This was our first river cruise - not sure quite what to expect, but the experience FAR exceeded our expectations! Sliding peacefully along the Rhone, watching fishermen, grazing cows, herons, swans, and more swans!, sitting up on the top deck without getting our heads blown off was truly magical. Avalon was attentive to every need, whether for local history, medical needs or special meal requirements. We chose not to take many of the optional shore trips because we like to explore on our own, but everyone we spoke to thought the optional trips were great. We did take one in Lyon - the Beaujolais wine-tasting and it was definitely the highlight of our whole vacation!
We passed through 15 locks on this trip, some in the middle of the night and some during the day - very interesting! Sit up top and watch how the captain manoeuvers into the lock, often with only 6 inches of clearance on each side!
There are detailed maps of each port in a folder in each stateroom on arrival which have sights of interest, history at a glance, shopping highlights, local specialties and other valuable information. The challenge is to make time to read it all!
We had a mix of Australians, Brits, Americans and Canadians; everyone on vacation and friendly.
We are both runners, so we really enjoying our runs along the river banks in each port. We got out of the towns and found some really cool country roads to explore; it was fabulous!