Guide and Reviews on Best River Cruises and Anything That Relates to Them
Best River Cruises

Portraits of Southern France with Viking

With its ancient towns, beautiful scenery, warm sunshine and incredible food and wine, there is no place quite as evocative as southern France. Visit the Gallo-Roman ruins in Vienne and Arles, explore the historic Papal Palace in Avignon, discover the region’s time-honoured wine making traditions and sample the gastronomic delights of Lyon. Bon voyage!

DAY 1 CHALON-SUR-SAONE

From Lyon airport Viking takes you to your ship where you can settle in and enjoy free time to explore this pretty town.

Included meal: dinner.

DAY 2 BEAUNE

Viking Neptune ship - European river cruises

A scenic drive through Burgundy’s wine route takes you to beautiful Beaune, wine capital of Burgundy. Enjoy a tour of the architectural jewel, the Hotel Dieu, founded as a former almshouse and built in 1443. Sample a number of regional wines in one of Beaune’s famous cellars.

Enjoy an afternoon’s cruising the Saone, or take an optional tour to the pretty town of Cluny. Enjoy an evening at leisure in Macon and meet your fellow guests at a Welcome Reception and Welcome Dinner on board.

Included excursion: Burgundy wine route featuring Hotel Dieu and wine tasting.
Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

DAY 3 LYON

A tour of Lyon, the food capital of France and UNESCO World Heritage site, takes you to the top of Fourviere Hill for amazing views of the city. Visit the Basilica of Notre Dame and see the magnificent St. Jean Cathedral and the Palace of Justice. Take a stroll through the Old Town and enjoy free time to shop, and sample the finest French food. Or take an optional tour to the medieval hilltop town of Perouges.

Included excursion: tour of city with guided walk through Vieux Lyon.
Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

DAY 4 LYON AND VIENNE

Enjoy a free morning to further explore Lyon before sailing to the ancient and beautiful riverside town of Vienne. A short walking tour takes you to the town’s lovely cathedral and Cybele Garden. Discover Vienne’s
Roman history at the 1st-century Temple of Emperor Augustus and Livia, and the Roman amphitheater. See the Gothic cathedral of St. Maurice, and enjoy some free time to explore this historic town.

Included excursion: walking tour of Vienne featuring Temple of Augustus & Livia.
Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

DAY 5 TOURNON AND VIVIERS

In the town of Tain l’Hermitage, famous for its red wines, tour a winery and sample the different varieties. Visit the oldest house in the region, home of the Musee de Tain l’Hermitage with its impressive collection of paintings. Scenic cruising takes you to the picturesque town of Viviers, where you can enjoy a leisurely evening stroll through the Old Town, with its medieval and Renaissance buildings.

Included excursions: Tain l’Hermitage excursion with wine tasting and evening guided walk through Viviers Old Town.
Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

DAY 6 RHONE RIVER AND ARLES

Sail the beautiful Rhone to Arles, the town beloved by Vincent van Gogh. Also settled by the Romans, Arles is home to some fascinating ruins. Your walking tour of Arles takes you to the 20,000 seat Les Arenes, an arena that is still used today, and Romanesque monuments such as the Church of Saint-Trôphime. See many sites made famous through Van Gogh’s art, and enjoy time to explore Arles on your own.

Included excursion: walking tour of Arles featuring Les Arénes amphitheatre.
Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

DAY 7 AVIGNON

Enjoy a walking tour of Avignon, the ‘City of Popes’ that was home to seven popes in the 14th century. Explore the historic center, taking time to stop at the famous Pont d’Avignon and museum, and walk the Place de l’Horloge. Visit the Gothic Palace of the Popes, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and enjoy a fascinating tour through its vast maze of palatial rooms.

Take time to further explore this lovely town on your own, or join an optional tour to the world-famous Chateauneufdu-Pape winery, to learn about and sample this renowned wine.

Included excursions: guided walk featuring Pont d’Avignon and guided tour of Palace of the Popes.
Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

DAY 8 AVIGNON

After breakfast, Viking takes you to Marseille airport for your return flight.

Included meal: breakfast.

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