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Palace of the Popes in Avignon

The Rhône Valley and the Provençal Rhône

Example 6 Day Cruise aboard MS Van Gogh
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Discover a new way to travel on this innovative voyage that combines the pleasures of a cruise and the adventure of a perfect hike. Sail through the magical Rhône Valley, and pass through the charming towns of Givors, Vienne and Condrieu. Enjoy a guided walking tour of the medieval city of Viviers, once the capital of the “Viennoise” Roman province. Join some wonderful hikes through the Pilat massif, the Alpilles, and the Ardeche gorges. 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Lyon, France | Embark
Day 2 : Chavanay
Day 3 : Avignon
Day 4 : Arles
Day 5 : Viviers
Day 6 : Vienne | Lyon | Disembark


  • Enjoy incredible hikes in the Pilat Mountain Range and the Ardèche Gorges
  • Discover the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pope's Palace at Avignon
  • Admire the pink flamingos and wild horses of Camargue
  • Visit Les Baux-de-Provence, one of the most beautiful villages in France


MS Van Gogh

Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Palace of the Popes in Avignon Friends hiking during a trip together Place de la Republique, Arles Lyon, France

Day 1 Lyon, France | Embark

Board the ship in Lyon at 6.00 p.m. After comfortably settling into your cabin, meet the crew at a welcome cocktail. Learn more about the hiking program before dinner followed by an evening of entertainment on board.

Day 2 Chavanay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend your morning cruising to Chavanay. Cruise through the magical Rhône Valley, and pass through Givors, Vienne and Condrieu, at the foot of the Côte-Rôtie vineyards. Arrive in Chavanay at 2:00 p.m.

Hikers' Program: Hiking in the Pilat Mountain Range: Discover amazing vistas from the granite ledge set high above the Rhône River and facing the Alps as you hike through this beautiful mountain range. Duration 2 hours 45 minutes, 7 km (4.4 miles), with around 200 m (656 feet) of elevation gain.

Non-Hikers' Program: Visit Chavanay: Visit a medieval market town with narrow streets from the Middle Ages. Enjoy some free time in the evening to explore by yourself.

Day 3 Avignon

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Pass through the Bollène lock, which raises and lowers boats 23 meters (75 feet) for navigating the Rhône River, a major civil engineering project of the 1950s. Arrive in Avignon around 3:00 p.m. An ancient Hellenistic and Roman city, in the twelfth century it became the City of the Popes. A cultural jewel of Provence, the city is as much for its heritage as for its rich artistic life. Enjoy a guided walking visit. 

Day 4 Arles

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Cruise to Arles and arrive around 8:00 a.m.

Hikers' Program: Hiking in the Alpilles and Les Baux-de-Provence: Explore the Alpilles, a small chain of limestone mountains, and probably the most famous and the most visited in Provence. Duration: 2 to 2½ hours, distance of 5 km (3 miles), with about 150 m (492 feet) of elevation gain.

Non-hikers' Program: Visit of Les Baux-de-Provence: Visit the village of Les Baux-de-Provence, with its spectacular position in the heart of the Alpilles at an altitude of 245 m (804 feet). The village is classified as “one of the most beautiful villages in France.”

Take an afternoon excursion by coach through the Camargue, where you can discover the villages of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer and typical landscapes with wild horses, pink flamingos, rice paddy fields, and salt marshes. 

Day 5 Viviers

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Arrive in Viviers around 8:00 a.m.

Hikers' Program: Hiking in the Ardèche Gorges nature reserve:  Lovers of the great outdoors surely fall under the spell of the Ardèche Gorges, with their unique and wondrous scenery, combined with amazing, breathtaking views. Duration 2 hours, 6 km (3.75 miles), with around 250 m (656 feet) of elevation gain.

Non-hikers' Program: Visit the Pont d'Arc Cavern, a replica of Chauvet Cave, and learn about prehistoric rock art.

Join a guided walking tour of Viviers, a medieval city classified as a protected area of the Rhône-Alpes region, the former residence of bishops. 

Day 6 Vienne | Lyon | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Enjoy a buffet breakfast as you cruise. Arrive in Vienne around 9:00 a.m. Join a guided walking tour of the town. It was the capital of the “Viennoise” Roman province and a religious capital until the 15th century. Cruise to Lyon, having lunch on board and arriving in Lyon around 3:00 p.m. Disembark.

MS Van Gogh

Per person starting at
Cabin aboard the MS Mistral
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Main Deck
51 cabins (37 twins, 8 double cabins, 4 triple cabins, 2 single cabins) equipped with shower and toilet, hairdryer, satellite TV, safe. Cabin size: 118 sq. ft.
Main Cabins
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Upper Deck
27 cabins (23 twins, 4 double cabins) equipped with shower and toilet, hairdryer, satellite TV, safe. Cabin size: 118 sq. ft.


20% discount on children between 2-10 years
30% discount for 3rd person in triple cabin

For the safety of our passengers, the captain and crew of the boat may decide to modify the navigational itinerary. 

This offer includes:
- All meals from dinner D1 to lunch D6
- Drinks including water, wine, beer, fruit juices and coffee served during meals on board, drinks served at the bar (excluding champagne and wines on the wine list)
- Double-occupancy cabin with shower in private bathroom
- Coach transfers mentioned in the program
- Visits and hikes specified in the program
- Services of a qualified mountain guide
- Onboard entertainment
- Assistance from onboard multi-lingual host/hostess
- Welcome cocktail
- Gala dinner and evening
- Travel assistance and repatriation insurance
- All port fees

This offer does not include:
- Drinks on the wine list, champagne at the bar, drinks served during excursions or transfers
- Cancellation and baggage insurance
- Personal expenses
- All services not specifically mentioned in the program. 

Valid passport compulsory. Non-EU nationals are advised to consult their embassy or consulate. Please note: Your passport must be valid for six months beyond the last day of your travels.
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