Active & Discovery on the Rhône (Northbound) 2020

8 Day River Cruise Port-Saint-Louis to Lyon

2020 Information. Switch to 2019 »

Your Active & Discovery river cruise is full of Avalon Choice inclusions for each port you visit along the Rhône River. Choose the Active, Classic, and Discovery included excursions that speak to you—from casual and leisurely to cultural and active. In addition to classic sightseeing and relaxed free time, you can visit an oyster farm, bike through Camargue Regional Nature Park to spot flamingos, or take a painting workshop in Arles—in the style of Van Gogh. You’ll have the classic sightseeing and relaxing activities in each destination, along with your choice of included arts, culture, and cuisine excursions, for the French vacation you’ve dreamed of.

Take a kayak excursion or linger in a corner cafés; stroll Avignon’s papal palace or attend a wine tasting in an under-ground cave. Admire the lovely views of the French countryside, or join a culinary walk to discover architecture and local specialties, or take a cooking class in Lyon. With so many included choices, you’ll find the perfect way to spend your day—from a ghost tour in Viviers to a guided bike ride through the Gard reigion, to a chocolate factory tour. Our Active & Discovery Rhône River cruise with Avalon Choice includes activities and excursions to experience the Rhône River your way and at your pace.


Dates & Prices Get a Quote Book Online

Cruise at-a-Glance

Day 1 Port-Saint-Louis (Embarkation):Onboard welcome reception Day 2 Port-Saint-Louis:Choice of excursion to a local oyster farm with tasting, or either guided walk or bike tour through the Camargue Regional Natural ParkDay 3 Arles:Choice of guided tour in Arles, meet a local bullfighter, or guided hike through the Hell Valley and visit Carrière de Lumières, or painting workshopDay 4 Avignon:Choice of guided tour in Avignon, or guided e-bike tour with wine tasting, or Provencal farmhouse experienceDay 5 Viviers:Choice of guided kayak trip down the Gorges de l’Ardèche, or guided hike in the Natural Reserve of Cirque d’Estre, or visit lock Bollène and its power plant, or guided speleological excursion with wine tasting in the caves, or lavender experience; evening guided tour of ViviersDay 6 Tain l’hermitage/Tournon–Lyon:Choice of rail-bike tour, or guided hike in the vineyards, or guided tour of Tournon, or visit the Valrhona factory and museum; onboard cooking demonstration; evening guided tour of Lyon Day 7 Lyon: Choice of culinary tour, or guided urban hike, or cooking classDay 8 Lyon (Disembarkation):Your cruise ends this morning

Cruise YourWay

Avalon makes it easy to experience vacation your way with seamless extension options before and after your cruise. Your Way offers added nights in a selection of locales. From Budapest to Barcelona, you can spend a little or a lot more time getting to know more on shore with Your Way custom itineraries.

View 3 Your Way Cruise Options »

Always Included

You've always forged your own path...with your own distinct perspective of looking at the world. Avalon Waterways presents a river cruise experience with your unique style in mind—offering expansive views and wider perspectives. That's why we've designed a cruise experience that's just a bit different.

Here are just some of the features and amenities you'll experience on board our Avalon ships. See the Ship Amenities Section below for more information about the amenities in our fleet’s unique ships.

Throughout the Ship
Suites & Staterooms
Health & Fitness
Dining

Throughout the Ship:

  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Panoramic windows
  • Elegant, contemporary design & decor
  • Friendly, English-speaking crew & Cruise Director
  • Sky Deck with whirlpool, shade awnings, game area and premium lounges
  • Covered Observation Lounge
  • Club Lounge with 24-hour self-serve beverage station with complimentary cappuccinos, lattes, tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees, as well as treats throughout the day

Suites & Staterooms:

  • Comfort Collection BedsSM with choice of mattress firmness
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Premium L'Occitane bath products
  • Large bathroom featuring shower with glass door
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with free movie channels
  • Individual climate control and in-room safe
  • USB Ports
  • Complimentary bottled water daily
  • And, much more.

