Provence August 2012, Questions

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#1
85 Posts
Joined Jan 2001
7 day cruise on River Royale thru Provence September 2-9.
2 couples, taking the TGV from Paris, to Avignon arriving two days before the cruise.

1) Rent a car at the Avignon train station? Drop off easy at Arles train station where we begin the cruise? Other touring options instead of car rental?

2) What to see, where to stay?

Thanks.
#2
Santa Paula CA
3,415 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
If you are going to Arles, consider visiting Les Baux de Provence. A very interesting hill top town. Right now they have an exhibition of paintings by Gauguin and Van Gogh. We will be there in mid June to see them.
Check out their website. They have a good touring map for downloading.
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It serves no purpose to list all the cruises I have been on chronologically. Many of the lines or ships do not exist any more, or have been renamed. I have sailed on NCL,Bermuda Star, Regency, Royal, Silverseas, Mississippi Queen, Vantage, Marco Polo, Scottish Highlander, Princess, Victoria, Hebridean Princess, Paul Gauguin, Regent, Oceania, Cunard, Rembrandt, and Lev Tolstoy.
#3
Northern California
497 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
We are on same boat only from May 13-20. Flying to Paris and connect to Marseilles. Renting car at airport andd driving ot Aix-en-Provence for 3 nights prior to May 13. Plan to visit Cassis area near Marseilles, bum around Aix, drive to St Remy and Baux then on morning of May 12 drive to Arles for the night prior to boarding ship next day. On that morning plan to drive over to the Camargue area for the day prior to checking the car in a Arles. Hope you have a great trip and cruise!
#4
85 Posts
Joined Jan 2001
Thanks for the replies
Any thoughts on where to stay?
We have two nights in the region before boarding the ship.
I assume no problem renting a car in Avignon and dropping it off in Arles
#5
2,152 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
SGKOCH, Is the exhibit in the old quarry? If it is you're in luck! We saw a Cezanne exhibit there and it was fantastic. It was especially fun to then go and see some of the actual places such as Mont Ventoux. You of course will see where Van Gogh painted in Arles.
#6
85 Posts
Joined Jan 2001
Have been trying to drop off a car in Arles on a Sunday, and it appears if all the agencies are closed. Is that true? Would seem likely that many travelers are embarking or disembarking on Sundays and there should be some site that's open.
Any information would be appreciated.
Perhaps need to drop the car off at Nimes and take some shuttle into Arles.

Thanks
#7
Santa Paula CA
3,415 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Originally posted by newlondon
SGKOCH, Is the exhibit in the old quarry? If it is you're in luck! We saw a Cezanne exhibit there and it was fantastic. It was especially fun to then go and see some of the actual places such as Mont Ventoux. You of course will see where Van Gogh painted in Arles.
Yes it is, They are doing Van Gogh and Gauguin this time. We have made arrangements with a taxi company to get us there and back.
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It serves no purpose to list all the cruises I have been on chronologically. Many of the lines or ships do not exist any more, or have been renamed. I have sailed on NCL,Bermuda Star, Regency, Royal, Silverseas, Mississippi Queen, Vantage, Marco Polo, Scottish Highlander, Princess, Victoria, Hebridean Princess, Paul Gauguin, Regent, Oceania, Cunard, Rembrandt, and Lev Tolstoy.
#8
2,152 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
I'm envious and am now thinking of changing our itinerary this August to see that. We have been to Les Beaux 3 times staying at La Beauxmaniere-wow; the high point, however, was the art exhibit in the quarry. Enjoy
#9
Key West, Atlanta, Lake Lure, NC
34 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
Are almost non existent in this part of France. We are on the June 10th cruise, and will fly to Nice on Saturday, overnight in Monte Carlo and take the train to Arles. the station is a 5 minute cab ride to the ship.

The last Saturday of our trip is in Beaune so after sightseeing, we are picking our car up and driving back to the ship so we can disembark Sunday and just walk to our car.mThat solves our Sunday rental car issues.
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Strandvillas
#10
2,152 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
SGKOCH, Thanks for giving us a heads up on this. We are going to get a driver to take us from Arles since we have been there before. May I suggest that you do as we are going to; have lunch at La Beauxmaniere. Last time we were there it was a 2* Michelin restaurant and worth every euro.
#11
85 Posts
Joined Jan 2001
4 of us arriving on Friday August 31st by TGV train to Avignon.
Rental car, and visit Gordes and surrounding area, staying in Apt for the night for the large street market Saturday morning.
Then driving to Les Baux de Provence (castle and art show in the Quarry) and surrounding areas, staying that night in Les Baux de Provence.
And now for the challenge: Need to be in Arles for the river cruise by 5PM Sunday, but there are no car rentals open in that area on Sunday. So if we drop the car back at TGV station in Avignon, there are 3 choices (I think):

1) Bus from TGV station to Arles, and then taxi to boat
2) Taxi to the city Avignon train station, take the train to Arles, and taxi to boat
3) Found a car service that will take 4 from Avignon TGV station to the boat in Arles for $240.

Curious as to others' thoughts, mostly for these three options.

Thanks in advance.
#12
Saint Simons Island, Georgia
11,811 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by ZAMOST
7 day cruise on River Royale thru Provence September 2-9.
2 couples, taking the TGV from Paris, to Avignon arriving two days before the cruise.

1) Rent a car at the Avignon train station? Drop off easy at Arles train station where we begin the cruise? Other touring options instead of car rental?

2) What to see, where to stay?

Thanks.
We just finished a wonderful Rhone River cruise on the AMADAGIO, from Lyon to Arles. The review is posted under member reviews and here on river cruises. Not sure about the rental car, but why not continue to Arles on the train? Also, check to make sure you are not duplicating the sites that you will visit on the river cruise.

Don't miss Pont du Gard, the massive Roman aqueduct that is about 15KM west of Avignon.
Les Baux de Provence is another village not to be missed. Parking is a problem there, so you many need to walk some distance.
#14
85 Posts
Joined Jan 2001
Thank you for your replies.

We aren't spending any time in Avignon before our cruise, as to avoid any duplication.
Since we can't drop off the car rental in Arles on Sunday, we might as well rent the car at the Avignon train station and return it there.
A Monday drop off would be good, but we're already on the boat.
I suppose we could park the car overnight on Sunday in Arles (the boat stays overnight), and return it early the next morning, but it just seems more complicated.

The car service may work out for the drive from Avignon to Arles