Christmas in Provence

Cruise FC5
Cruise & Stay
23-28 December 2000
6 days
Fares from £1554
23 December 2000-
2 Jan 2001
11 days
Fares from £2674
Aboard Debussy

Olive groves, vineyards, light-infused vistas that inspired the impressionists - our cruise along the Rhone on board Debussy offers the prospect of a very different Christmas this year.

You can admire impressive architecture from Roman to Renaissance in Lyon, Avignon and Arles. On Christmas Eve you can attend Midnight Mass in the cathedral at Vienne and on Christmas Day wander through the picturesque old town of Perouges with its enchanting medieval houses. Throughout this delightful cruise you'll also enjoy wonderful scenery from the comfort of the ship's lounge or on deck as we glide through Provence.



FC5 Cruise Itinerary:
Sat 23 Dec
London - Lyon
Fly from London to Lyon to join Debussy berthed in the centre of this beautiful city. We overnight in port so you may wish to venture ashore this evening, or settle in and relax on the ship.
Sun 24 Dec
Lyon - Vienne
Enjoy a tour of this grand city this morning, ascend Fouviere, from where we may enjoy spectacular views over the city, and visit the Basilica of Notre Dame de Fouviere. Continuing by coach we see the main sights of Lyon and walk through the "traboules" (secret passageways) in the old city. In the afternoon we travel to Vienne to visit the extensive site of St Romain en Gal and its fascinating museum. We rejoin the ship in Vienne and after dinner you may choose to attend midnight mass at the Cathedral.
Mon 25 Dec
Enjoy a relaxing Christmas Day, commencing with a visit to the picturesque village of Perouges, situated in the Dombes region, a walled hilltop settlement with enchanting restored 15th and 16th century houses. Christmas lunch and celebrations will be on board. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon sailing.
Tue 26 Dec
St Etienne - Avignon
This morning relax on board Debussy, listen to our Speaker's talk, relax in the Lounge with a good book or treat yourself to a sauna. In the afternoon you may choose to visit the nearby town of Orange to see the magnificent Roman theatre with its stage wall, the only one still standing in its entirety. Overnight in Avignon.
Wed 27 Dec
The morning is spent in Avignon, this year's European Capital of Culture. We view the famous Pont d'Avignon, the Benezet Bridge, and walk through the Place du Palais to explore the gothic Palace of the Popes. In the afternoon relax on board Debussy as she sails to Arles.
Thu 28 Dec
On our walking tour of this attractive town we will visit the Roman amphitheatre and the cloister of Saint Trophime, its Romanesque galleries dating from the 1100's. Van Gogh resided here in 1888 and we will pass many familiar sights. "Cruise Only" passengers continue to Montpellier for return flight to London.
FC5(T) Cruise & Stay Cote d'Azur:
Thu 28 Dec
Arles - Nice
"Cruise & Stay" passengers transfer to Le Meridien in Nice for a 5-night stay on the Cote d'Azur. You can stroll along the Promenade des Anglais, explore the winding streets of old Nice or visit some of the many art galleries with works by artists including Matisse and Chagall. Celebrate the New Year in style here with a sumptuous gala dinner served in one of the hotelís impressive dining rooms.
Tue 2 Jan
Nice - London
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to London.
Travel by Rail: As an alternative from flying, why not opt for a leisurely journey by rail through the scenic villages, hills and vineyards of France? We depart from London Waterloo, travelling via Lille, before continuing through the beautiful French countryside to Lyon to join Debussy. Return from Avignon, via Lille, to London Waterloo. Please ask our reservations department for further details. There is no extra cost for this option. First Class seats are available at a supplement of £125.

Speakers' Corner:
Before you explore, get the full picture from our Guest Speaker. Joining you on board will be:

James M H Thompson Former architectural historian with the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments (England). His knowledge extends to the art, history and architecture of the region and the highlights we shall see during this cruise.


When contacting us, please note the number of the cruise(s) you are interested in.

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