1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Europe River Cruises
  4. Europe River Cruise Reviews

75 Arles to Europe - River Cruise Reviews

Wanted to do a river cruise in Europe and found this one specializing in wine tasting. We had never gone on an Avalon or river cruise before. We absolutely loved it. Everything was taken care of. We felt pampered from start to finish. ... Read More
Wanted to do a river cruise in Europe and found this one specializing in wine tasting. We had never gone on an Avalon or river cruise before. We absolutely loved it. Everything was taken care of. We felt pampered from start to finish. The staff on the ship were superb. The cabin was small but adequate since we spent so little time there. The food and wine were excellent. The activities both on and off the ship were incredible. The guides and entertainers were exceptional. We learned a lot of history, wine and food knowledge, and just had a great time. We had issues with the river being too high so the cruise director had to make a lot of last minute changes. These changes did not have an impact on our experience. We still got to participate in all the excursions that we had signed up for and in fact got access to an excursion that was new (and it was incredible). Communication was exceptional and we knew exactly what was happening and when. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I did not select this cruise but joined a friend and discovered this excellent cruise line. We travelled up the Rhône River from Arles to Lyon in Provence and saw storybook views and villages. The tour guides in each location were the ... Read More
I did not select this cruise but joined a friend and discovered this excellent cruise line. We travelled up the Rhône River from Arles to Lyon in Provence and saw storybook views and villages. The tour guides in each location were the best I have ever seen and heard - we got in depth information delivered with delightful humor. My favorites were visiting the Provençal olive grower and his family run processing “plant”, the truffle farmer, Amy, the truffle dog, and the family, and Dominique, the winemaker and his vineyard. There were lots of options for excursions, all inclusive, and for whatever activity level we desired. Best of all was Heloise, the Cruise Manager, but everyone on the ship provided top quality service! Spotlessly clean, many personal touches like flowers in our room upon arrival from our AmaWaterways booking agent in the states, Louise. I was very pleased and I WILL join them again! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Firstly a disclaimer this is our first river cruise although we have done a number of cruises on small ships Azamara, Oceana. We embarked in Arle and then went downstream 1 hour to the Camarge. The active excursion by bike was great. ... Read More
Firstly a disclaimer this is our first river cruise although we have done a number of cruises on small ships Azamara, Oceana. We embarked in Arle and then went downstream 1 hour to the Camarge. The active excursion by bike was great. Day 2 back to Arle ( where we had independently spent a day) the excursion was great hiking up a limestone mountain and seeing a Van Gogh audiovisual presentation inside a building with images projected onto limestone. Day 3 meandered upstream to Avignon and went to an amazing chocolate factory. So overall the excursions were good to great.. The food was not impressive compared to the other small cruise ships we had been on. One meal the menu offering was a rack of lamb but this turned out to be 2 lamb chops. Several passengers asked the waiter for the rest of their rack of lamb. The cabin we chose the highest level stateroom was nice. Entertainment on board was very limited. One night they had a great group of performers with spanish guitar, and 2 dancers. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
On the Rhone and the Saone in France. No big noisy cities, just quaint towns and villages, interesting experiences, and pastoral views. Avalon's ships have the most spacious staterooms with plenty of storage and deluxe bathrooms. ... Read More
On the Rhone and the Saone in France. No big noisy cities, just quaint towns and villages, interesting experiences, and pastoral views. Avalon's ships have the most spacious staterooms with plenty of storage and deluxe bathrooms. The crew and cruise director were all outstanding - so friendly and helpful. A very relaxing atmosphere. Love the excursions where you actually DO something - visit to an olive farm to see how olive oil is made, then sampling a variety of different olive oils; visit to vineyards and a chateau winery with a wine tasting; onboard cheese and mustard tasting. Onboard entertainment of modern flamenco group was so much fun. I would recommend this cruise to anyone who is tired of seeing big cities with lots of monuments and statues and wants to see the real places where people live and work. I especially love that there are so many choices of excursions - something for everyone. