Being a real Francophile, I talked my husband Bobby to come with me in August on a cruise up the Rhone River from Avignon to Lyon. We chose Uniworld Boutique River Cruises and their new “supership”, the SS Catherine, for this journey.
The Rhone is a wide, but not too commercial river. We cruised north through hilly countryside, farms and small towns until Lyon where the Rhone splits from the Soane. The Provencal towns of Avignon and Arles are famous for their Roman and middle Ages history. Lyon is a big but very attractive city. Outside of these, the towns are small and charming, mostly concerned with vineyards and farming (including lavender and sunflowers). From Lyon, we cruised up the Soane to Macon and a day visit to Beaune, heart of the Burgundy wine region and a beautiful, classy city. We loved the leisurely itinerary and each day brought more hilltop villages, historical sites, and new wines to try.
The SS Catherine is truly beautiful…like a luxury boutique Parisian hotel. Each cabin is thoughtfully laid-out with excellent beds, huge closets, lots of storage space, wonderful lighting, deluxe bathrooms with heated floors. The windows were floor-to-ceiling, making up the entire outer wall of the cabin. They were the most ingenious windows – opening horizontally instead of vertically – the entire top half could be lowered for unobstructed viewing, and if needed a screen could be lowered
On our cruise, excursions were uniformly excellent with wonderful guides and special experiences. On a visit to the tiny medieval town of Viviers, our group was graciously invited in for Rose and petit-fours to the four-hundred year old home of our guide. Another excursion was to a truffle farm where dogs are now used instead of pigs to sniff out the dark brown mushroom-like nuggets. I was most impressed with Uniworld’s “Go Active” complimentary options, offered every day for more athletic or adventurous guests. One day this intrepid group kayaked under the Pont de Gard while the rest of us were up on the bridge waving them on. Another day they hiked through terraced vineyards and had their own mid-vine tastings. There were several bicycle outings too. A special highlight for all was a night illumination tour of Lyon where all the bridges and exquisite hill-top basilica are beautifully lit.
Uniworld is a member of Virtuoso. When you book through McCabe World Travel, you are often eligible for amenities such as exclusive excursions and onboard credit. Call us today to find the perfect itinerary for you!