The remains of the famous 'pont d'Avignon' with the Papal Palace in the background (photo: Chimigi, via Wikimedia Commons)

31 October–7 November 2013

THE SCRATCH® CHORAL CRUISE

Sing the Romantic Rhone

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Itinerary. We arrive at Lyon on 31 October courtesy of high-speed Eurostar/TGV trains departing from St Pancras International. After check-in and ‘welcome cocktails’, the Amadeus Symphony sails at 22h00, initially travelling north up the Saône to arrive the following morning at Mâcon (vineyards and the historic Cluny Abbey) followed the next day by the lovely towns of Chalon-sur-Saône (medieval half-timbered houses and romanesque cathedral) and Tournus. Here the boat turns round and heads south, with a leisurely stop-off at Lyon, silk capital of the world and centre of the French Revolution.

Overnight we then cruise right down to Avignon with the opportunity to visit the Papal Palace, plus, on the following day, a choice of visits to the Roman aqueduct Pont du Gard, the protected wetland area of the Camargue delta, or Nîmes with its Roman heritage. Further south still is the town of Arles, steeped in Provençal culture and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here the artist Van Gogh found inspiration, producing almost 200 paintings during his short time here, including some of his best-known canvases.

Leaving Arles at 22h00 we travel north again to Viviers and the Valley of the Ardèche, followed by a brief stop at La Voulte where a climb up to the castle affords a panoramic view of the Rhône Valley. The area is also the site of some rare paleontological discoveries. Back aboard we prepare for the Captain’s Dinner and crew entertainment, but – who knows – we might ‘turn the tables’ and entertain them!

Thence back to Lyon and disembarkation prior to being whizzed home on Eurostar to St Pancras International. No weight limit on the amount of wine you can bring back for Christmas, just so long as you can carry it!

The Amadeus Symphony is a modern cruise ship offering a luxurious level of comfort and service.  With around 40 crew members to look after our needs we will be totally spoilt, from inclusive wining and dining to extras such as massage or hairdressing. All cabins offer an uninterrupted view of the river and the opportunity to relax and let the world flow by, but there are also bars and lounges for you to enjoy the company of the rest of the group.  Remember—we have exclusive use of this ship so we will soon get to know one-another.

Click back to the Scratch Choral Cruise front page or click on for how to book or details for singers.