MS Camargue at Avignon © CroisiEurope
Explore the beautiful stretch of river between Lyon and Arles, on board our privately chartered vessel, the MS Camargue
Five experts share their unique perspectives and knowledge of the landscape, history and culture of the area surrounding the Rhône
Chart the history of the region from antiquity onwards, discovering its Roman ruins, beautiful natural landscape and rich artistic heritage
“As usual ACE delivered memorable visits, beautifully organised”
“Varied, balanced, insightful and sourced from experts in their field, the anticipated cultural content was even better than I had hoped for”
“Extremely high quality”
- ACE customers on a previous Rhône River Cruise
From the evocative passages of Lyon’s Old Town to the medieval Palais des Papes at Avignon, and the archaeological wonders of Arles to the fascinating natural history of the Camargue, this stretch of river is endowed with an array of sites of cultural interest.
Traversing this beautiful landscape aboard our private vessel, the MS Camargue, we will enjoy a rich, multi-layered perspective on the region, taking in Roman ruins and Romanesque architecture, and exploring the rich artistic heritage of the land that inspired Van Gogh to paint some of his most famous works.
Highlights of our journey will include the lavishly decorated Palais des Papes in Avignon and the tranquil cloisters and courtyards of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon’s Chartreuse, one of the most extensive in France. Home to a vast Flavian amphitheatre, the famous walls of Arles also shelter the Church of St Trophime, where the 12th century portal is one of the crowning achievements of the Romanesque style.
Delving into the surrounding countryside, we will enter the semi-mystical Camargue, where land, lake and lagoon merge into the Mediterranean. Here we will pay a visit to the Manade Laurent, one of the area’s oldest working bull ranches, where family members ride atop the region’s ancient and beautiful Camargue horses.
Visits will be balanced with time spent cruising this magical waterway in the company of our Tour Directors, who will offer lectures and music recitals connected to the area. Delicious regional food is provided at lunch and dinner, and we invite participants to enjoy the special atmosphere of the region from the top deck – whether sipping an afternoon coffee or a glass of wine at sunset.
This cruise will be led by multiple ACE Tour Directors and guest speakers, who will each offer their unique perspectives on the Rhône’s history, art and landscape.
We are particularly pleased to be including a special lecture-recital about French classical composer Henri Tomasi, whose musical output was often influenced by his time in Provence. The 50th anniversary of Tomasi’s death was commemorated in 2021 and pianist Emilie Capulet, who has recently released a double album dedicated to his solo piano works, will acquaint us with his life and works.
OUR TOUR DIRECTORS
Tour Director Mark Corney, BA, FSA, is a specialist in Roman history and former presenter on Channel 4’s Time Team. Mark is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Bristol and a former investigator with the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. Alongside Philip Kenrick, he will introduce us to the Roman archaeology of the region.
Concert pianist Emilie Capulet,MA, MMus, PhD, was born and brought up in Aix-en-Provence. She is now a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Senior Lecturer and Head of Classical Performance at the London College of Music, University of West London. Emilie will provide musical accompaniments throughout the cruise, including a dedicated lecture-recital about composer Henri Tomasi, born in Marseille in 1901. Emilie’s double album recording of Tomasi’s complete solo piano works has recently been released by Calliope.
Tour Director Philip Kenrick, MA, DPhil is an archaeologist and specialist in Roman pottery who has worked on excavations in Italy, Turkey and Jordan, and has led many ACE tours. The area surrounding the Rhône is rich in Roman archaeological sites and ruins, to which Philip and Mark will introduce us.
Juliet Heslewood, MA, studied History of Art at the University of London. She lived in France for nearly 30 years where she devised and led study tours in six different regions, and her books include Van Gogh: A Life in Places. Returned to England, she now lectures widely, frequently at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. Juliet will join us for our time in Arles, leading us on a walking tour and introducing us to sites associated with Van Gogh.
John Parker, MA, DPhil, FLS, VMH has expertise in church architecture and will introduce us to some of the wonderful Romanesque buildings on our route. He is also a botanist who was Director of the University Botanic Garden and Curator of the University Herbarium at the University of Cambridge for 15 years. John will provide insights into the fascinating landscape surrounding the Rhône, including the unique area known as the Camargue.
Please contact the office
for more details.
Included: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a main deck twin cabin, full board with unlimited wine, beer, soft drinks, tea & coffee, shore excursions & admissions, crew gratuities.
Not Included: travel insurance, rail travel option, main deck twin cabin for single use supplement £650. Upper deck supplements available upon request.