Join us on a cruise specifically designed for wine lovers! The Saône awaits you with its many wonders such as the prestigious Burgundy city of Beaune, the impressive ruins of the Cluny Abbey and, of course, the Beaujolais Route. Well spend an exceptional evening in Beaujeu to greet the annual release of Beaujolais Nouveau, an experience not to be missed!
Passengers are welcome to board at 6:00 p.m. After comfortably settling into your cabins, we'll introduce our crew at a welcome cocktail. We'll then enjoy dinner on board this evening as we begin to cruise towards Chalon-Sur-Saône. Our ship will cruise through the night.
We'll spend the morning on the Saône River. The afternoon will be spent touring the lovely Burgundy city of Beaune. Beaune is one of the key wine centers in France, and the annual wine auction of the Hospices de Beaune is the primary wine auction in the country. Recognized by its colorful, geometric-patterned tile roof, the 15th-century hospital is now the Hôtel-Dieu Museum, showcasing masterpieces like the polyptych altarpiece by Rogier van der Weyden known as "The Last Judgement." We'll visit the Hospices and enjoy a tasting of wines*.
After our tour, we'll return to the ship and enjoy an evening of entertainment. While you sleep, our ship will begin to cruise to Mâcon.
Our ship will arrive in Mâcon early in the morning. After breakfast, we'll leave on an excursion to the partial ruins of the Cluny Abbey. This former Benedictine monastery was built in the Romanesque style and was the world's largest church until the St. Peter's Basilica construction began in Rome. Founded by William I, Duke of Aquitaine, in 910 AD, the monastery was sacked and mostly destroyed during the French Revolution. Later, it was sold and used as a quarry. Today, just one of the original eight towers remains.
In the afternoon, we'll leave on a guided tour of the Beaujolais Wine Route, passing by the prestigious Pouilly-Fuissé vineyards and the Roche de Solutré until we reach the Hameau DuBoeuf. This unique theme park incorporates the culture, history, science and passion involved in French winemaking.
After our tour, we'll return to the ship for our gala dinner and evening. We'll remain in port overnight.
MÂCON - BELLEVILLE
We'll spend the morning cruising the Saône River.
After we arrive in Belleville, we'll set out on an excursion to Beaujeu, the medieval capital of the Beaujolais. Wine lovers will be able to discover the 12 appellations of Beaujolais while listening to great music and admiring the fantastic scenery and quaint architecture of the tiny city. Put your senses to work and take part in the wine tasting competition*! Later on, we'll enjoy a lovely soirée in the center of town including cabaret entertainment and fantastic food concocted by one of the best chefs in the region. At midnight, we'll set off on a torch-lit stroll to welcome Beaujolais Nouveau Day and watch a fireworks show. Following our festive evening, we'll return to the ship. We'll remain in port overnight.
BELLEVILLE - LYON
We'll begin to cruise for Lyon early in the morning. Enjoy breakfast on board before disembarking at 9:00 a.m. End of our services.