Health & Fitness:

  • Bikes
  • Canoe, kayak and jogging excursions
  • Maps for hiking, biking and jogging routes
  • Fitness and wellness activities
  • Fitbits®
  • All through your Avalon Adventure HostSM

Dining

  • FlexDining® for more venue and seating options, including flexible seating times in our Panorama Dining Room
  • Avalon Fresh® healthy cuisine options at every meal
  • Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; wine, beer, or soft drinks with every lunch and dinner
  • Early and Late Riser breakfast options
  • Daily full buffet breakfast with made-to-order egg station, hot and cold menu items
  • Daily lunch buffet with pasta or carving stations
  • Alternative light lunch at Sky Grill on the Sky Deck (weather permitting)
  • Daily Afternoon Tea featuring tea, coffee, sweet treats & sandwiches
  • Daily four-course a la carte dinner in the Panorama Dining Room with choice of appetizers, soups, salads, entrees and desserts. Includes selections of regional recipes, Western dishes and vegetarian options.
  • Enjoy a tasting menu with a view in the Panorama Bistro - a less formal "sit-down" atmosphere while lingering over several satisfying selections
  • Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions and dinners with sparkling wine and canapés
  • Panorama Lounge featuring premium spirits and Avalon specialty cocktails, along with local entertainment special guests
  • Cocktails available on the Sky Deck
  • Fresh fruit available throughout the day

Avalon has designed included activities with a choice of experiences. We invite you to select the tours, activities, and events that interest you most, so you can experience your cruise your way. There are 3 types of included shore excursion on every Europe cruise:

Classic
Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.
Discovery
We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.
Active
Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.
  • Plus independent exploration options and use of our exclusive AvalonGO APP.

Day-By-Day Itinerary

(B) = Breakfast   (L) = Lunch   (D) = Dinner

Day 1

(D)

PORT-SAINT-LOUIS, FRANCE (EMBARKATION)

Welcome to France. Your Suite Ship® is Ready for Boarding.

Fights into Marseille must arrive by 3 pm.

Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN PORT-SAINT-LOUIS

Day 2

(B, L, D)

PORT-SAINT-LOUIS

Oysters and Flamingos in the Rhône Delta

Join us on the Sky Deck for a Morning Stretch with a view with your Avalon Adventure Host while cruising to Port-Saint-Louis.

Active
ACTIVE Join a Guided Walk through the Camargue Regional Nature Park. You’ll see its lush marshland habitat at the mouth of the Rhône—home to a wide variety of flora and fauna—in one of France’s most protected and natural reserves, OR:
Active
ACTIVE Take a Guided Bike Ride through the Camargue Natural Park with an eye out for more than 400 bird species—including pink flamingos—along the trails of the Mediterranean’s Rhône delta, OR:
Discovery
DISCOVERY Enjoy a taste of local life with a visit to an oyster farm in the Camargue Natural Park on a Guided Tour, and enjoy an oyster tasting and learn how this delicacy is farmed.

Cruise to Arles to prepare for tomorrow’s exciting activities.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN ARLES

Day 3

(B, L, D)

ARLES

A Master Class, Mysterious Images, and a Matador in Provence

Active
ACTIVE Experience the legends of Val d’Enfer with a Guided Hike; an area taking its name from the unique white limestone rock formations. The excursion includes an unforgettable audio/video experience of light, images, and music at the Carrières de Lumières, OR:
Discovery
DISCOVERY Attend a Painting Workshop to learn the style and techniques of Vincent van Gogh. You’ll create your own painting in the style of the classic master who took inspiration from the Provence light and landscape in Arles, OR:
Classic
CLASSIC Join a Guided Sightseeing Tour of Arles to get to know this charming town, including a visit with a local bullfighter to learn about the secrets and traditions handed down through generations.

You may choose to join a Guided Optional Excursion to the natural salt marsh at Salin d’Aigues-Mortes, to discover the magic of the pink waters of the Camargue.

Alternatively, enjoy free time to shop, stroll, or just relax in a lovely park along Arles’ Boulevard des Lices.

