South of France on the Rhône and Saône


  • 8 days

  • Europe

tour : 4010

New

From

£1,159pp

Prices shown exclude flights and transfers

Overview

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Cruise through the specatacular South of France and marvel at the Rhone valley and the many wonders of the Saone. You will have the chance to see in one journey iconic cities such as Lyon, also known as the " City of Lights", Macon, Arles, and Avignon. The journey allows you to explore the natural beauty of the Camargue region. Included visits to the Benedictine Abbey in Cluny, Palace of the Popes, The Bridge in Avignon and a journey on the Panorama Train “Train de l'Ardèche”.

What's Included

  • The cruise, in cabin category as booked
  • Meals as described
  • German / English speaking Cruise Director

What's not included

  • Meals taken ashore
  • Drinks
  • Flights and transfers
  • Excursions
  • Gratuities (we recommend 5 - 7 Euros per person / per day)

2021 Tour itinerary

Total meals included:

  • 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners

LYON–TRÉVOUX

Day
1

After embarkation, the ship departs at 18:00s for an early evening cruise along the River Saône where the ship will berth overnight in Trévoux.
Notes about excursions listed for this vacation:(1) These excursions are part of the optional Excursion Package that can be purchased in advance on MyCosmos.
(2) These optional excursions are available for purchase once on board.

Meals included:

  • Dinner

TRÉVOUX–MÂCON–COLLONGES

Day
2

This morning spend time at leisure in Mâcon or join an (1)excursion from Mâcon to visit the medieval Benedictine Abbey of Cluny, with included wine tasting. In the late afternoon set sail for our overnight berth in Collonges.
(1) Excursion to Cluny - visit to the Benedictine monastery. Travel by coach from Mâcon to the Benedictine Abbey of Cluny, one of the most influential religious centers of the Middle Ages and where major monastery reforms began. Rich in history; until the construction of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, it was the largest Christian church in the world and several hundred smaller monasteries, scattered all over Europe from Scotland to Poland, were centrally ruled from here. Take the opportunity to sample local wines during a tasting experience.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

COLLONGES–LYON

Day
3

Free time at leisure or join our (1) walking tour Excursion around Lyon and where Rivers Saône and Rhône meet. After Venice, Lyon has the second largest Renaissance Old Town quarter with its impressive basilica, city centre at the foot of Mt Fouvière, and many more fascinating sites including the remains of the Roman amphitheatre, the Place Bellecour and the Place des Terreaux. During the afternoon we set sail down the River Rhône to Viviers.
(1) Excursion to Lyon - City tour / Walk. The excursion begins with a drive to the Basilica of Fourvière, built in the 19th century on the hill of the same name. From here you can enjoy the view over the city at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers. In favorable weather conditions you can even see Mont-Blanc. Journey by coach to the Old Town (Vieux Lyon), and to the district of Saint Jean which has one of the largest connected Renaissance building complexes in France. In 1998 UNESCO declared this area on the banks of the Saône a World Heritage Site. While strolling through the Old Town, you will also come across the characteristic “Traboules”. These are narrow, tight connecting passages between the individual alleys that were used by workers in earlier times, to transport the bales of silk and cloth dry through the city. Today over 300 of these Traboules are still preserved and it is impossible to imagine Lyon without them.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

VIVIERS–AVIGNON

Day
4

Time at leisure or join a morning guided walk (1) through ancient Viviers, dominated by the cathedral dating back from the 12th century to the 18th century with its impressive belltower and magnificent tapestries. Enjoy the afternoon on board as we cruise towards Avignon, arriving there during the evening."
(1) Excursion to Viviers - City tour. A guided walk around the lovely Viviers, on the banks of the Rhône which looks back on almost 2000 years of history. The medieval town is home to numerous listed buildings; the town hall, located in the former bishop's palace; the Hotel Roqueplan, which is now the seat of the diocese; the Saint-Vincent cathedral with its tapestry choir; the 16th century House of the Knights with its beautiful Renaissance facade; and the "Grande Rue" with its elegant townhouses Beaulieu and Tourville.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

