Linking a raft of unique destinations in the Rhône-Alpes and Ardèche regions of south-eastern France, the Rhône offers travellers a convenient gateway to the hidden beauty of France. Travel along this picturesque river with Great Rail Journeys and explore a landscape that inspired one of the most famous artists in the world, Vincent Van Gogh.
Whether you are interested in an itinerary stuffed with excursions and city tours or a more relaxing sight-seeing holiday, our range of tours along the Rhone offer something for every kind of traveller - and can be enjoyed at your leisure.
Travelling with Great Rail Journeys
Great Rail Journeys is dedicated to providing memorable holiday experiences. For your piece of mind, all our tours are ATOL protected. We are also an accredited member of AITO. We have more than 30 years' experience offering tours around the world, and we believe that the quality of our cruises is unmatched in the holiday industry.
At the beginning of your tour, one of our professional Tour Managers will join you at St Pancras International to answer any questions you may have and to ensure that every part of your holiday runs smoothly. From London, you will board the Eurostar service to Lille or Paris, before continuing on to the cruise ship via the French train service, TGV.
Travelling by rail is not just a means to an end on our cruises; it is also a great opportunity to relax and enjoy the French scenery. We use first class rail travel where possible, so you can expect an extremely comfortable journey.
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 as we sail from Lyon, taking in the UNESCO-protected centre of Avignon during the cruise.
Let the gentle currents of the Rhône transport you through Burgundy and Provence aboard the fantastic A-Rosa Stella river cruise ship. Discover the region's verdant vineyards and absorb the atmosphere of its historic towns, soaring cathedrals and half-timbered houses.
Our Rhône River Ships
Our cruise ships are designed to provide comfortable accommodation for our guests during their voyage along the Rhône. They boast a range of facilities such as a bar, restaurant, boutique, lounge and a sun deck.
These five-star vessels also have some luxurious amenities such as a library, indoor swimming pool, sauna, solarium and a whirlpool on the sundeck. France is the home of quality food and wine, and you can enjoy both while on the ship. Breakfast buffets, lunches, and multiple-course evening meals are created especially for our guests by an on-board chef - from local ingredients, where possible.
In both the four and five star ships, the cabins are spacious and decorated with large sight-seeing windows, allowing unobstructed views of the French countryside. These floating hotels have been designed especially to navigate rivers, making them more intimate than large cruise liners. Best of all, you'll only need to unpack your suitcase once!
Our river cruises stop up to three times a day, allowing guests time to explore their destination, relax on the ship, or enjoy shore excursions to local attractions, which may be included in the price of the holiday. Free days are also incorporated into our itineraries; why not visit the range of unique museums in the Ardèche region, such as the Museum of Lavender and the Archaeological Documentation Centre.
Cruise the Magnificent Rhône
From its source in Switzerland, the Rhône travels through Lake Geneva towards the Mediterranean Sea. It joins the Saône in Lyon, France, after travelling 497 miles.
Many of our tours begin in the city of Lyon, the capital of the Rhône-Alpes region of France and a vibrant city famous for its food. There are many renowned chefs located in the area. The city, which boasts an ancient amphitheatre and a number of museums, is located near two of France's best-known wine growing regions, the Côtes du Rhône and Beaujolais.
Beaujolais is located north of Lyon and is a popular place to explore, especially among oenophiles - lovers of wine. Flourishing vineyards and hill-top villages of yellow sandstone make for great viewing in this beautiful area of French countryside.
The Rhône joins with the Ardèche River at Pont-Saint-Esprit, before continuing south to Avignon. The erstwhile home of several popes during the 14th and 15th centuries, Avignon is the next destination on many of our Rhône River cruises. Its Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes) has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995, and is well-known as one of the most important Gothic buildings in Europe.
Avignon has a rich architectural heritage, which is evident throughout the city; there are a number of museums that commemorate its history. Other famous monuments include the Pont Saint-Bénezet, a medieval bridge that originally crossed the River Rhône, and the Avignon Cathedral, a Romanesque building with a statue of the Virgin Mary mounted on top of a tower.
Next is the Roman city of Arles, which also has many monuments left over from Roman times, including a theatre, amphitheatre, the Alyscamps necropolis, a cryptoportico (underground gallery), and the Obélisque d'Arles. The section of the Rhône River at Arles was an important influence on some of Vincent Van Gogh's paintings, such as Starry Night over the Rhône, which captures part of the river at night.
The River Rhône splits into two upstream of Arles, forming the Camargue Delta. The Delta has a wide variety of flora and fauna, such as the Greater Flamingo and Sea Lavender, as well as the famous Camargue Horse and Bull.