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Provence and The Elegant Rhône

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8 days From £1,595 £1,395 per person
4.5 stars(66 reviews)
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Rail & Cruise

Discover the timeless elegance of France's beautiful Rhône and Saone rivers

Save £200pp

Save £200pp on Cruise 2024 last-minute holidays, when you book by 30th June 2024.

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No Single Supplement

No Single Supplement subject to availability on selected departures. 

2024 Tour code: LRR24

About the tour

Discover the timeless elegance of France's beautiful Rhône on board the MS Amadeus Provence. Experience a relaxing cruise, enchanting cities, and many natural wonders. Visit dynamic Lyon, Avignon and charming Beaune, and admire the wonderful Ardèche Gorge as you drift down this peaceful river.

Unforgettable experiences

Beaune
Beaune
Discover the charming town of Beaune on a sightseeing tour and sample local wines.
Lyon
Lyon
Explore the highlights and history of Lyon on a guided tour.
Train de l'Ardèche
Train de l'Ardèche
Journey on the Train de l'Ardèche through stunning landscapes.
Camargue Delta
Camargue Delta
Experience the fabulous Camargue Delta and its wildlife, or visit the striking Pont du Gard.
Ardèche Gorge
Ardèche Gorge
Tour the beautiful Ardèche Gorge, the ‘Grand Canyon of Europe’.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – Boarding on the Rhône 

We meet at London St Pancras* where we join the Eurostar to the French capital of Paris, before connecting with the regional service to the dynamic city of Lyon. Here we board our luxurious ship, the MS Amadeus Provence. We have time to settle into our cabins before we enjoy a welcome cocktail, which you may like to take on the sun deck as we admire Lyon's colourful townhouses and lively streets. Later, we enjoy dinner together before setting sail for Chalon-sur-Saône.

*If you would like to travel by air, view our Fly & Cruise option here.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 – Arrival in Beaune and Burgundy wine tasting

We arrive into Beaune this morning. Deep in the heart of the Burgundy wine region, 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. Beaune is one of the most important of France's wine centres and is surrounded by fields bedecked by vineyards growing Pinot noir, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay grapes. Back on board later, we enjoy a leisurely afternoon cruising back to Lyon.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 – Guided tour of gastronomic Lyon

Arriving in Lyon, we disembark for a guided tour this morning. 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 of Lyon's riverfront give a hint of the city's elegance. On our tour we explore some of Lyon's fantastic highlights and extensive history. The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the city was historically renowned for its silk weaving industries. However, Lyon has recently deservedly reinvented itself as the capital of French gastronomy. At the centre of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, Lyon is perfectly placed to make excellent use of local produce. It was also the location of many restaurants run by iconic chef Paul Bocuse, who was prominent in the development of Nouvelle Cuisine.

We return to the ship for lunch, then 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 and verdant vineyards rise and fall, under the gaze of various châteaux and stately homes.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 – The steam-powered Train de l’Ardèche

Early this morning, we travel by coach to Tournon sur Rhône's railway station to board the wonderful Train de l'Ardèche. We take a memorable journey through the spectacular Gorges du Doux region, as the railway winds through the scenic foothills and valley. Stone bridges criss-cross the brooks and rivers which snake under the trees, and our charming locomotive takes us to sections of the gorges which no other form of transport can access. Later, our ship continues its course to the city of Avignon.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 - Exploring Avignon, the City of Popes

In Avignon today, we set out on a guided tour of this stately city, known as the seat of the Pope in the 14th century. Its striking white papal palaces and majestic cathedral are just some of the highlights we see walking through Avignon's historic centre, which earned World Heritage status in 1995. We also enter the Pope's Palace, admiring its spectacular interiors and a collection of holy and religious artefacts. You are then free until early evening to discover the city at your own pace. After dinner tonight, our ship sets sail for Arles.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 - Arles, the Camargue Delta or Pont du Gard

We begin the day with a guided tour of pretty Arles, the inspiration for many of Vincent Van Gogh's most famous paintings. Van Gogh produced more than 180 pieces during his time in Arles, including 'Starry Night over the Rhone' and 'Café Terrace at Night', the location of which can be found in the Place du Forum.

This afternoon, you have the choice of two excursions. Your first option is a visit to the beautiful Camargue Delta, where the Rhône opens out into the Mediterranean. This is a treat for nature lovers, as the wetlands and parkland are home to hundreds of bird species, including pink flamingos and wild horses which may be seen roaming freely. Your second option takes you to the iconic arches of the Pont du Gard, an ancient Roman aqueduct which spans the Gardon river, another World Heritage site. Later, we return to our cruise ship and sail for Chateauneuf du Rhône.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 – The Ardèche Gorge, ‘Europe’s Grand Canyon’

Today we visit the stunning Ardèche Gorge, also known as the 'Grand Canyon of Europe'. An area of snaking rivers and deep gorges, this is a dramatic example of the natural world. Sheer cliffs rise above waterways of sparkling emerald and deep green forests. Our tour takes us to some of the most impressive sights in the gorge, including the Pont d'Arc. Afterwards, we re-join the ship at Le Pouzin, where we begin our return sailing to Lyon. This evening we are invited to attend the captain's gala dinner.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8 - London

After breakfast, we disembark and say goodbye to the wonderful crew who have made us so welcome throughout our cruise. We transfer to Lyon's railway station for a journey to Paris, where we catch the Eurostar to London St Pancras International. On arrival in London, we say goodbye to our fellow travellers and new friends with whom we have shared some incredible memories.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Please note

Optional shore excursions are not included in the price of your tour and are payable on board the ship.

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Trains

Eurostar
TGV

Ship

MS Amadeus Provence

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Reviews

4.5 stars4.5 / 5 · 66 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (43)
  2. 4 stars
    (17)
  3. 3 stars
    (3)
  4. 2 stars
    (2)
  5. 1 star
    (1)

Paul Carriban

4 stars

Submitted 21/Jun

Boat comfortable. Very good crew. Some issues in bar which were resolved. Meals ok to excellent. GRJ organisation excellent!

Collected by Trustpilot

Jean Birch

3 stars

Submitted 21/Jun

Poor quality food. Entertainment on the ship was practically non existent. The scenery on the Rhine was flat and boring. Not the best cruise we have ever taken. Would not recommend this vacation

Collected by Trustpilot

Graham

2 stars

Submitted 20/Jun

we had high expectations of an exciting, beautiful and well organised adventure, the first time for us. Unfortunately, these expectations were not fulfilled. Food and trips were not as hoped. All trips were organised around the insistence that the coach had to return by 12.15pm for lunch. This always meant an early wake up, breakfast and reporting in. I have sent a full report to Great Rail

Collected by Trustpilot

Shelagh Williams

5 stars

Submitted 20/Jun

Lovely ship. Lovely crew. Expert guides , English and French

Collected by Trustpilot

Richard Head

5 stars

Submitted 20/Jun

Pro: Good company, good food/service, ship was lovely & relaxed. Outings were well planned & organised, particularly a couple of last minute changes. Anti: check in at St P & Paris was chaotic, but little that GRJ could do about it. Amadeus representative was a nice lady but so long-winded! If you give someone a microphone, you must have someone to take the microphone from him/her.

Collected by Trustpilot

M Gorman

5 stars

Submitted 20/Jun

At 88 years of age, this was the first holiday I've had alone. But I wasn't alone! Lovely people to share this experience - the ship, the cuisine, the sightseeing all gave me a holiday to remember. Thank you GRJ.

Collected by Trustpilot

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