Later, enjoy onboard live entertainment.

EVENING CRUISE TO AVIGNON

Day 4

(B, L, D)

AVIGNON

Essential Oils, and Ancient Roman Aqueducts

Active
ACTIVE Join a leisurely Guided E-Bike Ride through Gard region. After the tour, enjoy a Wine Tasting; after all, no need to pedal on the way back, OR:
Discovery
DISCOVERY Visit an authentic Provencal farmhouse for a delightful experience to fill your senses as you see how essential oils are created, OR:
Classic
CLASSIC Take a Guided Sightseeing Tour of Avignon, including a visit to the world’s largest gothic fortress—the 14th-century Palace Of the Popes. Also, explore Les Halles’ covered market.

This afternoon, you may choose to join a Guided Optional Tour of the famed wine cellars of Châteauneuf-du-Pape for a wine tasting with a chance to learn about wine blending, or you may opt for a Guided Optional Excursion on a kayak through the waters of Pont du Gard—the highest of all elevated Roman aqueducts.

You may choose to spend free time to explore Avignon—known as the heart of Provence. Take a leisurely stroll or a bike ride through the tree-lined streets and leafy squares within Avignon’s medieval walls.

EVENING CRUISE TO ARLES

Day 5

(B, L, D)

VIVIERS—LOCK BOLLÈNE

River Gorge Canoes, Underground Wines, and Nighttime Ghost Stories

Start your day with a sunrise view, joining our Morning Stretch with your Avalon Adventure Host before cruising through the soaring walls of the Lock Bollène on your way to Viviers.

Active
ACTIVE Immerse yourself in the scenery with a Guided Kayak Trip in the Gorges de l’Ardèche in the spectacular canyons of this Rhône tributary, OR:
Active
ACTIVE Find inspiration from the amazing landscape of the region with a Guided Hike through the Natural Reserve of Cirque d’Estre, OR:
Active
ACTIVE Join a Guided Excursion for a surprising underground wine tasting—under the direction of an expert Speleologist (cave guide) and an oenologist (wine-making expert), OR;
Discovery
DISCOVERY Learn about the planting, harvesting and production of lavender cosmetics and essential oil and discover why Provence and lavender have become synonymous with each other over the centuries as the delicate fragrance and shades of purple fill the fields each summer, OR:
Classic
CLASSIC Visit the awe-inspiring water facility at Bollène and tour the power plant of this immense lock along the Rhône.
Discovery
DISCOVERY For a different perspective on the town, join us on a nighttime Guided Tour of Viviers, discovering the legends, tales and ghost stories of this enchanting town.
OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO TOURNON/TAIN L’HERMITAGE

Day 6

(B, L, D)

TOURNON/TAIN L’HERMITAGE

Chocolatiers and Railway Engineers in the Twin City Gorge

Active
ACTIVE For a unique experience and panoramic views, join a Guided Excursion this morning on a rail-bike along the descent of the Gorges du Doux, OR:
Active
ACTIVE Join a Guided Hike in the picturesque vineyards surrounding the twin cities of Tournon and Tain-l’Hermitage, OR:
Discovery
DISCOVERY Have a true “chocolate experience” with a tour of the Valrhona Chocolate Factory and Museum, OR:
Classic
CLASSIC Take a Guided Sightseeing Tour of Tournon—twin city to Tain-l’Hermitage and one of France’s oldest medieval cities. You’ll see its imposing 16th-century castle and Roman ruins.
Discovery
DISCOVERY Join a Cooking Demonstration and learn how to prepare a Lyonnaise treat while sailing to Lyon.
LYON

An Evening Drive through the Heart of Lyon

Discovery
DISCOVERY Join a Guided Tour for an evening drive of Lyon, lined with incredible landscapes, from Fourvière Hill for a city bird’s eye view, to Presqu’île district, for catching the heart of Lyon and its ever-changing river bank view.
OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN LYON

Day 7

(B, L, D)

LYON

A Festival of Colors, Aromas, and Taste

Active
ACTIVE Jump-start your day in Lyon by joining your Avalon Adventure Host for a Morning Walk.
Active
ACTIVE Take a Guided Urban Hiking through Lyon’s secret passageways (Traboules) for a glimpse into the city’s 19th-century silk trade, OR:
Discovery
DISCOVERY Take a Guided Culinary Walk through Lyon to discover architecture and local specialties in a festival of colors, aromas and taste—exclusive for Avalon guests, OR:
Discovery
DISCOVERY Join our Cooking Class to learn to make your own Lyonnaise specialty.

