Ship Details | Rhone River Cruise: Burgundy & Provence River Cruise

Burgundy & Provence – Cruise Only Southbound 2016

8 Day River Cruise from Chalon-sur-Saône to Arles

2016 Information

Opportunities abound on this delightful vacation to learn about France and the French. Board your ship in quaint Chalon-sur-Saône and set sail for lovely Tournus, France’s gastronomic capital of Lyon, as well as medieval Tournon, charming Viviers, Avignon, and Arles. Before disembarking your ship in Arles, sail into the peaceful Camargue area (daylight permitting). This cruise vacation has it all—historic sites, delightful towns, and more!


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Highlights & Sightseeing

Cruise: deluxe 7-night cruise in an outside stateroom with Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSM

Day 1 Chalon-sur-Saône (Embarkation)–Tournus: onboard welcome reception

Day 2 Tournus: guided sightseeing of Tournus, see the abbey of St. Philibert; cheese tasting

Day 3 Lyon: guided sightseeing in Lyon; picture stop on Fourvière Hill

Day 4 Lyon: a free day to explore this fascinating city at leisure

Day 5 Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage–Viviers: guided walk in Tournon; guided walk in Viviers, visit the Old Town and the cathedral

Day 6 Avignon: guided sightseeing, visit Palace of the Popes

Day 7 Arles: guided sightseeing, visit the Roman Amphitheater; sail into the Camargue region (daylight permitting)

Day 8 Arles (Disembarkation): your vacation ends this morning.

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.

Meals

  • Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapés
  • Welcome dinner
  • Daily Afternoon Tea
  • Daily Night Fare
  • Farewell dinner
  • Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; soft drinks with lunch; and wine, beer, or soft drinks with dinner are included daily on board your vessel

NOTES:

  • Departures October 25 and October 29 are offered as exclusive Wine Appreciation Cruises, including special lectures and tastings at no additional cost. Your palate will applaud as you learn what to look for in a good wine. A distinguished wine authority will teach you the ropes as you visit a wine village and attend tastings to test your newfound talent
  • 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.
  • Arrival and departure transfers are not included and are not offered for purchase with this cruise-only itinerary.

Day-By-Day Itinerary

Day 1Chalon-sur-Saône (Embarkation)–Tournus

This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel docked in Chalon-sur-Saône. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception as your ship departs for Tournus. (Dinner)

Day 2Tournus

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, a choice of optional excursions, including a visit to a wine cellar, is available. Before dinner, enjoy an onboard CHEESE TASTING. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3Lyon

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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4Lyon

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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5Tournon/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 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 6Avignon

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 7Arles

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. This evening, sail toward the mouth of the Rhône for a taste of the tranquil vistas of Camargue National Park (daylight permitting). (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8Arles (Disembarkation)

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

Ship Details

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Hotels

No hotels exist for WCL0 in 2016

 Optional Excursions

The following list of optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These optional excursions might or might not be offered. Whether it's a special dinner, a local show or a special behind-the-scenes glimpse into an historical site, optional excursions are a wonderful way to enrich your vacation even further. Plus, they give you flexibility. We include the must-see sites and experiences, and we also understand that people take interest in different activities and may want to craft a more personal vacation by hand-picking optional excursions that appeal to them.

We know that many times travelers celebrate special occasions on vacation and you can now pre-purchase celebration packages before your cruise departure. We offer special birthday, anniversary and wedding vow packages. These packages include all the elements you need to celebrate with family & friends.

Availability of optional excursions is subject to sufficient participation, weather conditions, seasonal suitability, days of operation, group interests, and general feasibility for your vacation. The approximate value listed gives you a good, general idea of what you can expect to pay but may vary once you are on your vacation. Some information provided might be in a foreign currency; to get an estimated price, use a currency converter for exchange rate information (pricing may vary at the time of booking).

Once you have booked your vacation, Avalon Waterways provides the ability to pre-purchase excursions and packages, register for your cruise and provide emergency contact information online.

Tournus
Lyon
Avignon
Arles
Celebration

Tournus

Chardonnay & Maconnais - Wine Tasting
Chardonnay & Maconnais - Wine Tasting

Chardonnay & Maconnais - Wine Tasting

Hardly any other white wine is so popular world-wide as the Chardonnay. This area between Mâcon and Tournus is home to many wines of this fine and buttery white grape variety, including some of the most prestigious names such as the famous Pouilly Fuissé. The landscape is spectacular, and our excursion features a stop at the dramatic prehistoric site the rock of Solutré, now flanked by vines. Our wine-tasting takes place in the cellars of a historic medieval castle, one of several we pass along the lovely route of rolling hills. Explore the home of the Chardonnay grapes and taste some of its famous produce of recent years.

