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Ralph Grizzle's Dream Cruise 2025

Cruise For 7 Nights From Arles To Lyon

At My Favorite Time Of Year To Cruise | October 16, 2025 - October 23, 2025

What’s a Dream Cruise? It’s river cruise that pulls together the best of Europe. For me, that’s traveling in comfort along enchanting waterways, with multiple opportunities for destination immersion, cultural encounters, pedaling and hiking – and sharing the experience with others who are passionate about travel.

Our floating boutique hotel will be AmaWaterways’ AmaKristina, featuring 76 cabins and accommodation for 152 guests. The ship is named for AmaWaterways’ co-founder, so you know it’s special. 

The itinerary takes us to romantic (and Roman) cities to foodie havens and artistic epicenters. We will begin our cruise in  Arles, where we will trace the steps of famous artists including Van Gogh and Picasso. In Avignon, we’ll explore the sprawling commune with an array of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, intriguing art museums and historic charm. We’ll savor savor the beauty of legendary vineyards and imbibe in local vintages like Beaujolais and Côtes du Rhône. We will even become experts in all things culinary: go in search of the highly prized “Black Diamond” truffles and learn how to pair chocolate with wine. We’ll end our cruise in Lyon, France’s culinary capital. A full list of the itinerary and tours is below.

We'll explore lovely Avignon. © Ralph Grizzle

All staterooms have river views and more than half feature AmaWaterways’ unique twin balconies, comprised of a French balcony plus a walkout balcony. I enjoyed the white marble bathrooms with glass-enclosed, multi-jet showers and granite countertops.

AmaWaterways' twin balcony stateroom features both a French balcony and a step-out balcony. © 2016 Ralph Grizzle

The ship features two restaurants: the Main Restaurant and The Chef’s Table, which features regionally inspired menus. You have the option to dine at the reservations-only Chef’s Table during our 7-night Dream Cruise. There is no additional charge for dining in this aft-situated upscale restaurant. The Chef’s Table is surrounded by windows and offers spectacular views of the rivers

AmaKristina also features a fitness room and Sun Deck, heated pool.

But as nice as AmaKristina is, the ship is not the star of the show. The stars are the rivers, the destinations along them and the activities available to us each day. 

While I prefer active excursions (and there will be plenty of those for us), you need not be at a high fitness level to enjoy the Dream Cruise. We’ll have excursions and tours for any level of fitness, whether you’re mobility challenged or fit as a fiddle.

Why Travel With Me?

Well, for starters, it’s my “Dream Cruise.” No one else is offering such a cruise. Plus, I’ve cruised a lot on these rivers and will not only share my knowledge along the way but also participate in many of the activities. And I will help you find “secret” jewels along the way that other tourists fail to discover. 

Unpack Once And Enjoy 7 Nights On Board

Provence
Arles to Lyon | 7 Nights | October 16, 2025 - October 23, 2025

Provence Pricing | 7 Nights | Starting from $3,399 Per Person

20
Cabins Remaining

Provence 7-Night Dream Cruise

CategoryConfigurationBrochure RateSavingsPer Person Rate
EFixed Window$4,399$1,000$3,399
DFixed Window$4,698$1,000$3,698
CBFrench Balcony$5,398$1,000$4,398
CATwin Balcony$5,798$1,000$4,798
BBTwin Balcony$6,398$1,000$5,398
BATwin Balcony$6,598$1,000$5,598
ABTwin Balcony$6,798$1,000$5,798
AATwin Balcony$6,998$1,000$5,998
SSTwin Balcony$8,298$1,000$7,298
USD per person in double occupancy (cruise only). Port charges are an additional $231 per person. If you are on a mobile device and can't see the entire table, swipe the table to scroll.

Staterooms

Click on stateroom images to enlarge.

NOTES:

Important Dates, prices & itineraries are subject to change.

Port Charges not included in cruise price $224 per person.

Bedding Configuration Options: Option A: Two twin beds Option B: One large bed (larger than queen size).

TERMS & CONDITIONS:

All rates are per person for cruise only, based on double occupancy in an entry level category stateroom unless stated otherwise. Offer is valid on select sailings only and applicable to new bookings only. Offer is not combinable with any other promotions/discounts, limited to availability, capacity controlled and subject to change or termination without notice. Port charges, land programs and round-trip airfare are not included in cruise price. Other restrictions apply. See Avid Travel Media’s Participant Agreement 

AmaWaterways' twin balcony stateroom features both a French balcony and a step-out balcony. © 2016 Ralph Grizzle

All staterooms have river views and more than half feature AmaWaterways’ unique twin balconies, comprised of a French balcony plus a walkout balcony. I enjoyed the white marble bathrooms with glass-enclosed, multi-jet showers and granite countertops.

