Grand France 75th Anniversary of D-Day WWII Remembrance & History 2019

16 Day River Cruise Côte d’Azur to Paris

2019 Information

Take a historical and inspiring journey through beautiful France along the Rhône, Saône, and Seine Rivers. Begin your adventure on the captivating French Riviera, also known as the Côte d’Azur. Explore this elegant area and relax along the remarkably blue water of the Mediterranean Sea. Your French river cruise begins on the Rhône River in Arles—famous for inspiring the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh. On a guided tour of historical Avignon, see the 14th-century Palace of the Popes—the largest gothic fortress in the world. The twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage are beautifully nestled among vineyards. Go on a guided walk of Tournon, offering plenty of Roman ruins and a fascinating 16th-century castle. Lyon, France’s gastronomic capital, is the third-largest city and a showcase of medieval and Renaissance architecture.

You’ll travel to Paris via high-speed train, and embark on your Seine River cruise to Vernon. Choose to visit either Claude Monet’s stunning gardens at Giverny or the remarkable Bizy Castle, known as “Normandy’s Versailles.” Attend a commemoration ceremony for the D-Day 75th anniversary. Visit Rouen, best known as the home of Joan of Arc, or choose a visit to the battlefields in the area of Vimy Ridge and Beaumont-Hamel. From Conflans, visit the quaint town of Auvers-Sur-Oise—an inspiring location for artists such as Vincent van Gogh. You may otherwise visit the grand residence of Napoleon and Josephine’s Malmaison.

Your French river cruise returns to the “City of Lights”—home to Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, and the Louvre Museum. You’ll enjoy a guided walk through the narrow streets of the historic Île St. Louis and Île de la Cité where medieval Paris was founded. You may also choose a WWII-focused tour and visit to the museum of Les Invalides.

This inspiring French river cruise on the Rhône, Saône, and Seine Rivers invites you to walk in the footsteps of master artists, medieval architects, and magnificent heroes in remembrance of the history of World War II.


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Cruise at-a-Glance

Day 1 Côte d’Azur:Welcome to FranceDay 2 Côte d’Azur–Transfer to Arles (Embarkation):Onboard welcome reception; sail into the Camargue region (daylight permitting)Day 3 Arles:Guided sightseeing, visit the Roman AmphitheatreDay 4 Avignon:Guided sightseeing, visit Palace of the PopesDay 5 Cruising–Viviers:Guided walk, visit the Old Town and the cathedralDay 6 Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage–Vienne:Guided walk in Tournon; guided walk in VienneDay 7 Lyon:Guided sightseeing; picture stop on Fourvière HillDay 8 Cruising–St. Jean de Losne: Day at leisure; cheese tasting on boardDay 9 St. Jean de Losne (Disembarkation)–Beaune–Dijon–Paris (Embarkation):Visit the Hôtel-Dieu in Beaune; TGV train from Dijon to ParisDay 10 Vernon–Les Andelys: Choice of excursions to Giverny or Bizy Castle; onboard history lecture; choice of guided walk, or guided hike in Les Andelys Day 11 Caudebec:Choice of full day excursion to Normandy landing beaches, including the Commemoration Ceremony of the D-Day 75th Anniversary, or “A Taste of Normandy” excursion Day 12 Caudebec:Choice of excursion along the “Normandy Abbeys Route”, or hike in the Natural Park; lecture on boardDay 13 Rouen:Guided sightseeing related to the French Resistance, see the Astronomical Clock and visit the cathedral, or full day excursion to Vimy and Beaumont-Hamel. Day 14 Conflans:Choice of excursions to Auvers-sur-Oise, or Napoleon and Josephine’s Château de MalmaisonDay 15 Paris: Choice of guided sightseeing, or “Heart of Paris” walk, visit Notre Dame Cathedral, or WWII theme tour with visit of the museum of Les InvalidesDay 16 Paris (Disembarkation):Your vacation ends this morning

Cruise YourWay

Avalon makes it easy to experience vacation your way with seamless extension options before and after your cruise. Your Way offers added nights in a selection of locales. From Budapest to Barcelona, you can spend a little or a lot more time getting to know more on shore with Your Way custom itineraries.

