Day 1 To our overnight hotel in France.
Day 2 On to Lyon where we board our boat before Welcome Cocktail and Welcome Dinner.
Day 3 We join a panoramic excursion of the wine producing region with a visit to the wine museum dedicated to the history and production of Burgundy wines. Afternoon tour of Cluny Abbey — founded in 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.
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 travel to Brancion and Cormatin and visit the small medieval town of Brancion with its intact 12th century church and Cormatin with a moated castle. We re-join the ship in Tournus.
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 acqueduct 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.
Day 7 This morning we ride into the countryside for an Excursion to the Camargue Nature Park which covers 86,000 hectares known for its unique flora and fauna as well as semi-wild bulls and white Camargue horses. Then an afternoon City walk of Arles with its familiar settings such as the arena, the Café Terrace among others, captured by the brilliant Impressionist painter Van Gogh.
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.