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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.


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  • 7 Night
    Cruise to Lyon

    Leaving:
    Avignon
    Visiting:
    Arles, Avignon ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Viking River Cruises
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to Lyon Route (Viking River Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Avignon
    • Day 2
      Arles
    • Day 3
      Avignon
    • Day 4
      Viviers
    • Day 5
      Tournon-sur-Rhone
    • Day 6
      Lyon
    • Day 7
      Lyon
    • Day 8
      Lyon
    Ship Details

    Viking Heimdal - Viking River Cruises

    Pros

    Exceptional service, fine dining and comfortable accommodations

    Cons

    Some docks far from attractions, requiring busing; water levels can vary, changing plans

    Bottom Line

    Great way to explore southern France – history, food, culture -- without hotel-hopping

    Reviews

    Viking Heimdal Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining4.0
    Service4.0
    Value3.0

    From fields of sunflowers, bottles of fine French wines, fresh Provencal herbs and lavender soa...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    kenjwinter
    Sail Date Aug 2019
    August 2019, Pre trip in Nice then transfer to Avignon to Viking Heimdal on Rhone
    Read More
    cathyteslaa
    Sail Date May 2019
    Wonderful cruise and exceptional travel through France
    Read More
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  • 7 Night
    Cruise to Lyon

    Leaving:
    Avignon
    Visiting:
    Arles, Avignon ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Viking River Cruises
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to Lyon Route (Viking River Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Avignon
    • Day 2
      Arles
    • Day 3
      Avignon
    • Day 4
      Viviers
    • Day 5
      Tournon-sur-Rhone
    • Day 6
      Lyon
    • Day 7
      Lyon
    • Day 8
      Lyon
    Ship Details

    Viking Delling - Viking River Cruises

    Tours and most drinks included in price

    Real balcony cabins; a rarity in river cruising

    Sails Europe's Rhine and Danube

    Reviews

    Viking Delling Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining4.0
    Service5.0
    Value4.0

    Viking Delling draws its name from Norse mythology; the god Delling is the "father of the day."...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Peachgracie
    Sail Date Jun 2019
    Sewage smell in Bathroom
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    KEB1
    Sail Date Nov 2019
    excellence in action
    Read More
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  • 14 Night
    Cruise to Lyon

    Leaving:
    Paris
    Visiting:
    Vernon, Rouen ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    14 Night Cruise to Lyon Route (Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection)
    • Day 1
      Paris
    • Day 2
      Vernon
    • Day 3
      Rouen
    • Day 4
      Caudebec
    • Day 5
      Rouen
    • Day 6
      Versailles
    • Day 7
      Paris
    • Day 8
      Lyon
    • Day 9
      Macon
    • Day 10
      Lyon
    • Day 11
      Tournon-sur-Rhone
    • Day 12
      Viviers
    • Day 13
      Avignon
    • Day 14
      Tarascon
    • Day 15
      Avignon
    Ship Details

    Joie de Vivre - Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection

    Pros

    Unparalleled cuisine, decor and evening options; delightful crew

    Cons

    Additional cost for dining in new venue; poor Wi-Fi at times

    Bottom Line

    Celebrate the "joy of life" through river cruising at its best

    Reviews

    Joie de Vivre Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    5.0/5
    Cabins5.0
    Dining5.0
    Service5.0
    Value5.0

    Building a French-themed ship based in Paris is always an ambitious venture, particularly in su...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    skinnylegs
    Sail Date Aug 2019
    Loved our Seine Cruise!
    Read More
    diana-o
    Sail Date Aug 2019
    Trip of a Lifetime
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  • 7 Night
    Cruise to Lyon

    Leaving:
    Lyon
    Visiting:
    Lyon, Vienne ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Viking River Cruises
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to Lyon Route (Viking River Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Lyon
    • Day 2
      Lyon
    • Day 3
      Lyon
    • Day 4
      Vienne
    • Day 5
      Tournon-sur-Rhone
    • Day 6
      Avignon
    • Day 7
      Arles
    • Day 8
      Avignon
    Ship Details

    Viking Buri - Viking River Cruises

    Pros

    Alfresco dining space offers some of the best views onboard

    Cons

    Lack of entertainment leads to early nights

    Bottom Line

    Simple yet elegant vessel that "forces" you to relax

    Reviews

    Viking Buri Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining4.0
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    Every night after dinner, passengers on this boat make their way to the Viking Lounge to schmoo...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    elcraig
    Sail Date Jun 2019
    Behold the French
    Read More
    Lesadickson
    Sail Date Jun 2019
    Lived up to the hype!
    Read More
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  • 7 Night
    Cruise to Lyon

