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Grand France
(Northbound)

16 days with Avalon Waterways  Rating: Deluxe

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  • Save $1,000 to $2,000 per couple off this cruise. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Save 5% off all trips when you pay with an AMEX Gold or Platinum card . This discount is combinable with all other promotions. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Travel with Avalon Waterways and receive a Welcome Back Credit of $100 to $250 per person after your trip. The credit can be applied toward a subsequent trip with Avalon Waterways or its sister brands Globus, Cosmos and Monograms. Click here for eligible departures.

Offers subject to change or withdrawal, availability is limited. Some discounts are not combinable.

River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 CÔTE D’AZUR, FRANCE
Bienvenue en France!

Take free time today to admire Côte d’Azur-with its enchanting yachts, glamorous villas, and famous events. 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 2 CÔTE D’AZUR—ARLES (EMBARKATION)
The Camargue National Park

This morning enjoy free time to explore. In the early afternoon, you’ll drive to Arles to board your Suite Ship®. Before dinner sail toward the mouth of the Rhône for a taste of the tranquil vistas of Camargue National Park (daylight permitting).

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN ARLES (B,D)

Day 3 ARLES
Inspiring Sights and Avant-Garde Lights

CLASSIC 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 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 remaining with a stop in Le Café Van Gogh for a glass of wine, to relax and watch the world go by.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN AVIGNON (B,L,D)

Day 4 AVIGNON
The City of Popes in Picturesque Provence

CLASSIC 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.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN AVIGNON (B,L,D)

Day 5 VIVIERS
World History in a Charming French Country Village

CLASSIC 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/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO TOURNON (B,L,D)

Day 6 TOURNON/TAIN L’HERMITAGE 
A Rendezvous with Castle Views and Vineyards

CLASSIC 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. 

In the late morning cruise to Vienne

VIENNE

Roman and Middle Age History

CLASSIC Join a Guided Walking Tour of Vienne and discover this charming little town surrounded by steep hills. 

Enjoy live entertainment while sailing to Lyon.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN LYON (B,L,D)

Day 7 LYON
Adventures in Food and Wine in the Gastronomy Capital of France

CLASSIC Join a Guided Sightseeing Tour to survey Lyon from Fourvière Hill with its numerous churches. 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 riding a bike through Lyon’s town squares, over bridges, and along the banks where the Rhône and Saône rivers meet.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO ST. JEAN DE LOSNE (B,L,D)

Day 8 ST. JEAN DE LOSNE
Wine and Cheese on the Stunning Saône

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

DISCOVERY Later, enjoy a delicious Cheese Tasting on board your ship. 

Enjoy live entertainment on board this evening.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN ST. JEAN DE LOSNE (B,L,D)

Day 9 ST. JEAN DE LOSNE (DISEMBARKATION)—BEAUNE—DIJON—PARIS (EMBARKATION) 
Drive to Beaune and take a High-Speed Train from Dijon to Paris.

CLASSIC Visit the Hôtel-Dieu Charity Hospital in Beaune, built in 1443, today home of the Van der Weyden’s painting of the Last Judgment and is one of France’s architectural highlights.

This afternoon, take a high-speed train from Dijon to Paris to board your Suite Ship®.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO VERNON (B,D)

Day 10 VERNON 
Monet’s Muses, Castle Courtyards, and Crêpes du Jour

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

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

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

This afternoon, enjoy a beautiful cruise to the picturesque town of Les Andelys.

LES ANDELYS

Serenity on the Seine’s Most Beautiful Riverbends

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

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

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO CAUDEBEC (B,L,D)

Day 11 CAUDEBEC
Churches, Cherry Orchards, and White Cliffs of Normandy

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

CLASSIC 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 Enjoy the natural wonders of the fascinating Marais Vernier wetlands on this half-day Guided Nature Walk on the outskirts of Caudebec.

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

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN CAUDEBEC (B,L,D)

Day 12 CAUDEBEC. NORMANDY EXCURSIONS
Heroic Bravery on Normandy Beaches and French Farming Traditions

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

CLASSIC 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 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 at a local distillery.

