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8 Day AmaWaterways River Cruise from Arles to Chalon-sur-Saône 2022
Essence of Burgundy & Provence (Wine Cruise)
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River Cruise DescriptionFrom romantic cities to foodie havens and artistic epicenters, this itinerary enlivens all your senses. Embark in Arles, where you’ll trace the steps of famous artists and later enjoy an evening illumination cruise. Savor the beauty of legendary vineyards and imbibe in local vintages like Beaujolais and Côtes du Rhône. You can even become an expert in all things culinary: go in search of the highly prized “Black Diamond” truffles; learn how to pair chocolate with wine; and discover how olives turn into the Mediterranean’s nectar, olive oil.
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River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 ArlesEmbark your ship in Arles, France for your Essence of Burgundy & Provence river cruise. (D)
Day 2 Arles — Tarascon — AvignonArles is considered one of the most beautiful cities in France. Let your experienced guide lead you to the top sights, including the Romanesque cathedral and Roman amphitheater. Or, if you wish to delve further into Van Gogh’s Arles, join a special walking tour along with a visit to the Vincent van Gogh Foundation, showcasing his legacy. Alternately, you may take a guided bike tour through town. Later in the day, bike from Tarascon to Avignon, aptly named the “City of Popes. Or enjoy a walking tour that includes the Papal Palace and the well-preserved medieval walls surrounding the historic center of town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For a more flavorful experience, visit three venues around Avignon to taste regional specialties including macarons, cheese and wine, and tapenades. During the evening, enjoy an Illuminations cruise. (B,L,D)
Day 3 ValenceValence is a designated “City of Art and History,” where you can see such sites as its 11th-century Cathedral of St. Apollinaris or perhaps its House of Heads (named for the carved heads of its façade and courtyard) on your city tour. For a more active adventure, pedal through this bicycle-friendly city. If you prefer a more relaxing excursion, taste the Northern Rhône’s red Cornas wines. (B,L,D)
Day 4 Vienne — LyonVienne boasts a Roman past that can be seen in its marvelously preserved ruins. There you can ride the charming mini train around the city. For those wishing to be more active, you can either take a guided hike from the ship to the Monastery at Mount Pipet or a guided bike tour along a portion of the ViaRhôna bike route. Later in the day, discover dynamic Lyon, starting in Fourvière Hill, part of the city’s historic region that is now a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the 19th-century basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière. Continue on to the old town of Lyon, followed by a guided walk through the St. Jean district, where you will be introduced to the city’s unique covered walkways, known as “traboules.” If you’re a self-described foodie, our Lyon tasting tour is for you, during which you’ll have a chance to taste some of Lyon’s local delights. Or get active a guided bike tour through the city designed with cyclists in mind. In the evening, sit back to see the city illuminated during a scenic nighttime cruise. (B,L,D)
Day 5 MaconJoin a guided tour through the “South Burgundy City” of Mâcon, learning about its local vineyards, museums, historical sites and perhaps its famous son, the poet and minister Alphonse de Lamartine. Or venture somewhat off the beaten path to Cluny, known for its large abbey, and the nearby castle Berze-le-Chatel, a well-preserved fortress perched on a rocky hill offering stunning views below. Alternately, you can enjoy a guided bike tour to Berze-le-Chatel. Should architecture or religion be one of your main interests, perhaps choose the excursion to the Royal Monastery of Brou, built in the 16th century and boasting a glorious white façade as well as a beautifully tiled roof. Later in the day, enjoy a panoramic view from the Sun Deck as you sail to Tournus, or opt for a bike ride from Mâcon to Tournus. Or, enjoy a delicious tasting of the region’s famous white Mâconnais wines. (B,L,D)
Day 6 TournusToday you have a choice of a number of excursions as you explore Tournus. Let your knowledgeable guide lead you through Tournus and to its magnificent Benedictine Abbey of Saint Philibert. Or choose instead to visit the moated Château de Cormatin, which dates back to the early 17th century and features ornate apartments as well as a beautifully manicured garden. As an alternative, venture to the medieval village of Brancion with its preserved gateway, church and market hall. Later in the day, enjoy scenic cruising as you sail toward Chalon-Sur-Saône, or opt for a bike tour if you’re feeling adventurous. (B,L,D)
Day 7 Chalon-sur SaôneLocated in southern Burgundy at the heart of the Côte Chalonnaise wine region, Chalon-Sur-Saône whispers the secrets of its medieval past which you will discover on your historic city tour. You’ll also stop at a local market where you can see and taste some of the local fare. Alternatively, choose an excursion in Beaune, a walled town nestled in the heart of Cote d’Or vineyards where you’ll stroll the cobblestone streets and take in such sights as the mosaic-tiled roof of the Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune, founded in the 15th century as a hospital for the less fortunate. Or, visit the storybook Château de Couches, a medieval fortress enveloped in idyllic hills and greenery that once served the Dukes of Burgundy. Later in the day, treat your palate to a tasting of Chalonnaise wines. (B,L,D)
Day 8 Chalon-sur SaôneDisembark your ship in Chalon-sur-Saône and prepare for your return flight home. (B)
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