The River Rhône on MS Provence
Let the gentle currents of the Rhône transport you through Burgundy and Provence aboard our fantastic river cruise ship. Discover the region's verdant vineyards and absorb the atmosphere of its historic towns, soaring cathedrals and half-timbered houses.
Meet your group and Tour Manager at our exclusive St Pancras Departure Office, and join the Eurostar to Paris, continuing to Lyon. Here we join the splendid Amadeus Provence.
(Please note - some departures take the Eurostar direct to Lyon without stopping in Paris)
We arrive in Mâcon before breakfast this morning. Enjoying an attractive location near the Beaujolais hills. You may choose to join an optional shore excursion here, exploring the region's wine-making heritage with a tour of the Mâconnais and Beaujolais vineyards, concluding in a visit the Le Hameau du Vin, a winemaking museum housed in a 19th century railway station.
This afternoon there is an included visit to the Benedictine monastery at Cluny, where we admire the grand abbey. This Romanesque masterpiece was built from the 4th century to the 12th, and is made up of three separate churches.
In the early hours of the morning we moor in Chalon-sur-Saône. Today there is an optional excursion to picturesque Beaune. Explore the medieval centre and sample regional wines on this delicious optional tour. Beaune itself is a charming old French town, with incomparable architecture harking back to the days of rustic French architecture. The medieval hospices here remain an important French monument. They are delightful to look at, with beautiful diamond patterns set into the room, and a wide airy courtyard. We return to the ship in time for lunch and set sail again.
In the afternoon you can join an optional excursion to Cormatin. A typical rural village, Cormatin is home to a magnificent chateau with immaculate gardens and a classic exterior inspired by the Chalon citadel. The insides are made up of fantastic rooms of pillars and gilded gold.
Today we moor in Lyon, an important port and a vital gateway between the north and south of France since ancient times. As the centre of so much commerce, Lyon has enjoyed many centuries of wealth and influence - and today the city boasts an array of beautiful architecture and cultural monuments from its vibrant past.
The historic Old Town of Lyon has been added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Set in the heart of the city, this area of narrow alleyways is home to more than 300 lovingly restored buildings all pre-dating the 17th century, making it one of the best preserved Renaissance complexes in all of Europe. We explore more of this wonderful heritage on an included guided tour of the city.
This morning we sail into charming Avignon, where we take an included walking tour of the UNESCOlisted city. Notable for its history as the home of the Pope during the Papacy's move from Rome to France, Avignon's ecumenical heritage is instantly apparent through the grand churches spread across the town. This afternoon, there is an optional excursion to Pont du Gard, the remains of an incredible Roman aqueduct, and then to Uzès, a delightful medieval town.
Today we cruise along the Rhône to Arles, arriving early this morning. The scenery here is stunning, as we pass rural villages and tranquil green countryside. On arrival, you may opt to join a walking tour of Arles in the morning or perhaps enjoy an excursion to the Camargue river in the afternoon.
Arles as a city is notable for a number of things. The first sight on any visitors list ought to be the superbly well-maintained Roman Amphitheatre, which has stood the test of time admirably. Arles was also famously the home of Vincent Van Gogh for a period, and much of his finest paintings can be found in Arles' Vincent Van Gogh Foundation.
This morning you can join an optional excursion to the incredible Ardèche Gorge, sometimes known as the 'Grand Canyon of Europe.' Winding through sandy beaches and dusky forests, under natural rock bridges and past leaning white cliffs, the natural beauty of this area is breathtaking and well worth experiencing.
On Day 8 we arrive back in Lyon, where we disembark the ship and travel by First Class rail to Paris. Here we join the Eurostar to London. Upon arrival, your tour concludes.
Optional shore excursions are not included in the price of your tour and are payable on board the ship.
For this tour, we recommend arriving to, and departing from, London Gatwick or London Heathrow airport (LGW or LHR). London Gatwick is approximately 30 miles from your start and end point, and London Heathrow is approximately 19 miles from your start and end point.
It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.
You may check in at the first hotel on your itinerary anytime after 14:00; your Tour Manager will be available between 16:00 and 18:00. However, if you are arriving later, you can meet your Tour Manager before dinner from 19:00.
An escorted experience and travel during your tour
Delicious meals included
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
of travellers would recommend this tour
based on 3 verified reviews
Excellent food etc on boat. Well cared for , service was good. Enjoyed the music
Relaxing tour, comfortable accommodation and excellent food. Interesting places to visit en route
Outward rail journey spoiled by having to change at Lille, not a pleasant station. The ship was lovely, food excellent and company good. The ship arranged too many tours which meant that it remained moored most of the day and cruised at night. As a result the morning tour commenced early, not what one wants on tour, day after day. The tour manager was excellent. The return journey was OK with the unavoidable journey across Paris.
Can't improve on excellent
Good organisation, interesting locations
We felt the tour didnt have an overall cruise effect as we travelled mostly at night and for much of the trip could not use the top deck.
Impeccable organisation from start to finish. Our Tour Manager, Caroline Bryan, was delightful, friendly and unflappable and was on all shore excursions to look after us. The ship, 'Amadeus Provence' was new and immaculate, wonderful staff, superb food and entertainment. Our ports of call were all fascinating and the good weather was a bonus - as was the fact that we went from and back to St Pancras, with no airports. This was my second river cruise (Danube last year) and I have already booked another for the Garonne and Dordogne next year. Great Rail are the tops!
Excellent experience. Weather was kind. Itinary very interesting. friendly passengers and an outstanding Tour Manager. Cruiser was first class and accommodation very comfortable
Great organisation and super tour manager , nothing was too much trouble for her. Excellent cruise boat and crew to match. Outstanding food and wine.
Wonderful boat fantastic food very friendly and efficient staff
The River Rhône on MS Provence