A Culinary Experience in Grand France (Southbound) 2020

15 day River Cruise Paris to Port-Saint-Louise

Cruise WPL

Please call our travel specialists to book.

Overview

Indulge in a culinary adventure on your European river cruise with unmatched views on the Seine, Saône, and Rhône Rivers. Enjoy special excursions and activities to highlight great regional cuisine and wine. Cruise through Burgundy and Provence to sample food and wine in Lyon and Viviers. Enjoy a pastry demonstration; a chocolate, cheese, and wine tasting; and a food-and-wine pairing dinner hosted by your Master of Wine on board.

Embark in Paris and cruise to Vernon to see the home and gardens of master impressionist Claude Monet at Giverny, or visit Bizy Castle— “Normandy’s Versailles.” Sail to Caudebec for an excursion to historic Normandy. Visit the heroic WWII landing beaches of Normandy with American sites and monuments; or visit British, or Canadian memorials, or spend a day in the countryside for a “taste of Normandy.” Cruise to Rouen, site of Joan of Arc’s martyrdom, and see the sights, including Notre-Dame Cathedral. In Conflans, visit Auvers-sur-Oise, the final home of Vincent Van Gogh, or the Bonapartes’ Château de Malmaison. Your cruise continues once again in Paris with guided sightseeing in the heart of Paris— Île Saint-Louis and Notre-Dame Cathedral—or a city tour to see sites such as the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Opéra Garnier, and the Champs-Élysées. In Dijon, see Van der Weyden’s “The Last Judgement,” gracing Beaune’s Hotel-Dieu Charity Hospital.

Sail on the Rhône River through the Burgundy region to Mâcon with a cheese tasting on board, followed by a day of sightseeing in lovely Lyon, the gastronomic capital of France. Enjoy guided sightseeing and a culinary walk through Lyon, take a guided walk of Tournon, with its Roman ruins and fascinating 16th-century castle, and Viviers for a guided walk through this charming village, and then to Avignon. Cruise to Arles for sightseeing and a painting workshop a la Van Gogh whose work was inspired here. Your French river cruise concludes in Port-Saint-Louis.

Indulge in a culinary adventure on your European river cruise with unmatched views on the Seine, Saône, and Rhône Rivers. Enjoy special excursions and activities to highlight great regional cuisine and wine. Cruise through Burgundy and Provence to sample food and wine in Lyon and Viviers. Enjoy a pastry demonstration; a chocolate, cheese, and wine tasting; and a food-and-wine pairing dinner hosted by your Master of Wine on board.

Embark in Paris and cruise to Vernon to see the home and gardens of master impressionist Claude Monet at Giverny, or visit Bizy Castle— “Normandy’s Versailles.” Sail to Caudebec for an excursion to historic Normandy. Visit the heroic WWII landing beaches of Normandy with American sites and monuments; or visit British, or Canadian memorials, or spend a day in the countryside for a “taste of Normandy.” Cruise to Rouen, site of Joan of Arc’s martyrdom, and see the sights, including Notre-Dame Cathedral. In Conflans, visit Auvers-sur-Oise, the final home of Vincent Van Gogh, or the Bonapartes’ Château de Malmaison. Your cruise continues once again in Paris with guided sightseeing in the heart of Paris— Île Saint-Louis and Notre-Dame Cathedral—or a city tour to see sites such as the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Opéra Garnier, and the Champs-Élysées. In Dijon, see Van der Weyden’s “The Last Judgement,” gracing Beaune’s Hotel-Dieu Charity Hospital.

Sail on the Rhône River through the Burgundy region to Mâcon with a cheese tasting on board, followed by a day of sightseeing in lovely Lyon, the gastronomic capital of France. Enjoy guided sightseeing and a culinary walk through Lyon, take a guided walk of Tournon, with its Roman ruins and fascinating 16th-century castle, and Viviers for a guided walk through this charming village, and then to Avignon. Cruise to Arles for sightseeing and a painting workshop a la Van Gogh whose work was inspired here. Your French river cruise concludes in Port-Saint-Louis.

Itinerary

Avalon has designed included activities with a choice of experiences. We invite you to select the tours, activities, and events that interest you most, so you can experience your cruise your way. There are three types of included shore excursion on every Europe cruise:

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Active

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Classic

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Active

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Day 1 PARIS, FRANCE (EMBARKATION)

  • Meals included:
  • Dinner

Welcome to France. Your Suite Ship® is Ready for Boarding.

Flights into Paris must arrive by 2:30 pm.

Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

Your day is free to explore the world's most romantic city before starting your cruise on the Seine. Get acquainted with the City of Lights today with some shopping, strolling, or with a croissant and café au lait to watch the world go by amid the Parisian cityscape.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO VERNON

Day 2 VERNON

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Monet’s Muses, Castle Courtyards, and Crêpes du Jour

Start the day with a Morning Stretch with your Avalon Adventure Host.

