Grand France - Cruise Only Southbound River Cruise (WPL0)
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River Cruise Description
Welcome to this fantastic 2019 15 day Avalon river cruise from Paris to Arles vacation. Travel through picturesque France, where you’ll enjoy fine wines, cheeses, amazing natural scenic beauty, and stops in some of the most charming and historic parts of France.
You’ll cruise along the beautiful Seine River into the breathtaking Normandy region. During your stop in charming Vernon, you’ll be able to choose between two fascinating guided tours: world-renowned artist Claude Monet’s sensational gardens at Giverny or a tour of the breathtaking Bizy Castle, which is known as “Normandy’s Versailles.” You’ll enjoy an historic excursion to the legendary Normandy Landing Beaches, including world-renowned Omaha Beach, the impressive Point du Hoc monument, and a solemn visit to the American Cemetery where you can pay your respects for those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom in World War II.
During your stop in Rouen, best known as the home of world-famous Joan of Arc, you’ll be impressed on a wonderful guided stroll through the historic medieval quarter and visit the stunningly elegant gothic Rouen Cathedral – once the tallest building in the world. Before you leave the picturesque Seine River, you’ll be treated to some time in Paris, considered one of the most romantic cities in all of Europe. Known as the “City of Light,” you’ll marvel as you tour of elegant Notre Dame Cathedral, the iconic Eiffel Tower, and the impressive Louvre Museum with its extravagant glass pyramid as a stark contrast to its ancient architecture. You’ll be amazed during your guided stroll through the fabulous historic Île St. Louis and marvel at the view as you ascend the Eiffel Tower.
As you continue this amazing French river cruise experience, your next stop is in charming Lyon, situated at the junction of the picturesque Saône and Rhône Rivers. Lyon is France’s third-largest city and is considered a wonderful example of ancient medieval and Renaissance architecture. You’ll love the fascinating twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage, nestled amongst the lush green grape vineyards of one of the worlds finest wine region. You’ll go on a guided walk of charming Tournon, considered a medieval treasure with an abundance of ancient Roman ruins, including a fantastic 16th-century castle. During your stop in historic Avignon, you’ll marvel at the elegant 14th-century Palace of the Popes – known as the world’s largest gothic fortress. Located on the Rhône River, quaint Arles is famous for inspiring the world-famous paintings by renowned artist Vincent Van Gogh and Arles’ ancient 1st-century Roman Amphitheater, which still hosts impressive plays and concerts to this very day. During this 2019 15 day Avalon river cruise from Paris to Arles you will be able to get to explore some of the best spots in France all while having the comfort of your luxurious home-away-from-home Avalon cruise ship.
|Departure Date||Ship||Priced From|
|Oct 15, 2019||Avalon Tapestry II, Avalon Poetry II||Waitlist||Call Us!|
|Oct 29, 2019||Avalon Tapestry II, Avalon Poetry II||Waitlist||Call Us!|
River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive in Paris, France (Embarkation)
Welcome to Paris, France’s capital on the River Seine, the “City of Light,” where romance fills the air. This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at a casual evening welcome reception. Before dinner, your ship glides smoothly out of Paris. (Dinner) NOTE: Flights into Paris must arrive by 2:30 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.
Day 2 Vernon–Les Andelys
This morning in Vernon, choose between a guided visit of beautiful Giverny and a visit to the impressive Bizy Castle. World-famous artist Claude Monet lived at GIVERNY from 1883-1926, and viewed his gardens as works of art – just like his fascinating paintings. See his collection of amazing Japanese prints, his quaint house, and his biggest sources of inspiration. Or, visit remarkable BIZY CASTLE, built in 1740 and nicknamed “Normandy’s Versailles.” It is known for its famous stables – inspired by those at Versailles – and its magnificent courtyard and water garden. This afternoon, your ship arrives in Les Andelys, located on a bend of the Seine and considered one of the most beautiful places in France. Join a Local Guide for a GUIDED WALK of the town, visiting the elegant PARISH CHURCH OF LE GRAND ANDELY. Imposing Château Gaillard, built by England’s King Richard the Lionheart as a fortress in 1196, is seen high above the town. Constructed in only a year, it is a masterpiece of medieval military architecture. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 3 Caudebec
Today, join either a guided excursion along the captivating Route des Chaumières, “THATCHED COTTAGE ROUTE,” to see some of Normandy’s quaint and traditional half-timbered houses with their long, sloping thatched roofs, often featuring beautiful blue wooden doors and window shutters, or along the “NORMANDY ABBEYS ROUTE,” a short drive from Caudebec. More than 100 abbeys once covered this region, which has a microclimate particularly suited to the production of fresh fruit such as apples, pears, plums and cherries. The afternoon is free to explore on your own or to join an optional excursion to the dazzling coastal town of Honfleur. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4 Caudebec
Make your choice today between an included full-day excursion to the historic NORMANDY LANDING BEACHES – with emotional sites such as Omaha Beach, the Pointe du Hoc monument, and the American Cemetery – or a “TASTE OF NORMANDY” for a more in-depth look at this charming, primarily farming region. The most important products produced there are dairy (milk & cheese), 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 quaint local distillery. And for a touch of history, visit the famous BAYEUX TAPESTRY. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5 Rouen
Enjoy a visit to Rouen, the capital of Upper Normandy. This charming town is an important commercial community, but is best known for its connection to Joan of Arc. She lived there, was imprisoned, and in 1431 was burned at the stake in the marketplace of this historic town. Enjoy the included GUIDED WALK through the medieval quarter with its half-timbered, glazed-tile houses, and make your photographs of the sophisticated Gros Horloge astronomical clock, dating back to the 16th century. Visit the elegant gothic CATHEDRAL, which was once the tallest building in the world and the subject of a series of paintings by world-renowned artist Claude Monet. The afternoon is free to explore more of the city on your own. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6 Conflans