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I chose this cruise because of the interactive events, Bike Riding, hiking, wine tasting in a cave, wine tasting and hiking, wine tasting and bike riding, helicopter ride over the South of France visiting the enchanting port cities along ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the interactive events, Bike Riding, hiking, wine tasting in a cave, wine tasting and hiking, wine tasting and bike riding, helicopter ride over the South of France visiting the enchanting port cities along the Rhone River. Also because of the ship size there was an intimate # of guests on the cruise. I met some really incredible people I know call friends. The off ship excursions were wonderful. Experiencing activities that I would not have access to with out being on this marvelous cruise. Bike Riding to the Salt Marshes and viewing the Birds in the Sanctuary there. Bike riding to Pont du Gard then wine tasting, Kayaking and canoeing was so refreshing! Visiting the Chateau Montmfia, taking a tour of their facilities and seeing the surrounding countryside was magical. Hiking up Le Hermitage and more wine tasting, Chateau Pont de nuef and more wine tasting, Hiking into an underground cave and more wine tasting!! Having the opportunity to paint in the Van Gogh style in a studio in Arles was as if i was channeling my inner child. Traveling through the locks on the Rhone with our Captain was a remarkable feat! The food on the ship was delicious and there was always a varied selection. The service was outstanding, the staff would not let you lift a finger. They say to our every need. They were all very friendly and genuine. Our cabin was very comfortable and had full sliding windows so we could enjoy the view while sailing. Our room was always put in order and the beds turned down when we wished to retire. For these reasons and many more I would go again and highly recommend Avalon Cruises. Thank you for such a memorable visit!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Just wondering when did French authorities release the boat to start cruising again. We had to spend last night in Radisson Blu in Lyon following the French Authority demanding a ‘controlle’ inspection on the boat. The staff were not ... Read More
Just wondering when did French authorities release the boat to start cruising again. We had to spend last night in Radisson Blu in Lyon following the French Authority demanding a ‘controlle’ inspection on the boat. The staff were not allowed to work and we had to spend last night in hotel. We were looked after excellently by the Emerald staff, cannot praise them enough. The whole cruise was excellent. The wine experts very entertaining and knowledgable. The wine tasting was a real treat, expertly presented. The food was superb especially the gourmet evening with French chef. The wine selection for the meals were very good and added to the enjoyment. No faults to list, just praise for the staff and crew. The boat was kept spotless the cabins were efficiently serviced with attention to detail. All the included excursions were well organised with very good local guides. Let’s hope the boat is going again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Chose this cruise because I love France. Arles, Avignon and Lyon were really interesting ports of call. Ship was spotless. Food was very good. Service in the dining area was excellent. All staff and crew were friendly, helpful and ... Read More
Chose this cruise because I love France. Arles, Avignon and Lyon were really interesting ports of call. Ship was spotless. Food was very good. Service in the dining area was excellent. All staff and crew were friendly, helpful and efficient. We were disappointed that the ship often sailed during the night. When it did sail during the day, there was no access to the top deck due to the many, many lochs and bridges. (There was free access when in port). On day 6, the french authorities boarded the ship for an audit. The ship was prevented from completing its journey. The next day : * we travelled by coach to a vineyard - over 2 hours each way * a scheduled cheese/wine event did not take place * we made our own arrangements for lunch * returning from the coach trip, we were told to pack as we would be staying overnight at the Radisson hotel and we had to find somewhere for our evening meal * we were able to claim for 2 basic meals - but the allowance was far short of the standard and number of courses we had become accustomed to plus, unlimited wine with our meals * passengers were very low in spirit at the end of the holiday and we have never had an explanation as to why the ship's paperwork was not in order. * Liberte was unable to make its return journey to Arles, meaning many more disappointed people. I have written to Emerald Waterways suggesting compensation should be a seventh of the cruise price. I have not had a reply - just a standard letter and a cheque for £110. I don’t think this is adequate when you consider the disruption and inconvenience we experienced. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The quality of food and the service on board this ship is excellent. Unfortunately the disembarkation and the situation we found ourselves in was traumatic to say the least and it robbed us of the last two days of our cruise which was very ... Read More
