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Portraits of Southern France

Portraits of Southern France

Postby Dave » 10 Jan 2013 17:05

Having had our brief encounter with Thomson we're now looking forward to our next cruise which isn't far away - both in time and distance. :D

Viking like to name their cruises and they call this one Portraits of Southern France. Here's a map of the route:

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The ship is Viking Neptune she's more modern than Viking Schumann which we had for our Elbe cruise last Easter. She's also the biggest river ship we'll have been on - 150 passengers is three times as many as were on RV Tonle!

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Our cabin is marked on the plan. We originally booked a 'C' grade cabin but were upgraded to an 'A' cabin as a 'thank you' when I wrote a piece for Viking's email newsletter about our Elbe cruise. Then when I wrote a longer review for Viking News they gave me a £150 discount on this cruise as well, so we ended up with a better cabin for less cost. It can pay to send reviews to cruise lines! ;)

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There's no balcony, but at least the window opens. :D

I'll definitely be writing a daily blog for this one because it's with Viking, and wi-fi is included in the price - as is pretty much everything else!

Here's the itinerary:

Day 1. Chalon-sur-Saône

Fly to Lyon. Transfer from the airport to your ship docked in Chalon-sur-Saône.* After boarding, take free time to explore this quaint town—or join our “welcome walk” to stretch your legs and start getting oriented.

Day 2. Beaune & Burgundy Wine Tour

After breakfast, take a scenic drive along France’s Burgundy wine route through Pommard, Volnay and Meursault. Arrive in Beaune, wine capital of Burgundy, for a guided tour of beautiful Hôtel Dieu, founded as a hospice in 1443. Learn about local viticulture and enjoy a wine-tasting at one of Beaune’s famous cellars. Return to your ship for lunch. Enjoy the rest of your day at leisure—as always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. Or, take an optional excursion to the picturesque Burgundy towns of Tournus and Mâcon. Return aboard for dinner and evening departure.

Day 3. Lyon

After a morning cruise through the picturesque countryside and lunch aboard, take an afternoon tour of Lyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begin with a drive to the top of Fourvière Hill for amazing views of the city. Visit the Basilica of Notre Dame and drive through town past the magnificent St. Jean Cathedral and the Palace of Justice. Then take a walking tour through the cobbled streets of Vieux Lyon (Old Town), with free time to shop for souvenirs or sample some of the fine French cuisine for which Lyon is world-famous. Dinner served aboard.

Day 4. Lyon & Vienne

The morning is free to further explore this remarkable 2,000-year-old city in the heart of France. Depart just before lunchtime. This afternoon, take a walking tour of Vienne, a beautiful town with an ancient Roman past. Visit the Temple of Augustus & Livia, the Roman amphitheater and the Gothic Cathedral of St. Maurice; then spend some time discovering more of this charming riverside town on your own. Dine aboard and depart this evening.

Day 5. Tournon & Viviers

Awaken in Tournon. During a guided tour of the area, learn about the region’s winemaking traditions and taste some famous regional red wines. Then visit the Musée de Tain l’Hermitage located in the oldest house in the region. Lunch aboard and cruise through the afternoon; arrive after dinner in Viviers, a quaint town in a mountainous setting. Join your Program Director for an evening stroll through the Old Town with its medieval and Renaissance buildings. Enjoy free time before retiring for the evening.

Day 6. Arles

Arrive during breakfast and meet your guide for a walking tour of Arles with its diverse architectural highlights. Experience the city’s vibrant colours and the striking quality of light that have inspired artists. Arles is also the site of some impressive Roman ruins, including Les Arènes, an arena that seats 20,000 and is still in use, as well as Romanesque monuments such as the Church of Saint-Trôphime, completed in the 15th century. Return aboard for lunch followed by afternoon free time to explore or shop for handcrafted gifts. Dinner is served as you depart.

Day 7. Avignon

This morning, set out on a guided walk of Avignon, nicknamed “City of Popes” because it was home to seven popes from 1309 to 1377. Stroll through the historic center, stop at the picturesque Pont d’Avignon and walk the Place de l’Horloge. Continue to the renowned Palace of the Popes for a guided tour through this rambling maze of Gothic architecture which served as papal residence, fortress, church and palace. You can join the optional tour to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, visiting the vineyards and tasting the famous wine. Lunch and dinner served aboard. Your ship remains docked overnight.

Day 8. Avignon

After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the Marseille airport for your return flight.



Last edited by Dave on 11 Jan 2013 08:20, edited 1 time in total.
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Booked cruise: Marella Explorer - Caribbean, Christmas 2018
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Portraits of Southern France

Postby tobysgranny » 10 Jan 2013 20:02

Looks brilliant Dave. Will have to investigate for next year definately!

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Portraits of Southern France

Postby Trace » 10 Jan 2013 20:53

looks fab Dave, I think I would like this myself
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Re: Portraits of Southern France

Postby Meg50 » 10 Jan 2013 21:02

sounds a bit like the one we're doing..

when do you go?
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Portraits of Southern France

Postby Wansbrough » 10 Jan 2013 22:05

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Tardis springs to mind looking at this photo.
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Portraits of Southern France

Postby Dave » 10 Jan 2013 22:58

Wansbrough wrote:
Image


Tardis springs to mind looking at this photo.


You might be interested in this rather nifty interactive tour of Viking Prestige. It's quite impressive when viewed full screen.

River cruise ships are probably larger than many people think! ;)
Last edited by Dave on 11 Jan 2013 08:11, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Portraits of Southern France

Postby Dave » 10 Jan 2013 23:15

Meg50 wrote:sounds a bit like the one we're doing..

when do you go?

It's in early April Meg. How about yours?

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Re: Portraits of Southern France

Postby Meg50 » 11 Jan 2013 08:06

we're going in May
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Re: Portraits of Southern France

Postby Meg50 » 11 Jan 2013 08:07

presumably the basic design is the same on all river cruise ships?

This picture looks very like the one we sailed on about 10 years ago
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Re: Portraits of Southern France

Postby Dave » 11 Jan 2013 08:27

Meg50 wrote:presumably the basic design is the same on all river cruise ships?

This picture looks very like the one we sailed on about 10 years ago

I think that depends very much on which river the ships sail on Meg. Viking Neptune is almost nothing like the last one we were on:

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And some of the Russian ships are relatively huge:

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