friends watching film

Eight Movies and TV Shows That Will Inspire You to Travel


We have never had a better selection of television shows and movies at our fingertips. From blockbuster films to independent documentaries, we have an incredible selection of viewing options available on our home screens. And, thanks to ever-expanding streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and the recently-launched Disney+, we can tune in to some of the world’s greatest entertainment.

Wherever in the world you are, you can seek inspiration to travel through TV and film. During a Scenic river cruise, you can take advantage of the Apple TVs in your private suite – tuning into the very best in TV and movies while navigating the world’s finest waterways.  And, some of our cruise itineraries even feature experiences and excursions inspired by our favorite movies.

Escapism has always been at the heart of the small screen and the big screen alike, with directors taking us to beautiful far-flung destinations – sparking wanderlust in all of us. We think now is a great time to delve into eight of our favorite movies and TV shows that inspire us to travel.

Midnight in Paris

Amazon Prime

notre dame

There is certainly no shortage of movies set in Paris, but we think Woody Allen’s 2011 fantasy film is perhaps the best celebration of the City of Light. The film centers around a successful screenwriter who wants to become a respected novelist, and is using a holiday in Paris for inspiration.

Every night on the stroke of midnight, the protagonist, Gil, climbs aboard a 1920s car and is transported back in time, where he enjoys parties and soirees with the glitterati of 1920s Paris. The Lost Generation’s Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso and Gertrude Stein welcome him to the golden age of Paris and encourage him with his novel and advise him on his love life.

Select Scenic river cruises give you the chance to extend your stay in Paris, where you can enjoy some of the city’s hidden gems, artistic endeavors and even a gourmet extravaganza at 58 Tour Eiffel.

Night on Earth

Netflix

Using the latest in cinematography and night-vision technology, Night on Earth is a visual masterpiece which documents our planet and its inhabitants in the dead of night. Showcasing the predators of the African savannah, nocturnal creatures flocking undisturbed, and the beauty of a planet at peace, Night on Earth is a staggering document of a world barely seen.

The Sound of Music

Disney+

salzburg

Few movies have enjoyed the same longevity as Disney’s The Sound of Music. The timeless musical pairs unforgettable compositions with unparalleled backdrops and a charming story. With shots of rural Austria as well as the cosmopolitan delights of Salzburg, The Sound of Music is often seen as a love story for the homeland of the von Trapp children who want their country saved from the occupying Nazi forces.

Even if you’ve seen it more times than you can count, Scenic guests can enjoy an exclusive ‘The Best of the Sound of Music Show’ on Danube river cruises. This live production is a Scenic Enrich experience which takes you up close and personal to one of history’s most beloved films.

Ugly Delicious

Netflix

fried rice prepared by chef

For us, there are few things which inspire wanderlust quite like local food. In this series, David Chang tours all around the world, speaking to the people at the heart of local cuisines – and identifies how food brings people together and breaks down barriers. Don’t be put off by the title, the ‘Ugly’ only refers to the focus on taste and smell, rather than presentation, for many of the featured dishes – it’s closer to street food than Michelin Star cuisine.

From Neopolitan pizza to Chinese fried rice, the series covers all our favorite foods, in some of the world’s most incredible locations.

Wild

Netflix

Many of us use travel as a chance for quiet reflection and meditation – putting fresh perspectives on thoughts and feelings. This is at the heart of Wild, a film following one woman’s 1,100-mile solo hike along the Pacific Crest Trail – a beautiful route close to the USA’s Pacific Coast.

Traversing National Forests, wilderness parks and multiple mountain ranges, Reese Witherspoon’s character uses the hike as a chance to reflect on life following the death of her mother. But the true star is the setting, and we guarantee you’ll be keen to explore the USA’s West Coast for yourself after viewing.

The World According to Jeff Goldblum

Disney+

Whilst Disney+ is packed full of nostalgic films from decades gone by, there are a few new gems to discover and one of those is a Jeff Goldblum mini-series. The series follows the actor as he tries to better understand various elements of American culture from ice cream and BBQ to tattoos and cosmetics. His unique, almost naïve, world view makes this very easy and fun watching, and provides insights into elements of US culture you had perhaps never considered.

Eat Pray Love

Netflix

A wonderful film to settle in with in the evening, Eat Pray Love follows a recent divorcee who comes to terms with her new life by taking a trip through Italy, India and Bali. You’ll be enamoured by the slow pace of life in Italy, the spirituality of India, and the incredible beauty of Bali, as Julia Roberts’ character learns to love herself again and grow as a person.

Dissecting three vibrant and very diverse nations will give you plenty of food for thought when you’re planning your next trip.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi 

Amazon Prime

Another foodie entry, and perhaps one of the greatest dining documentaries of all time. Jiro Dreams of Sushi follows Jiro Ono, owner and head chef of Michelin three-star restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro. The chef is regarded as the world’s greatest sushi master, and still heads up the kitchen well into his 80s.

The documentary follows his precise, time-honed skills of sushi preparation and the successes of his 10-seat restaurant. But perhaps the most interesting angle of the documentary is the focus on Jiro’s son, Yoshikazu, who at the age of 50 still works for his father and is waiting his chance to take over the family restaurant.

If you’re keen to enjoy authentic Japanese dining, the stunning Asian fusion dining experience in Koko’s on board Scenic Eclipse, the World’s First Discovery Yacht will not disappoint. Savor the authentic Japanese flavors at the Teppanyaki grill at Koko's, offering private dining for just 8 guests. The restaurant also includes a sushi bar where all the fish is flown in from Japan, and is ‘fresh frozen’. At lunchtime dive into a specially created Bento Box for a true authentic flavor.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our run-down of movies and TV shows to inspire you to travel. Please visit our homepage for more inspiration.