Cruise through picturesque Provence along the Saône and Rhône Rivers while you explore important World Heritage sites, charming villages, and the wine regions of the Rhône Valley and Burgundy.

Starting at: $4,990 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 View of Lyon and the Rhône River  The Roman amphitheater in Arles  The portal of the Romanesque Church of St. Trophime, Arles  Palais des Papes, Avignon  The Pont du Gard  Roman theater, Orange  The Roman Triumphal Arch, Orange  The city of Lyon, along the Rhône River  The Benedictine Abbey of Cluny  The 15th-century Hôtel Dieu, Beaune  Vineyards in Burgundy  Landscape of sunflowers in Provence

A River Cruise of Provence

9 days from $4,990

Cruise through picturesque Provence along the Saône and Rhône Rivers while you explore important World Heritage sites, charming villages, and the wine regions of the Rhône Valley and Burgundy.

or Call 855-330-1542

Activity Level

Activity Level 2: Moderate

Expectations: River cruise that pulls into a pier for disembarkation. Morning, afternoon, or full-day excursions at a moderate pace. Standing and walking for long periods of time during city tours, museum visits, and/or outdoor activities. Walking over sometimes difficult terrain (e.g. cobblestones, city hills, stairs without handrails, the absence of elevators); some longer walks at wineries and to get to city centers where coaches are prohibited. Choice of excursions with varying activity expectations offered on some days.

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit and comfortable with long days of touring (both walking tours and coach time).

Tour Extensions

Lyon Pre-Cruise Extension — 3 Days, 2 Nights

Day 1 - Depart the U.S. for Lyon

Depart the U.S. on your transatlantic flight to Lyon, France.

Day 2 - Lyon

Upon arrival in Lyon, transfer to the Sofitel Lyon Bellecour centrally located in the city’s historic district. Later this afternoon, enjoy a welcome briefing which will acquaint you with your stay in Lyon. Following the briefing, depart for an orientation walk around the hotel neighborhood. Early this evening, meet fellow travelers at a welcome reception in the hotel. (R)

Sofitel Lyon Bellecour     

Day 3 - Lyon

Lyon is often referred to as France’s gastronomic center. This morning, depart the hotel and tour and taste your way around the city on this exploration of the foods of Old Town. Sample the specialties of Burgundy with local producers and gain insider’s knowledge of Lyon’s exciting food scene. This afternoon is at leisure, so follow your own path and explore Lyon on your own. Your Smithsonian Travel Director will be on hand to offer suggestions, directions and answer questions. (B)

Sofitel Lyon Bellecour 

Day 4 – Lyon 

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and time free of planned activities. Then transfer by motor coach to the ship docked along the Rhone River where you’ll join the main group of Smithsonian Journeys Travelers. (B)​

Sofitel Lyon Bellecour and MS Amadeus Provence 

Special Air Rates/Services

FlexAir is designed to provide you with the flexibility and choice you need to personalize your air travel experience. Explore a wide range of flight options in consultation with our experienced travel professionals to select the flights, routing, class of service, and dates of travel that most fit your needs. Our partner tour operator has negotiated contracts with a wide variety of carriers that allow them to hold flight reservations and then issue your ticket close to departure without additional fees. This protects you from the need to purchase published-fare tickets, which must be ticketed within 24 hours of purchase. FlexAir reservations provide the flexibility to adjust reservations without penalty and to accommodate extensions and upgrades right up until ticketing time, usually around 45 days before departure. We look forward to providing you with more choice and the best possible itinerary for your air travel plans.

Program Includes:

  • Guaranteed transfers between the airport and your overseas accommodations upon arrival and departure (in most cases). We will provide you with all of the details you need to guarantee your transfer.
  • Air schedule change and delay assistance. Book FlexAir to ensure assistance should schedule changes or delays impact your air travel plans.
  • Flight insurance worth up to $250,000, subject to policy terms, is automatically included.
  • Confirmed airline seat assignments at the time of booking (in most cases).
Ship

Amadeus Provence

The elegance and romance of native son Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s music were inspiration in the meticulous crafting of the deluxe Amadeus River Fleet, which set new standards in design and technology and features the comforts of a floating five-star hotel. 

