Duration: 15 Days
On this France river cruise holiday, enjoy wine, cheese, beautiful views, and stops in the most charming and historical parts of France. Sail along the Seine River to the picturesque Normandy region. In Vernon, choose between two exciting guided visits—Claude Monet’s stunning gardens at Giverny or the remarkable Bizy Castle, known as “Normandy’s Versailles.” Go on an excursion to the historic Normandy Landing Beaches, including Omaha Beach, the Pointe du Hoc monument, and the American Cemetery. In Rouen, go on a guided walk through the medieval quarter and visit the Gothic Rouen Cathedral. Before you depart the beautiful Seine River, spend time in Paris—one of the world’s most romantic cities! Discover the true heart of Paris on a guided walk through the sites of Paris’ rich history, or take a tour showing you the iconic sites of the Louvre Museum, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, and more.
Transfer to Beaune and board your second Avalon Suite Ship® in St. Jean de Losne. A Master of Wine will accompany you on this portion of your cruise with presentations, tastings, and wine pairings along the way.
Cruise to Mâcon for an excursion to a Chardonnay wine cellar. Lyon, sitting at the confluence of the Saône and Rhône Rivers, is France’s third-largest city and a showcase of medieval and Renaissance architecture. Take a culinary walk and enjoy a tour to Beaujolais, the famous wine of the region. The city of Tournon is beautifully nestled among vineyards. Enjoy a guided walk with a wine-and-chocolate tasting or a walk in the vineyards. In historical Avignon, see the 14th-century Palace of the Popes—the largest gothic fortress in the world– and take a guided tour to Châteauneuf du Pape. Situated on the Rhône River, Arles is famous for inspiring the paintings of Van Gogh and its 1st-century Roman Amphitheater, which hosts plays and concerts to this day.
Please note: Itinerary is based on 2022 and is subject to change. Full details will be confirmed in 2022.
Welcome to France. Your Suite Ship is Ready for Boarding. Flights into Paris must arrive by 2:30 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm. 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 Light 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)
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)
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)
The Cathedral of Our Lady 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-site of Saint Joan of Arc's martyrdom-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)
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)
Take a High-Speed Train from Paris to Dijon, to drive on to Beaune.
CLASSIC - Visit the Hotel-Dieu Charity Hospital in Beaune, built in 1443, today home of the Van der Weyden's painting of the Last Judgement.
This afternoon, travel to St. Jean de Losne to board your Suite Ship.
OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MACON (B,D)
Wine on the Stunning Saone
Visit the Adventure centre for today's activities with your Adventure Host. Enjoy leisurely cruising en route to Macon along the majestic Saone River.
DISCOVERY - Join a lecture about wine hosted by your Master of Wine while sailing to Macon.
DISCOVERY - Join an excursion that will take you to a Chardonnay cellar for a wine tasting.
OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN TREVOUX (B,L,D)
La Vie En Rose in Lyon
Sail for lovely Lyon this morning.
DISCOVERY - Enjoy an onboard cheese and wine tasting hosted by your Master of Wine while sailing to Lyon.
ACTIVE - Discover Lyon's architectural district by bike with your Adventure Host., over bridges, and along the banks where the Rhone and Saone rivers mee, OR:
CLASSIC - Join a Guided Sightseeing Tour to survey Lyon with its numerous churches from Fourviere Hill. 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 - Be our guest for a WWII & French Resistance lecture on board your ship.
Later enjoy live entertainment after dinner.
OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN LYON (B,L,D)
Adventures in Food and Wine
CLASSIC - Join a Culinary Walk through the city to discover why it is known as the gastronomic capital of France.
DISCOVERY - Take a guided tour to the lovely Beaujolais area and learn more about its light and pleasant wine.
DISCOVERY - This evening, join an onboard food and wine pairing dinner hosted by your Master of Wine.
EVENING CRUISE TO TOURNON (B,L,D)
A Rendezvous with Castle Views and Vineyards
ACTIVE - Hike in the vineyards and take in the breathtaking views from the hills (weather permitting), 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. The tour also includes a wine and chocolate tasting at the Cite du Chocolat at Valrhona.
Enjoy a leisurely sail to Viviers after lunch.
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.
Later, enjoy live entertainment on board.
EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO AVIGNON (B,L,D)
The City of Popes in Picturesque Provence
Join your Adventure Host for today's special activities.
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.
Later, enjoy onboard live entertainment.
EVENING CRUISE TO ARLES (B,L,D)
Inspiring Sights and Avant-Garde Lights
ACTIVE - Get your daily dose of exercise through Nordic walking 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 Amphitheater in this visually stunning city.
Consider also a Guided Optional Excursion to the Carrieres de Lumieres (Cathedral of Images) a unique experience of art, sound, and light in the old quarries of Val d'Enfer. Take advantage of any free time 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)