Active and Discovery on the Rhone River in France

(183 Reviews)
100% Recommended

Deborah Mitchell

Kansas City, MO
River/Ocean Cruise and All-Inclusive Specialist

I've always been something of a wanderer, having moved on a regular basis as a young child. I was lucky to have many national parks as my backyard, giving me opportunities to explore: Zion National Park, Everglades National Park, Shenandoah Nation...

Roman ruins in Arles

If you have ever wanted to do a river cruise in France, this is THE BEST!!  I absolutely loved the ACTIVE and DISCOVERY cruise, since it had a lot more to offer, as far as tours and you were MORE IMMERSED in towns that you cruise through.  There were so many excursions where you can hike, bike, Spelunk (caving), kayak, paint, and more!!  We started in Port Sant-Louis (flew into Marseilles) and ended in Lyon. 

The Covid Protocols were followed and it really made it feel safer.  You have to vaccinated to cruise, and everyone wore masks when walking around the ship.  Once you sat down in the lounge or dining table, then you could take the masks off. 

All meals were served in the Panorama Restaurant. Breakfasts and lunches were a buffet and dinner was a four-course meal served at the table. In addition, there was always a small buffet in the Panorama Lounge for those who simply wanted a light lunch or dinner.

The crew were absolutely wonderful, from the warm welcome we received from the receptionists and the awesome cruise director, Jean-Pierre, to the friendly housekeeping and attentive restaurant staff. They always went out of their way to make the guests feel cared for. I especially enjoyed the ‘port talk’ every evening before dinner to inform the guests of the following day’s schedule.

 The choice of excursions on this cruise was all encompassing. It was hard to select tours beforehand. There was something for everyone to choose from (hiking in the hills of the Rhône-Alpes to making chocolate at the world-famous Valrhona chocolatier, Cave Exploring or kayaking in the Ardeche Gorge, and learning to paint like Van Gogh or visiting an Horse Farm in Camargue region! In between were walking tours of the cities we visited, such as Avignon, Arles and Marseille, and ample time to explore on our own.

One of my highlights of the cruise was a visit to the spectacular Carrieres des Lumieres light and sound show in a massive stone quarry featuring the works of Kandinsky and Cezanne, after a spirited Hike in the forests near Avignon. Another one was in Tournon/Tain L'Hermitage, which was a rail-bike along the Gorges Du Doux.  Plus the Ghostly tour of Viviers, a night tour discovering the legends, tales and stories of Viviers.   So much fun!!!

 I had a fantastic time on this Avalon Active & Discovery Rhône River cruise. I felt safe the entire time, and I loved the experiences offered by the excursions, as well as the company of my fellow travellers (a good mix of different age groups who were obviously excited to travel again). In addition, the great food onboard and wonderful service definitely made the cruise a delightful experience.If you’re thinking of a river cruise in Europe with a more active and immersive focus, I highly recommend this one!    

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