Solo Traveller Cruise – FRANCE RIVER CRUISE – Avignon to Lyon – 4th Nov 2019

Cruise Line
Riviera Travel
Ship
William Shakespeare
Package Departs
04 Nov 2019
Package Duration
7 Nights
Embark Ship
Avignon, France
Disembark Ship
Lyon, France
R-3025 - Oceanview O-3028 - Balcony H-3029 - Balcony
AU $3,549
per person
AU $4,239
per person
AU $4,469
per person

*** Exclusive departure for solo travellers – No single supplements across entire ship! ***
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From the lush slopes of the scenic winelands to the sun-baked hills of Provence and the wild beauty of the Ardeche Gorges to the medieval splendour of Avignon, enjoy a fascinating cruise to one of the most picturesque corners of France. We start in France`s gastronomic capital and explore the beautiful Saone and Rhône rivers, the preferred route of traders and invaders alike since the dawn of recorded history. Everywhere there are reminders of the Romans and the greatest empire of the ancient world. You will be staggered by the engineering genius of the staggering amphitheatre at Arles and the huge aqueduct at the Pont du Gard. Avignon was the seat of the Papacy during medieval times, heralding a century of greatness crowned by the absorbing Papal Palace and its stunning renaissance art collection. Van Gogh created arguably his greatest works in Provence and all this is set in some of France`s most stunning natural beauty – all waiting to be discovered on this wonderful cruise.
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PRICES – in AUD – per person
Single Lower Deck standard suite (window) from $3,549*pp
Single Middle Deck standard suite (French balcony) from $4,239*pp
Single Upper Deck standard suite (French balcony) from 4,469*pp
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BURGUNDY, THE RIVER RHONE & PROVENCE Cruise-Only prices include:
– 7 night river cruise aboard ms William Shakespeare from Avignon to Lyon
– All shipboard main meals
– A range of included shore excursions: Visit to Beaune, centre of the Burgundy wine region and wine tasting | Cruise the spectacular Rhone valley | Guided tour of Lyon, second city of France and its gastronomic capital | Visit to charming Vienne |
Tour of the astonishing Ardeche Gorges | Guided tour of Arles, with its extraordinary Roman remains and home of Vincent Van Gogh | Visit to the Pont du Gard | Tour of superbly preserved, medieval Avignon and the stunning Pope`s Palace
– Services of a Riviera Travel cruise director
– Complimentary onboard tea and coffee
– Complimentary onboard wi-fi
– Port taxes

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ADD ON A DRINKS PACKAGE – An onboard Drinks Package:
Available for all new 2019 departures is an onboard drinks package (valued at $199 per person). This includes draught beer, non-alcoholic beer, soft drinks, juices, red/white/rose house wines, and wine recommendations from the menu – served with lunch and dinner onboard your ship. If you would like to add on this package please advise prior to departure from Australia.

Special Conditions

*Conditions Apply: All prices shown here are per person single sole use occupancy of a twin share cabin in AUD, based on best available cruise fare at time of publication (17Apr19). All prices based on cash payment - credit card fees may apply. Cruise deposit, amendment and cancellation conditions apply. Travel agent service fees may apply. Special conditions apply - please ask for full details at time of enquiry. All passports, vaccinations and visas are the responsibility of the travelling guest to secure prior to departure from Australia. Please note that the prices shown here are not shown in real time. International or domestic airfare/taxes and transfers are not included. While we endeavour to keep our pricing as up-to-date as possible, the advertised prices shown here may differ from the prices in our booking system at time of reservation. Offer valid until sold out/withdrawn and is subject to availability at time of booking.

Special Validity Dates

Special is valid from 17 Apr 2019 to 14 Nov 2019 or until sold out/withdrawn.

Cruise Itinerary

DateActivityArriveDepart
04 Nov 2019
Avignon, France
05 Nov 2019
Avignon, France
06 Nov 2019
Arles, France
07 Nov 2019
River Cruising
08 Nov 2019
Tournon, France
08 Nov 2019
Vienne, France
09 Nov 2019
Chalon-sur-Saone, France
10 Nov 2019
Lyon, France
11 Nov 2019
Lyon, France

All itineraries and ports of call at the discretion of the cruise line subject to local weather conditions and may change without notice.

Please select your preferred category and cabin configuration/price. Then scroll down and select Continue to provide your contact details and preference. Our cruise specialists will check availability and respond to you as soon as possible.

