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8 Day Luxury All Inclusive River Cruise Avignon to Lyon

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8 Day Luxury All Inclusive River Cruise Avignon to Lyon

A journey of exquisite pleasures. Follow in the footsteps of Van Gogh, Cézanne and Gauguin on this exquisite journey through southern France; the same beautiful countryside and culture that inspired the masters will now inspire you.

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Description

A journey of exquisite pleasures. Follow in the footsteps of Van Gogh, Cézanne and Gauguin on this exquisite journey through southern France; the same beautiful countryside and culture that inspired the masters will now inspire you. 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 Les Halles food market.

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. Explore unforgettable “Burgundy and Provence” where tradition is as deeply rooted as the historic grapevines on the hills.

Lyon is France’s culinary capital and home to Chef Paul Bocuse, considered an ambassador of modern French cuisine. Experience some of the Bocuse magic at l’Institut Paul Bocuse. Go in search of the “black diamond” at a truffle farm, where you’ll walk through the truffière with the owners and their trusted dog, learning how they cultivate the “black diamond.” Celebrate the tradition of wine-making at an induction ceremony by Saint Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage Winemakers Brotherhoods. Wine, truffles and a taste of history are only a few of the highlights of your culinary journey.

Day by day

First Day Arrive in Marseille and embark in Avignon

Arrie at Marseille International Airport, where you will be transferred to the ship docked in Avignon.

Ship:    S.S. Catherine

Second Day a walking tour of either Arles or Tarascon 

Vincent van Gogh found inspiration in Arles and you will, too. Under the spell of the Provençal light and the vivid colours of nature, he spent a period of impassioned work under these bright sunny skies. As you explore the capital of the Camargue region with your local expert, see Van Gogh’s Arles, as well as a fascinating wealth of Roman monuments, such as the Amphitheatre and Constantine’s baths. For those who wish to discover another wonderful town along the Rhône, visit Tarascon, home to the oldest producer of French-made indiennes, Souleiado, established in 1806. In the evening, enjoy a festive Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner.

Ship:    S.S. Catherine

Third Day explore Avignon 

Avignon—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—is endlessly inviting; cafés and boutiques line tree-shaded squares enlivened with street performers. Discover the city built by the Avignon papacy with your guide, including the vast Palace of the Popes, or visit the UNESCO-designated Pont du Gard built by the Romans 2,000 years ago. If you prefer to see a different side of the city, join a local expert to venture “off the beaten path.” Discover the city’s picturesque hidden alleys and secret squares, strolling from enchanting Place Crillon to the Jewish quarter, and end at Place Pie, in the old city centre, home to Avignon’s famous market hall. Here you’ll want to stroll through, as there is a treasure trove of Provençal delicacies on display. Later in the day, you can also “Go Active” by paddling a kayak on the tranquil Gardon River. Note: The kayak ride on the Gardon River is only available for May through September departure dates.

Ship:    S.S. Catherine

Fourth Day experience Viviers Village Day

Viviers retains much of its medieval character and charm, with narrow lanes and historic structures. See the sights on foot, then climb Rue du Château to take in the view from the 12th-century St. Vincent Cathedral. Afterwards, you can go inside the Cathedral to hear a recital of music by Puccini, Bach and Handel. Before returning to the ship, spend time enjoying some local activities. You have a choice to learn the art of clay pot making at a demonstration, and then be treated to an aperitif of the local favourites, such as olives, rosé wine and apricot juice, or you can enjoy your aperitif at a private mansion in the village.

Ship:    S.S. Catherine

Fifth Day Tournon and Tain-I’Hermitage stroll or hike with wine-tasting

Nestled on opposite sides of the river in the heart of the Côtes du Rhône, the twin cities of Tournon and Tain-l’Hermitage are an ideal destination for wine connoisseurs. Experience this famous wine district in one of two ways. Explore Tournon and its historic castle, then cross over the suspension bridge to Tain-l’Hermitage to taste Côtes du Rhône wines. If you prefer to explore the Hermitage vineyards more actively, then take a guided hike through the steepest vineyards on the Rhône, where the world-famous wines are produced. After you’ve seen how the grapes are grown, taste the fruit that has been transformed by the vintners’ craft into legendary wine.

