4 star rating: Recommended 6 Reviews

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  • Location:Marseille, France
  • Duration:5 hours (approx.)

Marseille Shore Excursion: Private Tour of Avignon

While in port in Marseille, discover where the seat of the papacy was once located on this private tour of Avignon. Take a walking tour of the medieval town's UNESCO World Heritage-listed historic center with your guide, and enjoy the rest of the afternoon to explore on your own. Take photos on the Pont Saint-Bénezet, visit Cathedral Notre-Dame des Doms, enter the Popes’ Palace (own expense), and stroll around the picture-perfect town at leisure.


  • Private shore excursion from Marseille to Avignon
  • Travel away from the Mediterranean through the beautiful Provencal countryside
  • Take a guided walking tour of Avignon's UNESCO World Heritage-listed historic center
  • Discover why Avignon is known as the City of Popes
  • Visit the Pont Saint-Bénezet, Cathedral Notre-Dame des Doms and the Popes’ Palace
  • Covered by Viator's worry-free policy: guaranteed on-time return to your ship

What You Can Expect

Marseille Shore Excursion: Private Tour of Avignon

See the Palace of the Popes on your private tour of Avignon

When your cruise ship docks at the Marseille port, your guide will pick you up from the cruise terminal and take you on your private shore excursion. Head north away from the Mediterranean, passing through swathes of lovely Provencal countryside. Avignon is located just over an hour away.

Known as the City of Popes, this medieval town was once the seat of the papacy, and was home to a succession of 14th- and 15th-century French popes who commissioned lavish architectural monuments to be built around the area.

When you arrive, your guide will take you on a walking tour of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Historic Centre of Avignon. See several attractions that date back to the city’s prime, like the Pont Saint-Bénezet – the elegant bridge immortalized in the French children’s song 'Sur le pont d’Avignon' – and Cathedral Notre-Dame des Doms. You'll be kept entertained with stories and historic anecdotes as you admire the city’s restored medieval ramparts.

The rest of your time in Avignon is yours to spend as you please. Perhaps visit the impressive Popes’ Palace (Palais des Papes) to learn more about the power, prestige and corruption of Avignon’s papal ancestry. Explore more than 20 different rooms, including the pope’s private chambers, and see wonderful frescoes and medieval architecture (entrance to the palace is at your own expense).

After three hours in Avignon, hop in the minivan and make your way back to the Marseille port to conclude your shore excursion.

Worry-free Shore Excursion:
We will ensure your timely return to the Marseille port for this activity. In the rare event your ship has departed, we will arrange for transportation to the next port-of-call. If your ship is delayed and you are unable to attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Marie-Laure was a great guide, very informative, kind, and patient as we had a slow/disabled walker with us. She went to the extra trouble of bringing us into a bookstore when one of our party was writing down a lot of information on a particular topic she pointed out a book on that topic for him which he ended up buying. Avignon was a very charming town to visit.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2014

Emmanual did a fantastic job. Lots of history was given and he was very good with the whole family. He also took great photos for us!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2014

An excellent experience with a first class guide/art historian. We were able to avoid the lines and see the city and some of the important works such as " David"

4 star rating: Recommended June 2015

The city is beautiful and lots of charm as you walk around. Somewhat disappointing that papal residence is basically empty - so nothing really worth seeing inside. The guide was good - and told us a great deal about the region and French history.


4 star rating: Recommended October 2014

It was great being in a small group - 4 people. Our guide was excellent - good mix of guide and information and free time.

1 star rating: I do not recommend this June 2014

Our tour guide, Jean-Francois, was phenomenal. He was personable and attended every aspect of the tour and offered great explanations of sites.

However, due to a discrepancy between Viator's listed duration and the actual duration of the tour, we lost an entire hour in Avignon, reducing the total time from 5 to 4. While this may not sound like much, it takes a little over an hour to get to Avignon from Marseilles which means you lose two and a half hours just in driving leaving only 2.5 in town. Because of the time discrepancy, this was reduced to 1.5 hours, which amounts to a loss of 40% of quality time.

I purchased Palace of the Popes tickets with audioguides beforehand (as suggested in the tour description) which was totally spoiled by running through as quickly as possible to make it back for an earlier return than expected. For such an expensive tour I expected the advertised time to be more accurate, and felt my money was better spent doing another tour.

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Tour code: 3547PRTMRSPTM4P


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