Later, enjoy live entertainment on board your ship.

EVENING CRUISE TO ROUEN (B,L,D)

Day 13 ROUEN 
The Cathedral of Notre-Dame, and a Heroine for France

ACTIVE Join your Avalon Adventure Host for a Morning Walk. 

CLASSIC Take a Guided Walking Tour of Rouen—home of the martyred 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 (B,L,D)

Day 14 CONFLANS
In the Footsteps of Van Gogh, Bonaparte, and Louis XIV

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

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

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

EVENING CRUISE TO PARIS (B,L,D)

Day 15 PARIS
Cafés, Cathedrals, & Canvases—The City of Lights Truly Shines

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

CLASSIC Discover the ancient heart of Paris on a captivating Guided Walk featuring the Palais-Royal, Louvre pyramid, ancient sites on Île de la Cité, the Left Bank, bustling Latin Quarter, and more, OR:

CLASSIC 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 (B,L,D)

Day 16 PARIS (DISEMBARKATION)
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • Day 1 Côte d’Azur: welcome to France
  • Day 2 Côte d’Azur–Transfer to Arles (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception; sail into the Camargue region (daylight permitting)
  • Day 3 Arles: choice of guided sightseeing, visit the Roman Amphitheatre, or painting workshop
  • Day 4 Avignon: guided sightseeing, visit the Palace of the Popes
  • Day 5 Cruising–Viviers: guided walk, visit Old Town and the cathedral
  • Day 6 Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage–Vienne: guided walk in Tournon; guided walk in Vienne
  • Day 7 Lyon: guided sightseeing, picture stop on Fourvière Hill
  • Day 8 Cruising–St. Jean de Losne: day at leisure; cheese tasting on board
  • Day 9 St. Jean de Losne (Disembarkation)–Beaune–Paris (Embarkation): visit the Hôtel-Dieu in Beaune; TGV train from Dijon to Paris; onboard welcome reception
  • Day 10 Vernon–Les Andelys: choice of excursions to Giverny or Bizy Castle; choice of guided tour, or guided hike to the castle in Les Andelys
  • Day 11 Caudebec: choice of excursion along the “Normandy Abbeys Route”, or walk in the nature; lecture on board
  • Day 12 Caudebec: choice of full day excursions to Normandy landing beaches, or “A Taste of Normandy” excursion
  • Day 13 Rouen: guided tour, see the Astronomical Clock and visit to the cathedral
  • Day 14 Conflans: choice of excursion to Auvers-sur-Oise, or excursion to Napoleon and Josephine’s Château de Malmaison
  • Day 15 Paris: choice of guided sightseeing or “Heart of Paris” walking tour to see Paris’ historic sights
  • Day 16 Paris (Disembarkation): vacation ends this morning
All This Included
This river cruise highlighting the best of France is certainly grand! Begin your adventure on the captivating French Riviera, also known as the Côte d’Azur. On the Rhône River sits Arles, France—famous for inspiring the paintings of Van Gogh—and its 1st-century Roman Amphitheater. On a guided tour of historical Avignon, see the 14th-century Palace of the Popes—the largest gothic fortress in the world. The twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage are beautifully nestled among vineyards, and you’ll go on a guided walk of Tournon—a medieval treasure with plenty of Roman ruins and a fascinating 16th-century castle.

Lyon, France’s gastronomic capital, is a showcase of medieval and Renaissance architecture. On the Seine River, you’ll have the choice of seeing the historic Normandy Landing Beaches, including Omaha Beach, the Point du Hoc monument, and the American Cemetery; the delightful Les Andelys, Joan of Arc’s Rouen, Vincent Van Gogh’s Auvers-sur-Oise, or Napoleon and Josephine’s Malmaison.

On this French river cruise, you’ll enjoy wine, cheese, beautiful scenery, and stops in the most charming parts of France. And your adventure would not be complete without a stay in Paris—one of the world’s most romantic and vibrant cities! Discover its true heart on a guided walk through the sites of Paris’ rich history, or take a tour showing you the iconic sites of the Louvre Museum, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, and more.

