Opportunities abound on this delightful vacation to learn about France and the French. Your adventure begins with two overnights and guided sightseeing in Paris, the incomparable “City of Light.” Ride the TGV train to Dijon, then continue on by motorcoach to fascinating Beaune for a Burgundy wine tasting or a visit of the Hôtel-Dieu. Board your ship in quaint Chalon-sur-Saône and set sail for lovely Tournus, France’s gastronomic capital of Lyon, as well as medieval Tournon, charming Viviers, Avignon, and Arles. Before disembarking in Arles, sail into the peaceful Camargue area (daylight permitting), then arrive on the stunning Cote-d’Azur—the famed French Riviera for your Monograms extension. We’ve arranged your transfer, hotel reservations, daily breakfast, sightseeing with local experts, a high-speed train transfer from Aix-en-Provence to Nice, transfers from/to your hotels to/from the train stations, and more. Plus, we know you are not familiar with the cities, so we’ve arranged the services of Local Hosts®—a “friend in the city” to answer questions, share inside information, help you arrange your activities and excursions, and be there to help you feel comfortable in each city. The next morning, after an included breakfast, we’ll pick you up at your hotel for guided sightseeing with an expert Local Guide. You’ll walk along the 17th-century Cours Mirabeau, a lively area with fountains, elegant homes, and famous cafés, and you’ll 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 TGV train to Nice. Here, guided sightseeing with a local expert includes a walk through the Old Town and the Promenade des Anglais, Nice’s most famous boulevard. In your free time, you may want to take an excursion to Monaco, to St. Tropez, or to Cannes, known for its famous film festival. Your Local Host will be able to help you arrange any of these activities and excursions, as well as provide you with suggestions for the best places to sample the local specialties. Monograms wants you to just enjoy your vacation, and we go the extra mile to make sure you live your dream rather than dream your life!
Cruise: deluxe 7-night cruise in an outside stateroom with Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSMDays 1-2 Paris: welcome to France; guided sightseeing on Day 2Day 3 Paris–Dijon–Beaune–Chalon-sur-Saône (Embarkation)–Tournus: TGV train from Paris to Dijon; motorcoach transfer to Beaune, choice of visit of the Hôtel-Dieu or Burgundy wine tasting in Beaune; onboard welcome receptionDay 4 Tournus: guided sightseeing of Tournus, see the abbey of St. Philibert; cheese tasting Day 5 Lyon: guided sightseeing in Lyon; picture stop on Fourvière HillDay 6 Lyon: a free day to explore this fascinating city at leisureDay 7 Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage–Viviers: guided walk in Tournon; guided walk in Viviers, visit the Old Town and the cathedralDay 8 Avignon: guided sightseeing, visit Palace of the Popes Day 9 Arles: guided sightseeing, visit the Roman Amphitheater; sail into the Camargue region (daylight permitting)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; sightseeing with a Local Guide, inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE; high-speed TGV train (first-class) from Aix-en-Provence to Nice; transfers to/from train stations.
Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapésWelcome dinnerDaily Afternoon TeaDaily Night FareFarewell dinnerComplimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; soft drinks with lunch; and wine, beer, or soft drinks with dinner are included daily on board your vesselBuffet breakfast daily while in Provence
NOTES:Departures October 23 and October 27 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 talentIn 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.