Saône River Cruises

The Saône River is a picturesque waterway that flows through eastern France, connecting with the Rhône River. A delightful journey through some of France's most charming regions, including France’s famous Burgundy wine region. Explore quaint villages, historic towns, and vineyard-covered landscapes with a blend of cultural experiences, wine tastings, and scenic views for travellers looking to immerse themselves in the beauty and heritage of the French countryside.

Popular River Cruises View all

8 Days Lyon to Nice

Operator: Emerald Cruises

From 4,054
Save 1,843

8 Days Arles to Chalon Sur Saone

Operator: Avalon River Cruises

From 4,865
Save 1,546

8 Days Chalon Sur Saone to Arles

Operator: Avalon River Cruises

From 5,082
Save 1,546

11 Days Lyon to Lyon

Operator: Scenic

From 5,638
Save 2,302

The Saône River

Map of the Saône River

Where does the Saône start & finish?

The Saône River originates in the Vosges Mountains in northeastern France, near the commune of Vioménil. It flows generally southwards and eventually merges with the Rhône River in the city of Lyon. The Saône has a total length of approximately 473 km's (294 miles).

Do cruises travel the length of the Saône?

Most river cruises on the Saône take place between Lyon and Chalon-sur-Saône or Mâcon to the north. The Saône is known for its tranquil waters and scenic landscapes, including lush vineyards and quaint villages. It offers a more relaxed pace compared to other European rivers, making it perfect for travellers looking for a serene escape.

Lyon Confluence

The Saône meets the Rhône River in Lyon, creating a confluence that has given birth to a vibrant culinary and cultural scene. Many river cruises on the Saône start or end in Lyon, offering travellers the chance to explore this gastronomic capital.

Mâcon’s Wine Heritage

The Saône runs through Mâcon, a town famous for its wine, particularly its Chardonnays. Many cruises offer excursions to the local vineyards for tastings and vineyard walks.

Saône RIVER CRUISE LINESFeatured Operators View all

Amadeus
Why pay for other people’s drinks? Why pay for shore excursions that don’t interest you? Family-owned Amadeus has spent 40-years' perfecting the balance...more without compromising quality. Beer, wine and soft drinks at lunch and dinner, but not during the day. Only pay for the shore excursions you want. Book an excursion package in advance for a discount or book individual excursions as you go. Gourmet dining, wi-fi, bottled water in cabins and of course one of the most luxurious five-star fleets on the European waterways. To quote a regular repeat guest “Amadeus are fantastic. A really great product and the crew are all so beautiful”. We look forward to welcoming you aboard.
Saône Rivers12
Budget:Premium
Known For:Austrian Heritage
Fleet Size:10
Uniworld
Once you step onboard the world’s finest and most awarded river cruise line for the first time, we are quite sure the refined luxury onboard our fleet...more will sweep you off your feet. We draw our inspiration for the design philosophy of every one of the 17 ships in our fleet directly from the destination in which they sail. The craftsmanship, the attention to detail, the art onboard, the handcrafted furniture and intricacy of the fabrics are lovingly assembled to be a masterpiece in and of itself. Stepping onboard is to step into a world of beautiful colours and one-of-a-kind details that truly bring your destination to life. Crafting experiences you can’t find anywhere else, means continuing to elevate Uniworld to new heights year after year. From the addition of four new Super Ships in Egypt, Vietnam, Portugal and Italy, to the award winning service that comes from the heart, we’re putting even more emphasis on what’s onboard to enhancing several itineraries to accommodate guest’s diverse tastes for the future. We truly look forward to welcoming our Australian guests onboard.
Saône Rivers146
Budget:Luxury
Known For:Boutique River Cruising
Fleet Size:18
Avalon
One of our favourite sayings that describes Avalon Waterways is ‘the possibilities are as wide open as the views’. From Europe to the Galapagos and Asia,...more you can cruise in relaxed luxury with Avalon Waterways, with choices as unique as you. Avalon offers you a range of choices from excursions, dining options, activities that help you tailor your experience. Just imagine gliding away down the world’s most spectacular rivers, all while enjoying a unique vantage point from your own private oasis. Our floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows in our suites blur the line between where the world ends, and your suite begins; allowing you to experience the world less seen from the comfort of your bed. This is river cruising from a unique point of view.
Saône Rivers153
Budget:Premium
Known For:Panorama Suites
Fleet Size:16

Discover The Saône Must Do Experiences and Highlights along the Saône

Hospices De Beaune

Hospices De Beaune

Dating back to the Middle Ages, the Hospices De Beaune displays iconic Gothic architecture with its intricate polychrome roofs. While visiting, sample a drop from the operational 60-hectare wine estate.

