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River Saone and Rhone Cruise Itineraries

 

Portraits of Southern France

Chalon-sur-Saône to Avignon (This itinerary is also available in the reverse direction. Port sequence, places visited and times may vary or be different to those shown above.)

 

2012 Itinerary

Day 1-Chalon-sur-Saône

Fly to Lyon. Transfer from the airport to your ship docked in Chalon-sur-Saône.* After boarding, take free time to explore this quaint town—or join our “welcome walk” to stretch your legs and start getting oriented. (D)

Day 2-Beaune & Burgundy Wine Tour

After breakfast, take a scenic drive along France’s Burgundy wine route through Pommard, Volnay and Meursault. Arrive in Beaune, wine capital of Burgundy, for a guided tour of beautiful Hôtel Dieu, founded as a hospice in 1443. Learn about local viticulture and enjoy a wine-tasting at one of Beaune’s famous cellars. Return to your ship for lunch. Enjoy the rest of your day at leisure—as always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. Or, take an optional excursion to the picturesque Burgundy towns of Tournus and Mâcon. Return aboard for dinner and evening departure. (B, L, D)

Day 3-Lyon

After a morning cruise through the picturesque countryside and lunch aboard, take an afternoon tour of Lyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begin with a drive to the top of Fourvière Hill for amazing views of the city. Visit the Basilica of Notre Dame and drive through town past the magnificent St. Jean Cathedral and the Palace of Justice. Then take a walking tour through the cobbled streets of Vieux Lyon (Old Town), with free time to shop for souvenirs or sample some of the fine French cuisine for which Lyon is world-famous. Dinner served aboard. (B, L, D)

Day 4-Lyon & Vienne

The morning is free to further explore this remarkable 2,000-year-old city in the heart of France. Depart just before lunchtime. This afternoon, take a walking tour of Vienne, a beautiful town with an ancient Roman past. Visit the Temple of Augustus & Livia, the Roman amphitheater and the Gothic Cathedral of St. Maurice; then spend some time discovering more of this charming riverside town on your own. Dine aboard and depart this evening. (B, L, D)

Day 5-Tournon & Viviers

Awaken in Tournon. During a guided tour of the area, learn about the region’s winemaking traditions and taste some famous regional red wines. Then visit the Musée de Tain l’Hermitage located in the oldest house in the region. Lunch aboard and cruise through the afternoon; arrive after dinner in Viviers, a quaint town in a mountainous setting. Join your Program Director for an evening stroll through the Old Town with its medieval and Renaissance buildings. Enjoy free time before retiring for the evening. (B, L, D)

Day 6-Arles

Arrive during breakfast and meet your guide for a walking tour of Arles with its diverse architectural highlights. Experience the city’s vibrant colors and the striking quality of light that have inspired artists. Arles is also the site of some impressive Roman ruins, including Les Arènes, an arena that seats 20,000 and is still in use, as well as Romanesque monuments such as the Church of Saint-Trôphime, completed in the 15th century. Return aboard for lunch followed by afternoon free time to explore or shop for handcrafted gifts. Dinner is served as you depart. (B, L, D)

Day 7-Avignon

This morning, set out on a guided walk of Avignon, nicknamed “City of Popes” because it was home to seven popes from 1309 to 1377. Stroll through the historic center, stop at the picturesque Pont d’Avignon and walk the Place de l’Horloge. Continue to the renowned Palace of the Popes for a guided tour through this rambling maze of Gothic architecture which served as papal residence, fortress, church and palace. You can join the optional tour to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, visiting the vineyards and tasting the famous wine. Lunch and dinner served aboard. Your ship remains docked overnight. (B, L, D)

Day 8-Avignon

After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the Marseille airport for your return flight.* Or, enjoy more of France with 2 nights in Marseille and a visit to Aix-en-Provence. (B)

The following meals are included:
B = Breakfast; L = Lunch; D = Dinner

Please note that sailing times and itineraries are subject to change but the content will not be sacrificed in any way.

 

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