Grand France - Cruise Only Northbound River Cruise (WLP0)
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River Cruise Description
This fantastic 2019 15 day Avalon river cruise from Arles to Paris vacation opens a new world of picturesque French beauty, with sensational scenery, and glamorous history. Your European river cruise vacation from Arles to Paris gets underway on the scenic Rhône River with a stop in charming Arles, France – famous for inspiring the artistic genius of world-renowned painter, Vincent Van Gogh – and its ancient 1st-century Roman Amphitheater. On an expertly guided tour of historic Avignon, you’ll marvel at the elegant 14th-century Palace of the Popes. You’ll enjoy touring the beautiful twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage, nestled amongst the lush green grape vineyards and you’ll go on a fantastic guided stroll through charming Tournon, considered a marvelous medieval treasure with an abundance of ancient Roman ruins.
Your stop in quaint Lyon, France’s popular culinary capital city is an excellent example of historic medieval and Renaissance architecture. The picturesque Seine River offers a variety of exciting excursion opportunities, such as a tour of the historic Normandy Landing Beaches, including world-renowned Omaha Beach, the impressive Point du Hoc monument, and a solemn visit to the American Cemetery to pay your respect for those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom in World War II. You’ll enjoy a tour of the alluring Les Andelys, historic Joan of Arc’s Rouen, and you have a choice between a visit to world-famous artist Vincent van Gogh’s Auvers-sur-Oise or impressive Napoleon and Josephine’s captivating Malmaison.
You would expect that this French river cruise would introduce you to some fantastic foods and drinks and you’d be right! You’ll enjoy some great wines, and cheeses, not to mention the sensational scenic beauty, and stops in numerous charming and historic parts of France. However, your river cruise vacation would not be complete without a wonderful visit to Paris, the “City of Light,” considered one of the world’s most glamorous and dynamic spirited cities! Paris offers you the stunning Notre Dame Cathedral, the iconic Eiffel Tower, and the world-renowned Louvre Museum with its extravagant glass pyramid contrasting its ancient architecture. A friendly guide will lead you on a stroll through historic Île St. Louis with its charming narrow streets, and Île de la Cité where medieval Paris was actually founded.
You’ll be fascinated as you walk in the historic footsteps of the great master artists. And you will discover the luscious cuisine France has to offer. You’ll stand where American heroes fought for freedom on the historic beaches of Normandy. Believe it or not, there is so much more awaiting you on your fabulous French cruise on the picturesque Seine River! This 2019 15 day Avalon river cruise from Arles to Paris lets you explore France in such a unique and incredible way.
|Departure Date||Ship||Priced From|
|Oct 15, 2019||Avalon Poetry II, Avalon Tapestry II||Waitlist||Call Us!|
|Oct 29, 2019||Avalon Poetry II, Avalon Tapestry II||Waitlist||Call Us!|
River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Arles, France (Embarkation)
This morning, enjoy free time to explore further or join an optional excursion to the “Queen of the Riviera,” the quaint city of Nice. In the early afternoon, transfer by motor coach the Provence region and to Arles, where you’ll board your river cruise ship. Before a wonderful dinner, meet your crew at a casual welcome reception, then, sail toward the mouth of the beautiful Rhône River and experience some of the most peaceful vistas of Camargue National Park (daylight permitting). (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 2 Arles
In Arles, capital of the Provence, join your LOCAL GUIDE for a tour of this quaint city. See the historic church of St. Trophime, dating from the 12th century, and visit the ROMAN AMPHITHEATER. Still used today, the amphitheater dates to the 1st century, and was constructed to hold more than 20,000 spectators. World-renowned artist Vincent Van Gogh spent a very productive year in Arles and was inspired by the special light of the Provence. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 3 Avignon
During the night, set sail for Avignon, where you arrive while breakfast is being served. During your GUIDED TOUR you may choose to enjoy an included visit of the PALACE OF THE POPES, built in the 14th century as the sovereign popes’ residence. Known as the largest gothic fortress in the world, the living space is equivalent to four gothic cathedrals. Or, you may opt for only-city sightseeing and more free time to explore on your own. You may decide to join an optional outing to Pont du Gard or to the world-famous wine cellars of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4 Cruising–Viviers
Enjoy a leisurely morning cruising to Viviers while relaxing and taking in the awesome scenery as it passes by. After lunch, join your LOCAL GUIDE for a walk around this quaint town, which was developed around its ROMANESQUE CATHEDRAL. The OLD TOWN has an alluring mix of Christian, Roman, and medieval influences. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5 Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage–Vienne
The twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage are tucked away among grape vineyards between the Rhône River and the imposing granite slopes of the Hermitage. Enjoy a GUIDED WALK of Tournon, one of France’s oldest medieval cities, with its massive 16th-century castle and Roman ruins. Arriving in Vienne in the late afternoon, a GUIDED WALK shows you the quaint little village surrounded by steep hills. Explore the Roman Theater in the town center. It once held some 13,000 spectators, and the Augustus and Livia Temple, built around 20 BC and converted into a church in the Middle Ages. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6 Lyon
Lyon is France’s third-largest city and its culinary capital. Founded by the Romans in 43 BC, Lyon’s prosperity dates back to the 16th century and is attributed to commercial, industrial, and banking activities. Roman remains, many amazing museums, and much renaissance architecture has allured visitors for centuries. You are joined by a LOCAL GUIDE as you checkout the city from Fourvière Hill – with its beautiful views over the city – and explore the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its maze of medieval alleyways. Don’t miss Place des Terreaux, a popular area with bustling cafés, historic monuments, and the famous fountain often depicted on postcards. Be sure to sample Beaujolais, the outstanding wine of the region. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 7 Cruising–Chalon–sur–Saône
