Grand France - Côte d'Azur to Paris

  • 16 Days

  • France

A European cruise that showcases France’s scenic beauty and rich history. From the Côte d'Azur to Paris, journey on the Rhône and Saône Rivers and enjoy stops in medieval towns and vibrant, bustling cities along the way. Sample French cuisine at its finest in Lyon and stand in the atmospheric Roman amphitheatre at Arles. In Vernon, choose between a visit to Claude Monet's gardens at Giverny or magnificent Bizy Castle; and in Conflans, a choice of excursions to either Van Gogh's Auvers-sur-Oise or Napoleon and Josephine's elegant Château de Malmaison. Return to Paris for sightseeing in this magnificent city.

Your journey starts here

Highlights

VIP private home pick-up service
Flights
Transfers
Services of a cruise director
Accommodation
Selected meals
Wine & beer with lunch and dinner
Excursions
Gratuities on cruise
All airport and port taxes
  • Overview

  • Day 1

  • Day 2

  • Day 3

  • Day 4

  • Day 5

  • Day 6

  • Day 7

  • Day 8

  • Day 9

  • Day 10

  • Day 11

  • Day 12

  • Day 13

  • Day 14

  • Day 15

  • Day 16

of 16 days

Your detailed itinerary

Cruise departing on 2nd October 2017

Meals included: 15 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 14 dinners

Overview

At a glance

Arles Visit the Roman Amphitheatre, which dates from the 1st century.
Rouen Join a guided walked to explore the town’s medieval quarter and see its 16th century Astronomical Clock.
Paris Explore the iconic sights of France’s romantic capital city.

Day 1

Côte d'Azur

Travel to Nice where you will be met and transferred to the Côte d'Azur for one night at the Fairmont Monte Carlo, Monte Carlo or Carlton International, Cannes (or similar).

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 2

Côte d'Azur - Arles (Embarkation)

This morning, enjoy free time or join an optional excursion. In the early afternoon, transfer by coach to Arles in the Provence region to board your cruise ship. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception Later, cruise toward the mouth of the Rhône for a unique opportunity to experience the tranquil vistas of Camargue National Park (daylight permitting).

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 3

Arles

Included today: Arles guided sightseeing, visit the Roman Amphitheatre. On the northern tip of the Camargue, Arles is the capital of Provence and was once known as the 'Little Rome of Gaul'. Your guided tour takes in the church of St Trophime and visits the Roman Amphitheatre. Still used today, the amphitheatre dates to the 1st century, and was constructed to hold over 20,000 spectators. Vincent Van Gogh was inspired by the beauty of Provence and spent a very productive year in Arles.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 4

Avignon

Included today: Avignon guided sightseeing, visit the Palace of the Popes. The fortified city of Avignon is the capital of the Vaucluse region and one of the most picturesque regions of Provence. Dominated by the grandiose Palace of the Popes, the city is often referred to as the 'City of Popes' and was the centre of the Catholic Church in the 14th century. During the guided tour, you can choose to join an included visit to Palace of the Popes or you may opt for further city sightseeing and either time at leisure or join one of the optional excursions to Pont du Gard or to the famed wine cellars of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 5

Cruising - Viviers

Included today: Viviers guided walk, visit the Old Town and the cathedral. A leisurely morning on board to relax and enjoy the passing scenery as you cruise. After lunch, join a local guide for a walk around the charming town of Viviers, which was developed around its Romanesque cathedral. The Old Town has an appealing mix of Christian, Roman and medieval influences.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 6

Tournon & Tain l'Hermitage - Vienne

Included today: Guided walks in Tournon and Vienne. The twin cities of Tournon and Tain l'Hermitage lie nestled among vineyards between the Rhône River and the granite slopes of the Hermitage. Tournon, with its imposing 16th century castle and Roman ruins, is one of France's oldest medieval cities. Enjoy a walking tour before cruising to Vienne, a charming little town surrounded by steep hills. Explore the town centre on a guided walk to see the Roman Theatre and the Augustus and Livia Temple, built around 20BC and converted into a church in the Middle Ages.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 7

Lyon

Included today: Guided sightseeing. Lyon is France's third-largest city and its gastronomic capital. Founded by the Romans in 43BC, the city's prosperity dates back to the 16th century and is due to commercial and industrial activities. Today Lyon offers up a wealth of Roman ruins, excellent museums and Renaissance architecture. With a local guide, view the city from Fourvière Hill and explore the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its maze of medieval alleyways and Place des Terreaux, a popular area with lively cafes, monuments ansd the famous fountain. Be sure to sample Beaujolais, the wine of the region.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 8

