France River Cruises
Located in Western Europe, France covers an area of 260,558 sq miles making it the third largest country in Europe, and the largest country in Western Europe. Sharing its borders with six other countries France has Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast; Switzerland to the east; Italy to the southeast; and Spain to the southwest. It is often referred to as the Hexagon because of the shape of its territory. Geographically, France is one of the most diverse countries in Europe, with its landscapes ranging from forests and woodlands which cover nearly a quarter of the country, to stunning beaches along the coastline and mountains in the south and east. It is also home to a number of rivers including the River Seine and picturesque River Rhône. The climate in France is varied depending on the region but typically summers will be hot and sunny and winters temperate with milder temperatures along the Mediterranean.
All Avalon French itineraries either begin or end in the capital city Paris, the largest city in France and situated on the River Seine. The most visited city in the world, it is home to some of the world’s most famous attractions. Avalon passengers will visit the Arc de Triomphe, recognized as a symbol of the city of Paris and it honors those who fought for France during the French Revolution. Two more of Paris’ world famous attractions are the Louvre Museum and Notre Dame Cathedral: passengers will be able to see the striking gothic cathedral which is considered one of the finest pieces of French gothic architecture and one of most famous churches ever built! Passengers will be able to see the unique Louvre Museum with its glass pyramid as a contrast to its Renaissance style architecture it is home to some of the worlds most famous art pieces including the ‘Mona Lisa’ and ‘The Lace Maker’. Other attractions passengers will get to visit include the Eiffel Tower, Opéra, Madeleine and Champs Elysées. Famous for its colourful nightlife and cabaret shows, the world renowned Moulin Rouge is also an option for passengers to visit.
Further along the River Seine is Rouen, the capital of Upper Normandy, famous for its connection with Joan of Arc who lived, was imprisoned and later burnt at the stake in the town’s marketplace in 1431. Today an important commercial city in France, it still retains it medieval charm with half timbered, glazed-tile houses in the medieval quarter. Rouen also boasts the Gros Horlage, an intricate Astronomical clock dating back to the 16th century and a spectacular gothic cathedral, which was once it was the tallest building in the world and the subject of several Claude Monet paintings. Not far from Rouen is the famous Normandy landing Beaches, where thousands of graves, countless bunkers and many more remnants of D-Day surround the beaches. Passengers will have the option to visit the some of the most poignant sights from World War II.
Along the River Rhône, is the third largest city and gastronomical capital of France Lyon. The city was founded in 43 BC by the Romans, and is known for its history. Passengers will take delight in looking at the Roman ruins including the Ancient Theatre of Fourvière, the Odeon of Lyon, the Gallo-Roman Museum, and ruins of the Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls. For passengers who want to have a clear view of the city, Fourvière Hill is the place to go, offering passengers a panoramic view of the whole of Lyon. Lyon has copious museums to explore: a particularly famous one is Musée des beaux-arts de Lyon, and one of the largest art galleries in France. Avalon passengers can explore the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site with a network of medieval alleyways, the spectacular Place des Bellecour and Place des Terreux.