Marseille’s vibrant port serves as a gateway to the historic Provence region, offering cruise ship passengers an opportunity to embark on a captivating excursion to the UNESCO-listed city of Avignon. This day trip promises to transport visitors back in time, as they explore the awe-inspiring Popes’ Palace, a testament to the city’s illustrious past as the seat of the Papacy in the 14th century. From the palace’s ornate interiors to the stunning views from the ramparts, the excursion promises to leave a lasting impression. But the journey doesn’t end there, as you will also savor the renowned wines of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape region, adding a delightful finale to this immersive cultural experience.

Key Points

Marseille: Cruise Ship Excursion to Avignon & Popes Palace - Key Points

  • Explore the UNESCO-listed town of Avignon with its well-preserved medieval architecture and the impressive Popes’ Palace.
  • Marvel at the iconic Saint-Bénézet Bridge, a 12th-century architectural wonder spanning the Rhône River.
  • Enjoy a guided tour of the Popes’ Palace, including the ornate rooms, grand Tinel dining hall, and breathtaking views from the ramparts.
  • Experience a wine tasting in the renowned Châteauneuf-du-Pape region, known for its exceptional, full-bodied red wines.
  • Set out on a comprehensive sightseeing adventure that showcases the highlights of Avignon and its rich historical legacy.

Tour Highlights

Marseille: Cruise Ship Excursion to Avignon & Popes Palace - Tour Highlights

The tour highlights the UNESCO-listed town of Avignon, with its impressive Popes’ Palace and the iconic Saint-Bénézet Bridge, as well as an opportunity to indulge in a wine tasting experience in the renowned Châteauneuf-du-Pape region.

Visitors will explore the historic Popes’ Palace, a remarkable example of Gothic architecture that served as the residence of the Popes during the 14th century.

The tour also includes a visit to the famous Saint-Bénézet Bridge, a medieval bridge that’s partially preserved and offers stunning views of the Rhône River.

The wine tasting experience in Châteauneuf-du-Pape allows guests to savor the rich flavors of the region’s renowned wines, completing this comprehensive sightseeing adventure.

Visiting Avignon

Marseille: Cruise Ship Excursion to Avignon & Popes Palace - Visiting Avignon

Upon arriving in Avignon, visitors are immediately captivated by the city’s well-preserved medieval architecture and its remarkable Popes’ Palace, a testament to the region’s rich historical legacy.

Towering above the Rhône River, this UNESCO-listed town invites travelers to explore its winding streets, discover local shops and cafes, and enjoy the timeless charm that permeates every corner.

The centerpiece of the visit is the Popes’ Palace, a magnificent Gothic structure that served as the official residence of the Avignon Papacy during the 14th century. Visitors can tour the palace’s ornate rooms, admire its impressive frescoes, and learn about the pivotal role Avignon played in the history of the Catholic Church.

Exploring Popes Palace

Marseille: Cruise Ship Excursion to Avignon & Popes Palace - Exploring Popes Palace

Visitors exploring the Popes’ Palace in Avignon are immediately struck by its sheer grandeur, a testament to the power and influence of the Avignon Papacy during the 14th century. As they wander through the palace’s ornate chambers, they marvel at the intricate frescoes adorning the walls, which depict religious scenes and the everyday life of the papal court.

The palace’s highlights include:

  1. The Grand Tinel, a vast dining hall where the popes entertained guests
  2. The Consistory Hall, where the pope held court and made important decisions
  3. The Pope’s private apartments, showcasing the luxurious lifestyle of the Avignon papacy

The breathtaking views from the palace’s ramparts, overlooking the city and the Rhône River.

Saint-Benezets Bridge

Marseille: Cruise Ship Excursion to Avignon & Popes Palace - Saint-Benezets Bridge

Spanning the Rhône River, Saint-Benezet’s Bridge, also known as the Pont d’Avignon, is a renowned historical landmark that has captivated visitors for centuries.

Constructed in the 12th century, this iconic bridge features a series of arches and is renowned for its unique architectural design. Visitors can stroll along the bridge, marveling at its medieval charm and the stunning views it offers of the surrounding cityscape.

Though only a portion of the original bridge remains today, it nonetheless stands as a testament to the ingenuity and craftsmanship of its builders.

During the cruise ship excursion, guests will have the opportunity to explore this iconic landmark and gain a deeper appreciation for Avignon’s rich history and cultural heritage.

