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Provence and The Elegant Rhône

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20242025
8 days From £2,195 £1,995 per person
4.5 stars(58 reviews)
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Rail & Cruise

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

Save up to £300pp

Save up to £300pp on selected 2024 River Cruise holidays, when you book by 29th February 2024.

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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

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

London Hotels
UK rail connections

Reviews

4.5 stars4.5 / 5 · 58 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (38)
  2. 4 stars
    (16)
  3. 3 stars
    (2)
  4. 2 stars
    (1)
  5. 1 star
    (1)

Colin Fry

4 stars

Submitted 12 Sep 2023

A very pleasant trip with excellent organisation and a friendly and helpful crew. Great Rail managers

Collected by Trustpilot

Geoffrey Carrington

5 stars

Submitted 12 Sep 2023

Well organised tour with friendly and helpful guides. The onshore tours were very interesting. On ship there was a friendly atmosphere and once again all the staff were extremely helpful. The food was excellent.

Collected by Trustpilot

Mandy Block

5 stars

Submitted 12 Sep 2023

Beautiful trip, lovely ship and staff andmade some new friends. We are so sad it finished!

Collected by Trustpilot

M Familton

3 stars

Submitted 12 Sep 2023

A lot of time was spent on board the boat. The ratio of time spent aboard to the time spent ashore was heavily weighted to the former. It didn't help that the weather was largely against us, meaning that time spent on the sun deck was limited. The sun deck was also quite often closed to allow the boat to pass under low bridges. Not enough free time to explore at our leisure. Once the arranged excursions were done (largely good, some excellent), we were expected back on board for lunch and to sail to our next destination. The mobility of some guests meant that excursions ashore could be slow going. This also limited any free time subsequent to the visit. Often, we would arrive at a new destination too late in the evening for a stroll ashore after dinner. Cruising itself was mostly relaxing and enjoyable, but there were too many times where only our cabin beckoned. The boat was clean, comfortable and in immaculate condition. Cabins were roomy and comfortable with plenty of storage space. The staff and crew aboard were excellent. Food too was mostly excellent, together with the wine served with our evening meals. The best of times aboard were when cruising during the early stages of our evening meal. Would have preferred the lunch time meal to have been fully buffet style, though.

Collected by Trustpilot

Beewood

5 stars

Submitted 09 Sep 2023

Organisation, ship and personnel all excellent. The only negative comment is that with a busy 7 day cruise there is little time to relax on the top deck and admire the scenery.

Collected by Trustpilot

S Keen

5 stars

Submitted 08 Sep 2023

The Amadeus Provence ship and crew were excellent. I would have liked more time in Lyon and Arles and a shorter time in Avignon. The Pont Du Gard optional trip was spectacular. Unfortunately I did catch COVID onboard which marred the last few days. I enjoyed the river Saone, very pretty with the Charolais cattle in the river, egrets and cormorants. The tour manager was great, very solicitous and caring.

Collected by Trustpilot

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