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Always Included

You've always forged your own path...with your own distinct perspective of looking at the world. Avalon Waterways presents a river cruise experience with your unique style in mind—offering expansive views and wider perspectives. That's why we've designed a cruise experience that's just a bit different.

Here are just some of the features and amenities you'll experience on board our Avalon ships. See the Ship Amenities Section below for more information about the amenities in our fleet’s unique ships.

Throughout the Ship
Suites & Staterooms
Health & Fitness
Dining

Throughout the Ship:

  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Panoramic windows
  • Elegant, contemporary design & decor
  • Friendly, English-speaking crew & Cruise Director
  • Sky Deck with whirlpool, shade awnings, game area and premium lounges
  • Covered Observation Lounge
  • Club Lounge with 24-hour self-serve beverage station with complimentary cappuccinos, lattes, tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees, as well as treats throughout the day

Suites & Staterooms:

  • Comfort Collection BedsSM with choice of mattress firmness
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Premium L'Occitane bath products
  • Large bathroom featuring shower with glass door
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with free movie channels
  • Individual climate control and in-room safe
  • USB Ports
  • Complimentary bottled water daily
  • And, much more.

Health & Fitness:

  • Bikes
  • Canoe, kayak and jogging excursions
  • Maps for hiking, biking and jogging routes
  • Fitness and wellness activities
  • Fitbits®
  • All through your Avalon Adventure HostSM

Dining

  • FlexDining® for more venue and seating options, including flexible seating times in our Panorama Dining Room
  • Avalon Fresh® healthy cuisine options at every meal
  • Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; wine, beer, or soft drinks with every lunch and dinner
  • Early and Late Riser breakfast options
  • Daily full buffet breakfast with made-to-order egg station, hot and cold menu items
  • Daily lunch buffet with pasta or carving stations
  • Alternative light lunch at Sky Grill on the Sky Deck (weather permitting)
  • Daily Afternoon Tea featuring tea, coffee, sweet treats & sandwiches
  • Daily four-course a la carte dinner in the Panorama Dining Room with choice of appetizers, soups, salads, entrees and desserts. Includes selections of regional recipes, Western dishes and vegetarian options.
  • Enjoy a tasting menu with a view in the Panorama Bistro - a less formal "sit-down" atmosphere while lingering over several satisfying selections
  • Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions and dinners with sparkling wine and canapés
  • Panorama Lounge featuring premium spirits and Avalon specialty cocktails, along with local entertainment special guests
  • Cocktails available on the Sky Deck
  • Fresh fruit available throughout the day

Avalon has designed included activities with a choice of experiences. We invite you to select the tours, activities, and events that interest you most, so you can experience your cruise your way. There are 3 types of included shore excursion on every Europe cruise:

Classic
Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.
Discovery
We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.
Active
Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.
  • Plus independent exploration options and use of our exclusive AvalonGO APP.

Day-By-Day Itinerary

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

Day 1

CÔTE D’AZUR, FRANCE

Bienvenue en France!

Take free time today to admire Côte d’Azur-with its enchanting yachts, glamorous villas, and famous events. Known also as the French Riviera, the spectacular Côte d’Azur stretches along France’s Mediterranean coast from Toulon to the border of Italy.

Day 2

(B, D)

CÔTE D’AZUR ARLES—(EMBARKATION)

The Camargue National Park

This morning enjoy free time to explore. In the early afternoon, you’ll drive to Arles to board your Suite Ship®. Before dinner sail toward the mouth of the Rhône for a taste of the tranquil vistas of Camargue National Park (daylight permitting).

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN ARLES

Day 3

(B, L, D)

ARLES

Inspiring Sights and Avant-Garde Lights

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 that inspired the works of Vincent van Gogh.

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 remaining with a stop in Le Café Van Gogh for a glass of wine, to relax and watch the world go by.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN AVIGNON

Day 4

(B, L, D)

AVIGNON

The City of Popes in Picturesque Provence

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, or a trip to the famed wine cellars of Châteauneuf-du-Pape for a true taste of the Rhône wine region.

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.

Later, enjoy onboard live entertainment.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN AVIGNON

Day 5

(B, L, D)

VIVIERS

World History in a Charming French Country Village

Classic
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.
EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO TOURNON

Day 6

(B, L, D)

TOURNON/TAIN L’HERMITAGE

A Rendezvous with Castle Views and Vineyards

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.

