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Setting sail from Avignon
The former papal stronghold of Avignon cuts a dramatic figure, perched above the Rhône and ensconced behind towering walls. The Palais des Papes was home to a succession of 14th century pontiffs, and still looms large over Avignon's atmospheric old town. The cobbled streets that surround the palace are a joy to explore, and you'll also find the ruins of the bridge that gave rise to the famous song. Avignon is more than just an open air museum though, and there is a real buzz about the place during July's popular theatre festival, when the city's hotels are full to bursting.
Try a papaline d’Avignon – two coats of chocolate enclosing l’Origan du Comtat, a honey and herb-based liqueur. It looks like a neon-pink thistle but is more delicious!
Tarascon is one of Provence’s lesser known towns, situated on the Rhône between Avignon and Arles. Points of interest include the 15th century castle and the pretty Moulin de Daudet, a windmill that belonged to the author Alphonse Daudet. Tarascon is also an important centre for Provençal textiles.
The former papal stronghold of Avignon cuts a dramatic figure, perched above the Rhône and ensconced behind towering walls. The Palais des Papes was home to a succession of 14th century pontiffs, and still looms large over Avignon’s atmospheric old town.
The little town of Viviers, on the right bank of the Rhône, is a delightful place to explore on foot, with its narrow, cobbled medieval streets and elegant cathedral. A lot of history is packed into a small space, including Roman remains and the Renaissance era Maison des Chevaliers.
The twin villages of Tournon-sur-Rhône and Tain l’Hermitage sit on opposite banks of the Rhône, around 50 miles south of Lyon. Visit Tournon’s hilltop castle and charming old town, then sample some of Tain l’Hermitage’s excellent wines and the famous Valrhona chocolate.
Situated at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers, Lyon is one of France’s most appealing cities. Its reputation for gastronomic excellence is well deserved, with hundred of wonderful restaurants, and the UNESCO listed historic centre boasts a marvellous ensemble of Renaissance-era buildings.
The little town of Mâcon lies on the west bank of the Saône, at the southern edge of Burgundy, and it’s a great base for sampling the region’s famous wines. A popular excursion is a trip to nearby Beaune, home to the magnificent medieval Hospices de Beaune and its prestigious wine estate.
Arriving in Lyon
Situated at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers, Lyon is one of France's most appealing cities. Its reputation for gastronomic excellence is well deserved, with hundred of wonderful restaurants, from lavish Michelin-starred affairs to family-run joints tucked away down a back alley. What's more, the UNESCO listed historic centre boasts a marvellous ensemble of Renaissance-era buildings, best appreciated from the top of the soaring Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière.
Eating out in Lyon is the best – starve yourself for days in advance in order to be able to make the most of this foodiest of cities.
Your home from home
Uniquely designed and decorated, with an exceptional attention to detail, S.S. Catherine has been crafted to reflect the specific area in which she operates.
What we love
Introduced in 2014, the S.S. Catherine was the second of Uniworld's 'Super Ships' to join the fleet. Individually decorated suites with cleverly designed French balconies open the rooms to the outside, and the outrageously over the top décor of the public spaces combines brilliantly with modern touches like the indoor heated pool at the back of the ship.
|Crew||57 European Staff|
|Style||Relaxed and informal during the day, giving way to an elegant evening atmosphere.|
Tailor-make your trip
Our favourite hotel in Avignon
La Mirande – intimate, great location and classically French style.
If you are interested in Roman antiquities, visit the archaeological site of Glanum at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.
Where to stay in Lyon
We love the Cour des Loges in the heart of old Lyon.
What to do around Lyon
This is a great base to set forth for wine tasting in Beaujolais.