Day 1 Arrive in Côte d’Azur, France
Welcome to France! Located between the mountains and the deep-blue Mediterranean Sea, the Côte d’Azur is synonymous with prestige and beauty—with its enchanting yachts, glamorous villas, and famous events. Time at leisure lets you get acquainted with this amazing place.
Day 2Côte d’Azur–Arles (Embarkation)
This morning, enjoy free time to explore or join an optional excursion. In the early afternoon, transfer by motorcoach to Arles in the Provence region, where you’ll board your river cruise vessel. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception, then sail toward the mouth of the Rhône for a taste of the tranquil vistas of Camargue National Park (daylight permitting).
Day 3 Arles
In Arles, capital of the Provence, join your Local Guide for a GUIDED CITY TOUR. See the church of St. Trophime, dating from the 12th century, and visit the ROMAN AMPHITHEATER. Still used today, the amphitheater dates to the 1st century, and was constructed to hold over 20,000 spectators. Vincent Van Gogh was inspired by the special light of the Provence and spent a very productive year in Arles.
Day 4 Avignon
During the night, set sail for Avignon, where you arrive during breakfast. 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. With a living space equivalent to four gothic cathedrals, it is the largest gothic fortress in the world. Alternatively, you may opt for only city sightseeing and more free time to explore on your own, or to join an optional outing to Pont du Gard or to the famed wine cellars of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
Day 5 Cruising–Viviers
A leisurely morning on board to relax and enjoy the passing scenery. After lunch, join your LOCAL GUIDE for a walk around the charming town of Viviers, which developed around its ROMANESQUE CATHEDRAL. The OLD TOWN has an appealing mix of Christian, Roman, and medieval influences.
Day 6 Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage–Vienne
The twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage lie nestled among vineyards between the Rhône River and the granite slopes of the Hermitage. Enjoy a GUIDED WALK of Tournon, one of France’s oldest medieval cities, with its imposing 16th-century castle and Roman ruins. A Light Jazz Duo will play on board this afternoon, offering relaxing background music as you cruise to Vienne. Arriving in Vienne in the late afternoon, a GUIDED WALK shows you the charming little town surrounded by steep hills—one of the oldest towns in the region. Explore the town center to see the Roman Theater, which once held 13,000 spectators, and the Augustus and Livia Temple, built around 20 BC and converted into a church in the Middle Ages. This evening there is time for you to visit the well-known Vienne Jazz Festival, on your own.
Day 7 Lyon
Lyon is 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, many excellent museums, and much renaissance architecture delight visitors. You are joined by a LOCAL GUIDE as you survey the city from Fourvière Hill and explore the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, 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. Be sure to sample Beaujolais, the wine of the region.
Day 8 Cruising–St. Jean de Losne
A leisurely day today to enjoy your final day on board. If you prefer to stay busy, a choice of optional excursions, including a visit to a wine cellar, is available. While sailing to St. Jean de Losne, enjoy an onboard CHEESE TASTING. On this final night on board, enjoy the strains of Gypsy Jazz, a style of jazz often said to have been started by guitarist Jean “Django” Reinhardt in the 1930s. Because its origins are largely in France, it is often called by the French name “Jazz Manouche.”
Day 9 St. Jean de Losne (Disembarkation)–Beaune–Dijon–Paris
After breakfast, head by motorcoach to Beaune, the unofficial capital of the Côte d’Or area and Burgundy’s wine capital. Although life here centers around wine, Beaune offers much more with its ramparts, medieval houses, cobblestone streets, and historical monuments. 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. After lunch, continue to Dijon, where you board the TGV to Paris, the “City of Light.”
Day 10 Paris
Known as one of the world’s most romantic and lively cities, Paris is a delight for all your senses. Your included CITY SIGHTSEEING shows you magnificent must-see sights, including 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. 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 gleaming white Sacré Coeur Basilica and bevy of artists on Place du Tertre. Paris is also well known for its colorful nightlife that includes some of Paris’ famous cabaret shows. All of this awaits your discovery!
