Colours of Provence Cruise
Prices from £2,095 per person
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7 night / 8 day cruise holiday with flights at each end of the cruise including all meals and wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner and shore excursions – from £2,095 per person (based on 2 people travelling together staying in an E grade cabin). Please note this includes the special offer discount, and that prices may vary for other cabin types.
Alternatively, travel to and from your cruise by First (Standard Premier) Class rail at either end of the cruise from an additional £295 per person.
Day 1 – London to Lyon and the AmaCello
Today your holiday begins as you arrive at the beautifully restored London St. Pancras International station. Appreciate the splendour of the beautiful red brick Gothic façade before you pass through the Eurostar terminal and board the Eurostar service. Then relax on board as you travel across Kent at speeds of up to 186 mph. Enjoy a light meal and drinks as you speed through France on the direct service* to Lyon, France’s second city. On arrival at Lyon Part-Dieu station make your own way to your floating hotel, the elegant AmaCello. After time to settle in, enjoy a Welcome Dinner on board this evening.
*Direct service whenever possible; on some days it may be necessary to change trains in Lille.
Day 2 – Discovering Lyon
Discover dynamic Lyon, starting in Fourvière Hill, part of the city’s historic region that is now a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the 19th-century basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière. Continue on to the old town of Lyon, followed by a guided walk through the St. Jean district, where you will be introduced to the city’s unique covered walkways, known as “traboules.” During the afternoon, enjoy leisure time or join a guided bike tour through the city designed with cyclists in mind.
Day 3 – Collonges and the Beaujolais Wine Region
Today’s excursion takes you to the Beaujolais wine region—known as the Pays d’Or or “land of the golden stones.” Indulge in a wine tasting at a traditional winery and learn about the history and techniques of their vineyard. Later, you return to the ship and set sail for Vienne, a town with a rich history dating back to the Romans. The ship moors here for the evening, so you have some time to explore at your own pace.
Day 4 – Exploring Vienne
Situated between the wine regions of Beaujolais and Côtes du Rhône lies Vienne with a Roman past that can be seen in its marvelously preserved ruins. This morning you can discover more of Vienne on a walking tour that follows in the footsteps of the Romans. Highlights include the amazingly well-preserved Augustus and Livia Temple, the Saint Maurice Cathedral, a Gothic church that took more than 500 years to build, and St. Pierre Abbey—one of the oldest surviving churches in France, and now an Archaeological Museum. If you’re feeling energetic, you can either take a guided bike tour along a portion of the Via Rhôna bike route or a guided hike from the ship to the Monastery at Mount Pipet.
Day 5 – Tournon
Today you have a choice of three excursions. Take a train ride past magnificent landscape carved along the Gorge du Doux, stopping at the charming little station of Colombier le Vieux-Saint Barthélemy le Plain, where the train manoeuvres in preparation for its return journey. Alternatively, lovers of wine and chocolate will want to visit Le Château de Tournon for a presentation and tasting on the pairing of red wine and chocolate. For a more active adventure, cycle through the French countryside or take a hike through the vineyards of Tain l’Hermitage, followed by a visit to a local winery where you can sample some of the wines.
Day 6 – Avignon
Your destination today is the delightful city of Avignon, aptly named the “City of Popes,” as it was the centre of the Catholic Church in the 14th century when its “Palais des Papes” was home to seven successive popes. Here you have a choice of three excursions. Depending on your interests, you have three choices of excursions. Discover the history of Avignon on a guided walking tour that includes the Papal Palace and the well-preserved medieval walls surrounding the historic town centre, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alternatively, you can go to another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the impressive Pont du Gard, a Roman aqueduct that is a masterpiece of ancient engineering. Or if you prefer, visit three venues around Avignon to taste regional specialties including macarons, cheese and wine, and tapenades. During the afternoon, you can enjoy free time in Avignon, go on a bike tour, or go to the magnificent hilltop village, Grignan. After visiting this enchanting Provençal town, go in search of the highly prized “Black Diamond” truffles with a farmer and his trustworthy canine companion.
Day 7 – Arles
Considered one of the most beautiful cities in France, Arles enchants. Art lovers may choose to visit the Saint Paul de Mausole Asylum, where Vincent van Gogh once lived and painted. Afterwards, go to the Carrières de Lumières, where you can see a spectacular presentation of art, sound and history projected on the walls of caves. Alternatively, venture to the medieval hilltop village, Les Baux de Provence, followed by a visit to an olive farm where you can learn about age-old Provençal traditions from a master olive miller as well as sample the olive oil. Or for a different adventure, journey to Aigues-Mortes, known for its well-preserved medieval walls and guard towers, followed by a visit to the beautiful Camargue National Park, a protected natural territory with more than 400 different species of birds. During the afternoon, you can join a walking tour of Arles highlighting top sights, including the Romanesque cathedral and Roman amphitheatre; or take a guided bike tour to the Roman ruins. And for those who wish to delve further into Van Gogh’s Arles, join a special walking tour along with a visit to the Vincent van Gogh Foundation, showcasing his legacy.
Day 8 – Homeward bound
After breakfast say farewell to your floating hotel as you make your way to the station and take the train to Lille. Here you connect with the Eurostar to London. Let the train take the strain as you stretch out and savour the meal and drinks included in your Standard Premier service. Take time to reflect on the magnificent sights, sounds and tastes you have enjoyed on your holiday, as you sit back and relax with a complimentary meal and drinks before your arrival into London St Pancras International and the final leg of your journey home.
Your cruise ship, the 5 star AmaCello
The ship features 73 staterooms and carries a maximum of 144 passengers. All staterooms include amenities such as Entertainment-On-Demand, featuring free high-speed Internet access, unlimited Wi-Fi, movies, music and English language TV stations; climate-controlled air conditioning; and an in-room safe. In the marble bathroom, enjoy multi-jet showerheads, soothing bath and body products, robes and hair dryers.
The AmaCello offers a host of added comforts and conveniences, including a sauna, whirlpool, massage and hair salon, a stylish and inviting Main Lounge, and specialty coffee station. As a member of La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, the exclusive international culinary society, guests are treated to exquisite, locally-inspired cuisine always paired with unlimited wine, as well as beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner. There is a variety of dining venues on board, including The Chef’s Table specialty restaurant, featuring an exquisite tasting menu prepared right before your eyes. With a walking track on the Sun Deck, a fitness room and a fleet of on-board bicycles to use on your own or on one of the many guided bike tours, as well as healthy menu choices, you will have everything needed to stay active and healthy during your holiday.