Discover France's famous Burgundy wine growing regions
Caption: Discover France's famous Burgundy wine growing regions
Caption: Lyon, at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône
Caption: The imposing Pont du Gard Viaduct, built by the Romans
Caption: Palais des Papes, Avignon
Caption: Beaune, at the heart of the Burgundy wine growing region
Caption: Cluny Abbey, once home to some 10,000 monks!
Caption: Arles' Roman amphitheatre, still used for performances today
Caption: The wild Camargue horse, an ancient breed of horse indigenous to the Camargue wetland area in southern France
Caption: The famous Camargue flamingos

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Journey Snapshot

Activity level: Level 2 Requires moderate physical activity. You need to be able to participate in physical activities such as longer walking tours, walking over uneven terrain, climbing steps and be comfortable with some periods of standing. Not suitable if you have limited mobility or require a wheelchair/mobility scooter.
Destination: Treasures of Burgundy & Provence
- Cruise along the Rhône & Saône Rivers
Duration: 8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS
Flight information: Arrive at Lyon Airport [LYS] on Day 1 and from Lyon Airport [LYS] on Day 8
Pickup location: Lyon River Cruise Port


Choose your own departure date for your group

Enjoy this uniquely beautiful cruise through Burgundy and Provence along the iconic French Rivers Rhône and Saône.

Experience picturesque villages, world famous wine regions, unforgettable stretches of land in the regions of Provence and Burgundy, and impressive views of historic cities and monuments as you sail along two of France's most famous rivers, the Rhône and Saône. Food, wine, art, architecture, scenery and history - it all comes together in glorious harmony in the South of France.

Travelling in comfort and style the Roman emperors would have envied, you'll find yourself falling under the timeless spell of southern France on this river cruise on a journey that is nothing less than "magnifique"!


Itinerary summary: DAY 1 - Embark in Lyon
DAY 2 - Mâcon, Beaujolais and Cluny Abbey
DAY 3 - Burgundy Wine Region - Chalon & Beaune
DAY 4 - Discovering Lyon and to the South
DAY 5 - Historic Avignon
DAY 6 - Artistic Arles & the Camargue
DAY 7 - Chateauneuf-du-Rhone – Le Pouzin
DAY 8 - Disembark Lyon
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Full Itinerary

DAY 1 - Embark in Lyon

After arriving in Lyon, embark your ship in the afternoon and make yourself comfortable in your cabin and explore your home for the coming week.

In the evening, a Welcome Cocktail awaits you aboard, followed by a delicious Welcome Dinner.

Included meals: Dinner 
Accommodation: M/S Amadeus Provence 

DAY 2 - Mâcon, Beaujolais and Cluny Abbey

In the morning, your ship arrives in Mâcon, in southern Burgundy. The town and the Burgundy region are famous as the home of some of the finest and most expensive wines in the world.

You can enjoy a morning tour through peaceful vineyards and be enchanted by the Mediterranean charm of the Beaujolais and Mâconnais wine regions. A highlight of this excursion is a visit to the Hameau Dubœuf Wine Museum, where you will gain a fascinating insight into the history and production of the famous Burgundy wines. You conclude the tour with a wine tasting before returning to your ship for lunch.

In the afternoon, there is an excursion to Cluny Abbey, which was founded in 910AD and was once home to over 10,000 monks at its height!

This evening, enjoy a sumptuous dinner on board as you sail for Chalon-sur-Saône

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 
Accommodation: M/S Amadeus Provence 

DAY 3 - Burgundy Wine Region - Chalon & Beaune

Today you continue exploring the Burgundy wine region in Chalon-sur-Saône. Here you will find half-timbered houses overlooking a square teeming with art galleries and specialty shops. Enjoy a scenic drive through the Burgundy wine route on the morning tour, with your bus stopping in Beaune, the wine capital of Burgundy. Here,  see the beautiful Hôtel-Dieu to enjoy a wine tasting at one of Beaune’s famous cellars before returning to your ship for lunch.

This afternoon, you have the choice to unwind and admire the scenery as the ship continues along the Saône or alternatively, join the afternoon excursion. Visit the medieval towns of Brançion and Cormatin. Among other things on the excursion, you will be able to admire the Château de Cormatin which undoubtedly houses one of the most lavish castle interiors in Burgundy. You return to your ship in the late afternoon in Tournus. 

Enjoy dinner as we head back downstream to Lyon overnight.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 
Accommodation: M/S Amadeus Provence 

DAY 4 - Discovering Lyon and to the South

Today we return to Lyon, France's second city. Known for its architectural beauty and also its gastronomic excellence, Lyon has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is located at the confluence of the two mighty rivers Rhône and Saône, the oldest part of the town in a small narrow stretch of land in the centre. 

Its most famous landmarks include the hilltop Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourviêre and the charming Renaissance Vieux-Lyon old town area along the banks of the Saône.

This morning, you can explore these unmissable sights on a guided tour, or at your own pace. Alternativley, discover Lyon's gastronomic side on a visit to Lyon's gourmet market hall by Paul Bocuse. Y

At midday, the cruise ship leaves Lyon and glides past picturesque countryside vistas, heading south towards the Mediterranean.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 
Accommodation: M/S Amadeus Provence 

DAY 5 - Historic Avignon

After breakfast, you can spend the day exploring the Provencal city of Avignon and discover its momentous history. In the morning, you can join a guided walking tour of Avignon, the seat of Catholic Popes from 1309 to 1377 and admire the Papal Palace, one of the world’s most fascinating examples of Gothic architecture. Another must-see is the Pont d’Avignon, a ruined 12th- century bridge that once spanned the Rhône and immortalized in the famous song.

