Paris to Cote d'Azur Cruise - Avalon® France River Cruise

Grand France – Southbound 2017

16 Day River Cruise from Paris to Côte d’Azur

2017 Information. Switch to 2018 »

This splendid vacation showcases France’s exciting scenery, history, and culture as you sail along its beautiful rivers. Embark in Paris and head northwest along the Seine River up to the picturesque Normandy region. Dock at Vernon and choose between a guided visit of Claude Monet’s stunning gardens at Giverny or remarkable Bizy Castle. Continue to Les Andelys—home of Château Gaillard, built by England’s King Richard the Lionheart in 1196. Then, on to Caudebec, where you choose between an included excursion to the poignant Normandy landing beaches or a fascinating “Taste of Normandy.” Visit Joan of Arc’s historic Rouen, and in Conflans, choose between a guided excursion to Vincent van Gogh’s Auvers-sur-Oise or Napoleon and Josephine’s elegant Château de Malmaison before heading back to Paris for sightseeing that includes the Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower. Disembark and travel south to fascinating Beaune for a visit of the Hôtel-Dieu. In St. Jean de Losne board your second cruise ship and sail on to Macon, the twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage, Viviers, Avignon, and Arles, as well as France’s gastronomic capital of Lyon, where you have time to explore this fascinating city. Your vacation ends with an overnight on the stunning Côte d’Azur.


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Highlights & Sightseeing

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

Day 1 Paris (Embarkation): welcome reception

Day 2 Vernon–Les Andelys: choice of excursions to Giverny or Bizy Castle; guided walk in Les Andelys, visit the parish church of Le Petit Andely

Day 3-4 Caudebec: choice of excursion along either the “Normandy Villages Route” or the “Normandy Abbeys Route”; choice of excursions to Normandy landing beaches or “A Taste of Normandy”

Day 5 Rouen: guided sightseeing, see the Astronomical Clock and visit the cathedral

Day 6 Conflans: choice of excursions: visit Auvers-sur-Oise or Château de Malmaison

Day 7 Paris: choice of guided sightseeing or “Heart of Paris” walk

Day 8 Paris (Disembarkation)–Dijon–Beaune–St. Jean de Losne (Embarkation)–Chalon-sur-Saône: transfer from Paris to Beaune, visit the Hôtel-Dieu; onboard welcome reception

Day 9 Chalon-sur-Saône–Macon: leisurely cruising; onboard cheese tasting; free time in Macon

Day 10 Lyon: guided sightseeing; picture stop on Fourvière Hill

Day 11 Lyon: a day to explore this fascinating city 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 Palace of the Popes

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

Day 15 Arles (Disembarkation)–Côte d’Azur: travel by motorcoach to Côte d’Azur

Day 16 Côte d’Azur: your vacation ends this morning

Special onboard and onshore experiences presented by entertainers, artisans, and experts, designed to enrich your cruise.

Learn from a local expert about D-Day, and attend an onboard “Les Guitares de Camargue” musical presentation.

Meals

  • Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions 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

NOTES:

  • The Seine section of departure July 11 is offered as an exclusive WWII History Cruise, including special lectures and features at no additional cost. Take a cruise through history! These fascinating cruises give you an even richer experience as you learn the stories behind Europe’s famous sites.
  • The Seine section of departure August 8 is offered as an exclusive Art & Impressionist Cruise, including special lectures and features at no additional cost. Experience scenic northern France with a focus on art as you explore Paris’ Musee d’Orsay, Chateau d’Auvers in Auvers-sur-Oise, and Rouen’s cathedral, and attend onboard art lectures by a local art expert.
  • The Saône/Rhône section of departures October 17 & 21 are 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.
  • Whenever available, the TGV train will be used between Paris and Dijon.