This is a relaxing time to enjoy your final day on board. If you prefer to be on the go, however, a choice of optional excursions are available, including a wonderful wine cellar experience. While sailing to Chalon-sur-Saône, you may enjoy an onboard CHEESE TASTING of some of France’s best. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 8 Chalon–sur–Saône (Disembarkation)–Beaune–Dijon–Paris (Embarkation)–Tournus
After a good breakfast, disembark and head by motor coach to beautiful Beaune, the unofficial capital of the Côte d’Or area and Burgundy’s wine capital. Although life here centers around fine wines, Beaune offers much more with its bastions, medieval houses, quaint cobblestone streets, and historical monuments. Visit the HÔTEL-DIEU charity hospital, built in 1443 and paid for by the Chancellor of Burgundy after the Hundred Years’ War left many of Beaune’s residents destitute. Today, it is one of France’s architectural highlights, which houses “The Last Judgment,” a famous painting by Van der Weyden. After lunch, continue to Dijon and board the TGV train to the “City of Light” – Paris, where your ship is docked on the River Seine. Meet your crew during a casual welcome reception; before dinner, your ship sails smoothly out of Paris. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 9 Vernon–Les Andelys
This morning in Vernon, choose between a guided visit of Giverny and a visit to Bizy Castle. For nearly 43 years, Claude Monet lived at GIVERNY (1883-1926). He viewed his beautiful flower and water gardens as works of art – just like his world-renowned paintings. Examine his collection of Japanese prints, his quaint house, and his biggest sources of inspiration. Or, opt for a visit to historic BIZY CASTLE, built in 1740 and known as “Normandy’s Versailles.” It is known for its famous stables – inspired by those at Versailles – and its elegant courtyard and water garden. This afternoon, your ship arrives in Les Andelys, built on a bend of the Seine and considered one of the most gorgeous places in France. Join a Local Guide for a GUIDED WALK of the town, and visit the historic PARISH CHURCH OF LE GRAND ANDELY. Imposing Château Gaillard, built in 1196 by England’s King Richard the Lionheart as a fortress, is seen overlooking the town. Constructed in only a year, it is a masterpiece of medieval military architecture. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 10 Caudebec
Today, you have choices! Either join a guided excursion along the Route des Chaumières, “THATCHED COTTAGE ROUTE,” to see some of Normandy’s inviting traditional half-timbered houses with their long, sloping thatched roofs, and often featuring beautiful blue wooden doors, and window shutters. Or, take the “NORMANDY ABBEYS ROUTE,” a short drive from Caudebec. More than 100 abbeys once covered this region, which has a microclimate suited for the production of tasty fruit such as apples, pears, plums and cherries. The afternoon is free for you to explore on your own, or you can join an optional excursion to the beautiful coastal town of Honfleur. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 11 Caudebec
Today, you can choose between an included full-day excursion to the historic NORMANDY LANDING BEACHES – with sentimental and emotional sites such as Omaha Beach, the Pointe du Hoc monument, and the American Cemetery. Or, you can have a “TASTE OF NORMANDY” for a more in-depth look at this picturesque, primarily farming region. Some of the most important products produced there are dairy, apples, and grain. Camembert cheese is a specialty, as is CALVADOS, a strong apple brandy that you’ll have the chance to taste at a local distillery. And for a touch of history, visit the famous BAYEUX TAPESTRY. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 12 Rouen
Rouen, the capital of Upper Normandy, is an important commercial city, perhaps best known for its connection to Joan of Arc, who lived, was imprisoned, and burned at the stake in the marketplace of this town in 1431. Enjoy a GUIDED WALK through this medieval quarter with its half-timbered, glazed-tile houses, and take your photographs of the Gros Horloge, a complex astronomical clock dating back to the 16th century. Visit the impressive gothic CATHEDRAL, which was once the tallest building in the world and the subject of a series of world-famous Claude Monet’s paintings. The afternoon is free for you to explore more of Rouen on your own. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 13 Conflans
After breakfast you may choose from joining our included guided excursion to AUVERS-SUR-OISE, the quaint town where world-renowned artist Vincent Van Gogh lived and died, or to Napoleon and Josephine’s beautiful CHÂTEAU DE MALMAISON outside Paris. Requiring extensive renovations, this large country estate was purchased by Josephine Bonaparte in 1799 while Napoleon was fighting in Egypt. It was her aim to make it “the most beautiful and interesting garden in Europe – a model of good cultivation.” (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 14 Paris
Known as one of the world’s most romantic and bustling cities, Paris is a pleasure for all your senses. Your included CITY SIGHTSEEING tour shows you grandiouse must-see sights, such as impressive Notre Dame Cathedral, the exclusive Louvre Museum with its glass pyramid as a contrast to its ancient architecture, the commemorative Arc de Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower. Or, you may wish to join a GUIDED WALK through historic Île St. Louis with its narrow one-way streets and Île de la Cité, the center of Paris where the medieval city was founded and home to NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL. During your free time, wander down the Champs-Elysées with its posh cafés, or perhaps visit the world-famous Louvre or Montmartre with its gleaming white Sacré Coeur Basilica and bevy of artists on Place du Tertre. Paris is also well known for its colorful and exciting nightlife and an optional outing to one of the world’s most famous cabaret shows might make the perfect finale to your wonderful river cruise vacation. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 15 Paris (Disembarkation)
While your vacation ends with breakfast this morning, please make note of the wonderful experiences you’ve enjoyed on your exciting River Cruise. Hopefully you have taken numerous personal photos and lasting memories of your journey to take home with you. (Breakfast)
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