Approximate value: €47 EUR per person

Cormatin - Palace of a fairy tale time
Cormatin - Palace of a fairy tale time

Cormatin - Palace of a fairy tale time

Cormatin is one of those secret sites that you find only if you leave the beaten track. It is an impressive but intimate water castle that stands in a beautiful park. The interior has sumptuously painted wood paneling, fireplaces and ceilings by the artists who decorated the Luxembourg Palace for Marie de Medici. The result is a perfect evocation of life during the time of the "Three Musketeers". The drive there itself familiarizes you with the beautiful countryside of this part of France, where white Charolais cattle graze peacefully and where villages take on picture-book aspects with flowers in the front yards and narrow lanes, and where people still have time to stop and chat.

Approximate value: €47 EUR per person

Lyon

Beaujolais - Discovering wine and region
Beaujolais - Discovering wine and region

Beaujolais - Discovering wine and region

Beaujolais, internationally less well known than other French wines, will surprise you with its lighter, pleasant flavors. Also, the countryside is lovely: rugged hills and winding roads, villages with ancient stone churches, forest ridges touched at sunset by tendrils of fog. It's like the wilder parts of Napa, but with church bells and chateaux. This excursion is not only about wine tasting, it is about the origin of wine, the golden stone hills, as the inhabitants call them, when the yellowish sedimentary rock glows in the late afternoon light.

Approximate value: €49 EUR per person

Perouges - as it was in medieval times.
Perouges - as it was in medieval times.

Perouges - as it was in medieval times.

Perched on its hill, Pérouges is a perfect example of a medieval walled town. A village of craftsmen, it was never under the control of a lord; its inhabitants, farmers and linen weavers, already enjoyed their communal freedom as early as 1236. The village has no rich relics but can boast an unequalled unity with its houses of the nobility and its more modest craftsmen's houses on the unevenly paved streets, offering such a picturesque display. Conserved since 1911 by the Beaux Arts Commission and its own Defense Committee, it has attracted film producers who have used exterior shots in numerous French films including "The Three Musketeers".

Approximate value: €49 EUR per person

Silk & Les Halles
Silk & Les Halles

Silk & Les Halles

Lyon the City of Silk is a living museum and once Lyon's primary Silk Industry, it is the only city where you can still find the manual looms invented by Joseph-Marie Jacquard and where expert hands skillfully still weave and paint on this precious fabric. Discover with our local guides the life of the "Canuts" the silk workers of the 19th century. Canut came from the word "Cane" as our Benedictine monks hid the silk cocoons brought in from China to France in their canes. In the Croix-Rousse you'll still find many covered stone passageways known as traboules. These covered passageways enabled the weavers to carry their silk protected from the rain. Lyon is also the gastronomic city of France. We will take you on a tour of the mouth watering high end markets of Paul Bocuse: pastry, seafood, delicatessen and gourmet items await you - a feast for your eyes!

Approximate value: €47 EUR per person

Avignon

Excursion to the Pont du Gard and the City of Uzes
Excursion to the Pont du Gard and the City of Uzes

Excursion to the Pont du Gard and the City of Uzes

No other building in southern France is as famous as the Roman Aqueduct of the Pont du Gard. After a photo stop, we continue towards Uzes, set in the severe yet charming garrigues countryside, overlooking the Alzon Valley. Take your time to stroll this charming city before your local expert accompanies you back to Avignon.

Approximate value: €40 EUR per person

Wine Tasting in Chateauneuf du Pape
Wine Tasting in Chateauneuf du Pape

Wine Tasting in Chateauneuf du Pape

When the Popes fled into exile, it was no coincidence that they chose Avignon as their retreat. We can only assume that their decision was influenced by the fact that some of France's best vineyards are in close proximity to the city. The wines from Chateauneuf du Pape have become icons among French Wines. The warm sun of the Provence region creates a heavy-bodied wine with a ruby red color, rich in taste, with a bouquet of cherries and spices. During our excursion we will discuss the origin of the wines of this area, and the special soil and climate conditions. We will travel through extensive vineyards and stop for a wine tasting in one of the oldest domains of Chateauneuf du Pape.

Approximate value: €53 EUR per person

Arles

In the Footsteps of Vincent van Gogh
In the Footsteps of Vincent van Gogh

In the Footsteps of Vincent van Gogh

An optional tour full of emotion. The name of Arles is closely connected with that of Vincent Van Gogh. It is impossible to evoke the light of Arles and Saint Remy de Provence without thinking of his paintings. It was this luminosity that attracted Van Gogh to the south of France. Vincent arrived in Arles one day in February 1888 looking for the outside light but also seeking interior illumination. Here he started a period of intense and impassioned work under the bright sunny skies of Provence. His stay in Arles was the most productive period of his life: the more than 300 paintings and drawings done in his 15 months here form one of the most brilliant chapters in the history of art. He moved on May 8th, 1889 to Saint Remy de Provence from Arles to be "interned" at his request, in the Asylum of Saint Paul de Mausole. Fascinated by the quality of light and fiery beauty of the landscapes that he discovered in Saint Remy, he was very inspired, happy and relieved to finally find a serene and understanding ambience of religion and the staff who welcomed him, and thus realized nearly 150 paintings and many drawings within one year. You will have a chance to visit the asylum in the Footsteps of Vincent Van Gogh.