Category       Single Per Person
Romeo (Lower) Deck Cabin - Sole Occupancy
     
Othello (Middle) Deck Cabin - Sole Occupancy
     
Hamlet (Upper) Deck Cabin
     

7 Night Cruise sailing from Avignon to Lyon aboard William Shakespeare.

NOTE: Cruise operates in approximate reverse order to the itinerary outlined below.

DAY 1 EMBARK IN LYON
Arrive in Lyon, where your five-star floating hotel is moored in the picturesque historic center. The dedicated English-speaking crew will welcome you on board and help you to your cabin. After settling in to your spacious and tastefully furnished accommodation, there’s time to familiarise yourself with this five-star floating hotel.

DAY 2 LYON
After our first splendid breakfast, we’ve a leisurely start enjoying a guided tour of Lyon, one of France’s most fascinating cities. The Rhône Valley had been the route of choice for marauding armies and peaceful traders for centuries, and Lyon’s current site, at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône Rivers, cried out to be fortified. In 43 BC the Romans founded the city, which subsequently grew in importance; the Emperor Claudius, conqueror of Britain, was born here. There are many Roman remains to see, but it was the production of silk that brought Lyon to prominence during the Middle Ages, and throughout the city you can see signs of the wealth that poured in – Renaissance buildings, imposing churches and Europe’s largest pedestrian square, Place Bellecour, with a statue of

Louis XIV as its focus. The Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is crammed with antique shops and intriguing traboules – narrow covered passageways enabling silk merchants to transport their wares to the river without getting wet – that today are a joy to amble through. As well as its glorious architecture, Lyon is generally acknowledged as France’s (and to locals the world’s) gastronomic capital. In fairness it has much to commend it: nouvelle cuisine was invented near here and the city boasts a huge array of speciality food shops and eateries, including 20 restaurants with one or more Michelin stars and countless little places to eat.

While you enjoy your first lunch the ship quietly slips its mooring. Cruising upstream, we catch the first glimpses of the vine-clad slopes of the hazy green Beaujolais hills as we approach one of the world’s most revered red-wine-producing regions. On our left we see the picturesque villages of Morgon, Fleury, Juliénas, Chénas and many more, while on the right you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of snow-capped Mont Blanc – Western Europe’s highest mountain. As the afternoon drifts into evening and we cruise past the town that gives them their name, the white wines of Mâcon hold sway – and what could be better than a cool, crisp glass in the lounge before enjoying this evening’s culinary delights in the restaurant, prepared by our outstanding chef.

DAY 3 CHALON & BEAUNE
Rising this morning we’re berthed in Chalon, gateway to Burgundy and home of Nicéphore Niépce, the inventor of photography. On this morning’s tour we see some of the pretty yet surprisingly small villages that produce some of the world’s most sublime wines – Meursault, Volnay, Pommard, Gevrey-Chambertin and many more. Nearby is medieval Beaune, Burgundy’s wine capital, which is wonderful to wander around. At its centre is the Hospices de Beaune, also known as the Hôtel-Dieu. Originally built in the 15th century as a hospital for the disadvantaged, it’s a jewel of High Gothic architecture, instantly recognisable for its colourful glazed roof tiles arranged in dazzling geometric patterns. A prestigious annual wine auction takes place here each November, with proceeds going to benefit the Hospices and its charity work. Of course you can’t visit Burgundy without sampling its amazing wines, so we visit the cellars of a leading traditional winemaker for a tour and tasting before returning to the ship for lunch.

DAY 4 VIENNE & TOURNON
One of river cruising’s great pleasures is waking in a different place to the one you fell asleep in. Overnight the ship has cruised almost imperceptibly downstream and we enjoy breakfast in Vienne, first a Celtic settlement, then a Roman stronghold under Julius Caesar. Strikingly located in a narrow section of the Rhône where the river meanders dramatically around a steep bluff, Vienne is a treasure trove of historic remains, including the stunning Roman Temple of Augustus and Livia, and a walk around its streets really brings its heritage to life.