In the late morning cruise to Vienne

VIENNE

Roman and Middle Age History

Classic
Join a Guided Walking Tour of Vienne and discover this charming little town surrounded by steep hills.

Enjoy live entertainment while sailing to Lyon.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN LYON

Day 7

(B, L, D)

LYON

Adventures in Food and Wine in the Gastronomy Capital of France

Classic
Join a Guided Sightseeing Tour to survey Lyon from Fourvière Hill with its numerous churches. 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 riding a bike through Lyon’s town squares, over bridges, and along the banks where the Rhône and Saône rivers meet.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO ST. JEAN DE LOSNE

Day 8

(B, L, D)

ST. JEAN DE LOSNE

Wine and Cheese on the Stunning Saône

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

Discovery
Later, enjoy a delicious Cheese Tasting on board your ship.

Enjoy live entertainment on board this evening.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN ST. JEAN DE LOSNE

Day 9

(B, D)

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

Drive to Beaune and take a High-Speed Train from Dijon to Paris.

Classic
Visit the Hôtel-Dieu Charity Hospital in Beaune, built in 1443, today home of the Van der Weyden’s painting of the Last Judgment and is one of France’s architectural highlights.

This afternoon, take a high-speed train from Dijon to Paris to board your Suite Ship®.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO VERNON

Day 10

(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
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
Join a Guided Visit to Bizy Castle—called “Normandy’s Versailles” for its magnificent courtyard, water garden, and stables.
Discovery
While sailing, enjoy a traditional French luncheon of authentic French crêpes, followed by an onboard history lecture.

This afternoon, enjoy a beautiful cruise to the picturesque town of Les Andelys.

LES ANDELYS

Serenity on the Seine’s Most Beautiful Riverbends

Classic
Take a Guided Walking Tour of Les Andelys—one of France’s most picturesque spots on the Seine, OR:
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 11

(B, L, D)

CAUDEBEC. NORMANDY EXCURSIONS

Heroic Bravery on Normandy Beaches and French Farming Traditions

Discovery
Attend a commemoration ceremony for the D-DAY 75th anniversary.
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 at a local distillery.
OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN CAUDEBEC

Day 12

(B, L, D)

CAUDEBEC

Churches, Cherry Orchards, and White Cliffs of Normandy

Active
Join your Avalon Adventure Host for a Morning Run in Normandy’s town of Caudebec.
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
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.

Discovery
Onboard lecture about WWII hosted by your history expert.

Later, enjoy live entertainment on board.

EVENING CRUISE TO ROUEN

Day 13

(B, L, D)

ROUEN

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

Active
Join your Avalon Adventure Host for a Morning Walk.
Classic
Take a Guided Walking Tour of Rouen, city that played an important role during the French Resistance. You will see the medieval quarter with its 16th-century Astronomical Clock, and Notre-Dame Cathedral, OR:
Discovery
Take a full day excursion in the areas of Vimy Ridge and Beaumont-Hamel, where the Canadian Forces fought and won the German Army during WWI.

Spend free time this afternoon to explore Rouen’s city markets, shops, and bike paths. Enjoy onboard entertainment before setting sail this evening.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO CONFLANS

Day 14

(B, L, D)

CONFLANS

In the Footsteps of Van Gogh, Bonaparte, and Louis XIV

Classic
Join a Guided Visit to Auvers-sur-Oise, home and resting place of Vincent van Gogh, OR:
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 to the Palace of Versailles—home to a succession of French kings.

EVENING CRUISE TO PARIS

Day 15

(B, L, D)

PARIS

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

Active
Take a Morning Walk with your Avalon Adventure Host to see Paris at first light.
Classic
Take a Guided Walking Tour through the Heart of Paris to see the historic Île St. Louis, Île de la Cité, and Notre-Dame Cathedral, 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, OR:
Discovery
Take a WWII tour of Paris which will include a visit to the museum of Les Invalides, dedicated to the Ordre de la Libération which was created in 1940 by General Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Free French Forces.

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

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN PARIS

Day 16

(B)

PARIS (DISEMBARKATION)

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

Notes

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


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

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 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.