The Rhone River’s Best River Cruises – A Complete Guide for the Best Rhone River, Itineraries, Deals and Promotions

The Rhône River, a jewel of southern France, meanders through some of the most breathtaking landscapes and culturally rich regions, making it a coveted destination for river cruising aficionados. The best river cruises along the Rhône River offer an unparalleled journey through the heart of France, presenting an extraordinary blend of history, art, and culinary delights that define this iconic waterway.

Embarking on a river cruise along the Rhône River is an invitation to discover the essence of France, where ancient Roman ruins, sun-soaked vineyards, and charming Provençal towns create an enchanting backdrop for an unforgettable voyage. From the vibrant city of Lyon to the sun-drenched landscapes of Provence, the Rhône River’s best river cruises promise an immersive exploration of France’s rich tapestry of cultures, histories, and natural beauty.

The best river cruises along the Rhône River are characterized by an unwavering commitment to providing guests with an extraordinary experience of luxury, comfort, and cultural immersion. These cruises offer a seamless fusion of relaxation and enrichment, where guests can revel in luxurious amenities, elegant accommodations, and exquisite dining while also immersing themselves in the captivating heritage of the destinations visited. Whether it’s exploring the ancient amphitheaters of Arles, savoring the flavors of Burgundian wines in the Rhône Valley, or wandering through the cobblestone streets of Avignon, the best river cruises along the Rhône River are designed to leave an indelible mark on every traveler.

The Rhône River’s best river cruises are also distinguished by their meticulous attention to detail, with thoughtfully curated itineraries that showcase the highlights of each region while also uncovering hidden treasures off the beaten path. Whether it’s a guided tour of the awe-inspiring Papal Palace, a scenic excursion through the lavender fields of Provence, or a visit to the historic city of Vienne, these cruises offer an immersive exploration of the Rhône River’s most captivating attractions. With experienced guides, enriching shore excursions, and opportunities for authentic cultural encounters, guests are invited to delve deeper into the heart of each destination, forging unforgettable memories along the way.

In addition to the exceptional experiences onshore, the best river cruises along the Rhône River are hosted aboard luxurious ships that set the standard for elegance and comfort. From well-appointed staterooms and suites to stylish lounges and gourmet dining venues, these ships provide a refined and inviting ambiance, where every detail is tailored to ensure an exceptional stay. With attentive service, enriching onboard activities, and breathtaking views of the passing scenery, the journey along the Rhône River unfolds as a seamless blend of relaxation and adventure, promising an experience that transcends the ordinary.

In a Nutshell…

  1. Lyon: At the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers, Lyon offers a taste of everything the Rhône region has to offer. Explore Vieux Lyon’s cobblestone streets, visit the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, and discover hidden traboules—covered alleyways from the silk trade era.
  2. Roman Ruins: History lovers can explore the 1st-century Gallo-Roman amphitheater and museum, while food enthusiasts can indulge in the three-story Les Halles food market.
  3. Beaujolais and Truffles: Venture further afield on optional excursions. Embark on a Beaujolais and truffles tour, starting at an organic goat milk farm, hunting for truffles, and enjoying a home-cooked lunch.
  4. Lyon’s Fabric Dynasty: Dive into Lyon’s textile heritage at the Textile Museum and learn about World War II history at the Resistance and Deportation History Center.
  5. Mediterranean Landscapes: As you sail, take in the striking Mediterranean landscapes, from vineyards to picturesque villages.
  6. Paris and Normandy Extensions: Some itineraries include time in Paris and Normandy, adding to the Rhône River experience.
  7. Viking Cruises: Consider Viking Longships for an eight-day cruise with complimentary tours and daily excursions, making the most of this historic and scenic waterway. See Itineraries and Book on Viking River Cruises Here

The Experience of Cruising on The Rhone River

The Rhone River, a majestic waterway that flows through the heart of France, offers an enchanting route for those seeking to explore the country’s scenic beauty, rich history, and culinary delights. Rhone river cruises provide an intimate and luxurious way to experience the distinct charm of this region, from the vibrant fields of lavender in Provence to the historic streets of Lyon. Here, we present some of the best river cruises that grace the waters of the Rhone, promising travelers an unforgettable voyage through French culture and landscape.