Each exclusively chartered ship offers up to 80 river-view, air-conditioned, stylishly appointed staterooms (from 172 square feet) and suites (up to 284 square feet), among the most spacious of any European river ship. Most accommodations feature a French balcony (floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors with iron railing). Each has two twin beds (convertible to one double-size bed), a private bathroom with shower (suites have a walk-in shower), individual climate control, satellite telephone and television, writing desk, safe and hair dryer. 

Gourmet continental meals featuring local ingredients are served in single, unassigned seatings in the delightfully scenic Panorama Restaurant and include early risers' coffee, buffet breakfast and lunch, afternoon tea and four-course dinner. Live piano music is played during afternoon tea, and complimentary wine and beer served with lunch and dinner. 

Public facilities are spacious and typically include the Panorama Bar, Lido Bar, Amadeus Club with internet station, library, beauty salon, boutique, fitness studio with massage services and early morning exercise classes, and sun deck with outdoor swimming pool, giant chess board and a shuffleboard. Guests will also appreciate the complimentary Quietvox audio systemavailable to all passengers for listening enhancement during shore excursions. Laundry service is available. 

The English-speaking, international crew provides warm hospitality. The Amadeus River Fleet meets the highest safety standards and is the only fleet of European river ships to have been awarded the "Green Certificate" of environmental preservation.

 Standard cabin
  The <i>Amadeus Provence</i>   The <i>Amadeus Provence</i> in Vienne  Suite  The Club area

Amadeus Provence

The elegance and romance of native son Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s music were inspiration in the meticulous crafting of the deluxe Amadeus River Fleet, which set new standards in design and technology and features the comforts of a floating five-star hotel. 

Each exclusively chartered ship offers up to 80 river-view, air-conditioned, stylishly appointed staterooms (from 172 square feet) and suites (up to 284 square feet), among the most spacious of any European river ship. Most accommodations feature a French balcony (floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors with iron railing). Each has two twin beds (convertible to one double-size bed), a private bathroom with shower (suites have a walk-in shower), individual climate control, satellite telephone and television, writing desk, safe and hair dryer. 

Gourmet continental meals featuring local ingredients are served in single, unassigned seatings in the delightfully scenic Panorama Restaurant and include early risers' coffee, buffet breakfast and lunch, afternoon tea and four-course dinner. Live piano music is played during afternoon tea, and complimentary wine and beer served with lunch and dinner. 

Public facilities are spacious and typically include the Panorama Bar, Lido Bar, Amadeus Club with internet station, library, beauty salon, boutique, fitness studio with massage services and early morning exercise classes, and sun deck with outdoor swimming pool, giant chess board and a shuffleboard. Guests will also appreciate the complimentary Quietvox audio systemavailable to all passengers for listening enhancement during shore excursions. Laundry service is available. 

The English-speaking, international crew provides warm hospitality. The Amadeus River Fleet meets the highest safety standards and is the only fleet of European river ships to have been awarded the "Green Certificate" of environmental preservation.

 Standard cabin
  The <i>Amadeus Provence</i>   The <i>Amadeus Provence</i> in Vienne  Suite  The Club area
Reading List

