France, Uncorked: The Rhone, The Seine, & Bordeaux
from $21509
Duration: 22 Days
The timeless charms of France flow freely on this French river cruise holiday brimming with breath taking views and vibrant history. Embark on the resplendent Rhône River with a visit to Arles, France—home to the brilliantly preserved 1st-century Roman Amphitheatre and the colourful settings that inspired some of Van Gogh’s most moving paintings. More stirring sights await you on the Rhône, including the world’s largest Gothic palace—Avignon’s 14th-century Palace of the Popes. Visit Tournon—beautifully nestled among the vineyards. Delight in the delicacies and delicious French fare of Lyon, France’s gastronomic capital—a showcase of magnificent medieval and Renaissance architecture. Your French river cruise adventure continues on the Seine River with an exciting selection of excursions, including a visit to the historic Normandy Landing Beaches, including Omaha Beach, the Point du Hoc monument, and the American Cemetery; a visit to delightful Les Andelys, Joan of Arc’s Rouen, and the choice between a visit to Vincent van Gogh’s Auvers-sur-Oise or Napoleon and Josephine’s Malmaison. Be wined and dined along the way with stops in France’s most charming and historic locales, highlighted by a visit to Paris—the City of Light. Take in the legendary sites of the Louvre Museum, Arc de Triomphe, and Eiffel Tower—to name a few.
Your river cruise holiday in France gets even better with a captivating cruise on the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers in the brilliant Bordeaux region—famed for its legendary vineyards and lovely villages. Be carried away with your choice of Avalon’s included Classic, Active, and Discovery experiences—from the regal histories of castles and Châteaux to the romantic cellars where wine bouquets and bon-vivant cuisine tempt the palate. While the landscapes and lush pastoral treasures are plentiful along the shores of the Garonne and Dordogne, Avalon elevates each immersive experience for a deeper discovery of the cultural and architectural treasures that recall the rich traditions of Southwest France. From unparalleled panoramic drives to forested two-wheel excursions by bike to the delicacies of seaside Arcachon—the world is your oyster on this adventure in la belle vie of Bordeaux!

Please note: Itinerary is subject to change. Full details will be confirmed in 2024.
Welcome to France! Your Suite Ship is Ready for Boarding. Flights into Marseille must arrive by 3 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN ARLES (D)
A Brush with Genius Visit the Adventure Centre for today's activities with your Adventure Host. ACTIVE Get your daily dose of exercise through a Power Walk in Arles with your Adventure Host, OR: DISCOVERY Attend a Painting Workshop to learn techniques of Vincent van Gogh. Create your own painting in the style of the legendary artist, OR: CLASSIC Enjoy a Guided Walking Tour of Arles-the captivating city of the Provence region. You'll visit the Roman Amphitheatre in this visually stunning city. Take free time to stop in Le Cafe Van Gogh for a glass of wine before sailing to Avignon. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN 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. 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. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN AVIGNON (B,L,D)
World History in a Charming French Country Village Enjoy a leisurely morning sail to Viviers. ACTIVE Walk your way up to Vivier's hilltop Cathedral with your Adventure Host, OR: CLASSIC Explore the pale-stone buildings of Viviers on an 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 TAIN L'HERMITAGE (B,L,D)
A Rendezvous with Castle Views and Vineyards Join your Adventure Host for today's special activities. ACTIVE Explore Tournon by foot as you follow your Adventure Host for a morning hike in this beautiful town along the Rhone, OR: 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 early afternoon, cruise to Lyon. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN LYON (B,L,D)
Day 6 LYON
La Vie En Rose in Lyon 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. Enjoy live entertainment while sailing to Tournus. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO TOURNUS (B,L,D)
Wine and Cheese on the Stunning Saone DISCOVERY Travel into the rolling landscapes of the Maconnais region to learn about its world-famous Chardonnay vineyards, the wines produced here, and to attend a wine-tasting in the cellars of a real medieval castle! Enjoy a leisurely afternoon cruising along the majestic Saone River. DISCOVERY Later, enjoy a delicious Cheese Tasting on board your ship. Enjoy live entertainment on board this evening. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN CHALON-SUR-SAONE (B,L,D)
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. This afternoon, take a high-speed train from Dijon to Paris to board your Suite Ship. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO VERNON (B,D)
Monet's Muses, Castle Courtyards, and Crepes du Jour Visit the Adventure Centre for today's activities with your Adventure Host. ACTIVE Explore Vernon's Chateau des Tourelles by foot with your Adventure Host, OR: 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 ACTIVE Join a Guided Hike up to the castle ruins of Chateau Gaillard-historic home of King Richard the Lionheart, OR: CLASSIC Take a Guided Walking Tour of Les Andelys-one of France's most picturesque spots on the Seine. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO CAUDEBEC (B,L,D) *Monet's House is closed in March and November. During this period, this excursion will be replaced with a Guided Tour of La Roche-Guyon and its castle
Ancient Abbeys Along the Seine ACTIVE Enjoy a relaxing bike ride along the river with your Adventure Host, OR: 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. This afternoon, you may choose a Guided Optional Excursion to the old seaside town of Honfleur. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN CAUDEBEC (B,L,D)
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 12 ROUEN
The Cathedral of Notre-Dame, and a Heroine for France ACTIVE Take a Guided Bike Tour to discover and explore the most famous monuments and the lesser known hidden gems of Rouen on two wheels, OR: CLASSIC Take a Guided Walking 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. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO CONFLANS (B,L,D)
The Footsteps of Van Gogh, Bonaparte, and Louis XIV ACTIVE Enjoy a relaxing bike ride along the Seine with your Adventure Host, OR: 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) * Chateau de Malmaison is closed the 1st Monday of each month. On these dates, this excursion will be replaced by a visit to Chateau de Chantilly.
