South of France and Provence River Cruise
Travel along the Rhône and Saône Rivers on a 7-night river cruise through southern France, ending your trip with a high-speed rail journey to Paris for a two-night stay.
The scenic Rhône River Valley stretches from Lyon to the north to Avignon in the south and is the backdrop for your river cruise through the south of France and Provence. As you meander down the Rhône and Saône Rivers on your leisurely cruise, enjoy visits to small towns and villages that comprise France’s wine country including Lyon, Macon, Chalon sur Saône, and the Vivier region, giving you the opportunity to mingle with the locals and see the sights. Upon completion of your river cruise, board France’s high-speed TGV train for the ride north to Paris for a 2-night stay.
Highlights and Inclusions
- 7-night river cruise along the Rhône and Saône Rivers aboard the MS Amadeus Symphony
- Rail transportation aboard the high-speed TGV train from Lyon to Paris
- Hotel accommodations for 2 nights
- 23 meals (9 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 8 dinners)
- All shore excursions included
- Drive along the Beaujolais wine trail
- Excursion to Beaune, the wine capital of Burgundy
- Walking tour of Avignon including a visit to the Palace of the Popes
- Panoramic tour of Paris
- International Cruise Director plus local English-speaking guides for shore excursions
Day 1 - Depart USA for Lyon, France
Board your international flight for the journey across the Atlantic Ocean. (Air travel is not included in tour cost)
Day 2 - Arrive Lyon / Board MS Amadeus Symphony
Arrive in Lyon, the embarkation and disembarkation port for your river cruise. Make your way to the port with the afternoon free to explore this city known for its historical and architectural landmarks. Board the MS Amadeus Symphony and enjoy a welcome reception and dinner as the vessel sets sail for Macon, France. Overnight vessel. (D)
Day 3 - Explore the Beaujolais Wine Trail
Arrive in Macon, situated along the western bank of the Saône River. Today's shore excursion takes you on a tour of the Burgundy region's southernmost city, showcasing scenic vistas of castles and vineyards as you drive along the wine trail of the Beaujolais. A highlight of today's tour is sure to be the wine tasting session! We sail for Chalon sur Saône tonight. Overnight vessel. (B, L, T, D)
Day 4 - Beaune, Wine Capital of Burgundy
Experience Beaune and the Burgundy area during today's shore excursion. First, take a trip through the history of viniculture and enjoy a local wine tasting in the ancient walled city of Beaune. Visit the Hotel-Dieu, a former charitable almshouse founded in 1443 by Nicolas Rolin, Chancellor of Burgundy, as a hospital for the poor and needy. The original hospital building is one of the finest examples of 15th-century French architecture. Next, visit the medieval villages of Brancion and Cormatin. Stroll through Brancion with its old castle towering above and visit the magnificent Chateau of Cormatin. Set sail again late this afternoon. Overnight vessel. (B, L, T, D)
Day 5 - City Tour of Lyon
Arrive in Lyon early this morning for a city tour. See its historic sites and its lovely city center featuring elegant squares and ancient buildings. Of special note is the Old Quarter along the bank of the Saône, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ship departs for Avignon late this afternoon. Overnight vessel. (B, L, T, D)
Day 6 - Avignon Sightseeing
Arrive in Avignon, an historic city situated on the Rhône River. Discover the city, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and known for its imposing Palace of the Popes, during an included walking tour. On your tour you'll see the city's medieval ruins and walls as well as learn about Avignon's relationship with the Papacy during a visit to the Palace of the Popes. The vessel remains docked in Avignon overnight, giving you time to stroll through the narrow streets and squares of the historic quarter. Overnight vessel. (B, L, T, D)
Day 7 - Pont du Gard / Tour of Arles
Depart on an included excursion to the Pont du Gard, Avignon's perfectly preserved Roman aqueduct. One of the architectural masterpieces of the ancient world, this aqueduct supplied water to vast tracts of the Roman provinces in southern France. Later today, we depart for Arles, France. Upon arrival, embark on a walking tour of this picturesque city, which played host to many famous artists over the centuries including Van Gogh. Depart for Viviers, France, this evening. Overnight vessel. (B, L, T, D)
Day 8 - Viviers
Arrive in Viviers this morning and depart the vessel for an included excursion to the Valley of the Ardèche. A highlight of the excursion is the Ardèche Gorge, created over several millennia by the force of water flowing through the limestone. Follow the path of the river and meander through the gorge to the Pont d'Arc, a natural stone bridge that was carved by the Ardèche River, standing almost 100 feet high. Later today, sail for Lyon. Overnight vessel. (B, L, T, D)
Day 9 - TGV to Paris
Arrive in Lyon this morning, disembark the vessel and transfer by the high-speed TGV train to Paris. After checking in to your hotel, embark on a tour to see the city's famous sights including the Louvre, Place Vendome, the Le Marais district, the Trocadero and the Eiffel Tower. Overnight Paris. (B, D)
Day 10 - Paris at Leisure
After breakfast, you have an entire day at leisure to explore the city. Overnight Paris. (B)
Day 11 - Tour Conclusion
Your French rail-river cruise vacation comes to an end after breakfast this morning. (B)
Optional Post-Tour Extension
Day 11 - Eurostar to London
Transfer on your own to the Paris Gare du Nord rail station and board the Eurostar train for the journey via the Chunnel to London. Upon arrival, check into your hotel with the remainder of the day at leisure. Overnight London.
Day 12 - London Sightseeing
Embark on a hop-on/hop-off London sightseeing tour, taking you to the city's most famous points of interest as you enjoy commentary about the sights as well as learn about London's history. Hear about the real Big Ben, get glorious views of the Houses of Parliament, and see St. Paul's Cathedral. With over 90 stops along your route, you truly have the freedom and the flexibility to explore this world-class city at your leisure. Included with your hop-on/hop-off pass is a complimentary Thames River cruise. Overnight London.
Day 13 - Conclusion
Transfer on your own to the airport for your return flight home.
Train and Hotel Accommodations
The 146 passenger fully air-conditioned MS Amadeus Symphony is the perfect place to relax and unwind as you explore the waterways of France. Warm colors throughout the ship welcome you aboard and enhance the inviting atmosphere. An attentive onboard staff takes care of your needs to ensure your comfort and enjoyment during the voyage.
Suite (236 sq. ft.)
All suites have a panoramic window with French balcony, two twin beds that can be separated or together, TV, private bath with bathtub, telephone, closet, desk, chair, armchair, safe, minibar, sofa bed
Stateroom (161 sq. ft.)
Staterooms have a panoramic window with French balcony on Mozart Deck, a panoramic window to open on Strauss Deck, and fixed windows on the Haydn Deck. All staterooms feature two twin beds that can be separated or together, TV, private bath with shower, closet, telephone, desk, chair, and safe.
Hotel accommodations in Paris are at the Plaza Republique (or similar).
Dates & Prices
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Haydn Deck: Departs
Strauss Deck: Departs
Mozart Deck: Departs