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    Lyon

A Fortnight in Burgundy and Provence: July

French Waterways

  • New New holiday
  • A car with a tick VIP on selected river cruises
  • A glass of wine All Inclusive

Cruise the Rhône, exploring Lyon, Avignon, Arles and the Ardèche along the way

Explore the river Rhône from Lyon to the Mediterranean on a 14-night French river cruise taking in the historic papal seat of Avignon and the Ardèche, Van Gogh’s Arles, medieval Viviers and the historic city of Lyon…

Including...

Hands shaking Included travel insurance

Dinner plate41 meals: 14 breakfasts, 13 lunches and 14 dinners

CocktailFree bar open 13 hours a day†

PersonSaga Cruise Assistant

Plus…

MapIncluded excursions

  • Arles city walk
  • Avignon and Popes Palace
  • Lyon city walk
  • Visit to Pérouges
  • Chalon-sur-Soane walking tour

†Free bar includes beer, wine, sparkling wine, cocktails, spirits and soft drinks.

View Full Itinerary

Day 1 UK to Lyon

Lyon

Travel by Eurostar from St Pancras to Lyon, where you transfer to your ship, A-ROSA STELLA (a journey of approximately two miles, which should take around 20 minutes depending on traffic). Your included luggage collection service (also known as The Baggageman) means that your luggage will already be in your cabin, having been collected from your home and taken there separately.

Enjoy a welcome drink this evening as you cruise through Lyon, passing the Renaissance houses of 'Vieux Lyon' and the illuminated grandeur of the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière.

After dinner on board cruise overnight to Viviers.

Lyon Rhone France Europe

Day 2 Viviers

Viviers

Disembark in Viviers this morning.

The medieval town has a warren of cobbled streets that wind up to the 12th-century Cathedral of Saint-Vincent where a tangle of medieval homes in varying states of renovation are waiting to be discovered. Step into the cool interior of the Cathedral to view tapestried stalls or find your way down to the 2nd-century Pont Romain for views of the River Escoutay.

An optional excursion visits Southern Ardèche. Over the ages the River Ardèche has carved a meandering groove through the forested limestone, creating a jigsaw of gorges, surreal rock formations and waterfalls, epitomised by the Ardèche Gorges and the limestone arch of Pont d'Arc. Follow the river, visiting the subterranean halls of the Grottes des Madeleines and cave paintings of Grotte Chauvet. Then meet a local lavender producer and find out about the medicinal, decorative and aromatic uses of this versatile herb.

Sail overnight to Arles.

Viviers port Rhone France Europe

Day 3 Arles

Arles

Arrive in Arles this morning and look forward to an included tour of the city.

Arles retains some fine examples of Roman architecture, including a well-preserved Roman amphitheatre, watermill and aqueduct. An included walking tour is a great way to see some of the attractions. This afternoon perhaps join an optional excursion to the unspoilt coastal landscapes of Camargue and Saintes Maries de la Mer. In this part of the Rhône estuary flamingos share brine lakes and marshland with white wild horses and black Camargue cattle. The tour includes a visit to the village of Saintes Maries de la Mer and the pilgrimage church of Notre-Dame de la Mer, dedicated to the Saint Sarah the Black, the patron saint of the Roma people.

Remain moored in Arles overnight.

Arles Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur France Europe

Day 4 Arles to Port St Louis

St Louis Tower

Depart early this morning for Port St Louis, located on the left bank of the Rhone, a couple of miles from the mouth of the river and the Mediterranean.

You’ll see the St Louis Tower, built using money from the taxation of salt exports in 1737, and used variously as a look-out point, safe refuge from floods and lighthouse. It offers commanding views over the largest river delta in Europe and the Carmargue.

Depart Port St Louis this evening for Avignon.

Port-St-Louis Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur France Europe

Day 5 Avignon

Avignon

Moor in Avignon in the early hours for a full day of exploration in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Avignon.

An included walking tour of the city includes entrance to the Palais du Pape and visits the Cathedrale Notre-Dame des Doms, the 14th-century church of St Agricol and the landmark Pont de Avignon.

Enjoy dinner and a relaxing evening on board your ship before setting sail at midnight for Tournon.

Avignon Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur France Europe

Day 6 Tournon and Tain-L’Hermitage

Tournon

Arriving in the early afternoon, disembark to explore the towns of Tournon and Tain-L’Hermitage in the heart of the Ardèche.

Tain-L’Hermitage is home to Hermitage and Croze Hermitage wines, as well as world-famous Valrhona chocolate. Stock up on Valrhona in their downtown shop or tour the 45 local wine caves in the Pays de l’Hermitage to sample fine wines.

