Grand France (Southbound) 2019

15 day River Cruise Paris to Port-Saint-Louis

Cruise WPL

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Overview

A European cruise that showcases France’s scenic beauty and rich history. From Paris to the Côte d'Azur, journey on the Rhône and Saône Rivers and enjoy stops in medieval towns and vibrant, bustling cities along the way. Sample French cuisine at its finest in Lyon and stand in the atmospheric Roman amphitheatre at Arles. In Vernon, choose between a visit to Claude Monet's gardens at Giverny or magnificent Bizy Castle; and in Conflans, a choice of excursions to either Van Gogh's Auvers-sur-Oise or Napoleon and Josephine's elegant Château de Malmaison.

A European cruise that showcases France’s scenic beauty and rich history. From Paris to the Côte d'Azur, journey on the Rhône and Saône Rivers and enjoy stops in medieval towns and vibrant, bustling cities along the way. Sample French cuisine at its finest in Lyon and stand in the atmospheric Roman amphitheatre at Arles. In Vernon, choose between a visit to Claude Monet's gardens at Giverny or magnificent Bizy Castle; and in Conflans, a choice of excursions to either Van Gogh's Auvers-sur-Oise or Napoleon and Josephine's elegant Château de Malmaison.

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

Bienvenue en France! Your Suite Ship is Ready for Boarding

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 run 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, or take a guided optional excursion to see the white-chalk cliffs and arches of the oceanside town of Étretat.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN CAUDEBEC

Day 4 Caudebec

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Excursion to Normandy. 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, with a full-day tour of 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

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.

Take a guided waking tour of Rouen—home of the martyred Saint Joan of Arc—and see the medieval quarter with its 16th-century Astronomical Clock, and Notre-Dame Cathedral. Spend free time this afternoon to explore Rouen’s city markets, shops, and bike paths.

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, and 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)

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Dijon —Beaune—ST. Jean De Losne (Embarkation)—Seurre.

Take a High-Speed Train from Paris to Dijon before driving to Beaune.

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.

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

This afternoon, travel to St. Jean de Losne to board your Suite Ship® on the Saône for a brief evening cruise to Seurre.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN SEURRE

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 on board your ship.

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.

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.

Later on board your ship, be our guest for a WWII & French Resistance Lecture, and 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.

Enjoy a free day in Lyon, or choose a guided optional culinary Walk through the city to discover why it is known as the gastronomic capital of France!

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.

EVENING CRUISE TO TOURNON

Day 12 Tournon/Tain L'Hermtage

  • 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.

Viviers

World History in a Charming French Country Village

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.

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.

EVENING 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, or a trip to the famed wine cellars of Châteauneuf-du-Pape for a true taste of the Rhône wine region.

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.

Later, enjoy onboard live entertainment.

EVENING CRUISE TO ARLES

Day 14 Arles

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Inspiring Sights and Avant-Garde Lights.

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 that inspired the works of Vincent van Gogh 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 also a guided optional excursion to the Carrières de Lumières (Cathedral of Images) for 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.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN ARLES

Day 15 Arles (Disembarkation) - Côte d’Azur

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast

Spectacular Seascapes of the French Riviera .

After breakfast this morning, you’ll drive to the Côte d’Azur for your last night in France. Known also as the French Riviera, the spectacular Côte d’Azur stretches along France’s Mediterranean coast from Toulon to the border of Italy.

Day 16 Côte d’Azur

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast

Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning.

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.

•Guided Tours, Optional Excursions, activities, sailing and docking schedules may be contingent on weather conditions or other issues outside of our control and could therefore be subject to change at any time.

 

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