Rhone River Cruise Through Burgundy & Provence

Burgundy & Provence with Aix-en-Provence & Nice – Southbound 2016

14 Day River Cruise from Paris to Nice

2016 Information

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 incomparable “City of Light.” Ride the TGV train to Dijon, then continue on by motorcoach to fascinating Beaune for a Burgundy wine tasting or a visit of the Hôtel-Dieu. 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 in Arles, sail into the peaceful Camargue area (daylight permitting), then arrive on the stunning Cote-d’Azur—the famed French Riviera for your Monograms extension. We've arranged your transfer, hotel reservations, daily breakfast, sightseeing with local experts, a high-speed train transfer from Aix-en-Provence to Nice, transfers from/to your hotels to/from the train stations, and more. Plus, we know you are not familiar with the cities, so we've arranged the services of Local Hosts®—a "friend in the city" to answer questions, share inside information, help you arrange your activities and excursions, and be there to help you feel comfortable in each city. The next morning, after an included breakfast, we’ll pick you up at your hotel for guided sightseeing with an expert Local Guide. You’ll walk along the 17th-century Cours Mirabeau, a lively area with fountains, elegant homes, and famous cafés, and you’ll 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. 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. Your Local Host will be able to help you arrange any of these activities and excursions, as well as provide you with suggestions for the best places to sample the local specialties. Monograms wants you to just enjoy your vacation, and we go the extra mile to make sure you live your dream rather than dream your life!

Combine Cruise with a Monograms Vacation

Monograms is independent travel without the hassles that typically come with "ordinary" independent travel. With Monograms, you never have to worry about whether or not your hotel will have your reservation, how to get from here to there, or where to go once you get to your destination—it's the perfect addition to your Avalon river cruise! Avalon makes it easy to add a Monograms London, Paris & London, Aix-en-Provence & Nice package, Barcelona or Zürich with Mount Pilatus & Lake Como to your river cruise.

Learn More

Dates & Prices Request A Quote Book Online

Highlights & Sightseeing

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

Days 1-2 Paris: welcome to France; guided sightseeing on Day 2

Day 3 Paris–Dijon–Beaune–Chalon-sur-Saône (Embarkation)–Tournus: TGV train from Paris to Dijon; motorcoach transfer to Beaune, choice of visit of the Hôtel-Dieu or Burgundy wine tasting in Beaune; onboard welcome reception

Day 4 Tournus: guided sightseeing of Tournus, see the abbey of St. Philibert; cheese tasting

Day 5 Lyon: guided sightseeing in Lyon; picture stop on Fourvière Hill

Day 6 Lyon: a free day to explore this fascinating city at leisure

Day 7 Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage–Viviers: guided walk in Tournon; guided walk in Viviers, visit the Old Town and the cathedral

Day 8 Avignon: guided sightseeing, visit Palace of the Popes

Day 9 Arles: guided sightseeing, visit the Roman Amphitheater; sail into the Camargue region (daylight permitting)

Day 10 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; sightseeing with a Local Guide, inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE; high-speed TGV train (first-class) from Aix-en-Provence to Nice; transfers 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.

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
  • Buffet breakfast daily while in Provence

NOTES:

  • Departures October 23 and October 27 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.
  • 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.

Day-By-Day Itinerary

Day 1Arrive in Paris, France

Welcome to Paris, France’s capital on the River Seine and the “City of Light,” where romance fills the air!

Day 2Paris

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 3Paris–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 4Tournus

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 5Lyon

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 6Lyon

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 7Tournon/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 8Avignon

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 9Arles

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 10Arles (Disembarkation)–Aix-en-Provence

Disembark your Avalon ship for your included transfer to Aix-en-Provence to join your Monograms vacation. (Breakfast)

Day 11Aix-en-Provence

On your morning guided sightseeing, walk along 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. Your Local Host can suggest some wonderful options for your afternoon 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. (Breakfast)

Day 12Aix-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. (Breakfast)

Day 13Nice

Your Local Host has many 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. (Breakfast)

Day 14Nice

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

Ship Details

Affinity
Poetry II

Affinity

Accommodating a maximum of 138 passengers for an intimate cruise experience, the Avalon 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 complimentary computer use in public areas 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.