Day-By-Day Itinerary

Day 1Arrive in Paris, France (Embarkation)

Welcome to Paris, France’s capital on the River Seine, the “City of Light,” where romance fills the air. This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. Before dinner, your ship glides smoothly out of Paris. (Dinner)

NOTE:
Flights into Paris must arrive by 2:30 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

Day 2Vernon–Les Andelys

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

Day 3Caudebec

Today, join either a guided excursion along the “NORMANDY VILLAGES ROUTE” to see some of Normandy’s charming and traditional half-timbered houses with their long, sloping thatched roofs, often sporting blue wooden doors and window shutters, or along the “NORMANDY ABBEYS ROUTE,” a short drive from Caudebec. More than 100 abbeys once covered this region, which has a microclimate particularly suited to the production of fruit such as apples, pears, plums and cherries. The afternoon is free to explore on your own or to join an optional excursion to the pretty coastal town of Honfleur. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4Caudebec

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

Day 5Rouen

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

Day 6Conflans

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

Day 7Paris

One of the world’s most romantic and lively cities, Paris delights the senses. Included CITY SIGHTSEEING shows off the must-see attractions: Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre Museum with its glass pyramid as a contrast to its ancient architecture, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower. Alternatively, you may wish to join a GUIDED WALK through historic Île St. Louis with its narrow one-way streets and Île de la Cité, the center of Paris where the medieval city was founded and home to NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL. In your free time, stroll down the Champs-Elysées with its lavish cafés, or perhaps visit the world-famous Louvre or Montmartre with its Sacré Coeur Basilica and bevy of artists on Place du Tertre. Paris is known for its colorful nightlife, and an optional outing to one of the cabaret shows makes the perfect finale to the Seine portion of your cruise. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8Paris (Disembarkation)–Dijon–Beaune–St. Jean de Losne (Embarkation)–Chalon-sur-Saône

This morning, say goodbye to your crew and transfer 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. Continue to St. Jean de Losne, where your ship awaits. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception as you depart for Chalon-sur-Saône. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 9Chalon-sur-Saône–Macon

Enjoy some leisurely cruising today. In the late afternoon, arrive in Mâcon, a city that plays an important role in the wine trade. Free time allows you to explore on your own. Alternatively, you may choose to participate in one of the optional excursions on offer, such as a visit to a wine cellar. Before dinner, enjoy an ONBOARD CHEESE TASTING. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 10Lyon

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. (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

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 over 20,000 spectators. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 15Arles (Disembarkation)–Côte d’Azur

After breakfast, a comfortable motorcoach ride takes you to the Côte d’Azur for a last night in France. Also known as the French Riviera, the Côte d’Azur stretches along France’s Mediterranean coast from Toulon to the Italian border and is synonymous with prestige and beauty. (Breakfast)

Day 16Côte d’Azur

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

Ship Details

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Hotels

Paris
Cote d'Azur

Paris

Pullman Paris Montparnasse

Pullman Paris Montparnasse 19 Rue Du Comm.Mouchotte, Paris 14,   France 19 Rue Du Comm.Mouchotte
Paris 14, France

Free WifiFree Wifi

Hotel as shown or similar

This plush 953 room hotel offers a perfect base in the city's chic artistic hub. Free Wi-Fi access is available in all the guestrooms and public areas of the hotel. A fitness room, contemporary style restaurant with traditional French cuisine and a trendy lobby lounge serving drinks, snacks and cocktails complete the amenities.

Hotel Amenities

Bar/Lounge
Business Center
Fitness Room
Dry Cleaning
Parking/Valet
Restaurant On-Site
Gift Shop
Luggage Storage
Free WiFi
Concierge desk
Ice Machine
Elevator
Currency Exchange
Room Amenities

Internet Access
Mini-bar
Alarm Clock
In-Room Safe
Climate Control
Desk
Complimentary Toiletries
Room Service
Television
Cable/Satellite
Phone
Air Conditioning
Pay Movies
Wake-Up Calls
Hair Dryer
Voicemail

Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel

Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel 18,Avenue De Suffren, Paris,   France 18,Avenue De Suffren
Paris, France

Free WifiFree Wifi

Hotel as shown or similar
Superior First-Class

Enjoying an unbeatable location next to the iconic Eiffel Tower, this 456-room sleek, modern hotel offers Free Wi-Fi internet access throughout and has a California-inspired Brasserie with open kitchen and stylish wine bar. Other amenities include a large gym on the 9th floor with panoramic rooftop vistas.

