The River Cruise Where Caving Meets Wine Tasting

They call it 'spele-oeology.' This new, and one-of-a-kind shore experience on an Avalon Waterways river cruise on the Rhone River in the south of France combines underground adventure - with the exquisite wines of the region.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE to get a 'taste' of what World's Greatest Cruises' producer and host Lynn Elmhirst experienced as one of the first Avalon Waterways guests to try the new 'Active & Discovery' shore ex.

It starts with putting on an unflattering - but quite necessary in the muddy conditions - caving suit, helmet, headlamp - plus a little bit of bravery - to descend into caves near Avignon, France.

At the bottom of literally hundreds of stairsteps – 55 meters / 180 feet down into the earth, unfolds a 60 km / 40 mile network of caves that inhabitants of the region were using even tens of thousands of years ago.

Today, in addition to spectacular spelunking – that’s just a fancy word for caving – sights like sci-fi worthy formations, reflective pools and cathedral-like spaces, local winemakers have an ageing cave, where they are experimenting with how cave-aged wines differ from those aged above ground.

It’s a once-in-a-lifetime wine tasting and caving experience, and the latest in Avalon Waterways’ Active & Discovery river cruise shore excursions.

And after three glasses of wine and a climb up hundreds of stairs back to the surface, you might be grateful for the helmet! :-)