Over 8 days, journey through the beautiful scenery of the Rhône and Saône Rivers, France.This cruise will take you into the heart of some of the most breathtaking scenery in Europe. Our itinerary will transport us through the famous towns and villages of sunny Lyon, Provence and Camargue, their wines, traditions, magical landscapes, architectural diversity and colorful history. Since we'll be traveling aboard a luxurious riverboat, we'll need to unpack only once as we enjoy the unfolding views of the river from the comfort of our spacious cabins. Come join us to discover the Chateauneuf-du-Pape region, Avignon, Ardèche Gorges and the Burgundy vineyards on this amazing Rhône & Saône River cruise!. Since we'll be traveling aboard a luxurious riverboat, we'll need to unpack only once as we enjoy the unfolding views of the river from the comfort of our cabins. Come join us for this amazing Bordeaux discovery cruise!
Your vessel: Laidback elegance and relaxing comfort are paramount features of our cruises. Enjoy panoramic views of France as you walk the outdoor track on the Sun Deck; or, for a more intimate experience, relax in your private cabin. Gourmet meals with wine are available each day in the dining room. You can also enjoy coffee and tea, which are available all day. Each cabin and suite boasts a superior queen bed and other amenities, including a television and minibar. After a full day of touring, relax to live music in the ship's lounge.
Deluxe River Cruising the wine region of Provence, Beaujolais and Burgundy.
ALL-INCLUSIVE 5 STAR CRUISING LUXURY:
- Luggage handling for one checked bag per person upon arrival to the ship.
- Services of a professional cruise director throughout the program.
- Luxurious accommodations for seven nights on a Scenic “Space Ship”
- Port charges.
- Daily gourmet meals onboard: a rich buffet breakfast, a festive lunch buffet, tea & coffee throughout the day and a multi-course dinner with free complimentary selection of wines, draught beers during meals and at the bar.
- Complimentary minibar and bar consumptions throughout the cruise.
- Complimentary Wi-Fi Internet
- Private 5* butler service for all cabins
- Applicable entrance fees, admission charges according to itinerary.
- Onboard entertainment
- Interactive Riverview onboard commentaries.
- Reservations at L’Amour French restaurant and Table La Rive gastronomic restaurant
available (extra cost of $25 for L’Amour and $50 for Table La Rive).
- Electronically-assisted bicycles- Nordic walking sticks
Included shore excursions:
- Deluxe air-conditioned motor coach transportation for all transfers, tours and guided excursions.
- Headsets during excursions
- Daily shore excursion program (outlined and included in the itinerary) during the cruise with local English-speaking guides.
- Discover the wines of Provence, Beaujolais and Burgundy:
- Cluny's benedictine Abbey
- Lyon and it's Basilica and it's Traboules
- Vienne and the Temple of Augustus
- Viviers and its Cathedrale
- Avignon and its Papal palace, an amazing architectural and cultural city listed as a UNESCO
World Heritage Site
- Pont du Gard
- Les Baux-de-Provence
Optional post tour excursion:
- Optional 3-night PRE extension to Paris.
- Optional 3-night POST extension to Burgundy & Champagne including Beaune, Dijon, Langres, Troyes, Epernay & Paris.
ITINERARY (subject to change / approval from the cruise company)
Day 1: November 1, 2019 - Depart the USA:
Depart New York for Marseilles, France.
Day 2: November 2, 2019 – MARSEILLES - TARASCON (D):
Welcome to France. Meet & greet by a Jet Vacations host in Marseilles airport and transfer to your ship in Tarascon. After you've comfortably settled in your cabin, we'll introduce our crew during our welcome cocktail party, followed by dinner. We moor for the night in Tarascon.
Day 3: November 3, 2019 - AVIGNON (FB,L,D):
We'll cruise towards Avignon. On the way, enjoy picturesque views of the Provençal countryside as you arrive at your first stop: Les Baux de Provence – a fortified medieval village perched in Alpilles mountain range. Meander through the narrow stone streets of the historic center, viewing the town's many original 16th-century houses and main attractions such as the Museum of Santons, the Hôtel des Porcelets and St Vincent Church. Free time. Return to the boat for lunch and cruise to Avignon. On arrival enjoy entertainment on board from one of the region’s best French chanson singers.
