Burgundy & Provence
A 7-night cruise along the Saône River is the cornerstone of this 12-day European rail-river cruise vacation through France’s Burgundy and Provence regions. Additional highlights of your adventure include a 2-night stay including sightseeing in Paris, high-speed rail travel aboard the TGV, and a 1-night stay in the French Riviera.
Cruise along the Saône River on a relaxing river cruise through France's Burgundy and Provence regions. Your journey begins with two-night stay in Paris, complete with equal parts guided city sightseeing and time at leisure to explore the “City of Light.” Travel from Paris to Dijon via France's sleek TGV train and from there drive to Beaune for sightseeing in the unofficial capital of the Côte d'Or. Continue to Chalon-sur-Saône where your river cruise adventure begins. Sail to lovely Tournus; Mâcon; France's gastronomic capital of Lyon; medieval Tournon; charming Viviers; Avignon; and Arles. Your vacation concludes with an overnight in the French Riviera.
Highlights and Inclusions
- Two nights of hotel accommodations in Paris
- One night of hotel accommodations in Côte d'Azur
- High-speed TGV train ride from Paris to Dijon
- Visit to Hôtel-Dieu in Beaune
- Guided tours at many of the stops
- Trip to the Palace of the Popes in Avignon
- Roman Amphitheater visit
- Motorcoach ride to Côte d'Azur
- Optional excursions
Ship and Stateroom Inclusions:
- 7 nights aboard a river cruise ship
- 23 included meals: 10 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners
- Captain's welcome and farewell receptions and dinners
- Complimentary drinks aboard your vessel
- Scenic sailing down the Saône and Rhône Rivers
- Free Wi-Fi Internet
- Interesting enrichment activities onboard the ship
Day 1 - Depart USA for Paris
Embark on your transatlantic flight to Paris from your U.S. gateway. (International flight not included in tour price.)
Day 2 - Arrive In Paris, France
Welcome to Paris, France's capital on the River Seine and the “City of Light” where romance fills the air! Overnight Paris.
Day 3 - Paris
Known as one of the world's most passionate and lively cities, Paris is a delight for all your senses. Your included city tour includes must-see sights such as Notre Dame Cathedral; the unique 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-Élysées with its lavish caf??s, or perhaps visit the Montmartre, with its gleaming white Sacré Coeur Basilica and bevy of artists on Place du Tertre. Paris is also well-known for its colorful nightlife that includes some of the world's most famous cabaret shows. All of this awaits your discovery! Overnight Paris. (B)
Day 4 - Paris-Dijon-Beaune-Chalon-Sur-Saône (Embarkation)-Tournus
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, aging and selling of fine wines. Although life here centers around wine, Beaune offers much more. Join the included guided excursion to the Hotel-Dieu charity hospital, which was 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 Judgment" and is one of France's architectural highlights. Alternatively, enjoy a tasting of Burgundy wines before continuing south to Chalon-sur-Saône, where we board the river cruise vessel. Before dinner, meet the crew at a welcome reception as the ship departs for Tournus. Overnight vessel. (B, D)
Day 5 - Tournus
After breakfast, a local guide shows you the highlights of the delightful town of Tournus, which is tucked away in the southeast corner of Burgundy. Tournus is one of the oldest and most important monastic centers in the region, with a superb Abbey, St. Philibert, part of which dates back to the 10th century. There is free time to stroll through the quaint streets or to explore the arts and crafts shops near the abbey. After lunch, your ship departs for Mâcon, a city with a rich history and an important role in the wine trade. A choice of optional excursions, including a visit to a wine cellar, is available. Before dinner is served, taske part in an onboard cheese tasting. Overnight Vessel. (B, L, D)
Day 6 - Lyon
Enjoy a leisurely morning of cruising before arriving in Lyon after lunch. France's second-largest city, Lyon, is known as the gastronomic capital of the country. Founded by the Romans in 43 B.C., 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. Overnight Vessel. (B, L, D)
Day 7 - Lyon
Enjoy a free day in this fascinating city to explore at your 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 of them) or take an optional biking tour. Taste the gastronomic delights and sample Beaujolais, the wine of the region. Your Cruise Director will have plenty of suggestions for things to do. Overnight Vessel. (B, L, D)
Day 8 - Tournon/Tain L'Hermitage-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 takes you through Tournon, one of France's oldest medieval cities, with its imposing 16th-century castle and Roman ruins. After arriving in Viviers in the late afternoon, a guided walk shows you this charming town, which was developed around its Romanesque Cathedral. The Old Town has an appealing mix of Christian, Roman and medieval influences. Overnight Vessel. (B, L, D)
Day 9 - Avignon
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 center 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 Popes. 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. Overnight Vessel. (B, L, D)
Day 10 - Arles
In Arles, located on the northern tip of the Camargue and the capital of the Provence region, your local guide shows you highlights of the city and you visit the Roman Amphitheater. Still used today, it dates to the 1st century and was constructed to hold over 20,000 spectators. During the evening, your ship sails to Port St. Louis at the mouth of the Rhône. Watch the sun set over the Camargue, and take in the tranquil scenes as you sail. Overnight Vessel. (B, L, D)
Day 11 - Arles (Disembarkation)-Côte D'Azur
After breakfast, a comfortable motorcoach ride takes you to the Côte d'Azur for your last night in France. 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. Overnight Cote d'Azur. (B)
Day 12 - Côte D'Azur
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
Train and Hotel Accommodations
Hotels include the Pullman Paris Montparnasse and the Fairmont Monte Carlo (or similar).
Accommodations aboard the ship are available in Deluxe Staterooms or Suite. Deluxe Staterooms include deluxe beds with memory foam mattress toppers, full shower, two windows, and nightly turn-down service. Suites include deluxe beds with memory foam mattress toppers, full shower, floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door with French balcony, and nightly turn-down service.
The Poetry II: New to the legendary waters of Europe in 2014, the Avalon Poetry II offers a delightfully intimate cruise setting. The Poetry II features two full decks of suites featuring Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows that transform the living space into a unique Open-Air Balcony®. With 200 square feet, Panorama Suites are more than 30% larger than the industry standard, giving you the rare opportunity to wake each morning to the enchanting scenery and fresh breezes. Onboard amenities include an alternative dining option in the Panorama Bistro, complimentary Internet Corner and Wi-Fi access, an expanded Fitness Center, and a spacious Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs, whirlpool, and light al fresco lunches at the Sky Bistro.
Affinity: Accommodating a maximum of 138 passengers for an intimate cruise experience, the Affinity set sail in 2009 and reflects the uniqueness of the rivers it cruises. After a day of exploring some of Europe's most exciting cities, relax in the ship's two lounges, soak in the whirlpool, or unwind in a deck chair atop the Sky Deck. This elegant, contemporary ship features popular amenities such as a complimentary Internet Corner and free Wi-Fi access throughout the ship, a Fitness Center, hair salon, and elevator. For accommodations, the Avalon Affinity boasts spacious and well-appointed deluxe staterooms and suites. With most staterooms featuring a large floor-to-ceiling sliding-glass door with a French Balcony, passengers experience Europe's beauty and history even when on board.
Dates & Prices
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Port Charges - $168 per person.