Ship:    S.S. Catherine

Sixth Day cycle or walk through Lyon tour

Situated at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers, and with roots stretching back over 2,000 years to the days of Julius Caesar, Lyon is a place of fascinating dualities. You have your choice of ways to explore this city of contrasts. Foodies will want to delve into France’s capital of gastronomy with a guided tour of Les Halles, Lyon’s world-famous food market, taking in a tantalising array of elaborate food stalls, bars and restaurants. In addition to being known for its culinary heritage, Lyon is also known for its history with silk—at one time, almost a third of the city’s population were silk weavers—so for those who enjoy this dignified fabric, you’ll be delighted to discover its heritage, and you’ll even have a chance to see a Jacquard loom in use. For a more active exploration of the city, pedal through the city designed with bike riders in mind. Cap the day off on an evening tour showcasing the best way to see the city’s architectural heritage, with over 100 sites illuminated.

Ship:    S.S. Catherine

Seventh Day take in the sights of Beaune

Beaune may not be a large town, but it brims with history, a wealth of splendid regional architecture and incredible food. You’ll recognise the Hospices de Beaune immediately by its fabulous multicoloured tile roof—it’s a symbol of Burgundy. Learn about Burgundy’s celebrated wines on an excursion here, where monks have been making and selling wine to support their charitable work since the 15th century. Afterwards, check out the farmers’ market, which spills from street to street in the Old Town. Cheeses, fruits, vegetables, local sausages, breads—all are on colourful display here. Celebrate the evening at the Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner. Note: The open-air food market visit will take place in Arles on the reverse direction cruise (Lyon to Avignon).

Ship:    S.S. Catherine

Eighth Day we bid farewell to Lyon

Disembark the ship and transfer to the Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport for your flight home, or extend your stay with a visit to Paris.

Dining

All meals on-board, 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 on-board, including fine wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, speciality coffee and tea, and mineral water.

Travel Highlights

  • 1 country: France.
  • 4 UNESCO World Heritage sites.
  • Captivating on-board local entertainment.
  • Cultural enrichment, including a Signature Lecture: "Vincent van Gogh's Troubled Destiny".
  • Services of an experienced Cruise Manager.
  • All transfers on arrival and departure days.
  • All gratuities, both on-board and onshore.
  • Exclusive Connoisseur Collection on select summer departures.

The Difference

Impeccable service with a larger on-board staff than any other river cruise line.

Intimate and Beautifully designed ships and carrying an average of just 130 guests.

All gratuities on-board and onshore.

All-scheduled airport transfers.

Elegant and well-appointed river-view staterooms and suites.

In-suite butler service.

All dining on-board and unlimited beverages (including many premium spirits such as Grey Goose, Crown Royal, and Glenfiddich).

A wide choice of personalised excursions led by English-speaking local experts.

A number of exclusive excursions offered only by us.

Well-equipped on-board fitness centre.

On-board exercise and wellness classes (with certified on-board wellness instructors in Europe).

Bicycles and Nordic walking sticks for onshore use.

Ship-wide internet and Wi-Fi access.

On-board entertainment and signature lectures.

Additional Information

Price is a seasonal from price.

All cabins are luxury, but upgrades are available.

Guarantees, Bonds and Awards

  • This tour is run by our outstanding travel partners who are award winners British Travel Awards Best Small Group.
  • All Tours are Guaranteed Departures.
  • Tours are fully bonded, protected and guaranteed and you pay the operator directly when booking.
  • ABTA protected

Best prices, more information and booking

Great Discounts are available – please speak with our expert who can arrange extra unique discounts.

Only £100 per person deposit required (except for last minute bookings).

By booking through us you will receive additional customer service and extra discounts.

Please ask our expert about last minute special offers available throughout the year.

If this is not quite what you are looking for, please mail us we have many great alternatives.

You can call our expert on 0207 620 8963 – UK time 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday (this number is specifically for this or similar multi-day tours of Britain, Europe or World-Wide) or out of those hours please leave a voice-mail for a call back.

Alternatively email us at info@21stcenturytravel.co.uk and request a call back or if you prefer mail, we can send you more details from there.