- The Ardeche
- The broken bridge
- Roman Arles
Through the Rhône Valley to the Med
- No fly
- VIP on selected river cruises
- All Inclusive
Cruise the Rhône, exploring Lyon, Marseille, Avignon, Arles and the Ardèche
Explore the river Rhône from Lyon to the Mediterranean on a fantastic 7-night river cruise taking in the historic papal seat of Avignon and the Ardèche, Van Gogh’s Arles, Marseilles and Lyon…
20 meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners
Free bar open 12 hours a day†
Saga Cruise Escort
- Drinks reception
- Complimentary Wi-Fi on board
- Activities on the ship
- Entertainment and activities
- Return Eurostar travel and transfers
- Luggage collection and delivery service
- Arles city walk
- Lyon city tour
†Free bar includes beer, wine, sparkling wine, cocktails, spirits and soft drinks.
Day 1 UK to Lyon
Travel by Eurostar from St Pancras to Lyon, where you transfer (a journey of approximately two miles, which should take around 20 minutes) to your ship, A-ROSA STELLA. 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.
Day 2 Viviers
Disembark in Viviers this afternoon.
The beautiful 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 exquisite tapestried stalls or find your way down to the 2nd-century Pont Romain for fantastic 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 stunning jigsaw of gorges, surreal rock formations and waterfalls, epitomised by the Ardèche Gorges and the limestone arch of Pont d'Arc. Follow the meandering groove of 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 Avignon.
Day 3 Arles
Arrive in Arles this morning and enjoy an included walking tour of the city, which has retained some fine examples of Roman architecture, including a well-preserved Roman amphitheatre, watermill and aqueduct.
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. You can 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 heads 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 4 Arles to Port St Louis
Depart in the early hours for Port St Louis at the mouth of the Rhone, arriving during 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. An optional excursion today visits Marseille, the oldest city in France.
Depart Port St Louis this evening for Avignon.
Day 5 Avignon
Moor in Avignon in the early hours for a full day of exploration in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Avignon.
An optional 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.
Day 6 Tournon and Tain-L’Hermitage
Arriving 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 superb panoramas of the towns and surrounding countryside from the hillside gardens. You may like to join an optional excursion aboard a miniature train that travels through the Tain-L’Hermitage vineyards.
Set sail after dinner for Lyon.
Day 7 Lyon
Arrive before breakfast to enjoy a full day in Lyon, the culinary heart of France and the capital of silk weaving. You can explore the narrow streets of the UNESCO-listed old town on an optional half-day excursion.
Your ship remains moored here overnight.
Day 8 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 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.