The River Rhône on MS Provence
Discover the timeless elegance of France's beautiful Rhône on board the MS Amadeus Provence. Experience a memorable cruise, enchanting cities, natural wonders and more.
Visit quaint Lyon, holy Avignon and charming Beaune, and admire the magnificent Ardèche Gorge as you drift down this peaceful river.
Our French adventure begins at London St Pancras where we meet at our departure office. From here, we take the Eurostar to the French capital of Paris, before connecting with the regional service to the pretty city of Lyon. Here we board your luxurious ship, the excellent MS Amadeus Provence. We have time to settle into our cabins before we enjoy a welcome cocktail, which you might like to enjoy on the sun deck as we admire Lyon's colourful townhouses and lively streets. Later, we sit down to a splendid 5-course meal before setting sail for Beaune.
We arrive into Beaune this morning. Deep in the heart of the wine region of Burgundy, Beaune is a classic French medieval town with impressive town walls, terracotta roofs and fascinating historical buildings. We embark on a sightseeing tour, discovering the sights as we wander the enchanting streets. We enjoy a tasting of some delectable wines which make this town, and the Burgundy region so famous. Back on board later, we enjoy a leisurely afternoon cruising back to Lyon.
Arriving in Lyon this morning, we disembark for a guided tour. One of France's iconic cities, Lyon sits on the meeting point of the Rhône and the Saône rivers. The beautiful pinks, oranges, reds and whites of the buildings populating Lyon's riverfront give some indication of the city's elegance. Our tour takes us along the streets and over the bridges to explore some of the fantastic highlights and the extensive history here. The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and many of the small shops and traditional businesses lend a truly French fl air to our surroundings.
After returning to the ship for lunch, we enjoy an afternoon at leisure as we cruise to Tournon sur Rhône. This is one of the most scenic and panoramic sections of the river, and it's well worth taking the time to admire the scenery from the spacious sun deck. Rolling hills, dotted with verdant vineyards rise and fall away under the gaze of various châteaux and stately homes.
Early this morning, we travel by coach to Tournon sur Rhône's railway station to board the Train de l'Ardèche. Offering a memorable journey through the stunning environs of the spectacular Gorges du Doux region, this railway winds up the various foothills and valleys which populate the landscape. Several stone bridges criss-cross the brooks and rivers which snake under the trees, and our charming little locomotive takes us to sections of the gorges which no other form of transport can access. Later, our ship continues its course to the 'White City' of Avignon.
In Avignon today, we head out on a guided tour of this city famous for being seat of the Pope for a brief period in the 14th century. Its striking white papal palaces and majestic cathedral are just some of the highlights we see walking through the boulevards and squares of Avignon's historic centre, which earned UNESCO World Heritage status in 1995. Afterwards we enter the Pope's Palace, admiring its spectacular interiors and the range of holy and religious artefacts collected here. You are then free until early evening to discover the city at your own pace. After dinner tonight, our ship sets sail for Arles.
We begin the day with a guided tour of pretty Arles, whose enchanting streets provided the inspiration for many of Vincent Van Gogh's most famous paintings. In the afternoon, you have the choice of 2 excursions. Your first option is a visit to the beautiful Camargue Delta, where the Rhône opens out into the Mediterranean. This is a true treat for nature lovers, as the wetlands and park area are home to nearly 400 species of bird species, including an instantly- recognisable flock of pink flamingos. Also of note are the wild horses which roam freely, including a breed which can only be found in this part of the world - the famous Camarguais. Your second option takes you to the iconic arches of the Pont du Gard, an ancient Roman aqueduct of astonishing size which spans the Gardon river. Another UNESCO World Heritage site, the Pont du Gard is a sight to behold, measuring at least 160 feet, a real feat of engineering considering its age. Later, we return to the ship which sets sail for Chateauneuf du Rhône.
Today we pay a visit to the stunning Ardèche Gorge, widely regarded as the Grand Canyon of Europe. Nearly 19 miles in length and made up of snaking rivers and gorges, this natural monument is a striking reminder of the enormity of the natural world. Sheer cliff faces rise over waterways of striking emerald and forests of deep green. Our tour takes us to some of the most impressive sights here, including the Pont d'Arc. Afterwards, we rejoin the ship at Le Pouzin, beginning our return sailing to Lyon. We sit down to the captain's gala dinner this evening.
On Day 8, passengers either board their flight home or travel by rail to Paris. On arrival in the French capital, we board the Eurostar service back to London.
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 5 verified reviews
Amadeus fleet are excellent
The travel arrangements were poor, travelling across Paris and Lyon was so stressful. The tour guide didn't know where the coaches would be? It's not your fault of the traffic in the cities but you should be aware of if and not have 38 customers lugging their cases up and down escalators majority of the customers who were seniors some quite unable to carry their own luggage as they had crutches and sticks etc. The guide was getting stressed as he didn't know the layout of the stations this is not acceptable as you keep stating it is a 5-star cruise!
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
The River Rhône on MS Provence