Before gracing UK televisions, James Martin travelled throughout France working in the kitchens of French châteaux. At 21, he opened the Hotel and Bistro du Vin in Winchester as Head Chef, where he changed the menu daily. James' TV shows have included James Martin: Home Comforts, British favourite Saturday Kitchen and James Martin's French Adventure. He can be found at James Martin Manchester and The Kitchen at Chewton Glen.
Get a taste of the Rhone with James Martin
France is 'the food destination that has it all', according to chef and TV presenter James Martin, who will join you on this eight-day Rhône cruise from Lyon to Arles, along with wine columnist Susy Atkins.
You'll sail to wonderful destinations, including
Chalon-sur-Saône, Avignon and Viviers. You'll visit the vineyards
of Tournon, James will give a live on-board cooking demonstration,
talk and Q&A session and you'll enjoy an on-board wine lecture
with Susy Atkins.
Your Star-Ship, Emerald Liberté is custom-built to navigate the Rhône and Saône rivers. You can relax in the on-board heated pool with retractable roof and in the evening, enjoy it as a cinema. Plus, there are plenty of fine dining options such as the refined Reflections Restaurant.
"I spent some of my early years in France and they were magical times. In a way, I owe it all to France. It was those early trips that set the course of my career - from the unforgettable taste of my first croissant to seeing a steak cooked 'blue', not burnt to a cinder. I am thrilled to be going back next year, and I hope you can join me as we cruise towards Lyon, one of the world's great gastronomic cities."
Reasons to book
Q&A with James Martin
Susy Atkins' wine pairings
Your expert guides
An award-winning broadcaster, journalist and author, Susy Atkins has travelled the world writing, tasting and educating about wine for more than 25 years. Susy's credits include being a wine expert and presenter on BBC1's Saturday Kitchen, the resident wine expert on Channel 4's Richard & Judy, a regular contributor to Radio 4 and the author of 11 popular books, including Wine Wisdom, How to Choose Wine and How to Make Your Own Drinks.
- Return flights, all excursions detailed in the online itinerary and flexible booking policy, plus the chance to:
- Take part in a cookery demonstration and Q&A session with James.
- Enjoy all meals (wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner) on board, plus a gala dinner cooked by James and his sous-chef.
- Taste wine and listen to a talk by Susy.
- Spend seven nights on an Emerald Star-Ship.
- Receive a book signed by James (one per booking).
Day1Travel to LyonLyon, France
Welcome to Lyon, an ancient city christened the "gastronomic capital of the world" by a number of famous food critics. You will be met at the airport and transferred to the lush surrounds of your Emerald Waterways Star-Ship. This evening, enjoy a welcome reception on board.
Today you stop at Chalon-sur-Saône, known as the centre of Burgundy's wine region. You will travel overland to Beaune to visit the Hospices de Beaune, one of the finest examples of 15th-century French architecture. It was once a hospital for the poor and is now home to one of Burgundy's most popular wine auctions. Back on the ship you'll enjoy a cheese and olive tasting.
Today you will join a local expert for a guided tour of the third largest city in France. Alternatively, you can explore the city by bike. Later, James Martin will join you for an exclusive book signing and then you will hear all about his career during an informal talk and a private Q&A session.
Day4TournonTournon-sur-Rhône , France
Join a local guide for a walking tour of Tournon, which is dominated by the 16th-century castle and Roman ruins. The area has a long tradition in winemaking, including the renowned wine growing centre of Tain l'Hermitage across the river. In the afternoon, you will attend an in-depth cooking demonstration with James Martin, and listen to his hints and tips as he and his sous-chef prepare some of his favourite dishes. The menu for this evening's gala dinner has been specially created for you by James himself with wine pairings by Susy Atkins.
Arrive in Viviers, home to one of the oldest cathedrals in France and numerous listed monuments. Take a tour exploring the architectural heritage of the town and enjoy a wine masterclass and tasting with Telegraph writer and wine expert, Susy Atkins.
Today you will dock in one of the great cities of Provence: Avignon. With Celtic beginnings, time as the Papal residence, and a history rich in both culture and conflict, this is one of the most enthralling cities in the region. Your guided walk will take you through the historic centre - including a glimpse of the medieval Pont d'Avignon. Enjoy a Provençale dinner expertly prepared by Top Chef finalist Fabien Morreale.
Sail into Arles where you will join your local guide for a walking tour showcasing the highlights of the city in particular the 2000-year-old Roman Amphitheatre still in use today, which was originally built to hold 20,000 spectators in the style of the Colosseum in Rome. The rest of the day is at leisure to relax on board and explore Arles further.
Day8Arles, MarseilleMarseille, France
After breakfast, you will transfer to the airport for your onward or homeward flight.
One of the most impressive river cruise ships of the Emerald Waterways fleet
Making her maiden voyage in 2017, Emerald Liberté provides a luxurious and relaxing passage through the southern stretches of France.
Proving the journey is every bit as important as the destination, Emerald Liberté is blessed with an incredible selection of amenities and features. Designed to ensure every moment spent navigating the rivers of Europe and Asia with Emerald Waterways is incredibly comfortable, relaxing and enjoyable; the ship's features and flourishes have been selected to perfectly complement the journey.
From luxury restaurants and bar areas to health-giving spa and fitness facilities; our award-winning Star-Ships are designed to complement the journeys and lifestyles of our guests. Determined to ensure our guests never feel restricted during their time with Emerald Waterways, all staterooms, suites and public areas of the ship have been designed to maximise comfort.
The Sun Deck aboard Emerald Liberte always proves to be hugely popular during the summer months, with the delicate river breeze perfectly complementing the stunning panoramas provided by the world's most beautiful waterways.
This open-air top deck consists of a dining area adjacent to leisure and relaxation features; perfect whether you fancy a gourmet meal with new friends, or soak up the sun from the pool.
And it's not just the public area of the Emerald Waterways Star-Ships which have been lovingly devised to maximise comfort and enjoyment, our ships are blessed with the most stylish cabins. Ensuring restful nights and comfortable days, they are endowed with all the facilities and features you'd expect from an upmarket boutique hotel.
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