Cruising - St. Jean de Losne

Included today: Cheese tasting. A leisurely day today or if you prefer, there's a choice of optional excursions available including a visit to a wine cellar. Whilst sailing to St. Jean de Losne, enjoy an on board cheese tasting.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 9

St.Jean de Losne (Disembarkation ) - Beaune - Dijon - Paris (Embarkation)

Included today: Visit Hôtel Dieu in Beaune. After breakfast, disembark and head by coach to Beaune, the unofficial capital of the Côte d'Or area and Burgundy's wine capital. Although life here centres around wine, Beaune offers much more with its ramparts, medieval houses, cobblestone streets, and historical monuments. Today, visit 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. After lunch, continue to Dijon and board the TGV to Paris where your cruise ship is docked. This evening, meet your new crew at a welcome reception.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 10

Vernon - Les Andelys

Included today: Choice of excursion to Giverny or Bizy Castle; guided walk in Les Andelys; visit Parish church Le Petit Andely. This morning in Vernon, choose between a guided visit of Claude Monet's house and stunning gardens at Giverny or a visit to Bizy Castle. Claude Monet lived at Giverny for almost 43 years (1883 - 1926) . See his collection of Japanese prints, his charming house, and his biggest sources of inspiration including the lily pond and Japanese Bridge. Alternatively, visit Bizy Castle, built in 1740 and nicknamed 'Normandy's Versailles'. It is known for its famous stable, magnificent courtyard and water garden. This afternoon, your ship arrives in Les Andelys, perched on a bend of the Seine and one of the most beautiful places in France. Join a local guide for a walk of the town, including a visit to the Parish Church of Le Petit Andely. The imposing Château Gaillard overlooks the town. Built by Richard the Lionheart in 1196 fearing an attack from France's king, the château fortress was constructed in just one year and is a masterpiece of Middle Ages military architecture.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 11

Caudebec

Guided excursion along the 'Normandy Abbeys Route'. Along the 'Normandy Abbeys Route', a short drive from Caudebec. More than 100 abbeys once covered this region, which has a micro climate particularly suited to the production of fruit such as apples, pears, plums and cherries. The afternoon is free to explore on your own or to join an optional excursion to the pretty coastal town of Honfleur.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 12

Caudebec.

Included today: Choice of excursion to Normandy Landing Beaches or A Taste of Normandy tour. Today, choose between an included full-day excursion to the historic Normandy Landing Beaches, visiting some of the most poignant sights of World War II such as Juno Beach, Pegasus Museum, and the British and Canadian Cemeteries, or a 'Taste of Normandy' tour for a more in-depth look at this picturesque, mainly agricultural region. The most important produce include dairy, apples and grain. Camembert cheese is a speciality, as is Calvadosa, a strong apple brandy that you'll have the chance to taste at a local distillery. For a touch of history, visit the famous Bayeux Tapestry.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 13

Rouen

Included today: Guided sightseeing, see the Astronomical Clock. Rouen, the capital of Upper Normandy, is an important commercial city perhaps best known for its connection to Joan of Arc, who lived, was imprisoned and was later burned at the stake in the marketplace of this town in 1431. Join the guided walk through the medieval quarter with its half-timbered, glazed-tile houses and intricate Gros Horloge, an intricate Astronomical Clock dating back to the 16th century. Visit the splendid Gothic cathedral, once the tallest building in the world and subject of a series of Claude Monet's paintings. The afternoon is free to explore on your own.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 14

Conflans

Included today: Choice of excursion to either Auvers-sur-Oise or Napolean and Josephine's Château de Malmaison. After breakfast, why not join either our guided excursion to Auvers-sur-Oise, the quaint little town where Vincent Van Gogh lived and died, or visit Napoleon and Josephine's Château de Malmaison just outside Paris? Requiring extensive renovations, this large country estate was purchased by Josephine Bonaparte in 1799 while Napoleon was fighting in Egypt. It was her aim to make it 'the most beautiful and curious garden in Europe, a model of good cultivation'.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 15

