Burgundy & Provence with Aix-en-Provence & Nice - Southbound 2018

14 Day River Cruise from Paris to Nice

2018 Information. Switch to 2019 »

Opportunities abound on this delightful river cruise vacation to learn about France and the French. Your adventure begins with two overnights and guided sightseeing in Paris, then take the high-speed train to Dijon and continue by motorcoach to fascinating Beaune for a visit of Hôtel-Dieu. Next, board your river cruise ship in quaint St. Jean de Losne and set sail for lovely Seurre, France’s gastronomic capital of Lyon, as well as medieval Tournon, charming Viviers, Avignon, and Arles. Daylight permitting, sail into the peaceful Camargue area.

Disembark your cruise ship in Arles and transfer to Aix en Provence for the start of your Monograms extension. With two overnights, enjoy guided sightseeing with an expert Local Guide, walk along the 17th-century Cours Mirabeau—a lively area with fountains, elegant homes, and famous cafés—and visit the Cathedral of the Holy Savior, known for its mishmash of architectural styles. This was Cézanne’s hometown, and in your free time, you may want to take a tour following in his footsteps. Perhaps take an excursion to Cassis with an included cruise, soak in Aix-en-Provence's healing thermal baths, or shop for lavender and other local specialties.

Finally, we’ll whisk you via high-speed train to Nice for your final two nights in France. Here, you’ll walk through the Old Town and the Promenade des Anglais, Nice’s most famous boulevard. In your free time, perhaps take an excursion to Monaco, St. Tropez, or Cannes—known for its famous film festival. In both cities, we provide the services of Local Hosts®—a “friend in the city” to answer questions, share inside information, and help arrange your activities and excursions. Your Local Host can also provide suggestions for the best places to sample the local specialties, as well as be there to help you feel comfortable in each city. Transfers to and from your hotels and train stations, and hotel reservations with daily breakfasts, are included.

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, Barcelona or Zürich with Mount Pilatus & Lake Como package to your river cruise.

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Dates & Prices Get A Quote Book Online

Highlights & Sightseeing

Special Interest Cruises Available

Burgundy & Provence with Aix-en-Provence & Nice for Wine Lovers - Southbound - 10/25/2018
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Days 1-2 Paris: welcome to France; guided sightseeing on Day 2

Day 3 Paris–Dijon–Beaune–St. Jean de Losne (Embarkation)–Seurre: TGV train from Paris to Dijon. Motorcoach transfer to Beaune, visit the Hôtel-Dieu; onboard welcome reception

Day 4 Seurre–Macon: leisurely cruising; free time in Mâcon; onboard cheese tasting

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

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

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

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

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

Day 10 Arles (Disembarkation)–Aix-en-Provence: travel by motorcoach to Aix-en-Provence

Aix-en-Provence & Nice: 4 nights hotel accommodation with buffet breakfast (B); Monograms Local Host Service & Destination Guides with city maps; guided sightseeing, inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE; high-speed TGV train (first class) from Aix-en-Provence to Nice; transfers from ship to Aix-en- Provence hotel and to/from train stations.

Meals

  • Welcome & farewell cocktails with sparkling wine and canapés
  • Welcome dinner
  • Farewell dinner
  • Daily full buffet breakfast with made-to-order egg station, hot and cold menu items
  • Early and Late Riser breakfast
  • Daily lunch buffet with pasta or carving stations
  • Alternative light lunch or (weather permitting) grill fare at the Sky Bistro on the Sky Deck
  • Daily four-course à la carte dinner in the main dining room
  • Alternative dinner of petite portions or regional specialties with wines, in the Panorama Bistro
  • Daily Afternoon Tea
  • Daily Night Fare
  • Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; wine, beer, or soft drinks with lunch and dinner are included daily on board your vessel

Day-By-Day Itinerary

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

Day 1

Arrive in Paris, France

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

Day 2

(B)

Paris

Known as one of the world’s most passionate and lively cities, Paris delights the senses. Your included CITY SIGHTSEEING shows you magnificent must-see sights, such as Notre Dame Cathedral, the unique Louvre Museum with its glass pyramid as a contrast to its ancient architecture, the commemorative Arc de Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower. In your free time, stroll down the Champs-Elysées with its lavish cafés, or perhaps visit the world-famous Louvre museum or Montmartre with its gleaming white Sacré Coeur Basilica and bevy of artists on Place du Tertre.