Day 14 PARIS
Cafes, Cathedrals and Canvases in the City of Light Join your Adventure Host for today's special activities. ACTIVE Experience the Seine river by foot with your Adventure Host, OR: CLASSIC Discover the ancient heart of Paris on a captivating Guided Walk featuring the Palais-Royal, Louvre pyramid, ancient sites on Ile de la Cite, the Left Bank, bustling Latin Quarter, and more, 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)
Your Suite Ship is Ready for Boarding This morning, travel to Bordeaux to board your Suite Ship and start your cruise on the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN BORDEAUX (B,D) *Ship may sail in the evening to Cadillac-sur-Garonne based on tide and water levels.
On the Steps of Montesquieu CLASSIC Take a guided tour of Chateau de la Brede-birthplace of Montesquieu-political philosopher and author of "The Spirit of Law." Visit the fortress-style castle still reflected in its impressive moat, OR: DISCOVERY Join a Guided Visit with wine tasting at a local chateau. Sip the sweet notes and fresh acidity of Sauternes, the beloved golden-yellow wine. This evening, enjoy live entertainment on board your Suite Ship. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN CADILLAC-SUR-GARONNE (B,L,D) *Sailing to Cadillac-sur-Garonne pending tides and water levels. Alternative motorcoach transportation for today's excursions provided.
Bikes, Vines, and Wines This morning, enjoy a leisurely sailing to Cussac Fort Medoc. Visit the Adventure Centre for today's activities with your Adventure Host. ACTIVE Enjoy a relaxing E-bike guided tour in Bordeaux's finest wine region. You will be amazed by the picturesque countryside while you enjoy a wonderful ride through the vineyards, OR: DISCOVERY Take a Guided Visit to an historic Chateau in the Medoc area and enjoy a tasting of their wonderful wines, with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon as protagonists. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN CUSSAC FORT MEDOC (B,L,D)
Fine Art, Fine Bubbly, and a Fine Day for a Drive A brief morning sailing to Blaye. Ask your Adventure Host for today's special activities. CLASSIC Take a guided visit to the Citadel of Blaye, an UNESCO World Heritage site, followed by a panoramic drive following the famed Route de la Corniche along the right banks of the River Dordogne, OR: DISCOVERY Join a Guided Tour to discover Blaye from a different perspective, including a visit to a local art gallery with wine tasting. Relaxing afternoon sailing on the Dordogne River to Bourg. Enjoy free time to explore this storybook village or join an optional guided excursion to learn how the Fine Champagne of Cognac is made while enjoying a Remy Martin tasting. Later, enjoy live entertainment on board your ship. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN BOURG (B,L,D)
The Village Amid the Vineyards CLASSIC Join a guided tour of the medieval village of Saint-Emilion-a UNESCO World Heritage site of legends and legendary landscapes. Later, sail Bordeaux. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN BORDEAUX (B,L,D)
Bordeaux Sights and Brilliant Lights Join your Adventure Host for today's special activities. CLASSIC Join a guided walking tour to discover the heart of Bordeaux with a stroll amid its stunning squares, avenues, and cathedrals sights. This afternoon, consider an optional guided excursion to Les Bassins des Lumieres for a breathtaking visit to the submarine base where art and music create an immersive experience. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN BORDEAUX (B,L,D)
Seas, Shells, and Sips ACTIVE Join your Adventure Host for a bike ride along Bordeaux' postcard river views of the Les Quais, OR: CLASSIC Join a full-day guided tour of the seaside resort of Arcachon on the Atlantic coast. Gaze upon its 19th-century architectural treasures and taste its local delicacy of oysters and wine. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN BORDEAUX (B,L,D)
Your cruise ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
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