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If you aspire to paint like the celebrated Dutch, Post-impressionist painter, Van Gogh, one of the most relaxing ways is to embark on a delightful river cruise through France on the Rhone and Saone Rivers with Avalon Waterways.

You can attend a painting workshop to learn the techniques of Vincent Van Gogh and create your own painting in the style of the legendary artist. And you get to keep your painting as a souvenir of your many attempts to produce a masterpiece to hang in your own living room.

Arles on the Rhone River

You can also go on a walking tour of Arles, a town synonymous with Van Gogh as he lived there and spent many hours creating many of his works of art. Your guided tour will pass many plaques dedicated to the artist which can be spotted throughout the town; walk to the places where he painted, past the hospital where he recovered after cutting off his ear during a fight when tempers flared with Paul Gauguin, a fellow artist with whom he had been working for a while in Arles. You will also visit the courtyard where he painted Le Jardin de la Maison de Sante Arles, the famous painting of the garden of the Hospital of Arles.

Stop for a glass of red wine at the Café Van Gogh.

You can also take an optional excursion to Carrieres de Lumieres, the world famous Cathedral of Images in a former limestone quarry before visiting Saint-Remy in the heart of Provence where Van Gogh committed himself to St Paul de Mausole, where he created his best known works of art.

Over a decade Van Gogh created more than 2000 artworks including 860 oil paintings, most of which date from the last two years of his life.

Avalon Waterways’ eight-day river cruise on the Rhone and Saone Rivers will meander through France’s Burgundy and Provence region to take in well known French treasures and hidden gems, including the serene countryside, quaint villages and Lyon, the gastronomic capital founded by the Romans in 43BC which sits at the cross junction of the Rhone and Saone Rivers.

Learning to paint like Van Gogh

There will be plenty of time to visit the historical town and sample Beaujolais. The wine of the region.

You will also get to tour the city of Tournon, the medieval treasure with plenty of Roman ruins and an amazing 16th century castle. Your cruise will continue to historical Avignon and you will be able to view the14th century Palace of the Popes, the largest gothic fortress in the world.

The Arles Amphitheatre

Your next stop is Arles, which is also famous for the 1st-century Roman Amphitheatre which still hosts plays and concerts to this day.

Your holiday adventure starts at St Jean de Losne where you will cruise on the majestic Saone River and head to Macon, home of wine and cheese where you can choose an optional excursion to a Chardonnay wine cellar or to the Castle of Cormatin. There will be cheese tasting on board the ship.

Lyon, France’s third largest city

The next stop is Lyon where you can discover the city’s architectural district by bike with your adventure host over bridges and along the banks where the Rhone and Saone Rivers meet. Explore the old town with its maze of medieval alleyways, lively cafes and the famous fountain. Take the bike to explore the local produce markets and be amazed by the freshness of the tomatoes, delicious pastries and wide choice of fragrant cheeses.

Your cruise will then call at Tournon, one of France’s oldest medieval cities. Make sure you visit the 16th century castle and Roman ruins.

Your next port of call is Avignon where you can savour Chateauneuf-du-Pape for a true taste of the Rhone wine region. The river cruise will then call at Arles, home of Van Gogh for many years before arriving at Port St Louis where your cruise ends.

Prices start from $4172 per person – down from $5522 – for June 28 2022 departures.

For more information, visit https://www.avalonwaterways.com.au/europe-river-cruises/burgundy-provence-WJL?season=2022

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