Grand France with 3 Nights Barcelona - Southbound River Cruise (WPL2)
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River Cruise Description
Welcome to this fantastic 2019 19 day Avalon river cruise from Paris to Barcelona vacation that takes you through some of the most picturesque parts of France. You’ll enjoy fine wines, cheeses, and amazing natural scenic beauty as you cruise along its beautiful rivers. You’ll enjoy stops in some of the most charming and historic towns and villages in romantic France, and you’ll conclude your fabulous adventure in sensational Barcelona, Spain.
You’ll embark on your luxurious Avalon Waterways cruise ship in magnificent Paris, the “City of Light,” and sail northwest along the captivating Seine River up to the stunning Normandy region. Your ship will dock at quaint Vernon and you’ll have a choice between a wonderful guided tour of world-renowned artist Claude Monet’s amazing gardens at Giverny, or impressive Bizy Castle. Your adventure continues to majestic Les Andelys – home of striking Château Gaillard, built by England’s King Richard the Lionheart in 1196. Then, you’ll stop in Caudebec, where you can choose between an included excursion to the solemn Normandy Landing Beaches where many Americans fought and sacrificed their lives for our freedom during World War II. Or, you can enjoy a delightful “Taste of Normandy” tour. You’ll tour historic Rouen, home to world-renowned Joan of Arc; and in charming Conflans, you’ll choose between an expertly guided excursion to world-famous artist Vincent van Gogh’s Auvers-sur-Oise, or opt for historic Napoleon and Josephine’s extravagant Château de Malmaison. Then, your Europe river cruise will take you back to Paris for breathtaking sightseeing that visits elegant Notre Dame Cathedral. You’ll disembark your ship, your home-away-from-home, and travel south to quaint Beaune for a tour of the Hôtel-Dieu. Next, you’ll stop in St. Jean de Losne, where you’ll board your second sailing vessel and enjoy a peaceful cruise to beautiful Macon, the charming twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage, and historic cities of Viviers, Avignon, and Arles, as well as France’s culinary capital of Lyon, where you’ll have plenty of time to explore and discover what else this wonderful city has to offer. If daylight permits, your luxurious cruise ship will take you into the tranquil Camargue area.
You’ll disembark your Avalon Waterways cruise ship and arrive in world-renowned Côte d’Azur, for a final exciting night in France. The next day, you’ll fly to Barcelona, Spain for a fascinating guided sightseeing tour with a friendly expert Local Guide. You’ll enjoy a relaxing drive along the extravagant Passeig de Gracia and visit Gaudi’s spectacular Casa Batlló and Sagrada Familia Basilica. During what free time you have, you might choose to explore the world-famous Picasso Museum, or you can relax in the sun on the beach, or have an exciting time at the captivating Tibidabo Amusement Park.
It is eventually time for this 2019 19 day Avalon river cruis from Paris to Barcelona vacation to come to an end. Your fabulous French river cruise on the beautiful Seine River, with a visit to the splendid Côte d’Azur, is only made better as you enjoy a special trip to vibrant Barcelona!
|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 fascinating Paris, France’s capital on the scenic River Seine, and the “City of Light,” where romance fills the air. This afternoon, you’ll board your luxurious river cruise ship and meet your friendly crew at a casual evening welcome reception. Before dinner, your ship floats smoothly out of fashionable Paris. (Dinner) *NOTE: Flights into Paris must arrive by 2:30 pm, and guests must be onboard the cruise ship by 5 pm.
