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Cruises to Lyon

Lyon (Photo:prochasson frederic/Shutterstock)
Lyon (Photo:prochasson frederic/Shutterstock)

About Lyon

The capital of the Rhone-Alpes region, Lyon is the second-largest metropolitan area in France. But this historic city beats Paris as a cruising destination, thanks to its prime location at the confluence of the Rhone and Saone rivers.

The original medieval town, Vieux Lyon, was founded in 43 B.C. by a lieutenant of Julius Caesar on the hilltop district known today as Fourviere. Ruins of this Roman settlement are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with concerts and operas still held at the (partially intact) ancient amphitheater every summer.

In the Middle Ages, the city expanded to the east bank of the Saone, and it has belonged to multiple provinces over time. It wasn't until the Renaissance era that Lyon truly flourished, largely in the industries of silk-weaving and printing. Almost 500 years later, it still holds its status as a leading world center for textile design.

Modern Lyon is most famous for its excellent gastronomic scene, as well as many striking buildings, such as the Basilica of Notre Dame de Fourviere, which looms over the city; La Tour Metallique, sometimes called the Eiffel Tower's "little sister"; and almost 100 walls painted with huge murals.

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7 Night
Cruise to Lyon

Leaving:
Port St. Louis-du-Rhone
Visiting:
Arles, Avignon ...
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Cruise Line:
Avalon Waterways
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DAY 1: Lyon

7 Night
Cruise to Lyon

Leaving:
Lyon
Visiting:
Tournon-sur-Rhone, Avignon ...
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Cruise Line:
Avalon Waterways
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DAY 1: Avignon

7 Night
Cruise to Lyon

Leaving:
Avignon
Visiting:
Viviers, Tournon-sur-Rhone ...
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Cruise Line:
AmaWaterways
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DAY 1: Paris

14 Night
Cruise to Lyon

Leaving:
Paris
Visiting:
Vernon, Rouen ...
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Cruise Line:
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
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13 Night
Cruise to Lyon

Leaving:
Paris
Visiting:
Tournus, Chalon-sur-Saone ...
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Cruise Line:
Scenic
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10 Night
Cruise to Lyon

Leaving:
Lyon
Visiting:
Tournus, Chalon-sur-Saone ...
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Cruise Line:
Scenic
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7 Night
Cruise to Lyon

Leaving:
Lyon
Visiting:
Vienne, Tournon-sur-Rhone ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking River Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Lyon

Leaving:
Avignon
Visiting:
Arles, Viviers ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking River Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Lyon

Leaving:
Lyon
Visiting:
Vienne, Tournon-sur-Rhone ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking River Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Lyon

Leaving:
Lyon
Visiting:
Tournus, Chalon-sur-Saone ...
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Cruise Line:
Scenic
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7 Night
Cruise to Lyon

Leaving:
Lyon
Visiting:
Vienne, Tournon-sur-Rhone ...
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Cruise Line:
AmaWaterways
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14 Night
Cruise to Lyon

Leaving:
Amsterdam
Visiting:
Cologne, Koblenz ...
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Cruise Line:
Emerald Waterways
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14 Night
Cruise to Lyon

Leaving:
Marseille
Visiting:
Arles, Avignon ...
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Cruise Line:
Avalon Waterways
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14 Night
Cruise to Lyon

Leaving:
Avignon
Visiting:
Tarascon, Viviers ...
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Cruise Line:
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
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7 Night
Cruise to Lyon

Leaving:
Avignon
Visiting:
Arles, Viviers ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking River Cruises
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10 Night
Cruise to Lyon

Leaving:
Lyon
Visiting:
Beaune, Burgundy ...
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Cruise Line:
Emerald Waterways
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7 Night
Cruise to Lyon

Leaving:
Tarascon
Visiting:
Avignon, Viviers ...
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Cruise Line:
Scenic
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9 Night
Cruise to Lyon

