Cruise the magnificent Rhône
From its source in Switzerland, the Rhône travels through Lake
Geneva towards the Mediterranean Sea. It joins the Saône in Lyon,
France, after travelling 497 miles.
Many of our tours begin in the city of Lyon, the capital of the
Rhône-Alpes region of France and a vibrant city famous for its
food. There are many renowned chefs located in the area. The city,
which boasts an ancient amphitheatre and a number of museums, is
located near two of France's best-known wine growing regions, the
Côtes du Rhône and Beaujolais.
Beaujolais is located north of Lyon and is a popular place to
explore, especially among oenophiles - lovers of wine. Flourishing
vineyards and hill-top villages of yellow sandstone make for great
viewing in this beautiful area of French countryside.
The Rhône joins with the Ardèche River at Pont-Saint-Esprit,
before continuing south to Avignon. The erstwhile home of several
popes during the 14th and 15th centuries, Avignon is the next
destination on many of our Rhône River cruises. Its Palais des
Papes (Palace of the Popes) has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site
since 1995, and is well-known as one of the most important Gothic
buildings in Europe.
Avignon has a rich architectural heritage, which is evident
throughout the city; there are a number of museums that commemorate
its history. Other famous monuments include the Pont Saint-Bénezet,
a medieval bridge that originally crossed the River Rhône, and the
Avignon Cathedral, a Romanesque building with a statue of the
Virgin Mary mounted on top of a tower.
Next is the Roman city of Arles, which also has many monuments
left over from Roman times, including a theatre, amphitheatre, the
Alyscamps necropolis, a cryptoportico (underground gallery), and
the Obélisque d'Arles. The section of the Rhône River at Arles was
an important influence on some of Vincent Van Gogh's paintings,
such as Starry Night over the Rhône, which captures part of the
river at night.
The River Rhône splits into two upstream of Arles, forming the
Camargue Delta. The Delta has a wide variety of flora and fauna,
such as the Greater Flamingo and Sea Lavender, as well as the
famous Camargue Horse and Bull.