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Pont d'Avignon

The Rhône: Paris, Lyon & Provence on Tauck

10-day all-inclusive luxury river cruise from £4,525 pp incl. flights

Special offer: Special fly-cruise fares

Summary

Short description

Pair a luxury stay in Paris and an indulgent Rhône River cruise, with gourmet dining, drinks and touring included throughout

Highlights

  • Take in Avignon’s Papal Palace and Renaissance Lyon
  • Compare Provençal village charm with the region’s medieval grandeur
  • Enjoy included touring, gourmet dining and open bars
  • The culinary education, from vineyard tastings to cooking classes
  • A luxury stay in Paris, complete with pastry workshop

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 | Escorted tour | Food & wine | History & culture | Photography | Rail journey

Sweeping past fields of lavender and riverside villages, this luxury, Rhône River cruise showcases Provence at its postcard best. And, not only will you make stops at the likes of Renaissance Lyon, Roman Arles, medieval Viviers and papal Avignon, there’s also castle-topped towns and vineyard-ringed châteaux. Throughout, you’ll enjoy open bars, gourmet dining and expert-led excursions, ranging from vineyard train rides and farmhouse feasts to cooking classes and wine tastings. It all begins with a luxury stay in Paris, pairing twilight tours and patisserie classes with dinner at a fine-dining Parisian institute. For the value-conscious traveller, this itinerary is also available as a shorter option, starting in Leon.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
UK/Paris

Beginning with complimentary airport lounge access, you’ll fly out to Paris where an included transfer will see you to the InterContinental Le Grand. And this 19th-century gem really does live up to its moniker, having hosted English kings and Russian tsars with its chandelier-lit ballroom and private-balcony views over central Paris. The indulgence continues with a cocktail reception and gourmet dinner at le Fouquet’s on the Champs-Elysées, a Parisian celebrity haunt. You’ll then enjoy an evening tour of the city, as its leafy boulevards, River Seine and historic sights come to life under twinkling lights.

Stay: InterContinental Le Grand (Deluxe)

Meals: D

Day 2
Paris

Today, you’ll be treated to a culinary tour of Paris, tasting your way through the signature flavours that play out across French cuisine. There are colourful macaroons, just-baked breads and entire lectures on chocolate. It all culminates with a pastry class at Le Cordon Bleu where you’ll learn the secrets of classic patisseries. You’ll then have the rest of the day at leisure. Although you might want to take in such icons as the Louvre, Notre Dame and, yes, that tower, be sure to read between the headlines with its hidden art galleries and local restaurants that spill onto sidewalks.

Stay: InterContinental Le Grand (Deluxe)

Meals: B

Day 3
Paris to Lyon

You’ll have further time to explore Paris this morning before boarding the TGV high-speed train to Lyon, watching as the French countryside rushes by. Your scenic rail trip, bookended by included transfers, will then see you board the luxurious MS Emerald. Newly redesigned for 2017, it features a pair of superb dining venues – where you’ll enjoy all-inclusive gourmet menus – along with open bars, a fitness centre and a sun deck that even hosts a Jacuzzi and a putting green. There’s also a range of small, welcome touches, ranging from included evening snacks and complimentary soft drinks in your minibar to an entertainment programme of enrichment lectures, in-room movies and nightly piano recitals.

Stay: MS Emerald (Deluxe)

Meals: B D

Day 4
Lyon to Viviers

Your culinary education continues today with a visit to Les Halles de Lyon, a food-market that’s been a favourite among the city’s celebrated chefs since 1850. Here, your tastings will bring you between cheeses and wines, sausages and just-baked bread, and chocolates and fresh fruit. But, Lyon is also a city of rich history, best showcased on a tour of the Vieux Lyon – its UNESCO-listed old town. After taking in its Renaissance beauty, you’ll also visit the Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-Fourvière, its great spires built atop a Roman forum. You’ll then conclude the day with a wine tasting in Beaujolais before cruising on to Viviers.

Stay: MS Emerald (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 5
Viviers

Put simply, Viviers is one of France’s best-preserved medieval towns. Cloaked in imposing city walls and set right on the banks of the Rhône, its narrow streets and laneways are a glimpse back as far as the 5th century. Your walking tour here includes the beautiful 12th-century cathedral and stunning façade of the Maison des Chevaliers before a game of petanque with the locals. Otherwise, you can join a drive to Grignan for a truffle farm tasting and a walking tour of this charming Provençal village, capped with a spectacular castle. Whichever you choose, when you return to the ship you’ll be treated to a wine tasting presentation and a gala dinner.

