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


  1. Mary, I am so happy to hear that you got to take a trip of a lifetime. Everyone I know loves the river cruises. We were in Europe at the same time and were blessed with excellent weather. In Vienna, we saw many riverboat cruisers tied up on the Danube.

  2. Your photos are beautiful! Looks like a wonderful time! Warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. :)

  3. Love the photos! It sounds like such a relaxing way to travel. I like the idea of being able to stroll and visit the cities. We did a cruise once and there wasn't enough time in port to satisfy me. Glad you had such a great time. Thanks for coming over for a blog visit.

  4. Hi Mary! Interesting that we were in Europe at the same time as y'all. You're right about everyone seeming to love the river cruises--we too have only heard positive reactions.

    Linda, thank you so very much for visiting and for the warm greetings from the lovely city of Montreal all the way to us in Coastal North Florida.

    Thank you, Joan--I didn't put as much effort into taking photos as I have for some of our travel, but we do have some good photo memories to look back on. You mentioned a cruise, but didn't say if it was ocean or river. We mostly traveled short distances, and the captain navigated some stretches overnight when repeatedly waiting our turn to go through a lock would have been a drag. So they maximized our time in port and yet gave us some pretty rides through the countryside.