The French Riviera & Five-Star Rhone Cruise
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Discover the immaculate and enchanting charm of Nice and the French Riviera on this dazzling tour before continuing to Lyon for an exquisite 7-night cruise, uncovering the majesty of the Rhône river.
We meet at London St Pancras before boarding a Eurostar train to Paris. From here, we continue by rail to Nice. On arrival we check into our hotel close to the beautiful Riviera seafront before dinner later on tonight.
Our French Riviera experience begins with a guided tour of Nice, France's glittering jewel on the southern coast of the country. This magnificent city has always been a choice destination for travellers of repute and distinction, as it sits overlooking the glittering coastline. We are taken through the enchanting streets, seeing the famously affluent mansions of Mont Boron, the historical old town and the chequered floor of the Place d'Opera. On our tour, we discover the history of the city, from the days of the Greek settlers who founded Nice, to the modern day. After our tour, you are free. Perhaps head to the beach and soak in the views and the sun, or discover some classic French cuisine at a nearby café.
Today we pay a visit to glamorous city state of Monaco, famous as a retreat for the rich and famous of the world. Taking a coach, we begin our day at the luxurious district of Monte Carlo where we stop at the entrance of the iconic casino, with its palm tree lined fountains. From here we embark on a sightseeing tour of Monaco, seeing the fantastic flowers of the Jardins Exotique, the grand windows of the Place de l'Opera and the beautiful Old Town. On our return to Nice, we pay a visit the elegant Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, the seaside home of the Rothschild banking family.
After a free morning to relax on the beach perhaps, we board our train to Lyon, bidding farewell to the south of France.
Arriving into this colourful old town, we are transferred to our ship for a spectacular cruise on the gorgeous Rhône.
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.
Discover the immaculate and enchanting charm of Nice and the French Riviera