Rhone & Saone River Cruise: Paris to French Riviera - Firebird Tours ®

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Trip Overview

Explore the beautiful land of France from the north all the way to the south with a comprehensive 14-day cruise, stopping at the major cities and charming French villages. You begin your journey in the heart of France - Paris and take time to discover the city, visiting the iconic landmarks like the Louvre Museum, Champs-Elysees and Eiffel Tower districts and many more. After visiting Versailles Palace you board a modern, upscale MS Amadeus cruise ship and head south of the Burgundy region, famous for its high-quality wine.

Tour type:
Tour rating:
4 / 5, Based on
  • Your dedicated travel specialist
    Private guides and drivers before and after the cruise
    Exceptional local guides
    Emergency support
  • Modern Amadeus ship
    Only outside cabins with river views
  • 3 private guided walking city tours
    3 guided day-tours outside cities
    6 group tours
  • 13 breakfasts
    6 lunches
    7 dinners
    Drinks on board
    Wine tastings


Day 1
Bonjour! Arrival to Paris

Bonjour and welcome to the most romantic city in the world and the charming capital of France - Paris! Your private driver meets you at the arrival hall of the airport holding a sign with your name on it and transfers you to the hotel.

Meals are not included.

Day 2
Exploring Crème de la Crème of Louvre & the Latin Quarter

After breakfast, your private guide meets you in the hotel lobby and takes you on a 6-hour walking tour of the two famous districts of Paris: Latin Quarter (5th) and Marais (4th).

Your tour of the fabulous capital of France begins with the UNESCO Site Heritage - Banks of Seine river. Continue to the Latin quarter and taste a Bohemian charm of the medieval narrow streets and stone-paved alleyways. Reach the Ile de la Cite where you see the world’s most famous gothic cathedral - Notre Dame. Walk through the Ile Saint Louis and get closer to more sights: Hôtel de Ville (city hall), Fountain of the Innocents and Palais Royal. 

You then proceed with the tour of the Louvre Museum, one of the world’s largest museums, taking advantage of your skip-the-line tickets. You see the crème de la crème collections and the most celebrated works of art, ancient artifacts, Greek sculptures, including the famous Venus di MiloWinged Victory, and masterpieces of Michelangelo, Eugène Delacroix, Paolo Veronese and the world’s most enigmatic Portrait of Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci.

After the tour, you return to the hotel and have the rest of the day free.

Breakfast is included.

Day 3
Tour of the Champs-Elysees and Eiffel Tower Districts

Following breakfast, your private guide meets you in the hotel lobby and takes you on a 5-hour walking tour of the Champs-Elysees (8th) and Eiffel Tower (7th) districts. 

Today you start with outstanding Places Vendome and Concorde and proceed to the Tuileries Gardens - the oldest park in the city. You get to see one of the most recognizable landmarks with its magnificent glass-domed roof - Grand Palais and smaller but similar Petit Palais, built for the Universal Exhibition in 1900. Step on the most ornate and extravagant bridge in the city - Pont Alexandre III and continue to the Place de Trocadero which is the vantage point of the Eiffel Tower*. 

After the tour, you may return to the hotel or take an optional boat cruise along the Seine river.
*Note: Tickets to the Eiffel Tower are not included in the city tour due to limited availability. Please, ask your travel specialist about available tickets for your tour date if you would like to include it.

Breakfast is included.

Day 4
Tour of Versailles Magnifique

Following breakfast at your hotel, enjoy a guided tour of the magnificent Versailles - the famous residence of French kings. 

Together with your experienced private guide and driver you set off on a 6-hour tour and make use of the privilege to skip-the-line entrance to the Palace. You see the Palace of Versailles and admire its grandiose opulence from the inside. You get to walk through its well-known Hall of Mirrors where the Treaty of Versailles was signed and see the actual rooms of the most extravagant king of France, Louis the XIV. You also discover the world famous Le Notre gardens, see the Grand Trianon (exterior) and enjoy an inside visit to Petit Trianon - Marie-Antoinette’s estate. 

After the tour, you are taken to the train station to catch the train to Lyon.

Upon arrival, just in 2 hours your driver meets you and takes to the MS Amadeus ship for embarkation.

Today you enjoy a Welcome cocktail and dinner as you begin your cruise of France.

*Check-in on the ship starts at 16.00. The ship departs from Lyon at 22.00

Breakfast, dinner, a welcome drink are included.

Day 5
Exploring Macon, Wine Museum Tour & Cluny Abbey

This morning your ship arrives in the south of the Burgundy region, famous worldwide for its impeccable high-quality wines. Begin your exploration of France with a 3.5-hour group tour to a wine museum. Make your way to the Beaujolais and Maconnais wine regions and see beautiful vineyards. As a highlight of the day, you visit Georges Duboeuf's Hameau du Vin where you get an insight into wine production and have a tasting of Beaujolais wines.

