Carolina, from our Group Sales team in Australia, recently experienced our Avalon Waterways Burgundy & Provence river cruise with Nice extension. Read on to find out more about her four highlights onboard Avalon’s Burgundy and Provence river cruise

1. Gorgeous Viviers 

Our Local Guide’s grandparents’ home

My favourite included excursion was called ‘Charms of Viviers’. It was a Classic excursion and designed to give us an insight into this little French village. Viviers has so much history with influences from Christian, Roman and medieval times. So much so that the locals are incredibly passionate about maintaining the village. They continually fundraise to assist with covering the costs of restoring certain buildings, ensuring Viviers is still liveable for future generations.  

Viviers cathedral
Viviers cathedral

Viviers is also home to France’s smallest cathedral which we visited and were serenaded by a local opera singer which was a beautiful experience. Our local guide’s grandparents lived in Viviers during WWII. He kindly showed us their former home, telling us a very personal story that occurred between the Nazi and his grandparents minutes before the Allied Forces arrived.  

2. Adding the Nice extension 

Nice, France
View of Nice from Le Meridien Hotel

I began my travels with 2 nights in Nice on the French Riviera. I highly recommend adding this on to the Burgundy and Provence river cruise as it’s a vibrant city, giving you a taster of what is to come. It was the perfect balance of guided sightseeing and free time. We also met our Cruise Director, Mihaela, in Nice. She was so professional, helpful and always had a smile on her face. Her clear instructions made our entire trip seamless from start to finish. From Nice, we travelled to Arles via Aix-en-Provence to board the Avalon Poetry II.  

3. Making the most of the views 

Panorama Lounge

My favourite area of the ship was the Panorama Lounge. We experienced le mistral – a strong, cold wind – for most of our cruise. This meant it was too cold to sit on the Sky Deck to enjoy the views, so the Panorama Lounge was the next best alternative. This large area has a mix of couches, armchairs and tables so it’s easy to choose if you want to be sociable or have some downtime.  

The Panorama Lounge is also where all the evening entertainment is held. One evening we had the pleasure of being entertained by a music group (which features one of the members of the famous Gypsy Kings). The group was founded in Arles and play a blend of Catalan rumba, flamenco and salsa. It was such a fun evening! 

4. River cruising at its finest 

Panorama Suite

The beauty of river cruising is sailing from one town/village to another, watching how the landscape changes and seeing the beautiful architecture that we don’t have at home. I would love to experience Avalon’s Paris to Normandy river cruise next. This was my first time to France (and Europe) so I can’t wait to explore the rest of the country! 

Take a look at our Burgundy and Provence river cruise itinerary today or visit Avalon Waterways’ website for the full range of river cruises. 

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