This fantastic cruise vacation showcases France’s breathtaking scenery, amazing history, and exciting variety. Your adventure begins on the stunning Côte d’Azur, then travel to Arles to board your ship and sail into the peaceful Camargue area during dinner (daylight permitting), before returning to Arles. Then, sail north up the scenic Rhône and Saône Rivers. Along the way, explore Arles, Avignon, delightful Viviers, medieval Tournon, charming Vienne, France’s gastronomic capital of Lyon, as well as, Chalon-sur-Saône, and fascinating Beaune. Take the TGV train from Dijon to Paris, embark your second cruise ship, and begin your journey along the Seine River into the picturesque Normandy region. In Vernon, choose between a guided visit of Claude Monet’s stunning gardens at Giverny or magnificent Bizy Castle. Continue to Les Andelys, home of dramatic Château Gaillard, then on to Caudebec, where you choose between an included excursion to Normandy’s historic landing beaches or an interesting “Taste of Normandy.” Next up: Joan of Arc’s historic Rouen. In Conflans, it’s your choice of excursions to either Vincent van Gogh’s Auvers-sur-Oise or Napoleon and Josephine’s elegant Château de Malmaison. Return to Paris for guided sightseeing, taking in the most famous sights of this magnificent city—a fitting conclusion of your magnificent cruise vacation.

City Highlights

Cruise: deluxe 14-night cruise in an outside stateroom with Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSMDay 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 AmphitheaterDay 4 Avignon: guided sightseeing, visit the Palace of the PopesDay 5 Cruising–Viviers: guided walk, visit 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–Chalon-sur-Saône: day at leisure; cheese tastingDay 9 Chalon-sur-Saône (Disembarkation)–Beaune–Dijon–Paris (Embarkation): visit the Hôtel-Dieu in Beaune; TGV train from Dijon to Paris; onboard welcome receptionDay 10 Vernon–Les Andelys: choice of guided excursions to Giverny or Bizy Castle; guided walk in Les Andelys, visit the Parish Church of Le Grand AndelyDays 11-12 Caudebec: choice of excursion along either the “Thatched Cottages Route” or the “Normandy Abbeys Route”; choice of excursions to Normandy landing beaches or “A Taste of Normandy”Day 13 Rouen: guided walk, see the Gros Horloge astronomical clock and visit the cathedralDay 14 Conflans: choice of guided excursions to Auvers-sur-Oise or Château de MalmaisonDay 15 Paris: choice of guided sightseeing or “Heart of Paris” walk, visit Notre Dame CathedralDay 16 Paris (Disembarkation): your vacation ends this morning

Meals

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 vessel

Notes

NOTES:The Rhône/Saône section of departure March 21 is offered as an exclusive Wine Appreciation Cruise, 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.The Saône/Rhône section of departure June 27 is offered as an exclusive Jazz Cruise, including special music features at no additional cost. On our Jazz Cruise, attend the annual Jazz Festival in Vienne, France.In the event that the TGV is unavailable due to strikes or technical reasons, the transfer from Dijon to Paris will be operated by motorcoach.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.

PRODUCT_LINE: AVALON-WLP-2016