Luxury river cruise line Avalon Waterways will feature in Cruising with Jane McDonald, Channel 5’s travelogue on Friday 22 September.
The ex-cruise ship entertainer will be on the Avalon Poetry II and exploring the highlights of Burgundy and Provence. McDonald will travel along the Rhone from Lyon to Arles, taking in the gorgeous medieval towns, areas of natural beauty, with the gastronomic highlight of Lyon.
“It was a lovely experience and meant we could visit tiny towns that you’d never normally reach on a large ocean-going vessel,” McDonald said in an interview with the Sun.
“I had my own perfume made, which was gorgeous, and took a hot-air balloon ride at dawn that had me feeling like the lady in the old Nimble adverts. The design of the ship was fantastic, with floor-to-ceiling windows to help you soak in the stunning scenery.”
“We’re delighted Channel 5 chose to film such a beautiful area as Burgundy and Provence, sailing the River Rhone on board Avalon’s Suite Ship, Avalon Poetry II,” Giles Hawke, Avalon Waterway’s UK managing director said. The first series generated huge interest around the cruises it featured and I’m sure the second series will have the same effect.”
The Burgundy to Provence trip begins with an overnight on the French Riviera, or the Côte d’Azur, as the French call it. Travel to Arles in the Provence region to board the Avalon Poetry II and then sail into the Camargue area during dinner, if daylight permitting, before coming back to Arles.
Taking in the historic sights of France, the comprehensive tour takes in Avignon, Viviers, medieval Tournon, Vienne, well as St Jean de Losne and Beaune. A high point is visiting the gastronomic capital of Lyon. This city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with many historical and architectural landmarks. It’s also one for gastronomes, as Lyon’s famed indoor food market has nearly five-dozen stalls selling cheese and local produce. Sundays are popular for shellfish and white-wine brunches.
The TGV train travels from Dijon to Paris, where the trip ends with a two-night hotel stay which includes guided sightseeing and free time to wander around in the romantic ‘City of Light’. There’s also a VIP door-to-door home pick-up service by executive car.
The Avalon Poetry II features two full decks of suites featuring wall-to-wall panoramic windows that offer amazing views. With 200 square feet, the Panorama Suites are more than 30% larger than the industry standard, at 200 square feet, giving passengers more light and space to enjoy the scenery.