This afternoon, you might take an off-the-beaten-path Guided Optional Tour through private and public terraces for panoramic views of Lyon, starting on the roof of the Basilica de Fourvière, or you may opt for a Guided Optional Mountain Bike Excursion through the Beaujolais wine country.

This evening, enjoy Lyon’s vibrant nightlife on your own after a gala farewell dinner on board.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN LYON

Day 8

(B)

LYON (DISEMBARKATION)

Your cruise ends with breakfast this morning.

Notes

  • In the event of technical or water level issues, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or alter the program, including hotel overnight when necessary.
  • Guided Tours, Optional Excursions, activities, sailing and docking schedules may be contingent on weather conditions or other issues outside of our control and could therefore be subject to change at any time.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.


YourWay Logo

Active & Discovery on the Rhône (Northbound)

Start Sooner, Stay Longer

Start your vacation earlier or stay longer with destination options before or after your Avalon cruise.

Ship Details

Poetry II

Poetry II

The Avalon Poetry II offers a delightfully intimate cruise setting. Like its sister Suite Ships®, the Avalon Artistry II, Avalon Visionary, Avalon Tapestry II, and Avalon Tranquility II, the Poetry II features two full decks of suites featuring Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows that transform the living space into a unique Open-Air BalconySM. With 200 square feet, Panorama SuitesSM are more than 30% larger than the industry standard, giving you the rare opportunity to wake each morning to the enchanting scenery and fresh breezes. Onboard amenities include an alternative dining option in the Panorama Bistro, complimentary computer use in public areas and Wi-Fi access, a Fitness Center, and a spacious Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs, whirlpool, and light al fresco lunches at the Sky Bistro.

Included Amenities

Avalon Suite Fleet

  • Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the ship
  • Panoramic windows throughout the ship
  • Elegant, contemporary design & decor
  • Friendly, English-speaking crew & Cruise Director
  • Sky Deck with whirlpool, shade awnings, game area and premium lounges
  • Covered Observation Lounge
  • Club Lounge with 24-hour self-serve beverage station with complimentary cappuccinos, lattes, tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees, as well as treats throughout the day
  • Elevator
  • Non-smoking interior and staterooms

Fitness & Wellness

  • Fitness Center
  • Avalon Adventure Center
    Your place for active gear and excursions, including
    • Bikes
    • Canoe, kayak and jogging excursions
    • Maps for hiking, biking and jogging routes
    • Fitness and wellness activities
    • FitBits®
    All through your Avalon Adventure HostSM
  • Active shore excursions, both included and optional

Avalon Panorama Suites & Staterooms

  • Open-Air BalconiesSM and Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows in all Panorama Suites
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM with choice of mattress firmness
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Premium L'Occitane bath products & hairdryer
  • Large bathroom featuring shower with glass door
  • Wide selection of free movie channels and English-speaking TV
  • Individual climate control and in-room safe
  • Full-size closet and mirror
  • Additional under-bed storage
  • Complimentary bottled water daily

