Lorie Nearing sails through France with AMAWaterways

River Cruise Through Provence

Lorie Nearing Niche Travel Group·

I had the honor to cruise along the Rhone River in France on the AmaWaterways Amadagio.   What an experience sailing from Arles to Lyon!

We started our vacation in Nice, France.  Well, let me tell you, I will definitely be coming back to this beautiful place.  Such a stunning city and friendly people.  We walked around until late in the evening, stopped for some pasta and wine and returned to the hotel to get ready for our train ride to Arles.

We took the train from Nice to Arles without any trouble and easily found our ship.   We spent the evening on board in Arles and made new friends at the welcome cocktail party and dinner.  The next day we visited a Olive Farm where the tour guide explained the different types of olives, how they harvest them as well as giving us samples of olives, oils and jellies. Once we returned from the Olive Farm tour, we took a walking tour of the city of Arles, walked back to the ship cleaned up after the tour and then we were welcomed to a wonderful dinner with wine and later entertained by a Spanish guitarist. During the evening, we cruised to our next stop, Avignon.

In Avignon we took a walking tour of the city to sight see and learn its history. By mid afternoon we were back on the ship and continued cruising down the river to Viviers where after dinner we took a Ghost walk and visited the town with a guided ghost and her guests. Very Spooktacular!

Grignan and Touron was our next ports.  Here we toured by bus from Vivier to Grignan with a stop at Le Pouzin to re-embark guests who took a tour.  We toured a Truffle Farm where the farmer explained where truffles come from, how he farms the trees where truffles grow from and how his dogs find them.  So interesting. Of course, this tour ended with sampling of wine that the owner makes himself and sells at his store. Can you imagine!  Wine, again! Another delicious dinner and later was entertained with a La Strada Concert. The ship continued cruising to the next port where we docked to tour the next morning.

After staying the night in Tournon we had the options of 1) Steam train de Gorges, 2) Red Wine and Chocolate pairing, 3) Hermitage Wine Walk.  It was a difficult decision but we chose the Hermitage Wine Walk where we walked a vineyard that was planted on a mountain. Here we took some great photos from the top then walked back to the shop (approx. 4 km), where we taste tested more wine.  Yes, more wine!  All aboard the Amadagio at 12:15 pm where we were treated with a visit from a local sommelier, Gael, who explained the different tastes, smells and where we once again sampled some wine.

After dinner, as we staggered to the after dinner entertainment we had the most entertaining pianist and singer I have ever seen with so many disguises, and it was not the wine that was making me see things.  Paolo Nassi held the most fun dance party I ever had on a cruise.  We had an appearance from Michael Jackson, Elvis, Tina Turner, Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder, just to name a few.  We dance the night away and we really did, our group was the last ones to leave the dance floor!  This all happened while sailing to Vienne.

In Vienne, we took a walking tour around the city to sight see and learn about the history.  These tours were so informative, especially for the History buffs. We had snow this day. Light, big snow flakes that didn’t stick to the streets, just melted right away.  Not too common here but does happen because of the French Alps being so close.  11:45 we needed to be back on board the ship as it was sailing to Lyon. A Farewell Cocktail and Captains Dinner took place this evening and later our entertainment was Adele Bracco & Bernard, who is a beautiful French singer with “Chanson D’amour”. An amazing evening had by all.

Last day spent in the beautiful city of Lyon.  Want to do some shopping? Well this was the city to do just that!  Stylish shops, plenty museums, great sight seeing and tons of history, this city was amazing.  We spent the day shopping and sight seeing while some stayed on board in the afternoon to take part in the Silk Painting Demo.  This was our last evening on the cruise and we spent the night getting our new friend’s emails and addresses, taking some pictures and wishing we had just one more day.

Disembarkation Day…..booooooo!  7 am, we were headed to the train station to catch our train to Paris.  Taxi ride of a cost of $35 Euros and we made it to the train on time.  The scenery from Lyon to Paris was breathtaking.  Most of it being country farms and open fields but gorgeous.  We arrived in Paris around lunch time, found our Hotel, Victor Hugo, 10 min from the Eiffel Tower and made our self at home for the next few days.

We spent 3 days in the gorgeous city of Paris. the city of love, the city that doesn’t sleep, the city that blows me away with its elegance, beauty and entertainment.  We used the hop on hop off bus but mostly walked from point A to point B without any issues.  We toured the Eiffel Tower, visited Louvre, Versailles, Champs-Elysees, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame Cathedral and so much more.  The Christmas market was in full bloom while we were there and of course bought some Christmas presents, which we couldn’t wait to give the kids once we returned home and so they were not Christmas gifts after all.  Three days was not nearly enough time to take in everything, see or experience it all, but we made the best of it and our legs and feet felt it.  Another city I will be returning to again.

If you liked reading my experience here and would like to learn or hear more about my adventure and think that a River Cruise may be something you would be interested in, please contact me and I would be happy to talk to you and find you an itinerary to meet your needs and wants.  It is definitely an experience that I think everyone should try.

You can contact Lorie Nearing at 902 219 4132 or lorie@nichetravelgroup.ca

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