This was to be our first river cruise after exclusively going on ocean cruises. We weren't sure if it would be what we are interested in. We chose a shorter cruise (8 days) on a less travelled river to avoid larger crowds. It is a different experience never being out of sight of land and all activities on board occurring at a fixed time. It is also very different travelling with 120 passengers instead of 2000 to 3000 passengers.
The cruise went from Arles France to Chalon-Sur-Saone on the Rhone and Saone rivers. Our package included two nights in Nice prior to embarking and three nights in Paris after. Everything about the journey was first class especially the Cruise Director Jean Loup. All the included and optional tours used local guides who were knowledgeable and fluent in our language.
We enjoyed the cruise as we experienced a different environment and would probably go on another river cruise with Avalon.