RHONE & SAONE RIVER CRUISE FEATURING FAIRPORT CONVENTION & ANTHONY JOHN CLARKE
22 - 29 JUNE 2023
'What will we do on our holidays?'
Fans of Fairport Convention will recognise – and perhaps forgive – the pun above, but we are delighted that, following their hugely successful Rhine Cruise in June 2022, the legends that are Fairport Convention will be hosting a week of fun, frivolity and fabulous wines as we meander down the River Rhone in France.
There will be magnificent music from the band, mirth and merriment from Ric and maybe even a dazzling display of magic and mystery from Chris as we take in the spectacular scenery along one of the most attractive rivers in Europe.
Irish born Singer songwriter, all round entertainer, acoustic guitar, feel good comedian Anthony John Clarke will also be onboard to entertain you with his wit and candour through his complex songs and honest story telling.
Enjoy this uniquely beautiful cruise along the French rivers Rhône and Saône. Experience picturesque villages, world famous wine regions such as the Côte d'Or, unforgettable stretches of land in the regions of Provence and Burgundy, and impressive views of historic cities and monuments.
Food, wine, art, architecture, scenery, history and amazing entertainment - it all comes together in glorious harmony in the South of France.
With a maximum of only 140 guests on board, you really don't want to miss out on this very special experience
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7 night cruise onboard MS Amadeus Provence
Free-flowing red & white wines from Europe’s famous wine regions, beer & soft drinks with every lunch and dinner onboard
Gourmet dining onboard
Services of your onboard Harmony Voyages Tour Manager and an experienced English-speaking Cruise Director
24 hour tea/coffee station
Bottled water in every stateroom
In-stateroom infotainment centre
Complimentary Wi-Fi onboard
Complimentary use of onboard bicycles
Complimentary state-of-the-art audio headsets for optional excursions
All local taxes & port charges
- Optional coach and rail package, see below for details
There will be five nights of live music after dinner in the lounge, from Fairport Convention and Anthony John Clarke. Full programme to be confirmed.
DAY 1 - LYON
This afternoon, embark the vessel and get settled into your cabin. This evening, enjoy a specially-prepared Welcome Dinner and chance to relax in the lounge and meet your fellow sailors.
DAY 2 - MACON
This morning we arrive in the town of Mâcon, located in southern Burgundy. This region produces some of the most expensive wines in the world. Spend the morning exploring the city, and perhaps visit the wine museum, dedicated to the history and production of Burgundy wines. Near the city of Macon is the Cluny Abbey, dedicated to St Peter. This afternoon offers the opportunity to visit the ‘spiritual heart of medieval Europe’. Founded in 910 by Guillaume d’Aquitaine, the abbey is comprised of three abbey churches. At its height, it was home to over 10,000 monks.
DAY 3 - CHALON-SUR-SAON > TOURNUS
Continue to explore the wine region with a stop in the town of Chalon sur Saône. Half-timbered houses overlook the square, and it offers art galleries, speciality shops as well as a museum dedicated to photography.
The countryside is filled with famous vineyards such as Pommard and Puligny, a wine lover’s delight. This afternoon enjoy the scenery as we continue our way along the Saône, or perhaps choose to explore the medieval towns of Brancion and Cormatin and rejoin the vessel in Tournus.
DAY 4 - LYON
At the confluence of the Rhone and the Saône rivers, sits the third-largest city in France. This UNESCO World Heritage city is known for its cuisine as well as historical and architectural landmarks such as the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourviere and the Vieux Lyon (Old Lyon) which is the Renaissance area along the bank of the Saône.
Relax this afternoon as we sail through the picturesque countryside.
DAY 5 - AVIGNON
The Provencal city of Avignon is home to the Papal Palace, once the seat of Western Christianity in the 14th century. The Papal Palace, was home to six papal conclaves but became obsolete when the papacy decided to return to Rome.
The area of Provence is also home to the Pont du Gard, a three-level aqueduct constructed over 2000 years ago by the Romans and is one of the architectural masterpieces of the ancient world.
DAY 6 - ARLES
Arles captured the imagination of the brilliant Impressionist painter, Van Gogh. Walking through the town, many of the settings may seem familiar as some of Van Gogh’s best known pieces reflect the beauty of the town.
