Day 1 Arles, France (Embarkation)
Welcome to the Provence! This afternoon board your river cruise vessel between 4 pm and 5 pm. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception.(D)
Day 2 Arles-Camargue
On the northern tip of the Camargue, Arles is the capital of the Provence and was once known as the “Little Rome of Gaul.” See the church of St. Trophime; “Les Alyscamps,” the remains of the Gallo-Roman burial road; and visit the ROMAN AMPHITHEATER. Vincent Van Gogh was inspired by the special light of the Provence and spent a very productive year in Arles. The “Foundation Vincent Van Gogh” is a tribute to the artist. In the early evening depart Arles and sail toward Port St. Louis on the mouth of the Rhone, a unique opportunity to experience the tranquil vistas of the Camargue National Park.(B,L,D)
Day 3 Camargue-Avignon
In the early morning hours, the Avalon SceneryGreat views from the Scenery's club lounge sails to Avignon, where you arrive during breakfast time. This morning, you can choose your experience: take a guided tour of Avignon, the capital of the Vaucluse region, including an inside visit of the grandiose PALACE OF THE POPES . Alternatively, lovers of antiques, and those who have been to Avignon before, may prefer to set off with a local expert to discover the delightful town of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, which has an undisputed reputation as THE place in southern France, to shop for antiques. The afternoon is free for you to either explore Avignon on your own, relax on board your ship, or to join an optional outing to Pont du Gard, or to the famed wine cellars of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.(B,L,D)
Day 4 Cruising–Viviers
A leisurely morning on board to relax and enjoy the passing scenery as you glide gently by. The charming town of Viviers was developed around its ROMANESQUE CATHEDRAL, and the OLD TOWN has an appealing mix of Christian, Roman, and medieval influences.(B,L,D)
Day 5 Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage–Vienne
The twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage lie nestled among vineyards between the River Rhône and the granite slopes of the Hermitage. Tournon, with its imposing 16th-century castle and Roman ruins, is one of France’s oldest medieval cities. This afternoon, enjoy Vienne, another charming little town surrounded by steep hills.(B,L,D)
Day 6 Lyon
Lyon is France’s second-largest city and its gastronomic capital. Founded by the Romans in 43 BC, the city’s prosperity dates back to the 16th century and is due to commercial, industrial and banking activities. Roman remains, many excellent museums, and much renaissance architecture delight the visitor. Survey the city from Fourvière Hill; explore the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, The World Heritage List includes over 800 properties with cultural and/or natural heritage of global significancewith its maze of medieval alleyways; Place des Terreaux, and beautiful Place Bellecour. Beaujolais is the wine of the region and wine connoisseurs will know that the grapes must be hand picked. Tradition dictates that the “Beaujolais Nouveau” is tasted for the first time on the third Thursday of November each year.(B,L,D)
Day 7 Mâcon–Tournus–Chalon-sur-Saône
Wake up this morning on the River Saône in Mâcon, a city that plays an important part in the wine trade. There’s some free time for exploring after breakfast, then enjoy a short cruise to Tournus. Here the cloister of St. Philibert or the Burgundy Museum’s folklore collection, located in an old family mansion, are worth a visit. A choice of optional excursions, including a visit to a wine cellar, is available. Before dinner, arrive in Chalon-sur-Saône.(B,L,D)
Day 8 Chalon-sur-Saône (Disembarkation)–Beaune–Paris (Embarkation)
After breakfast, say goodbye to your crew on the Avalon Scenery and head for Beaune, the unofficial capital of the Côte d’Or area, which produces the Burgundy region’s finest vintages. Its most famous historical site, the Hôtel-Dieu charity hospital, houses Van der Weyden’s painting of the Last Judgement and is one of France’s architectural highlights. After lunch, continue north past the forest of Fontainebleau to Paris, the “City of Light,” where you board the Avalon Creativity docked on the River Seine. This evening, meet your crew at a welcome reception. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 9 Paris
Paris’ famous sights are living history. Your included city sightseeing shows you magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral, the unique Louvre Museum with its glass pyramid as a contrast to its ancient architecture, the commemorative Arc de Triomphe, Opéra, Madeleine, Champs Elysées, and the Eiffel Tower, a structural miracle of its age. The city is well known for its colorful nightlife, including some of the world’s most famous cabaret shows.(B,L,D)
Day 10 Paris–Conflans
After breakfast, enjoy a relaxing morning on the Sky Deck as your ship slips its moorings and glides gently down the River Seine, passing through suburban Paris. This afternoon, dock at Conflans—and now the choice is yours: either join our guided excursion to AUVERS-SUR-OISE, the quaint little town where Vincent Van Gogh lived and died, or Napoleon and Josephine’s CHÂTEAU de MALMAISON just outside Paris. Requiring extensive renovations, this large country estate was purchased by Josephine Bonaparte in 1799 while Napoleon was fighting in Egypt. It was her aim to make it “the most beautiful and curious garden in Europe, a model of good cultivation.”(B,L,D)
