Meet in Nîmes for transfer to ‘Le Phénicien,’ moored in Aigues-Mortes. After a welcome reception, explore this 14th-century walled city before your first gourmet dinner on board.
Cruise to the Camargue this morning, heading east on the Canal du Rhône à Sète that links the Petit Rhône with the étangs (inland seas) dotting the Mediterranean coast. Moor in the quiet village of Gallician before visiting a prestigious manade (ranch) where local cowboys on white horses demonstrate how they tend their herds of bulls.
An unforgettable cruise takes you to the Roman city of Arles, the "open-air museum" of Provence. Join your guide to explore the haunts of Vincent Van Gogh, who painted a myriad of canvases here in 1888.
While cruising the mighty Rhône River, ‘Le Phénicien’ passes through the 36-foot-high lock at Beaucaire en route to Aramon, where a lively game of pétanque awaits. In the afternoon, visit medieval Les Baux-de-Provence, dramatically set atop a rocky plateau of the Alpilles.
After breakfast, cruise to historic Villeneuve-lès-Avignon for a guided excursion to the Pont du Gard. This masterpiece of Roman engineering is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site with an informative museum showcasing the historic significance of the magnificent tri-level aqueduct.
This morning, visit one of the best cellars of Châteauneuf-du-Pape for a guided visit and wine tasting. Reboard the barge for a lunchtime cruise to the walled city of Avignon, with its Palais des Papes that served as a fortress as well as a palace. With walls that are 13 feet thick in some places and defensive towers reaching to 165 feet, the Palais des Papes remains a symbol of the time when Avignon was the fortified center of the Christian world. Gather tonight for a farewell dinner to mark your last evening on board 'Le Phénicien.'
After breakfast, transfer to Avignon, where your journey ends.
Route runs in reverse on alternate weeks and may differ on selected cruise dates.