Outside of Arles, the Camargue Nature Park is located. The Park covers 86,000 hectares and is known for its unique flora and fauna as well as semi-wild bulls and white Camargue horses.
DAY 7 - CHATEAUNEUF-DU-RHONE > LE POUZIN
This morning your optional excursion offers the opportunity to view the Ardeche Gorge, another natural wonder of the area. Visit the ‘Grand Canyon of Europe’ and re-join the ship in time for lunch. Alternatively, spend the day onboard relaxing.
DAY 8 - LYON - FAREWELL
After a generous breakfast it's time to disembark and join your transfer to the airport or enjoy a few extra days holiday. (Optional pre-post cruise extra nights available, please contact us for details).
Dive into an unforgettable adventure and enjoy the typically provincial feel aboard the AMADEUS Provence. This vessel travels exclusively along the Rhône and the Saône, two of France’s most beautiful rivers, and takes you to dream destinations in the south of France.
AMADEUS Suite (26.4m²) with walk-out exterior balconyComfortable corner sofa, luxurious bathroom, walk-out exterior balcony, mini-bar, walk-in wardrobe, choice of bed configuration (double or twin bed), flat-screen television, individual climate control, en-suite bathroom with shower/WC, bathrobe, hair dryer, direct dial telephone and in-room safe.
Cabin A-1 (17.5m²) with drop-down panoramic windowSpacious bathroom, drop-down panoramic window, mini-bar, walk-in wardrobe, choice of bed configuration (double or twin bed), flat-screen television, individual climate control, en-suite bathroom with shower/WC, hair dryer, direct dial telephone and in-room safe.
Cabin B-1 (17.5m²) with drop-down panoramic windowSpacious bathroom, drop-down panoramic window, mini-bar, walk-in wardrobe, choice of bed configuration (double or twin bed), flat-screen television, individual climate control, en-suite bathroom with shower/WC, hair dryer, direct dial telephone and in-room safe.
Cabin B-4 (17.5m²) with drop-down panoramic windowSpacious bathroom, drop-down panoramic window, mini-bar, walk-in wardrobe, choice of bed configuration (double or twin bed), flat-screen television, individual climate control, en-suite bathroom with shower/WC, hair dryer, direct dial telephone and in-room safe.
Cabin C-1 (16m²) with panoramic windowSpacious bathroom, small panoramic window (cannot be opened), spacious wardrobe, choice of bed configuration (double or twin bed), flat-screen television, individual climate control, en-suite bathroom with shower/WC, hair dryer, direct dial telephone and in-room safe. Cabins with connecting doors are available on request.
Cabin C-4 (16m²) with panoramic windowSpacious bathroom, small panoramic window (cannot be opened), spacious wardrobe, choice of bed configuration (double or twin bed), flat-screen television, individual climate control, en-suite bathroom with shower/WC, hair dryer, direct dial telephone and in-room safe. Cabins with connecting doors are available on request.
Prices are per person and do not include flights. Please contact us if you require assistance with your travel arrangements. Optional coach and rail packages available
Please note: a deposit of £200pp is required to secure your booking.[table “20” not found /]
You can fly from most major UK airports, rail options available from London to Paris and on to Lyon, you can self-drive, or perhaps consider joining Ric and Chris for some pre-cruise merriment aboard the Harmony Voyages coach.
Once your suitcase is loaded, no need to remove liquids, electrical items or empty your pockets, board the coach, relax and enjoy your tour to the ship. Let your driver do the hard work whilst you sit back with a cuppa or a glass of something cold, as you travel through the beautiful French countryside.
- Hostess service on board
- Regular, off-motorway comfort breaks
- Comfortable 4* hotels
- Outbound journey - visits to Arras and Dijon
2 nights pre cruise + 1 night post cruise from £490
Travel to and from the ship by coach, including two additional overnight stays pre cruise and one additional overnight stay post cruise
Tuesday 20 June 2023
Depart Manchester Airport *06:00 /Birmingham Airport *08:00 /London Heathrow *10:30 with motorway service pick-ups on request. Arrive Dover for a lunchtime channel crossing to Calais. *Times are approximate.