Wine Tasting in Chateauneuf Du Pape

During the cruise ship excursion, guests will have the chance to indulge in a wine tasting experience in the renowned appellation of Chateauneuf du Pape.

This renowned wine region, situated just north of Avignon, is renowned for its exceptional red wines produced from a blend of up to 13 different grape varieties.

The tasting provides an opportunity for visitors to sample the robust, full-bodied flavors that have made Chateauneuf du Pape wines a favorite among oenophiles worldwide.

The tasting typically includes:

  1. A tour of the wine cellar
  2. An explanation of the unique terroir and winemaking process
  3. Sampling of 3-5 different Chateauneuf du Pape wines
  4. Guidance from a knowledgeable sommelier

Inclusions and Exclusions

The excursion package includes pickup and drop-off at the Marseille cruise terminal, as well as the services of a knowledgeable driver-guide. However, it excludes the entry ticket to the Popes Palace, lunch, and tips.

Passengers can expect a comprehensive tour of the UNESCO-listed town of Avignon, including visits to the Popes Palace and the Saint-Benezet Bridge. Plus, the excursion features a wine tasting in the renowned Chateauneuf du Pape region.

While the entry fees and meals aren’t covered, the tour provides a seamless way for cruise passengers to explore the historic and cultural highlights of the area, with the convenience of transportation and a professional guide.

Important Information

This excursion requires a minimum of 2 passengers, and the group size is limited to a maximum of 8 participants.

The order of visits may vary based on cruise ship arrival times, so the pickup time is subject to change.

Travelers should be aware that the entry ticket to the Popes Palace isn’t included in the tour price.

Some important things to note about this cruise ship excursion:

  1. Minimum group size is 2 passengers.
  2. Maximum group size is 8 participants.
  3. The order of visits can change depending on cruise ship arrival.
  4. The pickup time may be adjusted based on cruise ship schedules.

Guests should plan accordingly and be prepared for potential changes to the itinerary and pickup times.

Pickup and Drop-off

Marseille: Cruise Ship Excursion to Avignon & Popes Palace - Pickup and Drop-off

For this excursion, guests are picked up from and dropped off at the Marseille cruise terminal. The driver/guide coordinates the transportation, ensuring a seamless start and end to the tour experience.

Pickup times may vary depending on the arrival of the cruise ship, so guests should be ready to depart as soon as the driver arrives. The driver/guide will communicate any potential changes to the pickup schedule to ensure everyone is ready when it’s time to leave.

The return drop-off is also coordinated to align with the cruise ship’s schedule, providing a convenient end to the excursion. With efficient transportation handling, guests can focus on enjoying the highlights of Avignon and the Popes Palace during the 7-hour tour.

Frequently Asked Questions

Marseille: Cruise Ship Excursion to Avignon & Popes Palace - Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Dress Code for the Tour?

There is typically no strict dress code for this type of tour. Comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing and walking shoes are recommended. Visitors should dress respectfully, avoiding overly casual or revealing attire, particularly when visiting religious sites.

Can I Bring My Own Food and Drinks on the Tour?

Guests are generally allowed to bring their own snacks and non-alcoholic beverages on the tour, but it’s recommended to check with the tour operator beforehand. Lunch is not included in the tour, so bringing a packed meal can be convenient.

Is the Tour Wheelchair Accessible?

The tour is wheelchair accessible, with assistance available for boarding and disembarking the vehicle. However, the Popes Palace and other historic sites in Avignon may have limited accessibility due to their age and design. Guests should inquire about specific accessibility needs.

Can I Customize the Itinerary for the Tour?

Customers generally cannot customize the tour itinerary, as it’s a fixed group excursion. However, the order of visits may change based on cruise ship arrival times. Travelers should check with the tour provider about any flexibility in the schedule.

How Do I Communicate With the Tour Guide if I Don’t Speak French?

The tour guide likely speaks English to accommodate international travelers. Guests can communicate their needs and questions in English, and the guide will provide translations or assistance as needed throughout the excursion.


This enchanting cruise ship excursion offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the historic town of Avignon and its renowned Popes’ Palace.

Guests can wander through the well-preserved medieval streets, admire the palace’s ornate rooms, and indulge in a wine tasting in the renowned Châteauneuf-du-Pape region, making for an unforgettable journey into the region’s rich cultural and culinary heritage.

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