Day 3

(B, D)

Paris–Dijon–Beaune–St. Jean de Losne (Embarkation)–Seurre

This morning, board the TGV train to Dijon and from there, drive to Beaune, the unofficial capital of the Côte d’Or area. Beaune owes its wealth to the production, aging, and selling of fine wines. Although life here centers around wine, Beaune offers much more. 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. Then, continue to St. Jean de Losne, where you’ll board your river cruise vessel. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception as your ship departs for Seurre.

Day 4

(B, L, D)

Seurre–Macon

Enjoy some leisurely cruising this morning. In the afternoon, you might choose to participate in an optional excursion, such as to a Chardonnay wine cellar, before your ship arrives in Mâcon. In the late afternoon, enjoy an ONBOARD CHEESE TASTING.

Day 5

(B, L, D)

Lyon

Lyon, France’s third-largest city and its gastronomic capital, was 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.

Day 6

(B, L, D)

Lyon

Enjoy a free day in this fascinating city to explore at leisure. Early risers might like to visit the local produce market. Perhaps wander through one of Lyon’s parks, discover some of the murals (there are over 100), or select one of the available optional excursions. Be sure to taste the gastronomic delights and sample Beaujolais, the wine of the region; wine connoisseurs know that the grapes must be hand picked. Your Cruise Director will have plenty of suggestions for things to do.

Day 7

(B, L, D)

Tournon/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 afternoon, a GUIDED WALK shows you this charming town that developed around its ROMANESQUE CATHEDRAL. The OLD TOWN has an appealing mix of Christian, Roman, and medieval influences.

Day 8

(B, L, D)

Avignon

The fortified city of Avignon is the capital of the Vaucluse region, the most picturesque part of Provence with its intact ramparts encircling the entire city, cobblestone streets and squares, and private mansions built in the 18th and 19th centuries. Known as the “City of Popes,” it was the center of the Catholic Church in the 14th century. During your GUIDED TOUR you may choose to join an included visit of the PALACE OF THE POPES, built in the 14th century as the sovereign popes’ residence. A photo of the famous Pont Saint Bénezet (Saint Bénezet Bridge), of the popular song Sur le Pont d’Avignon, is a must. Optional outings to Pont du Gard or to the famed wine cellars of Châteauneuf-du-Pape are available.

Day 9

(B, L, D)

Arles

This morning, wake up early to the tranquil vistas of Camargue National Park (daylight permitting) before arriving in Arles after breakfast. Located on the northern tip of the Camargue, Arles is 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 more than 20,000 spectators.

Day 10

(B)

Arles (Disembarkation)–Aix-en-Provence

Leave your Avalon vacation one day early upon disembarkation in Arles, and take the included transfer to Aix-en-Provence to join your Monograms package. Your guided walking tour takes in 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.

Day 11

(B)

Aix-en-Provence

Your Local Host can suggest some wonderful options for your day 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.

Day 12

(B)

Aix-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.

Day 13

(B)

Nice

Your Local Host has 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.

Day 14

(B)

Nice

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

Notes

  • Departure October 25 is offered as exclusive Wine Appreciation Cruises, including special lectures and tastings at no additional cost. Your palate will applaud as you learn what to look for in a good wine. A distinguished wine authority will teach you the ropes as you visit a wine village and attend tastings to test your newfound talent.
  • In the event of water level problems or any problems of a technical nature, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or to alter the program.
  • Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change becomes necessary, a substitute will be offered.
  • In the event that a high-speed train is unavailable due to strikes or technical reasons, the route will be operated by motorcoach.

