Line : Avalon Waterways | Ship: Poetry II
Departure date: Various dates 2017 and 2018
Duration: 11 days
Prices from only £1,699pp (based on 26th October 2017 with limited availability)
Avalon Waterways offers a first class river cruising experience with the highest level of comfort and personalised service on board their award winning fleet of modern river vessels. At every turn, you'll enjoy the luxury of choice - something you'll only find with Avalon Waterways river cruising.
What's more, almost everything is included in the fare - from door-to-door transport and travel arrangements to elegant accommodation on board, wine and beers with dinner and guided tours and sightseeing in the company of local experts.
Cruise Itinerary :
Experience the historical, cultural and epicurean delights of France on this 11-day cruise through its cosmopolitan cities, pretty market towns and quiet rolling countryside. After two nights in Paris with expert guiding, you’ll glide south on the TGV train to Dijon then transfer to St Jean de Losne to board your Avalon ship and meet your crew. The next day you’ll set sail for lovely Seurre, Mâcon and Lyon – where you’ll have a tour with a local guide, plus free time to explore its famous food markets, cafes and restaurants. You’ll then visit picturesque Tournon, Viviers, Avignon and finish your cruise with an overnight stay on the glamorous and beautiful Côte d'Azur. This tour offers a host of activities both on board and ashore that will bring the French spirit of le joie de vivre to life.
Travel to Paris where you will be met and transferred to your hotel, the InterContinental, Hotel du Collectionneur Arc de Triomphe or Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel (or similar).
DAY 2 | Paris
Included today: Guided sightseeing. Known as one of the world's most passionate and lively cities, Paris is a delight for all your senses. Your included city sightseeing tour shows you magnificent must-see sights, such as Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre Museum with its glass pyramid as a contrast to its ancient architecture, the commemorative Arc de Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower. In your free time, stroll down the Champs-Elysées with its lavish cafés, or perhaps visit the world-famous Louvre museum or Montmartre with its gleaming white Sacré Coeur Basilica and bevy of artists on Place du Tertre.
DAY 3 | Paris - Dijon - Beaune - St. Jean de Losne (Embarkation) - Chalon-sur-Saône
Included today: TGV train from Paris to Dijon; coach transfer to Beaune, visit the Hôtel-Dieu. On board welcome reception This morning, board the TGV train to Dijon and from there, drive to Beaune, the unofficial capital of the Côte d'Or area. Beaune owes its wealth to the production, ageing, and selling of fine wines. Although life here centres around wine, Beaune offers much more. Visit the Hôtel-Dieu charity hospital, built in 1443 and paid for by the chancellor of Burgundy after the Hundred Years' War left many of the town's population destitute. Today it houses Van der Weyden's painting of The Last Judgement and is one of France's architectural highlights. Alternatively, you can join a tasting of the region's famous Burgundy wines. Then continue to St. Jean de Losne where you'll board your ship. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception as your ship departs for Chalon-sur-Saône.
DAY 4 | Chalon-sur-Saône - Macon
Included today: Leisurely cruising; free time in Macon; cheese tasting. Enjoy some leisurely cruising this morning, before arriving in Macon, a city that plays an important role in the wine trade. Free time allows you to explore at your own pace. A master of wine will join you on board and will introduce you to some of France’s wines in the coming days. They will be happy to answer any questions you may have. After lunch, we will take you to visit a winery and taste the Chardonnay wine of the region through which you are cruising.
DAY 5 | Lyon
Included today: Guided sightseeing. Enjoy some relaxing time on board before arriving in Lyon, France’s third-largest city and its gastronomic capital. Founded by the Romans in 43 BC, the city’s prosperity dates back to the 16th century and is due to commercial, industrial, and banking activities. Roman remains, excellent museums, and renaissance architecture delight visitors. A local guide joins you as you survey the city from Fourvière Hill and explore the Old Town with its maze of medieval alleyways, and Place des Terreaux, a popular area with lively cafés, monuments, and the famous fountain often depicted on postcards. This evening enjoy an onboard cheese and wine tasting, hosted by the Master of Wine.
DAY 6 | Lyon
Enjoy a free day in this fascinating city to explore at leisure. Early risers might like to visit the local produce market. Perhaps wander through one of Lyon’s parks, discover some of the murals (there are over 100), or join an optional excursion. Be sure to taste the gastronomic delights and sample Beaujolais, the wine of the region; wine connoisseurs know that the grapes must be handpicked. Your Cruise Director will have plenty of suggestions for things to do. This evening, enjoy a special on-board food and wine pairing dinner hosted by our Master of Wine, who has specifically chosen the wines for this occasion.
DAY 7 | Tournon & Tain l'Hermitage - Viviers
Included today: Guided walks in Tournon and Viviers. The twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage lie nestled among vineyards between the Rhône River and the granite slopes of the Hermitage. A local guide will show you Tournon, one of France’s oldest medieval cities, with its imposing 16th-century castle and Roman ruins. Arriving in Viviers in the afternoon, a guided walk shows you this charming town that developed around its Romanesque cathedral. The old town has an appealing mix of Christian, Roman, and medieval influences
DAY 8 | Avignon
Included today: Guided sightseeing, visit Palace of the Popes. The fortified city of Avignon is the capital of the Vaucluse region, the most picturesque part of Provence with its intact ramparts encircling the entire city, cobblestone streets and squares, and private mansions built in the 18th and 19th centuries. Known as the ‘City of Popes’, it was the centre of the Catholic Church in the 14th century. During your guided tour you may choose to join an included visit of the Palace of the Pope’s, built in the 14th century as the sovereign popes’ residence. A photo of the famous Pont Saint Bénezet (Saint Bénezet Bridge), of the popular song Sur le Pont d’Avignon, is a must. Optional outings to Pont du Gard or to the famed wine cellars of Châteauneuf-du-Pape are available.
DAY 9 | Arles
Included today: Guided sightseeing in Arles, visit the Roman Amphitheatre. Located on the northern tip of the Camargue, Arles is the capital of the Provence region. Your local guide will show you highlights of the city and you’ll visit the Roman Amphitheatre. Still used today, it dates to the 1st century and was constructed to hold over 20,000 spectators. This evening, sail toward the mouth of the Rhône for a taste of the tranquil vistas of Camargue National Park (daylight permitting).
DAY 10 | Arles (Disembarkation) - Côte d'Azur
After breakfast, disembark your cruise ship and travel by coach to the Côte d'Azur for your final night. Also known as the French Riviera, the Côte d'Azur stretches along France's Mediterranean coast from Toulon to the Italian border and is synonymous with prestige and beauty.
DAY 11 | Côte d'Azur
Transfer to the airport or station for your journey to the UK.
Prices start from only £1,699 per person - call our friendly cruise consultants today for further details!