This cruise was the 2nd half of our Grand France trip. The 1st half was aboard the Creativity (Paris to Normandy). If you really want a complete taste of France we strongly recommend doing these back to back cruises. From Paris you are bussed south & stop at Beaune on the way .A lovely stop. Due to high water levels we missed the Saone portion ( only two ports) but Avalon did a splendid job of substitutions on the Rhone. Our cruise began in Lyon, France's second largest city..It was wonderful...a nice place to walk along the rivers... both the Saone & Rhone... The Creativity is a lovely ship...typical river boat layout..We chose cat B...with a full french balcony which greatly enhanced the views while we were in out cabin. Cabins were well appointed...small but adequate bath....Very comfortable beds with memory foam mattresses...plenty of storage. Buffet Breakfast & lunch had adequate choices although the area around the omelet station could be a bit crowded at times. Dinner included various French wines each evening and were excellent. Our tour guide ..Jean Lupe Domart was outstanding..Could fill a whole review about him !
Southern France is absolutely beautiful....I prefer countryside to big cities so this was a perfect itinerary. ... All the ports had an informative walking tour included .While in Vienne we were entertained in the evening by a lovely French Chanteuse..really felt a part of the culture....Tournon was also a lovely stop....and after we sailed we had a Chocolate tasting with Jean Loup..yum yum....In Avignon we visited the Popes Palace ( it was ok but not spectacular)& also chose an optional tour to the Chateauneuf du Pape for wine tasting....which was thoroughly enjoyable. Last stop was Arles with it's huge Roman amphitheater. We also chose an optional tour to an Olive Grove & pressing plant ..very informative and an absolute beautiful location. Another plus for Avalon they include a night in Monaco at the fabulous Fairmont Monte Carlo hotel as part of the package. A wonderful end to the trip was dinner at The Vista Palace Hotel on the Cote D'Azur..a little pricey but well worth it. They don't use the term Vista lightly..Unbelievable views of both France & Monaco at the same time! Jean Lupe was with us until the end and made sure everyone got in the right van for the rides to the airport. Avalon took good care of us !