1. Viking River Cruises – Lyon & Provence

Viking River Cruises offers an eight-day Lyon & Provence itinerary that captures the essence of the Rhone River. Starting from Lyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its ancient Roman landmarks and Renaissance architecture, passengers are taken on a culinary and historical adventure. The cruise heads south, with stops in the legendary wine regions of Burgundy and Beaujolais, and visits to the storied towns of Avignon and Arles, where Van Gogh found inspiration for many of his paintings. This cruise is a favorite among those who appreciate the finer things in life – food, wine, art, and history. See Itineraries and Book on Viking River Cruises Here

2. AmaWaterways – Colors of Provence

The Colors of Provence cruise by AmaWaterways is a vibrant exploration of the stunning landscapes and cities along the Rhone. Over seven nights, this cruise showcases the diverse palette of the Provence region, from the deep greens of the vineyards to the vivid purple of the lavender fields. Guests will enjoy guided tours in historic cities such as Arles, Avignon, and Vienne, and have the opportunity to experience the renowned cuisine of Lyon, the gastronomic capital of France. This cruise combines luxurious onboard accommodations with immersive tours and tastings, appealing to travelers seeking both relaxation and adventure. See Itineraries and Book on Amawaterways River Cruises Here

3. Uniworld – Burgundy & Provence

Uniworld’s Burgundy & Provence itinerary is tailored for those who wish to indulge in the cultural and enological highlights of the Rhone valley. Spanning eight days, the cruise travels from Lyon to Avignon, offering experiences such as truffle hunting, wine tastings in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and visits to the enchanting towns of Tain L’hermitage, Macon, and Beaune. The opulent S.S. Catherine, which boasts beautifully decorated staterooms and suites, provides a sumptuous backdrop for this memorable voyage. See Itineraries and Book on Uniworld River Cruises Here

4. Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours – South of France

For a truly all-inclusive luxurious experience, Scenic’s 13-day South of France cruise promises elegance and comfort. Starting from Chalon-sur-Saône and ending in Tarascon, passengers are treated to once-in-a-lifetime experiences, such as a private concert in Avignon’s historic Popes’ Palace and a visit to the Valrhona Cité du Chocolat for a heavenly chocolate tasting. With its Scenic Space-Ships featuring balconies, butler service, and gourmet dining, guests enjoy an unparalleled level of luxury as they discover the Rhone River’s treasures.

River cruising on the Rhone provides a unique window into the soul of France, allowing travelers to soak in its rich history, savor its world-class cuisine, and marvel at its bucolic landscapes. These cruises stand out as the pinnacle of Rhone river journeys, offering diverse itineraries that promise an immersive and luxurious experience through one of Europe’s most captivating regions.

Best River Cruising Destinations on The Rhone River

As you embark on a river cruise, let’s delve into the destinations that await you along this storied waterway.

1. Lyon: The Gastronomic Capital

Lyon, often hailed as the gastronomic capital of France, is your gateway to the Rhône. As your cruise sets sail, you’ll soon find yourself in this vibrant city. Explore the cobblestone streets of Vieux Lyon, where Renaissance architecture mingles with modern boutiques. Don’t miss the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, perched atop the Fourvière Hill, offering panoramic views of the city. And for a taste of history, venture into the hidden traboules—covered passageways that once buzzed with silk trade secrets.

2. Roman Ruins in Vienne

As the river carries you southward, you’ll encounter the town of Vienne, steeped in ancient history. Here, the 1st-century Gallo-Roman amphitheater stands as a testament to the past. Imagine the cheers of spectators during gladiator contests echoing through its stone walls. The accompanying museum provides fascinating insights into this bygone era. And when hunger strikes, head to Les Halles, a bustling three-story food market where local flavors abound.

3. Beaujolais and Truffles: A Culinary Adventure

For those with an appetite for adventure, optional excursions beckon. Picture yourself on a Beaujolais and truffles tour. Begin at an organic goat milk farm, where cheese-making traditions come alive. Then, join a truffle hunt—a thrilling pursuit through the forest in search of these prized delicacies. Finally, savor a home-cooked lunch, paired with Beaujolais wine. It’s a feast for the senses.