Day 4: November 4, 2019 - AVIGNON (FB,L,D):
This morning after breakfast onboard, set out for a walking guided tour of Avignon and the Papal Palace. You will set out on foot for the guided tour of the old town of Avignon. Avignon offers an impressive array of monuments. With the Pope's Palace, classed as a world heritage site by UNESCO and a testimony to the city's past when it was known as the capital of Christianity back in the Middle-Ages, our visit will take you through the staterooms where numerous ceremonies and feasts took place, the chapels, the Pope's private apartments and the terraces which offer a wonderful panorama on Avignon and the Rhône river. Return on board on foot. Lunch onboard. In the afternoon, take an excursion to Uzès and Pont du Gard, the impressive ancient Roman aqueduct. Then after the doors close to the general public at Avignon’s prestigious Pope’s Palace, you’ll be invited in for an exclusive concert where virtuoso musicians perform Mozart, Bach and Vivaldi within this elegant 14th century palace.
Day 5: November 5, 2019 – VIVIER - TOURNON (FB,L,D):
Enjoy a walking tour of Viviers and visit the imposing Cathedral of Viviers. The third largest protected sector in the Rhône Alpes regions, residence of bishops since the Vth century, Viviers, a small town with a population of 3,500 is like an open-air museum, where every stone contains a page of history. You will be able to admire France's smallest Cathedral in this sumptuous medieval town. Among other things you will see the House of Knights with its superb Renaissance facade, the Tower of St Michael, the great seminary and the Belvedere with an unobstructed view of Viviers at night. Return to the boat on foot for lunch onboard. Then, afternoon cruising to Tournon to spend the evening enjoying vistas of its castle.
DAY 6: November 6, 2019 - VIENNE – LYON (FB,L,D):
We'll cruise towards Vienne this morning. Meet up with the guides for a walking tour of Vienne, during which you will discover this Roman city rich in vestiges. The history of Vienne goes back more than 2000 years. The city is indivisible from the Rhône River and the surrounding hills. The Allobrogi people are thought to have made it their capital, but it was in the Roman era that the city began to prosper on both banks. You will see the Antique Theatre; built roughly between 40 and 50 AD, it is considered one of the largest in the Roman empire, with its 130m diameter and 13,000 spectators capacity. Restored in 1938, it was returned to its original function and is now a venue for artistic events. The tour will continue with the Temple of Augustus and Livia (exteriors only). This temple dedicated to Rome and Augustus stood in a sacred area on the forum and has carried this name since the end of the 18th century. Its construction began about 20-10 BC; it was later transformed at the beginning of the Middle Ages into a church, and was finally restored in the second half of the 19th century thanks to the intervention of Prosper Mérimée. Finally, to complete the tour, you will see the Cathedral of St Maurice (exteriors only), which has been listed as a historic monument since 1840. Return to the boat on foot. Lunch onboard and relax while you view the beautiful Rhône river vistas as you cruise to Lyon.
Day 7: November 7, 2019 – LYON (FB, L, D)
Awake in beautiful Lyon, the gastronomic heart of France. This winkling city will reveal itself to you during a guided walking visit by coach and on foot. Our excursion will start with a stop at the Fourvière Basilica. You'll first take in the breathtaking views from the heights of the Basilica before entering it. In 1168, a chapel was built in Fourvière by Olivier de Chavannes, the Saint Jean canon, over the ruins of the old roman forum. The small chapel that was first dedicated to Saint Thomas and then to the Virgin Mary has been destroyed and rebuilt many times. Its current known form dates back to 1740 and its most recent renovation was in 2008. After our visit we'll return to the coach and move on to Lyon's Old Town. You will take a walking tour with our guide and discover the "traboules”, types of passageways that are typical of the city. The first traboules are thought to have been built in the 4th century. There was a water shortage in Lugdunum (the Gallo-Roman name that was given to Lyon at the time) that led its inhabitants to settle in the "lower city” on the banks of the Saône, at the foot of the hills of Fourvière. The traboules were thus used to reach the river quickly. You'll enjoy some free time in the Saint Jean district, in the heart of the Old Town. We'll return on board in time for lunch, and depart at nightfall to admire the city lights in Lyon.