In the afternoon you go to a historic spiritual place, the Cluny Abbey, which was founded in 910. In 3.5 hours together with your group guide learn about the monastic movement in the Middle Ages, see the ruins of the abbey, discover the ancient Benedictine abbey, and the remaining buildings of the convent that still stand today.

After the tour, you return to your ship and continue cruising.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks are included.

Day 6
Excursion to Beaune & Wine Tasting

After breakfast, you arrive in Chalon sur Saône and enjoy a 4-hour group tour of the wine capital of Burgundy, charming Beaune.

On the bus, you first pass places like Pommard, Volnay, and Meursault. Upon arrival to Beaune, you have a guided tour during which you get to see the main attractions of the city, including the famous Hôtel-Dieu, housed in a prestigious place built in 1443 which is a former hospital. It has three courtyards, numerous halls, courts and buildings among which are a museum, a 15th-century bastion and hundreds of meters of cellars.

Today's highlight is a visit to one of Beaune's cellars for a wine tasting.

After the tour, you return to the ship and continue cruising.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks, and tasting are included.

Day 7
Lyon City Tour

Following breakfast, you reach Lyon, the capital city in France’s Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region. Lyon was founded by the Romans in the 1st century B.C. as the capital of the Three Gauls and is often called the culinary capital of France today.

Today you go on a 3-hour group tour of main Lyon attractions. Together with your guide you first take a coach to the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourviere set on a hill. Then you continue with a walking tour of the Old Town of Lyon, home to sights like the ancient Roman theater.

After the tour, you are taken back to the ship to continue cruising.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks are included.

Day 8
Exploring Avignon

Today your ship arrives in Avignon in the South of France, which was the seat of the papacy in the 14th century and is often called the "City of Popes".

Your 2-hour guided walking group tour begins with the main attraction of the city, the Popes’ Palace, where the popes lived in the 14th century. It is the largest Gothic building in the world and you get to learn about the everyday life of the popes who lived there in splendor and luxury from 1309 to 1377.

Then you continue to the famous Pont de Avignon Saint Benezet bridge dating back from the 12th century.

After the tour, you are taken back to the ship to continue your cruise.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks are included.

Day 9
Tour of Camargue Nature Park

Following breakfast, your ship arrives in Arles, famous for being the place where Vincent van Gogh lived and painted masterpieces like the "Starry Night Over the Rhone".

Today you have a 4.5-hour group trip to the Nature Park of the Camargue. You travel outside of Arles on a bus to this outstanding protected natural area of 85,000 hectares with wetlands and rich wildlife. The picturesque territory of the nature reserve has inspired numerous painters with its beauty, including Van Gogh. You have some time to enjoy the beauty of the region and, if you're lucky, spot one of the many animals and birds that roam here freely.

Next, you continue with a walking tour of the historic village Saintes Maries de la Mer, set on the confluence of the Rhone River with the Mediterranean Sea.

After the tour, you return to your ship and continue cruising.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks are included.

Day 10
Touring Ardeche Gorge

Prepare for an exciting day of exploring one more natural wonder of France! Following breakfast, together with your group guide, you take a bus to the Ardeche Gorge.

The Ardeche Gorge is also called the "European Grand Canyon". Stretching about 30 kilometers, this area boasts stunning vertiginous cliffs, natural bridges, dramatic gorges, and caves.

Today you have a mini-adventure as you make your way down the famous Gorge Trail, make stops on the many breathtaking viewpoints like the Pont d’Arc and Serre de Tourre.

After the tour, you are taken back to your vessel.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks are included.

Day 11
Train to Cannes

This is the last day of your river cruise. Your private driver meets you at the pier and takes you to the train station in Lyon.

In 4 hours you arrive in Cannes and have a private transfer to the hotel. After some rest meet your private guide and have a short walking tour in the old town called le Suquet, and the waterfront Boulevard de la Croisette, where the Cannes Film Festival is held every year, and the Palais des Festivals et des Congres from outside.

After the tour, you return to the hotel and rest of the day is at leisure.

Take an opportunity at your free time to take a boat to Saint Marguerite Island famously known for the Man in Iron Mask! Enjoy walk up to the Fort, visit a museum and enjoy wonderful views of Cannes.

Breakfast is included.

Day 12
Day Trip to Nice

Following breakfast take a train to Nice and within just 30 minutes meet your local private guide at the station.

Start your 4-hour walking* tour around the most stunning Nice attractions from the oldest times with the Greek and Roman ruins, to the more recent era of Belle Epoque with the palaces of the last century.

During the tour you stroll through the cobblestone narrow streets of the picturesque Old Town abundant in souvenir stalls, cafes and shops, see the Castle Hill, with the ruins of the former Chateau de Nice and walk along the Promenade des Anglais that stretches through the entire city coastline with the Baie des Anges and the beaches on one side, and beautiful buildings, including the breathtaking hotel Negresco, on the other.

After the city tour, you will have free time to enjoy Nice on your own before getting back to Cannes by train.

*Tickets for the public transportation are included 

Breakfast is included.

