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    French Riviera & Rhône Cruise FIR21

    Resort:French Riviera & Rhône Cruise FIR21
    Operator: Great Rail Journeys
    Destination: Europe, France
    Price From: £2895.00

    Overview

    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.

    Highlights

    • Nice
    • The Ardche Gorge
    • Monaco
    • MS Amadeus Provence
    • Beaune
    • Lyon
    • Journey on the Train de L’Ardche
    • Avignon
    • The Camargue Delta
    • Pont du Gard

    whats Included

    • Standard Class Rail
    • 4* Hotel Accommodation
    • 3 nights’ hotel accommodation at the 4-star Hotel Aston la Scala in Nice
    • 7-night cruise on board the MS Amadeus Provence
    • All rail and coach travel throughout your tour
    • 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 our dedicated Departure Office in St Pancras
    • Escorted throughout your cruise by an on board Tour Manager and Cruise Director

    Itinerary

    Day 1 To France

    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.

    Day 2 Exploring Nice

    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.

    Day 3 Monaco

    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.

    Day 4 – To our ship

    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.

    Day 5 – Beaune and wine tasting

    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.

    Day 6 – Lyon on a guided tour

    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 Rhne and the Sane 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 Rhne. 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 chteaux and stately homes.

    Day 7 – Train de l’Ardche

    Early this morning, we travel by coach to Tournon sur Rhne’s
    railway station to board the Train de l’Ardche. 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.

    Day 8 – Exploring 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.

    Day 9 – The Camargue Delta or the Pont du Gard

    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 Rhne 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 Rhne.

    Days 10-11 – The Ardche Gorge and home

    Today we pay a visit to the stunning Ardche 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. On Day
    11
    , passengers either board their flight home or travel by
    rail to Paris. On arrival in the French capital, we board the
    Eurostar service back to London.