The quality of food and the service on board this ship is excellent. Unfortunately the disembarkation and the situation we found ourselves in was traumatic to say the least and it robbed us of the last two days of our cruise which was very expensive. Let me explain - after our evening meal on Thursday the captain announced that we had been ordered to return to Lyon by the French Authorities- no explanation as to why and we still don’t know why. We were told that on Friday morning we were to have breakfast between 7am and 8am as the staff, who were all wonderful, had been ordered to cease all services at 8am. So if you stayed on board, which we did, there was no lunch, no evening meal not even a cup of coffee. We elected to stay on board instead of subjecting ourselves to a very long coach journey. When the coach did return we were told to pack our cases and be ready to leave as we were to be transferred the hotel Radisson in Lyon. This is not what you expect to experience on an expensive river cruise with a reputable company. I must say the Cruise Director Jana (I hope that is how to spell her name) was absolutely marvellous and was assisted by Drazen who was also marvellous. They had arranged wonderful entertainment. One thing we were disappointed with was that we couldn’t enjoy sitting on the top deck when the ship was sailing as we did when we were on the Rhine cruise. I’m not sure the French Authorities want to have cruises on their rivers if this is how they treat the people on them. We still haven’t had an explanation as to why this situation occurred. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was our third river cruise with Emerald, having thoroughly enjoyed the two previous ones on the Douro and Rhine, we were not disappointed. Everything went smoothly from beginning to end, largely due, in our opinion to the ... Read More
This was our third river cruise with Emerald, having thoroughly enjoyed the two previous ones on the Douro and Rhine, we were not disappointed. Everything went smoothly from beginning to end, largely due, in our opinion to the experience, hard work and dedication of our super (and funny) cruise director Darren (he reminded me of Alan Carr). As on our previous two cruises with Emerald, all meals and the complimentary wines served with lunch and dinner were just superb (one or two of the waiters serving wine seemed more reluctant than others to top-up regularly, but they were easily avoided by moving to a table where one of their more generous colleagues were serving). There was an inclusive excursion at every stop, with local top notch tour guides provided. Every town/city was interesting, we particularly enjoyed Avignon and Viviers, and we found these inclusive tours were enough without going on additional paying excursions in the afternoon. We thought that rather too much cruising was done during the hours of darkness, and it would have been nice to have more opportunities to sit and watch the world go by during the afternoons and evenings, but I'm sure there were probably good logistical reasons for this. We would certainly go on another Emerald river cruise, but are quickly running out of rivers in Europe. I've marked fitness & recreation, entertainment and enrichment activities as excellent, but in all honesty, I didn't avail myself of any fitness facilities and the other two categories are a matter of taste. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Having completed one Emerald cruise on the Danube, and been impressed, we decided a second on the Rhone should follow. We were not disappointed! It was the first of this season but the boat, the crew and all hotel staff were bonded as a ... Read More
Having completed one Emerald cruise on the Danube, and been impressed, we decided a second on the Rhone should follow. We were not disappointed! It was the first of this season but the boat, the crew and all hotel staff were bonded as a very competent, friendly and professional team who constantly demonstrated a desire to please. Accommodation, bar and drinks, onboard entertainment, pool/cinema area and especially the food and accompanying wines were all consistently very good. And of course last but not least, the guided land tours and scenery were in excess of expectations. We had a drinks package and struggled thereafter to spend money on board! My wife regrettably made up for it whilst on shore and we came home with marvellous cheeses, mustards, wines and chocolates! Jana the cruise Director and DD the cruise Entertainment director were superb and got to know all 130 passengers personally and treated them as both individuals and as members of the Team Emerald. A glowing review I know but well deserved Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Wonderful way way to see Southern France. Service was incredible. Friendly service staff. The food was deliciously prepared. We saw a little bit of everything from architecture to art museums. Plenty of time if you want to hang out on the ... Read More
