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Grand France with 1 Night in Marseille for Wine Lovers 2021
(Southbound)

16 days with Avalon Waterways  Rating: Deluxe

Book this River Cruise Now and Save!


  • Save $2,000 per couple off this sailing. Book a suite and save up to $5,600 per couple. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Pay no single supplement in certain cabin categories. 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 Light 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

Visit the Adventure Center for today’s activities with your 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

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
Ancient Abbeys Along the Seine

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.

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 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 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, OR:

ACTIVE Take a Guided Bike Tour to discover and explore the most famous monuments and the lesser known hidden gems of Rouen on two wheels.

Enjoy onboard entertainment before setting sail this evening.

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

Day 6 CONFLANS
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 7 PARIS
Cafés, Cathedrals and Canvases in the city of Light

Join your Adventure Host for today’s special activities.

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.

DISCOVERY 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 on the Stunning Saône

Visit the Adventure Center for today’s activities with your Adventure Host.

Enjoy leisurely cruising en route to Mâcon along the majestic Saône River.

DISCOVERY Join a lecture about wine hosted by your Master of Wine while sailing to Mâcon.

DISCOVERY Join an excursion that will take you to a Chardonnay cellar for a wine tasting

Enjoy live entertainment while sailing for Trévoux this evening.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN TRÉVOUX (B,L,D)

Day 10 LYON
La Vie En Rose in Lyon

Sail for lovely Lyon this morning.

DISCOVERY Enjoy an onboard cheese and wine tasting hosted by your Master of Wine while sailing to Lyon.

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 Be our guest for a WWII & French Resistance lecture on board your ship.

Later enjoy live entertainment after dinner.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN LYON (B,L,D)

Day 11 LYON
Adventure in Food and Wine

CLASSIC Join a Culinary Walk through the city to discover why it is known as the gastronomic capital of France.

DISCOVERY Take a guided tour to the lovely Beaujolais area and learn more about its light and pleasant wine.

DISCOVERY This evening, join an onboard food and wine pairing dinner hosted by your Master of Wine

EVENING CRUISE TO TOURNON (B,L,D)

Day 12 TOURNON
A Rendezvous with Castle Views and Vineyards

DISCOVERY 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. The tour also includes a wine and chocolate tasting at the Cité du Chocolat at Valrhona, OR,

ACTIVE Hike in the vineyards and take in the breathtaking views from the hills (weather permitting).

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.

Later, enjoy live entertainment on board.

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

Day 13 AVIGNON
The City of Popes in Picturesque Provence

Join your Adventure Host for today’s special activities.

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.

DISCOVERY Enjoy a trip to the famed wine cellars of Châteauneuf-du-Pape for a true taste of the Rhône wine region.

Later, enjoy onboard live entertainment.

EVENING CRUISE TO ARLES (B,L,D)

Day 14 ARLES
Inspiring Sights and Avant-Garde Lights

ACTIVE Grab a Nordic walking stick for a hike with your Adventure Host.

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 techniques of Vincent van Gogh. Create your own painting in the style of the legendary artist.

Consider also a Guided Optional Excursion to the Carrières de Lumières (Cathedral of Images) a unique experience of art, sound, and light in the old quarries of Val d’Enfer.

Take free time to stop in Le Café Van Gogh for a glass of wine.

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; onboard crêpe tasting
  • Day 3 Caudebec: excursion along the “Normandy Abbeys Route”
  • Day 4 Caudebec: choice of full-day excursions to Normandy landing beaches, or “A Taste of Normandy” excursion
  • Day 5 Rouen: choice of guided sightseeing, see the Astronomical Clock and visit the cathedral or bike tour
  • 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 historic sights of the “Heart of Paris” walking tour
  • Day 8 Paris (Disembarkation)–Dijon–Beaune–St. Jean de Losne (Embarkation): high-speed train from Paris to Dijon; motorcoach transfer to Beaune and visit to the Hôtel-Dieu; onboard welcome reception
  • Day 9 Mâcon: leisurely cruising; onboard lecture about wine; Chardonnay excursion
  • Day 10 Lyon: on board cheese and wine tasting; guided sightseeing; picture stop on Fourvière Hill; onboard lecture
  • Day 11 Lyon: culinary tour; guided tour to Beaujolais; on board food and wine pairing dinner
  • Day 12 Tournon–Viviers: guided walk in Tournon with wine and chocolate tasting or hike in the vineyards (weather permitting); guided walk in Viviers, visit the Old Town and the cathedral
  • Day 13 Avignon: guided sightseeing, visit to the Palace of the Popes; guided tour to Châteauneuf du Pape
  • 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
What better place to explore the best in French wines than in France itself? Embark on the Seine River portion of your cruise in Paris, and sail to Monet’s home and gardens in Vernon. In Andelys, take a picturesque walking tour or visit the castle of King Richard the Lionheart. From Caudebec, take an excursion to Normandy with your choice of a “Taste of Normandy” excursion in the pastoral landscapes, or a tour of the WWII landing beaches and Allied monuments and cemeteries. A moving experience to be sure. In Rouen, take a guided sightseeing tour in the city of Joan of Arc. Cruise to Conflans and choose a guided tour of Vincent Van Gogh’s home or the opulent Château de Malmaison—Napoléon and Josephine’s lavish palace. Disembark your ship in Paris and travel by high-speed train to Dijon. Transfer to Beaune and board your second Avalon Suite Ship® in St. Jean de Losne.

You’ll cruise in the company of a Master of Wine on the Rhône and Saône Rivers. Hear fascinating facts about the vintner process, and enjoy wine tastings for the perfect pairings of dinner, cheese, and chocolates. Cruise to Mâcon for an excursion to a Chardonnay wine cellar, and visit Lyon for a culinary walking tour in the gastronomic capital of France. Enjoy an on-board wine-and-cheese tasting, and visit medieval Tournon, nestled among the vineyards, for a wine-and-chocolate tasting or a walk through the vineyards. Cruise to beautiful Viviers in the French wine country, and visit a Chardonnay wine cellar in Avignon. Spend a day in Arles, with free time to linger in the Van Gogh café in the setting that inspired the artist. Disembark your cruise in Port-Saint-Louis, and transfer to lovely Marseille for an overnight stay in the south of France!
  • 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
Paris: To be determined
Marseille: To be determined
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: $392.
  • Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included on Avalon portion only.
  • 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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