Highly Recommended

The Road from the Past: Traveling through History in France
By: Ina Caro, Doubleday Broadway
Caro takes us on an unforgettable driving tour of France, from Provence to the Loire Valley to Paris. With Caro as an epicurean, knowledgeable, and delightfully opinionated guide, we can always be sure to find the most breathtaking vistas, the most extraordinary châteaux, the most inspiring cathedrals, and the very best meals.
Provence
By: Lawrence Durrell
Lawrence Durrell, who was called “one of the [twentieth] century’s great literary pyrotechnicians” (Kenneth McLeish, London Times), was also one of its most accomplished travel writers. Durrell lived in Provence for thirty years and was its leading literary expatriate long before others discovered that magical wedge of land. In this, his final book, he has left a dazzling testament that distills its essence and conveys its savors as no other work in the English language.Durrell’s Provence is saturated with the spirits of civilizations past. In the countryside, the marketplace, and among the people, he listens to — and conveys for us — echos of the battles of Roman generals like Caesar and Agrippa, the love of Petrarch for Laura, the debates of the medieval Courts of Love, and the lyrics of the troubadours. He relates the significance of ruins strewn across Provence, which for him is nothing less than the crucible where the European sensibility was forged, and he discusses such topics as bull worship, black magic, alchemy, the Provençal language, Buffalo Bill’s friendship with the poet Mistral, who was Provence’s Nobel laureate, the beauty of Arlesian women, and the game of boules. Provence is a monument to the author and to the region, and is essential reading for any traveler seeking to understand the spirit of the place.
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Provence and the Côte d'Azur
By: DK Travel
The ideal travel companion, full of insider advice on what to see and do, plus detailed itineraries and comprehensive maps for exploring this tranquil and picturesque region.Tour through the beautiful Provençal villages and landscapes of the Petit Luberon, take in the glamour of Cannes, enjoy a dish of bouillabaisse in Marseille, or go wine tasting at Châteauneuf-du-Pape: everything you need to know is clearly laid out within color-coded chapters. Discover the best of Provence and the Côte d'Azur with this indispensable travel guide.Inside DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Provence & the Côte d'Azur:- Over 15 color maps help you navigate with ease- Simple layout makes it easy to find the information you need- Comprehensive tours and itineraries of Provence and the Côte d'Azur designed for every interest and budget- Illustrations show the inside of icons such as Nice's Musée Matisse, the Ephrussi de Rothschild Villa, Gardens on the Cap Ferrat, well-preserved Théâtre Antique et Musée d'Orange in Vaucluse, and more- Color photographs of the area's bustling cities and pretty towns, Roman-inspired architecture, white-sand beaches, elegant châteaux, beautiful landscapes, and more- Detailed chapters, with area maps, cover the Riviera and the Alpes Maritimes; the Var and the Iles d'Hyères; Bouches-du-Rhône and Nîmes; Vaucluse; and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence - Historical and cultural context gives you a richer travel experience: learn about the region's fascinating history and culture, famous artists and writers, local festivals, traditional food and drink, including its world-famous wines, striking landscapes and diverse wildlife, unique souvenirs, and more - Essential travel tips: our expert choices of where to stay, eat, shop, and sightsee, plus how to get around, useful phrases, and visa and health information DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Provence & the Côte d'Azur is a detailed, easy-to-use guide designed to help you get the most from your visit to Provence and the Côte d'Azur.DK Eyewitness: Silver award winner in the Wanderlust Reader Travel Awards for Guidebook Series 2018. "No other guide whets your appetite quite like this one." --The IndependentExploring beyond Provence and the Côte d'Azur? Try our DK Eyewitness Travel Guide France.About DK Eyewitness Travel: DK's highly visual Eyewitness guides show you what others only tell you, with easy-to-read maps, tips, and tours to inform and enrich your journey. DK is the world's leading illustrated reference publisher, producing beautifully designed books for adults and children in more than 120 countries.
The Roman Provence Guide
By: Edwin Mullins
Provence owes its name to Julius Caesar who described the region as the Province of Rome. Edwin Mullins seeks out hidden traces of that ancient world along with the many spectacular monuments that today adorn the cities of Nimes, Arles, Vienne, and Orange. He tells the story of how the Romans came to invade Provence, how they stayed to colonize it, and how they transformed Provencal cities into imitations of Rome. His narrative also tells how the Emperor Constantine brought about the conversion of the Roman Empire to Christianity from his favorite city of Arles and how the Romans were eventually driven out by the Visigoths. Roman Provence is also a guide to the principal sites in the region as well as those rarely visited, with separate chapters on various Roman achievements: triumphal arches, aqueducts, farming, city life, bridges and road-building, temples and shrines, theaters and amphitheaters.

