Cruise Itinerary | Rhine & Rhone River Cruise - Amsterdam to Cote d'Azur

Rhine & Rhône Revealed with Aix-en-Provence & Nice – Southbound 2016

19 Day River Cruise from Amsterdam to Nice

2016 Information

This mesmerizing journey sets off along the Rhine, Saône, and Rhône Rivers before its conclusion along the stunning French Riviera. Enjoy a canal cruise in splendid Amsterdam and guided sightseeing in Cologne, Koblenz, and Strasbourg. Delight in excursions to Germany’s Black Forest and to Heidelberg with its imposing castle. Sail through the dramatic Rhine Gorge, see the legendary Lorelei rock, and visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz. A motorcoach transfer takes you into France’s Burgundy region to fascinating Beaune for a Burgundy wine tasting or a visit of the Hôtel-Dieu. Next, 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, and Avignon. 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 via high-speed train between Arles and Aix-en-Provence, hotel reservations, daily breakfast, sightseeing with local experts, 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 friendly and knowledgeable Local Hosts® to answer questions, share inside information, help you arrange your activities and excursions, and more. The next morning, after an included breakfast, we’ll pick you up for guided sightseeing with an expert Local Guide. You’ll walk along the 17th-century Cours Mirabeau, a lively area with fountains and famous cafés, and you’ll visit the Cathedral of the Holy Savior with 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 products. 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 famed Promenade des Anglais boulevard. In your free time, you may want to take an excursion to Monaco, St. Tropez, or Cannes, known for its international film festival. Your Local Host can help you arrange activities and excursions, plus make suggestions for the best places to sample the local specialties. We go the extra mile to make sure you live your dream rather than dream your life!

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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.

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Highlights & Sightseeing

Cruise: deluxe 14-night cruise in an outside stateroom with Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSM

Day 1-2 Amsterdam (Embarkation): welcome reception; canal cruise
on Day 2

Day 3 Cologne: choice of guided city walk or Jewish Heritage walk

Day 4 Koblenz–Rhine Gorge–Rüdesheim: guided sightseeing in Koblenz; cruise through the Rhine Gorge; visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim; special treat

Day 5 Mainz. Excursion to Heidelberg: guided walk, visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz; excursion to Heidelberg, guided visit of the castle, see the Great Vat

Day 6 Strasbourg: guided sightseeing, visit the La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral; onboard woodcarving demonstration

Day 7 Breisach. Excursion to the Black Forest: visit a local woodcarver’s workshop or visit a Black Forest open-air museum

Day 8 Basel (Disembarkation)–Beaune–Chalon-sur-Saône (Embarkation)–Tournus: transfer to Beaune, choice of visit of the Hôtel-Dieu or Burgundy wine tasting; onboard welcome reception

Day 9 Tournus: guided sightseeing, see the abbey of St. Philibert; cheese tasting

Day 10 Lyon: guided sightseeing in Lyon, picture stop on Fourvière Hill

Day 11 Lyon: day at leisure

Day 12 Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage–Viviers:
guided walk in Tournon; guided walk in Viviers, visit the Old Town and the cathedral

Day 13 Avignon: guided sightseeing, visit the Palace of the Popes

Day 14 Arles: guided sightseeing in Arles, visit the Roman Amphitheater; cruise into the Camargue region (daylight permitting)

Day 15 Arles (Disembarkation)–Aix-en-Provence: evening in 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.

Visit the Gutenberg museum, and attend a lively Edith Piaf-style show on board.

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:

  • The Rhône/Saône section of the October 22 departure is offered as an exclusive Wine Appreciation Cruise, 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.