On arrival in France, continue to overnight hotel in Arras B&B
Wednesday 21 June 2023
After a continental breakfast, depart 9am and drive to Reims (approx. 2hrs) for a visit to Champagne cellar with tasting. Free time near Reims Cathedral for Lunch and/or sightseeing before departure at 14h00. Continue to Dijon arriving c.18h00 and our overnight hotel B&B Evening transfer to the UNESCO historic centre if required.
Thursday 22 June 2023
After a continental breakfast, depart 9.30am for Lyon, arriving c.13h00
Free time in the Old Town prior to boarding if required (subject to time allowing)
Thursday 29 June 2023
Disembark after breakfast and travel to Burgundy wine region (c.2h00) for lunch stop and/or wine tasting. Continue to Paris hotel for late afternoon check-in. Evening tour of ‘Paris by night’ including Seine River cruise and free time for dinner.
Friday 30 June 2023
Transfer to Calais/Dunkerque for return sailing to Dover.
Motorway service area stop en-route.
Return arrival at Manchester Airport by 23h00
Price per person sharing a twin/double: £490.00
Price per person sole occupancy: £640.00
We look after you every step of the way
We are a small experienced team who look after you from first enquiry, right through to the end of your holiday. The same people who help you with your booking, will be in the resort or on the cruise to look after you. We are extremely proud of the personal service that we provide and when you need to get in touch, there are no call centres, just the same people you've always being dealing with. Need help with flights, care hire or extra nights? ...we are just a phone call away.
- All excursions can be booked in advance or aboard. (For organisational reasons, some excursions can only be booked aboard).
- Minimum participation for excursions by bus: 20 people.
- Minimum participation for excursions on foot: 12 people.
- The schedule of individual excursions can vary; this is partly due to the volume of traffic in the cities and the opening hours of facilities.
- Please remember to wear sturdy shoes as well as comfortable, waterproof clothing when attending the excursions.
- When exploring on your own, please remember to return to the vessel in time for its departure. If you miss the departure, you have to travel to the next port at your own expense. You will find the all aboard time in the daily programme.
- Itineraries and prices are subject to alterations.
Some excursions involve a fair amount of walking, sometimes over uneven surfaces. The following coding system has been used to assist with identifying which excursions are appropriate for you. Please ask your cruise director for additional information as required.
- LEVEL 1: Minimum walking; excursion by bus with short photo stops.
- LEVEL 2: The excursion by bus is followed by a moderate walking tour. You may need to climb some stairs.
- LEVEL 3: The excursion by bus is followed by a longer walk. You may need to climb several stairs.
- LEVEL 4: Moderate walking tour. You may need to climb some stairs.
- LEVEL 5: Considerable walk with longer distances. This may include uneven surfaces and some stairs.
EXCURSION TO MÂCON Incl. TOUR OF THE WINE MUSEUMWith its pastel buildings and tiled roofs, the town of Mâcon has a Mediterranean charm. The tour crossing the Beaujolais and Mâconnais region will captivate you. While crossing the impressive vineyards, discover the castles and mansions which are the witness of the wealth in this region. The highlight of this excursion is the visit of the Georges Duboeuf’s Wine Theme Park. In an original setting, a reconstruction of a 1900-style train station, discover splendid exhibition halls related to the history and culture of the wine making process. Find out about wine growing from audiovisual shows: theatre, winery trading house, 3D film, dynamic cinema. Finish the visit with a tasting of Beaujolais wines in a Parisian cabaret-style room housing a barrel organ, also called "Bouteillophone“. Duration: approx. 3.5 hrs Walking Grade: 2 - The excursion by bus is followed by a moderate walking tour. You may need to climb some stairs.
GUIDED TOUR OF CLUNY ABBEYThe Abbey of Cluny in Burgundy was the centre of a major monastic movement in the Middle Ages. Its church was the largest Christian building in the world until St. Peter’s Basilica was rebuilt in Rome in the 16th century. Although most of the great Abbey of Cluny is in ruins, you can still see remnants showing the size and glory the abbey possessed at its zenith, and imagine it as it once was. Today, one transept of the 12th-century abbey church remains, along with the 15th-century abbots’ residences and 18th-century convent buildings. The site also includes beautiful gardens and a museum with Romanesque artifacts. Your guide will show you around the ancient Benedictine abbey. This church, with its unusual dimensions, was completed under the abbacy of Pierre the Venerable and consecrated in 1130. The principal architect was Hézelon de Liège. The idea for its construction is said to have originated from a monk’s dream. Duration: approx. 3.5 hrs Walking Grade: 2 - The excursion by bus is followed by a moderate walking tour. You may need to climb some stairs.
