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! (B)
Day 3 Paris–Dijon–Beaune–Chalon-sur-Saône (Embarkation)–Seurre
This morning, transfer 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. 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 Judgment and is one of France’s architectural highlights. Then, continue to St. Jean de Losne, where you’ll board your river cruise vessel. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception as your ship departs for Seurre. (B,D)
Day 4 Seurre-Macon
Enjoy some leisurely cruising today and before lunch, enjoy an ONBOARD CHEESE TASTING. In the late afternoon, arrive in Mâcon, a city that plays an important role in the wine trade. Free time allows you to explore on your own. Alternatively, you may choose to participate in one of the optional excursions on offer, such as a visit to a wine cellar. (B,L,D)
Day 5 Lyon
Lyon, France’s third-largest city and its gastronomic capital, was 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. (B,L,D)
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 select one of the available optional excursions. 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. (B,L,D)
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. 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. (B,L,D)
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. (B,L,D)
Day 9 Arles
This morning, wake up early to the tranquil vistas of Camargue National Park (daylight permitting) before arriving in Arles after breakfast. Located on the northern tip of the Camargue, Arles is 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 more than 20,000 spectators. (B,L,D)
Day 10 Arles (Disembarkation)–Aix-en-Provence
Disembark your Avalon ship for your included transfer to Aix-en-Provence to join your Monograms vacation. Your guided walking tour takes in 17th-century Cours Mirabeau boulevard, a lively area with fountains, elegant homes, and famous cafés. Admire the Mazarin Quarter, City Hall, the Jewish Quarter, and visit the CATHEDRAL OF THE HOLY SAVIOUR, known for its interesting combination of architectural styles and The Burning Bush triptych art masterpiece by Nicolas Froment. (B)
Day 11 Aix-en-Provence
Your Local Host can suggest some wonderful options for your day at leisure in Cézanne’s hometown—like a visit to the artist’s studio; a French cooking lesson; where to sample Côte-de-Provence wine and boeuf-en-daube; and the best places to shop for faience pottery and colorful Provençal cloth. (B)
Day 12 Aix-en-Provence - Nice
Travel by HIGH-SPEED TGV TRAIN (first-class) to Nice. Your guided sightseeing features the PROMENADE DES ANGLAIS, originally built in the second half of the 18th century and the most famous boulevard in Nice. Walk through the OLD TOWN to admire fine examples of the Belle Époque. See Cours Saleya with the Kings of Sardinia Palace and flower market; and lovely Palace Square with Palais de Justice and PALAIS RUSCA. (B)
Day 13 Nice
Your Local Host has recommendations for your full day at leisure on the beautiful Côte d’Azur, such as an excursion to picturesque Êze and Monaco, a round of golf in beautiful Cannes, a visit to the Marc Chagall Museum, or the best place to relax on the beach. (B)
Day 14 Nice
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
River Cruise Highlights
Cruise: deluxe 7-night cruise in an outside stateroom with Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSM
Paris: welcome to France; guided sightseeing on Day 2
Paris–Dijon–Beaune–St. Jean de Losne (Embarkation)–Seurre: transfer from Paris to Beaune, visit the Hôtel-Dieu; onboard welcome reception
Seurre–Macon: leisurely cruising; cheese tasting; free time in Mâcon
Lyon: guided sightseeing; picture stop on Fourvière Hill
Lyon: a free day to explore this fascinating city at leisure
Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage–Viviers: guided walk in Tournon; guided walk in Viviers, visit the Old Town and the cathedral
Avignon: guided sightseeing, visit Palace of the Popes
Arles: sail into the Camargue region (daylight permitting); guided sightseeing in Arles, visit the Roman Amphitheater
Arles (Disembarkation)–Aix-en-Provence: travel by motorcoach to Aix-en-Provence
Aix-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.
Special onboard and onshore experiences presented by entertainers, artisans, and experts, designed to enrich your cruise.
Discover what makes French fromage so special at a French cheese tasting.
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, 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.
Buffet breakfast in Paris, Aix-en-Provence & Nice; 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 or Westin Paris-Vendome or Hotel du Collectionneur Arc de Triomphe Paris
Cruising: Cabin onboard Avalon Affinity or Avalon Poetry II
Aix-en-Provence: Grand Hotel Roi Rene
Pre and Post Add-ons
Extra nights per person in Paris:
in single room from $303 to $777, in twin room from $251 to $404
Extra nights per person in Nice:
in single room from $103 to $261, in twin room from $60 to $139
Cabin upgrades are available.
Port charges: $168.
Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included.
Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not 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 becomes necessary, a substitute will be offered.
In the event that the TGV is unavailable due to strikes or technical reasons, the transfer from Paris to Dijon will be operated by motorcoach.
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.