Five-Star Rhone Cruise (Rail & Cruise)
Save £100pp on selected cabin upgrades when you book on or before 28th May 2019
Save £100pp on selected cabin upgrades when you book on or before 28th May 2019
Discover the timeless elegance of France's beautiful Rhône on a memorable cruise which takes you to ancient monuments, enchanting cities, natural wonders and more.
Visit quaint Lyon, holy Avignon and charming Beaune, as well as the magnificent Ardèche Gorge as you drift down this peaceful river on a specially designed Five-Star ship. Enjoy excellent food and good company on this superb French adventure.
Your holiday begins at London St Pancras International where you meet the rest of your group at our dedicated Departure Office. From here, you take the Eurostar directly to the pretty French city of Lyon where you board your ship, the excellent MS Amadeus Provence. We have time to settle into our cabins before we enjoy a cocktail as the captain and his crew are introduced. Later, we sit down to a 5-course meal before the ship sets 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 old buildings. We embark on a sightseeing tour, discovering some of the history and sights as we traverse the enchanting streets. We include a tasting of some of the 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 into 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 elegance with which the city carries itself. 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 here lend a truly French touch to proceedings as we wander by.
After returning to the ship for lunch, we enjoy another 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 is well worth taking the time to admire the scenery as we continue on our way. Rolling hills, dotted with verdant vineyards rise and fall away under the gaze of various châteaux and stately homes as we continue through pretty towns and villages.
Early this morning, we travel by coach to the railway station to board the excellent Train de l'Ardèche. Offering a memorable steam train 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 remarkable city, famous as the seat of the Pope for a brief period in the 14th century. Its striking white papal palaces and its majestic cathedral are just some of the highlights as we walk through the boulevards and squares of Avignon's historic centre which earned UNESCO World Heritage status in 1995. After the tour, we are granted entrance to the Pope's Palace where we see its spectacular interiors and the range of holy and religious artefacts collected here. You are free then, until early evening to discover the city at your own pace. After dinner tonight, our ship sets sail for Arles, arriving later that night.
We begin the day with a guided tour pretty Arles, whose enchanting streets provided the inspiration for many of Vincent Van Gogh's most famous paintings. In the afternoon, you are given the choice of two different 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 here are home to nearly 400 species of diverse bird species, including the instantly-recognisable flock of pink flamingos who reside here. 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 would take you to the iconic arches of the Pont du Gard, an ancient Roman aqueduct of astonishing size which spans the Gardon river, and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Later, we return to the ship which sets sail for Chateauneuf du Rhône.
Today we pay a visit to the stunning Ardèche Gorge, which is widely regarded as the Grand Canyon of Europe. Nearly nineteen 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, as cliff faces rise high 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 and sitting down to the captain's extravagant gala dinner this evening. The following day, we disembark here and travel by rail to Paris. On arrival in the French capital, we board the Eurostar service to London.
Optional shore excursions are not included in the price of your tour and are payable on board the ship.
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.
An escorted experience and all travel arrangements
Delicious meals included
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
Please note: This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.
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 holiday, 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 holiday, 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 holiday 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