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

This river cruise highlighting the best of France is certainly grand! Enjoy wine, cheese, beautiful scenery, and stops in the most charming and historical parts of France.

Set sail on the Seine River and go on an excursion to the historic Normandy Landing Beaches, including Omaha Beach, the Point du Hoc monument, and the American Cemetery. Visit Joan of Arc’s Rouen, and choose between Claude Monet’s Giverny or the Bizy Castle, nicknamed “Normandy’s Versailles”; Vincent Van Gogh’s Auver-sur-Oise or Napoleon and Josephine’s Malmaison. Before you depart the beautiful Seine River, you’ll spend time in Paris—one of the world’s most romantic 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. Go on a guided walk through the historic Île St. Louis and marvel at the view as you ascend the Eiffel Tower.

Taste some of Burgundy wines onboard your ship. Take a lovely excursion to the Chardonnay wine area. Then reach Lyon, a showcase of medieval and Renaissance architecture. Visit the popular Place des Terreaux and stand in front of the famous fountain you’ve seen on postcards, or opt for a wine blending workshop optional excursion! You might choose to visit the Beaujolais region and enjoy a tasting of its famous wines. Beautifully nestled among vineyards, you’ll find the twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage, where you’ll go on a guided walk of Tournon, a medieval treasure with plenty of Roman ruins and a fascinating 16th-century castle. The walk will be followed by a wine and chocolate tasting. Alternatively, you can join a guided hike in the vineyard. Continue your river cruise to historical Avignon and see the 14th-century Palace of the Popes—the largest gothic fortress in the world. You will also have the opportunity to visit the Chateuneuf du Pape wine region and taste some of its wines. 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.

In the second portion of your cruise a Master of Wine will travel with you on this cruise and will hold lectures, tastings and introduce you to food and wine pairing.

As a perfect finale to your river cruise holiday, spend time in 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.

Inclusions

15 breakfasts
15 lunches
15 dinners
Tour Provider Avalon Waterways
Number of Days
16
Price From
AUD $8,583
Start Location
Paris, France
End Location
Cote D'azur, France
Age Range
Avg. 40+
Group Size
20 to 44
Tour Style
Comfort
Tour Themes
Marine/Cruise
Physical Rating
Easy to Moderate
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
29 Oct 201913 Nov 2019On RequestAUD $8,583
ItineraryExpand
Day 1: PARIS, FRANCE (EMBARKATION).
Bienvenue en France! Your Suite Ship is Ready for Boarding. Flights into Paris must arrive by 2:30pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5pm. Your day is free to explore the world's most romantic city before starting your cruise on the Seine. Get acquainted with the City of Lights today with some shopping, strolling, or with a croissant and cafe au lait to watch the world go by amid the Parisian cityscape. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO VERNON (D)
Day 2: 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 3: CAUDEBEC.
Churches, Cherry Orchards, and White Cliffs of Normandy. ACTIVE - Join your Avalon Adventure Host for a Morning Run 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 Hike 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, or a Guided Optional Excursion to see the white-chalk cliffs and arches of the oceanside town of Etretat. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN CAUDEBEC (B,L,D)
Day 4: 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 5: 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 6: CONFLANS.
Walk in 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 7: 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 8: PARIS (DISEMBARKATION)-DIJON-BEAUNE-ST. JEAN DE LOSNE (EMBARKATION)-SEURRE.
Take a High-Speed Train from Paris to Dijon before driving to Beaune. DISCOVERY - Visit the Hotel-Dieu Charity Hospital, built in 1443, today home of the Van der Weyden's painting of the Last Judgement, OR: DISCOVERY - Visit one of the biggest cellars in Burgundy, one of France's main wine producing areas. This afternoon, travel to St. Jean de Losne to board your Suite Ship on the Saone for a brief evening cruise to Seurre. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN SEURRE (B,D)
Day 9: MACON.
Wine and Cheese on the Stunning Saone. Enjoy leisurely cruising en route to Macon along the majestic Saone River. DISCOVERY - Onboard lecture hosted by your Master of Wine. DISCOVERY - Take an excursion to a Chardonnay wine cellar. Consider a Guided Optional Excursion to the Castle of Cormatin. Enjoy live entertainment while sailing for Trevoux this evening. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN TREVOUX (B,L,D)
Day 10: LYON.
Adventures in Food and Wine in the Gastronomy Capital of France. Sail for lovely Lyon this morning. DISCOVERY - Enjoy a delicious Wine and Cheese tasting hosted by your Master of Wine on board your ship. 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. Spend free time riding a bike through Lyon's town squares, over bridges, and along the banks where the Rhone and Saone rivers meet. Later on board your ship, be our guest for a WWII & French Resistance Lecture, and enjoy live entertainment after dinner. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN LYON (B,L,D)
Day 11: LYON.
French Food and Wine-La Vie En Rose in Lyon. DISCOVERY - Take an excursion to the lovely Beaujolais area and learn more about its light and pleasant wine. Enjoy a free day in Lyon, or choose a Guided Optional Culinary Walk through the city to discover why it is known as the gastronomic capital of France! An optional wine blending workshop is also available. Your day is free to explore, relax, or shop in France's third largest city. Take a bike from the ship and explore local produce markets and parks, or take a leisurely tour of the city's more than 100 murals. DISCOVERY - Onboard food and wine pairing dinner hosted by your Master of Wine. EVENING CRUISE TO TOURNON (B,L,D)
Day 12: TOURNON/TAIN L'HERMITAGE.
A Rendezvous with Castle Views and Vineyards. DISCOVERY - 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. Afterwards, enjoy a wine tasting paired with chocolate at the Cite du Chocolat at Valrhona, OR: ACTIVE - Hike in the vineyards and take in the breathtaking views from the hills (weather permitting). VIVIERS: World History in a Charming French Country Village. 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 CRUISE TO AVIGNON (B,L,D)
Day 13: 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, OR: DISCOVERY - Enjoy a trip to the famed wine cellars of Chateauneuf-du-Pape for a true taste of the Rhone wine region. Alternatively take a guided Optional Excursion to the ancient Roman aqueduct of Pont du Gard or 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. EVENING CRUISE TO ARLES (B,L,D)
Day 14: 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 ARLES (B,L,D)
Day 15: ARLES (DISEMBARKATION)-COTE D'AZUR.
Spectacular Seascapes of the French Riviera. After breakfast this morning, you'll drive to the Cote d'Azur for your last night in France. Known also as the French Riviera, the spectacular Cote d'Azur stretches along France's Mediterranean coast from Toulon to the border of Italy. (B)
Day 16: COTE D'AZUR.
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)