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A Classic French Journey

A RHÔNE AND SAONE RIVER CRUISE

5/5

with a 2 night stay in Paris

First class rail travel throughout your journey

7 night Premium All-Inclusive* cruise, 2-nights in Paris

River view cabin on the cruise, with all drinks included**

Visiting Paris, Lyon, Chalon-sur-Saône, Mâcon, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Avignon, Arles (for the Camargue)

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A RHÔNE AND SAONE RIVER CRUISE

A-ROSA STELLA

Take a peaceful sojourn down the enchanting Rhône and Saône aboard the elegant A-ROSA STELLA. Take life at a relaxed pace as you follow the river’s historic bends through wine-famous Burgundy to sunny Provence. Taste France’s gastronomic capital, Lyon, as you weave your way through a labyrinth of medieval alleys. Explore Burgundy’s hidden gems tucked away on the banks of the Saône before heading south to Provence. Here, you will find a sunnier palette as you explore the incredible history of picturesque Avignon on an included walking tour and home to the largest gothic palace ever built, the Palais des Papes. Discover Arles, with its magnificent Roman Amphitheatre – and the opportunity to visit the wildlife haven of the Camargue. This is a specially curated opportunity, travelling by Eurostar to Paris for a 2-night stay at the highly-rated Hotel General (4 star), close to the vibrant, attractive Place de la République in the centre of Paris. Continue on the TGV to Lyon and join the A-ROSA STELLA for your 7-night Premium All-Inclusive* cruise in a category S cabin. Relax in your cabin or head out on deck to enjoy the beautiful riverscapes of vineyards, quaint villages and scenic countryside. The great thing about an A-ROSA river cruise is the flexibility. You can dine when you like, the dress code and atmosphere on board is informal and you are free to explore independently – or join one of the many optional excursions.

Your holiday includes:

  • Return First Class rail from London to Lyon (Standard Premier Class on Eurostar)
  • 2-nights in Paris at the highly-rated Hotel Le General (4 star) or similar on the outbound journey on a bed and breakfast basis
  • 2 private taxi transfers in Paris
  • 7-night cruise on a Premium All-Inclusive* basis:
    • S grade outside cabin with window and river views and private bathroom
    • Extensive gourmet buffet style breakfast, lunch and dinner
    • Option to enjoy waiter service at dinner
    • Special welcome and farewell dinners
    • Regional specialities and afternoon tea
    • Tea, coffee and water available 24 hours
    • Extensive menu of cocktails, mocktails, spirits, wines, beers, soft drinks and speciality teas and coffees served 11am to 11pm as per the A-ROSA bar menu**
    • Included walking tour of Avignon and speciality dinner on board ship in the evening
    • Up to 2 cultural performances during the week
    • Nightly entertainment in the lounge
    • Use of all on-board facilities including the A-ROSA SPA, sauna, swimming pool, relaxation and gym
    • 15% discount on spa treatments
    • FREE Wi-Fi
    • All port taxes

Additional benefits of an A-Rosa cruise

  • The A-ROSA APP with extra information to enhance your journey
  • Complimentary in-room drinks service
  • Bathrobes and slippers
  • Use of on board e-bikes for independent exploration (selected times, subject to availability)

A RHÔNE AND SAONE RIVER CRUISE

A-ROSA STELLA

A-ROSA offers a fantastic taste of local cuisine including:

 

La Flûte de Pain Chaud – a warm baguette with ham and cheese, ideal for a light lunch

 

Bourride – a shellfish chowder with a rouille sauce is a culinary speciality of Provence, based on seafood, vegetables, and served with aioli and olive oil.

 

Bouillabaisse – a traditional Provençal fish originating from Marseille.

 

Boeuf Bourguignon – a classic French beef stew, using wines from Burgundy.

 

Éclair – cream puff swans filled with delicious chocolate mousse.

 

Afternoon tea – Daily scones, clotted cream, sandwiches, orange marmelade and strawberry jam.

This is a specially curated opportunity, travelling by Eurostar to Paris for a 2-night stay at the highly-rated Hotel General (4 star), close to the vibrant, attractive Place de la République in the centre of Paris. Continue on the TGV to Lyon and join the A-ROSA STELLA for your 7-night Premium All-Inclusive* cruise in a category S cabin. Relax in your cabin or head out on deck to enjoy the beautiful riverscapes of vineyards, quaint villages and scenic countryside.

