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Cruises to Lyon

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.

  • Why go to Lyon?

  • Lyon Cruise Port Facilities?

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Viking Vilhjalm
Viking Vilhjalm

7 Night
Cruise to LyonDetails

86 Reviews
Leaving:Passau
Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
Jun 7, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Avalon Poetry II
Avalon Poetry II

9 Night
Cruise to LyonDetails

Leaving:Nice
Cruise Line:Avalon Waterways
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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AmaKristina
AmaKristina

7 Night
Cruise to LyonDetails

34 Reviews
Leaving:Lyon
Cruise Line:AmaWaterways
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Viking Aegir
Viking Aegir

14 Night
Cruise to LyonDetails

150 Reviews
Leaving:Kinderdijk
Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
Aug 10, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Cruise to LyonDetails

2 Reviews
Leaving:Basel
Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
Aug 30, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

12 Night
Cruise to LyonDetails

Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
May 2, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Cruise to LyonDetails

Leaving:Avignon
Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
Jun 19, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Cruise to LyonDetails

Leaving:Burgundy
Cruise Line:AmaWaterways
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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14 Night
Cruise to LyonDetails

Leaving:Amsterdam
Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
Sep 19, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Cruise to LyonDetails

Leaving:Avignon
Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
Oct 23, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Cruise to LyonDetails

Leaving:Avignon
Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
Apr 23, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

12 Night
Cruise to LyonDetails

Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
Sep 23, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Cruise to LyonDetails

Leaving:Avignon
Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Cruise to LyonDetails

Leaving:Aswan
Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
May 8, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Cruise to LyonDetails

Leaving:Avignon
Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
Jul 31, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Cruise to LyonDetails

Leaving:Avignon
Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
Apr 24, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Cruise to LyonDetails

Leaving:Avignon
Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
Jul 17, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Cruise to LyonDetails

Leaving:Avignon
Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
Jul 3, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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11 Night
Cruise to LyonDetails

Leaving:Cairo
Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
Apr 12, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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20 Night
Cruise to LyonDetails

Leaving:Amsterdam
Cruise Line:Avalon Waterways
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Cruise to LyonDetails

Leaving:Lyon
Cruise Line:Avalon Waterways
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Cruise to LyonDetails

Leaving:Lyon
Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
Apr 12, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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5 Night
Cruise to LyonDetails

Leaving:Cruising
Cruise Line:CroisiEurope
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Cruise to LyonDetails

Leaving:Lyon
Cruise Line:Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Cruise to LyonDetails

Leaving:Lyon
Cruise Line:Scenic
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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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
the included walking tour of Lyon....very interesting.Read More
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mlovestennis
Very interesting walk round the old town in LyonRead More
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ljbc
Cathedrals, art, silk, all interesting and informationalRead More
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CJDillma
Just a wonderful, interesting, and informational tour...and very tasty!Read More
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CJDillma

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