Hotel Amenities

Fitness Room
Ice Machine
Luggage Storage
Elevator
Dry Cleaning
Bar/Lounge
Business Center
Restaurant On-Site
Parking/Valet
Free WiFi
Concierge desk
Room Amenities

Desk
Complimentary Toiletries
Disabled Access / Rooms
Mini-bar
Pay Movies
Iron/Ironing Board
Coffee Maker
Hair Dryer
Television
Non-smoking Rooms
In-Room Safe
Window Opens
Air Conditioning (Seasonal)
Phone
Room Service
Air Conditioning
Wake-Up Calls
Climate Control
Cable/Satellite
Internet Access

Cote d'Azur

Le Meridien Beach Plaza

Le Meridien Beach Plaza 22 Avenue Princesse Grace, Monte Carlo,  Monaco 22 Avenue Princesse Grace
Monte Carlo, Monaco

Free WifiFree Wifi

Hotel as shown or similar
Superior First-Class

Situated on the Famed Avenue Princess Grace overlooking the Mediterranean sea, this stylish property is the only hotel in Monaco with direct access to its own private beach and is the perfect location from which to discover the Principality. The hotel has two outdoor seasonal swimming pools with sun terraces, a spa/wellness center with indoor swimming pool and offers Free Wi-Fi in the hotel lobby. Food and beverages can be enjoyed in an array of venues including a fine-dining restaurant with a live cooking station, a summer restaurant with breathtaking views over the bay of Monte Carlo and a sophisticated 24 hour bar.

Hotel Amenities

Business Center
Pool
Gift Shop
Restaurant On-Site
Currency Exchange
Free WiFi
Concierge desk
Dry Cleaning
Ice Machine
Fitness Room
Parking/Valet
Bar/Lounge
Luggage Storage
Elevator
Room Amenities

In-Room Safe
Cable/Satellite
Non-smoking Rooms
Window Opens
Disabled Access / Rooms
Mini-bar
Alarm Clock
Pay Movies
Wake-Up Calls
Phone
Room Service
Air Conditioning
Television
Voicemail
Air Conditioning (Seasonal)
Climate Control
Hair Dryer
Desk
Iron/Ironing Board
Complimentary Toiletries
Internet Access

Carlton Intercontinental

Carlton Intercontinental 58 Blvd De La Croisette Bp155, Cannes,  France 58 Blvd De La Croisette Bp155
Cannes, France

Free WifiFree Wifi

Hotel as shown or similar
Deluxe

This glamorous hotel is a true landmark overlooking the Mediterranean Sea that has been enjoyed by prestigious guests for over a century. Facilities include a Belle-Epoque style restaurant, a private sandy beach with a summer restaurant (open April - Oct) and pier, the legendary Carlton Bar and Terrace as well as a fitness center. Free Wi-Fi internet access is avilable in all public areas, access in guestrooms is subject to a fee (payable locally).

Hotel Amenities

Free WiFi
Bar/Lounge
Fitness Room
Concierge desk
Gift Shop
Dry Cleaning
Beauty Salon
Business Center
Parking/Valet
Hot Tub
Luggage Storage
Restaurant On-Site
Elevator
Currency Exchange
Room Amenities

Room Service
In-Room Safe
Alarm Clock
Pay Movies
Hair Dryer
Complimentary Newspaper
Climate Control
Iron/Ironing Board
Wake-Up Calls
Desk
Complimentary Toiletries
Air Conditioning (Seasonal)
Mini-bar
Smoking Rooms
Window Opens
Internet Access
Phone
Voicemail
Disabled Access / Rooms
Non-smoking Rooms
Television
Cable/Satellite

Fairmont Monte Carlo

Fairmont Monte Carlo 12 Avenue des Spelugues, Monte Carlo,   Monaco 12 Avenue des Spelugues
Monte Carlo, Monaco

Free WifiFree Wifi

Hotel as shown or similar
Deluxe

Resort and Convention Complex jutting over the Mediterranean, overlooking the Grand Prix Racecourse - 35 minutes from airport.

Hotel Amenities

Free WiFi
Elevator
Fitness Room
Concierge desk
Bar/Lounge
Spa Services
Dry Cleaning
Pool
Currency Exchange
Business Center
Gift Shop
Beauty Salon
Parking/Valet
Restaurant On-Site
ATM
Room Amenities

Coffee Maker
Non-smoking Rooms
Television
Window Opens
Cable/Satellite
Mini-bar
Hair Dryer
Voicemail
Room Service
Internet Access
In-Room Safe
Climate Control
Desk
Complimentary Toiletries
Air Conditioning
Phone

 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)

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