After lunch onboard, if you wish to see more of this unique historic area, why not join the afternoon excursion to the Pont du Gard. A Roman aqueduct built in the first century AD, it is a masterpiece of engineering! On the excursion you will also visit the town of Uzes with its many medieval towers.

In the evening, enjoy a well deserved rest and a delicious dinner while your cruise ship remains in Avignon overnight.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 
Accommodation: M/S Amadeus Provence 

DAY 6 - Artistic Arles & the Camargue

Your ship leaves Avignon early in the morning, making its way south to Arles.

After breakfast, follow in the footsteps of the past in Arles, either on your own or on our guided city tour with a visit to the historic Roman arena. Alternatively, there is an excursion to Tarascon, which lies exactly between Avignon and Arles and nestles picturesquely on the left bank of the Rhône - and has done so for around 2,000 years

After lunch, you can discover more of Arles' artistic side. The Provençal town once captured the imagination of the brilliant impressionist painter, Vincent van Gogh, amongst others. You can learn more about the rich history of Arles during the optional morning tour and take a break at the café that served as the model for one of van Gogh’s famous works, ‘Café Terrace at Night’. You may feel that walking through the town might induce a sense of déjà-vu since many of the settings may be familiar from some of van Gogh’s best-known pieces.

The alternative afternoon excursion is to the tranquility of nature of the Camargue Nature Park. Home to the renowned Camargue bulls and white Camargue horses, the unique wetland area is a sight to discover. You will also pay a visit to the historic coastal village of Saintes Maries de la Mer before returning to the ship.

In the evening, whilst at dinner your ship will continue on its way to Châteauneuf-du-Rhône where the boat will overnight.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 
Accommodation: Amadeus Provence 

DAY 7 - Chateauneuf-du-Rhone – Le Pouzin

Today, you can choose to spend a tranquil day on board or disembark for a final excursion to the Ardèche Gorge. Another natural wonder of this area of southern France, the ‘Grand Canyon of Europe’ offeres spectacular limestone cliffs towering over the meandering river below before re-joining the ship in time for lunch in the charming small town of Le Pouzin.

In the afternoon, your ship will make its way back upstream along the beautiful waterways of Provence towards Lyon.

In the evening, celebrate your unforgettable cruise experience at the Captain’s Gala Dinner.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 
Accommodation: M/S Amadeus Provence 

DAY 8 - Disembark Lyon

This morning after breakfast in Lyon, it is time to say goodbye to the lovely Amadeus Provence for your trip home or on to other adventures in France and beyond!

Included meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: None 


More information

What's includedWhat's not includedImportant information

What's included

  • 8 Day round river cruise from Lyon on board MS AmadeusProvence in a large, outside river-view stateroom
  • French balconies or walk-out balcony rooms available at a supplement - please contact us for details
  • Red & white wines from Europe’s famous wine regions, beer & soft drinks with every lunch and dinner onboard
  • Gourmet dining onboard from Dinner on Day 1 to Breakfast on Day 7
  • Cocktail Reception, Welcome Dinner and Captain’s Gala Dinner
  • 24 hour coffee station
  • Services of an experienced English-speaking onboard Cruise Director
  • All onboard entertainment including talks, cooking demonstrations, musical performances and nightly piano music
  • Bottled water in every stateroom
  • In-stateroom infotainment center
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi onboard
  • Complimentary use of onboard bicycles
  • Complimentary state-of-the-art audio headsets for optional excursions
  • All local taxes & port charges included

What's not included

  • International return flights to Lyon Airport [LYS] on Day 1 and from Lyon Airport [LYS] on Day 8
  • Airport transfers between Lyon Airport and to the ship. Can be booked if required at additional cost
  • Optional excursions mentioned in the itinerary. These can be pre-booked in advance at a discounted rate or booked onboard.
  • Additional food/beverage unless otherwise included in the programme.
  • Personal expenses
  • Personal travel/medical insurance
  • Visas (if required)
  • Gratuities
  • Any personal items and anything not mentioned under included in the section above
  • Any COVID tests or related entry & exit requirements

Important information

  • Please let The Big Journey Company know prior to travelling if you have any medical needs or take any medication that we need to be made aware of to ensure that you have a safe and pleasant journey.
  • Check in is after 2-3pm and check out is before 10am unless otherwise specified in the itinerary.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure the correct travel insurance in place to protect you against the need to cancel your holiday. Deposits are non-refundable.
  • Further terms and conditions apply and will be provided upon request or at the time of booking. The Big Journey Company reserves the right to withdraw any offer prior to accepting a reservation request. This does not affect your statutory rights. This offer is subject to availability and space is limited.
  • Please consult your doctor letting them know your travel plans so that they can advise you about any vaccinations/medications you may need to take.
  • Prices are based on two people sharing and do not include increases in government taxes, fuel surcharges.

The big journey promise

The big journey company was set up with one goal in mind, to share our passion for inspirational cultures, destinations and experiences. Over the last 10 years we have had the privilege to escort thousands of travellers on awe inspiring and sometimes life changing journeys. Our promise to every guest who joins us is that we will do everything possible to make sure your journey not only exceeds expectations but delivers at least one moment of true amazement.

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Holiday tours are operated by The Big Journey Company Limited. Registered in England. Registered office: Marron Bank, Branthwaite, Cumbria, CA14 4SZ. Registered number: 6532140. The Big Journey Company Limited is a member of The Travel Trust Association member number U5675 and holds an Air Travel Organiser’s License number T7282.

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