Opportunities abound on this delightful vacation to learn about France and the French. Your adventure begins with two overnights and guided sightseeing in Paris, then continue on by motorcoach to fascinating Beaune for a visit of Hôtel-Dieu. Next, board your ship in quaint St. Jean de Losne and set sail for lovely Seurre, France’s gastronomic capital of Lyon, as well as medieval Tournon, charming Viviers, Avignon, and Arles. Daylight permitting, sail into the peaceful Camargue area. Disembark your cruise ship in Arles and transfer to Aix en Provence for two nights for the start of your Monograms extension. Enjoy guided sightseeing with an expert Local Guide, walking along the 17th-century Cours Mirabeau, a lively area with fountains, elegant homes, and famous cafés, and visit the Cathedral of the Holy Savior, known for its mishmash of architectural styles. This was Cézanne’s hometown, and in your free time, you may want to take a tour following in his footsteps. Perhaps take an excursion to Cassis with an included cruise, soak in Aix-en-Provence’s healing thermal baths, or shop for lavender and other local specialties. Finally, we’ll whisk you via high-speed TGV train to Nice for your final two nights in France. Here, guided sightseeing with a Local Expert includes a walk through the Old Town and the Promenade des Anglais, Nice’s most famous boulevard. In your free time, you may want to take an excursion to Monaco, to St. Tropez, or to Cannes, known for its famous film festival. In both cities we provide the services of Local Hosts®—a “friend in the city” to answer questions, share inside information, help you arrange your activities and excursions, and provide you with suggestions for the best places to sample the local specialties, as well as be there to help you feel comfortable in each city. Transfers from/to your hotels to/from the train stations, and hotel reservations with daily breakfast, are included.
Cruise: deluxe 7-night cruise in an outside stateroom with Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSMDays 1-2 Paris: welcome to France; guided sightseeing on Day 2Day 3 Paris–Dijon–Beaune–St. Jean de Losne (Embarkation)–Seurre: transfer from Paris to Beaune, visit the Hôtel-Dieu; onboard welcome receptionDay 4 Seurre–Macon: leisurely cruising; cheese tasting; free time in Mâcon Day 5 Lyon: guided sightseeing; picture stop on Fourvière HillDay 6 Lyon: a free day to explore this fascinating city at leisureDay 7 Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage–Viviers: guided walk in Tournon; guided walk in Viviers, visit the Old Town and the cathedralDay 8 Avignon: guided sightseeing, visit Palace of the Popes Day 9 Arles: sail into the Camargue region (daylight permitting); guided sightseeing in Arles, visit the Roman AmphitheaterDay 10 Arles (Disembarkation)–Aix-en-Provence: travel by motorcoach to Aix-en-ProvenceAix-en-Provence & Nice: 4 nights hotel accommodation with buffet breakfast (B); Monograms Local Host Service & Destination Guides with city maps; guided sightseeing, inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE; high-speed TGV train (first-class) from Aix-en-Provence to Nice; transfers from ship to Aix-en-Provence hotel and to/from train stations.
Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapésWelcome dinnerDaily Afternoon TeaDaily Night FareFarewell dinnerComplimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; wine, beer, or soft drinks with lunch and dinner are included daily on board your vesselBuffet breakfast daily while in Provence
NOTES:Departures October 22 and October 26 are offered as exclusive Wine Appreciation Cruises, including special lectures and tastings at no additional cost. Your palate will applaud as you learn what to look for in a good wine. A distinguished wine authority will teach you the ropes as you visit a wine village and attend tastings to test your newfound talentIn 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.Whenever available, the TGV train will be used between Paris and Dijon.