DAY 8: November 8, 2019- MÀCON - CHALON-SUR-SAÔNE - (FB,L,D):
We'll begin to cruise early in the morning towards Macon. Departure by coach towards Cluny in the company of our guide to discover its majestic Benedictine Abbey. Northwest of Mâcon is the little town of Cluny. Dating to an abbey established in the year 910 (called Cluniacum), the town became the epicenter of a Benedictine reform movement that sought to revive monastic traditions. From this tiny hamlet grew over 2,000 Cluniac abbeys across western Europe, and along with them, Cluny’s distinctive architecture. Three subsequent churches were erected on the site over the next century, but the third one was closed during the French Revolution so its stone could be sold for building projects, leaving behind few remnants. Back to the ship for lunch. Tonight, get ready to be amaze as the ship will prepare it’s farewell dinner-show.
DAY 9: November 9, 2019- CHALON-SUR-SAONE – LYON - (FB):
Enjoy one last buffet breakfast on board before disembarking at 9:00 a.m. Coach transfer back to Lyon airport for your flight home or onto your post extension to Burgundy / Champagne. End of our services. END OF SERVICES
3 NIGHT PRE PARIS EXTENSION
Day 1: October 29, 2019 - Depart the USA:
Depart New York for Paris.
Day 2: October 30, 2019 – Paris (B, D)
Welcome to Paris, France. A Jet Vacations representative will personally greet you and arrange your transfer from Paris airport to your hotel in Paris by deluxe coach. On the way to Paris, enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city’s classic landmarks: the Champs Elysées, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Les Invalides and its grand avenues. Check into your Hotel for your 3-night post stay. Tonight enjoy a welcome diner with the other group members. (Dinner)
Day 3: October 31, 2019 – Panoramic Paris, Lunch Cruise & Montmartre (B).
Breakfast at the hotel and depart for a full-day tour of the magnificent city of Paris. Then, drop off at the foot of the Eiffel tower to board on a wonderful lunch cruise aboard a glass boat on the Seine River with a panoramic view of the city. Check After lunch, departure to Montmartre on a little train ride up the hill followed by a walking tour of the famous artists district, and a visit in the Sacre Coeur Basilica. Return to the hotel and dinner on your own. Overnight in Paris. (Breakfast)
Day 4: November 1, 2019 – Chartres & Versailles (B, D).
After breakfast at the hotel, departure to Chartres and discover its famous Cathedral. Partially built starting in 1145, and then reconstructed over a 26-year period after the fire of 1194, the Chartres Cathedral marks the high point of French Gothic art. Marvel at this masterpiece with its vast nave, in pure ogival style; the porches, adorned with fine sculptures from the middle of the 12th century; the magnificent 12th-and-13th-century stained-glass windows, and the very mysterious labyrinth, built circa 1200, laid into the floor, all in remarkable condition. Free time in Chartres for lunch and then drive to Versailles Castle. The Court of Versailles was the center of political power in France from 1682, when Louis XIV moved from Paris, until the royal family was forced to return to the capital in October 1789, after the beginning of the French Revolution. Versailles is, therefore, famous not only as an opulent royal dwelling, but a symbol of the system of absolute monarchy of the Ancien Régime and its eventual downfall. The Palace at Versailles is unrivalled, in perhaps the world, by the level of artistry on display in the appointments of its many salons and rooms. The attention to detail and opulence are truly astounding and a must-see. Evening on your own. Overnight in Paris. (Breakfast)
Day 5: November 2, 2019 – Paris – Marseilles - Tarascon (B):
After breakfast, transfer to Paris Airport for your transfer flight to Marseilles. A Jet Vacations representative will personally greet you and arrange your transfer from Marseilles airport to your ship. Stop en-route in Arles. Enjoy scenic views of the Plain of La Crau as you travel to your first stop, the ancient city of Arles. Soak up the idyllic atmosphere of this stunning seaside town, known to many as the landscape for Van Gogh’s famous paintings La “maison jaune” and “Le jardin de l'hotel Dieu”. Admire the sites that inspired the artist such as Les Arènes d’Arles (the Arles amphitheater), the church of Saint Trophime and Forum Place – the setting for the Van Gogh’s famous Cafe Terrace at Night (Le café de nuit). In the afternoon, continue to board your river ship for your Rhône river cruise in Tarascon. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
