Duration: 8 Days
Take a delightful river cruise through France along the Rhône and Saône Rivers with guided sightseeing in known French treasures and some hidden gems too! Take in the beautiful countryside, quaint villages and towns, as you sail through the most captivating views of France. Lyon, France’s gastronomic capital, founded by the Romans in 43 BC, sits at the junction of the Rhône and Saône Rivers and is a showcase of medieval and Renaissance architecture. Visit the popular Place des Terreaux with its lively cafés and monuments and stand in front of the famous fountain you’ve seen on postcards. Join a culinary walk and taste Lyonnaise and French delicacies. You’ll have plenty of time to explore this historical city further and be sure to sample Beaujolais, the famous wine of the region. On board, a French chef will share with you his secrets and expertize during a pastry demonstration. Beautifully nestled among vineyards, you’ll find the city of Tournon, a medieval treasure with plenty of Roman ruins and a fascinating 16th-century castle, where you’ll go on a guided walk. Stop in the picturesque village of Viviers, where, during your walking tour, you will taste local products. Continue your river cruise to historical Avignon and see the 14th-century Palace of the Popes—the largest gothic fortress in the world. On the Rhône River sits Arles, France—famous for inspiring the paintings of Van Gogh and its 1st-century Roman Amphitheatre, which hosts plays and concerts to this day.
A Master of Wine will travel with you on this cruise and will hold tastings and introduce you to the concept of food and wine pairing.
Welcome to France. Your Suite Ship is Ready for Boarding
Flights into Lyon must arrive by Noon. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.
OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MACON (D)
Wine and Cheese on the Stunning Saone
Enjoy leisurely cruising en route to Macon along the majestic Saone River. Consider a Guided Optional Excursion to a Chardonnay wine cellar, or to the Castle of Cormatin.
DISCOVERY - Later, enjoy a delicious Cheese and Wine Tasting hosted by your Master of Wine.
Enjoy live entertainment while sailing for Trevoux this evening.
OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN TREVOUX (B,L,D)
Adventures in Food and Wine in the Gastronomy Capital of France
Sail for lovely Lyon this morning.
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.
DISCOVERY - Enjoy a pastry demonstration hosted by a French chef on board your ship. Later enjoy live entertainment after dinner.
OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN LYON (B,L,D)
French Food and Wine-La Vie En Rose in Lyon
DISCOVERY - Join a Culinary Walk through the city to discover why Lyon is known as the gastronomic capital of France.
The rest of 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. Later, enjoy live entertainment on board.
EVENING CRUISE TO TOURNON (B,L,D)
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.
DISCOVERY - Enjoy an onboard chocolate and wine tasting hosted by your Master of Wine.
Enjoy a leisurely sail to Viviers after lunch.
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/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO AVIGNON (B,L,D)
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.
Guided Optional Excursions include a visit to the ancient Roman aqueduct of Pont du Gard, or a trip to the famed wine cellars of Chateauneuf-du-Pape for a true taste of the Rhone wine region.
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.
DISCOVERY - This evening, join an onboard food and wine pairing dinner hosted by your Master of WineLater, enjoy onboard live entertainment.
EVENING CRUISE TO ARLES (B,L,D)
Inspiring Sights and Avant-Garde Lights
ACTIVE - Join your Avalon Adventure Host for a Morning Walk.
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, OR:
DISCOVERY - Attend a Painting Workshop to learn the style and techniques of Vincent van Gogh. You'll create your own painting in the style of the classic master who took inspiration from the Provence light and landscape in Arles.
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.
EVENING CRUISE TO PORT ST. LOUIS (B,L,D)
Your cruise ends with breakfast this morning.
Flights should not leave Marseille airport before 10 am. (B)