The Rhône River starts in an Alpine glacier in Switzerland and it is the only major river in Europe to flow directly into the Mediterranean Sea. Its journey through Southern France makes for an absolutely idyllic river cruise route that takes guests through the most beautiful and historical french cities and landmarks. Artists have long been amazed by the Rhône River, with Vincent van Gogh even making it his subject in his famous “Starry Night Over The Rhône” painting.
People’s love affair with the Rhône goes back much further than the 19th century however. The Rhône’s location was of significant importance to many who fought for control of the region, with the Romans’ time in power, especially, having left a distinct mark in the architecture in many southern towns. Many cities were built alongside the banks of the Rhône and it’s these cities you’ll be touring on your Southern France river cruise.
You’ll notice evidence of a Roman past when our river cruise stops in Lyon, a city that lives where the Rhône and Seine rivers meet. Home to the grand Notre Dame Basilica and many secret cobblestone pathways, this medieval city will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a different century. Also considered the food capital of the world, you’ll be spoiled with the many French specialties available to you. You can’t possibly leave Lyon without trying one of their famous quenelle dishes.
One of the highlights of a Rhône river cruise through the South of France is our stop in Tournon. Located right on the riverbanks of the Rhône, this picturesque town is home to the 10th century “Musee de France” castle. It now houses the museum, and Scenic guests have the opportunity to enjoy afternoon cocktails on the terrace of this historic castle, along with a private acoustic set performed by local guitarists.
A river cruise on the Rhône River wouldn’t be complete without a stop in Avignon, home to the famous Palace of the Popes. Officially deemed a World Heritage Site in 1995, “The Palais des Papes” symbolizes the church’s influence on Western Christianity in the 14th century. It is the biggest Gothic palace in all of Europe and it directly overlooks the Rhône. Scenic has the exclusive privilege to provide guests with an after-hours musical performance at the Palace of the Popes, featuring music by the likes of Mozart, Vivaldi, Beethoven and Strauss.
In between stops in larger cities, Scenic guests will also have the chance to enjoy some of the best wine in the world and experience typical French life, with opportunities to visit local food markets (with a personal chef as your guide!), ancient cathedrals and monasteries, river lookouts, and an olive farm.
In all, our Scenic river cruise on the Rhône makes for one exquisite week in the South of France. Relax, take in the French culture, and create memories that will last long after our Scenic ship docks back in the harbour.
Scenic offers two unique Rhône river cruises, differentiating in length and itinerary, for your travel convenience. Explore them in detail here.