Afternoon on a boat? Yes please! There are lots of awesome cruising options if you feel like exploring the Rhone during your stay in Avignon. Taking a tour or even a dinner cruise on one of the Grand Boats of Provence is a great way to see the region. Plus, the views are spectacular and the wind on the water is refreshing.
There are a few cruising options available, but all boats leave from the allées de L'Oullle dock (across from the Porte de L'Oulle) or right beside the giant ferris wheel. I decided to take the afternoon tour, which is only about an hour long - perfect if you're feet are sore and you need a cool breeze on a hot afternoon.
Running from April to late September, the one-hour tour takes you right past the Pont Saint Bénezet, the Palais des Papes, the Rocher des Doms gardens; back down and around the river to Villeneuve and past the Tour Philippe Le Bel. It's definitely an awesome way to see the city and gives you a unique perspective of the area. You can see the river boats tied up along the shore, which is something I love. The boat does a little loop around Île de la Barthalasse, so you have plenty of good photo opportunities the whole way.
A free audio guide is provided for this tour, so you can learn some interesting historical facts about Avignon and the area while you take in the scenery. There are only three recordings to listen to, but the commentary is informative nonetheless. I was just happy to just soak up the sun and enjoy my time on the water!
The boat has two outdoor areas where you can sit and enjoy the view - one with shade and one without. Depending on how busy it is, you can grab a seat anywhere (that's free). If you really need a break from the sun or it’s too windy, you can sit inside and look out the massive windows. For those who tend to get seasick, the boat is extremely stable and moves rather slowly, so you shouldn't worry about motion sickness. Refreshments are also served on board and there are nice toilets too (always a bonus!).
For the month of June and September, departures for the one-hour outing are everyday at 15h and 16h15. In July there are four sailings departing at 13h, 15h15, 16h30 and 17h45, and in August there are five departures at 11h, 13h, 15h15, 16h30 and 17h45. The cost of this tour is 10€ for an adult and children ages 2-8 only pay 2€.
Looking to spend a little longer on the water? You can take a lunch or dinner cruise with Mireio Cruises and see even more of beautiful Provence from the river. On the longer trips, you will visit five destinations including Avignon to Arles, Châteauneuf du Pape and Tarascon dinner dances and dinner shows. Dinners and outings on La Saône cruise ship depart at 20h30 from June 21 to September and the cost is 30€ per adult. Reservations for these trips are highly recommended. For more information on departures times, prices and reservations for both cruising options, visit their website.
- Boat Trips