Paris

Included today: Guided walk, ascend the Eiffel Tower Today join a guided walk through historic Ile St Louis and Ile de la Cité. In your free time, perhaps stroll the Champs-Elysées, visit the world-famous Louvre or head to Montmartre to enjoy its gleaming white Sacré Coeur Basilica.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 16

Paris

Disembark and transfer to the airport or station for your journey to the UK.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Notes

Your ship

Avalon Affinity

Accommodating a maximum of 138 passengers for an intimate cruise experience, the Avalon Affinity reflects the uniqueness of the rivers it cruises. On board, there are 65 generously sized staterooms and four Junior Suites, each equipped to hotel room standards. All suites and most staterooms feature floor-to-ceiling sliding glass windows, with a French balcony to enjoy the changing landscape from the comfort of your stateroom. With plenty of space to stroll, take photographs or simply sit and soak up the scenery, the Sky Deck also has a whirpool bath, so you can take a soothing dip, relax and admire the views as you cruise. Guests have the use of a lift to access the staterooms.

Amenities
  • Smoking
  • Adults only
  • Childrens facilities
  • Nursery
Ship facts
  • Style: Luxury
  • Class: Suite ship
  • Size: Boutique
  • Number of crew: 39
  • Number of cabins: 69
  • Number of wheelchair cabins: 0
  • Number of large cabins: 0
  • Capacity: 138 passengers
  • Main language on board: en
  • Currency on board: EUR
  • Number of decks: 4
  • Length (m): 110
  • Width (m): 11.45
  • Speed in knots: 13
  • Launch year: 2009
Available cabins on this cruise
Avalon Suite

Avalon Suites feature floor to ceiling sliding glass doors with French balcony, spacious living area, Comfort Collection Beds, featuring premium mattress covers, Egyptian super-combed cotton linens and European-style duvets, choice of soft or firm pillows, extra blankets, choice of bed configuration - two twin beds or one queen-size bed, nightly turn-down service, bedside tables with reading lamps, large private bathroom featuring full shower with glass door, hairdryer and premium L'Occitane bath amenities, spacious 3-door wardrobes with shelves for ample storage, easy under-bed luggage storage, flatscreen satellite TV with movie channels, alarm clock, writing desk/vanity with mirror and comfortable chair, complimentary Wi-Fi access, direct-dial telephone, bathrobes and slippers, well-stocked minibar, complimentary bottled water, in-room safe, individual climate control, continental breakfast and beverage room service available (service charge applies).

Details

  • 258 square feet
  • Sleeps 2

Deluxe Stateroom (Cat P, A, B)

These staterooms feature floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors with French balcony, flatscreen satellite TV with film channels & radio, comfortable, hotel-style beds, Comfort Collection Beds, featuring premium mattress covers, Egyptian super-combed cotton linens and European-style duvets, choice of soft or firm pillows, extra blankets, choice of bed configuration - two twin beds or one queen-size bed, nightly turn-down service, bedside tables with reading lamps, spacious 3-door wardrobes with shelves for ample storage, writing desk/vanity with mirror and comfortable chair, easy under-bed luggage storage, large private bathroom featuring full shower with glass door, hairdryer and premium L'Occitane bath amenities, bathrobes and slippers, alarm clock, complimentary Wi-Fi access, direct-dial telephone, well-stocked minibar, complimentary bottled water, in-room safe, individual climate control, continental breakfast and beverage room service available (service charge applies).

Details

  • 172 square feet
  • Sleeps 2

Deluxe Stateroom (Cat E)

These staterooms have Comfort Collection Beds, featuring premium mattress covers, Egyptian super-combed cotton linens and European-style duvets, choice of soft or firm pillows, extra blankets, choice of bed configuration - two twin beds or one queen-size bed, nightly turn-down service, bedside tables with reading lamps, spacious 3-door wardrobes with shelves for ample storage, writing desk/vanity with mirror and comfortable chair, easy under-bed luggage storage, large private bathroom featuring full shower with glass door, hairdryer and premium L'Occitane bath amenities, bathrobes and slippers, alarm clock, complimentary Wi-Fi access, direct-dial telephone, well-stocked minibar, complimentary bottled water, in-room safe, individual climate control, continental breakfast and beverage room service available (service charge applies).

Details

  • 172 square feet
  • Sleeps 2

Life onboard

A modern and well-equipped river cruise ship, Avalon Affinity embodies a relaxed sense of space and light.

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