16 Day Avalon River Cruise from Côte d’Azur to Paris 2019

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Grand France - Northbound River Cruise (WLP)

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Avalon Waterways

River Cruise Description

This fabulous 2019 16 day Avalon river cruise from Côte d’Azur to Paris will introduce you to the very best of Grand France! Your French river cruise vacation will begin on the breathtaking French Riviera, also known as the Côte d’Azur. Charming Arles, France is situated on the beautiful Rhône River, and is given credit for inspiring the world-famous paintings of renowned artist, Vincent Van Gogh, and its impressive ancient 1st-century Roman Amphitheater. You’ll enjoy a fantastic guided tour of historic city of Avignon, where you be introduced to the stunning 14th-century Palace of the Popes – the world’s largest gothic fortress. Your stop at the quaint twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage, beautifully 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 and a breathtaking 16th-century castle.

During your stop in quaint Lyon, France’s popular culinary capital city is an excellent example of historic medieval and Renaissance architecture. On the picturesque Seine River, you’ll have the opportunity so join 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 heroes who sacrificed their lives for our freedom in World War II. You’ll enjoy a visit to the alluring Les Andelys, Joan of Arc’s Rouen, or world-famous artist Vincent Van Gogh’s Auvers-sur-Oise, or impressive Napoleon and Josephine’s Malmaison.

You would expect that this French river cruise would introduce you to some fantastic culinary delights 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-famous 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’ll discover the luscious cuisine of France has to offer. You’ll stand where American heroes fought for freedom on the heroic beaches of Normandy. Believe it or not, there is so much more is awaiting you on your fabulous 2019 16 day Avalon river cruise from Côte d’Azur to Paris on the picturesque Seine River!

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Oct 28, 2019Avalon Poetry II, Avalon Tapestry IIWaitlistCall Us!

River Cruise Itinerary

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Day 1 Arrive in Côte d’Azur, France

Welcome to France! Located between the mountains and the deep-blue Mediterranean Sea, the Côte d’Azur is synonymous with prestige and beauty with its luxurious yachts, glamorous villas, and famous events. Time at leisure lets you get acquainted up-close and personal with this amazing place.

Day 2 Côte d’Azur–Transfer to Arles (Embarkation)

This morning, enjoy free time to just relax, explore more of the city or join an exciting optional excursion. In the early afternoon, transfer by motor coach for the ride to Arles in the Provence region, where you’ll board your river cruise ship. Before dinner, you’ll meet your crew during a casual welcome reception, and then sail leisurely toward the mouth of the beautiful Rhône and experience the tranquil and eye-opening vistas of Camargue National Park (daylight permitting). (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 3 Arles

In Arles, capital of the Provence, join your LOCAL GUIDE for a tour of this amazing city. See the elegant church of St. Trophime, dating from the 12th century, and visit the ancient ROMAN AMPHITHEATER. Still used today, the amphitheater dates to the 1st century, and was constructed to hold more than 20,000 spectators. World-famous artist, Vincent Van Gogh, was inspired by the special light he discovered in the Provence area. The artist spent a very productive year painting some of his best works in Arles. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4 Avignon

During the night, you’ll set sail for the fortified city of Avignon, where you arrive during breakfast time. During your GUIDED TOUR you may choose to join an included visit of the alluring PALACE OF THE POPES, built in the 14th century as the sovereign popes’ residence. With a living space equivalent to four gothic cathedrals, it is the largest gothic fortress in the world. Or, you may opt for only city sightseeing and more free time to explore on your own, or to join an optional outing to Pont du Gard or to the world-famous wine cellars of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5 Cruising–Viviers

A leisurely morning on board to relax and enjoy the beauty of the passing riverscapes. After lunch, join your LOCAL GUIDE for a walk around the charming village of Viviers, which developed around its glamorous ROMANESQUE CATHEDRAL. The OLD TOWN has an alluring mix of Christian, ancient Roman, and medieval influences. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6 Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage–Vienne

The twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage are situated nestled among vineyards between the Rhône River and the ominous granite slopes of the Hermitage. Enjoy a GUIDED WALK of Tournon, one of France’s oldest medieval cities, with its imposing 16th-century castle and ancient Roman ruins. Arriving in Vienne in the late afternoon, a GUIDED WALK acquaints you with this attractive little town dwarfed  by impressively steep hills. Explore the town center to see the ancient Roman Theater, which once held as many as 13,000 spectators, and the impressive Augustus and Livia Temple, built around 20 BC and converted into a church in the Middle Ages. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 7 Lyon

Lyon is France’s third-largest city and its culinary capital. Founded by the Romans in 43 BC, the city’s outstanding prosperity dates back to the 16th century and is the result of its highly successful commercial, industrial, and banking activities. Ancient Roman remains, many excellent museums, and much historic renaissance architecture has delighted visitors for centuries. You are joined by a LOCAL GUIDE as you check out the city from Fourvière Hill – with its eye-catching views over the city – and explore the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its maze of medieval alleyways and 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 fine wine of the region. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8 Cruising–Chalon–sur–Saône

A leisurely day today to enjoy your final day on board ship. If you prefer to stay busy, a choice of optional excursions is available, including a visit to one of the area’s finest wine cellars. While sailing to Chalon-sur-Saône, enjoy an onboard CHEESE TASTING featuring France’s best cheeses available. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 9 Chalon–sur–Saône (Disembarkation)–Beaune–Dijon–Paris (Embarkation)

After 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 on wine, Beaune offers visitors much more with its ramparts, ancient 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 the town’s residents destitute. Today, it houses “The Last Judgment,” a famous painting by world-renowned artist, Van der Weyden, one of France’s architectural treasures. After lunch, continue to Dijon where you’ll board the TGV train to Paris – the “City of Light.” Your ship is docked there on the River Seine. Meet your crew at a casual welcome reception; before dinner, your cruise ship sails smoothly out of Paris. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 10 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 for almost 43 years, from 1883 to 1926, and viewed his stunning flower and water gardens as works of art – just like his colorful 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 11 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 12 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 picturesque, mainly 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 13 Rouen

Enjoy a visit to Rouen, the capital of Upper Normandy. This charming town is an important commercial community, but is perhaps 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 GUIDED WALK through the medieval quarter with its half-timbered, glazed-tile houses, and make sure to take 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 world-famous Claude Monet’s paintings. The afternoon is free for you to explore more of the city on your own. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 14 Conflans

After a wonderful breakfast you may either join our included 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 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 15 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 also well 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 your river cruise vacation. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 16 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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