Welcome to Lyon. You will be met at the airport and transferred to the ship where you will be welcomed by your Captain and crew. Tonight enjoy a welcome reception and dinner on board.
Lyon is France’s third largest city, a former Roman capital positioned at the conference of the Rhone and Saone rivers, which is steeped in history. Today be part of the guided tour of Lyon, which starts with a drive to the Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere, Lyon’s hilltop church, with stunning views over the town. Then pass by the recently re–discovered Roman amphitheatre and walk through the cobbled streets of the gastronomic old town including the secret laneways. This evening sail north through the beautiful Beaujolais region. Discover More: Visit to Perouges (extra expense)
Chalon-Sur-Saone – Beaune
Chalon–Sur–Saone is best known as the birthplace of photography and the center of Burgundy’s wine region. Travel by road to the quaint village of Beaune, where we visit the Hospices de Beaune, one of the finest examples of French fifteenth–century architecture. Marvel at the multi–colored roofs of this former hospital, now a museum, which has become one of the symbols of Burgundy. Return to the ship for lunch, and then depart this afternoon for Macon arriving in the evening. EmeraldPLUS: Cheese and olive tasting on board EmeraldACTIVE: Guided bike tour from Tournus to Macon while ship sails. This tour is only possible on the Lyon to Arles cruise.
Arrive in Macon, another important wine region and gateway to the Beaujolais vineyards. Your walking tour includes the sights of the General Hospital buildings, half–timbered houses and the Soufflot Chapel. Macon is a great destination to try some local wines at the many tasting displays in the town. Enjoy time at leisure in the afternoon. Discover More: Visit to Benedictine Abbey of Cluny (extra expense)
Join your local guide for a walking tour of Tournon, which is dominated by the 16th century castle and roman ruins, and is nestled in the valley near the steep slopes of le Massif Central, France's 3rd largest mountain range. The area has a long tradition in wine making, including the renowned wine growing centre of Tain l'Hermitage across the river. EmeraldACTIVE: Guided bike tour to Glun OR guided hike through vineyards EmeraldPLUS: Regional wine taste on board
Avignon has a rich history from Celtic beginnings to being the residence of the Popes and later central to the French Revolution. Although a fortified town, it is the Papal Palace which stands more secure on a hill in the centre of town; its walls are 17–18 feet thick. Your walk with a local guide takes you through this historic centre with its cobbled laneways and shops, overlooking the famous 'Pont d’Avignon'. The rest of the day is at leisure. EmeraldACTIVE: Yoga Lesson on Board EmeraldPLUS: Provencal dinner on board hosted by a popular local chef Discover More: Excursion to Pont du Gard (extra expense) Due to uneven surfaces, this excursion is best enjoyed by those with an Active Fitness Level
Sail into the Camargue wilderness region to the capital of Provence, Arles where you will join your local guide for a walking tour showcasing the highlights of the city in particular the exterior of the 2000 year old Roman Amphitheatre still in use today, which was originally built to hold 20,000 spectators in the style of the Colosseum in Rome. The rest of the day is at leisure to relax on board and explore Arles further. Discover More: Excursion to Les Baux de Provence (extra expense)
Arles Disembarkation - Marseille
After breakfast disembark your river cruise ship in Arles, transfer to Marseille Airport for your onward or homebound flight. If flying out of Marseille, please book your flights to depart between 11am and 4pm.