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Avignon Bridge, Provence

No-fly Paris, Lyon and Provence with Tauck

10-day no-fly cruise

Summary

Short description

Discover the arresting scenery, rich history and gastronomic culture of the Rhône with Tauck

Highlights

  • Skip the airport queues and go green with no need to fly
  • Discover the delights of Paris with a luxury city stay
  • Take guided tours at each port, paired with experiences such as wine tasting and cooking demonstrations
  • Explore French towns and cities, including Avignon, Viviers, and Lyon
  • Enjoy all-inclusive dining and drinks onboard

In Brief

  • 2 Nights Paris
  • 1 Night Lyon
  • 2 Nights Viviers
  • 1 Night Arles
  • 1 Night Avignon
  • 1 Night Roussillon
  • 1 Night Tain-l'Hermitage

About

Recommended for:
All-inclusive | History & culture | No-fly | Rail journey

Pair a luxury stay in Paris and an indulgent Rhône River cruise with gourmet dining, drinks and touring. Onboard the MS Emerald, you'll glide past picture-perfect Provencal landscapes, quaint villages and lush vineyards, from medieval Avignon to Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Take part in a cooking demonstration in Valence, see the the gardiens at work in Arles and taste wines in Beaujolais – every experience is carefully curated to immerse you in the Provencale way of life. And, with rail transfers between Paris, Lyon and the UK, there's no need to fly – although the option is available, if you prefer.


Day by day itinerary

Day 1
UK to Paris

Skip the airport in favour of a speedy rail journey from London to Paris, where an included transfer brings you to the spectacular InterContinental Le Grand. A 19th-century grand dame, the hotel once hosted English kings and Russian tsars in its elegant chandelier-lit ballroom. views over central Paris. Enjoy a special cocktail reception and gourmet dinner at le Fouquet’s on the glittering Champs-Elysées, before an evening tour of the city. Watch as its wide boulevards and historic sights, not to mention the River Seine, come to life with twinkling lights – this is the City of Lights after all. Return to your hotel, where you can enjoy more sweeping views of central Paris.

Stay: Intercontinental Le Grand (Deluxe)

Meals: D

Day 2
Paris

Today, an included culinary tour of Paris offers the chance to sample France's signature dishes and flavours with an expert guide. Indulge your sweet tooth with colourful macarons and creamy chocolate, and fill up on freshly baked bread. It all finishes with a pastry class at Le Cordon Bleu, where you'll learn the secrets of the patisserie masters. Then, spend the rest of the day soaking up the sights – whether that's Notre Dame or the Louvre – and you can't miss the Eiffel Tower.

Stay: InterContinental Le Grand (Deluxe)

Meals: B

Day 3
Paris to Lyon

Spend a little more time in Paris this morning before you board the TGV high-speed rail link to Lyon. Watch rural France whip past your window before an included transfer brings you to the luxurious MS Emerald. Redesigned in 2017, the ship boasts two fine dining venues, open bars, a sun deck with an open-air hot tub, and even a putting green. Enjoy included afternoon snacks and soft drinks from your minibar before taking in some evening entertainment – the programme for the cruise includes everything from enrichment lectures to live piano concerts.

Stay: MS Emerald (Deluxe)

Meals: B D

Day 4
Lyon to Viviers

Spend the morning browsing the stalls at Les Halles de Lyon, a food-market – dating back to 1850 – that supplies the city's most accomplished chefs. Sample delicious cheese, sausages, bread, fruit, chocolate, and wine as you wander its halls. Then, a tour of the UNESCO-listed old town, the Vieux Lyon, reveals the city's rich history and renaissance beauty. Stop at the Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-Fourvière to take in its spectacular spires, before concluding the day with a wine tasting in Beaujolais. Rejoin the ship for another gourmet dinner as you cruise on to Viviers.

Stay: MS Emerald (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 5
Viviers

Today you'll arrive in to Viviers, one of France’s best-preserved medieval towns. Surrounded by stone walls and nestled on the banks of the Rhône, it offers a glimpse of the 5th century among its winding streets and alleyways. You'll take a walking tour here, via the 12th-century cathedral and the Maison des Chevaliers, topped off by a game of petanque with the locals. Or, be driven to nearby Grignan, for a walking tour of a true Provençal village and its stunning castle, complete with truffle farm tasting. Back onboard, relax in style with a wine tasting presentation and gala dinner.

Stay: MS Emerald (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 6
Arles

Today, a guided tour of Arles reveals its Roman heritage. As you make your way through the city, you'll see traditional bathhouses, ornate archways and a gladiator arena now used for live performances. For lunch, you'll call in at a private homestead in La Camargue, where a gourmet banquet accompanied by live music awaits. Watch the gardiens – French cowboys riding white horses – herding bulls before making your way back to the ship. As you sail onwards to Avingon, you'll have the chance to make chocolate artwork in an onboard demonstration before dinner.

Stay: MS Emerald (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 7
Avignon

This morning you'll arrive in Avignon – a beautiful medieval city that was once the seat of the Catholic popes. A guided tour of the magnificently fortressed Palais des Papes brings its 14th century history to life, while a visit to the Pont du Gard reveals its Roman roots. Built in the first century AD, its a spectacular three-tiered aqueduct straddling the River Gardon. Back onboard, perhaps relax in the hot tub as the sun sets over the water.

Stay: MS Emerald (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 8
Roussillon and Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Today, you'll arrive into Roussillon, where bright florals, lush pine forests and towering cliffs offer some of Provence's most arresting scenery. A walking tour of the village gives a a unique insight into the local way of life. Then, a tour of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine region showcases its thriving viticulture – thanks to 200 days of sunshine a year. Visit a picture-perfect chateaux and enjoy tasting some world-class wines, before returning to the ship. This evening, venture into one of the public areas for some evening entertainment – perhaps some live piano music and a couple of sundowners.

Stay: MS Emerald (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 9
Valence and Tain l'Hermitage

Today the MS Emerald will dock in Tain l’Hermitage, from where you'll head straight to Valence. You'll visit colourful markets, where everything from asparagus to truffles are on offer, before taking part in a cooking demonstration and a wine and cheese pairing class. Once you've immersed yourself in the city's gastronomic heritage, you'll return to Tain l’Hermitage, where a visit to a local chocolate shop and a narrow-gauge train ride through the vineyards finish off the day. Return to the ship for a final night onboard, making the most of the fine dining restaurants and bars before retiring to your stateroom.

Stay: MS Emerald (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 10
Lyon to the UK

Today you'll arrive into Lyon, where an included transfer will see you to the station for your return rail connection back to the UK – avoiding the hassle of the airport.

Map

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