Included Amenities

  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows
  • Sky Deck with shade awnings
  • Elevator
  • Outside viewing deck
  • Sightseeing with Certified Local Guides
  • Onboard lectures, activities & nightly entertainment
  • Room service for Continental breakfast & beverages (service fee applies)
  • Complimentary computer use in public areas
  • Hair salon (manicures available)
  • Self-serve beverage station with complimentary tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees
  • Biking excursions available in Amsterdam, Breisach and Durnstein
  • Avalon Choice cruising experience
  • Choice of Leisurely, Traditional or Independent sightseeing options
  • Local Favorites onboard experiences with local chefs, entertainers, artisans & experts
  • Onboard assistance is available to recommend, reserve and further personalize your cruise
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • Fresh fruit available throughout the day
  • Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs
  • Non-smoking interior
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Friendly, English-speaking crew
  • Cruise Director
  • Revolutionary engineering
  • Sky Deck whirlpool
  • Fitness Center
  • Lounges and upscale bar serving premium spirits
  • Onboard movie nights
  • Bicycles you can check out and use around many port towns for free
  • Behind-the-scenes ship tour
  • Use of Nordic walking sticks
  • English-speaking TV channels with over 100 free movie options
  • Sky Deck game area
  • Well-stocked library
  • Selection of Local Favorites to bring the customs, cultures, and tastes of your destination to life

Staterooms & Suites

Avalon Deluxe Stateroom (Cat. E) - 172 sq. ft.
Features
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Alarm clock
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity
  • Memory foam mattress toppers
  • European-style duvets
  • Extra blankets
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Hairdryer
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with movie channel
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • In-room safe
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Two windows
  • Writing desk
Avalon Deluxe Stateroom (Cat. A, B, P) - 172 sq. ft.
Features
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Alarm clock
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity
  • Memory foam mattress toppers
  • European-style duvets
  • Extra blankets
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Hairdryer
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with movie channel
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • In-room safe
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Floor-to-ceiling sliding-glass door with French Balcony
  • Writing desk
Avalon Suite - 258 sq. ft.
Features
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Alarm clock
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Floor-to-ceiling sliding-glass door with French Balcony
  • Writing desk
  • Sofa
  • Memory foam mattress toppers
  • European-style duvets
  • Extra blankets
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Hairdryer
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with movie channel
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • In-room safe
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Marble countertops in bathroom
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity
  • Coffee table
DECK PLANS

Poetry II

New to the legendary waters of Europe in 2014, the Avalon Poetry II offers a delightfully intimate cruise setting. Like its sister Suite Ships, the Avalon Artistry II, Avalon Visionary, Avalon Tapestry II, and Avalon Tranquility II, 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 computer use in public areas 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.

Included Amenities

  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows
  • Non-smoking interior
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Headsets for all guided shore excursions in Europe
  • Sightseeing with Certified Local Guides
  • Onboard lectures, activities & nightly entertainment
  • Room service for Continental breakfast & beverages (service fee applies)
  • Complimentary computer use in public areas
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • Biking excursions available in Amsterdam and Breisach
  • Alternate light lunch and dinner in the Panorama Bistro
  • Behind-the-scenes ship tour
  • Use of Nordic walking sticks
  • English-speaking TV channels with over 100 free movie options
  • Delectable petite portions of regional specialties, with wines, in the Panorama Bistro
  • Self-serve beverage station with complimentary tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees
  • Complimentary maps
  • Fresh fruit available throughout the day
  • Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs
  • Elevator
  • Outside viewing deck
  • Friendly, English-speaking crew
  • Cruise Director
  • Revolutionary engineering
  • Sky Deck whirlpool
  • Hair salon (manicures available)
  • Onboard movie nights
  • Bicycles you can check out and use around many port towns for free
  • Avalon Choice cruising experience
  • Choice of Leisurely, Traditional or Independent sightseeing options
  • Local Favorites onboard experiences with local chefs, entertainers, artisans & experts
  • Onboard assistance is available to recommend, reserve and further personalize your cruise
  • Sky Deck game area
  • Well-stocked library
  • Expanded Fitness Center
  • Selection of Local Favorites to bring the customs, cultures, and tastes of your destination to life

