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FRANCE'S SAONE RIVER CRUISE
Fabulous Saone River cruises for all things food and wine!


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While the Beatles immortalized the phrase, “Lavender fields are forever,” they were inspired to right those poetic and life-changing words by a trip to Provence — maybe they even took a river cruise on the Saone River. These two rivers, the Saône and the Rhône, respectively, combine to create your liquid highway through the very heart of France’s majestic Burgundy and Provence regions.

This very popular French river cruise sails smoothly from Chalon-sur-Saône, a really cool, small medieval town pefectly situated within the heart of what is known as Burgundy. From here you Saone River cruise co-mingles with the Rhone as you enter the provincial capital of Provence, Arles, over 2500 years old. Arles with its wealth of Roman ruins is positioned on the Rhône just before it reaches the Mediterranean Sea. Click HERE to continue reading article below.

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Mar 19
2017
Lyon
Avignon
7Cruise OnlyBurgundy & Provence - Food & Wine Theme
Limited Time Private Sale – Save up to 35%!
Uniworld
Catherine
$2949GetQuote
Mar 19
2017
Avignon
Lyon
7Cruise OnlyLyon & Provence
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Longship
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Mar 20
2017
Paris
Barcelona
13Cruise & LandBurgundy & Provence & Spain
Wine Cruise - Save $1500
AmaWaterways
AmaCello
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Mar 22
2017
Avignon
Lyon
7Cruise OnlyLyon & Provence
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Longship
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Mar 23
2017
Lyon
Arles
7Cruise OnlyBurgundy & Provence
Wine Cruise - Save $1500
AmaWaterways
AmaCello
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Mar 25
2017
Paris
Avignon
11Cruise & LandParis, Burgundy & Provence
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Longship
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Mar 26
2017
Avignon
Lyon
7Cruise OnlyBurgundy & Provence - Food & Wine Theme
Limited Time Private Sale – Save up to 35%!
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Catherine
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Mar 26
2017
Avignon
Paris
14Cruise OnlyGrand France - Food & Wine Theme
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Catherine
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Mar 26
2017
Avignon
Bordeaux
21Cruise OnlyUltimate Grand France
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Uniworld
Catherine
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Mar 26
2017
Lyon
Avignon
7Cruise OnlyLyon & Provence
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A French river cruise down the Saône and Rhône is a delightful blend of all things we think of with France; exciting touring and historical stops, the French cultural and traditions, and of course food, wine and art. Your river cruise in France though Provence will allow you to leisurely enjoy France as you float past incredible photographic opportunities of vine clad hills and extraordianry French medieval villages around almost every bend in the river. It's hard to put into words the beauty that one experiences on a French river cruise through Provence - especially the beauty that is found in their fine food and wines. This French river cruise works for anyone, irrespective of how old the calendar says you are. It's an easy, slow paced cruise for those who enjoy walking. And we have to tell you, there may be no finer place in all the world than the Provence region of France to be a wanderlust. Have an extra slot card for your camera and get ready for one of the best river cruises in the world, a French river cruise in Provence.

A river cruise on the Saône and Rhône will require a bit of gastronomic control before – Yes, before you go! — We suggest eating wisely before you arrive, so that you can take full advantage of being at and around what many gastronomic’s call the food capitol of the world, Lyon. These cruises appeal to all ages and it does that better than almost any other river cruise vacation, as this itinerary offers unimaginable wine tasting and culinary opportunities as well as history back to the time of the Romans, the art of Van Gogh and Cézanne and of course, those extraordinary French cities of Beaune, Tournon, Viviers, Avignon and Arles to mention but a few.

The Saône is only 80 miles or so, but what an 80 miles! You'll journey through the beautiful Burgundy landscape, leisurely cruising towards the city known and loved by gourmands everywhere, Lyon. It is here that the Saône merges with the longer and better known Rhône River which continues south for close to 200 miles, passing through Provence, with its numerous Greek and Roman settlements, and the Rhône Valley, abounding with vineyards and such famous wine towns as Châteauneuf-du-Pape. During this stretch of the trip you’ll want to have your camera or iPhone very handy.

The crown jewel on any cruise through this region is without a doubt the city of Lyon. This beautiful city, founded by the Romans, sits at the confluence of the two rivers. Its most imposing feature is the stark white and imposing Basilica of Notre Dame de Fourvière, built on the highest hill with views overlooking the city that should not be missed. Lyon has so much history that much of it, including the Basilica, has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Now, if you have the time, better yet, make the time, and do at least one of the following: lunch or dine at a “Bouchon,” a traditional restaurant serving Lyonnais cuisine; tour the “traboules”, narrow passages linking streets and buildings in the old city. Many traboules were used by the French resistance during World War II.