4. Lyon’s Textile Heritage and WWII History

Back in Lyon, delve into its rich textile legacy at the Textile Museum. Discover the intricate craftsmanship behind silk production—the fabric that once adorned royalty and revolutionaries alike. For a somber yet essential experience, visit the Resistance and Deportation History Center. Learn about Lyon’s role during World War II, honoring the brave souls who resisted oppression.

5. Mediterranean Landscapes: Vineyards and Villages

As the Rhône meanders, soak in the Mediterranean landscapes. Vineyards stretch across rolling hills, their grapes destined for renowned wines. Quaint villages dot the riverbanks, each with its own story to tell. From the medieval charm of Tournon-sur-Rhône to the sun-kissed terraces of Avignon, every stop reveals a new facet of southern France.

6. Paris and Normandy Extensions

Some itineraries extend beyond the Rhône itself. Consider adding a pre- or post-cruise stay in Paris or exploring the historic sites of Normandy. These extensions enhance your journey, allowing you to savor the best of both worlds—the vibrant capital and the tranquil river.

7. Viking Cruises: A Scenic Odyssey

For an eight-day voyage along the Rhône, look to Viking Cruises. Their elegant Longships offer complimentary tours and daily excursions. Whether you’re admiring the vine-clad slopes or strolling through ancient towns, Viking ensures an immersive experience. Let the river carry you through time, and let the Rhône weave its magic. See Itineraries and Book on Viking River Cruises Here


Cruising along the Rhone River unveils a captivating journey through some of Europe’s most picturesque and culturally rich destinations, offering travelers a blend of history, gastronomy, and natural beauty. From the Swiss Alps to the heart of France’s wine country, the Rhone River cruise promises an unforgettable experience filled with enchanting stops and immersive encounters with the region’s heritage.

Lyon, the gastronomic heart of France, serves as a vibrant starting point for many Rhone River cruises, offering a blend of culinary delights, historic landmarks, and cultural treasures. Travelers can explore the city’s UNESCO-listed old town, known for its traboules (hidden passageways), vibrant markets, and renowned bouchons (traditional eateries). Lyon’s rich history, architectural splendor, and culinary prowess make it a must-visit destination that sets the stage for an unforgettable Rhone River journey.

Avignon, known as the “City of Popes,” beckons travelers with its impressive historic palace, medieval ramparts, and iconic Pont d’Avignon bridge. This charming city on the Rhone River boasts a rich cultural heritage, including the Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes) and the well-preserved medieval architecture of its old town. Avignon’s artistic legacy, vibrant street life, and picturesque setting make it a highlight of Rhone River cruises, offering a glimpse into the region’s medieval past and artistic splendor.

Arles, a picturesque riverside town on the Rhone, captivates visitors with its Roman ruins, artistic legacy, and scenic beauty. This historic city, immortalized by Vincent van Gogh in his paintings, boasts a rich cultural heritage that dates back to Roman times. Travelers can explore the ancient Roman arena, Espace van Gogh (the former hospital where the artist stayed), and the charming streets that inspired some of van Gogh’s most famous works. Arles’s blend of history, art, and natural beauty makes it a cultural gem along the Rhone River cruise.

The Provence region along the Rhone River is a tapestry of lavender fields, sunflower meadows, and charming villages that exude a sense of tranquility and beauty. Travelers can immerse themselves in the region’s scenic landscapes, visit distinctive wineries and cellars in Beaujolais, and savor the flavors of Provencal cuisine. From the charming riverside village of Viviers to the spectacular gorges of the Ardèche plateau, Provence offers a sensory journey through France’s famed wines, cuisine, and natural splendor.In conclusion, cruising along the Rhone River unveils a treasure trove of destinations that blend history, culture, and natural beauty into an unforgettable voyage through France’s iconic regions. Each stop along this magical waterway offers a unique perspective on the region’s heritage and charm, making a Rhone River cruise a truly enriching experience for travelers seeking to explore Europe’s hidden gems from a different perspective.

– Article by Contributing Author Silvester Thomson

Pin to Pinterest

Enjoyed this guide? Help others find it too! Share the following Pinterest pin to your Pinterest account, by simply clicking on the top left corner. And Remember: Sharing is Caring !

The Rhone River’s Best River Cruises – A Complete Guide for the Best Rhone River, Itineraries, Deals and Promotions
* Some links posted in this article may represent an advertisement that provides a small compensation to the website owner