Wonderful way way to see Southern France. Service was incredible. Friendly service staff. The food was deliciously prepared. We saw a little bit of everything from architecture to art museums. Plenty of time if you want to hang out on the deck, or by the pool, or walk the town where the ship is docked. Cabins were clean, quiet and efficient. The gym is small, but there is a running track up on top of the ship. There was plenty of walking on the tours, so lots of opportunities to get exercise if you want it. This is a mature crowd, and children are not allowed which makes for a very quiet good time. The cruise is geared towards an older crowd, so if you are looking for extreme partying or a 24 hour buffet, this isn't the cruise for you. There is always some sort of entertainment at night. There isn't much shopping to do, but for me, I appreciate a more educational trip - the tour guides were very interesting and full of information. Great Value, great time! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The Emerald Liberte is just one year old and has lovely clean and uncluttered lines. The swimming pool is a big bonus and doubles as a cinema when the floor is slid over it. Service from the lovely young hard-working crew is amazing, all ... Read More
The Emerald Liberte is just one year old and has lovely clean and uncluttered lines. The swimming pool is a big bonus and doubles as a cinema when the floor is slid over it. Service from the lovely young hard-working crew is amazing, all overseen by Istevan the Hotel Manager who is a huge asset to Emerald Waterways. Everything runs incredibly smoothly because of his management - a true, gracious professional. The food is fantastic - consistently. The housekeeping team are wonderful and rooms are looked after well with an evening 'turn-down' service. I would say to those who have never been on a river cruise, remember that you are herded together with a lot of diverse folk in a limited space. You also have to enjoy being organised in a 'hi-de-hi campers' fashion. It's not for everyone and it's not for us again. Having said that, if you are thinking of a river cruise, I'm convinced you couldn't do better than Emerald Waterways - they have style. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
First river cruise and we have always wanted to see the Normandy beaches and cemeteries, so this was chosen. I had always heard of Viking from numerous TV commercials but a travel agent reco'd AMA as an upgrade, and it certainly was. ... Read More
First river cruise and we have always wanted to see the Normandy beaches and cemeteries, so this was chosen. I had always heard of Viking from numerous TV commercials but a travel agent reco'd AMA as an upgrade, and it certainly was. The ship is 10 years old, but stunning, as if it was manufactured yesterday. Every inch of paint is flawless and gleaming, the furniture looks new, and there is not even a speck of dust on this ship. The food choices were ample and I liked that there were buffet choices ready to eat along with many things you could order at each meal. Cruise manager Pau would be successful in any business, perfectly organized and highly competent. You get to know him quickly and he quickly attends to anything you might need. Every employee was cheery and solicitous. You could barely sip some wine before your glass was refilled at meals, all included in the price. The world's best bartender, Elena, made the week. Funny, quick and lovely, we will miss her. Were I to cruise again with AMA, I would try to choose based on what ship she is on. On-board musician Mike Minkoff played for hours and he has the guitar chops of Mark Knopfler(Dire Straits), plus gifted on keyboard and harmonica, with great song choices. We danced every single night. If you are choosing a cruise line right now, I'd pick this one, regardless of destination. It's an exceedingly well-run business with top employees and training. Oh, I really appreciated the small gym and the daily fitness classes. Might not have booked this trip without those. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We liked the destination and itinerary plus our previous experience of Emerald service left us wanting more. The crew were all excellent at their jobs and went out of their way to accommodate all requests. The cabin was cleaned promptly ... Read More
We liked the destination and itinerary plus our previous experience of Emerald service left us wanting more. The crew were all excellent at their jobs and went out of their way to accommodate all requests. The cabin was cleaned promptly each morning and evening with the minimum of fuss or inconvenience to us. The Cruise Director was extremely knowledgeable on all matters regarding the destinations we visited and always presented a pleasant happy manner throughout our cruise. The food was excellent in particular the evening meals with a good choice of dishes all accompanied by a good choice of wine.The service could not be faulted very efficient and timely. The onboard entertainment is what you would have expected but the pianist did try to accommodate most musical requests. The choice of excursions was okay at best, with very knowledgeable guides providing commentary. Overall an excellent experience at a reasonable cost. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We travel to Europe twice a year and have taken a number of river boat cruises. This particular cruise seemed interesting so we booked it. The side trip to Monaco for several days was very pleasant and we took 2 of the recommended bus ... Read More
