- The picturesque Saône
- Unspoilt Camargue
A Fortnight in Burgundy and Provence: August
- VIP on selected river cruises
- All Inclusive
Cruise the Rhône, discovering the attractions of Lyon, Avignon, Arles and the Ardèche
Explore the river Rhône from Lyon to the Mediterranean on a fantastic 14-night French river cruise taking in the historic papal seat of Avignon and the Ardèche, Van Gogh’s Arles, Marseilles and Lyon…
41 meals: 14 breakfasts, 13 lunches and 14 dinners
Free bar open 12 hours a day†
Saga Cruise Assistant
- Return Eurostar travel and transfers
- Drinks reception
- Activities on the ship
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Entertainment and activities on the ship
- Luggage collection and delivery service
- Chalon-sur-Soane walking tour
- Lyon city walk
- Avignon and Popes Palace
- Visit to Pérouges
- Arles city walk
†Free bar includes beer, wine, sparkling wine, cocktails, spirits and soft drinks.
- Day 1 UK to Lyon, via Lille
- Day 2 Chalon-sur-Saône
- Day 3 Mâcon to Lyon
- Day 4 Lyon
- Day 5 Avignon
- Day 6 Avignon to Arles
- Day 7 Scenic cruising
- Day 8 Lyon
- Day 9 Viviers
- Day 10 Arles
- Day 11 Arles to Port St Louis
- Day 12 Avignon
- Day 13 Tournon and Tain-L’Hermitage
- Day 14 Lyon
- Day 15 Lyon to UK, via Lille
Day 1 UK to Lyon, via Lille
Travel by Eurostar from St Pancras via Lille to Lyon, where you will transfer to your ship, A-ROSA STELLA (the journey is approximately two miles and will take around 20 minutes). 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. Soak up the evening ambience of Lyon as you cruise past the Renaissance houses of the old town, known as 'Vieux Lyon'.
After dinner on board this evening, the ship will cruise overnight.
Day 2 Chalon-sur-Saône
Enjoy an included walking tour of the historic town of Chalon-sur-Saône, an important trading post in Roman and medieval times. It has an attractive medieval quarter of half-timbered houses surrounding the church of St Vincent.
This evening you can visit Dijon on an optional excursion before your ship sets sail.
Day 3 Mâcon to Lyon
With a scenic setting in the south of Burgundy, Mâcon is famous for both its wines and its pastel-painted buildings.
Seek out the cathedral, church and perhaps 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.
Continue cruising to Lyon this evening, arriving later tonight for an overnight mooring.
Day 4 Lyon
Lyon, the culinary heart of France and the capital of silk weaving, keeps many of its best secrets hidden.
An included tour will reveal the city’s UNESCO-listed old town where well-preserved medieval houses line narrow streets and elaborate buildings hide behind modest facades. 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 explore 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…
Set sail again this afternoon.
Day 5 Avignon
Enjoy a guided exploration of medieval Avignon, located within historic walls. Avignon was the centre of western Christianity throughout the 13th century and, as such, it was known as the ‘City of Popes’.
Visit the Palace of the Popes and admire this grand papal residence during your included walking tour.
Day 6 Avignon to Arles
Depart Avignon at lunchtime and sail to Arles, arriving mid-afternoon.
Van Gogh spent a year painting in the city and created over 300 works that have immortalised some sites in the city, including the Langlois Bridge and The Café Terrace on the Place du Forum. Trace his footsteps through the city with a themed walking map and admire a collection of his work at the Foundation Vincent Van Gogh. The Foundation also houses exhibitions of photography from the annual photo festival of Arles. An optional excursion to Camargue Nature Reserve is also available.
Set sail again later tonight.
Day 7 Scenic cruising
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 8 Lyon
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 will sail overnight towards Viviers.
Day 9 Viviers
Disembark in Viviers this morning.
The historic 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, 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.
Day 10 Arles
Arrive in Arles this morning where an included walking tour explores the city further.
Arles retains some fine examples of Roman architecture, including a well-preserved Roman amphitheatre, watermill and aqueduct. 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.
Day 11 Arles to Port St Louis
Depart early this morning for Port St Louis at the mouth of the Rhone, arriving shortly after breakfast.
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. You may like to join an optional boat tour of the Camargue.
Depart Port St Louis this evening for Avignon.
Day 12 Avignon
Moor in Avignon in the early hours for another day of exploration in Avignon, home to numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Highlights include 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.
Cruise overnight towards Tournon.
Day 13 Tournon and Tain-L’Hermitage
Arriving late 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.
Day 14 Lyon
Arrive before breakfast to enjoy another day in Lyon.
Your ship remains moored here overnight.
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).
Once there you’ll 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. Optional Excursions on this cruise are only bookable onboard and subject to minimum numbers.