Day 2 Vernon–Les Andelys
This morning in charming Vernon, you’ll choose between a popular guided visit of beautiful Giverny and a visit to magnificent Bizy Castle. World-renowned artist Claude Monet lived in GIVERNY from 1883-1926, and viewed his gardens as works of art – just like his illustrious paintings. Enjoy viewing his collection of Japanese prints, his charming house, and his biggest sources of inspiration. Or, visit majestic BIZY CASTLE, built in 1740 and nicknamed “Normandy’s Versailles.” It is known for its world-famous stables – inspired by those at Versailles – and its extravagant courtyard and fascinating water garden. This afternoon, your cruise ship will arrive in charming Les Andelys, situated on a bend of the Seine and considered one of the most beautiful places in all of France. You’ll join a Local Guide for a GUIDED WALK of the town, visiting the elegant PARISH CHURCH OF LE PETIT ANDELY. You’ll see the imposing Château Gaillard, built by England’s King Richard the Lionheart as a fortress in 1196, situated high overlooking the town. Constructed in only a year, it is considered a masterpiece of medieval military architecture. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 3 Caudebec
Today, you’ll join either a guided excursion along the famous “NORMANDY VILLAGES ROUTE” to see some of Normandy’s most charming and traditional half-timbered houses with their long, sloping thatched roofs, often featuring blue wooden doors and window shutters, or travel along the fascinating “NORMANDY ABBEYS ROUTE,” a short relaxing drive from beautiful Caudebec. More than 100 abbeys once dotted this region, which has a microclimate particularly suited to the production of fresh fruit such as delicious apples, pears, plums and cherries. Your afternoon is free for you to explore on your own, or you can join an optional excursion to the picturesque 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 heartrending sites such as historic Omaha Beach, the Pointe du Hoc monument, and a moving experience at the American Cemetery – or, join a “TASTE OF NORMANDY” for a more in-depth look at this picturesque, primarily agricultural region. The most economically important products are dairy, apples, and grain. Popular Camembert cheese is a specialty, as is CALVADOS, a strong apple brandy that you’ll have the opportunity to taste at a local distillery. And for a bit of history, visit the world-famous BAYEUX TAPESTRY. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5 Rouen
Rouen, the beautiful capital city of Upper Normandy, is an extremely important commercial city perhaps best known for its connection to Joan of Arc, who lived, was imprisoned, and tragically burned at the stake in the marketplace of this town in 1431. You’ll enjoy the included GUIDED WALK through the fascinating medieval quarter with its half-timbered, glazed-tile houses, and take your photographs of the intricate Gros Horloge astronomical clock, dating back to the 16th century. You’ll 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. Your afternoon is free to explore more of this fascinating city on your own. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6 Conflans
After a wonderful breakfast you may either join our fascinating guided excursion to AUVERS-SUR-OISE, the quaint town where world-famous artist Vincent Van Gogh lived and died, or to Napoleon and Josephine’s magnificent CHÂTEAU DE MALMAISON just outside Paris. This large country estate was purchased by Josephine Bonaparte in 1799 while Napoleon was fighting in Egypt. While it required extensive renovations, it was Josephine’s aim to make it “the most beautiful and curious garden in Europe, a model of good cultivation.” (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 7 Paris
Paris, France, one of the world’s most romantic and bustling cities, is certainly a delight for your senses. Your included CITY SIGHTSEEING shows off the many must-see attractions: elegant Notre Dame Cathedral, the world-famous Louvre Museum with its glass pyramid as a contrast to its ancient architecture, the historic Arc de Triomphe, and the iconic Eiffel Tower. Or, you may choose to join a GUIDED WALK through historic Île St. Louis with its narrow one-way streets and Île de la Cité, the fascinating center of Paris where the medieval city was founded and home to elegant NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL. During your free time, take a walk down the picturesque Champs-Elysées with its lavish bustling cafés, or perhaps you’d enjoy a visit to the world-famous Louvre Museum or fascinating Montmartre with its majestic Sacré Coeur Basilica and band of artists on Place du Tertre. Paris is known for its festive nightlife, and an optional outing to one of the popular cabaret shows makes the perfect finale to the fascinating Seine portion of your cruise. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 8 Paris (Disembarkation)–Dijon–Beaune–St. Jean de Losne (Embarkation)–Seurre
This morning, say goodbye to your faithful crew and transfer to beautiful Beaune, the unofficial capital of the Côte d’Or area. Beaune owes its economic wealth to the wine industry – producing, aging, and selling of fine French wines. Although life here centers around wine, beautiful Beaune offers much more. Visit the impressive 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 population destitute. Today, it houses the world-famous painting of Van der Weyden’s – “The Last Judgment” – and is one of France’s architectural highlights. Continue to charming St. Jean de Losne, where your cruise ship awaits your arrival. Before dinner, you’ll meet your friendly crew at a casual welcome reception as your ship departs for beautiful Seurre. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 9 Seurre–Macon