The great thing about an A-ROSA river cruise is the flexibility. You can dine when you like, the dress code and atmosphere on board is informal and you are free to explore independently – or join one of the many optional excursions.

Flavours of France Holiday Itinerary

DAY 1 - LONDON TO PARIS

Your holiday begins as you arrive at London St Pancras International. Join the Eurostar travelling in Standard Premier Class to Paris. Enjoy the light meal and drinks served at your seat as you reach speeds of up to 186 mph during the journey.

On arrival at Gare du Nord, Paris, your private taxi will transfer you to the Hotel Le General (4 star) centrally located close to the Place de la République The rest of the day and evening is at leisure to explore Paris as you wish.

Paris Planet Rail

DAY 2 – PARIS – FREE DAY TO EXPLORE

Take some time to plan your day over a leisurely breakfast to ensure you make the most of this magnificent city.

You may decide to explore Paris on foot and wend your way along the river Seine past Notre Dame, the charming Île St. Louis and onto the Rive Gauche. Perhaps soak up some culture with a visit to the treasures of the marvellous Louvre, including the Mona Lisa, feast on the impressionist spectacle at the Musée d’Orsay or revel in the inimitable Centre Pompidou. Why not take a trip up the Eiffel Tower or along the river Seine aboard one of the Bâteaux Mouches (payable locally), you might like to wander among the classy streets and stylish shops of Paris’ 1st and 8th arrondissements. Alternatively seek out the quieter streets of the Marais or head for the city’s elegant stores and colourful markets. For dinner you may prefer the welcome of one of Paris’ traditional, evocative brasseries or a stylish gourmet French restaurant.      

DAY 3 - PARIS TO LYON AND THE START OF YOUR CRUISE

Today you transfer to the Gare de Lyon (payable locally) and travel by high-speed TGV to Lyon arriving mid-afternoon. On arrival, take a taxi to the port (payable locally), where you board the wonderful A-ROSA STELLA. Say au revoir to Lyon as you pass through the atmospheric old town heaing north and enjoy the welcome dinner as you journey to Chalon-sur-Saône.

DAY 4 - CHALON-SUR-SAÔNE

This morning you arrive in beautiful Chalon-sur-Saône. This elegant city is the second largest in Burgundy with a charming old town revolving around Saint-Vincent Square. Here, you will find an impressive 11th century Cathedral surrounded by pretty timber-framed buildings.

After exploring the quaint old town pay a visit to the Nicéphore Niépce Museum. Dedicated to the inventor of photography, who was born in Chalon sur-Saône, the museum boasts over 6,000 cameras and over 3 million images and is well worth a visit.

DAY 5 – MÂCON AND TRÉVOUX

Spend the best part of the day in picturesque Mâcon. The most southerly town in Burgundy, it is situated in prime wine territory and a day here offers up the perfect excuse to sample some of its best vintages. Walking around its quaint old streets, you will see the beginning of a Mediterranean architectural influence with pastel-hued buildings with canal tiled roofs providing a dreamy backdrop to the delightful river Saône.

Next stop, Trévoux! With a population of around 7,000, this petite French town tucked away on the banks of the Saône is typically enchanting. Slow down and enjoy its beauty at a relaxed pace as you discover its historic charm. A must-see is the Hotel du Government de Dombes where you will find its sublime Salle d’audience, which is almost entirely covered in remarkably preserved ornate paintings.

Arrive back in Lyon in the evening.

DAY 6 - LYON

The capital of gastronomy in France, Lyon is a vibrant hub of not only the finest produce, but also some of the most talented and renowned chefs in the world. The confluence of the Rhône and the Saône, though peaceful, is hugely impressive as the meeting of two historic waterways frame the city. You may choose to explore the 4th century secret passageways in Lyon’s UNESCO-listed old town that silk-workers used or enrich yourself in French culture in one of Lyon’s many museums. Perhaps simply find a bistro with a river view and pass the time with fine food and wine. This is a city for enjoying the finer things in life.

In the morning take the opportunity to explore Lyon even further. Why not take a stroll on the wonderful promenade along the Rhône or venture into the old town where you will discover the history of renaissance Lyon. Or explore the Presqu’île, home to many beautiful buildings such as the city hall or Lyon’s opera house.