3 NIGHT POST BURGUNDY - CHAMPAGNE – PARIS EXTENSION
DAY 9: November 9, 2019 - Chalon-sur-Saône - Dijon (FB,D):
Enjoy one last buffet breakfast on board before disembarking at 9:00 a.m. Hop on your coach and transfer to Beaune. Upon arriving, a Jet Vacations representative will personally greet you. Beaune for a visit to the famous Hospices. Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune is a former charitable almshouse founded in 1443 by Nicolas Rolin, chancellor of Burgundy, as a hospital for the poor. The Hospices de Beaune remained a refuge for the needy from the Middle-Ages to the 20th century, a place where they were relentlessly taken care of by the "Soeurs Hospitalières”. We'll discover the Hospices Museum which houses a collection comprising some 5,000 objects, including the famous polyptych altarpiece by Flemish artist Rogier van der Weyden. The Hospices are also home to a wine-growing estate. Thanks to donations made throughout their history, the Hospices own over 60 hectares of vines. Most of the plots are located in areas growing prestigious "appellations”. Enjoy lunch on your own in Beaune. In the afternoon, we'll continue along the Burgundy Wine Route and through villages with names that evoke the great French wines. Visit the Chateau de Clos de Vougeot. Standing in the very heart of Burgundy’s vineyards, it was originally a wine farm, built in the 12th century by monks from the nearby Abbey of Cîteaux. In the 16th century, a Renaissance style château was added to the existing buildings. Even though the Chateau du Clos de Vougeot does not produce wine anymore, it stays the symbol of a millenary of Burgundy’s history. Check into your hotel and overnight in Dijon.
Day 10: November 10, 2019 – Dijon – Langres - Troyes (B)
After breakfast at the hotel, enjoy a morning city tour of Dijon. Departure for Langres, a town built on a limestone promontory of the same name. This stronghold was originally occupied by the Gauls, and at a later date, the Romans fortified the town belonging to the Lingones, a Celtic tribe. The first-century Triumphal Gate and the many artifacts exhibited in the museums are witnesses to the Gallo-Roman town. Visit the medieval city and lunch at leisure. In the afternoon, proceed to Troyes. The city was the seat of the legendary Bishop Lupus (Loup) in the fourth century who saved the city from Attila by offering himself as hostage. It would be several centuries before it gained importance as a medieval center of commerce. Check-in at the hotel and rest of the evening at leisure.. (B)
Day 11: November 11, 2019 –Troyes - Epernay - Paris(B)
Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning, proceed to Epernay and its prestigious Champagne Avenue where all the important names in champagne have a boutique. Then, you will visit the world famous Mercier Champagne House where an expert explains the method of champagne making from grape-picking to bottling. Guided visit of the cellars and tasting session: one glass of Champagne. Time at leisure in Epernay. In the afternoon, depart to Paris. Enjoy a panoramic city tour of the capital city’s main sites and monuments before checking in into your hotel for the night. Rest of the evening at leisure. (Breakfast). (Breakfast)
Day 12: November 12, 2019 – Paris – Paris CDG airport departure (B).
In the morning, depart Paris to Charles De Gaulle airport for your flight back home. (Breakfast)
Notes: Onboard currency is the Euro. The ship’s captain reserves the right to modify the cruising itinerary to ensure the safe navigation of the vessel. This cruise is dependent on the sea and tides and arrival, departure and stop over times may be adjusted accordingly. All taxes and fuel surcharges are included and correct at the time of printing, but subject to change. The price does not include beverages except the ones mentioned above, shore excursions that might be offered in addition to our daily included shore excursion program, gratuities/tips for guides/drivers and onboard staff such as maids, waiters, and maitre d’, wellness/spa center, airline luggage overage fees, passports fees, visas as well as items of a personal nature.
*Price is in US$, per person based on double occupancy, in your choice of cabins (Email us for pricing), chartering the vessel with a minimum of 100 passengers on board. Single supplement is an additional 75% of the double occupancy price.
Sail on 2 of France's mighty rivers: The Rhône and the Saône river
TARASCON, AVIGNON, VIVIER, TOURNON, VIENNE, LYON, MÀCON, CHALON-SUR-SAÔNE
Departure: November 01 TO 09, 2019
8 DAYS, 7 NIGHTS INCLUDING CRUISE, ALL BREAKFASTS, LUNCHES AND DINNERS, DRINKS ALL INCLUSIVE.