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Take a Guided Tour of Giverny, home and inspiration of the master impressionist painter Claude Monet. Walk the grounds and see Monet’s charming residence, and the flower and water gardens captured in his masterpieces, OR:

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Join a Guided Visit to Bizy Castle—called “Normandy’s Versailles” for its magnificent courtyard, water garden, and stables.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

While sailing, enjoy a traditional French Luncheon of authentic French crêpes, followed by a Pastry Demonstration.

This afternoon, enjoy cruising to the picturesque town of Les Andelys.

LES ANDELYS

Serenity on the Seine’s Most Beautiful Riverbends

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Take a Guided Walking Tour of Les Andelys—one of France’s most picturesque spots on the Seine, OR:

Active

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Join a Guided Hike up to the castle ruins of Château Gaillard—historic home of King Richard the Lionheart.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO CAUDEBEC

Day 3 CAUDEBEC

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Churches, Cherry Orchards, and White Cliffs of Normandy

Active

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Join your Avalon Adventure Host for a Morning Jog in Normandy’s town of Caudebec.

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Take a Guided Trip along the Normandy Abbeys Route—where more than 100 medieval Benedictine and Augustine abbeys and churches were built along the Seine, OR:

Active

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Explore Boucles de la Seine Normande with a Guided Hike of Normandy’s vast regional nature park in a region rich in apple, plum, pear, and cherry orchards.

This afternoon, you may choose a Guided Optional Excursion to the old seaside town of Honfleur.

Later enjoy live entertainment on board.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN CAUDEBEC

Day 4 CAUDEBEC. EXCURSION TO NORMANDY

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Heroic Bravery on Normandy Beaches and French Farming Traditions

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Join a Guided Tour of the WWII landing beaches of Normandy, visit significant U.S. sites, including Omaha Beach, the Pointe du Hoc monument, and the American Cemetery, OR:

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Take a full-day Guided Tour of the British and Canadian commemorative sites, including the British cemetery, Pegasus Memorial, the seaside town of Arromanches, the Juno Beach Center, and the Bény-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery, OR:

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Join “A Taste of Normandy” Guided Tour for an in-depth look at this rich agricultural region. See the famous Bayeux Tapestry, visit the beautiful village of Beuvron en Auge and taste Calvados apple brandy at a local distillery.

Later, enjoy live entertainment on board your ship.

EVENING CRUISE TO ROUEN

Day 5 ROUEN

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The Cathedral of Notre-Dame, and a Heroine for France

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Take a Guided Walking Tour of Rouen—site of Saint Joan of Arc’s martyrdom—and see the medieval quarter with its 16th-century Astronomical Clock, and Notre-Dame Cathedral.

Enjoy onboard entertainment before setting sail this evening.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO CONFLANS

Day 6 CONFLANS

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Walk in the Footsteps of Van Gogh, Bonaparte, and Louis XIV

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Join a Guided Visit to Auvers-sur-Oise, home and resting place of Vincent van Gogh, OR:

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Take a Guided Tour of the opulent Château de Malmaison—home of Napoléon Bonaparte and his wife Josephine.

Perhaps, join a Guided Optional Excursion tour of the Palace of Versailles—home to a succession of French kings.

EVENING CRUISE TO PARIS

Day 7 PARIS

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Cafés, Cathedrals, & Canvases—The City of Lights Truly Shines

Active

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Take a Morning Walk with your Avalon Adventure Host to see Paris at first light.

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Take a Guided Walking Tour through the Heart of Paris to see the historic Île St. Louis, Île de la Cité, and Notre-Dame Cathedral, OR:

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Join a Guided City Tour, that shows you the iconic sites of Paris, such as the Louvre Museum, the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, Opéra Garnier, and the famous Champs-Élysées.

Stroll through Paris on your own, or linger over wine in a literary café on the Left Bank.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN PARIS

Day 8 PARIS (DISEMBARKATION) DIJON—BEAUNE—ST. JEAN DE LOSNE (EMBARKATION)

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Take a High-Speed Train from Paris to Dijon, to drive on to Beaune.

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Visit the Hôtel-Dieu Charity Hospital in Beaune, built in 1443, today home of the Van der Weyden’s painting of the Last Judgement.

This afternoon, travel to St. Jean de Losne to board your Suite Ship®.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MÂCON

Day 9 MÂCON

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Wine and Cheese on the Stunning Saône

Enjoy leisurely cruising en route to Mâcon along the majestic Saône River. Consider a Guided Optional Excursion to a Chardonnay wine cellar, or to the Castle of Cormatin.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Later, enjoy a delicious Cheese Tasting and Wine Tasting hosted by your Master of wine.

Enjoy live entertainment while sailing for Trévoux this evening.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN TRÉVOUX

Day 10 LYON

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Adventures in Food and Wine in the Gastronomy Capital of France

Sail for lovely Lyon this morning for French fare.