We travel to Europe twice a year and have taken a number of river boat cruises. This particular cruise seemed interesting so we booked it. The side trip to Monaco for several days was very pleasant and we took 2 of the recommended bus tours both of which were excellent. The staff on the Poetry II were friendly and attentive. The dining room serving staff were particularly pleasant, very attentive to all needs and never let our wine glasses get empty. Our cruise director kept us informed daily with port information, tours and accessory places to see. he was exceptionally good. The bar staff, particularly at happy hour, were quite good, worked fast and always had a smile for the patrons. The duration of the offered tours was excellent; none of them were too long and care was always taken to be sure we arrived back at the boat for lunch or dinner. Very pleasant cruise all around. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We were very pleased with Avalon when we cruised with Avalon 2 years ago. We knew we would want to travel with Avalon again. Everyone from hotel personnel to all ship personnel were so helpful, pleasant and made the experience special. The ... Read More
We were very pleased with Avalon when we cruised with Avalon 2 years ago. We knew we would want to travel with Avalon again. Everyone from hotel personnel to all ship personnel were so helpful, pleasant and made the experience special. The cruise director, Tony was available and very personable. We enjoyed the excursions, the guides were exceptional. A real bonus was meeting new friends. We liked the mustard and cheese tasting. Seemed like on other cruise there was more entertainment and programs about the area. We would recommend that people consider , be encouraged to allow a day or two before embarking. We had a very long day of flying, 4 legs, so our first day we were so tired we missed some of the information shared. We would recommend Avalon and this cruise. It all began with our excellent travel agent, Nancy Warner. She was always helpful, assisting with our questions. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We met two other couples in Monaco and traveled together after meeting on a previous sail throughout Tahiti. We selected Avalon because of the stops, the amenities and the reviews of other cruisers. We were not disappointed. We were ... Read More
We met two other couples in Monaco and traveled together after meeting on a previous sail throughout Tahiti. We selected Avalon because of the stops, the amenities and the reviews of other cruisers. We were not disappointed. We were thrilled with the itinerary, the excursions and the surprise entertainment. We felt Tony, our cruise director, really made an effort to get to know us and extended us great hospitality. We especially enjoyed the walking tours included in the cruise. We found the local guided to be knowledgeable, friendly and spoke English well. They always had a fun nugget to share that stayed with us after our departure. The one excursion we thought was lacking was the trip to Chateneau de Pape. Perhaps we expected too much but would have preferred more time to taste in the village. We thought the winery we were taken to was subpar and while the hostess was sweet, she really didn’t take the time to explain the wine, how is ages and what to look for in the young wines we were tasting. It would have been nice to actually taste a bottle ready to drink to compare the differences. A lite snack would have been nice too, even if the excursion cost more. We would have liked a guided yoga or mediation session on deck to begin each day. We especially enjoyed the barbecue lunch on deck, lots of fun and tasty. All the food was prepared to our specifications and was great quality. It was especially nice to have wine available at lunch and dinner as well. Overall the crew was very helpful, friendly and we felt like they really made us feel like home. Thank you. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
When we booked this cruise my husband and I we were expecting a week of pure indulgence and it didn't disappoint. The ship was very modern and although smallest in the fleet was very spacious. We had a balcony cabin and although the ... Read More
When we booked this cruise my husband and I we were expecting a week of pure indulgence and it didn't disappoint. The ship was very modern and although smallest in the fleet was very spacious. We had a balcony cabin and although the balcony was internal, you still had a lovely view of the river and if you wanted too, the window came down half way so you could lean on the rail and enjoy the fresh air. The bed and pillows were sooo comfortable and yes the pillows were soft, but all you needed to do was ask for another one if needed. The size of the cabin was fine and more than enough storage space for your clothes with additional storage under the bed for suitcases. Some people have commented that the cabins were small, but remember, you only sleep in them. The food was excellent and was available in some form throughout