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France's Finest 2021
(Avignon to Paris)

15 days with Viking  Rating: Deluxe

River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Avignon, France
Fly to Marseille. Transfer from the airport to your ship, docked in Avignon.* After boarding, take free time to explore this quaint town on the scenic Rhône River, or join our “welcome walk” to stretch your legs and get oriented. (D)
 
*Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.
 
Day 2 Arles, France
Disembark after breakfast and take a walking tour of Arles with its diverse architectural highlights. Experience the city’s vibrant colors and striking quality of light that have inspired artists. Arles is also the site of some impressive Roman ruins, including Les Arènes, an arena that seats 20,000 and is still in use, as well as Romanesque monuments such as the Church of Saint-Trôphime, completed in the 15th century. Your afternoon is free to explore Arles on your own. Dinner is served as you depart for Avignon this evening. (B, L, D)
 
Day 3 Avignon, France
This morning, set out on a guided walk of Avignon, nicknamed the “City of Popes” because it was home to seven popes from 1309 to 1377. Stroll through the historic center, stop at the picturesque Pont d’Avignon and walk the Place de l’Horloge. Continue to the renowned Palace of the Popes for a guided tour through this rambling maze of Gothic architecture that served as papal residence, fortress, church and palace. After the tour, enjoy an afternoon at leisure exploring Avignon. You can join the optional tour to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, visiting the vineyards and tasting the famous wine. This evening, enjoy dinner on board your ship as we depart for Viviers. (B, L, D)
 
Day 4 Viviers, France
This morning join a walking tour of Viviers’ Old Town with its medieval and Renaissance buildings. Once a 5th-century Roman settlement, today the cobblestone streets are dominated by the 12th-century St. Vincent Cathedral. This afternoon, we set sail to Tournon. (B, L, D)
 
Day 5 Vienne, France
Board the Train de l’Ardèche this morning for a locomotive ride through the deep gorges of the Ardèche plateau, cut by the Doux River. Return to your ship and enjoy lunch on board as we cruise past dramatic landscapes. Arrive in Vienne this afternoon, a beautiful town with an ancient Roman past. Visit the Temple of Augustus and Livia, the Roman amphitheater and the Gothic Cathedral of St. Maurice on a walking tour before dinner on board the ship. We remain docked in Vienne this evening. (B, L, D)
 
Day 6 Lyon, France
After breakfast, disembark in Lyon for a tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begin with a drive to the top of Fourvière Hill for amazing views of the city. Continue with a guided visit to the Basilica of Notre Dame and drive through town past the magnificent St. Jean Cathedral and the Palace of Justice. Then take a walking tour through the cobblestone streets of Vieux Lyon (Old Town), with free time to shop for souvenirs or sample some of the fine French cuisine for which Lyon is world-famous. Your ship remains docked overnight. (B, L, D)
 
Day 7 Lyon, France
After breakfast, take a scenic drive through the rolling hills of Beaujolais, where viticultural tradition runs deep. See the legendary Moulin-à-Vent, the windmill that gives its name to one of the most prestigious wines of the region, learn about the art of winemaking in a small museum and enjoy a tasting in one of Beaujolais’s famous cellars. Return to your ship for lunch and enjoy the rest of your day at leisure. As always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. (B, L, D)
 
Day 8 Lyon, France
After breakfast, disembark and enjoy a leisurely train ride from Lyon through the countryside of east central France to Paris to board your second ship, where a Welcome Dinner is served. (B, D)
 
Day 9 Paris (Le Pecq), France
After breakfast, embark on a tour of this dazzling city and marvel at its most remarkable sights, including the iconic Eiffel Tower. Take in the École Militaire, Orsay Museum and Latin Quarter, and resilient Notre Dame Cathedral. Then drive past the Louvre and Opera House and along the famed Champs-Élysées. Return on board for lunch and start your cruise on the Seine this evening. (B, L, D)
 