You’ll enjoy a wonderful breakfast and some peaceful cruising today and before lunch, you’ll be treated to an ONBOARD CHEESE TASTING. In the late afternoon, you’ll arrive in beautiful Mâcon, a city that is known for the important role it plays in the fine wine trade. Your free time allows you to further explore more of this fascinating city on your own. Or, you may choose to participate in one of the optional excursions being offered, such as a visit at a popular wine cellar. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 10 Lyon
Bustling Lyon, France’s third-largest city and its culinary capital, was founded by the ancient Romans in 43 BC. The city’s economic prosperity dates back to the 16th century and is due to successful commercial, industrial, and banking activities. Ancient Roman remains, extravagant museums, and impressive renaissance architecture delight visitors. A LOCAL GUIDE joins you as you enjoy the city from the vantage point of scenic Fourvière Hill and explore the quaint Old Town with its maze of narrow medieval alleyways and festive Place des Terreaux, a popular area with bustling cafés, stately monuments, and the iconic fountain often depicted on postcards. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 11 Lyon
You’ll enjoy a free relaxing day in this fascinating city of Lyon to explore at your leisure. If you are an early riser, you might like to visit the local bustling produce market. Perhaps you will enjoy strolling through one of Lyon’s beautiful parks, discover some of the famous murals (there are more than 100). Or, select one of the available optional excursions. Be sure to taste the culinary delights and sample Beaujolais, one of the favorite wines of the region; wine connoisseurs know the lush grapes must be hand picked from the vine. Your friendly Cruise Director will have plenty of suggestions for other exciting things to do. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 12 Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage–Viviers
The fabulous twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage are situated, nestled among vineyards between the scenic Rhône River and the majestic granite slopes of the Hermitage. A LOCAL GUIDE will show you quaint Tournon, one of France’s oldest medieval cities, with its impressive 16th-century castle and ancient Roman ruins. You’ll be arriving in beautiful Viviers in the late afternoon, and an included GUIDED WALK will introduce you to this charming village that developed around its elegant ROMANESQUE CATHEDRAL. The fascinating OLD TOWN has an appealing mix of Christian, Roman, and medieval influences. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 13 Avignon
The capital of the Vaucluse region is the fortified city of Avignon – one of the most picturesque parts of Provence with its intact ramparts encircling the entire city, along with ancient cobblestone streets and bustling squares, and splendid private 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 extravagant PALACE OF THE POPES, built in the 14th century as the sovereign popes’ residence. Don’t miss taking a photograph of the must-see historic Pont Saint Bénezet (Saint Bénezet Bridge), of the popular song Sur le Pont d’Avignon. Optional outings to Pont du Gard or to the famed wine cellars of Châteauneuf-du-Pape are also available. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 14 Arles
This morning, you’ll wake up early to the peaceful vistas of the amazing Camargue National Park (daylight permitting) before arriving in charming Arles after enjoying a wonderful breakfast. Situated on the northern tip of the Camargue, Arles is the capital of the famous Provence region. Your LOCAL GUIDE will show you the important features of the city and you’ll visit the extravagant ROMAN AMPHITHEATER. Still used today, it dates to the 1st century and was constructed to hold more than 20,000 spectators. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 15 Arles (Disembarkation)–Côte d’Azur
After a wonderful breakfast, a relaxing motor coach ride takes you to the fascinating Côte d’Azur for a last exciting night in France. Also known as the picturesque French Riviera, the Côte d’Azur stretches along France’s fascinating Mediterranean coast from beautiful Toulon to the Italian border and is synonymous with prestige and beauty. (Breakfast)
Day 16 Côte d’Azur–Barcelona, Spain
After a wonderful breakfast at your luxurious Avalon hotel, an included transfer takes you to the Nice airport to FLY to beautiful Barcelona, where you will join your magnificent Monograms vacation. (Breakfast)
Day 17 Barcelona
Starting from Plaza Catalunya, you’ll enjoy a morning guided sightseeing, which includes a relaxing drive along elegant Passeig de Gràcia to see the stunning façade of La Pedrera and to visit Gaudi’s fabulous CASA BATLLÓ. Passing through the central Eixample district, reach the elegant but still unfinished SAGRADA FAMILIA BASILICA. Your included entrance fees contribute to its completion. (Breakfast)
Day 18 Barcelona
Your friendly Local Host has many exciting recommendations to offer you for your day at leisure, including an excursion to impressive Montserrat and the popular Codorníu wine cellar, a visit to the Aquarium, a guided tour of the fascinating Picasso Museum, or a visit to the amusing Tibidabo Amusement Park. (Breakfast)
Day 19 Barcelona
Although your vacation ends this morning with a wonderful breakfast, we hope this 19-day cruise experience leaves you with a wealth of great memories and some amazing photos of your journey to share with loved ones back home. (Breakfast)
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