During another superb lunch, we enter perhaps the most picturesque section of the Rhône as the river squeezes and twists past Condrieu, Saint-Rambert-d’Albon and Saint-Vallier, with wooded cliffs rising high on both sides. Traditionally these stretches were the most dangerous due to fierce currents and varying water levels but, with the waters now tamed by a series of locks whose complex mechanisms never cease to fascinate, this afternoon can be spent relaxing on the Sun Deck taking in the exceptional views. Later we moor in the pretty provincial town of Tournon, with its imposing castle and tree-lined avenues on one side of the river, while on the other are the steep vine-covered hillsides of Hermitage, where another of the world’s most revered wines is produced – a fitting view as we enjoy another exquisite dinner.

DAY 5 ARDÈCHE GORGES
This morning we cruise effortlessly downstream. In the distance you’ll catch glimpses of the Alps and, as we approach Valence, the landscape gradually becomes less green with more ochres and magentas, the houses have sloping terracotta roofs typical of the Mediterranean and the air carries heady aromas of pine and cypress. You can only be in the Midi or – as we call it – the south of France. It’s so relaxing to catch up on some reading or just laze in the sun.

After lunch we explore one of France’s most outstanding landscapes – the Ardèche Gorges, whose scale is a fitting reminder of Mother Nature’s awesome power. Sheer limestone cliffs plunge almost 1,000 feet to the river’s blue waters, which elegantly snake their way through stupendous rock formations, culminating in a huge natural arch, the Pont d’Arc. Caves, grottoes and natural sculptures create marvellous views at every turn before we return to the gentler slopes of the Rhône Valley, where our ship is moored in charming Viviers, a medieval town clustered around its 12th-century cathedral. We slip our mooring and proceed through the famous lock at Bollène, one of the deepest in France, as you relax over dinner.

DAY 6 ARLES & PONT DU GARD
You awake under the azure skies of deepest Provence and amid the warm stone colours of Arles, many of whose historic monuments are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Although small in size, it was the key stronghold on the Roman road to Spain, one of the empire’s richest possessions. Seagoing ships could reach here and the city became a regional capital, briefly ruling over Gaul, Spain and Britain. Our guided tour will help you appreciate the finer points of Arles’s magnificent Roman remains, including the splendid amphitheatre, one of the best preserved in the world, the earlier theatre built during the reign of Augustus and the Alyscamps, the ancient necropolis with its extraordinary atmosphere. The disturbed but great genius of an artist Van Gogh lived in Arles for just over a year, from February 1888. It was his most prolific period and, inspired by Arles and the light and beauty of the Provençal countryside, he produced around 300 works, including The Night Café, The Sower and, of course, Sunflowers.

After lunch we visit the amazing Pont du Gard Roman aqueduct, one of the wonders of the ancient world. No amount of fame can diminish the first sight of this 2,000-year-old structure, which was the highest bridge built in the Empire –the Romans themselves considered it the most important testimony to their greatness. Its statistics are staggering: over 900 feet long and almost 160 feet high, with its stones each weighing up to six tons. To put this in perspective, the span of the Pont du Gard is greater than the width of the River Thames at London Bridge – and no mortar was used in its construction! The situation is lovely too, with pine- and cypress-covered hills adding to the harmonious setting. Rejoining the ship, we cruise along the Rhône and, during dinner, pass the imposing 15th-century castle at Tarascon standing guard on the river bank.

DAY 7 AVIGNON
The light catching the red roofs of Avignon’s majestic skyline is a sight to behold over breakfast, after which we embark on a guided tour of one of the most extraordinary and intriguing cities in France. Avignon’s destiny changed during the 14th century, when the Pope’s court moved here to avoid strife in Rome. Igniting a century of prosperity, the Pontiff commissioned a host of ambitious building projects, and today the city is immaculately preserved, nestling behind its almost-intact 14th-century walls and boasting more remarkable monuments, superbly decorated buildings, churches, chapels and convents than you can possibly count. Most important is the stunning Popes’ Palace, made up of two buildings that together form the largest Gothic palace in the world. With turrets, towers, parapets and other fortifications, its exterior resembles a mighty fortress, while the interior is a tour de force of medieval architecture and ornamentation, adorned with priceless frescoes, Gobelin tapestries and graceful sculptures. The ceremonial hall, chapels, cloisters and private apartments are all unmissable. But to truly embrace the feel of papal Avignon, imagine yourself here during the Middle Ages amid the Palace’s rich furnishings and extravagant decoration, with cardinals, princes and ambassadors milling about its candle-lit halls and corridors, while in the streets below countless pilgrims eagerly anticipate benediction. This was Avignon’s brief golden age, when it was truly the centre of Christendom.

