Rhone River Cruise
Imprint has adapted our distinct travel approach to river cruises. As with all cruises, after check-in you will be able to unpack once and settle into your cabin for the entire cruise with all meals included. But similarities end there. Each day we’ll have a custom built sightseeing experience and, where possible, free time for personal exploration. Local guides have been “hand-selected” for their passion and educational sensibilities. Imprint’s values drive the choice of sights and experiences.
As you expect from us, the tour price includes ALL scheduled excursions, local guides, activities, entrances, and TIPS. We’ve also included museum passes for free-time sightseeing in Arles and individual audio units for all cruise excursions. Typically, an Imprint tour is a bit more expensive due to all the inclusions, but in this case, we are able to offer this tour for a price considerably less than competitors, even comparing prices before the expensive shore options are added. It gets better! Rather than adding expensive extension options we include Annecy and Chamonix.
We’ve partnered with Luftner Cruises and we’ll be sailing on the elegant Amadeus Provence. Our cruise features free wine with dinners, live music, 24-hour coffee station, afternoon cake & pastry, the full time services of an onboard cruise director, concierge desk, and more.
The tour itinerary:
Day 1 / Sun Oct 6 Annecy
Meet this afternoon in our Annecy hotel for our get-acquainted meeting before going to dinner together.
Day 2 / Mon Oct 7 Annecy
This morning we’ll take a cruise around the lovely lake of Annecy. This gem is surrounded by the majestic French Alps. In the afternoon you’ll be free to explore the charming town of Annecy with its pastel houses, canals, charming Old Town, and Chateau.
Day 3 / Tues Oct 8 Chamonix
Today we depart Annecy by scenic train for Chamonix in the heart of the French Alps. Chamonix was the site of the first ever Winter Olympics in 1924. The stars here are the towering peaks of the Aiguilles du Rouge and the Mt Blanc Massif which surround the village on all sides. For your first evening in town we’ll have dinner together.
Day 4 / Wed Oct 9 Chamonix
Today is yours to organize as you see fit. Several mountain excursions are available for some of the best views in all the Alps. The classic, Aiguilles du Midi, will call you to its 12,602 foot peak. You can also take a scenic stroll through the woods or relax in one of several picturesque villages which line the valley floor, all with expansive views of Mt Blanc and the surrounding mountains.
Day 5 / Thurs Oct 10 Lyon
On this day we will head back down the valley to Lyon to join the Amadeus Provence for our Rhone River Cruise. Your Imprint tour director will choose an activity during the day - we can spend the day in Chamonix for more mountain exploration, take an excursion into neighboring Switzerland and Lake Leman (think Geneva) or explore the French countryside enroute to Lyon. No matter which direction we take, you’ll join the Provence at the end of the afternoon. This evening, we’ll enjoy a Welcome Cocktail, followed by a special Welcome Dinner. Vessel departure at 10pm
Day 6 / Fri Oct 11 Macon
This morning our vessel arrives in the town of Mâcon, located in southern Burgundy. This wine region produces some of the best vintages in the world. In your free time you can explore the city and visit the wine museum, dedicated to the history and production of Burgundy wines. Our excursion today takes us to Cluny Abbey, the ‘spiritual heart of medieval Europe’. Founded in 910 by Guillaume d’Aquitaine, the abbey was the most powerful in Medieval Europe and a center for church reform. For a taste of modern European monasticism, we will continue to Taizé for a short visit before finishing our day tasting the amazing Chardonnays of Pouilly-Fuissé.
Stay Macon 8am - 7pm
Day 7 / Sat Oct 12 Chalon-sur-Saone; Tournus
Our next port of call is the town of Chalon sur Saône. Half-timbered houses overlook the charming, café lined square. There are art galleries, specialty shops, and a museum dedicated to photography along its traffic-free lanes. You’ll have the morning free to wander the city’s streets and sights or join us for a rural romp through vineyards and villages of the Cote d’Or with a stop at Chateau Sully for a wine tasting. We’ll return to our vessel for lunch and to enjoy the scenery as we cruise south along the Saône river.