Staterooms & Suites

Avalon Deluxe Stateroom (Cat. D, E) - 172 sq. ft.
Features
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Alarm clock
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Two windows
  • Writing desk
  • Memory foam mattress toppers
  • European-style duvets
  • Extra blankets
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Hairdryer
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with movie channel
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • In-room safe
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity
Panorama Suite (Cat. A, B, P) - 200 sq. ft.
Features
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Alarm clock
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • In-room safe
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Marble countertops in bathroom
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window with Open-Air Balcony®
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity
  • Coffee table
  • Memory foam mattress toppers
  • European-style duvets
  • Extra blankets
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Hairdryer
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with movie channel
  • Make-up mirror
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • 6-person sitting area
  • Writing desk
  • Sofa
Royal Suite - 300 sq. ft.
Features
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Alarm clock
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • In-room safe
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Marble countertops in bathroom
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window with Open-Air Balcony®
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity
  • Coffee table
  • Memory foam mattress toppers
  • European-style duvets
  • Extra blankets
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Hairdryer
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with movie channel
  • Make-up mirror
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • 6-person sitting area
  • Writing desk
  • Sofa
  • Double sinks
DECK PLANS

Hotels

Aix en Provence
Nice

Aix en Provence

Grand Hotel Roi René

Grand Hotel Roi René 24 Boulevard Du Roi Rene, Aix-en-Provence,  France 24 Boulevard Du Roi Rene
Aix-en-Provence, France

Free WifiFree Wifi

Hotel as shown or similar

This inviting 134 room boutique property is built in a courtyard style around the swimming pool and garden terrace. Free Wi-Fi access is avilable in all guestrooms and public areas of the hotel. A beautiful seasonal outdoor swimming pool and terrace offer the perfect place to relax and unwind. The hotel restaurant serves traditional southern French cuisine which can also be savoured on the outdoor terrace and the hotel bar offers a good choice of snacks and drinks.

Hotel Amenities

Free WiFi
Pool
Concierge desk
Dry Cleaning
Restaurant On-Site
Bar/Lounge
Parking/Valet
Business Center
Luggage Storage
Elevator
Room Amenities

Coffee Maker
Hair Dryer
Complimentary Toiletries
Mini-bar
In-Room Safe
Climate Control
Window Opens
Phone
Room Service
Desk
Cable/Satellite
Alarm Clock
Air Conditioning
Complimentary Newspaper
Wake-Up Calls
Television
Internet Access
Voicemail

Nice

Ellington

Ellington 25 Blvd.Dubouchage, Nice,   France 25 Blvd.Dubouchage
Nice, France

Free WifiFree Wifi

Hotel as shown or similar
First-Class

This charming 110 room boutique property has an air of casual refinement with architecture from the 1920's. Free Wi-Fi access is available in all guestrooms and public areas of the hotel. Breakfast can be enjoyed on the sunny terrace of the outdoor inner garden and evenings can be spent relaxing in the jazzy atmosphere of the lounge bar.

Hotel Amenities

Parking/Valet
Concierge desk
Luggage Storage
Free WiFi
Bar/Lounge
Dry Cleaning
Ice Machine
Elevator
Room Amenities

Air Conditioning
Climate Control
Wake-Up Calls
Mini-bar
In-Room Safe
Iron/Ironing Board
Cable/Satellite
Complimentary Toiletries
Television
Room Service
Coffee Maker
Window Opens
Air Conditioning (Seasonal)
Hair Dryer
Phone
Disabled Access / Rooms
Non-smoking Rooms
Desk
Internet Access
Complimentary Newspaper

 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.

Paris
Tournus
Lyon
Avignon
Arles
Aix en Provence
Nice
Celebration

Paris

Lido Cabaret

Lido Cabaret

Located on the most famous avenue in the world, the Champs Elysées, the Lido has been filling the eyes of millions of people with wonder for nearly one century. Originally a bathing place whose decoration was inspired by the Italian Venetian beach called Lido, it became a cabaret after WWII. Since its creation 26 revues have enabled 42 Bluebell girls and 16 Lido boys to entertain an always larger audience. No doubt that the 27th revue which will be launched in Spring 2015 will be as astonishing and breathtaking as the previous ones but with the use of the latest technics and the 3 keywords of the Lido "elegance, glamour and exotism". We can get ready for a 21st century show directed by famous Franco Dragone, who worked for The Cirque du Soleil and Céline Dion in Las Vegas.