After lunch you’re free to explore as you wish, perhaps visiting the nearby Petit Palais, the former home of the archbishops of Avignon, to cast a critical eye over the remarkable collection of over 300 paintings and sculptures from the Middle Ages and Renaissance, including works by Botticelli and Carpaccio. Or take a stroll on the iconic Pont d’Avignon, which, dramatically, ends halfway across the river, made famous by the melody we all recall from our first French lessons. It’s our final afternoon so you may wish to do some shopping, or just find a quiet café in a shady Provençal square to watch the world go by. Perhaps though, return to the luxurious surroundings of our ship, finding a quiet spot to contemplate the many wondrous places you’ve seen and experienced over a quiet cup of tea!

This evening we enjoy the sumptuous Captain’s Dinner, with the chef serving specialities of the regions you’ve visited during your voyage of discovery.

DAY 8 DISEMBARK IN AVIGNON
After breakfast this morning, the crew bids you farewell before you disembark the ship, with time to look back on great memories from a superb trip.

We are proud to showcase here the state-of-the-art, five-star MS William Shakespeare – launched in 2014.

Specially commissioned and designed to our exacting specifications, she is, without doubt, one of the world’s finest river cruise ships. We have worked tirelessly with one of Europe’s most experienced and respected luxury shipbuilders, Veka Group, to create the perfect ship, featuring many unique, ground breaking innovations. The finest of materials have been used in construction with virtually no expense spared; its sustainably sourced tropical hardwoods, highly polished brass and wrought iron fittings, thick pile high-quality carpets, luxuriously comfortable deep armchairs and settees will absolutely delight you. In addition the ship’s spacious layout, subtle and tasteful lighting, elegant décor, luxurious cabins and excellent facilities are undoubtedly the very best on cruise ships today.

Superb attention to detail continues outside the vessel, where the extensive use of glass and polished stainless steel complements her sleek modern profile perfectly. As the ship glides, serenely, through the water, she truly is a wonderful sight to behold! As you would expect, the ship also incorporates the very latest in modern construction techniques and safety systems, ensuring your cruise is as comfortable and secure as possible. Finally the ship carries just 140 passengers and with 35 crew, a 4:1 ratio ensures excellent service levels. With many similar size vessels carrying 180 passengers or more, you will find the extra space, especially in the restaurant, very noticeable indeed.

The four-deck design helps to enhance the ship’s spaciousness and is typified by the delightful lobby on the Hamlet (upper) deck. As you are greeted on board, you will appreciate the five-star quality of the warm-coloured wood and marble that has been extensively utilised, whilst above, the innovative atrium tastefully bathes the whole welcoming scene in natural light. There is also a lift and small boutique stocking those essentials which always run out whilst one is away!

Moving towards the front of the ship you will find the classically appointed Globe lounge and bar, with a wide selection of comfortable and elegant seating. Here you can relax and enjoy the delights of the passing scenery through the superb observation windows on both sides of the vessel, whilst the forward facing panoramic bay window ensures the most extensive and uninterrupted viewing of any river cruise ship! The welcoming bar offers a full range of drinks sourced from all over the world, including the finest wines and spirits. When the sun sinks slowly below the riverside hills this is the perfect place to relax and reflect on another day’s experiences. Then, as the evening progresses into darkness, subtle lighting evolves through colour and intensity accompanied by gentle piano background music, creating a very special ambience. However should you prefer a good book to read you can always visit the library, which, with its leather-effect wall linings, offers a gentile environment reminiscent of the golden age of cruising.

To the rear of the ship is the Midsummer bar, with large panoramic windows and outside seating, where again you can enjoy and relax, watching the passing scenery. Here, in the evenings the chef presents his personal signature dishes for just 24 diners – this intimate dining experience can be reserved on board at no extra charge.

Stairs and a lift lead down to the Othello (middle) deck, where the culinary delights of a superbly elegant restaurant are enhanced by sparkling crystal and crisp, high-quality table linen. Here the ship’s outstanding chefs will amaze you with superb fine dining of the highest order, using freshly prepared seasonal produce to create very best of European cuisine. The sumptuous breakfast buffet, with omelettes and fresh eggs prepared to order, ensures a great start to the day and a lunchtime buffet ensures you can eat a full meal or something as simple as a fresh crunchy salad – just as you desire. The evening dinner features excellently executed dishes with silver service, plus a relaxed atmosphere and our ‘open seating’ policy that ensures your dining experience is one you will always look forward to.
Wonderfully illustrating the extraordinary attention to detail focussed on the William Shakespeare’s design is the use of special ‘sound absorbent’ paint on the restaurant ceiling to reduce noise levels whilst dining – remarkable! Another outstanding restaurant feature are the large tinted panoramic windows, so as you enjoy your epicurean adventure you will also be able to enjoy the scenery as it glides past – you miss nothing!

