Discover the beauty of Southern France and delights of Portugal on this 15 day cruise from Nice to Porto. Cruise along the Rhône, Saône & Douro rivers.
Itinerary also travels in reverse.
Nice - Arles
You will be met at the airport and transferred to Arles, where your friendly captain and crew will be waiting for you to board your luxurious Emerald Waterways Star-Ship. This evening, enjoy a welcome reception on board.
Revel in the glory of the Roman Empire today during an insightful visit to Arles, including the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Roman and Romanesque monuments of Arles and Arles Amphitheatre, a 2,000-year-old structure where spectators would have once gathered by the masses to watch superb chariot races.
Enjoy learning about the time that Vincent van Gogh spent in the city, taking inspiration from his surroundings and using them to create many of his most iconic pieces of art, including the “Starry Night Over the Rhône”, before exploring Arles at leisure.
A Provençal dinner hosted by Chef Fabien Morreale
A guided tour of Arles with arena visit
A Camargue excursion
Avignon has a long and storied history, as this fortified town was once the residence of Popes who fled from Rome, hoping to escape from the political pressures of the Roman Empire.
Embark on a guided walking tour of Avignon to witness its illustrious past, including the ornate Gothic exterior of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Palais des Papes, built by the Popes over two decades. This afternoon is yours to explore at leisure, perhaps crossing the 12th-century Stone Bridge.
A guided tour of Avignon
A canoeing excursion in Avignon
A guided tour to Pont du Gard (extra expense)
A classical concert in Avignon (extra expense)
A snapshot of quintessential France awaits your arrival in Viviers, a town that perfectly encapsulates the medieval days of the region. Pastel coloured buildings that have been gently faded by the sun line narrow cobblestone streets, and the heart of the old town is yours to explore today during a guided walking tour.
A guided tour of Viviers
Fishing class (extra expense)
Hike in Viviers
As we sail down the gently twisting Rhône and into Tournon, a 16th-century castle sits overlooking the village and a pair of ancient watchtowers can be seen adorning the surrounding rural landscape.
Today, embark on a guided tour of Tournon to learn about its illustrious history and the culture of the people who call it home. If you would like to explore more of the region’s natural beauty, then you may instead choose to embark on an EmeraldACTIVE hike through some of the local vineyards.
Later, a guided bike tour to Glun will touch on the French countryside and the lives of the people who live there.
A regional wine tasting on board
A guided bike tour to Glun
A guided hike through the vineyards
A guided tour of Tournon
As one of the largest cities in France and a former Roman capital, a lot of the most important moments in French history have taken place in Lyon. But, it’s Lyonnaise cuisine that has really put this city on the map, delighting gastronomists from around the world.
Join your local guide for a walking tour of Lyon, including the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière. If you are feeling more active, then you may instead choose to embark on a guided bike tour around Lyon, touching on its most prominent architectural wonders and moments from history.
A guided bike tour of Lyon
A guided tour of Lyon
Visit to Pérouges (extra expense)
Chalon-sur-Saône – Beaune
The birthplace of photography and the centre of Burgundy’s wine region is yours to discover today as you travel by road to the quaint village of Beaune. Stop to visit the Hospices de Beaune, one of the best-preserved examples of 15th-century French architecture and home to one of the most popular wine auctions in the country.
A cheese and olive tasting on board
Visit to the Hospices de Beaune
Lyon - Porto
After breakfast, you will be transferred from where your Star-Ship is docked in Lyon to Porto, where the second half of your river cruising adventure awaits.
Porto – Pinhão
Relax on board today and enjoy a full day of sailing through the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Douro Valley. This fascinating area was inscribed because it hones in on two millennia of wine producing history, where viticulture has shaped the surrounding landscape and small, sleepy villages are peppered with dozens of sun-drenched vineyards.
Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner and cocktail reception.
A Portuguese cooking demonstration on board
Pinhão – Vega de Terrón
Begin your day with a visit to the beautiful Quinta do Tedo vineyard in the heart of Portugal’s Douro Valley, nestled on the confluence of the Douro and Tedo rivers. This 18th-century estate is environmentally sound, creating organic produce by using traditional viticulture methods.
Alternatively, enjoy a guided walk through local vineyards, stopping along the way to admire your surroundings.
This afternoon, enjoy sailing to Vega de Terrón, perhaps relaxing on the Sun Deck.
A guided walk through the vineyards
A visit to Quinta do Tedo with tasting
Vega de Terrón – Salamanca
Founded in Roman times, the ancient city of Salamanca and its UNESCO World Heritage-listed old quarter have an illustrious past, having been held by the Carthaginians, Romans and Moors.
Travel to the beautiful golden city for a walking tour, starting among the postcard-worthy galleries and arcades that adorn Plaza Mayor. You will have the opportunity to see Casa de las Conchas, a building that has been lovingly decorated with more than 300 shells.
Enjoy local entertainment from a tuna music band
A guided tour of Salamanca
Pocinho – Régua
This morning, arrive in Pocinho where you’ll have the opportunity to embark on a canoeing excursion or to visit the Côa Valley Museum. Later, return to your ship for lunch and soak up your idyllic surrounds as you sail towards Régua while taking part into a Port Wine cocktail lesson on board. A rural dinner at a wine estate is certain to be a highlight of your trip.
A Port Wine cocktail lesson on board
A rural dinner with entertainment at Quinta da Pacheca
A canoeing excursion
A visit to the Côa Valley Museum
Archaeological Tour 4x4 at Coa Museum (extra expense)
Today, on an included excursion, you will visit the marvellous Baroque village of Lamego, stopping to see the picturesque Shrine of Our Lady of Remedies, a structure that stands gracefully over the town.
A mosaic tile painting lesson on board
Walk down the steps of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies
A guided tour of Lamego
A visit to Mateus Manor House (extra expense)
Located at the mouth of the Douro River, Porto is a fascinating eclectic mix of modern and ancient architecture. Famous for its exports of Port wines, it’s easy to imagine how British merchant ships would have once clustered together in the medieval harbour, waiting to take Port wines across the water.
Your included tour of the coastal city will touch on the fortified structures of Castelo da Foz and Castelo do Queijo, a building whose pentagonal façades overlook the ocean. This evening, enjoy a charming evening cruise shining a different light on Portos skyline.
A guided active walk in Porto
A guided tour of Porto
Visit to Quinta do Aveleda with Vinho Verde tasting (extra expense)
Taylor’s Port wine tasting (extra expense)
Evening cruise through Porto
After breakfast, it’s time to say farewell to your fellow guests, taking memories of sun-drenched vineyards with you.
This itinerary is a guide only and may be amended for operational reasons such as high and low water. As such, the cruise may operate altered from that stated above.