Walk in the footsteps of the great master artists, enjoy the delectable cuisine of France, and stand where heroes fought for freedom on the beaches of Normandy. This and so much more is waiting for you on your French cruise on the Seine!
  • Ship Amenities - Avalon Poetry II:
    • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows
    • Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs, whirlpool, shade awnings, & outdoor deck game area
    • Non-smoking staterooms & ship interior
    • Convenient Elevator Service
    • Elegant, contemporary design
    • Outside viewing deck
    • Headsets for guided shore excursions
    • English-speaking friendly crew, staff & professional Cruise Director
    • Sightseeing with Expert Local Guides
    • Onboard lectures, activities & entertainment
    • Complimentary room service for Continental breakfast
    • Sky Deck whirlpool
    • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
    • Biking excursions available in Amsterdam and Breisach
    • Onboard Adventure Center with active gear, bikes, Nordic walking sticks, watercraft & maps
    • Casual dinner in the Panorama Bistro
    • Avalon Choice® cruising experience
    • Behind-the-scenes galley tour
    • Choice of Classic, Active or Discovery excursions so that you can experience your cruise your way
    • Nordic walking sticks available onboard for complimentary check-out
    • Onshore & Onboard experiences with regional customs, cultures & tastings with local artisans, experts & entertainers
    • Flatscreen satellite TV with English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
    • Onboard assistance is available to recommend, reserve and further personalize your cruise
    • Linger over several selections from the Panorama Bistro's tasting menu for a less formal "sit-down" atmosphere
    • Self-serve beverage station with complimentary tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees, including decaf options
    • Well-stocked library with books, cards, and board games
    • State-of-the-art fitness center
    • Complimentary bottled water, fresh fruit, and cookies available throughout the day
    • Full-size closet mirror
  • Ship Dining - Avalon Poetry II:
    • Avalon FreshSM healthy cuisine options at every meal
    • Self-serve beverage station with complimentary tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees, including decaf options
    • Welcome & farewell cocktails with sparkling wine & canapés
    • Spacious, open-seating Panorama Dining Room
    • Daily early-riser breakfast
    • Daily late-riser breakfast
    • Full buffet breakfast with sparkling wine and made-to-order egg station
    • Lunch buffet with carving and pasta stations
    • Al fresco lunch in the Sky Grill
    • Cocktails with a view on the Sky Deck
    • Healthy Corner options including low calorie, low fat, high fiber, low cholesterol, and high energy choices
    • Vegetarian options at every meal, as well as vegan and allergy-free selections
    • Afternoon Tea featuring tea, coffee, and sweet treats
    • Happy Hour every evening including featured drink specials
    • Seasonal cuisine featuring the freshest local ingredients
    • Chef-prepared onboard meals with regional cuisine and familiar favorites
    • Four-course dinners with choice of appetizers, soups, salads, entrées and desserts or cheese
    • Complimentary wine, beer, or soft drinks with lunch and dinner
    • Complimentary room service for Continental breakfast
    • Panorama Lounge & Bar with premium spirits, cozy seating, panoramic windows & dance floor
    • Healthy meal options
    • Casual dinner in the Panorama Bistro
    • Linger over several selections from the Panorama Bistro's tasting menu for a less formal "sit-down" atmosphere
    • Tastings - sample the destination's famous delicacies
    • Coffee or tea after dinner
    • Light lunch in the Panorama Lounge
    • FlexDining flexible dining times with menu & venue options
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: Cabin onboard Avalon Poetry II or Avalon Tapestry II
Monte Carlo: Fairmont Monte Carlo
Cannes: Carlton Intercontinental
Paris: Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel
Pre and Post Add-ons
Extra nights per person in Cote d'Azur:
in single room from $242 to $541, in twin room from $152 to $295

Extra nights per person in Paris:
in single room from $315 to $433, in twin room from $187 to $246
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • In the event of water level problems or any problems of a technical nature, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or to alter the program.
  • 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.
  • Port charges: $364
  • Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included.
  • Triples not available.
  • 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.



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