Cross La Passerelle Seguin pedestrian bridge to Tournon to explore the medieval castle and old town and enjoy panoramas of the towns and surrounding countryside from the hillside gardens. You may like to join an optional trip through the Tain-L’Hermitage vineyards aboard a miniature train.

Set sail after dinner for Lyon.

Tain-l'Hermitage Rhone France Europe

Day 7 Lyon

Jacobins square and fountain in Lyon, France

Arrive before breakfast to enjoy a full day in Lyon, the culinary heart of France and the capital of silk weaving.

See Lyon’s UNESCO-listed old town where well-preserved medieval houses line narrow streets and elaborate buildings hide behind modest facades during an included excursion. The old town is riddled with ‘secret’ passageways, called traboules, short cuts from the river used by silk weavers to transport bales of silk while avoiding the rain. You’ll visit the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière which overlooks the city and pay a visit to an old silk printing shop to discover how the silk industry made Lyon famous and prosperous…

Your ship remains moored here overnight.

Lyon Rhone France Europe

Day 8 Lyon

Historic stone houses and cobbled street in Perouge, France

Look forward to an included visit to the medieval town of Pérouges, which enjoys a hilltop setting overlooking the Dombes Plateau.

At the heart of this quaint cobbled town you’ll find the Place du Tilleul square with its 13th-century inn, Old St George House, Tree of Liberty planted in the 18th century, and Museum of Old Pérouges, which is housed in the former home of the Dukes of Savoy. Today, a light lunch will be available.

Your ship departs for Chalon-sur-Saône early this evening.

Lyon Rhone France Europe

Day 9 Chalon-sur-Saône

St Vincent cathedral of Chalon-sur-Saone

Enjoy an included walking tour of the historic town of Chalon-sur-Saône, an important trading post in Roman and medieval times. It has a medieval quarter of half-timbered houses surrounding the church of St Vincent.

This evening an optional excursion visits Dijon before your ship departs for Mâcon.

Chalon-sur-Saone Burgundy France Europe

Day 10 Mâcon to Lyon

View of the city of Macon with Saone river in Burgundy

With a scenic setting in the south of Burgundy, Mâcon is famous for both its wines and its pastel-painted buildings.mSeek out the cathedral, church and the 'Wooden House', recognisable by a multitude of saucy statuettes. An optional excursion visits the Hameau Duboeuf wine park where you can learn more about wine production and taste some of the produce.

Depart for Lyon this evening, arriving later tonight and mooring overnight.

Lyon Rhone France Europe

Day 11 Lyon

Lyon

Enjoy another day in Lyon, the culinary heart of France and the capital of silk weaving. Explore the nooks and crannies of this ancient city during an optional excursion that heads to the city centre and visits the indoor market.

Set sail again this afternoon.

Lyon Rhone France Europe

Day 12 Avignon

Palace of the Popes, Avignon

Look forward to another day exploring the medieval treasures of Avignon.

The city was the centre of western Christianity throughout the 13th century and, as such, it was known as the ‘City of Popes’, and remained under papal rule until the late 18th century. Perhaps visit one of the city’s art galleries, such as the Petit Palais which houses French and Italian Renaissance, Flemish and Dutch paintings and more.

Avignon Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur France Europe

Day 13 Avignon to Arles

Pont de Langlois, Arles

Depart Avignon at lunchtime and sail to Arles, arriving mid-afternoon for another chance to seek out the city’s attractions.

Van Gogh spent a year in Arles painting over 300 works that have immortalised many sites in the city, including the Langlois Bridge and The Café Terrace on the Place du Forum. There's a museum here dedicated to his work. An optional excursion to Camargue Nature Reserve is also available.

Set sail again later tonight.

Arles Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur France Europe

Day 14 Scenic cruising

Medieval Viviers

Spend the morning cruising the Rhône, enjoying the facilities on board the ship.

Pause briefly in Viviers – and perhaps join an optional excursion to the Ardeche Gorges and lavender fields – before sailing overnight to Lyon.

Day 15 Lyon to UK (via Lille)

After breakfast, disembark A-ROSA STELLA and travel to the railway station (a journey of approximately two miles, which should take around 20 minutes).

On arrival board Eurostar for your return journey to the UK, via Lille.

Some of the highlights may only be seen on optional excursions at an additional cost, or by exploring independently.

This cruise combines Through the Rhone Valley to the Med (PU025) and Colours of the Rhone (PU021).

A Fortnight in Burgundy and Provence: July

French Waterways