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Grand France - Cruise Only 2019
(Southbound)

15 days with Avalon Waterways  Rating: Deluxe

Book this River Cruise Now and Save!


  • Save an additional $500 per couple off the air-inclusive price of select 2019 Europe cruises. This deal is combinable with other promotions. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Save $500 to $2,500 per couple off this cruise. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Limited-time offer! Save an additional $200 per couple off this cruise. Expires May 31. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Pay no single supplement in certain cabin categories on select 2019 river cruises. Click here for eligible departures.

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

River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 PARIS, FRANCE (EMBARKATION)
Bienvenue en 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 (D)

Day 2 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 cruising 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 3 CAUDEBEC
Churches, Cherry Orchards, and White Cliffs of Normandy

ACTIVE Join your Avalon Adventure Host for a Morning Run 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 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 (B,L,D)

Day 4 CAUDEBEC. EXCURSION TO NORMANDY
Heroic Bravery on Normandy Beaches and French Farming Traditions

CLASSIC 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 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 apple brandy at a local distillery.

Later, enjoy live entertainment on board your ship.

EVENING CRUISE TO ROUEN (B,L,D)

Day 5 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 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 (B,L,D)

Day 6 CONFLANS
Walk 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 tour of the Palace of Versailles—home to a succession of French kings.

EVENING CRUISE TO PARIS (B,L,D)

Day 7 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 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 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 8 PARIS (DISEMBARKATION)—DIJON—BEAUNE—ST. JEAN DE LOSNE (EMBARKATION)—SEURRE
Take a High-Speed Train from Paris to Dijon before driving to Beaune.

DISCOVERY Visit the Hôtel-Dieu Charity Hospital, 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® on the Saône for a brief evening cruise to Seurre.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN SEURRE (B,D)

Day 9 MÂCON
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 Later, enjoy a delicious Cheese Tasting on board your ship.

Enjoy live entertainment while sailing for Trévoux this evening.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN TRÉVOUX (B,L,D)

Day 10 LYON
Adventures in Food and Wine in the Gastronomy Capital of France

Sail for lovely Lyon this morning for French fare.

CLASSIC 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 (B,L,D)

Day 11 LYON
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 (B,L,D)

Day 12 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.

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 CRUISE TO AVIGNON (B,L,D)

Day 13 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.

EVENING CRUISE TO ARLES (B,L,D)

Day 14 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.

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 (B,L,D)

Day 15 ARLES—(DISEMBARKATION)
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • Paris (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception
  • Vernon–Les Andelys: choice of excursions to Giverny or Bizy Castle; choice of guided walk, or guided hike in Les Andelys
  • Caudebec: choice of excursion along the “Normandy Abbeys Route”, or hike in the Natural Park; lecture on board
  • Caudebec: choice of full day excursion to Normandy landing beaches, or “A Taste of Normandy” excursion
  • Rouen: guided sightseeing, see the Astronomical Clock and visit the cathedral
  • Conflans: choice of excursion to Auvers-sur-Oise, or excursion to Napoleon and Josephine’s Château de Malmaison
  • Paris: choice of guided sightseeing, or “Heart of Paris” walk, visit Notre Dame Cathedral
  • Paris (Disembarkation)–Dijon–Beaune–St. Jean de Losne (Embarkation)–Seurre: TGV train from Paris to Dijon. Motorcoach transfer to Beaune, visit the Hôtel-Dieu; onboard welcome reception
  • Seurre–Mâcon: leisurely cruising; free time in Mâcon; onboard cheese tasting
  • Lyon: guided sightseeing; picture stop on Fourvière Hill
  • Lyon: a day to explore this fascinating city at leisure
  • Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage–Viviers: guided walk in Tournon; guided walk in Viviers, visit the Old Town and the cathedral
  • Avignon: guided sightseeing, visit Palace of the Popes
  • Arles: guided sightseeing in Arles, visit the Roman Amphitheatre; cruise into the Camargue region (daylight permitting)
  • Arles (Disembarkation): your vacation ends this morning
All This Included
On this France river cruise vacation, enjoy wine, cheese, beautiful scenery, and stops in the most charming and historical parts of France.