Itinerary & Tours

October 16, 2025 Arles

Board AmaKristina for our Rhone River Cruise

October 17, 2025 | Arles

Considered one of the most beautiful cities in France, Arles enchants all with its tantalizing history, formerly a Roman center of trade. Join a guided walking tour where you’ll visit the Roman ruins of Arles such as its Roman Amphitheater and the Church of Saint Trophime, famous for its Romanesque architecture. Alternatively, you can enjoy a bike ride along the Rhône, through town to the Langlois Bridge, a famous subject from several Vincent Van Gogh paintings. And for those who wish to delve further into Van Gogh’s Arles, join a special walking tour along with a visit to the Vincent van Gogh Foundation, showcasing his legacy. During the afternoon, venture to Les Baux de Provence, a hilltop village and ruined castle. Enjoy time in the “old village,” its shops, art galleries, and cafes interspersed among the historic ruins. You will also have a unique experience at the Carrières de Lumières, where you will be treated to a spectacular presentation of art, sound, and history projected on the walls of a former limestone quarry set to music. Next, visit an olive farm to learn about this age-old Provençal tradition and enjoy a tasting. Finally, experience the beauty of Saint Rémy de Provence, the location where Van Gogh painted some of his most famous paintings, including Starry Night.

Arles

  • Walking Tour
  • or Bike Tour
  • or Van Gogh Walking Tour

October 18, 2025 | Avignon

Avignon, aptly named the “City of Popes,” was the center of the Catholic Church in the 14th century when its “Palais des Papes” was the equivalent of today’s Vatican. Depending on your interests, you have three choices of excursions in the morning. Discover the history of Avignon on a guided walking tour that includes the Papal Palace and the well-preserved medieval walls surrounding the historic center of town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Or, you can visit three venues around Avignon to taste regional specialties including macarons, cheese and wine, and tapenades. Alternately, you can enjoy a bike tour through the city. During the afternoon, you can go to another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the impressive Pont du Gard, a Roman aqueduct that is a masterpiece of ancient engineering.

Avignon

  • Morning walking tour and Papal Palace
  • or Avignon Bike Tour
  • or Taste of Avalon
  • Pont du Gard

October 19, 2025 | Viviers

Take in the quaint surroundings of Viviers, a charming commune that sidles up to the right bank of the Rhone. From Viviers, travel to the magnificent hilltop village, Grignan, and go in search of the highly prized “Black Diamond” truffles with a farmer and his trustworthy canine companion. You can also explore Viviers on a guided walking tour, where you’ll see iconic sights such as Saint-Vincent Cathedral. Or stretch your muscles on a hike to Viviers’ St. Vincent Cathedral, taking in beautiful views of the Châteauneuf du Pape dam, the Donzère Gorge and the town of Montelimar with its magnificent château. You can also set off on a guided bike tour, exploring the beauty of Southern France as you ride along the Rhône River.

Viviers

  • Grignan Truffle Farm
  • or Viviers Walking Tours
  • or Viviers Hike
  • or Viviers Bike Tour

October 20, 2025 | Tournon

Take a steam train ride past magnificent landscape carved along the Gorge du Doux, stopping at the charming little station of Colombier le Vieux-Saint Barthélemy le Plain, where the train maneuvers in preparation for its return journey. Alternatively, lovers of wine and chocolate will want to visit Le Château de Tournon for a presentation and tasting on the pairing of red wine and chocolate. For a more active adventure, take a hike through the vineyards of Tain l’Hermitage, followed by a visit to a local winery where you’ll sample some of the wines.

Tournon

  • Steam Train Ride
  • or Red Wine & Chocolate
  • or Hermitage Hike & Wine-Tasting

October 21, 2025 | Vienne

Situated between the wine regions of Beaujolais and Côtes du Rhône lies Vienne with a Roman past that can be seen in its marvelously preserved ruins. Follow the footsteps of the ancient Romans on a walking tour to see the amazingly well-preserved Augustus and Livia Temple, the Saint Maurice Cathedral, a Gothic church that took more than 500 years to build, and St. Pierre Abbey—one of the oldest surviving churches in France, and now an Archaeological Museum. For those wishing to be more active, you can either take a guided hike from the ship to the Monastery at Mount Pipet or a guided bike tour along a portion of the ViaRhôna bike route.

Vienne

  • Roman Ruins Walking Tours
  • or Mount Pipet Hike
  • or ViaRhone Bike Tour 

October 22, 2025 | Lyon

Take a walking tour that starts in Fourvière Hill, part of the city’s historic region that is now a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the 19th-century basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière. Continue on to the old town of Lyon, followed by a guided walk through the St. Jean district, where you will be introduced to the city’s unique covered walkways, known as “traboules.” You can also visit the famous indoor market hall Les Halles de Lyon – Paul Bocuse, named after the late chef renowned for his Michelin-starred l’Auberge du Pont de Collonges restaurant. There you’ll have a chance to sample of the delicacies offered by butchers, bakers, chocolatiers and cheesemongers while taking in the colorful sights and enticing aromas around you. Alternately, join a guided bike tour through the city designed with cyclists in mind. Later in the day, visit a traditional Beaujolais winery and learn the history and techniques of their vineyard. Plus, enjoy a tasting of their specialty.

Lyon

  • Lyon City Tour
  • or Les Halles Market Tour
  • or Lyon Bike Tour
  • Beaujolais Excursion and Tasting

October 23, 2025 | Lyon

Disembark the ship and bid farewell to Lyon as you prepare for your flight home or onward journey.

I hope you can join my Dream Cruise. I'll work to make this a memorable trip for all of us. The setting could not be better: comfortable accommodations and an outstanding crew; Europe's best rivers during the perfect time to cruise them; and sharing the experience with people who are passionate about cultural immersion, destination exploration and enjoying the company of one another as we cruise through the heart of Europe.
Ralph Grizzle
River Cruise Advisor