A Culinary Experience in Grand France (Southbound) 2020

15 Day River Cruise Paris to Port-Saint-Louis

2020 Information

Indulge in a culinary adventure on your European river cruise with unmatched views on the Seine, Saône, and Rhône Rivers. Enjoy special excursions and activities to highlight great regional cuisine and wine. Cruise through Burgundy and Provence to sample food and wine in Lyon and Viviers. Enjoy a pastry demonstration; a chocolate, cheese, and wine tasting; and a food-and-wine pairing dinner hosted by your Master of Wine on board.

Embark in Paris and cruise to Vernon to see the home and gardens of master impressionist Claude Monet at Giverny, or visit Bizy Castle— “Normandy’s Versailles.” Sail to Caudebec for an excursion to historic Normandy. Visit the heroic WWII landing beaches of Normandy with American sites and monuments; or visit British, or Canadian memorials, or spend a day in the countryside for a “taste of Normandy.” Cruise to Rouen, site of Joan of Arc’s martyrdom, and see the sights, including Notre-Dame Cathedral. In Conflans, visit Auvers-sur-Oise, the final home of Vincent Van Gogh, or the Bonapartes’ Château de Malmaison. Your cruise continues once again in Paris with guided sightseeing in the heart of Paris— Île Saint-Louis and Notre-Dame Cathedral—or a city tour to see sites such as the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Opéra Garnier, and the Champs-Élysées. In Dijon, see Van der Weyden’s “The Last Judgement,” gracing Beaune’s Hotel-Dieu Charity Hospital.

Sail on the Rhône River through the Burgundy region to Mâcon with a cheese tasting on board, followed by a day of sightseeing in lovely Lyon, the gastronomic capital of France. Enjoy guided sightseeing and a culinary walk through Lyon, take a guided walk of Tournon, with its Roman ruins and fascinating 16th-century castle, and Viviers for a guided walk through this charming village, and then to Avignon. Cruise to Arles for sightseeing and a painting workshop a la Van Gogh whose work was inspired here. Your French river cruise concludes in Port-Saint-Louis.


Dates & Prices Get a Quote Book Online

Cruise at-a-Glance

Day 1 Paris (Embarkation): Onboard welcome receptionDay 2 Vernon–Les Andelys:Choice of excursions to Giverny or Bizy Castle; choice of guided walk, or guided hike in Les Andelys; crêpes tasting on boardDay 3 Caudebec: Choice of excursion along the “Normandy Abbeys Route”, or walk in the Natural Park Day 4 Caudebec:Choice of full day excursions to Normandy landing beaches, or “A Taste of Normandy” excursionDay 5 Rouen:Guided sightseeing, see the Astronomical Clock and visit the cathedralDay 6 Conflans:Choice of excursion to Auvers-sur-Oise, or excursion to Napoleon and Josephine’s Château de MalmaisonDay 7 Paris:Choice of guided sightseeing or “Heart of Paris” walking tour to see Paris’ historic sightsDay 8 Paris (Disembarkation)–Dijon–Beaune–St. Jean de Losne (Embarkation):High-speed train from Paris to Dijon; motor coach transfer to Beaune, visit the Hôtel-Dieu; onboard welcome receptionDay 9 Mâcon:Leisurely cruising; onboard cheese tasting and wine tastingDay 10 Lyon:Guided sightseeing; picture stop on Fourvière Hill; onboard pastry demonstrationDay 11 Lyon:Culinary tourDay 12 Tournon–Viviers:Guided walk in Tournon; onboard chocolate and wine tasting; guided walk in Viviers with tasting of local products, visit the Old Town and the cathedralDay 13 Avignon: Guided sightseeing, visit Palace of the Popes; onboard food & wine pairing dinnerDay 14 Arles:Choice of guided sightseeing in Arles, visit the Roman Amphitheatre, or painting workshopDay 15 Port St. Louis (Disembarkation):Your cruise ends this morning

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Day-By-Day Itinerary

(B) = Breakfast   (L) = Lunch   (D) = Dinner

Day 1

(D)

PARIS, FRANCE (EMBARKATION)

Welcome to France. Your Suite Ship® is Ready for Boarding.