Approximate value: €189 EUR per person

The Artist's Quarter of Montmartre

The Artist's Quarter of Montmartre

Montmarte is the only hill in Paris. Join our local expert on a short walking tour of the lanes and squares around Sacré Coeur Church. Admire a spectacular view over the roofs of the City of Light and Love. Listen to the stories, and admire the artwork of the artists at Place du Tertre where some of the French impressionists started their career. You'll sense the contrasts of this legendary, devoted, and picturesque place where wine flowed freely and romance alternated with madness.

Approximate value: €49 EUR per person

The Palace of Versailles

The Palace of Versailles

Started as a hunting lodge and gentlemen's chateau, the young Sun King Louis XIV took over and transformed this Palace into the most splendid building and court of its time. A court that over time hosted many famous and sometimes not so well-known people; Madame Pompadour, Marie Antoinette, and others; Visit the staterooms, the famous Hall of Mirrors where several treaties were signed. Listen to the stories as you stroll through the apartments of the king and the queen. And enjoy some free time in the vast baroque gardens.

Approximate value: €69 EUR per person

Tournus

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 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, 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aix en Provence

Aix-En-Provence Half Day Private Guided Tour

Aix-En-Provence Half Day Private Guided Tour

Whether it is your first visit or a return trip, a private tour with a professional, certified local guide is the ideal way to discover Aix-en-Provence. Experience this quaint town as a local at a pace that suits you. Visit famous sites, museums, go shopping, take a break in a cafe--the choice is yours!

Approximate value: €190 EUR per group

Celebration Package: Unforgettable Romantic Evening in Aix-en-Provence

Celebration Package: Unforgettable Romantic Evening in Aix-en-Provence

Enjoy an unforgettable romantic evening in Aix-en-Provence! Your English speaking driver will pick you up at the hotel with a Peugeot 301 Black and Cream of 1934 (subject to change according availability). Drive along the Sainte Victoire Mountain and discover the beautiful atmosphere and scenery. Stop for a cocktail and for a photo stop. Later proceed for a romantic candlelight dinner in a traditional French restaurant for a delicious 3-course meal.

Approximate value: €599 EUR per group

French Cooking Lesson and Wine Tasting

French Cooking Lesson and Wine Tasting

Impress your family back at home by learning how to make a gourmet ratatouille, the famous and colorful Provencal vegetable dish. Once ready, enjoy it with tapenade, rouille and toast with olive oil. A fun, hands-on way to experience ratatouille and French culinary art, for old and young alike, and special memories for those who enjoyed the film. Complete your ' French experience' with a unique wine tasting.

Approximate value: €119 EUR per person

Golf in the South of France (9-Tee)

Golf in the South of France (9-Tee)

Venture to the countryside near Aix for a round of golf in the picturesque setting of southern France. A member of the local golf club will show you around. Golf clubs and ball rental included, as well as bottled water.

Approximate value: €112 EUR per person

On the Footsteps of Paul Cezanne

On the Footsteps of Paul Cezanne

This half-day excursion is dedicated to artist Paul Cézanne. Experience the same inspiration he felt in this picturesque setting as you walk in his footsteps with your expert local guide. See the Jas de Bouffan estate where he lived and painted; visit his last studio at Les Lauves in Aix still containing equipment and objects he used for models (entrance included). Also see the Bibémus Quarries, which gave him the inspiration for many of his remarkable landscapes.

Approximate value: €70 EUR per person

The 3C Tour: Cassis, Cruise and Cliffs

The 3C Tour: Cassis, Cruise and Cliffs

Your half-day excursion begins with a stroll through the narrow streets and vibrant squares of the picturesque fishing port of Cassis with its colorful buildings painted in the traditional pastels of Provence. Your local guide will wave goodbye after assisting with the boarding of your 45 minute cruise, during which you will discover the natural beauty of the three nearby 'calanques' (sheltered majestic inlets of stunningly steep white limestone rocky cliffs housing deep valleys and peaceful creeks with an unusual ecosystem). Admire the breathtaking panoramas from Cap Canaille, the highest maritime cliff in Europe at 1,309 ft. (399m).

