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GRAND FRANCE - CATEGORY E (WINE THEMED CRUISE) - 2019

This river cruise highlighting the best of France is certainly grand! Begin your adventure on the captivating French Riviera, also known as the Côte d’Azur. Explore this elegant area and relax along the remarkably blue water of the Mediterranean Sea. On the Rhône River sits Arles, France—famous for inspiring the paintings of Van Gogh—and its 1st-century Roman Amphitheater, which hosts plays and concerts to this day. On a guided tour of historical Avignon, see the 14th-century Palace of the Popes—the largest gothic fortress in the world–and, later on join an excursion to the wine region of Châteauneuf du Pape. The twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage are beautifully nestled among vineyards, and you’ll go on a guided walk of Tournon—a medieval treasure with plenty of Roman ruins and a fascinating 16th-century castle. Lyon, France’s gastronomic capital, sits at the junction of the Rhône and Saône Rivers and is a showcase of medieval and Renaissance architecture. Take then a guided tour to Beaujolais and the following day to Chardonnay, where you will have the opportunity to taste local wines. After disembarkation, taste some of Burgundy wines before reaching Paris. A Master of Wine will travel with you on this first portion of the cruise and will hold lectures, tastings and will introduce you to food and wine pairing.

On the Seine River, you’ll have the choice of seeing the historic Normandy Landing Beaches, including Omaha Beach, the Point du Hoc monument, and the American Cemetery; the delightful Les Andelys, Joan of Arc’s Rouen, Vincent Van Gogh’s Auvers-sur-Oise, or Napoleon and Josephine’s Malmaison. On this French river cruise, you’ll enjoy wine, cheese, beautiful scenery, and stops in the most charming parts of France. And your adventure would not be complete without a stay in Paris—one of the world’s most romantic and vibrant cities! The “City of Light” has Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, and the Louvre Museum with its elegant glass pyramid contrasting its ancient architecture. Enjoy a guided walk through historic Île St. Louis with its narrow streets and Île de la Cité where medieval Paris was founded.

Inclusions

15 breakfasts
15 lunches
15 dinners
Tour Provider Avalon Waterways
Number of Days
16
Price From
AUD $9,534
Start Location
Cote D'azur, France
End Location
Paris, France
Age Range
Avg. 40+
Group Size
20 to 44
Tour Style
Comfort
Tour Themes
Small Marine/Cruise
Physical Rating
Easy to Moderate
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
14 Oct 201929 Oct 2019On RequestAUD $9,534
28 Oct 201912 Nov 2019On RequestAUD $8,524
ItineraryExpand
Day 1: COTE D'AZUR, FRANCE.
Bienvenue en France! Take free time today to admire Cote d'Azur-with its enchanting yachts, glamorous villas, and famous events. Known also as the French Riviera, the spectacular Cote d'Azur stretches along France's Mediterranean coast from Toulon to the border of Italy.
Day 2: COTE D'AZUR ARLES- (EMBARKATION).
The Camargue National Park. After breakfast this morning, you'll drive to Arles to board your Suite Ship. Before dinner sail toward the mouth of the Rhone for a taste of the tranquil vistas of Camargue National Park (daylight permitting). OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN ARLES. (B,D)
Day 3: ARLES.
Inspiring Sights and Avant-Garde Lights. CLASSIC - Enjoy a Guided Walking Tour of Arles-the captivating city of the Provence region. You'll visit the Roman Amphitheater in this visually stunning city that inspired the works of Vincent van Gogh. Consider a Guided Optional Excursion to the Carrieres de Lumieres (Cathedral of Images) to immerse yourself in a truly unique experience of art, sound, and light in the old quarries of Val d'Enfer. Take advantage of any free time remaining with a stop in Le Cafe Van Gogh for a glass of wine, to relax and watch the world go by. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN AVIGNON (B,L,D)
Day 4: AVIGNON.
