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A Culinary Experience in Grand France with 1 Night in Marseille 2020
(Southbound)

16 days with Avalon Waterways  Rating: Deluxe

Book this River Cruise Now and Save!


  • Fly for free from select gateways on certain 2020 Europe river cruises. Expires December 16. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Save $500 per couple off this cruise. Expires December 16. 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.
  • Past guests of Avalon Waterways save $100 to $350 per person off trips. 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)
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 (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 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.

Later enjoy live entertainment on board.

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, 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 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

CLASSIC 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 (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 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 8 PARIS (DISEMBARKATION) DIJON—BEAUNE—ST. JEAN DE LOSNE (EMBARKATION)
Take a High-Speed Train from Paris to Dijon, to drive on to Beaune.

CLASSIC 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 (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 and Wine Tasting hosted by your Master of wine. 

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.

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

Later 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

DISCOVERY 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 (B,L,D)

Day 12 TOURNON
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. 

DISCOVERY 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

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. During the tour you will also discover and taste local specialties. 

EVENING/OVERNIGHT 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, 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 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 (B,L,D)

Day 14 ARLES 
Inspiring Sights and Avant-Garde Lights

ACTIVE Join your Avalon Adventure Host for a Morning Walk.

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, 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 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 (B,L,D)

Day 15 PORT ST. LOUIS (DISEMBARKATION)—MARSEILLE
Spectacular Seascapes of the Mediterranean Coast

Disembark your ship and join a motorcoach transfer to Marseille.

CLASSIC Enjoy a Guided Sightseeing in Marseille—France’s second-largest city. (B)

Day 16 MARSEILLE
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • Day 1 Paris (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception
  • Day 2 Vernon–Les Andelys: choice of excursions to Giverny or Bizy Castle; choice of guided walk, or guided hike in Les Andelys; crêpes tasting on board
  • Day 3 Caudebec: choice of excursion along the “Normandy Abbeys Route”, or walk in the nature
  • Day 4 Caudebec: choice of full day excursions to Normandy landing beaches, or “A Taste of Normandy” excursion
  • Day 5 Rouen: guided sightseeing, see the Astronomical Clock and visit the cathedral
  • Day 6 Conflans: choice of excursion to Auvers-sur-Oise, or excursion to Napoleon and Josephine’s Château de Malmaison
  • Day 7 Paris: choice of guided sightseeing or “Heart of Paris” walking tour to see Paris’ historic sights
  • Day 8 Paris (Disembarkation)–Dijon–Beaune–St. Jean de Losne (Embarkation): high-speed train from Paris to Dijon; motor coach transfer to Beaune, visit the Hôtel-Dieu; onboard welcome reception
  • Day 9 Mâcon: leisurely cruising; onboard cheese tasting and wine tasting
  • Day 10 Lyon: guided sightseeing; picture stop on Fourvière Hill; onboard pastry demonstration
  • Day 11 Lyon: culinary tour
  • Day 12 Tournon–Viviers: guided walk in Tournon; onboard chocolate and wine tasting; guided walk in Viviers with tasting of local products, visit the Old Town and the cathedral
  • Day 13 Avignon: guided sightseeing, visit Palace of the Popes; onboard food & wine pairing dinner
  • Day 14 Arles: choice of guided sightseeing in Arles, visit the Roman Amphitheatre, or painting workshop
  • Day 15 Port St. Louis (Disembarkation)–Marseille: transfer to Marseille; guided tour
  • Day 16 Marseille: your vacation ends this morning
All This Included
On this France river cruise vacation, enjoy wine, cheese, beautiful views, 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, go on a guided walk through the medieval quarter and visit the gothic Rouen Cathedral. Before you depart the beautiful Seine River, spend time in Paris—one of the world’s most romantic 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. Transfer to Port Saint Louis and start the second portion of your cruise on the Rhône and Saône rivers. A Master of Wine will travel with you and will hold tastings and introduce you to the concept of food and wine pairing.
In Lyon a showcase of medieval and Renaissance architecture, join a culinary walk and taste Lyonnaise and French delicacies. On board, a French chef will share with you his secrets and expertize during a pastry demonstration. The city of Tournon is beautifully nestled among vineyards. You’ll go on a guided walk of this medieval treasure with plenty of Roman ruins and a fascinating 16th-century castle. Stop in the picturesque village of Viviers, where, during your walking tour, you will taste local products. 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. As a perfect finale to your river cruise vacation, spend time in the captivating Marseille. Explore this elegant area and relax along the remarkably blue water of the Mediterranean Sea.
  • 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, Avalon Tapestry II
Pre and Post Add-ons
Extra nights per person in Paris:
in singleroom from $327 to $435, in twin room from $193 to $247

Extra nights per person in Marseille:
in single room from $228 to $287,in twin room from $133 to $165
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.
  • Port charges: $364
  • Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included on Avalon portion only.
  • Avalon offers the opportunity for solo travelers to sail with no single supplement (subject to availability). Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.
  • All prices per person based on double occupancy. Cruise price based on Category E in a deluxe outside stateroom on Indigo Deck. 
  • Cabin upgrades are 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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