the day ie early/late breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and evening snacks.Entertainment was very good and varied. The bar, where most people retired to on an evening was great. We went on all the inclusive guided walks which was most, if not every day. The guides we walked with were very good and very knowledgeable about the town/city we were visiting. They gave you a good insight into the place so, if you wanted to explore in the afternoon, you could go back to any of the places that interested you. But for us, the stars of the show were the cruise, from Jana the Cruise Director to the man who polished the chrome handrails everyday, the Captain and Second to the cleaners, the Chefs to the guys in the engine room. Everyone of them worked their socks off and made sure all the passengers had a great time and wanted for nothing. I would recommend this cruise to anyone, we had a lovely time and will definitely do it again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was our first European river cruise & the first with Emerald Waterways. The only problem we encountered was our arrival at Heathrow airport where we had booked assistance due to the fact that my Husband had had an unexpected ... Read More
This was our first European river cruise & the first with Emerald Waterways. The only problem we encountered was our arrival at Heathrow airport where we had booked assistance due to the fact that my Husband had had an unexpected operation on his foot a few days before we came away. All seats had been block booked by River voyages so we were unable to change them. and the assistance was not as we expected. On arrival at Marseille my husband was expected to walk about 500 yds to the coach, no wheelchairs & the ground was hot ! Fortunately after a lot of questioning as I might add we had informed river voyages & emerald of this problem we had well beforehand , a very kind taxi was arranged to take my husband and another passenger also with a similar problem to the coach for free, which we were very grateful for. Once on the boat a wheelchair was provided which made life a lot easier, but unfortunately we encountered the same thing on our arrival back at Lyon Airport having left the taxi from the ship. The assistance was non existant & we were told we wouldn't get any until after we had checked in. The problem with that was that there was no one at the BA counter for about two hours after we got there. When we did eventually get to check in as we couldn't pre book our seats they were issued at check in because again they were block booked so we were given seats at the back of the aircraft which when we asked if they could be changed there was a flat 'no no'! Fortunately as we approached the aircraft door the first officer was there & my Husband displayed his dissatisfaction & he was able to instruct the crew to find a more suitable seat for him & a wheelchair to help him to his seat, to which he was very grateful. On arrival at Heathrow the assistance company then said that we weren't even on his books, when we knew that it was not true as we had had an email confirming it!! So unfortunately that was the damper to our holiday , but the actual cruise was amazing the staff from the captain to the porters were excellent, & couldn't do enough to help. The cabin was spotlessly clean --as was the rest of the ship, the food superb, & a totally different menu each day. Hotel Manager & Cruise Director kept everyone 'on their toes',[ loved the quirky stories daily given by the cruise director] , restaurant service was very good, & the entertainment was just right, not over the top, but suitable for the cruise & passengers it carried. All ports & shore excursions were good, but unfortunately due to my husbands foot, we were unable to do all the walking they entailed, but having said that with the aid of the wheelchair we were able to go ashore by ourselves, which we were quite happy with. As much as we love children it was nice not to have any on board! Despite all our problems at either end we would definitely go again , hopefully next time without injuries to hamper us . We will certainly recommend Emerald Waterways to friends, & hopefully join another one in a few years time! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
The region is of great interest to me. The culinary and wine experience was an important reason for my selecting this cruise. I have been on the Danube cruise and am aware of the excellent service provided by Avalon. The food was well ... Read More