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Join a Guided Sightseeing Tour to survey Lyon with its numerous churches from Fourvière Hill. You’ll also explore the Old Town with its maze of medieval alleyways, and the lively cafés, monuments, and famed fountain of Place des Terreaux.

Spend free time biking through Lyon’s town squares, over bridges, and along the banks where the Rhône and Saône rivers meet.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Enjoy a pastry demonstration hosted by a French chef on board your ship.

Later enjoy live entertainment after dinner.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN LYON

Day 11 LYON

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

French Food and Wine—La Vie En Rose in Lyon

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Join a Culinary Walk through the city to discover why Lyon is known as the gastronomic capital of France.

The rest of your day is free to explore, relax, or shop in France’s third largest city. Take a bike from the ship and explore local produce markets and parks, or take a leisurely tour of the city’s more than 100 murals.

Later, enjoy live entertainment on board.

EVENING CRUISE TO TOURNON

Day 12 TOURNON

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

A Rendezvous with Castle Views and Vineyards

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Take a morning Guided Walking Tour to explore Tournon—one of France’s oldest medieval cities. See its 16th-century castle, and Roman ruins between the Rhône River and the granite slopes of the Hermitage.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Enjoy an onboard chocolate and wine tasting hosted by your Master of Wine.

Enjoy a leisurely sail to Viviers after lunch.

VIVIERS

World History in a Charming French Country Village

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Explore the pale-stone buildings of Viviers on a late afternoon Guided Walking Tour of this charming village. You’ll see its Romanesque cathedral and Old Town with a mix of historical Christian, Roman, and medieval influences. During the tour you will also discover and taste local specialties.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO AVIGNON

Day 13 AVIGNON

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The City of Popes in Picturesque Provence

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Take a Guided Sightseeing Tour of the fortress city of Avignon—with its ramparts encircling the city—and a visit to the amazing Palace of the Popes.

Guided Optional Excursions include a visit to the ancient Roman aqueduct of Pont du Gard, a trip to the famed wine cellars of Châteauneuf-du-Pape for a true taste of the Rhône wine region, or a cooking class.

Explore Avignon on your own for the city’s art and culture, theatre, and museums. Be sure to snap photos of the captivating countryside, historic monuments, and the medieval Pont Saint-Bénézet.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

This evening, join an onboard food and wine pairing dinner hosted by your Master of Wine. 

Later, enjoy onboard live entertainment.

EVENING CRUISE TO ARLES

Day 14 ARLES

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Inspiring Sights and Avant-Garde Lights

Active

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Join your Avalon Adventure Host for a Morning Walk.

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Enjoy a Guided Walking Tour of Arles—the captivating city of the Provence region. You’ll visit the Roman Amphitheater in this visually stunning city, OR:

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Attend a Painting Workshop to learn the style and techniques of Vincent van Gogh. You’ll create your own painting in the style of the classic master who took inspiration from the Provence light and landscape in Arles.

Consider a Guided Optional Excursion to the Carrières de Lumières (Cathedral of Images) to immerse yourself in a truly unique experience of art, sound, and light in the old quarries of Val d’Enfer.

Take advantage of any free time with a stop in Le Café Van Gogh for a glass of wine to relax and watch the world go by.

EVENING CRUISE TO PORT ST. LOUIS

Day 15 PORT ST. LOUIS (DISEMBARKATION)

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast

Your cruise ends with breakfast this morning.

Flights should not leave Marseille airport before 10 am.

Questions? Our travel specialists can help with any queries, quotes or special requirements.  Request a callback or email us.

Notes

  • In the event of technical or water level issues, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or alter the program, including hotel overnight when necessary.
  • Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change becomes necessary, a substitute will be offered.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.

Cruise options

Start sooner, stay longer. Start your vacation earlier or stay longer with destination options before or after your Avalon cruise.

A Culinary Experience in Grand France (Southbound) 2020

What's included

Cruise only

From £4,031 pp

Prefer to book your own flights and transfers? You have the freedom to do that with our Cruise Only holiday option.

  • Services of a cruise director
  • Accommodation
  • Wine & beer with lunch and dinner
  • Excursions
  • Gratuities on cruise
  • Onboard meals including à la carte dinners
  • Sightseeing with expert local guides
  • Complimentary bicycles
  • Onboard local entertainment
  • Complimentary wi-fi onboard

Cruise with flights & transfers

From £4,346 pp

Let us take care of everything. Our package option includes private home pick-up to your chosen airport, return flights, and overseas transfers to your ship.

  • Private home pick-up service
  • Flights
  • Transfers
  • Services of a cruise director
  • Accommodation
  • Wine & beer with lunch and dinner
  • Excursions
  • Gratuities on cruise
  • All airport and port taxes
  • Onboard meals including à la carte dinners
  • Sightseeing with expert local guides
  • Complimentary bicycles
  • Onboard local entertainment
  • Complimentary wi-fi onboard