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Burgundy & Provence for Wine Lovers Southbound 2018

11 days with Avalon Waterways  Rating: Deluxe

Book this River Cruise Now and Save!


  • Save $200 per couple off this trip. This offer is combinable with other promotions. Expires May 31. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Save $1,000 per couple off 2018 Europe cruises. Expires June 6. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Pay no single supplement in certain cabin categories on 2018 river cruises. Expires June 6. Click here for eligible departures.

Offers subject to change or withdrawal, availability is limited. Some discounts are not combinable.

River Cruise Itinerary

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 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. (Breakfast)

Day 3 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. Alternatively, you can join a TASTING of the region’s famous Burgundy wines. 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. (Breakfast,Dinner) 

Day 4 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. A Master of Wine will join you on board and will introduce you to some of France’s wines in the coming days. (Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner)

Day 5 Lyon
A leisurely morning on board to relax and enjoy the passing scenery. As you cruise, our Master of Wine will tempt you with a TASTING of CHEESE and WINE. In the early afternoon, arrive in Lyon, 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, 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 6 Lyon
Enjoy a free morning 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. This afternoon an excursion takes you to 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. This evening enjoy a special onboard FOOD AND WINE PAIRING DINNER hosted by our Master of Wine, who has specifically chosen the wines for this occasion. (Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner)

Day 7 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. In the afternoon, while cruising to Viviers, enjoy a tasting of CHOCOLATE AND WINE. Here, too, our Master of Wine will guide you through this wonderful experience. Once in Viviers, 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. (Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner)

Day 8 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. In the morning an optional outing to Pont du Gard is available. In the afternoon an excursion takes you to the famed cellars of CHÂTEAUNEUF DU PAPE to learn about and to taste this famous wine (Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner)

Day 9 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. (Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner)

Day 10 Arles (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 11 Côte d’Azur
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • Paris: welcome to France; guided sightseeing on Day 2
  • Paris–Dijon–Beaune–St. Jean de Losne (Embarkation)–Seurre: TGV train from Paris to Dijon. Motorcoach transfer to Beaune, visit the Hôtel-Dieu or wine tasting; onboard welcome reception
  • Seurre–Macon: leisurely cruising; free time in Mâcon
  • Lyon: onboard cheese and wine tasting; guided sightseeing; picture stop on Fourvière Hill
  • Lyon: a morning to explore this fascinating city at leisure; excursion to Beaujolais; onboard food and wine pairing dinner
  • Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage–Viviers: guided walk in Tournon onboard chocolate and wine tasting; guided walk in Viviers, visit the Old Town and the cathedral
  • Avignon: guided sightseeing, visit Palace of the Popes and a winery in Châteauneuf du Pape
  • Arles: cruise into the Camargue region (daylight permitting); guided sightseeing in Arles, visit the Roman Amphitheater
  • Arles (Disembarkation)–Côte d’Azur: travel by motorcoach to Côte d’Azur
All This Included
Take a wondrous river cruise journey through beautiful France along the Rhône and Saône Rivers with guided sightseeing of the well-known French treasures and some hidden gems too! And since this is a cruise with a wine theme, our Master of Wine will join you on board and share his expertise at lectures and tastings. This France river cruise adventure begins with two overnights in Paris—one of the world’s most romantic and vibrant cities! A city tour will show you the must-see sights before you take the TGV train to Dijon. Stop in Beaune to visit the Hôtel Dieu or opt for a tasting of the famed Burgundy wines of the region.

Before reaching Lyon, France’s gastronomic capital, enjoy a cheese and wine tasting; and during your stay in the city, enjoy an excursion to taste Beaujolais wine before you prepare your taste buds for an onboard exclusive food and wine pairing dinner hosted by your Master of Wine. Lyon is a showcase of medieval and Renaissance architecture. Visit the popular Place des Terreaux and stand in front of the famous fountain you’ve seen on postcards. Beautifully nestled among vineyards you’ll find the twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage, where you’ll go on a guided walk of Tournon, a medieval treasure with plenty of Roman ruins and a fascinating 16th-century castle. Chocoholics will delight in a chocolate and wine tasting on board as you continue your France river cruise to historical Avignon, home of the 14th-century Palace of the Popes, and pay a visit to the famous Châteauneuf du Pape wine cellars. Arles, on the Rhône River, is famous for inspiring the paintings of Van Gogh and its 1st-century Roman Amphitheater, which hosts plays and concerts to this day.

End this historical and delightful river cruise through France with an overnight stay on the picturesque French Riviera, also known as the Côte d’Azur. Explore this captivating area and relax along the remarkably blue water of the Mediterranean Sea.

For specific details on this special interest river cruise, please view the day-by-day itinerary.
  • Buffet breakfast in Côte d'Azur and Paris; 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 shore excursions with Local Guide
  • Headsets for shore excursions
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • Personalized room options & excursions
  • Included excursions with Certified Local Guide; sightseeing as outlined in the day by-day itinerary; inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE.
Accommodations on this Tour
Paris: Pullman Paris Montparnasse or similar
Cruising: Cabin onboard Avalon Poetry II
Côte d’Azur: Le Meridien Beach Plaza or similar
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Port charges: $168.
  • Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included
  • Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.
  • 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 the TGV is unavailable due to strikes or technical reasons, the transfer from Paris to Dijon will be operated by motorcoach.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions

* 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.



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