River Rhone with Emerald Waterways
The cruise ran from Arles up the rivers Rhone and Saone, ending up in Lyon at the end of the week. We stayed in Marseille the night before to have a good look around the city and picked up the Emerald coach back at Marseille airport the following morning which took us to the ship. The coach was something of a walk from the terminal which some people who were less mobile found a bit difficult. We had only river cruised with Viking before so Emerald was new to us, but found it as least as good if not better, especially the quality of the food. The ship was only a year or two old and of a high quality throughout. Really nice to have a decent covered pool at the stern to have a swim prior to dinner. Our upper deck french balcony cabin with sliding window was spacious and comfortable. The ship carried plenty of bicycles which were great for getting around at the various places visited. The crew were excellent in all respects, pleasant and helpful at all times. The cruise provided the opportunity to stop at the many historic and interesting towns along the Rhone including Arles, Avignon, Lyon, Beaune and Chalons, Avignon and Lyon being particularly interesting with several excursions included. Just across the road from the Lyon mooring is a bus stop from where it was simple to get around the city on the excellent transport system, or just walk around if you wished. Close to the Lyon mooring is the Museum of the Occupation which tells the horrendous stories of the Nazi occupation and atrocities of Klaus Barbie. Also some very good on board evening events including a really interesting wine talk and tasting by a local sommelier. Generally an excellent cruise if you like your Rhne wines! River cruises are not cheap but all in all we had a great week on an excellent ship, with all very efficiently organised by Emerald. The only real downside was that in some places the ship has to double moor, so all you get when moored is a view into the cabins of the adjacent ship, and vice- versa. This only happened a few times but I guess more likely to occur as more cruise ships appear on the river. The skill of the helmsmen/joint captains was great to witness as they manoeuvred the ship into some difficult places. We look forward to our next Emerald cruise.
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