Day 1 To our overnight hotel in France.
Day 2 On to Lyon where we board our boat before a Welcome Cocktail and Welcome Dinner and we leave at 2200.
Day 3 We arrive into Macon and have a tour of Europe’s First Wine Theme Park. Afternoon tour of Cluny Abbey — dating back to 910 the Abbey of Cluny was founded by Benedictine monks. At the height of its influence in the 12th century, Cluny was at the head of a monastic ‘empire’ of 10,000 monks. We rejoin our boat for the overnight journey to Chalon-Sur-Saone.
Day 4 This morning’s excursion leads us through famous vineyards such as Pommard and Puligny to the small town of Beaune. In the afternoon we visit the small medieval town of Brancion with its intact 12th century church and Cormatin with a moated castle. We rejoin the ship in Tournus and set sail for Lyon.
Day 5 Morning City Tour of Lyon. The third-largest city in France, situated at the confluence of the Rhone and the Saone, covers the many sights of the city including the Basilica, the Roman theatre and the ‘Vieux Lyon’ or Old Quarter. The afternoon is spent cruising the Rhone.
Day 6 The City Walk of Avignon including Papal Palace delves into the rich religious history of Avignon, once the seat of Western Christianity during the 14th century. The Papal Palace is one of the largest and most important medieval Gothic buildings in Europe. In the afternoon to The Pont du Gard, one of the architectural masterpieces of the ancient world — a three-level aqueduct constructed over 2000 years ago to transport water to Nimes and other Roman provinces. Briefly we visit the ancient town of Uzes before returning to the ship. We set sail in the early evening for Arles.
Day 7 We have a morning city walk of Arles with its familiar settings such as the arena and the Café Terrace among others which have been captured by the brilliant Impressionist painter Van Gogh. Later we ride into the countryside for an Excursion to the Camargue Nature Park which covers 86,000 hectares and is known for its unique flora and fauna as well as semi-wild bulls and white Camargue horses. We depart in the evening for Chateauneuf-du-Rhone.
Day 8 Morning sightseeing to the “Grand Canyon of Europe” and then to the Ardeche Gorge which plunges down 984 feet. Re-join vessel in Le Pouzin for afternoon cruising. This evening enjoy the Captain’s Gala Dinner.
Day 9 Disembarkation after breakfast in Lyon and we return to our overnight hotel.
Day 10 We return to the UK.