2021 Rhône River Study Cruise
Join us as we tour some of France’s greatest cities along the Rhône River, beginning with Avignon, and consider the life and legacy of John Calvin. During this beautiful eight-day study cruise, Ligonier Teaching Fellows Drs. Sinclair Ferguson and W. Robert Godfrey will consider Calvin’s life, how the Reformation came to France, the history of the Huguenot movement, and the struggle between truth and error in France and the rest of Europe. On this unforgettable journey, you will learn more about John Calvin, the French Reformation, and the gospel legacy he and others left for us to carry forward today.
April 8-11 - Optional Pre-Cruise Tour in Paris*
On Thursday, join Ligonier Tours before the cruise and explore historic Paris, learning about the early years of John Calvin’s education and training in the City of Light. On Friday, journey to the Latin Quarter to see where young Calvin lived and studied, taking in the impressive sights of the Sorbonne and the Notre-Dame Cathedral. On Saturday, you’ll visit the Louvre, located on the site where the Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre began, resulting in the murder of tens of thousands of Protestant Huguenots across France. As one of the bloodiest attempts by French Roman Catholics to crush Protestantism, this event became a bleak reminder of the ongoing and costly need for reformation. On Sunday, the pre-cruise tour concludes with a first-class train ride from Paris to Avignon.
*Please call Sovereign for more details about this optional pre-cruise excursion.
April 11 - Day 1
Arrival day to Avignon. Board the beautiful Viking river ship and enjoy dinner with your fellow travelers.
April 12 - Day 2
As you explore Les Baux in the spectacular Alpilles Mountains, you’ll visit the remains of the Huguenot church at the heart of the city. You will also see the charming city of Saint Remy and the walk among extensive ruins of the Roman city that established this region for the empire.
April 13 - Day 3
Aptly named the “City of Popes,” Avignon was the center of controversy and schism in the fourteenth century, whose history sowed seeds of discontent with the Roman Catholic Church and fueled the fires of the Reformation. Experience one of the few French cities to have preserved the medieval ramparts enclosing its town center.
April 14 - Day 4
The Second Council of Orange, held in A.D. 529, defended the Bible’s revelation of God’s sovereignty in salvation against the error that would come to be known as semi-Pelagianism. After considering these truths later upheld by the Reformers, you will continue on to enjoy local cuisine in Lyon, the culinary capital of France.
April 15 - Day 5
The Train de l’Ardèche will take you on a locomotive ride through the deep gorges of the Ardèche plateau. In the afternoon, cruise past dramatic landscapes on the way to Vienne, a beautiful town with an ancient Roman past. A walking tour will lead you through the well-preserved Roman ruins, including an amphitheater, and the Gothic Cathedral of St. Maurice.
April 16 - Day 6
Begin your exploration of Lyon by traveling to the ancient gravesite of the early church father Irenaeus, who ardently defended the church against gnostic teachings in the second century. Irenaeus was the disciple of Polycarp, who was mentored and taught by the Apostle John. Later, you’ll consider how the heroic French Huguenots fought for the truth of God’s Word and continued the work of reformation here amidst violent persecution.
April 17 - Day 7
Take a scenic drive through the rolling hills of this region on the way to Moulin-à-Vent, which gives its name to one of the most prestigious wines of the region. After you learn about the art of winemaking in a local museum, enjoy a tasting in one of Beaujolais’ famous cellars.
April 18 - Day 8
Depart the Viking river ship after a full breakfast. You will be guided to your hotel or to the airport for departure, unless you have elected to continue on in the post-cruise tour.
April 18-22 - Optional Post-Cruise Tour in Germany*
On Sunday after the cruise, take a first-class train ride from Lyon to Mannheim, Germany, and take a scenic drive to Mainz. There, on Monday you’ll discover how the printing press revolutionized Bible printing and helped get God’s Word into the hands of everyday people. You’ll get to view original copies of the Gutenberg Bible. Afterward, visit Heidelberg, one of the strongholds of the German Reformation and the city where the famed Heidelberg Catechism was penned. Then, on Tuesday, you will see the site where Martin Luther delivered his famous defense of the gospel at the Diet of Worms. During this post-cruise tour, on Tuesday and Wednesday you will also attend the Ligonier Conference in Worms, marking the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s famed declaration: “Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me.”
*Please call Sovereign for more details about this optional post-cruise excursion.
Dr. Sinclair B. Ferguson is a Ligonier Ministries teaching fellow and Chancellor’s Professor of Systematic Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary. He previously served as senior minister of the First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, S.C., and he has written more than two dozen books, including The Whole Christ, The Holy Spirit, In Christ Alone, and Devoted to God.
W. Robert Godfrey
Dr. W. Robert Godfrey is a Ligonier Ministries teaching fellow and president emeritus and professor emeritus of church history at Westminster Seminary California. He is the featured teacher for the Ligonier six-part teaching series A Survey of Church History. His many books include God’s Pattern for Creation, Reformation Sketches, An Unexpected Journey, and Learning to Love the Psalms.
Plan Your Trip
Ship DetailsLearn More →
See the deck plan and learn more about the different cabin types.
Pricing & Travel Information
- Standard Price
- F - Standard Stateroom Price: $3,559.00
- E - Standard Stateroom Price: $3,849.00
- D - French Balcony Stateroom Price: $4,387.00
- C - French Balcony Stateroom Sold Out
- B - Veranda Stateroom Price: $4,818.00
- A - Veranda Stateroom Price: $5,033.00
- AA - Veranda Suite Sold Out
- ES - Explorer Suite Sold Out
- Pre-Cruise Tour Price: $2,993.00
- Post-Cruise Tour Price: $2,874.00
About Ligonier Tours
One of the best ways you can learn about a person or even an event is being there—to be on site. We can certainly learn from reading and studying. We can even create the scene in our mind’s eye. But nothing brings a person or an event to life like being there. Ligonier Tours takes you to the places where significant events occurred, events that have shaped history. You can literally walk in the footsteps of our heroes of the past, of Luther, of Calvin, of Jonathan Edwards. You will meet these figures in ways you have never met them before.
Ligonier’s Teaching Fellows and other ministry leaders serve as your guides as you explore these important sites. On these tours, you’ll have time with these trusted teachers over a meal or at the sites along the journey. You will also have rich times of fellowship with your fellow travelers, meeting kindred spirits and making friendships.
Ligonier Tours brings the past to life, they serve to encourage us as disciples in our own day, and they offer us reminders that we are not alone, but that we are on our pilgrim journey together.