Friday, November 18, 2016

River Cruise from Arles to Lyon in Southern France

View of Vienne, France from Mont Pipet
     In early September, we enjoyed a Viking River Cruise in southern France, from Arles and Avignon north to Lyon. Warmer than normal weather accompanied us all the way, and interesting shore excursions with local guides alternated with either cruising along watching the lovely French countryside slip by or an overnight docked at a town or city with extra time for strolling.
A town square in Vienne

     On board the ship, Viking's excellent service, superior chef, and comfortable accommodation spoiled us royally. Since we are accustomed to budget travel, the luxury was a treat. I had saved for quite awhile to try a river cruise, and we loved it! One reason for its appeal was that we could glide from one place to another, see some highlights of Provence and the Beaujolais region and still curl up in the same comfy stateroom every night (much more convenient and relaxing than travel by car, bus tour, or train).  
In the lock, as seen from our stateroom's veranda
Approaching a lock



     Today, I'll show you various spots--not necessarily in order--and some of the interesting aspects of river cruising. For example, in the relatively short distance our eight day tour covered, we passed through 15 locks. The captain's expertise was amazing as we slipped through, sometimes with only a few inches clearance on each side.


On the Rhone River in Lyon

A sunset in the countryside of Provence, seen from our veranda