AVIGNON–ARLES–TARASCON

Day
5

This morning relax while cruising to Arles. On arrival spend time at leisure or join a (1) guided walking tour around Arles including a visit to the amphitheatre, and interesting facts about the town's most famous resident Vincent Van Gogh. In the afternoon you could join another (1) optional excursion to the Camargue , a unique biosphere with many different bird and animal species. Stop at the former fishing village and pilgrimage site of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer for time at leisure. On rejoining the ship we set off for Tarascon.
(1) Excursion to Arles - City tour with visit to amphitheater. On the northern edge of the Camargue is Arles, a typical Provencal town. Emperor Constantine once called it “Little Rome in Gaul” and the amphitheater from the 1st century AD still bears witness to the city's Roman past. The arenas offered more than 20,000 spectators space for the ""panem et circenses"", the games and gladiator fights. The artist Vincent van Gogh spent the last years of his life in Arles. He lived here in 1888 and painted nearly 200 paintings in just fifteen months. During the tour you will also learn a lot of exciting details about his life.
(1) Excursion to the Camargue. The Camargue, an official botanical and zoological nature reserve since 1970 is a paradise for keen ornithologists. With a little luck you can see some wild animals (weather permitting). The journey leads along the “Etang de Vaccarès”, a shallow salty beach lake, and on to Les-Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. This area on the Mediterranean coast is full of tradition and known as a place of pilgrimage.  After some free time, return to Arles.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

TARASCON–AVIGNON

Day
6

We arrive in Avignon after Breakfast for time at leisure or join a (1) guided walking excursion through this UNESCO listed city . Our tour takes us to the major sites, such as the Palace of the Popes and the famous Saint Bénézet bridge (“Le Pont d'Avignon"). In the afternoon the ship departs for Tournon.
(1) Excursion to Avignon - City tour with Papal Palace visit. Avignon with its famous and magnificent old town has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995. Even today, 4.5 km long city walls surround the entire historic center. You will visit the dominant Papal Palace, the center of Christianity in the 14th century and one of the most imposing Gothic buildings. You will then take a short city tour and see some of the most important sights of Avignon. Of course you can also take a look at the famous stone bridge St. Bénézet, which dates from the 12th century.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

TOURNON–LYON

Day
7

This morning spend time at leisure or take an (1) excursion on the “Train d'Ardèche” . Travel in a panorama carriage on this heritage railway through the romantic valley of the River Doux. This afternoon relax onboard whilst cruising up river on the Rhône to Lyon.
(1) Excursion to Tournon - Train de l'Ardèche. The Train de l'Ardèche is a historical railway in the French department of Ardèche and is renowned for its old timer steam locomotives. Contrary to what the name suggests, it does not touch the Ardèche river, but rather passes through the equally impressive and wildly romantic Gorges du Doux.  The journey, in panorama carriages, ventures from Tournon-St.-Jean to Colombier-le-Vieux / St Barthélemy le Plain, where the locomotive is swiveled on a turntable and placed at the other end of the train before the journey back to Tournon.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

LYON

Day
8

Disembark after breakfast.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

Things to note

Our cruises are popular with international customers and announcements on board the ships will be made in multiple European languages. Our Cruise Director speaks English and German.

Ships

MS Rhone

The MS Rhone was built in 2004 and rebuilt in winter 2012/13 to have French balconies on the upper and middle decks. The comfortable ship offers its 154 guests ample space in the tastefully decorated social rooms decorated with Art Nouveau elements and on the sun deck. For relaxation, guests can enjoy a wellness area with steam bath, sauna, solarium and whirlpool.

Ship information

  • Number of crew: 36
  • Capacity: 154 passengers
  • Number of decks: 3
  • Length (m): 110
  • Width (m): 11.4
  • Speed in knots: 12
  • Launch year: 2004
  • Refit year: 2013

Cabins

All cabins (approx. 14 m2) and mini-suites (approx. 16 m2) are located outside, are comfortable and luxuriously furnished. On the central and upper deck with French balcony, on the main deck, the smaller windows are not open for security reasons. All cabins are equipped with shower/WC, TV, radio, refrigerator, safe, hair dryer and individually adjustable air conditioning. The mini-suites are fitted with a bathtub.

2-bed main deck
  • Cabin size: approx. 14 m2
  • Shower/WC, hairdryer
  • TV, Radio
  • Refrigerator
  • Safe
  • individually adjustable air conditioning
  • smaller windows that cannot be opened
2-bed middle deck, french. Balcony
  • Cabin size: approx. 14 m2
  • Shower/WC, hairdryer
  • TV, Radio
  • Refrigerator
  • Safe
  • individually adjustable air conditioning
  • French balcony

Why book with us?

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