Stunning Shore Excursions to Inspire Your Next River Cruise Holiday

Last year, we were honoured to receive the prestigious award for ‘Best Shore Excursions 2016’ from leading cruise review website, Cruise Critic. The accolade was given in recognition of our extraordinary all-inclusive travel excursions and events, which offer our guests a truly immersive experience during each of our luxury river cruise itineraries.

We’re proud of all the experiences we offer here at Scenic. Throughout every destination we travel to, our expert Journey Designers find the most enriching activities and events, offering them to you as part of our signature Scenic Freechoice and Enrich excursion programmes — and all at no extra cost to you.

To celebrate the wonders of a Scenic shore excursion, we’ve handpicked a selection of our favourite events and activities — highlighting some of the incredible experiences you can enjoy during a Scenic river cruise.

Spanish Riding School, Vienna

Vienna’s illustrious World Heritage-listed Spanish Riding School is the only institution in the world where classic equestrian riding skills have been preserved, and remain in practice in their original form. Located within the beautiful surrounds of the Imperial Palace, this majestic equine school offers a glimpse at the golden age of horse riding, as well as the exquisite Baroque heritage of Austria’s celebrated capital city.

Choose to visit the Spanish Riding School during a stop in Vienna, and you’ll be given exclusive access to one of the world’s foremost equestrian events, the Lipizzan ballet. Performed exclusively by beautiful Lipizzaner stallions, this impressive display showcases horse and rider in perfect harmony, and is guaranteed to leave you awestruck. As part of the visit, you’re invited to tour the stables and meet the famous stallions — an experience guaranteed to leave a lasting impression.

Széchenyi Thermal Baths, Budapest

Budapest, or the Queen of the Danube as the Hungarian capital is affectionately known, is renowned for its spectacular architectural wonders, as well as its natural thermal waters, which are thought to offer healing properties. For centuries, Budapest has been home to several Turkish baths, with each utilising the city’s naturally-heated springs — allowing locals and visitors alike the chance to enjoy the relaxing properties of these enchanting waters.

thermal baths

By far the most famous of these bathhouses is the Széchenyi Thermal Baths, which remains one of Budapest’s most visited attractions. Built in 1913, Széchenyi comprises of 15 thermal baths and three swimming pools, making it the largest designated thermal baths in the city. The bathhouse is located in an exquisite neo-classical building within one of the city’s largest green spaces, providing a relaxing spot to while away the afternoon with friends, family and loved ones.

Shop With a Chef, Bordeaux

From the lavender fields of Provence to the beaches of Normandy; culinary delicacies come thick and fast in France. To celebrate the country’s gastronomic wonders, we created Scenic Culinaire - special cookery events dedicated to French cuisine. Many of the ships in our French river fleet now boast a special cookery area, where you can rustle up classic French fare under the watchful eye of our expert chefs.


Scenic Culinaire also gives you the opportunity to ‘shop with a chef’, visiting local produce markets in search of the freshest regional ingredients. During your time in the World Heritage-listed centre of Bordeaux, you’ll visit some of the city’s most esteemed food markets and retailers in the company of an experienced chef, discovering more about the region’s local delicacies before returning to your Space-Ship to craft a characterful French meal.

Wine Tasting, Saint Émilion

Aside from food, there’s another area in which France excels, and that’s in its wine. Some of the world’s most beloved vintages are produced in the country’s diverse and historic wine regions, and tasting the produce on offer is one of the most rewarding aspects of visiting France for a luxury river cruise.

wine tasting

Of all France’s esteemed wine regions, Bordeaux is perhaps the most highly-regarded. Join us for a luxury river cruise on the Dordogne and Gironde rivers, and you’ll visit the charming medieval village of Saint Émilion, whose winemaking heritage harks back to the time of the Romans. Near to the village can be found the exclusive Château Siaurac estate, where you can savour a full-bodied red before visiting the estate’s enchanting underground catacombs.

These unforgettable shore excursions are but a small handful of the enriching experiences you’ll enjoy over the course of a luxury Scenic river cruise. To find out more about our award-winning collection of river cruises, visit our homepage or call us on 0808 231 1924.


Laura Barlow-Edwards
Laura Barlow-Edwards
Laura is Scenic's Digital Marketing Exec. She loves travel; her first river cruise was on the Danube, and she fell in love with Budapest at first sight. In her free time, Laura is usually reading, travel blogging, or planning her next adventure.