This fantastic cruise vacation showcases France’s breathtaking scenery, amazing history, and exciting variety. Your adventure begins on the stunning Côte d’Azur—the famed French Riviera. Travel to Arles to board your ship and sail into the peaceful Camargue area (daylight permitting) before returning to Arles. Sail north up the scenic Rhône and Saône Rivers. Along the way, explore Arles with its ancient Roman Amphitheater, Avignon to visit the impressive Palace of the Popes, delightful Viviers, medieval Tournon, charming Vienne, France’s gastronomic capital of Lyon, and Chalon-sur-Saône, where you disembark your ship. Visit the historic Hôtel-Dieu in fascinating Beaune, then hop aboard the high-speed TGV train from Dijon to Paris and embark your second Avalon cruise ship for the enthralling Seine journey 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 for a visit of the parish church of Le Grand Andely, then on to Caudebec, where you choose between an included excursion to Normandy’s historic landing beaches or an interesting Taste of Normandy tour, and between an excursion along the Thatched Cottages Route or the Normandy Abbeys Route. Next up: Joan of Arc’s historic Rouen. In Conflans, another choice of excursions: either visit Vincent van Gogh’s Auvers-sur-Oise or Napoleon and Josephine’s elegant Château de Malmaison. Return to Paris for a visit of Notre Dame Cathedral and a choice between guided sightseeing and a Heart of Paris walk. Trade your “Bonjours” for “Cheerios” as an included high-speed train transfer whisks you to London for your exciting Monograms extension. 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 vacation. This “friend in the city” can answer your questions, offer suggestions, and help make your vacation what you want it to be. During your half-day sightseeing tour with a local expert, see the sights you cannot go home without seeing—like Westminster Abbey and Big Ben. You’ll enjoy VIP access to St. Paul’s Cathedral, the wedding site for Lady Diana and Prince Charles, and will witness the Changing of the Guard (if held)…you’ll be the envy of your friends! You’ll also have plenty of free time to maybe take in a West End theater show, join a guided tour of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, check out the Wimbledon Lawn & Tennis Museum, and explore the Churchill Museum Cabinet War Rooms—the secret underground headquarters during WWII. Day trips are available out of the city to Oxford, Warwick Castle, or mysterious Stonehenge. Monograms offers over 40 exciting activities and excursions, so you have loads of options.
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 CathedralLondon: 3 nights hotel accommodation with buffet breakfast (B); Monograms Local Host Service & Destination Guide with city map; sightseeing with a Local Guide, inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE; high-speed Eurostar train from Paris to London (standard class*) with porterage for one suitcase; 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 in London
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.