Also Recommended

Lonely Planet French Phrasebook & Dictionary
By: Lonely Planet
The Most Beautiful Villages of Provence (The Most Beautiful Villages)
By: Jacobs, Michael
Provence A-Z: A Francophile's Essential Handbook (Vintage Departures)
By: Peter Mayle
The ultimate “dictionary” for lovers of Provence: Peter Mayle's personal selection of the foods, customs and words he finds most fascinating, curious, delicious, or just plain fun.Though organized from A to Z, this is hardly a conventional work of reference. In more than 170 entries, Peter Mayle—bestselling author of A Year in Provence—writes about subjects as wide-ranging as architecture and zingue-zingue-zoun (in the local patois, a word meant to describe the sound of a violin). And, of course, he writes about food and drink: vin rosé, truffles, olives, melons, bouillabaisse, the cheese that killed a Roman emperor, even a cure for indigestion. Provence A-Z is a delight for Peter Mayle's ever-growing audience and the perfect complement to any guidebook on Provence, or, for that matter, France.
The Popes of Avignon: A Century in Exile
By: Edwin Mullins
This narrative history masterfully weaves together the sweeping events surrounding the so-called “Babylonian captivity” of the popes into the broader story of 14th-century Europe, a turbulent time of transition between Middle Ages and Renaissance when seven successive popes resided in Avignon in the south of France.
The Yellow House: Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Nine Turbulent Weeks in Provence
By: Martin Gayford
From October to December of 1888, Paul Gauguin shared a yellow house in the south of France with Vincent van Gogh. They were the odd couple of the art world -- one calm, the other volatile -- and the denouement of their living arrangement was explosive. Making use of new evidence and Van Gogh’s voluminous correspondence, Martin Gayford describes not only how these two hallowed artists painted and exchanged ideas, but also the texture of their everyday lives. Gayford also makes a persuasive analysis of Van Gogh’s mental illness -- the probable bipolar affliction that led him to commit suicide at the age of thirty-seven. The Yellow House is a singular biographical work, as dramatic and vibrant as the work of these brilliant artists.
Shadows in the Vineyard: The True Story of the Plot to Poison the World's Greatest Wine
By: Maximillian Potter
Amazon Best Book of the Month, July 2014Journalist Maximillian Potter uncovers a fascinating plot to destroy the vines of La Romanée-Conti, Burgundy's finest and most expensive wine. In January 2010, Aubert de Villaine, the famed proprietor of the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, the tiny, storied vineyard that produces the most expensive, exquisite wines in the world, received an anonymous note threatening the destruction of his priceless vines by poison-a crime that in the world of high-end wine is akin to murder-unless he paid a one million euro ransom. Villaine believed it to be a sick joke, but that proved a fatal miscalculation and the crime shocked this fabled region of France. The sinister story that Vanity Fair journalist Maximillian Potter uncovered would lead to a sting operation by some of France's top detectives, the primary suspect's suicide, and a dramatic investigation. This botanical crime threatened to destroy the fiercely traditional culture surrounding the world's greatest wine. SHADOWS IN THE VINEYARD takes us deep into a captivating world full of fascinating characters, small-town French politics, an unforgettable narrative, and a local culture defined by the twinned veins of excess and vitality and the deep reverent attention to the land that runs through it.
The Food of France
By: Waverley Root
Two Towns in Provence: Map of Another Town and a Considerable Town [Paperback] [1983] (Author) M. F. K. Fisher
By: aa
Will be shipped from US. Used books may not include companion materials, may have some shelf wear, may contain highlighting/notes, may not include CDs or access codes. 100% money back guarantee.
On Provence (On Series)
By: Henry James
Meander through Provence in the company of Henry James with this vivid collection of travel writing taken from his little-known book A Little Tour in FranceIn 1882, a year after the publication of his wildly successful The Portrait of a Lady, which dealt with the difficulties faced by American expatriate Daisy Miller in Europe, Henry James set out a six-week tour of southeastern France, taking in Tours, Bourges, Nantes, Toulouse, and Arles. Although a sometime resident of Paris, James was convinced that the soul of France resided not in the capital but in the provinces, and he set out to find it. Beginning in Touraine, James followed the course of the Rhône north to Burgundy, writing articles on architecture, literature, and personal observation that were serialized in the Atlantic Monthly. The resulting work is a fascinating patchwork, switching seamlessly between the broad strokes of classic travel writing and the smallest details of human behavior for which James is best known. This is at once an excellent example of James' prose writing and an outstanding work of travel writing in its own right.