The City of Popes in Picturesque Provence. CLASSIC - Take a Guided Sightseeing Tour of the fortress city of Avignon-with its ramparts encircling the city-and a visit to the amazing Palace of the Popes. DISCOVERY - Enjoy a trip to the famed wine cellars of Chateauneuf-du-Pape for a true taste of the Rhone wine region. Guided Optional Excursions include a visit to the ancient Roman aqueduct of Pont du Gard. Explore Avignon on your own for the city's art and culture, theatre, and museums. Be sure to snap photos of the captivating countryside, historic monuments, and the medieval Pont Saint-Benezet. Later, enjoy onboard live entertainment. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN AVIGNON (B,L,D)
Day 5: VIVIERS.
World History in a Charming French Country Village. DISCOVERY - Join an Onboard Lecture hosted by your Master of Wine while sailing to Viviers. CLASSIC - Explore the pale-stone buildings of Viviers on a late afternoon Guided Walking Tour of this charming village. You'll see its Romanesque cathedral and Old Town with a mix of historical Christian, Roman, and medieval influences. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO TOURNON (B,L,D)
Day 6: TOURNON/TAIN L'HERMITAGE.
A Rendezvous with Castle Views and Vineyards. CLASSIC - Take a morning Guided Walking Tour to explore Tournon-one of France's oldest medieval cities. See its 16th-century castle, and Roman ruins between the Rhone River and the granite slopes of the Hermitage. In the late morning cruise to Vienne. DISCOVERY - Enjoy an Onboard Chocolate and Wine tasting hosted by your Master of Wine while sailing. VIENNE: Roman and Middle Age History. CLASSIC - Join a Guided Walking Tour of Vienne and discover this charming little town surrounded by steep hills. DISCOVERY - This evening, join an Onboard Food and Wine pairing dinner hosted by your Master of Wine. Enjoy live entertainment while sailing to Lyon. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN LYON (B,L,D)
Day 7: LYON.
Adventures in Food and Wine in the Gastronomy Capital of France. CLASSIC - Join a Guided Sightseeing Tour to survey Lyon from Fourviere Hill with its numerous churches. You'll also explore the Old Town with its maze of medieval alleyways, and the lively cafes, monuments, and famed fountain of Place des Terreaux. DISCOVERY - Take a guided tour to the lovely Beaujolais area and learn more about its light and pleasant wine. Spend free time riding a bike through Lyon's town squares, over bridges, and along the banks where the Rhone and Saone rivers meet. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO ST. JEAN DE LOSNE (B,L,D)
Day 8: ST. JEAN DE LOSNE.
Wine and Cheese on the Stunning Saone. Enjoy a leisurely cruising day along the majestic Saone River. DISCOVERY - Join an excursion that will take you to a Chardonnay cellar for a wine tasting. DISCOVERY - Later, enjoy a delicious Wine and Cheese tasting hosted by your Master of Wine while sailing to St. Jean de Losne. Enjoy live entertainment on board this evening. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN ST. JEAN DE LOSNE (B,L,D)
Day 9: ST. JEAN DE LOSNE (DISEMBARKATION)- BEAUNE- DIJON- PARIS (EMBARKATION).
Drive to Beaune and take a High-Speed Train from Dijon to Paris. CLASSIC - Visit the Hotel-Dieu Charity Hospital in Beaune, built in 1443, today home of the Van der Weyden's painting of the Last Judgment and is one of France's architectural highlights, OR: DISCOVERY - Visit a typical Burgundy wine cellar. This afternoon, take a high-speed train from Dijon to Paris to board your Suite Ship. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO VERNON (B,D)
Day 10: VERNON.