Stay Chalon-sur-Saône 8am - 2.30pm; Stay Tournus 5.30pm - 7.30pm
Day 8 / Sun Oct 13 Lyon
At the confluence of the Rhone and the Saône rivers sits Lyon, the third-largest city in France. This UNESCO World Heritage city is known for its cuisine as well as historical and architectural landmarks like the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourviere and the Vieux Lyon (Old Lyon). We will have a walking tour of this fascinating city to start the day. In the afternoon relax as the vessel sails south through the picturesque countryside.
Stay Lyon 6am - 12pm
Day 9 / Mon Oct 14 Avignon
Today we wake up in the city of Avignon and the region of Provence. For a morning excursion we will travel to nearby Pont du Gard, a three-level aqueduct constructed over 2000 years ago by the Romans and one of the architectural masterpieces of the ancient world. After lunch we’ll enjoy a walking tour of Avignon’s delightful back streets and bustling squares. There will also be free time to visit the Papal Palace, the seat of Western Christianity in the 14th century. The vessel remains in Avignon this evening.
Stay Avignon 9am - 5am
Day 10 / Tues Oct 15 Arles
A short, early morning cruise brings us to Arles, a lively, yet manageable city stuffed with important sights, museums, and appealing lanes to explore. A roman arena and theater, a fine Romanesque church, and some of Provence’s best museums highlight this stop. Arles also captured the imagination of the Impressionist painter, Vincent Van Gogh. Strolling through town, many of the settings may seem familiar as some of Van Gogh’s best known paintings reflect the beauty of the town. We’ll have a walking tour that includes the arena, theater, the Ancient History Museum, and some Van Gogh sights. Then a free afternoon to explore on your own.
Stay Arles 8am - 6.30pm
Day 11 / Wed Oct 16 Chateauneuf-du-Rhone; Le Pouzin
This morning offers the opportunity to visit the Ardeche Gorge, another natural wonder of the area with white cliffs plunging into a vast canyon. We will also visit the recently opened Chauvet cave with precise copies of prehistoric cave drawings from over 30,000 years ago. Alternately, spend the day onboard relaxing. This evening is the Captain’s Gala Dinner for our last night on board.
Stay Châteauneuf-du-Rhône 4.30am - 08.30am; Stay Le Pouzin 12pm - 2pm
Day 12 / Thurs Oct 17 Tour over after breakfast; Lyon
We bid you farewell after breakfast. Arrival at 8am. Disembarkation starting 9:00am.
Why Take a River Cruise?
River cruising offers an unparalleled level of convenience and you will enjoy smooth and peaceful sailing throughout. Unpack once in your comfortable, fully equipped, exterior cabin and let your floating hotel take you to Europe’s best destinations. More elegant and smaller than ocean-going cruises, there are no all night parties, casinos, midnight buffets, or long lines for dining. You’ll never wait for tenders into port as we dock in the heart of towns, allowing free-time explorations in world-class destinations. Daytime sailing is along some of the most scenic stretches of the Rhone and Soane Rivers and, unique to Amadeus, our restaurant boasts floor to ceiling windows for enjoying the view.
Included in the tour price:
Cruise inclusions: 7 nights accommodation (cabin of choice); all meals (including wine with dinner); 24 hour coffee/tea; afternoon cake & pastry; live entertainment nightly; free bikes; VOX audioguide for all excursions; all tips for cruise staff, guides, and tour director; shore excursions (Cluny Abbey, Taize, Chateau Sully, Lyon walking tour, Pont du Gard, Arles walking tour, Ardeche Gorge, Chauvet cave), activities (wine tastings, Arles museum pass, on board entertainment, free use of bicycles); and local guides. Annecy & Chamonix: 4 nights accommodation; coach or train transportation; 2 dinners; Lake Excursion; tips for tour director and drivers. Port charges (approx. $150pp).
Beverages (except wine with cruise dinners and 24-hour cruise coffee); free time sightseeing and shopping; flights to/from the tour.
*Price determined by class of cabin.
A major concern of Imprint and Luftner as organizers of river cruises is that Europe’s beautiful waterways be traveled sustainably. It is particularly important to us to create an overall awareness of ecological responsibility on board in addition to our implementation of environmentally-friendly measures. We are therefore proud to be working closely with organizations “Green Globe” and “Atmosfair” in making an active contribution to climate control, protecting the environment, and making sure that our lovely riverside scenery can be enjoyed for many years to come.