Day 10 La Roche Guyon & Giverny, France
Arrive in La Roche Guyon before breakfast; enjoy free time to explore this charming village that stands on a broad bend of the Seine and is considered one of France’s most beautiful. Its castle dates to medieval times and served as Field Marshal Rommel’s headquarters during World War II. During lunch, cruise to Vernon, where you will take a short ride into the town of Giverny, where Claude Monet resided from 1883 until his death in 1926. Visit the beautiful gardens and charming stone farmhouse where he lived and worked; see the water garden with the recognizable Japanese bridge, water lilies, wisteria and azaleas that inspired many of his masterpieces.† (B, L, D)
 
 
Day 11 Rouen, France
Indulge in leisurely morning cruising along the Seine. Spend the afternoon in the medieval city of Rouen, preeminent capital of Normandy. Begin with a walking tour through the center of Old Town, where you see the spectacular Gothic Notre Dame Cathedral, often painted by Claude Monet, and the famous Gros Horloge, a 16th-century astronomical clock. As you walk among the half-timbered storybook buildings, allow yourself to be transported back through time; see the 14th-century courthouse where Joan of Arc was sentenced to death and the nearby Market Square where she was martyred.
Day 12 Normandy Beaches
After breakfast, begin your full-day tour to the historic beaches of Normandy. Drive past Gold Beach, Courseulles sur Mer and Juno Beach on your way to visit such World War II landmarks as Omaha Beach, the American Military Cemetery and Arromanches Debarkment D-Day Museum. Alternatively, you may take a tour of Bayeaux, where you can admire the magnificent tapestry that chronicles the pre–Battle of Hastings events. Afterward, continue to Normandy’s coast and enjoy some free time at Juno Beach after your visit to the museum; then visit the Pegasus Museum. Return to your ship for dinner and relax on board, or take an evening stroll through Rouen. (B, L, D)
 
Day 13 Les Andelys, France
Enjoy a leisurely morning cruise to the small town of Les Andelys, known for its imposing castle, Château Gaillard, built in 1196 by Richard the Lionheart. After lunch, join a guided walk to this fatally flawed masterpiece of Middle Ages architecture before returning to your ship. (B, L, D)
 
Day 14 Paris, France
After breakfast, disembark for a visit to Château de Malmaison, where Napoleon Bonaparte spent his final days in France. Along with the Tuileries, this elegant manor house, purchased by the emperor’s wife Josephine in 1799, served as the seat of Napoleon’s French government from 1800 to 1802. Or, join an optional tour to the luxurious Palace of Versailles, former home of Louis XIV. (B, L, D)
 
Day 15 Paris, France
After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the Paris airport for your return flight.* Or, extend your time in France’s romantic capital with a 3-night Paris extension. (B)
All This Included
Celebrate the Provençal lifestyle. Explore Avignon’s Palace of the Popes. Savor Lyon’s culinary heritage. Toast the Beaujolais vineyards. Luxuriate in Paris’s sophistication. Walk in Joan of Arc’s footsteps at Rouen. Pay your respects at Normandy’s World War II beaches. Art, cuisine, style, joie de vivre—if you love everything Français, this is for you: a 15-day journey that combines our popular Lyon & Provence and Paris & the Heart of Normandy cruises into one tour de force.

Included features and services:
  • One complimentary shore excursion in every port of call
  • Free Wi-Fi (connection speed may vary)
  • Visits to UNESCO Sites
  • Enrichment lectures & Destination Performances
  • Beer, wine & soft drinks with onboard lunch & dinner
  • 24-hour specialty coffees, teas & bottled water
  • Port taxes & fees
  • Ground transfers with Viking Air purchase        
Your stateroom:
  • River-view stateroom
  • Hotel-style bed with optional twin-bed configuration; luxury linens & pillows
  • 40" flat-screen LCD TV with complimentary Movies On Demand
  • 110/220 volt outlets & USB ports
  • Refrigerator; security safe; hair dryer
  • Spacious glass-enclosed shower
  • Heated bathroom floor & anti-fog mirror
  • Premium Freyja® toiletries; plush robes & slippers
  • Stateroom steward & twice-daily housekeeping         
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: Cabin onboard Viking longship
Pre and Post Add-ons

Notes
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • *Airport meet & greet transfers included when air is purchased from Viking River Cruises.
  • 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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