Flights into Paris must arrive by 2:30 pm.

Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

Your day is free to explore the world's most romantic city before starting your cruise on the Seine. Get acquainted with the City of Lights today with some shopping, strolling, or with a croissant and café au lait to watch the world go by amid the Parisian cityscape.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO VERNON

Day 2

(B, L, D)

VERNON

Monet’s Muses, Castle Courtyards, and Crêpes du Jour

Start the day with a Morning Stretch with your Avalon Adventure Host.

Classic
CLASSIC Take a Guided Tour of Giverny, home and inspiration of the master impressionist painter Claude Monet. Walk the grounds and see Monet’s charming residence, and the flower and water gardens captured in his masterpieces, OR:
Classic
CLASSIC Join a Guided Visit to Bizy Castle—called “Normandy’s Versailles” for its magnificent courtyard, water garden, and stables.
Discovery
DISCOVERY While sailing, enjoy a traditional French Luncheon of authentic French crêpes, followed by a Pastry Demonstration.

This afternoon, enjoy cruising to the picturesque town of Les Andelys.

LES ANDELYS

Serenity on the Seine’s Most Beautiful Riverbends

Classic
CLASSIC Take a Guided Walking Tour of Les Andelys—one of France’s most picturesque spots on the Seine, OR:
Active
ACTIVE Join a Guided Hike up to the castle ruins of Château Gaillard—historic home of King Richard the Lionheart.
EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO CAUDEBEC

Day 3

(B, L, D)

CAUDEBEC

Churches, Cherry Orchards, and White Cliffs of Normandy

Active
ACTIVE Join your Avalon Adventure Host for a Morning Jog in Normandy’s town of Caudebec.
Classic
CLASSIC Take a Guided Trip along the Normandy Abbeys Route—where more than 100 medieval Benedictine and Augustine abbeys and churches were built along the Seine, OR:
Active
ACTIVE Explore Boucles de la Seine Normande with a Guided Hike of Normandy’s vast regional nature park in a region rich in apple, plum, pear, and cherry orchards.

This afternoon, you may choose a Guided Optional Excursion to the old seaside town of Honfleur.

Later enjoy live entertainment on board.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN CAUDEBEC

Day 4

(B, L, D)

CAUDEBEC. EXCURSION TO NORMANDY

Heroic Bravery on Normandy Beaches and French Farming Traditions

Classic
CLASSIC Join a Guided Tour of the WWII landing beaches of Normandy, visit significant U.S. sites, including Omaha Beach, the Pointe du Hoc monument, and the American Cemetery, OR:
Classic
CLASSIC Take a full-day Guided Tour of the British and Canadian commemorative sites, including the British cemetery, Pegasus Memorial, the seaside town of Arromanches, the Juno Beach Center, and the Bény-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery, OR:
Classic
CLASSIC Join “A Taste of Normandy” Guided Tour for an in-depth look at this rich agricultural region. See the famous Bayeux Tapestry, visit the beautiful village of Beuvron en Auge and taste Calvados apple brandy at a local distillery.

Later, enjoy live entertainment on board your ship.

EVENING CRUISE TO ROUEN

Day 5

(B, L, D)

ROUEN

The Cathedral of Notre-Dame, and a Heroine for France

Classic
CLASSIC Take a Guided Walking Tour of Rouen—site of Saint Joan of Arc’s martyrdom—and see the medieval quarter with its 16th-century Astronomical Clock, and Notre-Dame Cathedral.

Enjoy onboard entertainment before setting sail this evening.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO CONFLANS

Day 6

(B, L, D)

CONFLANS

Walk in the Footsteps of Van Gogh, Bonaparte, and Louis XIV

Classic
CLASSIC Join a Guided Visit to Auvers-sur-Oise, home and resting place of Vincent van Gogh, OR:
Classic
CLASSIC Take a Guided Tour of the opulent Château de Malmaison—home of Napoléon Bonaparte and his wife Josephine.

