Wine Lovers River Cruise - Avalon France

Grand France for Wine Lovers - Cruise Only 2018

15 Day River Cruise from Arles to Paris

2018 Information

This river cruise highlighting the best of France is certainly grand! The first part focuses on wine and you’ll be joined by our Master of Wine who will share his expertise at lectures and tastings.

Begin your adventure on the Rhône River in Arles—famous for inspiring the paintings of Van Gogh and its 1st-century Roman Amphitheater, which hosts plays and concerts to this day. On a guided tour of historical Avignon, see the 14th-century Palace of the Popes—the largest gothic fortress in the world; later visit the famous Châteauneuf du Pape wine cellars. As you cruise to Viviers, chocoholics will delight in an onboard chocolate and wine tasting! The twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage are beautifully nestled among vineyards and you’ll go on a guided walk of Tournon, a medieval treasure with plenty of Roman ruins and a fascinating 16th-century castle. Lyon, France’s gastronomic capital, is a showcase of medieval and Renaissance architecture. During your stay, enjoy an excursion into the Beaujolais region for a sampling of the wine before you prepare your taste buds for an onboard food and wine-pairing dinner, hosted by our Master of Wine. And as you cruise to St. Jean de Losne, enjoy a cheese and wine tasting! En route to Paris, visit Beaune and perhaps opt for a tasting of Burgundy wines! Transfer to the Seine River for the next portion of this Grand France river cruise vacation, which offers a choice of excursion opportunities, such as a visit to the historic Normandy Landing Beaches, including Omaha Beach, the Point du Hoc monument, and the American Cemetery; a visit to delightful Les Andelys, Joan of Arc’s Rouen, and the choice between a visit to Vincent van Gogh’s Auvers-sur-Oise or Napoleon and Josephine’s Malmaison.

Enjoy wine, cheese, beautiful scenery, and stops in the most charming and historical parts of France, and end your adventure in Paris—one of the world’s most romantic and vibrant cities! A guided walk through historic Île St. Louis with its narrow streets, and Île de la Cité, where medieval Paris was founded, will be a delight.


Dates & Prices Get A Quote Book Online

Highlights & Sightseeing

Day 1 Arrive in Arles, France (Embarkation): welcome to France! onboard welcome reception; sail into the Camargue region (daylight permitting)

Day 2 Arles: guided sightseeing, visit the Roman Amphitheater

Day 3 Avignon: guided sightseeing, visit the Palace of the Popes; excursion to Châteauneuf du Pape

Day 4 Cruising–Viviers: onboard chocolate and wine tasting; guided walk, visit Old Town and the cathedral

Day 5 Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage–Vienne: guided walk in Tournon; guided walk in Vienne

Day 6 Lyon: guided sightseeing, picture stop on Fourvière Hill; excursion to Beaujolais; onboard food and wine pairing dinner

Day 7 Cruising–St. Jean de Losne: day at leisure; cheese and wine tasting

Day 8 St. Jean de Losne (Disembarkation)–Beaune–Dijon–Paris (Embarkation): visit the Hôtel-Dieu or wine tasting in Beaune in Beaune; TGV train from Dijon to Paris; onboard welcome reception

Day 9 Vernon–Les Andelys: choice of guided excursions to Giverny or Bizy Castle; guided walk in Les Andelys, visit the Parish Church of Le Petit Andely

Days 10-11 Caudebec: excursion along the “Normandy Abbeys Route”; choice of excursions to Normandy landing beaches or “A Taste of Normandy”

Day 12 Rouen: guided walk, see the Astronomical clock and visit the cathedral

Day 13 Conflans–Paris: choice of guided excursions to Auvers-sur-Oise or Château de Malmaison

Day 14 Paris: “Heart of Paris” walk, visit Notre Dame Cathedral

Day 15 Paris (Disembarkation): your vacation ends this morning

Meals

Notes

  • 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 Arles, France (Embarkation)

Welcome to France! This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel docked in Arles in the Provence region. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception, then sail toward the mouth of the Rhône for a taste of the tranquil vistas of Camargue National Park (daylight permitting). (Dinner)

Day 2Arles

In Arles, capital of the Provence, join your LOCAL GUIDE for a tour of the city. See the church of St. Trophime, dating from the 12th century, and visit the ROMAN AMPHITHEATER. Still used today, the amphitheater dates to the 1st century, and was constructed to hold over 20,000 spectators. Vincent Van Gogh was inspired by the special light of the Provence and spent a very productive year in Arles. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3Avignon

On 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. With a living space equivalent to four gothic cathedrals, it is the largest gothic fortress in the world. Alternatively, you may opt for only city sightseeing and more free time to explore on your own, or to join an optional outing to Pont du Gard. This afternoon an excursion takes you to the famed wine cellars of CHÂTEAUNEUF DU PAPE to learn about and to taste this famous wine. A Master of Wine will join you on board and will introduce you to some of France’s wines in the coming days (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4Cruising–Viviers

