Cruise the Rhône and Saône rivers, enjoying the region’s incomparable wine and cuisine and discovering its many treasures—from the medieval wonders of UNESCO-designated Avignon to Lyon’s lively river banks. Stroll the very streets of Arles made famous by Van Gogh. Visit Avignon’s majestic Palace of the Popes. Experience “Village Day” in enchanting Viviers, including a recital of music composed by Bach and Handel. And for those who wish for a more active exploration of the area, you can kayak on the tranquil Gardon River under the UNESCO-designated Pont du Gard; hike the steepest vineyards on the Rhône, and pedal through the city designed with bike riders in mind while in Lyon.
Select departures operate in reverse (Lyon to Avignon)
Discover remarkable Roman ruins in Tarascon
Wander through the Rue de Doux old city to see a 14th-century church
Experience the silk weavers’ secret passageways in Lyon
Explore the Palace of the Popes and much more during a Avignon walking tour
Explore a sun-drenched Provençal town today with an allure all its own. Known for its remarkable Roman ruins, Arles so inspired Van Gogh that he painted some 200 paintings there. Arles has existed since the sixth century BC, when the ancient Greeks founded it and named it Theline. It was here that the Romans built their first bridge across the Rhône River, creating a vital overland route between Italy and Spain.
The walled city of Avignon is one of the most fascinating towns in southern France, with a host of historic gems to explore—including the fortress residence of rebellious popes who broke from Rome and once lived and ruled here. You’ll see the Palace of the Popes and much more today, and also have a chance to kayak under a 2,000-year-old Roman aqueduct.
Choice of Avignon walking tour with Palace of the Popes or Pont du Gard Roman aqueduct visit or "Let’s Go” kayak ride on the Gardon River
A special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.
An enchanting village where time seems to have stopped centuries ago, Viviers has a long and storied past that goes back more than 1,600 years—and a splendid architectural heritage to match. At one time, Viviers was divided along religious lines—the clergy lived in the upper part of the town, the laity in the lower part. Your exploration of the town will take you through both parts, as you begin at the crest and make your way to the riverbank.
Featured Excursion: Intimate Viviers “Village Day”.
If you love fine wine, you’ll love the twin villages of Tournon and Tain-l’Hermitage. Tournon may be a small town, but stirring events took place here: A castle was raised on the hilltop in the 10th century to protect the region, and new fortifications were added over the centuries, including two “new” towers built to defend against Protestant attacks in the 16th century. You’ll see the handsome houses constructed by wealthy merchants and garrison officers when you walk through the Rue de Doux area, and you’ll pass the 14th-century church and the oldest secondary school in France.
Choice of Tournon and Tain-l’Hermitage twin villages stroll with wine tasting or “Let's Go” Hermitage terrace vineyards hike with wine tasting.
As the epicenter of French gastronomy, Lyon is a city of tantalizing contrasts. There’s much to explore here, from the work of culinary visionaries to silk weavers’ secret passageways. After your choice of excursions, embrace the locals’ favorite mode of transportation with a bike ride—a great way to see the sights.
Choice of Lyon Capital of Gastronomy tour or Silk weavers walking tour or “Let's Go” Lyon peninsula bike tour.
The pace of life is decidedly more relaxed in Burgundy, where endless rows of grapes hang heavy on the vine. The capital of the region’s wine trade, Beaune is renowned for its history, beauty and highly prized wine, as well as its medieval-era hospital—the Hospices de Beaune.
Choice of Burgundy landscapes, Beaune and the hospices or Mâcon walking tour.
A special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.
Day 8: Lyon | Disembark
Disembark the ship. Transfer to the airport for your flight home. Alternatively, you can continue your adventure with an extension to Paris.
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Magnificent appointed riverview stateroom (162 sq ft - 15 sq m) located on the Saint Remy Deck. Handcrafted Savoir Beds of England, built-in closet, safe, hair dryer, individual thermostat, flat TV screen and bottled water. Marble bathroom includes: Asprey bath and body products, plush towels, special towel warmers, back-lit magnifying mirror, heated mirrors, cozy bathrobes and slippers.
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Sumptuous appointed riverview stateroom (194 sq ft - 18 sq m) with a French balcony. Handcrafted Savoir Beds of England, built-in closet, safe, hair dryer, individual thermostat, flat TV screen and bottled water. Marble bathroom includes: Asprey bath and body products, plush towels, special towel warmers, back-lit magnifying mirror, heated mirrors, cozy bathrobes and slippers.
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Luxuriant appointed riverview stateroom (194 sq ft - 18 sq m) with open-air balcony. Handcrafted Savoir Beds of England, built-in closet, safe, hair dryer, individual thermostat, flat TV screen and bottled water. Marble bathroom includes: Asprey bath and body products, plush towels, special towel warmers, back-lit magnifying mirror, heated mirrors, cozy bathrobes and slippers.
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Lavishly appointed riverview suite (305 sq ft - 28.3 sq m) with an open-air balcony. Marble bathroom includes Hermès bath and body products, plush towels, towel warmers, backlit magnifying mirror, heated mirrors, bathrobes and slippers. Triple accommodation option available. Uniquely decorated and additional amenities and services, are included.
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Luxurious appointed riverview grand suite (410 sq ft - 38 sq m) with an open-air balcony. Savoir Beds of England, built-in closet, safe, hair dryer, thermostat, flat TV screen and bottled water. Marble bathroom includes Hermès bath and body products, plush towels, towel warmers, back-lit magnifying mirror, bathrobes and slippers. Additional amenities and services are included.
Included in Cruise Fare:
All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 7 dinners
Captain's Welcome and Farewell Receptions
Welcome and Farewell Gala Dinners
Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, specialty coffee and tea, and mineral water
6 days of excursions, including “Choice Is Yours” options, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
Guided “Let's Go” and “Village Day” programs
State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio-headset system on all excursions
Use of bicycles and Nordic walking sticks
7-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the striking S.S. Catherine
Lavishly appointed riverview staterooms and suites have handcrafted Savoir® Beds of England, high thread count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, and a menu of pillow options
Free Internet and Wi-Fi access
Visit one country - France
Visits to 4 UNESCO World Heritage sites
Captivating onboard local entertainment
Cultural enrichment, including a Signature Lecture
Services of an experienced Cruise Manager
All transfers on arrival and departure days
All gratuities, both onboard and onshore
Exclusive Connoisseur Collection on select summer departures
Excluded from Cruise Fare:
Prices exclude additional port charges
Airfare, international or local
Passport or Visa fees
Travel protection plan
Extensions or land tours
Losses or costs incurred as a result of medical services obtained while on tour
Any additional personal expenses
Note: The itineraries presented are subject to modification due to water levels, closures because of public holidays or other uncontrollable factors. Every effort will be made to operate programs as planned, but changes may still be necessary throughout the cruise. This day-to-day schedule is subject to change. Your final day-to-day schedule will be provided on board on the first day of your cruise.
The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.