Day-By-Day Itinerary

Day 1Arrive in Amsterdam, Holland (Embarkation)

Welcome to Amsterdam! Holland’s sophisticated, modern capital has a rich and fascinating history. This delightful 700-year-old city with its elegant and classic architecture, cafés, and restaurants has a distinct ambiance. The streets, squares, and canals—not to mention the bike paths throughout the city—make for a vibrant atmosphere, and with over 60 museums, Amsterdam has the highest museum density in the world. Perhaps you would like to take an optional excursion to Zaanse Schans with its traditional houses and Dutch craft workshops. This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. (Dinner)

NOTE:
Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

Day 2Amsterdam

There is no better way to see Amsterdam than by CANAL BOAT, cruising through the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” There’s free time in the city this afternoon. Later, bid tot ziens (farewell) to Holland and set sail for Germany. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3Cologne, Germany

Today, enjoy a peaceful morning of cruising before reaching Cologne in the afternoon. One of Germany’s largest cities and capital of the Rhineland, Cologne straddles both sides of the Rhine and is known for its soaring, twin-steepled gothic cathedral. Choose between an included GUIDED CITY WALK or JEWISH HERITAGE WALK. The Old Town abounds with cafés, shops, and taverns. Be sure to try a Kölsch pale lager, locally brewed in Cologne for over a hundred years! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4Koblenz–Rhine Gorge–Rüdesheim

Situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers, 2,000-year-old Koblenz is the cultural and business center of the Middle Rhine region. Here, join a Local Guide for a WALKING TOUR of the city that reveals an eventful past through its castles, fortress walls, towers, squares, and monuments. The dramatic RHINE GORGE is the most beautiful stretch of river, with ancient castles standing sentry on lofty cliffs rising 400 feet above the waters. Cruise past the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where echoes of enchanted siren song lured unwitting sailors to their doom. In Rüdesheim, the quintessential Rhine Valley wine town, visit SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM to see and hear a large collection of self-playing calliopes and music boxes from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. Enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT before returning to your ship for dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5Mainz. Excursion to Heidelberg

Strategically located at the confluence of the Rhine and Main Rivers is Mainz, with “civilized” origins dating back to around 38 BC. Today, this is Germany’s largest and most important wine market. Join your Local Guide for a GUIDED WALK through the Altstadt (Old Town) with its many intriguing shops and the whimsical Fastnachtsbrunnen (Carnival Fountain) on the Schillerplatz, a tribute to the jesters at the city’s annual Carnival celebration. Gutenberg, father of modern printing, was born here, and you’ll visit the captivating GUTENBERG MUSEUM. After lunch, travel to Heidelberg, home to the oldest university in Germany. With a LOCAL GUIDE, visit the imposing ruins of HEIDELBERG CASTLE, towering magnificently over the city and among the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. You’ll also see the famed GREAT VAT, the “World’s Largest Wine Barrel.” At nearly 23 feet high and 28 feet wide, the cask holds over 58,000 gallons of wine and has a dance floor built on top of it! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6Strasbourg, France

Situated on the border of France and Germany, Strasbourg blends the cultures of both countries in a delightful way. As capital of the Alsace region and seat of the Council of Europe and European Parliament, it is without a doubt an important city that manages to retain its historic charm. On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, visit the monumental red-sandstone GOTHIC CATHEDRAL with its ancient murals, stained-glass windows, and fascinating astronomical clock, as well as the magical LA PETITE FRANCE district, home to half-timbered houses, quaint shops, inviting bistros, and a waterfront promenade. Also spend time exploring Place Kléber, a large historic square in the heart of the city, and Place Gutenberg in the heart of medieval Strasbourg, which features a statue of the inventor of the printing press. An optional excursion into the Alsace wine country is available today. After dinner tonight, enjoy an onboard WOODCARVING demonstration. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 7Breisach, Germany. Excursion to the Black Forest

Located at the foot of Kaiserstuhl Mountain on the French-German border, Breisach is the gateway to Germany’s BLACK FOREST region, an area of unrivaled natural beauty with its forests of thick pine trees. The area got its name because the forests are so dense that local residents described them as black. Surely the most well-known products from this region are Black Forest ham, Black Forest cherry cake, and cuckoo clocks. You may opt for a visit to the workshop of a local woodcarver who produces clocks and other carvings, or to the open-air Museum of Vogtsbauernhof to see how life was lived in this area centuries ago. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8Basel, Switzerland (Disembarkation)–Beaune, France–Chalon- sur-Saône (Embarkation)–Tournus

After breakfast, say goodbye to the crew of the Avalon Tranquility II, cross the border into France, and head for 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 the Avalon Poetry II. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception as your ship departs for Tournus. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 9Tournus

After breakfast, your LOCAL GUIDE shows you the highlights of this delightful town 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 10Lyon