A leisurely morning on board to relax and enjoy the passing scenery. As you cruise, our Master of Wine will tempt you with a TASTING of CHOCOLATE and WINE. After lunch, join your LOCAL GUIDE for a walk around the charming town of Viviers, which developed around its ROMANESQUE CATHEDRAL. The OLD TOWN has an appealing mix of Christian, Roman, and medieval influences. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage–Vienne

The twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage lie nestled among vineyards between the Rhône River and the granite slopes of the Hermitage. Enjoy a GUIDED WALK of Tournon, one of France’s oldest medieval cities, with its imposing 16th-century castle and Roman ruins. Arriving in Vienne in the late afternoon, a GUIDED WALK shows you the charming little town surrounded by steep hills. Explore the town center to see the Roman Theater, which once held 13,000 spectators, and the Augustus and Livia Temple, built around 20 BC and converted into a church in the Middle Ages. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6Lyon

Lyon. Lyon is 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, many excellent museums, and much renaissance architecture delight visitors. You are joined by a LOCAL GUIDE as you survey the city from Fourvière Hill—with its splendid views over the city—and explore the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its maze of medieval alleyways and Place des Terreaux, a popular area with lively cafés, monuments, and the famous fountain often depicted on postcards. This afternoon an excursion takes you to sample BEAUJOLAIS, the wine of the region. This evening enjoy a special on board FOOD AND WINE PAIRING DINNER hosted by our Master of Wine, who has specifically chosen the wines for this occasion. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 7Cruising–St. Jean de Losne

A leisurely day today as your final day on board. If you prefer to stay busy, a choice of optional excursions is available, including a visit to a wine cellar. While sailing to St. Jean de Losne, enjoy an onboard CHEESE AND WINE TASTING. Here, too, our Master of Wine will guide you through this wonderful experience. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8St. Jean de Losne. (Disembarkation)–Beaune–Dijon–Paris (Embarkation)

After breakfast, disembark and head by motorcoach to Beaune, the unofficial capital of the Côte d’Or area and Burgundy’s wine capital. Although life here centers around wine, Beaune offers much more with its ramparts, medieval houses, cobblestone streets, and historical monuments. 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. After lunch, continue to Dijon and board the TGV train to Paris, the “City of Light,” where your ship is docked on the River Seine. Meet your crew at a welcome reception; before dinner, your ship glides smoothly out of Paris. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 9Vernon–Les Andelys

This morning in Vernon, choose between a guided visit of Giverny and a visit to Bizy Castle. Claude Monet lived at GIVERNY for almost 43 years (1883-1926) and viewed his flower and water gardens as works of art—just like his paintings. See his collection of Japanese prints, his charming house, and his biggest sources of inspiration. Or, visit BIZY CASTLE, built in 1740 and nicknamed “Normandy’s Versailles.” It is known for its famous stables—inspired by those at Versailles—and its magnificent courtyard and water garden. This afternoon, your ship arrives in Les Andelys, situated on a bend of the Seine and one of the most beautiful places in France. Join a Local Guide for a GUIDED WALK of the town, visiting the PARISH CHURCH OF LE PETIT ANDELY. Alternatively, you may wish to join your guide on a hike up to the ruins of imposing Château Gaillard, built by England’s King Richard the Lionheart as a fortress in 1196. Constructed in only a year, it is a masterpiece of medieval military architecture. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 10Caudebec

Today, join a guided excursion along the “NORMANDY ABBEYS ROUTE,” a short drive from Caudebec. More than 100 abbeys once covered this region, which has a microclimate particularly suited to the production of fruit such as apples, pears, plums, and cherries. The afternoon is free to explore on your own or to join an optional excursion to the pretty coastal town of Honfleur. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 11Caudebec

Today, choose between an included full-day excursion to the historic NORMANDY LANDING BEACHES—with poignant sites such as Omaha Beach, the Pointe du Hoc monument, and the American Cemetery—or a “TASTE OF NORMANDY” for a more in-depth look at this picturesque, mainly agricultural region. The most important products are dairy, apples, and grain. Camembert cheese is a specialty, as is CALVADOS, a strong apple brandy that you’ll have the chance to taste at a local distillery. And for a touch of history, visit the famous BAYEUX TAPESTRY. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 12Rouen

Rouen, the capital of Upper Normandy, is an important commercial city perhaps best known for its connection to Joan of Arc, who lived, was imprisoned, and burned at the stake in the marketplace of this town in 1431. Enjoy the GUIDED WALK through the medieval quarter with its half-timbered, glazed-tile houses, and take your pictures of the Gros Horloge, an intricate astronomical clock dating back to the 16th century. Visit the splendid gothic CATHEDRAL, which was once the tallest building in the world and the subject of a series of Claude Monet’s paintings. The afternoon is free for you to explore on your own. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 13Conflans