Approximate value: €80 EUR per person

Visit Marseille: European Capital of Culture 2013

Visit Marseille: European Capital of Culture 2013

With its 26 centuries of history, the city of Marseille combines tradition and modernity. Along with your expert local guide, see the city's most famous landmarks such as Le Vieux Port (The Old Port); scenic La Corniche road; and the antique area of Le Vallon des Auffes. Visit the ornate Neo-Byzantine church Notre Dame de la Garde and stop to take a photo of the beautiful limestone Calanques.

Approximate value: €70 EUR per person

Nice

Cannes & Saint Paul De Vence

Cannes & Saint Paul De Vence

Drive along the sea to Cannes, celebrated for its prestigious annual film festival, and walk on the famed Promenade de la Croisette. Afterward, drink in the lovely landscapes on your way to Saint-Paul de Vence, a medieval Provencal village surrounded by well-preserved ramparts. Enjoy the peace and harmony of this idyllic spot made famous by world-renowned artists, and see locals playing La Petanque, France's national bowling game.

Approximate value: €74 EUR per person

Celebration Package: Unforgettable Romantic Evening in Montecarlo

Celebration Package: Unforgettable Romantic Evening in Montecarlo

Enjoy an unforgettable romantic evening in Montecarlo! Your English speaking driver will pick you up at the hotel in Nice with a Mercedes Class S (subject to change according to availability). Drive along drive the beautiful corniche of the French Riviera and discover the stunning scenery. Stop in front of Ville franche for a private cocktail and take a picture of the superb view of the Bay of Angels. Later reach the rock of Monaco for a dinner in one of the best restaurant in town. A table will be ready with flowers, champagne, tapenade and rouille . A 3-course dinner will complete this memorable evening.

Approximate value: €599 EUR per group

Excursion to Eze & Monaco

Excursion to Eze & Monaco

History and glamour come together with this popular excursion. Discover the natural beauty of the Moyenne Corniche and take pictures of breathtaking panoramas. Visit the picturesque hilltop village of Eze and a famous perfume factory. Later in Monaco, stroll through the narrow streets of the Old Town, visit the cathedral where Princess Grace Kelly is buried, and see Prince Albert's palace.

Approximate value: €74 EUR per person

Golf in Famous Cannes (18-Tee)

Golf in Famous Cannes (18-Tee)

A memorable experience for golfers, combining a round with the scenic beauty of southern France. Drive out of Nice to enjoy a morning round of golf at the beautiful Cannes golf course. A member of the golf club will show you around. Golf clubs and ball rental included, as well as bottled water. A 18- hole, four-hour excursion with three-course lunch, coffee, wine/water included.

Approximate value: €249 EUR per person

Golf in Famous Cannes (9-Tee)

Golf in Famous Cannes (9-Tee)

A memorable experience for golfers, combining a round with the scenic beauty of southern France. Drive out of Nice to enjoy a morning round of golf at the beautiful Cannes golf course. A member of the golf club will show you around. Golf clubs and ball rental included, as well as bottled water. A 9- hole, two-hour excursion.

Approximate value: €149 EUR per person

Monaco By Night

Monaco By Night

Drive along the coastal road with its medieval villages, marinas, and panoramic viewpoints. Visit Monaco and stroll through the narrow streets of the Old Town, with free time to dine and enjoy the atmosphere in luxurious Casino Square. Later, drive on the circuit of the famous Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Approximate value: €67 EUR per person

Nice Full Day Private Guided Tour

Nice Full Day Private Guided Tour

This 8-hour private walking tour with a professional, certified local guide is the ideal way to discover Nice. Make the most of your Nice experience at your pace and in your style--after all, it is your trip!

Approximate value: €270 EUR per group

Nice Half Day Private Guided Tour

Nice Half Day Private Guided Tour

This 4-hour private walking tour with a professional, certified local guide is the ideal way to discover Nice. Make the most of your Nice experience at your pace and in your style--after all, it is your trip!

Approximate value: €190 EUR per group

Nice Half Day Private Guided Tour

Nice Half Day Private Guided Tour

This 4-hour private walking tour with a professional, certified local guide is the ideal way to discover Nice. Make the most of your Nice experience at your pace and in your style--after all, it is your trip.

Approximate value: €190 EUR per group

Celebration

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

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

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 - 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

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

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

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

Similar Cruises

11 Day River Cruise from Côte d’Azur to Paris

Starting at: $3,799

per person without air*

Cruise Details

Want help finding a vacation?

Find a Travel AgentContact Us