Perhaps, join a Guided Optional Excursion tour of the Palace of Versailles—home to a succession of French kings.

EVENING CRUISE TO PARIS

Day 7

(B, L, D)

PARIS

Cafés, Cathedrals, & Canvases—The City of Lights Truly Shines

Active
ACTIVE Take a Morning Walk with your Avalon Adventure Host to see Paris at first light.
Classic
CLASSIC Discover the ancient heart of Paris on a captivating Guided Walk featuring the Palais-Royal, Louvre pyramid, ancient sites on Île de la Cité, the Left Bank, bustling Latin Quarter, and more, OR:
Classic
Join a Guided City Tour, that shows you the iconic sites of Paris, such as the Louvre Museum, the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, Opéra Garnier, and the famous Champs-Élysées.

Stroll through Paris on your own, or linger over wine in a literary café on the Left Bank.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN PARIS

Day 8

(B, D)

PARIS (DISEMBARKATION) DIJON—BEAUNE—ST. JEAN DE LOSNE (EMBARKATION)

Take a High-Speed Train from Paris to Dijon, to drive on to Beaune.

Classic
CLASSIC Visit the Hôtel-Dieu Charity Hospital in Beaune, built in 1443, today home of the Van der Weyden’s painting of the Last Judgement.

This afternoon, travel to St. Jean de Losne to board your Suite Ship®.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MÂCON

Day 9

(B, L, D)

MÂCON

Wine and Cheese on the Stunning Saône

Enjoy leisurely cruising en route to Mâcon along the majestic Saône River. Consider a Guided Optional Excursion to a Chardonnay wine cellar, or to the Castle of Cormatin.

Discovery
DISCOVERY Later, enjoy a delicious Cheese Tasting and Wine Tasting hosted by your Master of wine.

Enjoy live entertainment while sailing for Trévoux this evening.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN TRÉVOUX

Day 10

(B, L, D)

LYON

Adventures in Food and Wine in the Gastronomy Capital of France

Sail for lovely Lyon this morning for French fare.

Classic
CLASSIC Join a Guided Sightseeing Tour to survey Lyon with its numerous churches from Fourvière Hill. You’ll also explore the Old Town with its maze of medieval alleyways, and the lively cafés, monuments, and famed fountain of Place des Terreaux.

Spend free time biking through Lyon’s town squares, over bridges, and along the banks where the Rhône and Saône rivers meet.

Discovery
DISCOVERY Enjoy a pastry demonstration hosted by a French chef on board your ship.

Later enjoy live entertainment after dinner.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN LYON

Day 11

(B, L, D)

LYON

French Food and Wine—La Vie En Rose in Lyon

Discovery
DISCOVERY Join a Culinary Walk through the city to discover why Lyon is known as the gastronomic capital of France.

The rest of your day is free to explore, relax, or shop in France’s third largest city. Take a bike from the ship and explore local produce markets and parks, or take a leisurely tour of the city’s more than 100 murals.

Later, enjoy live entertainment on board.

EVENING CRUISE TO TOURNON

Day 12

(B, L, D)

TOURNON

A Rendezvous with Castle Views and Vineyards

Classic
CLASSIC Take a morning Guided Walking Tour to explore Tournon—one of France’s oldest medieval cities. See its 16th-century castle, and Roman ruins between the Rhône River and the granite slopes of the Hermitage.
Discovery
DISCOVERY Enjoy an onboard chocolate and wine tasting hosted by your Master of Wine.

Enjoy a leisurely sail to Viviers after lunch.

VIVIERS

World History in a Charming French Country Village

Discovery
DISCOVERY Explore the pale-stone buildings of Viviers on a late afternoon Guided Walking Tour of this charming village. You’ll see its Romanesque cathedral and Old Town with a mix of historical Christian, Roman, and medieval influences. During the tour you will also discover and taste local specialties.
EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO AVIGNON

Day 13

(B, L, D)

AVIGNON

The City of Popes in Picturesque Provence

Classic
CLASSIC Take a Guided Sightseeing Tour of the fortress city of Avignon—with its ramparts encircling the city—and a visit to the amazing Palace of the Popes.

