Burgundy & Provence 2014 (Wine Cruise, Paris to Côte d'Azur)
11-day River Cruise with Avalon Waterways
Day 1 Arrive in Paris, France
Welcome to Paris, France’s capital on the River Seine and the “City of Light,” where romance fills the air!
Day 2 Paris
Known as one of the world’s most passionate and lively cities, Paris is a delight for all your senses. Your included CITY SIGHTSEEING shows you magnificent 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-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. 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! (Breakfast)
Day 3 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. You may choose to join the included GUIDED EXCURSION to 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 Judgment and is one of France’s architectural highlights. Alternatively, enjoy a TASTING of Burgundy wines before continuing south to Chalon-sur-Saône, where you’ll board your river cruise vessel. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception as your ship departs for Tournus. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 4 Tournus–Mâcon
After breakfast, a LOCAL GUIDE will show you the highlights of the delightful town of Tournus, 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’s 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 which plays an important role in the wine trade. A choice of optional excursions, including a visit to a wine cellar, is available. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5 Beaujolais Region–Lyon
Enjoy a leisurely morning of cruising before arriving in Lyon after lunch. France’s second-largest city, Lyon is 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. Before dinner tonight, attend an ONBOARD LECTURE and learn more about the French. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
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 of them), or take an optional biking tour. Be sure to taste the gastronomic delights and sample Beaujolais, the wine of the region; wine connoisseurs know that the grapes must be hand picked. Your Cruise Director will have plenty of suggestions for things to do. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 7 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 will show you Tournon, one of France’s oldest medieval cities, with its imposing 16th-century castle and Roman ruins. As you cruise to Viviers, there’s a treat in store for chocoholics: an onboard CHOCOLATE TASTING to delight the palate. Arriving in Viviers in the late 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 8 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, 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 9 Camargue Region–Arles
During the night your ship will have sailed to Port St. Louis at the mouth of the Rhône. If you are an early riser, watch the sun rise over the Camargue and take in the tranquil scenes as you sail through this nature park toward Arles during breakfast. In Arles, located on the northern tip of the Camargue and the capital of the Provence region, your LOCAL GUIDE will show you highlights of the city and you’ll visit the ROMAN AMPHITHEATER. Still used today, it dates to the 1st century and was constructed to hold over 20,000 spectators. Alternatively, you may take the included sightseeing tour in the afternoon. There is free time to relax or to join an optional excursion. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 10 Arles (Disembarkation)–Côte d’Azur
After breakfast, a comfortable motorcoach ride takes you to the Côte d’Azur for a 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. (Breakfast)
Day 11 Côte d’Azur
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)
River Cruise Highlights
Paris: Welcome to France; guided sightseeing on Day 2
Paris–Dijon–Beaune–Chalon-sur-Saône (Embarkation)–Tournus: TGV train from Paris to Dijon; choice of visit of the Hôtel-Dieu or Burgundy wine tasting in Beaune; onboard welcome reception
Tournus–Mâcon: Guided sightseeing of Tournus, visit the abbey of St. Philibert
Beaujolais Region–Lyon: Guided sightseeing, picture stop on Fourvière Hill; onboard lecture
Lyon: Day at leisure
Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage–Viviers: Guided walk in Tournon; onboard chocolate tasting; guided walk in Viviers, visit the Old Town and the cathedral
Avignon: Guided sightseeing, visit Palace of the Popes
Camargue Region–Arles: Sail through the Camargue region during breakfast; guided sightseeing in Arles, visit the Roman Amphitheater
Côte d’Azur: Evening in Côte d’Azur
Special onboard and onshore experiences presented by local chefs, entertainers, artisans, and experts, designed to enrich your cruise.
Learn “all about the French” at an onboard lecture, and attend a lively performance by the Gypsy Kings.
All This Included
Opportunities abound on this delightful vacation to learn about France and the French. Your adventure begins with two overnights and guided sightseeing in Paris, the “City of Light.” Ride the TGV train to Dijon, then continue on by motorcoach to fascinating Beaune for a Burgundy wine tasting or visit of Hôtel-Dieu. Next, board your ship in quaint Chalon-sur-Saône and set sail for lovely Tournus, Mâcon, France’s gastronomic capital of Lyon, as well as medieval Tournon, charming Viviers, Avignon, and Arles. Before disembarking your ship in Arles, sail through the peaceful Camargue area. Your vacation ends with an overnight on the French Riviera, also known as the Côte d’Azur. This cruise vacation has it all—historic sites, delightful towns, and more!
On this cruise a distinguished wine authority explains how grape varieties are cultivated, and teaches you what to look for in a good wine from each region you sail through. Mingle with others who share your passion as you enjoy onboard wine tastings, a visit to a local vineyard and discussion with a winemaker, and a gala dinner featuring wine and food pairings.
Buffet breakfast in Paris and Côte d'Azur; superb dining with meals on board featuring full breakfast with complimentary sparkling wine, lunch with complimentary soft drinks, and dinner including complimentary wine, beer, or soft drinks; a welcome reception, Captain’s reception, and farewell dinner; one sitting with open seating arrangements
Deluxe cruise in an outside stateroom with hotel-style beds
Included shore excursions with Local Guide
Headsets for shore excursions
Complimentary Wi-Fi access
Personalized room options & excursions
Accommodations on this Tour
Paris: Pullman Paris Montparnasse (SF)
Cruising: Cabin aboard Avalon Scenery
Côte d’Azur: Fairmont Monte Carlo (D)
This departure is an exclusive Wine Cruise, including special lectures and tastings at no additional cost.
Cabin upgrades are available.
In 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 is necessary, a substitute will be offered.
Port charges: $126.
Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.
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.