After wonderful breakfast you may either join our guided excursion to AUVERS-SUR-OISE, the quaint little town where world-renowned artist Vincent Van Gogh lived and died, or to Napoleon and Josephine’s extravagant CHÂTEAU DE MALMAISON just outside the “City of Light.” Requiring extensive renovations, this large country estate was purchased by Napoleon’s wife, Josephine in 1799 while her husband was fighting in Egypt. It was her aim to make it “the most beautiful and curious garden in Europe, a model of good cultivation.” (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 7 Paris
Considered one of the world’s most romantic and bustling cities, Paris certainly delights all your senses. Your included CITY SIGHTSEEING features all the must-see attractions: elegant Notre Dame Cathedral, the awe-inspiring Louvre Museum with its glass pyramid as a contrast to its ancient architecture, the historic Arc de Triomphe, and of course the stately 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 the grandiose NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL. In 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 cluster of artists on Place du Tertre. Paris is known for its colorful and vibrant nightlife, and an optional outing to one of the world’s most famous cabaret shows makes the perfect finale to the Seine portion of your exciting river cruise. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 8 Paris (Disembarkation)–Dijon–Beaune–Chalon-sur-Saône (Embarkation)–Tournus
This morning, say goodbye to your faithful crew and board the TGV train to Dijon. From Dijon, drive to beautiful Beaune, the unofficial capital of the Côte d’Or area. Although Beaune owes its wealth and reputation to the production, aging, and selling of fine wines, life here offers much more. You can choose a guided visit to the elegant HÔTEL-DIEU charity hospital, paid for by the chancellor of Burgundy in 1443 after the Hundred Years’ War left many of the village’s residents destitute. Today, it houses “The Last Judgment,” a historic painting by world-famous artist, Van der Weyden – one of France’s architectural treasures. Or, enjoy a TASTING of Burgundy wines before continuing south to Chalon-sur-Saône, where your cruise ship awaits. Before dinner, meet your crew at a casual welcome reception as you depart for Tournus. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 9 Tournus
After breakfast, your LOCAL GUIDE shows you the impressive sights of this delightful town nestled in the southeast corner of Burgundy. Tournus is one of the oldest and most important monastic centers in the region. It features a superb abbey – elegant St. Philibert – part of which dates back to the 10th century. There’s free time for you to wander through the charming streets or to explore the arts and crafts shops located near the abbey. After lunch, a choice of optional excursions, including a visit to a wine cellar, is available. Before dinner, enjoy an onboard CHEESE TASTING of some of France’s most famous varieties. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 10 Lyon
Enjoy some relaxing time on board your cruise ship before arriving in Lyon, France’s third-largest city and the culinary capital of that region. Founded by the Romans in 43 BC, the bustling city’s prosperity dates back to the 16th century and is due to its historically successful commercial, industrial, and banking activities. Ancient Roman remains, superlative museums, and fantastic renaissance architecture has allured visitors for centuries. A LOCAL GUIDE joins you as you checkout the city from Fourvière Hill and explore the Old Town with its maze of quaint medieval alleyways and Place des Terreaux, an exciting area with bustling cafés, historic monuments, and the famous fountain often depicted on postcards. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 11 Lyon
Enjoy a relaxing free day to explore at your leisure. Early risers might like to visit the local produce market. Perhaps wander through one of Lyon’s parks, discover some of the murals (there are more than 100 of them), or select one of the available optional excursions. Be sure to taste the culinary delights and sample Beaujolais, the fine wine of the region; wine connoisseurs know the grapes must be hand picked. Your Cruise Director will have even more suggestions for exciting things to do. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 12 Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage–Viviers
The twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage lie nestled among grape vineyards between the beautiful Rhône River and the peaceful granite slopes of the Hermitage. A LOCAL GUIDE will show you Tournon, one of France’s oldest medieval cities, with its imposing 16th-century castle and ancient Roman ruins. Arriving in Viviers in the late afternoon, an included GUIDED WALK shows you this charming town that developed around its elegant ROMANESQUE CATHEDRAL. The OLD TOWN has an alluring mix of Christian, Roman, and medieval influences. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 13 Avignon
The fortified city of Avignon is the capital of the Vaucluse region – the most picturesque part of Provence with its intact fortifications encircling the entire city, quaint cobblestone streets and squares, and private elegant mansions built in the 18th and 19th centuries. Known as the “City of Popes,” it was the center of the Catholic Church in the 14th century. Your GUIDED TOUR includes a visit of the PALACE OF THE POPES, built in the 14th century as the sovereign popes’ residency. A photograph of the famous Pont Saint Bénezet (Saint Bénezet Bridge), of the popular song Sur le Pont d’Avignon, is a must. Optional outings to Pont du Gard or to the world-famous wine cellars of Châteauneuf-du-Pape are available. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 14 Arles
On arrival in Arles, situated on the northern tip of the Camargue and the capital of the Provence region, your LOCAL GUIDE will show you the must-see sights of the city and you’ll visit the ancient ROMAN AMPHITHEATER. Still used today, it dates to the 1st century and was constructed to hold more than 20,000 spectators. This evening, cruise toward the mouth of the Rhône to experience some of the most outstanding and tranquil vistas of Camargue National Park (daylight permitting). (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 15 Arles
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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