Cruising the Rhone: Romans, Popes and Cave Paintings

The Pont du Gard, France
The Pont du Gard, France

Cruise along France’s historic Rhône, from Chalon-sur-Saône all the way down to Arles, discovering its rich past through visits to sites that include a Roman amphitheatre, temples and even a replica museum that showcases breathtaking examples of 36,000-year-old rock art.

Our Ship


Twin/double A cabin (deck 1) - CALL TO BOOK – Limited availability at this price
£2,389 (with flights) / $3,065 (without flights)
Single supplement – N/A as cabin is minimum 2 persons

Twin/double outside A cabin (deck 1) - CALL TO BOOK
£2,549 (with flights) / $3,279 (without flights)
Single Supp - £240/$325

Twin/double outside C cabin with Juliette balcony (deck 2) - CALL TO BOOK
£2,829 (with flights) / $3,655 (without flights)
Single Supp - £295/$395

Twin/double outside D cabin with Juliette balcony (deck 3) - CALL TO BOOK
£2,899 (with flights) / $3,755 (without flights)
Single Supp - £315/$425

Itinerary 2020

Day 1

Arrive in Lyon and prepare for our afternoon of touring. In the evening, we join the A-ROSA Stella, which will gently guide us along the Rhône.

Exclusive Andante excursion: We pay a visit to the Gallo-Roman Museum of Lyon-Fourviere, where collections showcasing the area’s past are displayed. We also visit the stunning Roman theater.

Day 2

We arrive in Chalon-sur-Saône and have an early lunch. After our day’s visits, we return to the ship in the evening and sit down to dinner onboard.

Exclusive Andante excursion: Our first stop today is the Gallo-Roman site of Bibracte – a training ground for archaeologists, where new discoveries are constantly made. This site is located in the center of a protected wood. We also visit the Museum of Celtic Civilization, where we can learn all about the ancient Aedui who lived here.

Day 3

This morning, we wake in Mâcon and set off for our archaeological explorations. We return to the ship in Trévoux and enjoy another evening of dining and cruising.

Exclusive Andante excursion: Today we visit the world-famous abbey at Cluny, a Benedictine monastery that was destroyed during the French Revolution, but whose remains testify to its power and wealth. Later, we continue to the Roche de Solutré, a prehistoric site that was the center of Solutrean palaeolithic culture. Here, we will also visit the Prehistoric Museum.

Day 4

Back in Lyon this morning, we have breakfast before making our way to our first site visit. We return to our ship for lunch and cruise onwards to Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Exclusive Andante excursion: We depart for Vienne, the erstwhile capital of the Allobroges, transformed into a Roman colony under Julius Caesar and later the provincial capital. During our time here, we explore the Roman theater, which could hold around 11,000 spectators within its 46 tiered rows, and we also pay a visit to the Temple of Augustus and Livia.

Day 5

Today we arrive in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and leave our ship to visit a series of sites and museums. Later, we continue to Avignon, where we have some free time and can visit the Papal Palace.

Exclusive Andante excursion: The iconic Pont du Gard is our first port of call today. This is the tallest-surviving aqueduct, which carried water over 50km to Nîmes. We then continue to the city of Nîmes to explore the impressive Roman amphitheater. Next, we visit the Maison Carrée, a well-preserved temple façade, and we end at the Musée de la Romanite.

Day 6

We enjoy cruising this morning and head out for more touring. We return to our ship in Arles, later.

Exclusive Andante excursion: We travel to Arles to visit the amphitheater, theater and the Roman necropolis of Alyscamps.

Day 7

This morning we awake in Viviers and cruise onwards to Ardèche. Our return to the ship follows later in La Voulte-sur-Rhône and, from here, we cruise to Lyon.

Exclusive Andante excursion: In Ardèche, we visit the facsimile Cave of Chauvet II, which recreates the 36,000-year-old paintings discovered in 1994 and closed to the public since. This is the largest facsimile cave ever built and offers full-sized reproductions of the paintings of animals.

Day 8

After breakfast onboard, we disembark for one final visit. Later, we transfer to Lyon airport and fly home.

Exclusive Andante excursion: Our last excursion of the tour is to Le Jardin Archéologique, a UNESCO-listed site that is home to the excavated ruins of two churches.

What's Included

  1. 7 nights aboard the A-ROSA Stella
  2. Joined by expert Guide Lecturer Dr Eireann Marshall throughout the tour
  3. All meals and specified drinks onboard included
  4. Archaeological excursions throughout as stated in the itinerary
  5. All taxes & gratuities
  6. Transfers throughout as stated in the itinerary

Choose from over 140 tours exploring every corner of the ancient world. You can use the buttons and filters below to narrow down your choice of tour, or simply browse through the complete list. If you are in need of further advice, expertise or inspiration, please do contact our team of archaeologists and travel specialists.
Email | Call UK 01722 713800

Enquire now

Have a question or just want to find out more?

Call For Availability

Call to book

Call to Book

2020 Tour Details

Sat 10th Oct - Sat 17th Oct

Call for Availability


without flights


Led By: Dr Eireann Marshall

Guide Lecturer

Share tour with friends