Lyon & Provence River Cruise
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River Cruise Description
You’ll enjoy the scenic beauty and some of the most breathtaking panoramas the fascinating French countryside has to offer on this fabulous 8 day Viking river cruise from Lyon to Avignon 2018 vacation. This European river cruise will take you on a relaxing cruise from quaint Lyon to charming Avignon. You’ll marvel at France’s scenic Saône and Rhône Rivers. During your European river cruise, you’ll discover the world-famous region of Beaujolais and the stunningly beautiful fields of Provence. You’ll visit historic Gallo-Roman ruins, stroll the ancient cobblestoned streets and visit the extravagant Papal Palace in Avignon. You’ll learn about the picturesque region’s historic winemaking traditions, while tasting world-renowned Beaujolais varietals and enjoy world-famous cuisine during your visit to Lyon. This exciting 8 day Viking river cruise from Lyon to Avignon will provide wonderful memories for years to come.
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River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Lyon, France
You’ll fly to lovely Lyon. Transfer from the airport to your cruise ship. After boarding and settling in, take some of your free time to explore this energetic city, or join our popular “welcome walk” to stretch your legs and get oriented. You’ll head upriver along the Saône around dinnertime. Enjoy the cruise and the service. (Dinner)
Day 2 Mâcon, France & Beaujolais Wine Tour
After a wonderful breakfast, take a relaxing drive through the beautiful rolling hills of Beaujolais, where winemaking tradition runs deep. See the legendary Moulin-à-Vent, the windmill that gives its name to one of the most prestigious wines of the region. Learn about the art of winemaking in a small local museum and enjoy a tasting in one of the Beaujolais’s famous cellars. You’ll return to your ship for a great lunch. Enjoy the rest of your day at leisure. As always, your Program Director can share suggestions on must-see sights that will help you get the most out of your free time. Or, take an optional excursion to the charming Burgundy town of Cluny, known for its outstanding medieval abbey ruin. Return aboard the cruise ship for dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 3 Lyon, France
After a night of cruising, you wake up this morning in lovely Lyon. You’ll enjoy a tour of this city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begin with a relaxing drive to the top of beautiful Fourvière Hill for beathtaking views. Visit the elegant Basilica of Notre Dame and drive through town past the magnificent St. Jean Cathedral and the imposing Palace of Justice. A walking tour is next on your schedule. You will enjoy strolling through the cobblestoned streets of Vieux Lyon (Old Town), where you’ll have free time to shop for souvenirs or taste some of the fine French cuisine, world famous in Lyon. During the afternoon, your ship sails to Vienne, where you may participate in a tour of the extensive ancient Roman ruins in neighboring St.-Romain-en-Gal. If you prefer, you may stay in Lyon for additional free time and enjoy a brief coach ride to Vienne. Dinner will be served aboard your ship. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4 Vienne & Tournon, France
This morning take a walking tour of wonderful Vienne, known as the “City of Music.” There is so much to see in this beautiful town with a fascinating ancient Roman past. Visit the extravagant Temple of Augustus and Livia, the ancient Roman amphitheater and the elegant Gothic Cathedral of St. Maurice. Then spend some free time discovering more of this engaging riverside town on your own. In the afternoon, enjoy the scenic rolling hills with lush wine grape vineyards along the banks of the river, as you sail through its wide meanders toward Tournon. After dinner, take an evening walk under the plane trees lining the riverbanks in Tournon. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5 Tournon & Viviers, France
All aboard the Train de l’Ardèche this morning for an amazing locomotive ride through the deep rugged gorges of the Ardèche plateau, cut by the Doux River. You’ll return to your ship and enjoy lunch aboard as we cruise to charming Viviers, an engaging little village in a beautiful mountainous setting. After dinner, join your Program Director for an evening walk through fascinating Old Town with its medieval and Renaissance buildings. Enjoy some free time before retiring for the evening. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6 Arles, France
You arrive during breakfast and take a walking tour of fascinating Arles with its diverse architectural features. Experience the city’s dynamic colors and striking quality of light that have inspired artists. Arles is also the site of some impressive Roman ruins, including grandiose Les Arènes, an arena that seats 20,000 and is still in use, as well as Romanesque monuments such as the elegant Church of Saint-Trôphime, completed in the 15th century. You’ll return aboard for lunch followed by an afternoon on your own to explore or shop for handcrafted gifts. As always, your Program Director can share suggestions with you to help you get the most out of your free time. Dinner is served as you depart for Avignon. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 7 Avignon, France
This morning, set out on a guided walk of beautiful Avignon, nicknamed “City of Popes” because from 1309 to 1377 it was home to seven popes. Walk through the historic center, stop at the charming Pont d’Avignon and walk the Place de l’Horloge. Continue to the famous Palace of the Popes for a guided tour through this circuitous maze of Gothic architecture that served as a historic papal residence, a mighty fortress, elegant church and palace. You can join the optional tour to impressive Châteauneuf-du-Pape, visiting the lush vineyards and tasting the wines that made his region famous. Lunch and dinner are served aboard and your ship remains docked overnight in Avignon. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 8 Avignon, France
After a wonderful breakfast, disembark and proceed to the Marseille airport for your return flight home.*(Breakfast)