Ship Details

Poetry 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 staterooms & ship interior
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Headsets for guided shore excursions in Europe
  • Sightseeing with Expert Local Guides
  • Room service for Continental breakfast & beverages (service fee applies)
  • Complimentary computer use in public areas
  • Biking excursions available in Amsterdam and Breisach
  • Light lunch & casual dinner in the Panorama Bistro
  • Behind-the-scenes galley tour
  • Nordic walking sticks available onboard for complimentary check-out
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Linger over several selections from the Panorama Bistro's tasting menu for a less formal "sit-down" atmosphere
  • Self-serve beverage station with complimentary tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees, including decaf options
  • State-of-the-art fitness center
  • Full-size closet mirror
  • Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs, whirlpool, shade awnings, & outdoor deck game area
  • Convenient Elevator Service
  • Outside viewing deck
  • English-speaking friendly crew, staff & professional Cruise Director
  • Onboard lectures, activities & entertainment
  • Sky Deck whirlpool
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • Onboard Adventure Center with active gear, bikes, Nordic walking sticks, watercraft & maps
  • Avalon Choice® cruising experience
  • Choice of Leisurely, Traditional or Independent sightseeing pace options
  • Onshore & Onboard experiences with regional customs, cultures & tastings with local artisans, experts & entertainers
  • Onboard assistance is available to recommend, reserve and further personalize your cruise
  • Sky Deck game area
  • Well-stocked library with books, cards, and board games
  • Complimentary bottled water, fresh fruit, and cookies available throughout the day

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
Aix en Provence
Nice

 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)


Paris
Tournus
Packages
Lyon
Avignon
Arles
Aix en Provence
Nice

Paris

Discover Paris' Metro & Le Marais

Discover Paris' Metro & Le Marais

Feel like a true Parisian on this guided excursion as you ride the Metro to the chic Le Marais district to explore its ancient architecture, fascinating Jewish Quarter, and hub of cafés, galleries, and boutiques!

Price Range: $

Palace of Versailles Visit

Palace of Versailles Visit

Spend part of your day like a French aristocrat, strolling through the halls and gardens of Louis XIV's opulent Palace of Versailles.

Price Range: $$$

Tournus

Fairytale Château de Cormatin

Fairytale Château de Cormatin

Step right onto the pages of a fairytale during this half-day guided excursion to Château de Cormatin with its drawbridge, moat, exquisite gardens, and extravagantly adorned interior.

Price Range: $$

The Mâconnais Region & Its Chardonnay Wines

The Mâconnais Region & Its Chardonnay Wines

Travel into the rolling landscapes of the Mâconnais region to learn about its world-famous Chardonnay vineyards, the wines produced here, and to attend a wine-tasting in the cellars of a real medieval castle!

Price Range: $$

Packages

Celebration Packages

Celebration Packages

Celebrating a birthday or anniversary while you're cruising? Add an Avalon Celebration Package to your vacation. You can make your special day even more memorable with special touches ranging from flowers to a private cocktail reception.

Price Range: $$$$

Lyon

Discover Lyon Culinary Walk

Discover Lyon Culinary Walk

Discover just what makes Lyon cuisine so famous around the world on this delicious guided foodie walking tour.

Price Range: $$

Beaujolais: A Discovery of the Region & Its Wine

Beaujolais: A Discovery of the Region & Its Wine

Explore the beauty of the Beaujolais wine region, learn the magic behind its wine, and enjoy an included wine tasting on this enriching half-day guided excursion.

Price Range: $$

Discover Pérouges

Discover Pérouges

Discover one of the most beautiful medieval walled towns in France on this half-day guided tour of Pérouges, idyllic movie set from the 1973 version of 'The Three Musketeers'!

Price Range: $$

Avignon

Pont du Gard, Ancient Engineering Wonder

Pont du Gard, Ancient Engineering Wonder

Visit the masterpiece of ancient engineering that supplied water to Nîmes during the Roman Empire-towering, triple-tiered Pont du Gard-on this incredible half-day guided tour.

Price Range: $$

Discover Châteauneuf du Pape

Discover Châteauneuf du Pape

Wines from Châteauneuf du Pape have become icons among French wines. Join us for a delightful half-day guided excursion into the famous wine region for a visit of a traditional winery and a tasting of its incomparable wines!