While there are a multitude of exceptional places of interest as you sail down the river, my favorite place has to be the Pont du Gard, the ancient Roman aqueduct and bridge built in the 1st-century AD. Standing close to this immense monument to Rome’s engineering prowess you realize just how incredible a task it was to construct this highest of all Roman aqueduct bridges. Not only is this a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but it is among the top five most popular tourist draws in all of France.

In fact, a river cruise down the Rhône is a showcase for a veritable cornucopia of roman history — from the wonderfully preserved arena in Arles, still used for musical concerts, to the outstanding amphitheater in Orange, the most impressive still existing in Europe and the site of the world famous Chorégies d’Orange, a summer opera festival. And both sites are — you guessed it, UNESCO World Heritage Sites!

For those interested in the French masters, this cruise will provide you with an ample opportunity to explore the lush vineyards, fields of flowers and lavender that inspired Van Gogh and Cézanne in and around Arles. You’ll also have complete access to the Avignon’s spectacular Palace of the Popes, the former summer home for the Papacy.

Is all this making you thirsty? Well, do not despair. One thing that will not be in short supply on your cruise is wine. Wine at dinner, wine tastings on board and on shore — your river cruise ship is the perfect vehicle from which to experience the tremendous variety of wine that France is duly famous for. Chalon-sur-Saône, Macon, and the ancient and historic town of Beaune are at the center of the Burgundy wine region. The annual wine auction held in Beaune is the most famous and is the primary wine auction held in France. While on your river cruise vacation you may drink to your heart’s content as complimentary regional wines are included in your price.

Almost all of the French River cruises that we at Premier recommend will also include a myriad of complimentary shore excursions with private guided tours into the wine caves and cellars of the region along with a number of off-ship Epicurean programs that will enable you to take in all the flavor of the regional cuisine Burgundy and Provence are known for.

The Burgundy and Provence river cruises are generally 7-8 days in duration. To top off your vacation, consider an optional pre/post extension package in gay Paris and/or a delightful stay in Aix-en-Provence the home of Cézanne. If you’re really into France, its culture and epicurean and wine delights — think about taking one of the itineraries that are typically called, Grand France river cruises. They combine the best of all things French, a Seine river cruise into Normandy and the Burgundy and Provence cruise we have just discussed. It most certainly would provide a trip of a lifetime for you.

Premier River Cruises can help you plan the perfect river cruise to this breathtaking region where you'll savor not just the sights, but the sounds and smells as well. Where every bend and turn along the rivers brings something new and different into view — from lavender fields to Greek and Roman ruins, from cobblestoned streets to landscapes that inspired Van Gogh and Gauguin. After your cruise is finished you too will say that your vacation was Très Magnifique!

All the major lines including: AmaWaterways, Avalon, ScenicTours, Tauck, Uniworld, and Viking River Cruises offer exceptional early booking values on many 2012 French river cruises... but, there are still some fabulous wine-themed Fall 2011 river cruises available. If you want to go this year, BOOK NOW before it is too late! Call one of our experts at Premier for all the details and to ensure you are booked on the cruise that best meets your personal needs.

 

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TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Unless otherwise noted, prices and offers are in USD, cruise only per person, based on double occupancy and do not include airfare, taxes or fees. The displayed prices are based on minimum category riverview window stateroom and applicable only to the sailing date(s) shown. Prices for other dates may vary based on the date and stateroom selected. Other than “Hot Deal” offers, price does not reflect any cruise line or Premier savings. Where Premier includes “prepaid tips” in an offer, it applies only to the cruise portion of the trip and not any land portion or shore excursions. VISA® Gift Card offer amounts vary by sailing date and category purchased. To obtain the best price, please use the quote button or call one of our river cruise specialist. Certain discounts or prices may require full payment at the time of booking in order to be eligible. We urge you to book early as river cruises sell out almost a year in advance. Prices and availability may change without notice and are not guaranteed until a deposit is received and applied to your reservation. Call 1-855-255-1200, for complete details. We reserve the right to correct any informational or typographical errors. ©2010-2017 Premier River Cruises, LLC. All rights reserved worldwide. CST #2104636-40.