The Rhône and Provence
Sailing from Lyon to Arles
Sail in style down the lovely River Rhône, through legendary wine regions, tranquil medieval villages and cities still proudly displaying their ancient Roman heritage. You’ll begin in Lyon, the French ‘capital of gastronomy’ and head south, enjoying wine tasting in Beaujolais, marvelling at Roman monuments in Vienne and experiencing an unforgettable train trip through the spectacular Gorge du Doux. You’ll explore the historic heart of Avignon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site dominated by the imposing Papal Palace, and discover landscapes that once inspired Van Gogh, before your cruise concludes in the historic city of Arles, with its magnificent Roman amphitheatre.
Included excursions and visits: 8
- City tour of Lyon
- Beaujolais wine region
- Choice of Vienne walking tour, ViaRhôna bike tour or Mount Pipet hike
- Choice of Tournon steam train ride, red wine & chocolate tasting or hike to Tain-l'Hermitage with wine tasting
- Choice of Avignon walking tour & Papal Palace, Pont du Gard or Provençal cooking lesson
- Grignan excursion & truffle farm visit
- Choice of Les Baux & olive farm excursion or Artist Experience
- Choice of Arles walking tour or bike tour
- 7 nights cruise on AmaCello
- Finely appointed riverview staterooms/suites, marble bathrooms, plush bedding & robes/slippers
- All meals on board, prepared by expert chefs using the finest and freshest ingredients
- Unlimited drinks on board during lunch and dinner, including wine, beer and soft drinks
- Cocktail reception and Captain’s gala dinner
- Highest level of service - 1 staff member to 3 guests
- All entertainment plus lectures and cooking demonstrations
- Shore excursions in every port with knowledgeable local guides
- Portable audio headset system on excursions
- Complimentary use of bicycles and guided bike tours
- Complimentary Wi-Fi access on board
Plus all these benefits:
- Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service
- International return flights (Prices are based on return flights with British Airways from London Heathrow. Supplements may apply from other airports)
- Check-in service by Titan staff at London
- Services of an experienced AmaWaterways Cruise Manager and their expert crew
- All airport/port taxes and duties
Day 1 - UK - Lyon
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home, for your flight to Lyon. Upon arrival you will be met by your AmaWaterways representative and transferred to the port to embark your ship, the AmaCello (5T). This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner.
Day 2 - Lyon
On today’s itinerary is the historic Fourvière district, dominated by the neo-Byzantine Basilica of Notre-Dame, built in the 1870s. Following free time here, an included tour of Lyon will introduce you to the highlights of France’s third-biggest city, visiting the Place Bellecour, one of Europe’s largest open public squares; Place des Terreaux with the Fontaine Bartholdi, designed by the creator of New York’s Statue of Liberty at its heart; and the elegant Hôtel de Ville, or City Hall, dating from the 17th century. Enjoy a walking tour of Old Lyon, before a free afternoon to spend as you wish.
Day 3 - Collonges - Vienne
This morning, AmaCello sails through the Beaujolais wine region, known as the ‘pays des pierres dorées’ (land of golden stones), due to the ochre limestone used for local buildings. You will visit the medieval hilltop village of Oingt, named one of the most beautiful villages of France, as well as the home of a local vintner, where you will enjoy a wine tasting and vineyard tour. Later, the ship continues its cruise towards Vienne, where the evening is free to explore at your leisure.
Day 4 - Vienne - Tournon
Situated between the wine regions of Burgundy and Beaujolais, Vienne was an important Roman settlement, and you will see some of the city’s wonderfully-preserved Roman monuments on this morning’s walking tour, including the Temple of Augustus and Livia, dating from the first century BC and the ancient theatre, one of the biggest in Roman Gaul, which seated up to 13,000 spectators. Also of note is the sixth century Church of St Pierre, one of the oldest in France, now housing an archaeological museum. Alternatively choose a guided bike tour along a portion of the ViaRhôna bike route, or a guided hike from the ship up to the Monastery at Mount Pipet and back. Your ship departs at midday for Tournon.
Day 5 - Tournon
There are three choices to fill your morning in Tournon. Enjoy an unforgettable rail journey through the spectacular scenery of the Gorge du Doux aboard the Train de l’Ardeche, a vintage steam train. At the end of the trip you will alight at the little station of Colombier le Vieux-Saint Barthélémy le Plain, where you can watch the locomotive being manoeuvred on a turntable in preparation for its return journey. Or, visit Château de Tournon for a very special session with a local expert on the paring of red wine and chocolate. Alternatively, join a hike followed by a wine tasting in the village of Tain-l'Hermitage.
Day 6 - Viviers - Avignon
From Viviers, travel by coach to Avignon, home to the Papal Palace, the official residence of seven popes and two antipopes during the 14th century. You will visit this during a walking tour that also includes the ruined Pont Saint-Bénézet, made famous by the French children’s song “Sur le Pont d’Avignon” (“On the Bridge of Avignon”). Alternatively, take an excursion to the Pont du Gard, a grand Roman aqueduct built in the first century AD. Your last choice today is a Provençal cooking lesson with a local chef. Later, there’s an included excursion to Grignan, a pretty hilltop village whose Renaissance castle provides a commanding view of the surrounding countryside. You will also have the opportunity of visiting a truffle farm and learning about truffle harvesting. Later, the ship continues to Avignon.
Day 7 - Avignon - Les Baux - Arles
This morning, AmaCello arrives in Arles, where you’ll board a coach for an excursion to the picturesque village of Les Baux-de-Provence. There are wonderful views over the Provençal countryside from the castle, and a number of interesting museums and historic buildings. You will also visit a local olive grove. If you prefer, you could take the ‘Artist Experience’ tour to the Saint-Paul de Mausole Asylum, where Van Gogh once lived and painted some of his best-known works such as Starry Night and Irises. You will also visit the Carrières de Lumières, a former stone quarry which stages extraordinary multimedia shows, projecting images of famous artworks on its walls. Later this afternoon, join the included tour of Arles, visiting the Roman amphitheatre and the Romanesque Church of St Trophime, or a guided bike tour to the Roman ruins. The ship moors overnight in Arles.
Day 8 Arles - Marseille - UK
Transfer to Marseille Airport for your return flight to the UK. Upon arrival your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.