Price Range: $$

Arles

Discover Provence

Discover Provence

Travel into the heart of Provence on this exciting half-day guided visit of an olive farm and olive mill with a tasting of locally produced olive oil!

Price Range: $$

Carrières de Lumières Sound & Light Show

Carrières de Lumières Sound & Light Show

Stimulate your senses on this unbelievable excursion to Carrières de Lumières, the world-famous Cathedral of Images in a former limestone quarry, past the fantastical rock formations of Hell Valley, and then to charming Saint-Rémy in the heart of Provence.

Price Range: $$

Aix en Provence

Cuisine of Provence

Cuisine of Provence

Take a break and experience the incredible gastronomic wonders of Provence!

Price Range: $$$

Cassis, Cruise & Cliffs

Cassis, Cruise & Cliffs

Explore the pretty fishing port of Cassis before embarking on an incredible boat cruise past soaring cliffs, picturesque sheltered inlets, and remarkable natural beauty.

Price Range: $$

Footsteps of Paul Cézanne

Footsteps of Paul Cézanne

Join an expert guide for a walk through artist Paul Cézanne's Aix-en-Provence home, visiting his estate, his final art studio, and the scenic quarries that inspired many of his masterpieces.

Price Range: $$

Discover Marseille, European Capital of Culture

Discover Marseille, European Capital of Culture

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.

Price Range: $$

French Cooking Lesson with Wine Tasting

French Cooking Lesson with Wine Tasting

Learn how to make a colorful gourmet ratatouille, then enjoy the fruits of your labor, along with a unique wine tasting.

Price Range: $$$

Celebration Package: Dinner in Aix-en-Provence

Celebration Package: Dinner in Aix-en-Provence

Don't miss this incredible celebratory evening featuring a romantic drive in first-class, private transportation, a private cocktail at a picturesque photo stop, and a delectable 3-course candlelight dinner at a traditional French restaurant.

Price Range: $$$$

Golfing in the South of France

Golfing in the South of France

Combine an exhilarating round of golf with the scenic beauty of southern France on this enjoyable golf outing in the lovely French countryside.

Price Range: $$$

Bay of Marseille Boat Cruise

Bay of Marseille Boat Cruise

Spend the day exploring the wonders of the Mediterranean, including an exhilarating motorboat cruise around the Bay of Marseille and the chance to do some swimming and snorkeling at Frioul Island!

Price Range: $$$$

Provence eBike Tour

Provence eBike Tour

Pedal your way through the countryside on this guided eBike tour for a fun and proper introduction to the treasures of Aix-en-Provence.

Price Range: $$

Nice

Monaco by Night

Monaco by Night

The magic of Monaco comes alive on this mesmerizing evening excursion featuring a drive along the coastal road and on the Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit, a guided walking tour through the Old Town, and free time to dine and explore on your own!

Price Range: $$

Celebration Package: Dinner in Monte Carlo

Celebration Package: Dinner in Monte Carlo

Don't miss this incredible celebratory evening featuring a first-class drive along the French Riviera, private cocktail overlooking the Bay of Angels, and a delectable 3-course dinner atop the iconic Rock of Monaco.

Price Range: $$$$

Excursion to Eze & Monaco

Excursion to Eze & Monaco

Be enchanted by the picturesque hilltop village of Eze and later enjoy the visit of Monaco.

Price Range: $$

Cannes & Saint-Paul de Vence

Cannes & Saint-Paul de Vence

Discover the wonders of the French Riviera on this exciting half-day guided excursion to Cannes and Saint-Paul de Vence.

Price Range: $$

Golfing in Cannes

Golfing in Cannes

Combine an exhilarating round of golf with the scenic beauty of southern France on this enjoyable golf outing in the lovely French countryside.

Price Range: $$$$

Relaxing Day on the Beach with Lunch

Relaxing Day on the Beach with Lunch

Enjoy a relaxing day on the most famous beach in Nice, your lunch is already reserved!

Price Range: $$

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Cruise Details