BURGUNDY EXCURSION TO BEAUNE WITH WINE TASTINGAfter breakfast, take a scenic drive along France’s Burgundy wine route through Pommard, Volnay and Meursault. In Beaune, the wine capital of Burgundy, enjoy a guided tour of the beautiful Hôtel-Dieu, founded as a hospice in 1443. Today, it covers a large area of the town with its museum, three courtyards, outbuildings, 15th-century bastion and hundreds of meters of cellars, which are notable for containing the personal reserve of the Hospices. The four buildings open to the public are situated around the Court of Honor and represent the Hôtel-Dieu of former times. The great Salle des Pauvres (”hall of the poor”) is decorated with multi-coloured beams which are unique in the world. Serenity reigns here which will leave no one unmoved. The rooms overflow with treasures: statues, furniture, pottery, paintings, tapestries and more. The kitchen has been restored to look exactly as it did in the 19th century. The polyptych of “The Last Judgement”, a masterpiece by the Flemish painter Rogier Van Der Weyden, is particularly well presented. Later, enjoy a wine tasting experience at one of Beaune’s famous cellars. Duration: approx. 4 hrs Walking Grade: 2 - The excursion by bus is followed by a moderate walking tour. You may need to climb some stairs.
EXCURSION TO BRANCION AND CORMATINWe leave Chalon-sur-Saône and drive to Brancion for a short photo stop before continuing to the Castle of Cormatin. Behind its understated exterior lies inestimable splendor. The castle is undoubtedly one of the most sumptuous castles in Burgundy, and, in addition, it boasts a Renaissance garden. The sculpted yews break up the symmetry as you enter this moated château. The rich, colourful interior reflects the French and more particularly, the Parisian fashion during the reign of Louis XIII. Built between 1605 and 1629 by the du Blé family, it chronicles the history of the arts at this time in France. The formal Renaissance garden has the “fountain of life” at its centre. Beyond this is a maze with a charming wrought-iron aviary. From the top of this you can get an overview of the park. Duration: approx. 4 hrs Walking Grade: 2 - The excursion by bus is followed by a moderate walking tour. You may need to climb some stairs.
CITY TOUR OF LYONLyon not only marks the meeting of the Saône and Rhône Rivers, but it is also the gastronomic capital of France. Its rich, ancient history includes Roman ruins and early Christian sites. The city tour begins with a coach trip to the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière. The well-known pilgrimage church stands on a hill, offering an unforgettable view of the city. After a brief stop, continue with a drive along the banks of the Sâone, with views of various sights including the Cathedral of St. John and the Palace of Justice. Afterwards take a gentle stroll through Lyon’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with the famous Roman theatre and buildings reflecting the influence of the Italian Renaissance. Duration: approx. 3 hrs Walking Grade: 2 - The excursion by bus is followed by a moderate walking tour. You may need to climb some stairs.
AVIGNON WALKING TOUR INCL. PAPAL PALACEToday’s excursion is a guided walk through Avignon, also known as the “City of Popes” due to the role the city played in the Avignon conspiracy of the 14th century, when a pope abandoned Rome and fled to Avignon. Avignon’s lavish Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes), is a fortress, church and palace all in one and was considered the centre of the Christian world during the 14th century. From 1309 to 1377, seven popes resided in this impressive building, one of the world’s most fascinating examples of Gothic architecture. A must-see is the Pont d’Avignon, a ruined 12th-century bridge that once spanned the Rhône and is immortalised in a folk song about dancing on the bridge. Duration: approx. 2 hrs Walking Grade: 4 - Moderate walking tour. You may need to climb some stairs.