DAY 7 - CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE AND AVIGNON

Just a couple of kilometres away from the Rhône, you’ll find delightful Châteauneuf-du-Pape – not to be confused with the wine-growing region of the same name in the Rhône valley. This charming town’s star of the show is the ruin of the Avignon Popes’ summer residence which you’ll reach by wending your way uphill from the square. Amble away from the main path down cobbled offshoots and find sleepy cafés and local restaurants, likely basking in the Mediterranean sunshine. 

Here you can join an optional excursion (supplements apply) to the wine town of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, re-joining the ship in Avignon.

Arrive in historic Avignon in the early afternoon, your A-ROSA ship moors within easy walking distance of all the attractions. Once the centre of the Roman Catholic church, this small city is steeped in rich historical significance. The incredible Palais des Papes, the largest gothic palace ever built, is a titan of medieval architecture that is truly unmissable. Elsewhere, you may wander through the medieval streets and stop to admire more enchanting period architecture. A short walk from the Avignon Cathedral is the Docher des Doms, a leafy hilltop garden. Here, you can watch the sunset over this idyllic river-backed French city.

Enjoy an included guided walking tour of Avignon this afternoon.

DAY 8 - AVIGNON AND ARLES

After spending your previous evening in beautiful Avignon, take the morning to visit any of the remaining sights that this fascinating ancient city has to offer. For early risers, why not watch the sun rise at the Pont D’Avignon. The atmospheric beauty of this 12th century bridge and the elegant Rhône will be perfect in the early morning light especially without the distraction of daytime traffic. Or perhaps you could enjoy some delicious French pastries at one of Avignon’s many patisseries. La Patisserie Vernet comes highly recommended. 

This afternoon your cruise continues to Arles in southern France, the Provençal city par excellence. This sun-drenched city of terracotta-tiled rooftops sits at an intoxicating bend in the River Rhône. It was once a leading Roman city and today boasts the fascinating evidence of that bygone era including a Roman Amphitheatre, dating to the 1st century. Famously, it was home to Vincent van Gogh and it was there he produced at least 200 paintings. Enjoy the magnificent sun in the southernmost destination along your journey.

From Arles, it is possible to take an optional excursion to the wildlife haven of the Camargue (supplements apply).

DAY 9 - VIVIERS AND LA-VOULTE-SUR-RHÔNE

Travel to Viviers for a quick morning stroll. Full of quaint French charm, expect pale stone buildings set in a dreamy riverside setting. Though being France’s smallest town, its storied past and historical monuments bely its size. You can also take an optional excursion to the impressive Ardèche Gorge from here re-joining the ship at La Voulte-sur-Rhône. 

Small, but perfectly formed, La Voulte-sur-Rhône unfolds beautifully on the banks of the river. Perfect for a leisurely afternoon’s amble, you will discover a petite, quaint town backed by the impressive Castle of La Voulte-sur-Rhône. The optional tour (supplements apply) to the Ardèche re-joins the ship here. You will spend the rest of the day and your final evening aboard the elegant A-ROSA STELLA and enjoy a farewell dinner.

DAY 10 - LYON TO LONDON - HOMEWARD BOUND

Today you’ll say goodbye to the A-ROSA STELLA in Lyon relaxed and restored after a delightful journey on France’s River Rhône and Saône. Take a taxi (payable locally) to the train station to catch the TGV service to Paris Gare de Lyon. Here your private taxi transfers you across the French capital for your onward Eurostar from the Gare du Nord back to London St Pancras.

Further information

Your cruise ship

A-ROSA STELLA

Led by an experienced team of nautical and hotel staff, a cruise on the A-ROSA STELLA really is the best way to explore the Midi. With 86 cabins on 3 decks, the ship has many facilities including a steam and organic sauna, a Finnish sauna, relaxation room, gym and massage and beauty treatments. What better place to return to after exploring the ancient riverside towns and villages.

 

All cabins are air-conditioned, approx 15 square metres with private bathroom. Deck 1 cabins have large portholes, cabins on decks 2 & 3 have a juliette balcony- supplements apply – perfect for admiring the scenic riverscapes as you cruise along the river.

