Embarkation on MS Thurgau Rhône in the afternoon in Lyon, departure in the evening. Throughout the night, the ship is moored in Trévoux.
In the morning arrival in Macon, where an excursion by coach to *Cluny starts. It is hard to believe that, around 1000 years ago, Cluny was considered the spiritual centre of Europe. The great abbey church Cluny III was the largest christian church until St Peter‘s Basilica was built in Rome. A visit to the remains of the five nave church and delve into the fascinating world of its monks. Return to ship in Macon and cruise to Collonges, where MS Thurgau Rhône remains in port overnight.
After breakfast the ship moors up in Lyon, so that you can take a closer look at the city with a *tour. With its old town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its narrow alleyways, courtyards, lively quays, large squares on the peninsula, and more than 200 tourist attractions, the city offers the opportunity to take an extraordinary journey through the ages and cultures. Lyon extends on both sides of the Saône and Rhône rivers, which converge here. In the afternoon the ship leaves its berth in Lyon and departs for Viviers.
In the morning the ship arrives at Viviers, a medieval town which in former times owed its prosperity to the salt production in the nearby Camargue. Your *walking tour around the perfectly preserved old town will highlight the division of the town, typical at that time, into a lower town for traders and artists and an upper town reserved for wealthy citizens and the clergy. The town is dominated by its cathedral with its wonderful tapestries. After your return to the ship, it sails towards Arles.
After breakfast there will be a *city tour of Arles. In its time the town has been a Roman port, an important centre of medieval Christianity in Southern France, and home to Vincent van Gogh, a fact of which Arles is still very proud of. After lunch on board there will be an afternoon excursion by coach to the stunning *Camargue. This river delta at the mouth of the Rhône is famous for its vast grasslands, and its cattle, horses and flamingos.
After breakfast you explore Avignon on a *city tour. The former seat of the popes is enclosed by ramparts and has been a major centre on the Rhône since the Middle Ages. It is a World Heritage Site and is known for its majestic architecture as well as being regarded as one of France’s foremost centres of the arts. Your visit will include the famous 12th century bridge over the Rhône, of which sadly only remains are left. Enjoy relaxed afternoon on board as the ship cruises north again towards Tournon.
After arriving in Tournon, an excursion will take place on the *„Train de l´Ardèche“. This tourist railway does not, as you might think from its name, pass through the canyons of the Ardèche river, but also the equally beautiful gorges of the Doux, a right bank tributary of the Rhône that has carved itself deeply into the surrounding landscape. You spend the afternoon relaxing on board in your floating hotel.
Disembarkation in Lyon in the morning