Monet's Muses, Castle Courtyards, and Crepes du Jour. Start the day with a Morning Stretch with your Avalon Adventure Host. CLASSIC - Take a Guided Tour of Giverny, home and inspiration of the master impressionist painter Claude Monet. Walk the grounds and see Monet's charming residence, and the flower and water gardens captured in his masterpieces, OR: CLASSIC - Join a Guided Visit to Bizy Castle-called "Normandy's Versailles" for its magnificent courtyard, water garden, and stables. DISCOVERY - While sailing, enjoy a traditional French luncheon of authentic French crepes, followed by a Pastry Demonstration. This afternoon, enjoy a beautiful cruise to the picturesque town of Les Andelys. LES ANDELYS: Serenity on the Seine's Most Beautiful Riverbends. CLASSIC - Take a Guided Walking Tour of Les Andelys-one of France's most picturesque spots on the Seine, OR: ACTIVE - Join a Guided Hike up to the castle ruins of Chateau Gaillard-historic home of King Richard the Lionheart. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO CAUDEBEC (B,L,D)
Day 11: CAUDEBEC.
Churches, Cherry Orchards, and White Cliffs of Normandy. ACTIVE - Join your Avalon Adventure Host for a Morning Jog in Normandy's town of Caudebec. CLASSIC - Take a Guided Trip along the Normandy Abbeys Route-where more than 100 medieval Benedictine and Augustine abbeys and churches were built along the Seine, OR: ACTIVE - Explore Boucles de la Seine Normande with a Guided Nature Walk of Normandy's vast regional nature park in a region rich in apple, plum, pear, and cherry orchards. This afternoon, you may choose a Guided Optional Excursion to the old seaside town of Honfleur. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN CAUDEBEC (B,L,D)
Day 12: CAUDEBEC. NORMANDY EXCURSIONS.
Heroic Bravery on Normandy Beaches and French Farming Traditions. CLASSIC - Join a Guided Tour of Normandy's WWII landing beaches, visit significant U.S. sites, including Omaha Beach, the Pointe du Hoc monument, and the American Cemetery, OR: CLASSIC - Take a full-day Guided Tour of the British and Canadian commemorative sites, including the British cemetery, Pegasus Memorial, the seaside town of Arromanches, the Juno Beach centre, and the Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery, OR: CLASSIC - Join "A Taste of Normandy" Guided Tour for an in-depth look at this rich agricultural region. See the famous Bayeux Tapestry, visit the beautiful village of Beuvron en Auge and taste Calvados at a local distillery. Later, enjoy live entertainment on board your ship. EVENING CRUISE TO ROUEN (B,L,D)
Day 13: ROUEN.
The Cathedral of Notre-Dame, and a Heroine for France. ACTIVE - Join your Avalon Adventure Host for a Morning Walk. CLASSIC - Take a Guided Waking Tour of Rouen-home of the martyred Joan of Arc-and see the medieval quarter with its 16th-century Astronomical Clock, and Notre-Dame Cathedral. Spend free time this afternoon to explore Rouen's city markets, shops, and bike paths. Enjoy onboard entertainment before setting sail this evening. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO CONFLANS (B,L,D)
Day 14: CONFLANS.
In the Footsteps of Van Gogh, Bonaparte, and Louis XIV. CLASSIC - Join a Guided Visit to Auvers-sur-Oise, home and resting place of Vincent van Gogh, OR: CLASSIC - Take a Guided tour of the opulent Chateau de Malmaison-home of Napoleon Bonaparte and his wife Josephine. Perhaps, join a Guided Optional Excursion to the Palace of Versailles-home to a succession of French kings. EVENING CRUISE TO PARIS (B,L,D)
Day 15: PARIS.
Cafes, Cathedrals, & Canvases-The City of Lights Truly Shines. ACTIVE - Take a Morning Walk with your Avalon Adventure Host to see Paris at first light. CLASSIC - Take a Guided Walking Tour through the Heart of Paris to see the historic Ile St. Louis, Ile de la Cite, and Notre-Dame Cathedral, OR: CLASSIC - Join a Guided City Tour, that shows you the iconic sites of Paris, such as the Louvre Museum, the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, Opera Garnier, and the famous Champs-Elysees. Stroll through Paris on your own, or linger over wine in a literary cafe on the Left Bank. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN PARIS (B,L,D)
Day 16: PARIS (DISEMBARKATION).
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)