 

The casually elegant restaurant and bar are framed by panoramic windows and offer a wonderfully social space to dine and unwind. The sun deck has a swimming pool and many sun loungers to relax and admire the stunning scenery in Southern France.

 

 

Cabin upgrades

Upgrade to a B category cabin on deck 3 with full-length (fixed) windows with prices from £2,295 per person or a C category cabin on deck 2 with Juliet balcony open to the fresh air, private bathroom with shower, luxury toiletries, bathroom and slippers, safe, TV, hairdryer, telephone and FREE WI-FI.

Prices from £2,450 per person

Optional excursions

Choose from a wide range of optional excursions. You can reserve in advance or book on board, subject to availability. Please note prices below are guide prices per person and are subject to change due to the exchange rate. 

Day 2 Chalon-sur-Saône

CITY WALK THROUGH CHALON-SUR-SAÔNE WITH VISIT OF LOCAL MARKET (in the morning) £20 per person

Led by an expert local guide, learn about the charming history of Chalon-sur-Saône. Highlights include: St Laurence Island, Place Saint-Vincent and the museum of Photography.

DIJON – THE CAPITAL OF THE DUKES BURGUNDY (in the afternoon) £70 per person

Take a gentle journey through Burgundy’s rolling vineyards to Dijon and visit the home of the historical Dukes of Burgundy.

Day 3 – Mâcon

TOUR TO IMPRESSIVE CLUNY CLOISTER (in the morning) £76 per person

Visit the remains of 1,000-year-old Cluny Cloister, the once religious centre of Europe.

WONDERFUL BEAUJOLAIS – THE HAMEAU DUBŒUF WINE MUSEUM (in the afternoon) £86 per person
Learn about the historic process of winemaking and its importance to the region at this wine exhibit. Don’t miss the opportunity to sample the wines, too.

Day 4 – Lyon

LYON INDOOR FOOD MARKET AND CITY CENTRE – £68 per person

The indoor food market of Lyon is named after Paul Bocuse – and with good reason. The Michelin-starred chef was based in Lyon and so he often shopped here. There are plenty of tasty specialities for you to sample here. But France’s second-largest metropolis has a lot more to offer beyond that. Your tour will continue through the city centre, where you’ll take in some wonderful sights.

Day 5 – Châteauneuf-du-Pape

STUNNING CHATEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE – £83 per person

Anyone who knows anything about wine will have heard of Châteauneuf-du-Pape – it’s one of the most famous wine growing regions in the world. After a short coach- ride you’ll reach the centre of this small town, see a number of the famous wine growing estates and then taste their excellent products. You’ll also learn some fascinating facts about the region and its wines. It will then be time to return to Avignon, where you re-join the ship.

Day 6 – Avignon

TRACING THE ROMANS IN PROVENCE – THE PONT DU GARD (in the morning) £72 per person
Visit the extraordinary 2,000 year old Roman aqueduct – a grand testament to ancient engineering.

Day 6 – Arles

THE CAMARGUE – A WONDER OF NATURE (in the afternoon) £62 per person
Visit this wonderful natural wonder at the Rhône River delta where you can witness the world-famous Camargue horses and even some Flamingos.

WITH A JEEP THROUGH THE CAMARGUE AND TO THE PARC ORNITHOLOGIQUE (in the afternoon) £95 per person
Set off on a jeep adventure to observe over 400 bird species in this magnificent wetland.

Day 7 – Viviers

ARDÈCHE GORGES AND LAVENDER SCENT (in the morning) £99 per person
Take a tour of the spectacular 300 metre deep Gorges d’Ardèche as you drive to one of its numerous grottos. Later follow the scent to one of the primary lavender producers of the region.

Departure dates 2024

Departing Thursdays – per person based on 2 people sharing a twin room/cabin
April 4 – low season
April 11, 18 – mid-season
April 25 and May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 – high season
June 6, 13, 20, 27 – high season
July 4, 11, 18, 25 – high season
August 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 – high season
September 5, 12, 19 – high season
September 26 and October 3 – mid-season
October 10 – low season

Single supplement –
Low season – 40%
Mid-season – 50%
High season – 60%

* Supplements apply for most excursions
** Included drinks as per the drinks bar menu. Champagne, branded spirits, drinks and some cocktails are extra

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