that await at Austria’s Palais Liechtenstein, Germany’s Marksburg Castle, and France’s Palais-des-Papes and Benedictine Palace — introducing you to some of the cultural wonders that await on the rivers of Europe with Scenic Enrich.
For today’s featured Scenic Enrich experience, we’re once again heading to the timeless waterways of France, where history, charm and traditions lie around every placid meander. Here, amid the historic boulevards of Lyon, you’ll find one of our newest and most exciting Enrich encounters, Scenic Rouge.
The Magic and Enchantment of French Cabaret
Wine, food and fashion may be most synonymous with France, but there’s another tradition for which the country is associated, and that’s cabaret.
The traditional French cabaret first emerged in Paris in the 16th century, when it was used to describe small, dimly lit taverns serving up food, drink and music. These establishments were particularly popular among artists and writers, who would meet at the local cabaret to share drink, inspiration and song.
By the 19th-century, hundreds of cabarets had sprung up across the French capital, with each providing raucous entertainment for a veritable mishmash of patrons — from painters, writers and musicians to the most distinguished of Paris’ upper gentry.
One of the most popular and successful cabarets in the city was Le Chat Noir, a small venue in the bohemian enclave of Montmartre. Le Chat Noir was the brainchild of theatrical entrepreneur and agent, Rodolphe Salis, and differed from other cabarets in that it combined music, dance and drama with political satire and comedic acts — making it more akin to modern cabaret than the traditional café-chantant Paris was accustomed to.
The success of Le Chat Noir was so great that, on June 10 1885, Salis, his performance troupe and his customers paraded through the streets to reach a new, larger venue on rue de Laval — highlighting the universal popularity of cabaret. After continued growth, Le Chat Noir moved again in 1897, before finally closing its doors in the late 1920s. Today, the cabaret’s three sites remain influential landmarks within the city, and the venue’s iconic poster, created by Théophile Steinlen, can often be seen stamped across souvenirs throughout Paris and further afield.
Around the same time as Le Chat Noir’s rise to fame and fortune, another of France’s most famous cabarets opened its doors to the public, the Moulin Rouge. Located in the Pigalle district of the city, the Moulin Rouge, adorned with its red windmill, became one of the city’s most popular cabaret houses — introducing Parisians to riotous entertainment and never-before-seen dances like the now legendary can-can.
The Moulin Rouge, together with its signature troupe of dancing courtesans who regularly performed the seductive can-can, had a huge influence on entertainment in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, leading to cabaret houses opening in cities across Europe. In 1915, the venue’s original house was burnt to the ground in a fire, but was quickly rebuilt and today remains one of the city’s most treasured tourist attractions.
Thrilling, funny and charming in equal measure, a visit to an authentic French cabaret is a must. Traditional cabaret houses remain popular in towns and cities across France, providing entertainment for all ages.
Scenic Rouge — All the Pomp and Colour of the Cabaret
As part of our brand new Enrich event, Scenic Rouge, you’ll experience all the joy of a traditional French cabaret during a visit to Lyon, where an opulent Big Top awaits for your exclusive enjoyment.
Combining the fun and frolics of a traditional French cabaret with the ambience and excitement of the big top; our Scenic Rouge Enrich experience promises a night to remember. You’ll disembark the ship and travel to the heart of the city, where an enchanting venue has been specially erected for Scenic guests. Then, the fun really begins, as you’re entertained by a skilled troupe of dancers and fire jugglers, magicians and comics, keen to recreate the charm, excitement and wonder of the French cabaret.
To take advantage of this wonderful Scenic Enrich experience, take a look at our collection of luxury cruises on the rivers of southern France. With a handful of exciting itineraries to choose from, this is the perfect opportunity to experience the culture, customs and charm of France.
For more help and information, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly customer service representatives. You can do so via our contact page or by calling 0808 256 4539.
Image credits: Wikimedia Creative Commons