Escorted France River Cruise: Lyon & Provence | Good Life Travel GroupDebra MacIntyre2023-10-27T11:13:21-03:00
Escorted France River Cruise: Lyon & Provence | Viking®
1 Country · 1 River · 8 Days · Provence, France
Join Chris and Tracy Archer, owners of Good Life Travel, on the the Viking Hermod as she sails from Lyon to Avignon on the Rhône River in France. Consider starting your journey in legendary Paris (with optional pre-cruise land stay) and continuing onto Lyon by train to join your ship for your Provence adventure. Lyon is the culinary capital of France so bon appetit! After a few days in Lyon, continue south through wine country with visits to quaint towns and wineries, and on to the once Roman settlement of Arles before finishing off your 8-day cruise in historic Avignon. This is a cruise encompassing great food and wine, history, stunning countryside, and a dive into the French culture. Great memories are awaiting you in beautiful Provence.
Lyon & Provence · a Viking River Cruise · on Viking Hermod
Oct 22 -29, 2025 · Included Excursions · Lyon to Avignon, France
Fares Starting at US$2,874 per person, double occupancy, Entry Level (Cat F)
French Balcony Cabin (Cat A) fare: $4,974 per person, double occupancy (Book NOW, availability limited); or
Other French Balcony Cabins (Cat D) start at $4,174 pp & up, double occupancy*
*Inquire for all available categories. This cruise will sell out and soon. See also terms & conditions.
Lyon straddles the Rhône and Saône Rivers. After Paris, it is considered the country’s most significant cultural center. The dwellings of this UNESCO site date back to the city’s silk weaving success during the 15th century and make the town a pleasure to explore. The city boasts a wealth of outstanding museums, cultural treasures and excellent Lyonnaise eateries.
St. Jean Cathedral lies in the heart of Old Lyon and is a stunning example of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. It has weathered periods of political turmoil and religious wars and is now one of the city’s most prominent symbols.
Included excursion: Beaujolais Wine Country (Moderate Activity).
Vienne is one of the oldest towns in France, with a history that can be traced through its architecture. Among its Roman remains and artifacts, the Roman Temple of Augustus & Livia dates back to the 1st century AD. Its Roman amphitheater, nestled in the hills of Mont Pipet, is one of the best preserved in the nation.
Included excursion: Vienne Walking Tour (Easy Activity).
A settlement has perched on this hill since Celtic times, but the stunning views from its overlook have never changed. The name of Tournon’s neighboring wine-producing region, Tain-l’Hermitage, comes from the hermit who planted vines here after returning from the Crusades.
Included excursion: Tournon Steam Train (Easy Activity).
Arles was the capital of Roman Gaul and boasts many Gallo-Roman ruins including Les Arènes; this ancient amphitheater seats 20,000 and is still used today for bullfights and plays. The Mediterranean sunlight here inspired legendary Impressionist Vincent van Gogh to paint a number of works. Many of Arles’s sights are immortalized in his paintings.
Included excursion: Arles Walking Tour (Moderate Activity).
Avignon’s narrow streets are lined with churches and remarkable medieval buildings. This “City of Popes” was the papal seat for 70 years during the 14th century after the sitting pope abandoned Rome and fled here. Another of Avignon’s notable structures reaches into the Rhône, the ruins of the Pont d’Avignon. The 12th-century bridge, immortalized in folk song and dance, once spanned the river.
Included Excursion: Avignon Walk & Pope’s Palace (Moderate Activity)
After breakfast, disembark your ship and journey home.
Extend Your Cruise‡
Aix-en-Provence (2 Nights): Discover romantic Provence, its picturesque landscapes long an attraction for artists such as Van Gogh and Cézanne. Explore Aix-en-Provence and engage in its charms, admiring its beauty and history while immersing yourself in the celebrated gastronomy and wine culture of this renowned region.
Paris (3 Nights): Become enchanted by the romance of France’s capital. Browse the art collections in the Louvre or stroll along the Champs-Élysées. Ascend the Eiffel Tower for a breathtaking view of the “City of Light.”
See the magnificent highlights of this gastronomic and cultural center. You will begin with a drive to the Basilica of Notre Dame, at the top of Fourvière Hill. After exploring the interior of this spectacular church, enjoy sweeping views of the red roofs of Vieux Lyon (Old Lyon) and the narrow peninsula of land between the rivers comprising the atmospheric Presqu’île shopping district. Next, drive through town past the flamboyant Gothic St. Jean Cathedral and the Palace of Justice, stopping at the city’s famed Painted Houses, a breathtaking collection of outdoor murals depicting some 30 of the city’s famous figures. Then, continue with a walking tour along the cobblestone streets of Vieux Lyon, where the city’s famous traboules, unique hidden passageways made for busy merchants in medieval days, wend through buildings and courtyards. Later, you can shop for souvenirs, perhaps purchasing some of the fine silk for which Lyon is world famous.
