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8 Day Viking River Cruise from Lyon to Avignon 2022
River Cruise DescriptionExcite your palate in Lyon, capital of French gastronomy. Savor Beaujolais wines. Hunt for truffles and see how chèvre cheese is made. Discover Roman Provence at the Pont du Gard and Les Arènes amphitheater. Explore Avignon’s Palace of the Popes. Tap into your inner van Gogh at an Arles painting class. Come witness the beauty that inspired artists like Cézanne and Chagall on this 8-day Rhône cruise.
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River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Lyon, FranceFly to Lyon. Transfer from the airport to your ship.* After boarding, take free time to explore this vibrant city, or join our “welcome walk” to stretch your legs and get oriented.
Day 2 Lyon, FranceAfter breakfast, tour the city of Lyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begin with a drive to the top of Fourvière Hill for amazing views of the city. Continue with a guided visit to the Basilica of Notre Dame and drive through town past the magnificent St. Jean Cathedral and the Palace of Justice. Then take a walking tour through the cobblestone streets of Vieux Lyon (Old Town), and use your free time to shop for souvenirs or sample some of the fine French cuisine for which Lyon is world-famous.
Day 3 Lyon, FranceAfter breakfast, take a scenic drive through the rolling hills of Beaujolais, where viticultural tradition runs deep and enjoy a tasting in one of Beaujolais’s famous cellars. Return to your ship for lunch and enjoy the rest of your day at leisure. As always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time.
Day 4 Vienne & Tournon, FranceThis morning take a walking tour of Vienne, a beautiful town with an ancient Roman past. Visit the Temple of Augustus and Livia, the Roman amphitheater and the Gothic Cathedral of St. Maurice; then spend some time discovering more of this engaging riverside town on your own. In the afternoon, enjoy the rolling vine-clad banks of the river as you sail through its wide meanders to Tournon. After dinner, enjoy a stroll along the riverbanks under the plane trees.
Day 5 Tournon, FranceBoard the Train de l’Ardèche this morning for a locomotive ride through the deep gorges of the Ardèche plateau, cut by the Doux River. Return to your ship and enjoy lunch on board as we cruise to Viviers, an engaging little town in a mountainous setting. After dinner, enjoy an evening stroll through Old Town with its medieval and Renaissance buildings.
Day 6 Arles, FranceDisembark after breakfast and take a walking tour of Arles with its diverse architectural highlights. Experience the city’s vibrant colors and striking quality of light that have inspired artists. Arles is also the site of some impressive Roman ruins, including Les Arènes, an arena that seats 20,000 and is still in use, as well as Romanesque monuments such as the Church of Saint-Trôphime, completed in the 15th century. Return on board for lunch followed by an afternoon on your own to explore or shop for handcrafted gifts. As always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. Dinner is served as you depart.
Day 7 Avignon, FranceThis morning, set out on a guided walk of Avignon, nicknamed “City of Popes” because it was home to seven popes from 1309 to 1377. Stroll through the historic center, stop at the picturesque Pont d’Avignon and walk the Place de l’Horloge. Continue to the renowned Palace of the Popes for a guided tour through this rambling maze of Gothic architecture that served as papal residence, fortress, church and palace. You can join the optional tour to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, visiting the vineyards and tasting the famous wine. Lunch and dinner are served on board. Your ship remains docked overnight.
Day 8 Avignon, FranceAfter breakfast, disembark and proceed to the Marseille airport for your return flight.*
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