The region is of great interest to me. The culinary and wine experience was an important reason for my selecting this cruise. I have been on the Danube cruise and am aware of the excellent service provided by Avalon. The food was well planned and executed with a lot of choices. The fruits and veggies were fresh. The main courses were inspired by local cuisine. The desserts were also delicious . The wine selections were very well done concentrating on local wines. The Rhone region is well known for their wines . A nice feature of the cruise was that we had an on board sommelier for a few days. He gave us an excellent review of wines from the region and provided very useful general information on various wines. The wine tours were great as well especially the Beaujolais tour. The cruise director did an outstanding job considering the fact that she had to coordinate several activities and schedules for various people. Lastly the tours of the small towns as well as Lyon was very well done Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We thoroughly enjoyed this cruise. It is our 4th with Avalon and they did not disappoint. The ship was well appointed and our cabin was roomy enough for the two of us. Food choices were many and we took advantage of ordering many items ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed this cruise. It is our 4th with Avalon and they did not disappoint. The ship was well appointed and our cabin was roomy enough for the two of us. Food choices were many and we took advantage of ordering many items we had never eaten before, such as escargots! The crew did a good job and at times appeared to be a new crew with regard to time working together, but no hitches. Our only feedback is we really wanted more port time and at times felt hurried to get back to the bus instead of spending time soaking up more of the lovely towns, especially Beaunne. The transfer in Dijon to the TGV to Paris was very disorganized especially for those never traveling in Europe by train. However, we all made it to Paris! The temperatures during this cruise were well above normal with days reaching in the high 90's. Avalon provided lots of bottled water to keep everyone hydrated while out and about on excursions. We would definitely take another Avalon river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I've seen very little of France and this cruise offered important historical sites such as Arles and Avignon. I'd also never been on a riverboat cruise and I wanted to "test" it out.... and it passed, as I am likely to ... Read More
I've seen very little of France and this cruise offered important historical sites such as Arles and Avignon. I'd also never been on a riverboat cruise and I wanted to "test" it out.... and it passed, as I am likely to try another Avalon cruise in France and/or The Netherlands-Belgium cruise. I had spent several days in Paris on my own prior to going the group at the Carlton in Cannes, and I met a couple at my hotel in Paris who'd just been on an Avalon cruise and raved about it. The cabin was comfortable and, since I'm interested in "small-space" design, very efficiently and thoughtfully designed, with excellent storage. The excursions into the historical sites really made the trip for me, as I love history and art/architecture (I just wish the church of St Trophime in Arles had been accessible for viewing when I was there, but as a Sunday service was ongoing, it was not appropriate to go in and take pictures.) All the great Roman remains were just fantastic to view.... I recall studying some of them in college, especially Pont du Gard. I loved the small medieval towns we walked through, and the tour guides were very thorough in their commentary and answered questions as they came up The food on the cruise was always great, with varied selections. As a non-drinker, there was only one time when I felt pressured for not ordering a drink in the lounge. The crew were always friendly and helpful. Some of the "sidebar" visits by regional locals were very informative, such as the cheese tasting (and the opportunity to get some great local mustards). The cruise director also made sure everyone knew what was going on and what to expect, and patiently answered all of our questions. She even made sure we made it onto our respective buses once we arrived at the train station in Paris, in order to get us to the hotel for our final stay in Paris. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Some Australian friends had told us how good APT river cruises were, so we went with high expectations. Sadly, not all were met. Perhaps we are not the right folk to do this type of cruising, we are used to independent travelling....this ... Read More
Some Australian friends had told us how good APT river cruises were, so we went with high expectations. Sadly, not all were met. Perhaps we are not the right folk to do this type of cruising, we are used to independent travelling....this was very ORGANISED! As it is all-inc the trips are included also...& in the main, they were very interesting. The dinner at Paul Bocuse Abbaye de Collonges plus the visit to the exuberant truffle farmer were memorable. All trips were well organised but often rushed as it seemed they were designed on returning to the ship by 12-30 for lunch, when everyone ( except us!) streamed off the coaches straight into the restaurant! I appreciate we didn't have to return on the coaches, but that could have left us stranded in parts of the area with possbly poor public transport. So we just went with the crowd. Not our usual style, we do not like being herded. Meals were generally good standard, but again, everyone was expected to arrive en masse. This left us non-plussed the first dinner...we arrived in the restaurant about 7.30 after a couple of GnTs in the ( curiously empty!) bar. It was obvious we were latecomers...everyone else