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Colors of Provence - an Overview

Susan Wolfson

We just got back from a trip to Provence, France. This overview describes our trip aboard the AmaCello in late October / early November 2019 down the Rhone River. We started in Lyon, disembarked in Arles France and spent a day or so in Barcelona Spain. Here's how AmaWaterways describes the trip.

The Amacello in Avignon. River cruising in Provence is one of the best vacation experiences.

I love Provence

We basically spent the week in Provence. What can I say? I love Provence, even in late Fall. True, there's no lavender fields that amaze you with color and smells. But there's Roman history galore, medieval villages to explore, world class wine and food to taste and impressionist painting to enjoy visually. The countryside is a nice mix of rolling hills, steep valleys and open plains. The weather was moderate, allowing us to enjoy biking riding on several occasions.

River cruising down the Rhone

So yeah, Provence is great. But even better is the cruise itself. It was relaxing and at the same time full of activities. In Lyon we explored the wonders of the city from a couple of different perspectives. We sailed north to the Beaujolais region and enjoyed the wine and a small 12th century village. The following day in Vienne, we stood next to a well preserved Roman temple that served as the model for Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. Next we explored classic Cote du Rhone Hermitage wines and world renown chocolate. Exploring a papal palace in Avignon was our next stop. And in Arles we explored this city full of working Roman amphitheatres as well as Van Gogh landmarks.

AmaCello cabin
Our cabin on the AmaCello; very efficiently laid out

And the ship?

AmaCello Wine selection changes every night
Each night the wine selection changed

The AmaCello is a beautiful ship. The chef's table produced a brilliant meal for us on the first night. Overall we really enjoyed the food in the main restaurant; we especially appreciate that the wines change every night consistent with where we docked. And we really enjoyed the Mediterranean lunch with fresh oysters and mussels.

We used the on board bikes several times as well as the small fitness room. Others enjoyed the various wellness and stretching classes held each day. The rooms were classic AmaWaterways cabins: incredibly efficient in design, very comfortable with luxurious amenities. The internet wasn't stellar but many times was perfectly adequate for our needs.

Perhaps the highlight of the cruise was the crew. Always friendly and helpful, you really do feel like you're part of the family. It's trite and hackneyed...but true.

Summary of our Provence trip

What a great cruise. We traveled with some great friends; we had plenty of time for discussions and exploring together. But we also had lots of opportunities to do our own thing. Great food with easy living (no packing and unpacking each day on the cruise) and Monica our cruise manager made the trip effortless. We had some great experiences that will stay with us forever. Easy, fun, luxurious, experiential and educational. What else could you possibly ask for/


On the following posts, we'll highlight some of the details of our trip including our pre and post extensions and some of the excursions and activities each day.

  • Colors of Provence - an Overview
  • Lyon with AmaWaterways
  • Lyon and Barcelona bookends
  • Beaujolais and Vienne, wine and Romans
  • Tournan and Avignon
  • Arles - on the Rhone in Provence France

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