French Riviera & Rhone Cruise 2021 Great Rail Journeys

Discover the enchanting allure of Nice and the French Riviera on this dazzling tour, before continuing to Lyon for an exquisite 7-night cruise on board the MS Amadeus Provence.

Great Rail Journeys
Ardeche Gorge

Itinerary

We meet at our London St Pancras departure office before boarding the Eurostar to Paris. From here, we continue by rail to Nice and check into our hotel close to the beautiful Riviera seafront. After dinner, you may wish to head out into for a stroll along the promenade, set against the ocean.

Our French Riviera experience begins with a guided tour of Nice, France's glittering jewel on the southern coast of the country. This magnificent city has always been a choice destination for travellers of repute and distinction, as it sits overlooking the Mediterranean coastline. We walk through the enchanting streets, seeing the famously affluent mansions of Mont Boron, the historical Old Town, and the chequered floor of the Place d'Opera. We also discover the history of the city, from the days of Greek settlers who founded Nice, to the modern day. If you would rather spend your time independently however, perhaps head to the beach and soak in the views and sun.

Today we pay a visit to the glamorous city-state of Monaco, famous as a retreat for the rich and famous. Taking a coach, we begin our day in the luxurious district of Monte Carlo, where we stop at the entrance of the iconic casino to admire its palm tree-lined fountains. From here we embark on a guided tour, seeing the fantastic flowers of the Jardin Exotique, the grand windows of the Place de l'Opera, and the beautiful Old Town. On our return to Nice, we pay a visit the elegant Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, seaside home of the Rothschild banking family.

After a free morning to relax on the beach perhaps, we board our train to Lyon, bidding farewell to the south of France. Arriving into this colourful old town, we board your luxurious ship, the excellent MS Amadeus Provence. We have time to settle into our cabins before we enjoy a welcome cocktail, which you might like to enjoy on the sun deck as we admire Lyon's colourful townhouses and lively streets. Later, we sit down to a splendid 5-course meal before setting sail for Beaune.

We arrive into Beaune this morning. Deep in the heart of the wine region of Burgundy, Beaune is a classic French medieval town with impressive town walls, terracotta roofs and fascinating historical buildings. We embark on a sightseeing tour, discovering the sights as we wander the enchanting streets. We enjoy a tasting of some delectable wines which make this town, and the Burgundy region so famous. Back on board later, we enjoy a leisurely afternoon cruising back to Lyon.

Arriving in Lyon this morning, we disembark for a guided tour. One of France's iconic cities, Lyon sits on the meeting point of the Rh\xF4ne and the Saone rivers. The beautiful pinks, oranges, reds and whites of the buildings populating Lyon's riverfront give some indication of the city's elegance. Our tour takes us along the streets and over the bridges to explore some of the fantastic highlights and the extensive history here. The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and many of the small shops and traditional businesses lend a truly French fl air to our surroundings.
After returning to the ship for lunch, we enjoy an afternoon at leisure as we cruise to Tournon sur Rhone. This is one of the most scenic and panoramic sections of the river, and it's well worth taking the time to admire the scenery from the spacious sun deck. Rolling hills, dotted with verdant vineyards rise and fall away under the gaze of various chateaux and stately homes.

Early this morning, we travel by coach to Tournon sur Rhone's railway station to board the Train de l'Ardeche. Offering a memorable journey through the stunning environs of the spectacular Gorges du Doux region, this railway winds up the various foothills and valleys which populate the landscape. Several stone bridges criss-cross the brooks and rivers which snake under the trees, and our charming little locomotive takes us to sections of the gorges which no other form of transport can access. Later, our ship continues its course to the 'White City' of Avignon.

In Avignon today, we head out on a guided tour of this city famous for being seat of the Pope for a brief period in the 14th century. Its striking white papal palaces and majestic cathedral are just some of the highlights we see walking through the boulevards and squares of Avignon's historic centre, which earned UNESCO World Heritage status in 1995. Afterwards we enter the Pope's Palace, admiring its spectacular interiors and the range of holy and religious artefacts collected here. You are then free until early evening to discover the city at your own pace. After dinner tonight, our ship sets sail for Arles.

We begin the day with a guided tour of pretty Arles, whose enchanting streets provided the inspiration for many of Vincent Van Gogh's most famous paintings. In the afternoon, you have the choice of 2 excursions. Your first option is a visit to the beautiful Camargue Delta, where the Rhone opens out into the Mediterranean. This is a true treat for nature lovers, as the wetlands and park area are home to nearly 400 species of bird species, including an instantly- recognisable flock of pink flamingos. Also of note are the wild horses which roam freely, including a breed which can only be found in this part of the world - the famous Camarguais. Your second option takes you to the iconic arches of the Pont du Gard, an ancient Roman aqueduct of astonishing size which spans the Gardon river. Another UNESCO World Heritage site, the Pont du Gard is a sight to behold, measuring at least 160 feet, a real feat of engineering considering its age. Later, we return to the ship which sets sail for Chateauneuf du Rhone.

Today we pay a visit to the stunning Ardeche Gorge, widely regarded as the Grand Canyon of Europe. Nearly 19 miles in length and made up of snaking rivers and gorges, this natural monum the natural world. Sheer cliff faces rise over waterways of striking ent is a striking reminder of the enormity of emerald and forests of deep green. Our tour takes us to some of the most impressive sights here, including the Pont d'Arc. Afterwards, we rejoin the ship at Le Pouzin, beginning our return sailing to Lyon. We sit down to the captain's gala dinner this evening.

Either board your flight home or travel by rail to Paris. On arrival in the French capital, board the Eurostar service back to London.

Price Guide

Date Standard Class (pp) First Class (pp)
19 April 2021 £1,895 £2,095
21 June 2021 £2,795 £2,995
23 August 2021 £2,695 £2,895

What's Included

  • Savings of up to £100pp - book by 31st October 2020
  • First and Standard Class rail options available
  • 3 nights' hotel accommodation at the 4-star Hotel Aston la Scala in Nice
  • 7-night cruise on board the MS Amadeus Provence
  • The services of a professional UK Tour Manager from London St Pancras to embarkation, and from disembarkation back to London St Pancras.
  • Exclusive meeting point at their dedicated Departure Office in St Pancras
  • Escorted throughout your cruise by an on board Tour Manager and Cruise Director
  • 25 meals, including 10 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 9 dinners
  • Dinner drinks included every night of your cruise