Chalon-sur-Saône

Chalon-sur-Saône

Birthplace of photography pioneer Nicéphore Niépce, Chalon-sur-Saône exudes charm with its riverside promenades, half-timbered houses and historic sites like Chalon Cathedral and St Peter's Church.

Mâcon

Mâcon

This riverside town charms with its pastel buildings and historic churches. Nestled in the Burgundy wine region, why not partake in a tasting of local chardonnay, pinot noir and sparkling wines.

Chateau de Cormatin

Chateau de Cormatin

Dating back to 1606, Château de Cormatin has been meticulously restored to its former grandeur. Tour the grounds and admire the gilded rooms and expansive gardens - there's even a moat!

Cluny Abbey

Cluny Abbey

Visit Cluny's Benedictine Abbey, an incredible monastery from the time of Charlemagne. Founded in 910, it once held the title of world's largest Christian structure until St. Peter's Basilica was built in Rome.

Latest Reviews What our clients are saying about their journeys along the Saône

Gabriel Gate made the cruise extra special!   , ACT, Australia, Jun 2023
Tastes of Southern France river cruise was excellent, and the presence of Gabriel Gate as host made a huge difference. He not only entertained us but educated us about French culture, food and wine. We enjoyed all the daily tours and appreciated the fact that they were all short bus trips or walking distance from the boat. Staff were all lovely, ...read more efficient and friendly. Our cruise director Andreaa was super organized and efficient. She was very aware of the limitations of the older guests and described tours in detail so people were well informed of walking conditions, toilets availability, weather. Highly recommended.
Grand France , indeed, back to back wonderful river cruising.   , WA, Australia, Jul 2022
July 2022 we left Australia to join Uniworld's Grand France on S.S Catherine and S.S Joie de Vivre. Luxury boats with all amenities. Beautiful boats, excellent staff, lovely sites and food, all along the way. All transfers on arrival and departure days were spot on and even an escort came with 7 of us on the TGV train from Lyon to Paris and our luggage ...read more was already in our cabin when we got there.

I probably shouldn't comment on other passengers but on the first leg there was a large group of Americans 60-70 guests, belonging to "The Presidents Club". They do" good work " and travel around the world on holidays together at least once a year, very jolly etc. Next time I think I would be inclined to enquire if there was such a big group booked in and might choose a different date!

Enough said , it really is a marvelous way to see France from South to North and the guides are excellent so knowledgeable and fun too. And still at the helm of Global Journeys, Georgie was there to guide us with all her expertise and knowledge, Thanks again, Georgie.
Relaxing but limited cruising time   , WA, Australia, Oct 2019
Unfortunately for us, we were not able to board the Suite Ship on day 3 as per itinerary due to the unsuitable water level. We were transported by coach from Dijon to Lyon to board the Suite Ship which was docked till day 6. Hence, we missed out on a lot of cruising. When we did cruise, it was in the evening. The extra we paid for the cabin with balcony ...read more was wasted. In the day time we could only see the river bank or another ship docked next to ours from the balcony. We were, however, compensated with one free optional tour in Lyon. We did make good of our time by enjoying the land tours (free and optional ones), food and company of fellow cruisers. Overall, the trip was relaxing and enjoyable.
Ultimate France Uniworld River Cruise   , NSW, Australia, Aug 2019
Our Uniworld River Cruise was amazing but there were a lot of optional tours which we think should be included for all passengers when you have already paid top dollar for the river cruise.

Explore More Your guide to travelling along the Saône

Burgundy & Provence by River

13 November, 2023

Burgundy & Provence by River

Journey through Burgundy and Provence on a scenic river cruise along the Saône and Rhône rivers. This extraordinary journey is filled with remarkable food, world-class wines, and a deep dive into history. Discover the highlights of this remarkable region and explore your next river cruise...