Leaving:
Paris
Visiting:
Lyon, Beaune ...
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Cruise Line:
Emerald Waterways
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7 Night
Cruise to Lyon

Leaving:
Lyon
Visiting:
Collonges-au-Mont-d'Or, Vienne ...
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Cruise Line:
AmaWaterways
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7 Night
Cruise to Lyon

Leaving:
Lyon
Visiting:
Vienne, Tournon-sur-Rhone ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking River Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Lyon

Leaving:
Lyon
Visiting:
Chalon-sur-Saone, Vienne ...
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Cruise Line:
Riviera Travel
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Cruise Critic Favorite

7 Night
Cruise to Lyon

Leaving:
Arles
Visiting:
Nice, Avignon ...
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Cruise Line:
Emerald Waterways
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14 Night
Cruise to Lyon

Leaving:
Porto
Visiting:
Douro, Vega ...
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Cruise Line:
Emerald Waterways
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9 Night
Cruise to Lyon

Leaving:
Arles
Visiting:
Marseille, Avignon ...
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Cruise Line:
Emerald Waterways
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Cruise Critic Favorite

21 Night
Cruise to Lyon

Leaving:
Bordeaux
Visiting:
Blaye, Pauillac ...
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Why go to Lyon?

Pros:

Lyon's food scene has earned the city its nickname, the "world capital of gastronomy"

Cons:

Some people on the streets try to trick tourists into donating money to fake charities

Bottom Line:

From its cobblestone streets to its Paris-like shops, Lyon offers a taste of both old and new

Lyon Cruise Port Facilities?

There is no cruise terminal at Lyon; vessels simply dock against the riverbank. The Rhone's banks have been pedestrianized, with trees and flowers planted to brighten up the setting. It is possible to walk into town for shops, banks and Internet facilities. Many cafes, restaurants and bars are located on the opposite street, and some float on the water. A small boat-cafe called La Passagere (21 Quai Victor Augagneur; 33-4-72-73-36-98; 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily) serves alcohol, coffee and hot chocolate.

Good to Know?

Crime is not a major concern in Lyon, but pickpockets are known to operate in tourist areas, so it is sensible to take the usual precautions.

Also, be careful when crossing the street, as French drivers do not always slow down for disoriented tourists.

Getting Around?

The cruise line will provide complimentary transportation to and from shore excursions, but if you wish to strike out on your own, it's easy to walk to most of the sights (or catch the funicular from Vieux Lyon Metro station up the steep hill to Fourviere).

Public transport is very efficient and affordable. There are four metro (subway) lines, as well as four tram lines and more than 100 bus routes.

Some ships carry bicycles onboard, or you can use Velo'v, a cheap form of bike rental available from several spots around the city. From the dock, you can cycle on a flat path to an urban park, Parc de la Tete d'Or, about 1.5 miles north. The busy streets are best avoided on two wheels.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

As part of the European Union, France uses the euro. Visit XE.com for current exchange rates. Credit cards are widely accepted, and ATM's are easily found throughout the city.

Language?

The official language is French. English is spoken, but not all shopkeepers or waiters are fluent. It is best to start with bonjour (hello) and ask parlez-vous anglais? (do you speak English?). Always say merci (thank you) when leaving a store or restaurant. People will smile politely at your poor pronunciation, but they appreciate the effort.

Where You're Docked?

Ships dock along the Quai Claude Bernard, on the east bank of the Rhone, near the University of Lyon.


Lyon Cruise Reviews

Lord Byron
ljbc
Sail Date: Jun 2019
Very interesting walk round the old town in Lyon... Read More
Viking Delling
disudds
Sail Date: Nov 2018
Both the history and the architecture in Lyon are amazing. Take some time to break away from the tour and try some food.... Read More
Viking Delling
CJDillma
Sail Date: Nov 2019
Just a wonderful, interesting, and informational tour...and very tasty!... Read More
Viking Delling
CJDillma
Sail Date: Nov 2019
Cathedrals, art, silk, all interesting and informational... Read More
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