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 11Lyon

Enjoy a free day to explore at leisure. Early risers might like to visit the local produce market. Perhaps wander through one of Lyon’s parks, discover some of the murals (there are over 100 of them), or 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 the grapes must be hand picked. Your Cruise Director will have suggestions for things to do. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 12Tournon/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, an included 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 13Avignon

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. Your GUIDED TOUR includes a visit of the PALACE OF THE POPES, built in the 14th century as the sovereign popes’ residency. 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 14Arles

On arrival 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 15Arles (Disembarkation)–Aix-en-Provence

After breakfast, disembark your Avalon ship for your included transfer to Aix-en-Provence to join your Monograms vacation. (Breakfast)

Day 16Aix-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 17Aix-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 18Nice

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 19Nice

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

Ship Details

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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.

Amsterdam
Rudesheim
Strasbourg
Breisach
Tournus
Lyon
Avignon
Arles
Aix en Provence
Nice
Celebration

Amsterdam

A Traditional Windmill Village - Zaanse Schans
A Traditional Windmill Village - Zaanse Schans

A Traditional Windmill Village - Zaanse Schans

If you are in the Netherlands only for a short time, then this is a great excursion to see the typical Dutch sights in just one afternoon. Join our local expert on a journey through times when Dutch sailing ships crossed the seven seas and goods from all corners of the world were traded in Holland. A short coach ride gives you picturesque views of the Dutch "polder" landscape, reclaimed land with endless horizons and cattle grazing on the green grasslands. The open air village of Zaanse Schans is a collection of typical Dutch houses, windmills & craft stores which all have preserved their original character. We will have an inside visit of a working windmill. Highly interesting is the clog making demonstration and the cheese factory. In the little stores you can easily find all the Dutch souvenirs you want to take home. Zaanse Schans is a pleasant half day excursion which includes an array of typical sights for which Holland is famous.

Approximate value: €36 EUR per person

Amsterdam Castle: Muiderslot, a Genuine Castle, for a Real Taste of History
Amsterdam Castle: Muiderslot, a Genuine Castle, for a Real Taste of History

Amsterdam Castle: Muiderslot, a Genuine Castle, for a Real Taste of History

Take a traditional boat ride on the former Zuiderzee, where the Dutch East and West Indian Company ships sailed to and from Amsterdam for centuries. End your boat ride at the imposing Amsterdam Castle, the Muiderslot, which gives you a real taste of Dutch history. It is part of the Defence Line of Amsterdam and included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. During the guided tour through rooms full of authentic furniture and paintings from the Dutch Golden Age, you will imagine yourself in a painting by Rembrandt or Frans Hals. The guided tour through the museum's rooms, all refurbished in 17th-century style, evokes the period, when Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft, also known as the "Dutch Shakespeare," occupied the castle. In the beautiful herb and vegetable gardens, which still retain the atmosphere of the Dutch Renaissance, you will find many, often forgotten, flowers, herbs and vegetables from times gone by. A walk along the ramparts offers fantastic views of the water-rich environments and the Pampus island fortress. You should not miss the visit to the most beautiful and best kept medieval castle in the Netherlands.

Approximate value: €56 EUR per person

Anne Frank House
Anne Frank House

Anne Frank House

Visit the hiding place where Anne Frank wrote her diary during the Second World War. For more than two years, Anne Frank, her family, and four others lived secretively in the back part of her father's office building at #263 Prinsengracht, before being betrayed and turned in to the Nazis. If you have read the famous diary much of this will be familiar to you, but even if you haven't this can be a thought provoking place to see. The Anne Frank House/Museum, open since 1960, is probably the most famous attraction in town for new visitors. Take advantage of our tailor made tour, with an introduction by our local escort, hassle free transport and priority entrance.

Approximate value: €44 EUR per person

Cycling through the Dutch Countryside like a Local
Cycling through the Dutch Countryside like a Local

Cycling through the Dutch Countryside like a Local

The Netherlands is known for being the perfect country to go for a bike ride. After a short bike ride from your ship, a ferry takes you out of the hectic city. Then continue your biking tour into the beautiful and green nature reserve called "Waterland". Your local guide will take you through centuries old picturesque villages with typical wooden houses, past countless brooks and waterways, across old wooden bridges, along the Ijsselmeer, through green pastures. Designated bicycle paths connect the entire region. On a nice spring or summer day, the green fields are full of flowers, sheep and cows are in the meadows. Comfortable bicycles, helmets and refreshment in a typical Dutch Inn are provided and of course all these experiences under guidance of a local guide. A different way to experience Holland.