France: A Traveler's Literary Companion (Traveler's Literary Companions)
By: William Rodarmor, Anna Livia
This guide for literature enthusiasts and travelers alike reveals what Francophiles have long known: France is so much more than the Eiffel Tower and the Champs-Elysées. Including contributions from such celebrated French writers as Colette, Gabriel Chevallier, and Emmanuelle Laborit, this lively anthology takes readers through France in literary style. In Paris, walk down twisty Rue Ferrière, take a spin on a Franco-Arab carousel, and eavesdrop on a Jewish funeral party. In the suburbs, meet a pint-sized book thief and a gritty ghetto gang. Then visit Provence, Brittany, Normandy, and Alsace-Lorraine, and even witness the Tour de France. Organized by region, these charming stories are often funny, occasionally surreal, and always compelling.
Lisette's List: A Novel
By: Susan Vreeland
From Susan Vreeland, bestselling author of such acclaimed novels as Girl in Hyacinth Blue, Luncheon of the Boating Party, and Clara and Mr. Tiffany, comes a richly imagined story of a woman’s awakening in the south of Vichy France—to the power of art, to the beauty of provincial life, and to love in the midst of war.   In 1937, young Lisette Roux and her husband, André, move from Paris to a village in Provence to care for André’s grandfather Pascal. Lisette regrets having to give up her dream of becoming a gallery apprentice and longs for the comforts and sophistication of Paris. But as she soon discovers, the hilltop town is rich with unexpected pleasures.   Pascal once worked in the nearby ochre mines and later became a pigment salesman and frame maker; while selling his pigments in Paris, he befriended Pissarro and Cézanne, some of whose paintings he received in trade for his frames. Pascal begins to tutor Lisette in both art and life, allowing her to see his small collection of paintings and the Provençal landscape itself in a new light. Inspired by Pascal’s advice to “Do the important things first,” Lisette begins a list of vows to herself (#4. Learn what makes a painting great). When war breaks out, André goes off to the front, but not before hiding Pascal’s paintings to keep them from the Nazis’ reach.   With German forces spreading across Europe, the sudden fall of Paris, and the rise of Vichy France, Lisette sets out to locate the paintings (#11. Find the paintings in my lifetime). Her search takes her through the stunning French countryside, where she befriends Marc and Bella Chagall, who are in hiding before their flight to America, and acquaints her with the land, her neighbors, and even herself in ways she never dreamed possible. Through joy and tragedy, occupation and liberation, small acts of kindness and great acts of courage, Lisette learns to forgive the past, to live robustly, and to love again.Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more.  “Vreeland’s love of painters and painting, her meticulous research and pitch-perfect descriptive talents . . . are abundantly evident in her new novel.”—The Washington Post   “This historical novel’s . . . great strength is its lovingly detailed setting. . . . Readers will enjoy lingering in the sun-dappled, fruit-scented Provençal landscape that Vreeland brings to life.”—The Boston Globe   “A pleasurable opportunity to learn something about art, history . . . and to enjoy a plucky heroine who grows in ways she never thought possible.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch   “Mesmerizing . . . Vreeland’s passionate writing is as good as a private showing at the Louvre.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)   “An entrancing novel of joy and heartache . . . Vreeland provides the reader with a broad spectrum of emotions.”—The Free Lance-Star
The Botanist and the Vintner: How Wine Was Saved for the World
By: Christy Campbell
In the mid-1860s, grapevines in southeastern France inexplicably began to wither and die. Jules-Émile Planchon, a botanist from Montpellier, was sent to investigate. He discovered that the vine roots were covered in microscopic yellow insects. What they were and where they had come from was a mystery. The infestation advanced with the relentlessness of an invading army and within a few years had spread across Europe, from Portugal to the Crimea. The wine industry was on the brink of disaster. The French government offered a prize of three hundred thousand gold francs for a remedy. Planchon believed he had the answer and set out to prove it. Gripping and intoxicating, The Botanist and the Vintner brings to life one of the most significant, though little-known, events in the history of wine.
24x36 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (24x36 Laminated)
Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Travel Guard provides an on-tour Insurance Plan. On-tour emergency evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only). It also includes up to $25,000 medical and up to $500 dental expense coverage, and 24-hour worldwide travel and medical assistance. Please click here to view complete coverage details.

Please visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1-800-208-6142 to learn about additional (optional) coverage.