Day 13
Day Trip to Monaco

After breakfast, take a train to the tiny royal principality Monaco surrounded by France and the Mediterranean Sea.

In an hour you arrive and private guide meets you at the train station. During the 4-hour walking* tour you see major city attractions including the Cathedral of Monaco and the official royal residence - the Prince's Palace from the outside, that is located on the hilltop overlooking the sea of the Old Town Monaco-Ville area. Here you enter the State Apartments Museum (available till October 14th), where you get to see its eccentric rooms such as the Mirror Room, the Throne Room, the Red Room, the York Room, the Blue Room, the Louis XV bedroom called the Yellow Room and the Officers Room.

Then you continue to the Monte-Carlo district. As a tour highlight, you enter one of the oldest and most fashionable casinos in Europe, Monte-Carlo Casino** and see the splendid Opera House, created by Charles Garnier - the same architect who built the famous Paris Opera House.

After the tour, you have free time before taking the train to Cannes.

*Tickets for the public transportation are included 

**NoteTo preserve the legendary aura of the Casino de Monte-Carlo it applies a dress code that meets the requirements of both elegance and tradition. Ripped or stonewashed jeans, sleeveless t-shirts, tracksuits, sports clothing, shorts and beachwear, sandals and flip-flops for gentlemen, and large trainers will not be permitted.

Breakfast is included.

Day 14
Departure from Nice

This is the last day of your tour of Paris and Southern France. Your private driver meets you at your hotel lobby and takes you to the Nice airport for your flight back home.

We wish you a safe flight and hope to work on your future vacations! 

Breakfast is included.


6 nights at 4-star centrally located hotels

  • Hand picked hotels
  • Best value rooms
  • Restaurant
Hotel in Paris

Always included:

  • Best location for sightseeing
  • Breakfasts
  • All taxes and fees

What's Included

Firebird signature land program:

  • Accommodation in centrally located 4-star hotels in Paris (3 nights) and Cannes (3 nights); 
  • Delicious breakfasts at hotels;
  • Private professional licensed English-speaking local guides in Paris, Versailles, Cannes, Nice and Monaco; 
  • Skip-the-line entrance tickets to Louvre Museum and Versailles museums;
  • Airport, train stations and port transfers, and all transportation according to the itinerary with private drivers;
  • 1st class train tickets Paris - Lyon, Lyon - Cannes and Cannes - Nice - Cannes;
  • Standard class train tickets Cannes - Monaco - Cannes;

Cruise program:

  • 7* nights on board the MS Amadeus Provence, accommodation in an outside river-view stateroom;
  • Gourmet dining with all meals included during the cruise (buffet breakfast, lunch, dinner and midnight snack) in the elegant Panorama-Restaurant, which accommodates all guests in one seating;
  • Free-flowing red & white wines from Europe’s famous wine regions, beer & soft drinks with every lunch and dinner onboard;
  • 24-hour coffee station and bottled water in cabins; 
  • Cocktail Reception, Welcome Dinner and Captain’s Gala Dinner;
  • Special onboard entertainment including lectures, cooking demonstration, onboard music performances and nightly music by the Amadeus Duo in the Panorama Bar;
  • Services of an experienced, multilingual Cruise Director;
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi onboard;
  • Complimentary use of onboard bicycles;
  • English-speaking professional guides and rich sightseeing programs;
  • State-of-the-art audio headsets for all excursions;
  • All port taxes and local taxes;
  • Emergency line support during the trip.

Not included: flights, visas, optional tours, gratuities and all personal expenses.
Note: Smoking on the cruise ship is permitted on the Sun Deck only.

Tour Highlights
  • A city tour of the four famous districts of Paris: Marais, Latin Quarter, Champs-Elysees, and Eiffel Tower districts.
  • A tour of Versailles Palace
  • A visit to Louvre Museum and seeing Portrait of Mona Lisa
  • A day trip & city tour in Nice and Monaco
  • A Wine Museum Tour
  • A guided tour of Beaune
  • Wine tasting at the wine cellar
What to Know
  • You can expect to find some shops, restaurants, and museums closed for lunch between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.
  • French breakfast is not as heavy as other European breakfast meals, it usually includes sweet pastries, toast, fruit, yogurt, cereal
  • Tipping in restaurants might be included in the bill, "service compris" (tip included) or "service non-compris" (tip not included), but in any case, if you liked the service you can leave few Euros on the table either way
  • Most equipment takes 220/110 volts, you will need an adapter plug (type E) to make your plug fit into the socket

Dates & Rates

Dates Cabin A category Cabin B category Cabin C category Suite Cabin
Aug 27 - Sep 09, 2018
Oct 1 - Oct 14, 2018
Oct 8 - Oct 21, 2018
View all dates
Dates Cabin A category Cabin B category Cabin C category Suite Cabin
Aug 27 - Sep 09, 2018
Oct 1 - Oct 14, 2018
Oct 8 - Oct 21, 2018
Oct 14 - Oct 28, 2018