Stay: MS Emerald (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 6
Arles

Today you’ll take in the region’s wealth of Roman heritage on a tour of Arles. There’s everything from bathhouses and a triumphal arch to a gladiatorial arena that is still used today for performances. You’ll also know Arles from the work of one Vincent van Gogh, with hundreds of the artist’s paintings inspired by the town’s lilac mountains. Lunch today is also a real treat. You’ll visit a private homestead in La Camargue for an exclusive banquet of farm-grown Provençal delicacies. You’ll even enjoy a musical serenade and the chance to see the gardian cowboys herding their black bulls atop those iconic white horses. Back on board, you’ll sail on to Avignon as you try your hand at creating a chocolate art piece in an onboard demonstration. 

Stay: MS Emerald (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 7
Avignon

Although in its sweeping bridges and church spires Avignon impresses with a beautifully medieval aesthetic, it’s best known as the 14th-century papal seat. And, this unique period of history lives on today in the Palais des Papes, the popes’ great fortressed home that’s brought to life by your guided tour. But, the region’s history dates back much further, exemplified by a visit to the Pont du Gard. This colossal Roman aqueduct straddles the River Gardon in three spectacular tiers.

Stay: MS Emerald (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 8
Roussillon and Châteauneuf-du-Pape

With a visit to Roussillon, you’ll be treated to some of Provence’s most iconic scenery. Lavender blooms in playful purples, cliffs tower in deep ochre and pine forests stand tall in lush greens. You’ll also enjoy a walking tour of the village, its crimson tumble a postcard-perfect insight into the local way of life. And, the popes brought more than palaces to the region – something showcased on a tour of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine region. Thanks to 200 days of sunshine and superb soils, viticulture has thrived here, with its wineries lauded throughout the world. You’ll take it all in on a tasting visit to one of the region’s pretty châteaux. 

Stay: MS Emerald (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 9
Valence and Tain l'Hermitage

Docking in Tain l’Hermitage, you’ll head to Valence, a pretty town where local produce – from truffles to asparagus – is showcased in colourful markets. It’s also home to the culinary school of Anne-Sophie Pic, an award-winning French chef. Here, a cooking demonstration along with a wine and cheese pairing class will introduce you to the region’s rich gastronomic heritage. Back in Tain l’Hermitage you’ll also enjoy a visit to a local chocolate shop along with a narrow-gauge train ride through the historic vineyards. It’s then back to the ship for the final cruise back to Lyon.

Stay: MS Emerald (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 10
Lyon/UK

Arriving into Lyon, an included transfer will see you to the airport for your flight home.

Meals: B

Map

Pricing

Any element of this cruise can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Prices

10-day all-inclusive luxury river cruise on board MS Emerald (Tauck) from £4,525 incl. flights

Departure: 8 July 2018

Outside Cabin (1): £4,525
Outside Cabin (2): £4,685
Balcony Cabin (3): £4,795
Balcony Cabin (4): £5,305
Balcony Cabin (5): £5,725
Balcony Cabin (6): £5,865
Suite (7): £6,205

Special fly-cruise fares

Includes pre-cruise

  • Return flights between the UK and Paris/Lyon with British Airways
  • Transfers in Paris form the airport and to train station
  • Accommodation at InterContinental Paris Le Grand
  • Train travel to Lyon

Includes on board

  • 7 night accommodation
  • Motor coach transportation
  • Port charges
  • Land excursions and admission fees
  • Entertainment
  • Special dinners
  • Beverages (including unlimited soft drinks, regional wine, beer and premium spirits)
  • Sightseeing and all tours
  • Services of the Tauck Directors, the Tauck Cruise Director, hotel and ship staff, and local guides and drivers
  • All customary gratuities for the hotel and ship staff, local guides and drivers, Tauck Directors and Tauck Cruise Director are included

Your cruise employs one Tauck Director for every 40 guests and one Tauck Cruise Director who will remain with the group throughout the tour. Your Tauck Directors are professional, fully trained employees of Tauck.

No single supplement for Cat 1 cabins. Cruise departs from April to October 2018 - prices will vary.

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At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

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