Approximate value: €59 EUR per person

Rudesheim

German Dinner
German Dinner

German Dinner

Savor a typical German Dinner Rheinisch style with most typical local fare, "Schnapps vom Brett" and a wonderful home-made soup. Enjoy a typical German platter - a selection of various roasts with home-made sauerkraut, and a variety of other locally made delicacies. Let the talented entertainers give you the best of German music and typical entertainment of both your and their choice. Lean back and relax in a century -old establishment where your drinks, a full-German three-course menu and transportation are all included. An unforgettable, cozy evening with your family and friends, old and new alike.

Approximate value: €59 EUR per person

Strasbourg

Excursion to the Alsace Countryside
Excursion to the Alsace Countryside

Excursion to the Alsace Countryside

The famous Alsace Wine Route, or "Route des Vins", is a winding ribbon of flower decorated villages in the north of Alsace. This guided excursion takes you on the back roads through the heart of the winemaking country. Stop at the picturesque area of Obernai for a short sightseeing of this lovely, small, typical Alsace town, so much influenced by both the French and the Germans, yet safeguarding its own particular character. Alsace is known for some of the world`s finest wines, to be found in the picturesque villages that dot the route with their half-timbered houses, taverns and stork nests. As there can be no visit to Alsace without a wine- tasting on the spot, we will visit one of its cellars and taste the excellent local wine.

Approximate value: €45 EUR per person

Excursion to the Maginot Line
Excursion to the Maginot Line

Excursion to the Maginot Line

The Maginot Line - named after the War Minister Andre Maginot - was completed by the end of 1930s along the Franco-German border, stretching from Switzerland to the vicinity of the Belgian frontier. The Line was composed of huge fortresses with smaller defense posts or simple blockhouses. You are invited to discover with the help of our local expert one of the forts with a maze of underground galleries, where you will see the fascinating equipment and the original and unique fittings of the kitchen, storage areas, power plant, ventilation system and the barracks with their sleeping quarters and first aid facilities. A true must for all history lovers.

Approximate value: €46 EUR per person

Breisach

Biking through the Kaiserstuhl Region
Biking through the Kaiserstuhl Region

Biking through the Kaiserstuhl Region

There is no better way to experience the Rhenish countryside, than by taking a bicycle. Our guided cycling experience will take you on a scenic route, passing vineyards, orchards and pretty villages. Regular bicycles are at your disposal. With many photo opportunities the tour promises to be a wonderful outing in the countryside. A guide will assist you with gear and the best route to take.

Approximate value: €49 EUR per person

E-Biking through the Kaiserstuhl Region
E-Biking through the Kaiserstuhl Region

E-Biking through the Kaiserstuhl Region

There is no better way to experience the Rhenish countryside, than by taking a bicycle. Our guided cycling experience will take you on a scenic route, passing vineyards, orchards and pretty villages. Electric-aid driven bicycles are at your disposal. With many photo opportunities the tour promises to be a wonderful outing in the countryside. A guide will assist you with gear and the best route to take.

Approximate value: €59 EUR per person

Excursion to Colmar
Excursion to Colmar

Excursion to Colmar

Known as the birthplace of the father of The Statue of Liberty, Colmar is indeed, one of the most beautiful, small towns in France. A maze of cobblestoned streets are lined with centuries old half timbered houses, many of them decorated with flowers. Around every corner you will find another photo spot, providing the visitor with a view on 1000 years of European History. Yet, Colmar retains a 'country town' atmosphere which contributes so much to its charm. A short, leisurely bus ride brings you to this charming town for a full city walk that will grant you an extraordinary insight into the region.

Approximate value: €45 EUR per person

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

Aix en Provence

Aix-En-Provence Half Day Private Guided Tour
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

French Cooking Lesson and Wine Tasting
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)

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

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

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

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

Celebration Package: Unforgettable Romantic Evening in Montecarlo
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

Golf in Famous Cannes (18-Tee)
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)

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

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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