Day 11 Paris-London, England
Say goodbye to the Avalon portion of your vacation after breakfast. An included transfer delivers you to the train station, where you join your Monograms package. Travel to London by HIGH-SPEED EUROSTAR TRAIN (standard class). Your Local Hosts will be on hand to help you make the most of your time. (B)
Day 12 London
Morning guided sightseeing includes all of London’s famous landmarks. Drive past the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben; Westminster Abbey, where Prince William and Kate Middleton were married; Whitehall’s mounted horseguards; the Prime Minister’s Downing Street; and Piccadilly Circus. Take photos of the London Eye, the giant Ferris wheel situated on the river bank, and the Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe. Then, visit ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL (except on Sundays). Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece with its world-famous dome is an iconic feature of London’s skyline, and the awe-inspiring interior holds fascinating stories about its history. The final highlight is the ceremonial pageantry of the Changing of the Guard (if held). (B)
Day 13 London
Your Local Hosts will help you make the most of your day. You could take a flight on the London Eye for fantastic views over the city, or visit Windsor Castle, one of the official residences of Queen Elizabeth II, for a tour of the magnificent State Apartments. In the evening, see one of the dozens of celebrated West End shows, or enjoy dinner at a traditional London pub, followed by a relaxing night-time cruise on the Thames River. There are so many possibilities to make your stay unforgettable. (B)
Day 14 London
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
Opportunities abound on this delightful vacation to learn about France and the French. Your adventure begins with an overnight on the French Riviera—the inimitable Côte d’Azur. Then, travel to Arles in the Provence region to board your ship and sail into the peaceful Camargue area during dinner (daylight permitting) before returning to Arles. Avignon, charming Viviers, medieval Tournon, Vienne, France’s gastronomic capital of Lyon, as well as St. Jean de Losne, and fascinating Beaune await you. Take the TGV train from Dijon to Paris for two overnights, guided sightseeing, and free time to explore the remarkable “City of Light” on your own. You’re sure to return home with lots of memories and photos to share. And as this is a cruise with a Jazz theme, you’ll enjoy several onboard jazz performances and the chance to visit the Vienne Jazz Festival on your own. Then, trade your “Bonjours” for “Cheerios” as an included high-speed train transfer whisks you to London for three exciting nights. Your Monograms package includes hotel reservations, guided sightseeing, daily breakfast, a destination guide to familiarize you with the city, and best of all—the services of a Monograms Local Host® to welcome you and lend a helping hand throughout your stay. This “friend in the city” can answer your questions, offer suggestions, and help make your vacation what you want it to be. During your guided sightseeing tour with a local expert, see the sights you cannot go home without seeing—Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Piccadilly Circus, and more. Enjoy VIP access to St. Paul’s Cathedral, the wedding site for Lady Diana and Prince Charles, and witness the Changing of the Guard (if held). You’ll have plenty of free time to maybe visit Madame Tussauds celebrity wax figure museum, join a London pub dining experience, marvel at the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London, and enjoy an illumination cruise on the Thames. Day trips are available out of the city to mysterious Stonehenge, the pretty Cotswolds, or Windsor Castle to visit the State Apartments. Monograms offers over 40 exciting activities and excursions, so there’s plenty to choose from!
Buffet breakfast in Paris, London and Côte d'Azur; superb dining with meals on board featuring full breakfast with complimentary sparkling wine, lunch with complimentary soft drinks, and dinner including complimentary wine, beer, or soft drinks; a welcome reception, Captain’s reception, and farewell dinner; one sitting with open seating arrangements
Deluxe cruise in an outside stateroom with hotel-style beds
Included excursions with Certified Local Guide; sightseeing as outlined in the day by-day itinerary; inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE.
Headsets for shore excursions
Complimentary Wi-Fi access
Personalized room options & excursions
The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.