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Cruises to Lyon

56 Reviews
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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  • Why go to Lyon?

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Viking Heimdal
Viking Heimdal

7 Night
Lyon & ProvenceDetails

118 Reviews
Leaving:Avignon
Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Viking Buri
Viking Buri

7 Night
Lyon & ProvenceDetails

151 Reviews
Leaving:Avignon
Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Viking Hermod
Viking Hermod

7 Night
Lyon & ProvenceDetails

135 Reviews
Leaving:Avignon
Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Avalon Poetry II
Avalon Poetry II

7 Night
Burgundy & Provence For Wine LoversDetails

62 Reviews
Leaving:France
Cruise Line:Avalon Waterways
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Lyon & ProvenceDetails

152 Reviews
Leaving:Avignon
Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
A Culinary Experience In Burgundy & ProvenceDetails

62 Reviews
Leaving:Arles
Cruise Line:Avalon Waterways
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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14 Night
France's FinestDetails

135 Reviews
Leaving:Avignon
Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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14 Night
Lyon,provence & The RhinelandDetails

135 Reviews
Leaving:Avignon
Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

7 Night
Colors Of ProvenceDetails

35 Reviews
Leaving:Lyon
Cruise Line:AmaWaterways
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

7 Night
Colors Of ProvenceDetails

35 Reviews
Leaving:Lyon
Cruise Line:AmaWaterways
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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9 Night
Active & Discovery On The Rhône With 2 Nights In P...Details

62 Reviews
Leaving:Paris
Cruise Line:Avalon Waterways
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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6 Night
The Tip Of Provence To Lyon On The Rhône And Saône...Details

6 Reviews
Leaving:Martigues
Cruise Line:CroisiEurope
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Colors Of ProvenceDetails

35 Reviews
Leaving:Arles
Cruise Line:AmaWaterways
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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9 Night
A Culinary Experience In Burgundy & Provence With...Details

62 Reviews
Leaving:Nice
Cruise Line:Avalon Waterways
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Idyllic RhôneDetails

88 Reviews
Leaving:Marseille
Cruise Line:Scenic River
Apr 28, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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More about Lyon

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
We wanted our first river cruise (Viking) to be on Southern France. The Rhône was a great experience. All ports were interesting, and especially liked Lyon, which impressed us much more than we expected.Read More
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AFTravel
Lyon is an amazing city. The tour includes some very interesting things including walking through the tiny passages which link streets. These were used by people of the Resistance in WW2 to evade being arrested by Read More
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YogaGodess
Which we were here one more day to see or experience the flower market and just to walk around more, a lovely port with lots to see and do. Read More
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philbop
the included walking tour of Lyon....very interesting.Read More
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mlovestennis

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