Guided Optional Excursions include a visit to the ancient Roman aqueduct of Pont du Gard, a trip to the famed wine cellars of Châteauneuf-du-Pape for a true taste of the Rhône wine region, or a cooking class.

Explore Avignon on your own for the city’s art and culture, theatre, and museums. Be sure to snap photos of the captivating countryside, historic monuments, and the medieval Pont Saint-Bénézet.

Discovery
DISCOVERY This evening, join an onboard food and wine pairing dinner hosted by your Master of Wine.

Later, enjoy onboard live entertainment.

EVENING CRUISE TO ARLES

Day 14

(B, L, D)

ARLES

Inspiring Sights and Avant-Garde Lights

Active
ACTIVE Join your Avalon Adventure Host for a Morning Walk.
Classic
CLASSIC Enjoy a Guided Walking Tour of Arles—the captivating city of the Provence region. You’ll visit the Roman Amphitheater in this visually stunning city, OR:
Discovery
DISCOVERY Attend a Painting Workshop to learn the style and techniques of Vincent van Gogh. You’ll create your own painting in the style of the classic master who took inspiration from the Provence light and landscape in Arles.

Consider a Guided Optional Excursion to the Carrières de Lumières (Cathedral of Images) to immerse yourself in a truly unique experience of art, sound, and light in the old quarries of Val d’Enfer.

Take advantage of any free time with a stop in Le Café Van Gogh for a glass of wine to relax and watch the world go by.

EVENING CRUISE TO PORT ST. LOUIS

Day 15

(B)

PORT ST. LOUIS (DISEMBARKATION)

Your cruise ends with breakfast this morning.

Flights should not leave Marseille airport before 10 am.

Notes

  • In the event of technical or water level issues, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or alter the program, including hotel overnight when necessary.
  • Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change becomes necessary, a substitute will be offered.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.


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A Culinary Experience in Grand France (Southbound)

Start Sooner, Stay Longer

Start your vacation earlier or stay longer with destination options before or after your Avalon cruise.

Ship Details

Tapestry II
Poetry II

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, an 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


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
  • USB Ports
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • 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 English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • In-room safe
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Two windows
  • Writing desk and chair
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
  • USB Ports
  • 6-person sitting area
  • Writing desk and chair
  • Sofa
  • 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 English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Make-up mirror
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window with Open-Air BalconySM
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Coffee table
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
  • USB Ports
  • 6-person sitting area
  • Writing desk and chair
  • Sofa
  • Double sinks
  • 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 English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Make-up mirror
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window with Open-Air BalconySM
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Coffee table
DECK PLANS

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


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
  • USB Ports
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • 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 English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • In-room safe
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Two windows
  • Writing desk and chair
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
  • USB Ports
  • 6-person sitting area
  • Writing desk and chair
  • Sofa
  • 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 English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Make-up mirror
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window with Open-Air BalconySM
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Coffee table
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
  • USB Ports
  • 6-person sitting area
  • Writing desk and chair
  • Sofa
  • Double sinks
  • 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 English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Make-up mirror
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window with Open-Air BalconySM
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Coffee table
DECK PLANS

Hotels

Paris

 Optional Excursions

No matter what you’re into: food, wine, history, art, music or anything else, we give you the freedom to personalize your vacation with optional excursions that speak to your interests.

When you book your excursions with us, you can be assured that every optional excursion that we offer coordinates with the free time that you'll have in your destination, so you'll never have conflicts between included and optional activities. Our team of travel experts carefully selects each optional excursion that we offer to ensure that you receive the highest quality at a great value. Our tried-and-true partners have a finger on the pulse of the city in which they operate so they deliver the very best experiences. We offer experiences you cannot create on your own and because you’re booking with us, we coordinate all your transportation and timing needs.

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). Optional excursions are available for purchase on our MyAvalon site 90 days prior to the tour start date.

Price Ranges

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

No Excursions are available at this time.