Scenic Review: A Visit to Beautiful Bordeaux

While we could talk all day about our extraordinary river cruises and the once-in-a-lifetime experiences they offer, today on the Scenic blog, we’ll be hearing from one of our previous river cruise passengers, as they fill us in on their recent trip atop the beautiful waters of Bordeaux with Scenic.

The guest in question is popular cruise blogger, Solent Richard. Recently, Richard and his wife set sail on our 10-night Beautiful Bordeaux river cruise, exploring the Gironde, Garonne and Dordogne rivers on-board our luxury 5-star Space-Ship, Scenic Diamond.

Here, we share some of Richard’s thoughts on the dining, entertainment and excursions available during this enchanting Scenic river cruise itinerary, as well as his overall verdict on our luxury river cruise offering.

Accommodation, Dining and Entertainment

scenic river cruise

Travelling on-board our elegant Space-Ship, Scenic Diamond, Richard and his wife selected a Junior Balcony Suite on Sapphire Deck, which included a spacious bathroom with walk-in bath tub, a Mac Mini internet system offering comprehensive WiFi access, and a Scenic Sun Lounge balcony system, which allows guests to enjoy the beautiful river views whatever the weather.

Richard was also impressed with the “well stocked” complimentary minibar, which is available in every suite across the Scenic fleet and is replenished with fresh drinks and snacks daily at no extra cost. And, because the couple selected the Junior Balcony Suite on the Sapphire Deck, they received an invitation to Table La Rive, a unique degustation dining experience.

Speaking of food, Richard commented that the quality of dining on-board Scenic Diamond was “the best we have experienced on any cruise”, with particular highlights including the Table La Rive and L’Amour dining experiences.

Richard said of Table La Rive: “This was pure dining theatre, with the butlers offering descriptions and presentations of both food and wine. Two examples of dishes served include the Marinated Tuna with Olive Beignet, and the Pumpkin Soup with Scallop. This was an excellent meal and one not to be rushed and indeed, that is how it was taken. We were still at the table long after the remainder of the restaurant cleared.”

As well as the incredible dining options available, Richard was also impressed with the complimentary wine and alcoholic beverage selection, describing it as the best the couple has enjoyed on any river cruise.

Having travelled on eight previous river cruises, Richard and his wife are accustomed to the dining and entertainment customarily available on the rivers of Europe. And yet, Scenic surpassed anything the couple had previously experienced when it came to entertainment.

Richard said: “It certainly helped having a larger-than-normal dance floor, an excellent on-board musician and an enthusiastic Cruise Director. On numerous evenings, we were also treated to on-board concerts given by visiting entertainers. Most notable were an outstanding New Orleans-style Jazz Trio, and, for the scheduled night cruise around Bordeaux, the talented Jérémy Dupouy.

“Neither was evening entertainment confined to the ship. On one occasion Scenic had arranged an evening of musical entertainment and dining at the resplendent Château Giscours in the heart of the Margaux appellation.”

Between the exceptional food, drinks, entertainment and service, Richard and his wife commented that Scenic had surpassed expectation, with the quality of the all-inclusive dining proving to be a real hit with the couple.

The Itinerary

scenic river cruise

Our 10 night Beautiful Bordeaux river cruise offers guests the opportunity to explore the historic landmarks of Bordeaux, as well as the region’s exquisite vineyards and heritage attractions. Richard and his wife made full use of both our Freechoice and Enrich excursions, filling their itinerary with a wonderful array of unique shore days, which showcased the history and beauty of the region.

While a complete day-by-day breakdown of the couple’s trip can be found over on the Solent Richard blog, here we’ll showcase a few of the highlights Richard and his wife enjoyed during our Beautiful Bordeaux river cruise.


Following a day spent exploring the historic boulevards of Bordeaux, Scenic Diamond cruised from the river Garonne to the Dordogne, stopping at Bourg where the couple boarded an exclusive Scenic coach to take them to Saint-Émilion.

Here, Richard and his wife enjoyed an afternoon exploring the ancient streets, before joining a guided visit to the subterranean, and UNESCO World Heritage-listed, 12th-century Monolithic Church. This was followed by an evening on-board their Space-Ship, where they witnessed a spectacular sunset on the banks of the commune of Libourne. 

The Châteaux of the Gironde

On the fourth day of their cruise, the couple savoured “some serious chateau visits and wine tastings”. The Gironde river is flanked by some of France’s 

most esteemed châteaux, including Chateau Pichon-Longueville, Chateau Lagrange and Chateau Giscours, where the couple enjoyed a magnificent Enrich dining experience.

Richard said: “Scenic once again organised this just right with different coaches heading to different Chateau in order to avoid a log jam. Our coach was allocated to Chateau Lagrange in the Saint-Julien appellation. The visit included all aspects of winemaking, including a visit to the cellars and a three-wine degustation.”


After the changing tide and water levels permitted Scenic Diamond to navigate beneath the historic Pont de pierre in Bordeaux, Richard travelled further up the Garonne, arriving at the commune of Cadillac where a number of excursions and activities could be enjoyed. Richard and his wife chose to explore locally, and received complimentary tickets to the opulent Château de Cadillac.

This is what Richard has to say about this extraordinary heritage site: “Visitors interested in historical detail will be amazed at this particular Chateau and its history that is on display.

“Built during the reign of King Henry IV of France and then King Louis XIII, this French-style château combines splendour and military pomp.  Much of its sumptuous decoration has been preserved, including monumental fireplaces, tapestries and painted ceilings.”

Final Summary

Describing the Scenic crew and level of service as exceptional, Richard and his wife enjoyed a wonderful break on-board our luxury Space-Ship, Scenic Diamond.

Speaking on the Solent Richard blog, Richard wrote: “Scenic ‘Space-Ships’ have always been a benchmark for luxury river cruising and our expectations were met and on occasions exceeded.

“The crew and level of service were on the whole exceptional. We did, however, have occasion to notice a few waiters who really go the extra mile and it was a pleasure to make an extra reward as a gesture of our appreciation; otherwise, this was our first cruise ever where we left the ship with a zero account.”

We’d like to thank Richard and his wife for agreeing to share their thoughts and experiences of travelling with Scenic with us, and look forward to hosting them on-board the Scenic Space-Ship fleet in the future.

If you’d like to enjoy a luxury Scenic river cruise for yourself, click here to browse our complete range of itineraries, or call us today on 0808 301 5396.

Image credits: Solent Richard

Dominic Keely
Dominic Keely
Dominic is Scenic's Marketing Exec. His favourite river is the Seine, because of the rich history of the region. Dom's a huge football and Manchester United fan, and plays on a team himself.