    Leaving:
    Arles
    Visiting:
    Nice, Arles ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Emerald Waterways
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to Lyon Route (Emerald Waterways)
    • Day 1
      Arles
    • Day 1
      Nice
    • Day 2
      Arles
    • Day 3
      Avignon
    • Day 4
      Viviers
    • Day 5
      Tournon-sur-Rhone
    • Day 6
      Lyon
    • Day 7
      Beaune
    • Day 7
      Burgundy
    • Day 8
      Lyon
    Ship Details

    Emerald Liberte - Emerald Waterways

    Pros

    Wonderful crew, good food and wine, and a mix of international passengers

    Cons

    Small, uninspired cabins and uncomfortable pillows

    Bottom Line

    Excellent service and ample inclusions for a more affordable price

    Reviews

    Emerald Liberte Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins3.0
    Dining4.0
    Service5.0
    Value5.0

    Built in 2017, this sleek and shiny ship is operated by Australia's Evergreen Tours, known in o...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Jocruiseraddict
    Sail Date Sep 2019
    Excellent cruise!
    Read More
    Shelwais
    Sail Date Sep 2019
    Fantastic
    Read More
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  • 7 Night
    Cruise to Lyon

    Leaving:
    Avignon
    Visiting:
    Avignon, Tarascon ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to Lyon Route (Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection)
    • Day 1
      Avignon
    • Day 2
      Avignon
    • Day 3
      Tarascon
    • Day 4
      Viviers
    • Day 5
      Tournon-sur-Rhone
    • Day 6
      Lyon
    • Day 7
      Macon
    • Day 8
      Lyon
    Ship Details

    S.S. Catherine - Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection

    Luxury river-cruising throughout France

    Designed with an artistic, Old World feel

    One of Uniworld's largest ships

    Reviews

    S.S. Catherine Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    0.0/5

    S.S. Catherine, the latest new-build to join Uniworld's fleet, is absolutely unique, which is e...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    verydisgruntled
    Sail Date Aug 2018
    Would not take further Uniworld cruises and would not recommend
    Read More
    rexness
    Sail Date Jul 2019
    Good, but not the all-inclusive 6-star service they claim
    Read More
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  • 7 Night
    Cruise to Lyon

    Leaving:
    Marseille
    Visiting:
    Arles, Avignon ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Avalon Waterways
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to Lyon Route (Avalon Waterways)
    • Day 1
      Marseille
    • Day 2
      Arles
    • Day 3
      Avignon
    • Day 4
      Viviers
    • Day 5
      Tournon-sur-Rhone
    • Day 6
      Lyon
    • Day 7
      St. Jean de Losne
    • Day 8
      Lyon
    Ship Details

    Avalon Poetry II - Avalon Waterways

    Most cabins transform into "open-air" balconies

    Top-deck BBQ and bistro fare

    Silent Drive System offers smoother ride

    Reviews

    Avalon Poetry II Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins5.0
    Dining4.0

    Avalon Poetry II is one of the smallest of Avalon Waterways' suite ships. The 128-passenger ves...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Daffy42
    Sail Date Oct 2019
    Amazing
    Read More
    tdriscollmail
    Sail Date Oct 2019
    Cruising the Rhone Northbound
    Read More
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  • 7 Night
    Cruise to Lyon

    Leaving:
    Lyon
    Visiting:
    Lyon, Vienne ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    AmaWaterways
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to Lyon Route (AmaWaterways)
    • Day 1
      Lyon
    • Day 2
      Lyon
    • Day 3
      Vienne
    • Day 4
      Vienne
    • Day 5
      Tournon-sur-Rhone
    • Day 6
      Avignon
    • Day 7
      Arles
    • Day 8
      Arles
    Ship Details

    AmaCello - AmaWaterways

    Excursions and wine with dinner are part of the fare

    All cabins are river view, most with French balconies

    Cruise directors are affable, knowledgeable, helpful

    Reviews

    AmaCello Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins5.0
    Dining3.0
    Service3.0
    Value5.0

    Gliding slowly through the Amsterdam-Rhine canal -- we were, of course, obeying the canal's sto...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    grandmaR
    Sail Date Jun 2019
    Speaking French
    Read More
    shalanda817
    Sail Date Jun 2019
    Wonderful trip
    Read More
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  • 7 Night
    Cruise to Lyon

    Leaving:
    Avignon
    Visiting:
    Avignon, Viviers ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    AmaWaterways
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to Lyon Route (AmaWaterways)
    • Day 1
      Avignon
    • Day 2
      Avignon
    • Day 3
      Avignon
    • Day 4
      Viviers
    • Day 5
      Tournon-sur-Rhone
    • Day 6
      Vienne
    • Day 7
      Collonges-au-Mont-d'Or
    • Day 8
      Lyon
    Ship Details

    AmaKristina - AmaWaterways

    Pros

    Beautifully appointed ship offers free internet and excursions

    Cons

    Nighttime entertainment is limited and often seems an afterthought

    Bottom Line

    Attentive service and casual atmosphere make passengers feel at home