Approximate value: €44 EUR per person

Les Baux and the Olive Groves of Les Alpilles
Les Baux and the Olive Groves of Les Alpilles

Les Baux and the Olive Groves of Les Alpilles

To the east of Arles lie the limestone hills known as the Alpilles. They are the heart of Provence: between the Luberon and the Mediterranean Sea their jagged white peaks jut into the blue sky. The chain of hills is home to many picturesque Provençal villages, the most famous being Les Baux-de-Provence. Olive groves and rich vineyards can be seen all along the chain of blue hills. The valley of Les Baux is now known for its olive oil and its green cracked olives. The wines from the wine cellars in Les Baux are among the best Cotes-du-Rhône. The Montagnette, a smaller chain of limestone hills, has picturesque landscapes where you can smell the Provençal herbs, thyme and rosemary. You will have an olive oil tasting in a charming, typical Provençal farm and you will discover one of the best olive oils in the world.

Approximate value: €49 EUR per person

Celebration

Anniversary Celebration Cake
Anniversary Celebration Cake

Anniversary Celebration Cake

Want to celebrate your anniversary during your cruise? Avalon can help. Our crew can surprise your loved one with a special anniversary cake presented during dinner. Make this a cruise like no other.

Approximate value: €60 EUR per group

Anniversary Celebration Package - Basic
Anniversary Celebration Package - Basic

Anniversary Celebration Package - Basic

Want to celebrate your anniversary during your cruise? Avalon can help. Our crew can surprise your loved one with a special anniversary package that includes the following in your stateroom on your anniversary day: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, small floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and anniversary card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 4 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for you, your spouse and 4 other guests of your choice, and an anniversary cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you.

Approximate value: €161.50 EUR per group

Anniversary Celebration Package - Deluxe
Anniversary Celebration Package - Deluxe

Anniversary Celebration Package - Deluxe

Want to celebrate your anniversary during your cruise? Avalon can help. Our crew can surprise your loved one with a special anniversary package that includes the following in your stateroom on your anniversary day: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, a floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and anniversary card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 4 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later on, enjoy a 30 minute cocktail party with wine, beer and soft drinks on the Sky Deck/Club Lounge or in the lounge to celebrate the special day. Our crew will be on hand to take pictures with your camera, which later will be downloaded onto a special memory stick for you to keep. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for you, your spouse and 4 other guests of your choice, and an anniversary cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Sparkling wine will top off the evening. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you.

Approximate value: €362.50 EUR per group

Birthday Celebration Package - Basic
Birthday Celebration Package - Basic

Birthday Celebration Package - Basic

Let Avalon help you celebrate a birthday on your cruise. Our special birthday package includes the following presented in your stateroom on your birthday: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, small floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and birthday card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 5 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for 6 (you and 5 other guests of your choice), and a birthday cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner.

Approximate value: €142 EUR per group

Birthday Celebration Package - Deluxe
Birthday Celebration Package - Deluxe

Birthday Celebration Package - Deluxe

Let Avalon help you celebrate a birthday on your cruise. Our special birthday package includes the following presented in your stateroom on your birthday: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, a floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and birthday card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 5 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later on, enjoy a 30 minute cocktail party with wine, beer and soft drinks on the Sky Deck/Club Lounge or in the lounge to celebrate the special day. Our crew will be on hand to take pictures with your camera, which later will be downloaded onto a special memory stick for you to keep. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for 6 (you and 5 other guests of your choice), and a birthday cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Sparkling wine will top off the evening.

Approximate value: €344 EUR per group

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Cake
Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Cake

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Cake

Avalon wants to help you celebrate your wedding vow renewals. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you. Our crew will prepare a special cake and present it to you during dinner. Make this a cruise that you will never forget.

Approximate value: €60 EUR per group

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Basic
Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Basic

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Basic

Avalon wants to help you celebrate your wedding vow renewals. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you. Our crew will prepare a special anniversary package that includes the following in your stateroom on your wedding day: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, small floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and wedding card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 4 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for you, your spouse and 4 other guests of your choice, and a wedding cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Make this a cruise you will never forget.

Approximate value: €207 EUR per group

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Deluxe
Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Deluxe

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Deluxe

Avalon wants to help you celebrate your wedding vow renewals. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you. Our crew will prepare a special anniversary package that includes the following in your stateroom on your wedding day: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, a floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and wedding card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 4 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later on, enjoy a 30 minute cocktail party with house wine, beer and soft drinks on the Sky Deck/Club Lounge or in the lounge to celebrate the special day. Our crew will be on hand to take pictures with your camera, which later will be downloaded onto a special memory stick for you to keep. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for you, your spouse and 4 other guests of your choice, and an wedding cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Make this a cruise you will never forget.

Approximate value: €362.50 EUR per group

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