Discover why Beaujolais is one of France’s most beloved wine regions during this flavorful and scenic excursion. In full, it is larger than any single district of its neighbor, Burgundy. Vineyards stretch for four miles along the Saône, and the granite soils and warmer climate make it ideal for growing grapes that produce a light flavor. Join your guide for a scenic drive through the rolling hills of Beaujolais, where viticultural tradition runs deep. Then, stop at a local village and enjoy a stroll with your guide as you learn about the art of winemaking, perhaps hearing about the popular Beaujolais Nouveau and the coveted crus that are produced here. You will also stop at one of Beaujolais’s famous cellars to enjoy a tasting with a wine expert.
Get to know Vienne and its rich Roman past during a leisurely walking tour. Meet your guide at the pier and set off to explore the city’s historic attractions. See the spectacular amphitheater built into the hillside, one of France’s best-preserved Roman theaters; it hosted up to 14,000 spectators during its heyday. View the Temple of Augustus & Livia, an incredibly preserved 1st-century structure that has been out of use only since the late 19th century. Then visit the enormous Gothic Cathedral of St. Maurice, built over almost 500 years. You may also spend time exploring an old Roman neighborhood, today’s Garden of Cybele, whose grounds are dotted with fascinating Roman remains. Afterward, enjoy free time to browse the shops or relax at a pavement café or salon de thé before returning to your ship.
Traverse one of France’s most picturesque corners during a train excursion into the wilds of the Doux Valley. Meet your guide at the ship and transfer to the train station, where you will board the Train des Gorges, a meter-gauge steam train and engine listed as French historic monuments. Embark on a charming journey on board this nostalgic railway and head into the verdant Doux Valley, a conservation area where panoramic views appear around every turn. This untouched region is inaccessible by road, making it a pristine wilderness of unrivaled beauty and clean air. You will skirt along the Doux River, chugging through the serene countryside, heading into verdant valleys and past sylvan woodlands. After your scenic train ride, return to Tournon and journey back to your ship.
Experience the celebrated city of Arles, where Roman ruins and vibrant colors have inspired artists. Upon arrival, you will explore by foot, allowing you to immerse yourself in this energetic city of diverse architecture at the edge of Provence. Begin with a stroll to the massive Les Arènes, an ancient amphitheater able to seat 20,000. Continue to the Antique Theater, peering inside as you pass. This 1st-century wonder stood three stories tall and seated 10,000. Follow the Rue du Cloître to the Place de la République, a bustling square that once hosted the ancient Roman Circus. Here, you will see the 15th-century Church of St. Trophime, a Romanesque triumph named for a 3rd-century bishop. A walk down the Rue de la République delivers you to the Espace Van Gogh, the local hospital that treated the artist and today serves as a cultural center.
Visit the monumental palace, once the seat of seven popes, and explore its medieval city. Avignon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is known as the “City of Popes” because the papacy was relocated here from Rome, amid great controversy, from 1309 to 1377. With a local guide, follow the historic center of narrow streets to the Place de l’Horloge, the city’s central square, a scene of balconies, elegant facades and shading trees. Continue to the renowned Palace of the Popes for a guided tour. This fortress-church—the Middle Ages’ largest Gothic building—is gigantic, dwarfing even the neighboring cathedral. After, continue to the Market Hall, an iconic indoor market with a vertical garden, cafés and stalls selling local produce, meats and cheeses. Enjoy free time to browse the offerings, before returning to your ship.
†Itinerary and excursions subject to change. Additional excursions in each port of call are available for purchase should you wish to explore further.
Terms & Conditions: * All pricing is in USD, per person double occupancy, for the category specified, and subject to availability at time of booking. Other categories available at different pricing, please inquire. Pricing valid until Dec. 31, 2023. After that date, please inquire. Cruise ship fuel surcharge may apply. Air, and pre- and post-cruise land stays, available for purchase. Fare quoted does not include port fees & taxes, air, travel insurance, and items of a personal nature. Cruise is not considered booked until a $500 deposit per person is received. Other conditions apply. Complete terms and conditions may be found in the Passenger Ticket Contract .
Airfare offer, current at time of publication, is subject to change.
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