Saone, Rhone. France © Stephane Pfleger

Why You Should Choose to Cruise

For centuries, the magic of the Rhône River has captivated artists, authors and nature lovers with its immeasurable beauty and charming riverside cities.

Don’t be fooled by the ‘Cruise’ title – this is not a ship that you will have to share with go carts or waterslides – a river cruise is a calmer experience, and the perfect way to visit some of this region’s most alluring towns

Board the Floating Hotel

The MS Van Gogh will gently take you through idyllic landscapes, to cities and towns that will help you explore this corner of France.

On board you’ll be treated to French cuisine in the open dining room, fine French wines with meals and from the bar, and panoramic views from the lounge. You will also enjoy daily escorted tours as well as free time in each port which allow you to discover the charm of France at your own pace.

Discovering Lyon

At the confluence of the Rhône and Saône River, Lyon is the epicenter for French Gastronomy and also for river cruising in Burgundy and Provence. The MS Van Gogh is the boat that will take you on this journey. It docks at the Quai Claude Bernard which is the heart of Lyon. As the second largest city in France (its roots date back to the Romans) where it prospered for centuries as a city of trade. Italian influences in the city’s architecture are still visible today.

The ‘traboules’ (derived from the Latin ‘trabulare’ meaning “to cross”) are the city’s secret passages that cross through buildings and create short cuts between streets. Visitors to Lyon will be delighted by the UNESCO World Heritage sites of the city and its incorporation of modernity which continues to thrive to this day.

Sailing south from Lyon, you’ll continue to visit historic and beautiful cities of all sizes.

Lyon, riverside. Image credit: ©Stephane Pfleger

Exploring the French Department of Ardèche

The small city of Viviers gives you a glimpse of the past. Situated on the right bank of the Rhône, the city has been residence of the French Bishops since the fifth century and is home to the smallest Cathedral in France.

For nearly 70 years (1309 – 1377), Avignon was the home of the Catholic Popes. It is a UNESCO World heritage site that includes the Papal Palace, the Cathedral and the emblematic “Pont d’Avignon” bridge.

As the Rhône River splits, just north of Arles, it creates the formation of the Camargue Delta. The Camargue is a region filled with sand dunes, marshes and a regional park that protects its wildlife-rich paradise. This beautiful landscape is home to more than 400 species of birds and notably attracts many birdwatchers from all over Europe.

Martigues, known as the “Venice of Provence”, has been charmingly built on a network of canals and links the Étang de Berre to the Mediterranean Sea.

Experience all these diverse cities along a cruise on the Rhone. The MS Van Gogh holds 100 passengers at a time, you will find that outside each stateroom they are equipped with all of the luxuries you will find in a hotel.

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