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French Riviera and Rhône Cruise

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12 days From £3,495 £3,095 per person
4.2 stars(10 reviews)
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Discover the immaculate French Riviera and enchanting Nice

Save £400pp

Save £400pp on River Cruise 2024 holidays, when you book by 28th May 2024.

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2024 Tour code: FIR24

About the tour

Experience the carefree lifestyle of the French Riviera. Enjoy a guided tour of the Côte d'Azur's stylish cities, Nice and Monaco, visit the charming hill-town of St-Paul-de-Vence - where Picasso and his contemporaries left their mark -and see the highlights of Provence.

Unforgettable experiences

Nice and Monaco
Nice and Monaco
See the highlights of Nice and Monaco on guided tours.
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 – London to the French Riviera

We meet at London St Pancras International before boarding the Eurostar to Paris. From here, we continue by rail to Nice on the French Riviera and check in to our hotel ready for the adventures that await us on this fantastic holiday.

Day 2 – Guided tour of glistening Nice

Our French Riviera experience begins with a guided tour of Nice, the glittering jewel of coastal Provence. This fabulous city overlooks the Mediterranean coastline, close to Italy, and has attracted visitors and travellers for centuries. We walk through the enchanting streets, seeing the opulent mansions and gardens of Mont Boron, the historical Old Town, including details like the chequered floor of the Place d'Opera.

In the afternoon, we travel by coach to the medieval town of St-Paul-de-Vence, where we have free time over lunch to either grab a bite to eat or explore this charming town that has been the retreat of choice among artists for centuries. Afterwards, we meet a local pétanque player for a lesson in this characteristically Provençal pastime under the shade of plane trees.

Returning to Nice, the evening is free to explore independently, perhaps stopping for dinner at a local restaurant for some fresh seafood.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 3 - Free day to explore the Côte d’Azur

With a free day, you might like to look around Nice's Musée Matisse, take the train to glamorous Cannes or the pretty coastal town of Antibes. For something more relaxing, maybe walk along the Promenade des Anglais - a popular activity with locals - or wander through the flower market in the Old Town. However, perhaps, you would prefer to spend some time beside the sea on the sun-drenched pebble beach.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 – Glamorous Monaco and St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat

Today we visit the glitzy city-state of Monaco, long known as a retreat for the rich and famous. Taking a coach, we begin our day in the district of Monte Carlo, where we stop at the entrance of the iconic casino to admire its palm tree-lined fountains. There is free time here to view the grand windows of the Place de l'Opéra and the beautiful Old Town. On our return to Nice, we stop at the elegant Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, seaside home of the Rothschild banking family that stretches out across a hill and contains nine fantastically manicured gardens that we can view at our leisure.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 5 – Nice to our ship in Lyon

After a free morning, we board our train to Lyon, bidding farewell to the south of France. Arriving into the city's colourful old town, we board your luxurious ship, the MS Amadeus Provence. We have time to settle into our cabins before we enjoy a welcome cocktail which, weather permitting, you may like to take on the sun deck as we admire Lyon's colourful townhouses and lively streets. Later, we enjoy dinner with drinks, before setting sail for Beaune.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 – Arrival in Beaune and Burgundy wine tasting

We arrive in Beaune early this morning ready for a guided sightseeing tour of this historic town 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. 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 in time for lunch, we enjoy a leisurely afternoon as we cruise back to Lyon.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 – Guided tour of gastronomic 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 on Lyon's riverfront give a hint of the city's elegance. We explore some of the city's highlights and extensive history here. The Old Town is a World Heritage site, and the small shops and traditional businesses lend a truly French flair 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 and verdant vineyards rise and fall under the gaze of numerous châteaux and stately homes.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8 – 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. We return to our ship in time for lunch and relax as it continues its course to the ancient city of Avignon.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9 - 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 on a walking tour through Avignon's historic centre, which earned World Heritage status in 1995. We also enter the Pope's Palace, the seat of western Christianity during the 14th century, admiring its spectacular interiors and a collection of holy and religious artefacts. After lunch on board our ship, 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 10 – Arles and 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 Ro-man 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 11 - 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 rejoin 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 12 - London

Today our holiday ends and we are transferred either to the airport to board a flight home, or to the station to travel by rail to Paris. From the French capital we join the Eurostar service back to London.

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.

Hotel

AC Hotel by Marriott Nice, Nice

AC Hotel by Marriott Nice, Nice

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Trains

Eurostar
TGV

Ship

MS Amadeus Provence

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

Door to door luggage from £180
London Hotels
UK rail connections

Reviews

4.2 stars4.2 / 5 · 10 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (4)
  2. 4 stars
    (4)
  3. 3 stars
    (2)
  4. 2 stars
    (0)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

Mr Vaughan

3 stars

Submitted 07 Sep 2023

La Malmaison Hotel was a disappointment. Room was dark,but spacious. En suite was arranged in such a way that made the toilet difficult to use. No level access to reception from entrance. No restaurant and only a small bar area, which was a part of the reception. Breakfast, whilst adequate, was similar to that you would get in a Premier Inn. Badly positioned for both the beach and the town centre. No swimming pool…altogether no up to the standard we have come to expect from GRJ

Collected by Trustpilot

Gerald cox

5 stars

Submitted 04 Jul 2023

Carefree experience, great time

Collected by Trustpilot

Mark Warrick

5 stars

Submitted 03 Jul 2023

It was good to have a few days in Nice to start our holiday. Guided tours of Nice and Monaco, and included visits to other local places, were well--chosen and there was a whole free day as well as other free time: A good balance. If I have a criticism it is that finding our own dinner when arriving on a Sunday night was a bit of a struggle. The cruise was extremely relaxing. Amadeus Provence is the best river cruise ship we have ever experienced and the crew made sure we were well-fed. All the excursions were interesting and allowed just enough free time for a quick look at each place. There were some opportunities for our own time ashore, too, but a lot more time cruising on the river. The sunshades were seldom available on the sundeck, and the sundeck closed quite often, for low bridges and locks, but the river terrace and the pool deck (there was a small swimming pool) were always available. Some, but not all, excursions required a fair bit of coach travel, but the coaches were comfortable and these were OK. Personally I found the visit to Arles the most interesting of the tour, learning a lot about Van Gogh and his world. Arrival back in London was early enough for an easy onward journey home for me in the East Midlands. We certainly had a brilliant holiday and would recommend it to anyone who wants to have a brief introduction to the Riviera and the Rhône valley.

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J Wright

4 stars

Submitted 29 Jun 2023

It was fine and well organised. The boat and crew were excellent. The food was mainly very good. The guides were knowledgeable with excellent English. The only downside was having to drag the luggage around everywhere.

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Antoni Janik

4 stars

Submitted 13 Sep 2022

The Rhone cruise was excellent, the Amadeus Provence immaculate with great cabins and an amazing friendly and helpful crew. The off ship excursions were well organised and of just about the right duration. I would give 5 stars to this part of the tour The journey to the French Riviera by train and then back to Lyons was spoilt by the commuter train we took from Nice to Marseille which was very crowded, otherwise the trains were comfortable and we had allocated seating. The Aston Scala hotel in Nice was disappointing, room was average, food just adequate and it is the first hotel I have ever stayed in where we were refused a drink with our meal even when we went to the bar to request one! Not sure what was going on at the hotel but the manager needs to get his act together. Despite that we had a great holiday and will definitely travel with GRJ again.

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David Pink

3 stars

Submitted 10 Jul 2022

Spoiled by Camargue trip. No chance to see wildlife and taken to a poor seaside resort that was not mentioned in the itinerary

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