After breakfast you may either join our included guided excursion to AUVERS-SUR-OISE, the quaint town where Vincent Van Gogh lived and died, or to Napoleon and Josephine’s CHÂTEAU DE MALMAISON outside Paris. Requiring extensive renovations, this large country estate was purchased by Josephine Bonaparte in 1799 while Napoleon was fighting in Egypt. It was her aim to make it “the most beautiful and curious garden in Europe, a model of good cultivation.” (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 14Paris

Known as one of the world’s most romantic and lively cities, Paris delights the senses. Join a GUIDED WALK through historic Île St. Louis with its narrow one-way streets and Île de la Cité, the center of Paris where the medieval city was founded and home to NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL. In your free time, stroll down the Champs-Elysées with its lavish cafés, or perhaps visit the world-famous Louvre or Montmartre with its gleaming white Sacré Coeur Basilica and bevy of artists on Place du Tertre. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 15Paris (Disembarkation)

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

Ship Details

Poetry II
Tapestry II

Poetry II

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 BalconySM. With 200 square feet, Panorama SuitesSM 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, a 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 and staterooms
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Headsets for guided shore excursions in Europe
  • Sightseeing with Certified Local Guides
  • Room service for Continental breakfast & beverages (service fee applies)
  • Complimentary computer use in public areas
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • Bicycles available onboard for complimentary check-out
  • Avalon Choice® cruising experience
  • Choice of Leisurely, Traditional or Independent sightseeing pace options
  • Local FavoritesSM onboard experiences to bring the customs, cultures and tastes of your destinations to life, including local entertainers, artisans & experts
  • Onboard assistance is available to recommend, reserve and further personalize your cruise
  • Sky Deck game area
  • Well-stocked library
  • Fresh fruit available throughout the day
  • Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs and shade awnings
  • Elevator
  • Outside viewing deck
  • Friendly, English-speaking crew and Cruise Director
  • Onboard lectures, activities & nightly entertainment
  • Sky Deck whirlpool
  • Hair salon
  • Biking excursions available in Amsterdam and Breisach
  • Alternate light lunch and dinner in the Panorama Bistro
  • Behind-the-scenes galley tour
  • Nordic walking sticks available onboard for complimentary check-out
  • 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, including decaf options
  • Fitness Center
  • Full-size closet mirror

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 and chair
  • Luxurious 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 and lighted makeup mirror
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 BalconySM
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Coffee table
  • Luxurious 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 and chair
  • 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 BalconySM
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Coffee table
  • Luxurious 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 and chair
  • Sofa
  • Double sinks
DECK PLANS

Tapestry II

The Avalon Tapestry II is a true haven on the river - two full decks of Panorama SuitesSM with Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows that transform the living space into a unique Open-Air BalconySM. 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 enchanting scenery and fresh breezes. Onboard amenities and services include complimentary computer use in public areas and free Wi-Fi access, a Fitness Center with state-of-the-art equipment, a hair salon, elevator, and a spacious Sky Deck with shade system, whirlpool, deck games, and the delightful Sky Bistro for al-fresco lunches of light grill fare.

Included Amenities

  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows
  • Fitness Center
  • Elevator
  • Outside viewing deck
  • Friendly, English-speaking crew and Cruise Director
  • Onboard lectures, activities & nightly entertainment
  • Sky Deck whirlpool
  • Hair salon
  • Additional biking excursions available in Amsterdam, Breisach and Bernkastel
  • Sky Deck game area
  • Avalon Choice® cruising experience
  • Nordic walking sticks available onboard for complimentary check-out
  • Self-serve beverage station with complimentary tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees, including decaf options
  • Fresh fruit available throughout the day
  • Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs and shade awnings
  • Non-smoking interior and staterooms
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Headsets for guided shore excursions in Europe
  • Sightseeing with Certified Local Guides
  • Room service for Continental breakfast & beverages (service fee applies)
  • Complimentary computer use in public areas
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • Bicycles available onboard for complimentary check-out
  • Alternate light lunch and dinner in the Panorama Bistro
  • Choice of Leisurely, Traditional or Independent sightseeing pace options
  • Local FavoritesSM onboard experiences to bring the customs, cultures and tastes of your destinations to life, including local entertainers, artisans & experts
  • Well-stocked library
  • Full-size closet mirror

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 and chair
  • Luxurious 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 and lighted makeup mirror
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 BalconySM
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Coffee table
  • Luxurious 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 and chair
  • 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 BalconySM
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Coffee table
  • Luxurious 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 and chair
  • Sofa
  • Double sinks
DECK PLANS

 Optional Excursions

The following optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These may or may not be offered, and availability is subject to days of operation and seasonality. Please select a departure date to view optional excursions and pricing for a specific date (due to currency fluctuation, pricing shown is subject to change until purchased).

Price Ranges

$ ($50 USD and under)
$$ ($51 - $100 USD)
$$$ ($101 - $150 USD)
$$$$ (Over $150)

No Excursions are available at this time.

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