Day 11 Vernon
This morning, choose between a guided visit of Claude Monet’s house and stunning gardens at GIVERNY or a visit of BIZY CASTLE with its magnificent courtyard. There’s still time to stroll through this delightful city on your own before your ship departs for Rouen. Relax on board this afternoon or take your pick of a number of optional excursions on offer.(B,L,D)
Day 12 Rouen
Rouen is the capital of Upper Normandy and an important commercial city. It is perhaps best known for its connection to Joan of Arc, who lived, was imprisoned, and burned at the stake in the marketplace of this town in 1431. Enjoy the guided walk through the medieval quarter with its half-timbered, glazed-tile houses, and the Gros Horloge, an intricate Astronomical Clock dating back to the 16th century. The splendid gothic CATHEDRAL was once the tallest building in the world and the subject of a series of Claude Monet’s paintings. The afternoon is free for you to explore on your own, or you can join an optional excursion to the pretty coastal town of Honfleur or to the busy port city of Le Havre with its contemporary architecture.(B,L,D)
Day 13 Rouen
Make your choice today between an included excursion to the historic NORMANDY LANDING BEACHES—with poignant 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 agricultural region. The most important products are dairy, apples, and grain. Camembert cheese is a specialty, as is Calvados, a strong apple brandy. Thoroughbred horses are also reared here.(B,L,D)
Day 14 Les Andelys
The most dramatic sight along the Seine is imposing Château Gaillard at Les Andelys. Built by England’s King Richard the Lionheart in 1196, the château is truly a masterpiece of medieval military architecture. Explore on your own and enjoy this last day in France in this delightful small town.(B,L,D)
Day 15 Paris (Disembarkation)
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. Departure flights should not leave before 8 am.(B)
River Cruise Highlights
CRUISE: Deluxe 14-night cruise from Arles to Chalon-sur-Saône and Paris to Paris in an outside stateroom with hotel-style beds
PORT ST. LOUIS: Welcome reception
ARLES: Guided sightseeing, visit the Roman Amphitheater
AVIGNON: Guided sightseeing, visit the Palace of the Popes
VIVIERS: Guided walk, visit Old Town and the cathedral
TOURNON: Orientation walk
LYON: Guided sightseeing, picture stop on Fourvière Hill
BEAUNE: Orientation walk, see the Hôtel-Dieu
PARIS: Welcome reception; guided sightseeing
CONFLANS: Choice of guided excursions to Auvers-sur-Oise or Château de Malmaison
VERNON: Choice of guided excursions to Giverny or Bizy Castle
ROUEN: Guided sightseeing, see the Astronomical Clock and visit the cathedral; choice of excursions to Normandy Landing Beaches or “A Taste of Normandy”
LES ANDELYS: Orientation, see Château Gaillard
All This Included
This fantastic cruise vacation showcases France’s exciting variety. Your adventure begins when you embark your ship in Arles in the Provence region. Upon leaving this town, sail through the peaceful Camargue area before returning north to Avignon, delightful Viviers, medieval Tournon, Vienne, France’s gastronomic capital of Lyon, as well as Mâcon, Tournus, Chalon-sur-Saône, and fascinating Beaune. Spend two overnights in Paris, the “City of Light,” then begin your journey along the Seine into the picturesque Normandy region. Choose between a guided excursion to Vincent van Gogh’s Auvers-sur-Oise or Napoleon and Josephine’s elegant Château de Malmaison. Next up: your choice of a guided visit of Claude Monet’s stunning gardens at Giverny or remarkable Bizy Castle. On to Joan of Arc’s historic Rouen, where you choose between an included excursion to the poignant landing beaches of Normandy or a fascinating “Taste of Normandy.” Continue to dramatic Château Gaillard at Les Andelys, with free time to explore on your own. Return to Paris for the conclusion of your magnificent cruise vacation.
Superb dining with meals on board featuring full breakfast (B) with complimentary sparkling wine, lunch (L) with complimentary soft drinks, and dinner (D) including complimentary wine, beer, or soft drinks; a welcome reception, Captain’s reception, and farewell dinner; one sitting with open seating arrangements.
Deluxe cruise in an outside stateroom with hotel-style beds.
Included shore excursions with Local Guide.
Headsets for shore excursions.
Complimentary Wi-Fi access.
Personalized room options & excursions.
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: cabin onboard Avalon Scenery & Avalon Creativity
Cabin upgrades available.
Port charges of $252 are not included.
Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.
In the event of water level problems on stretches of any river, it may be necessary to operate part of the itinerary by motorcoach.
Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change is necessary, a substitute will be offered.
Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.