EXCURSION TO THE PONT DU GARD AND UZÈSThe Pont du Gard is the greatest surviving stretch of a fifty-kilometre-long (thirty one miles) aqueduct, built by the Romans in the middle of the first century to supply fresh water to the city of Nimes. With just a seventeen-metre difference in altitude between beginning and end, the aqueduct was quite an achievement for its time. Some miles further on, near the start of the aqueduct, visit the city of Uzès. This lovely old town perches on a hill above the River Alzon. Half a dozen medieval towers rise above its tiled roofs. The most fetching is the windowed, Pisa-like Tour Fenestrelle, tacked onto the cathedral. The narrow lanes are lined with Renaissance and Neoclassical houses which were once the residences of the 17th- and 18th-century bourgeoisie, who had grown rich on textiles. Duration: approx. 4.5 hrs Walking Grade: 2 - The excursion by bus is followed by a moderate walking tour. You may need to climb some stairs
ARLES WALKING TOURArles is a city steeped in history. During the course of centuries, it was home to archbishops, became part of the Kingdom of the Franks and, later on, capital of the Kingdom of Burgundy. During our two-hour city walk, view many ancient or Roman sights and monuments and see why UNESCO has chosen to declare Arles a World Heritage Site. A visit to the Roman arena is a must while in Arles. If time allows, take a break in the café that served as the model for Vincent Van Gogh’s “Café Terrace at Night”. While strolling through the city, you might even meet pilgrims walking the Way of St. James, which begins in Arles! Duration: approx. 2 hrs Walking Grade: 4 - Moderate walking tour. You may need to climb some stairs.
EXCURSION TO THE CAMARGUE NATURE PARKThe Camargue is like a little country in its own right. Once you’re a few minutes south of Arles, you enter the unique atmosphere of the area, with its series of long, level roads crisscrossing the marshes and farmlands. For the protection of the exceptional fauna and flora, part of the Camargue was listed as a nature reserve as early as 1927. In 1970, the whole Island of Camargue (the delta of the Rhône River) was listed as the Regional Nature Park of Camargue. It is home to an astonishing range of wildlife, including the renowned Camargue bulls and horses that live in semi freedom, and many hundreds of species of birds. You will also visit Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, located on the Mediterranean Sea where the Rhône joins the ocean. This village is steeped in history and boasts stunning beaches which meet the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Duration: approx. 4.5 hrs Walking Grade: 2 - The excursion by bus is followed by a moderate walking tour. You may need to climb some stairs.
EXCURSION TO THE ARDÈCHE GORGEOften referred to as the Grand Canyon of Europe, the Ardèche Gorge has spectacular limestone cliffs towering up to 1,000 ft above the meandering river below. The entrance to the Ardèche Gorge is through the famous Pont d’Arc near Vallon which, at 192 feet is, according to the Natural Arch and Bridge Society, “the largest natural bridge in Europe”. You will take the famous Gorge Trail, from which you can see the harmonious meanderings of the river. Beautiful viewpoints such as the Pont d’Arc and Serre de Tourre offer the greatest views onto the canyon and the river Ardèche. Duration: approx. 4.5 hrs Walking Grade: 2 - The excursion by bus is followed by a moderate walking tour. You may need to climb some stairs.
Another fabulous river cruise organised by Harmony Voyages with entertainment from Show of Hands, Broom Bezzums and Flossie Malavialle. Everything was perfect - the accommodation on board, the friendly and attentive crew, the cordon bleu food and of course the live music. Can’t wait for the next one!
Booked a Folk Music river cruise along the Danube (Bucharest to Budapest), with 2 nights’ stay at both cities either side of the cruise. The attention to detail for preferred flight bookings and hotels, along with transfer arrangements, were marvellous. And the river cruise? FANTASTIC! Lovely ship, food and drinks, and on-board staff. Excellent range of excursions to suit various interests and abilities along the lovely river journey. And to top it all, we were entertained by the amazing Show of Hands, Flossie, and Broom Bezzums! What could be better
We have been on a number of river cruises and folk festivals with you. Andy and Angela, and their team, have always provided a first class, personal, and professional service and are always on hand to answer any queries or resolve any issues promptly and effectively. They are always striving to improve their customer service altering things where necessary. We have no doubt that ‘Harmony Voyages’ will be a big success and would have no hesitation in giving our highest recommendation.
So well organised, value for money. Unbelievable service. Would definitely book again
Good music, good company, good food, and good ships - what’s not to like? Oh, and the organisation is very good as well and that’s very important. My trips so far have not been the cheapest but they have been excellent - they wonderfully illustrate why value-for-money is so much better than cheap. Roll on the next one!