had rushed down to feed at 7pm. My main complaint( APT please read this!!) is that sadly most of the wines served- especially in the bar- were of very poor quality( not even Appellation Controllee!) This was a French cruise on the Rhone for goodness sake- why not serve local wines...they are excellent! Instead we were fobbed off with awful unidentifiable "bubbly" rubbish & pretty vile stuff from Pays d'Oc...cheap as chips & rather insulting after paying a high price to be on this trip. When I politely complained to the bar staff I was informed...quite brusquely...that this was "good" wine & given totally incorrect information about its provenance. Actually several of the staff on board were brusque to the point of rudeness...perhaps its an Eastern European cultural thing? Training required methinks!!! The maitre de & the bar manager( a lovely Portugese guy) were more professional & did in fact miraculously find us some slightly better wine. Why was it hidden????? Yes ....I realise we could have actually bought different wines from the somewhat expensive wine list...but this is sold as an all-inc cruise...& sold at a high price...so why??? It was actually an insult to be fobbed off with worse than supermarket cheap plonk. Entertainment on such a small vessel is always going to be lowkey. The problem is that there is nowhere else to go! Just the one lounge area, with chairs remniscent of a nursing home & with the only bar onboard at the back. So, if like us, you do not really wish to listen to an ageing singer performing 60/70s rehash pop songs, then your cabin is the only alternative!! If you dare to sit at the bar & have a quiet conversation with another couple there, you could be told off! We were...but that's just because some of the fellow passengers on board left a little to be desired in standards! To sum up....river cruising- for us the box is ticked...we do not fit the profile of this type of traveller. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was our second cruise on the Rhone/Seine with Avalon. A great experience, great food and all on board were very accommodating. This was a Jazz themed cruise so we had plenty of different musicians on board. Including the Gypsy Kings ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Rhone/Seine with Avalon. A great experience, great food and all on board were very accommodating. This was a Jazz themed cruise so we had plenty of different musicians on board. Including the Gypsy Kings one night. Every day we were in a different port and given a well planned tour at each stop. In addition there were optional tours to some very interesting places. The dinning room tables are set up to encourage meeting new people. In fact we met some wonderful people that we connected with and will be sure to stay in contact with. Our Cruise Director was very personable, informative and totally on top of things. The entire crew was ultra polite and could not be more accommodating, including the Captain. This was our third River cruise and would highly recommend Avalon and France for a great vacation experience. Love Southern France Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this boat because of the price. Myself and 3 other girls had never had an opportunity to take a river cruise, mostly because they were too expensive. When my travel agent told me about this trip and that it included free air fare, ... Read More
We chose this boat because of the price. Myself and 3 other girls had never had an opportunity to take a river cruise, mostly because they were too expensive. When my travel agent told me about this trip and that it included free air fare, shuttles, 5 tours, an additional night at the Radison Blu in Lyon, and gratuities we decided to give it a try. We had missed our flight due to the plane being late in London. I was frantic, not knowing how we were going to get land travel to Arles (a 3.5 hour trip) because we were going to be 4 hours late to Nice, France. However, I called Emerald's emergency line and they arranged for a driver and an Emerald tourist assistant to meet us at the gate. Once we arrived and started the long trip to the boat from the parking lot, some of the staff saw us and literally ran to our aid, they included the captain, the manager, Darren the social director and wait staff. Wow, how incredible is that? In fact, the staff went out of their way to assist us the entire trip. The boat was exceptionally clean, every time you saw an employee they were cleaning something. I even spotted the manager cleaning a spot off the wall! So pleasant in an age that so many employees in America are more concerned with their phones then their jobs. The food, wine and service were all top notch. My husband is an excellent cook, but I have never tasted food that good and was presented so delightfully in my life. Emerald be advised HE is not happy with your chef and kitchen staff! Says it will be much harder to please me now. Lol The tours around France were informative and wonderful. If I were to ever take another river boat trip I would definitely go with this cruise line. Good job Emerald employees, you made our trip a shining success! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click