A further staircase descends to the Romeo (lower) deck, where a small but well equipped fitness suite is available for the energetic, whilst others may choose to plump for an invigorating sauna! There is also a hairdressing salon so you can always look your best (small additional fee).

Crowning the ship is the magnificent Sun deck, where you are very welcome to visit the Bridge whenever you wish except when berthing or navigating locks. You can discuss life on the river and view the fascinating technologically advanced array of ‘state of the art’ navigation and control equipment, whilst highly skilled officers guide all 110 metres of the William Shakespeare carefully along the river. Of course the view from the sun deck is just wonderful, whilst the informal café style seating is an ideal place to relax with like-minded travellers.

Just absorb the magical sights, sounds and unique river atmosphere whilst perhaps availing yourself of the attentive bar service. Or just relax on a sun bed and read a book, solve the crossword from a deck chair, take a dip in the whirlpool, play chess, try your hand on the putting green or just relax and admire the ever-changing kaleidoscope of stunning views passing by.

Ship Profile & Stats

  • Maiden Voyage: 2014
  • Passenger Capacity (dbl): 140

Ship Facilities

  • Boutique
  • Globe Lounge & Bar
  • Library
  • Midsummer Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Fitness Suite
  • Sauna
  • Hairdressing Salon
  • Sun Deck
  • Whirpool
  • Putting Green

There’s so much more to experience on a Riviera Travel River Cruise:

What’s the best way to travel through the heart of Europe and discover its greatest delights? You’ll find it hard to beat a European river cruise along some of our continent’s most timeless, appealing waterways. After all, people have travelled Europe’s mighty rivers for centuries to trade, explore and sometimes conquer. Steeped in history and culture and flowing through stunning scenery, they form natural highways that connect great cities and beautiful towns, each with its own unique and rewarding character.

While you sit back and relax on your river cruise of Europe, the views change constantly as amazing destinations come to you. The pace is slower, with plenty of time to soak up the atmosphere and contemplate the world as it passes serenely by. If you’re feeling energetic, there are new opportunities every day to explore riverside ports with knowledgeable guides or at your own speed. If not – you can just take it easy.

Your European river cruise might take you down the majestic Rhine or Danube, to atmospheric cities like Coblenz and Vienna. You’ll pass astonishing ‘fairytale’ castles and learn their mystical stories. There’s the meandering Moselle with its impossibly steep riverside vineyards, the lesser known River Main twisting through Germany’s rural heart. In France, the Rhone flows majestically almost from the Burgundy vineyards to the heart of sun-kissed Provence, while the iconic Seine will transport you from Paris through the countryside of impressionist painters to medieval Rouen and historic Bayeux. Then there’s the picturesque and largely undiscovered Douro with its dramatic cliffs, lush hillsides, medieval walled villages and terraced vineyards.

You experience all this in the most relaxing manner possible on your river cruise through Europe, on board some of the most spacious ships gracing Europe’s waterways. No sea-sickness or rough water – just comfort and luxury with superb service and dining on an unforgettable journey through time and culture.

Select the Cabin to view detail.

* Unless otherwise noted all pricing is on a per person twin share basis. All prices based on cash payment - credit card fees may apply. Cruise deposit, amendment and cancellation conditions apply. Special conditions may apply - please ask for full details at time of enquiry. All passports, vaccinations and visas are the responsibility of the travelling guest to secure prior to departure from Australia. Any pricing not in Australian Dollars will be converted on the day of payment into the relevant currency based on our daily rate of exchange. Please note that many of the prices shown on this website are not shown in real time. Whilst we endeavour to keep our pricing as up-to-date as possible, the advertised prices shown here may differ slightly from the live prices in our booking system. All pricing and offers are subject to availability at time of booking. Whilst all information is correct at the time of publication, offers are subject to change. We reserve the right to correct errors without penalty. Please submit any data errors/omissions you may notice on this site.

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