Sail along the Seine River to the picturesque Normandy region. In Vernon, choose between two exciting guided visits—Claude Monet’s stunning gardens at Giverny or the remarkable Bizy Castle, known as “Normandy’s Versailles.” Go on an excursion to the historic Normandy Landing Beaches, including Omaha Beach, the Point du Hoc monument, and the American Cemetery. In Rouen, best known as the home of Joan of Arc, go on a guided walk through the medieval quarter and visit the gothic Rouen Cathedral—once the tallest building in the world. Before you depart the beautiful Seine River, spend time in Paris—one of the world’s most romantic cities! The “City of Light” has Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, and the Louvre Museum with its elegant glass pyramid contrasting its ancient architecture. Delight in a guided walk through the historic Île St. Louis and marvel at the view as you ascend the Eiffel Tower.

Lyon, sitting at the confluence of the Saône and Rhône Rivers, is France’s third-largest city and a showcase of medieval and Renaissance architecture. The twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage are beautifully nestled among vineyards. You’ll go on a guided walk of Tournon, a medieval treasure with plenty of Roman ruins and a fascinating 16th-century castle. In historical Avignon, see the 14th-century Palace of the Popes—the largest gothic fortress in the world. Situated on the Rhône River, Arles is famous for inspiring the paintings of Van Gogh and its 1st-century Roman Amphitheater, which hosts plays and concerts to this day.

Ship Amenities - Avalon Poetry II:
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows
  • Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs and shade awnings
  • Non-smoking interior and staterooms
  • Elevator
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Outside viewing deck
  • Headsets for guided shore excursions in Europe
  • Friendly, English-speaking crew and Cruise Director
  • Sightseeing with Certified Local Guides
  • Onboard lectures, activities & nightly entertainment
  • Room service for Continental breakfast & beverages (service fee applies)
  • Sky Deck whirlpool
  • Complimentary computer use in public areas
  • Hair salon
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • Biking excursions available in Amsterdam and Breisach
  • Bicycles available onboard for complimentary check-out
  • Alternate light lunch and dinner in the Panorama Bistro
  • Avalon Choice® cruising experience
  • Behind-the-scenes galley tour
  • Choice of Leisurely, Traditional or Independent sightseeing pace options
  • Nordic walking sticks available onboard for complimentary check-out
  • Local FavoritesSM onboard experiences to bring the customs, cultures and tastes of your destinations to life, including local entertainers, artisans & experts
  • English-speaking TV channels with over 100 free movie options
  • Onboard assistance is available to recommend, reserve and further personalize your cruise
  • Delectable petite portions of regional specialties, with wines, in the Panorama Bistro
  • Sky Deck game area
  • Self-serve beverage station with complimentary tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees, including decaf options
  • Well-stocked library
  • Fitness Center
  • Fresh fruit 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
  • Captain's reception with sparkling wine & canapés
  • Welcome dinner
  • Five-course farewell dinner
  • Spacious, open-seating 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
  • Sky Bistro lunch option on the Sky Deck
  • 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
  • Delectable regional & Western cuisine with all onboard meals
  • Four-course dinners with choice of appetizers, soups, salads, entrées and desserts or cheese
  • Complimentary wine, beer, or soft drinks with lunch and dinner
  • Room service for Continental breakfast & beverages (service fee applies)
  • Upscale bar serving premium spirits
  • Night Fare served at 10:30 pm
  • Healthy meal options
  • Alternate light lunch and dinner in the Panorama Bistro
  • Delectable petite portions of regional specialties, with wines, in the Panorama Bistro
  • Tastings - sample the destination's famous delicacies
  • Coffee or tea after dinner
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: Cabin onboard Avalon Poetry II, Avalon Tapestry II
Paris: Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel
Pre and Post Add-ons
Extra nights per person in Paris:
in single room from $315 to $433, in twin room from $187 to $246
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades area availalbe.
  • 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.
  • All prices per person based on double occupancy. Cruise price based on Category E in a deluxe outside stateroom on
  • 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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