Staterooms & Suites

Avalon Deluxe Stateroom (Cat. D, E) - 172 sq. ft.
Features
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Alarm clock
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • USB Ports
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Luxurious mattress toppers
  • European-style duvets
  • Extra blankets
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Hairdryer
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • In-room safe
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Two windows
  • Writing desk and chair
Panorama Suite (Cat. A, B, P) - 200 sq. ft.
Features
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Alarm clock
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • In-room safe
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Marble countertops in bathroom
  • USB Ports
  • 6-person sitting area
  • Writing desk and chair
  • Sofa
  • Luxurious mattress toppers
  • European-style duvets
  • Extra blankets
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Hairdryer
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Make-up mirror
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window with Open-Air BalconySM
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Coffee table
Royal Suite - 300 sq. ft.
Features
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Alarm clock
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • In-room safe
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Marble countertops in bathroom
  • USB Ports
  • 6-person sitting area
  • Writing desk and chair
  • Sofa
  • Double sinks
  • Luxurious mattress toppers
  • European-style duvets
  • Extra blankets
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Hairdryer
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Make-up mirror
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window with Open-Air BalconySM
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Coffee table
DECK PLANS

Hotels

Marseille
Lyon

 Optional Excursions

No matter what you’re into: food, wine, history, art, music or anything else, we give you the freedom to personalize your vacation with optional excursions that speak to your interests.

When you book your excursions with us, you can be assured that every optional excursion that we offer coordinates with the free time that you'll have in your destination, so you'll never have conflicts between included and optional activities. Our team of travel experts carefully selects each optional excursion that we offer to ensure that you receive the highest quality at a great value. Our tried-and-true partners have a finger on the pulse of the city in which they operate so they deliver the very best experiences. We offer experiences you cannot create on your own and because you’re booking with us, we coordinate all your transportation and timing needs.

The following optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These may or may not be offered, and availability is subject to days of operation and seasonality. Please select a departure date to view optional excursions and pricing for a specific date (due to currency fluctuation, pricing shown is subject to change until purchased). Optional excursions are available for purchase on our MyAvalon site 90 days prior to the tour start date.

Price Ranges

$ ($50 USD and under)
$$ ($51 - $100 USD)
$$$ ($101 - $150 USD)
$$$$ (Over $150)


Arles
Avignon
Lyon
Packages

Arles

Olive Oil Tasting in Les Baux de Provence

Olive Oil Tasting in Les Baux de Provence

Travel into the heart of Provence on this exciting half-day guided visit of an olive farm and olive mill with a tasting of locally produced olive oil!

Price Range: $$

Aigues-Mortes Salt Marshes Discovery

Aigues-Mortes Salt Marshes Discovery

Discover the Camargue and its special and unique natural environment.

Price Range: $$

Avignon

Pont du Gard Kayak Adventure

Pont du Gard Kayak Adventure

Get a unique perspective of the scenic Gard region as you paddle your way through the fabulous Gorges du Gardon. Whether you're a hard-core canoe enthusiast or a newcomer to the activity, this fun and active excursion is an experience you'll never forget!

Price Range: $$

Helicopter Ride: Provence from Above

Helicopter Ride: Provence from Above

This incredible helicopter excursion takes you on the flight of a lifetime over the stunning villages of the Provence, one of the prettiest areas on the planet!

Price Range: $$$$

Châteauneuf du Pape (with wine blending demonstration)

Châteauneuf du Pape (with wine blending demonstration)

Travel into the sun and scenery of the beautiful Châteauneuf du Pape wine region, includng a hands-on wine-blending workshop at a local wine estate!

Price Range: $$

Lyon

Rooftops of Lyon

Rooftops of Lyon

Follow your guide in unknown places, off the beaten tracks for a 2 hour sportive walk discovering the roofs of the town.

Price Range: $$$$

Beaujolais: A Discovery of the Region & Its Wine

Beaujolais: A Discovery of the Region & Its Wine

Explore the beauty of the Beaujolais wine region, learn the magic behind its wine, and enjoy an included wine tasting on this enriching half-day guided excursion.

Price Range: $$

Mountain Biking in Beaujolais

Mountain Biking in Beaujolais

Enjoy a pleasant and fascinating ride through typical villages and vineyards landscapes of Beaujolais.

Price Range: $$$$

Packages

Celebration Packages

Celebration Packages

Celebrating a birthday or anniversary while you're cruising? Add an Avalon Celebration Package to your vacation. You can make your special day even more memorable with special touches ranging from flowers to a private cocktail reception.

Price Range: $$$$