CRUISETOUR

Grand France – Cruise Only Southbound (15 Days)

Cruise Line: Avalon Waterways
Paris, France to Arles, France
DAY
PORT
Tour Segment  Cruise Segment
ARRIVE DEPART
DAY 1
Paris, France

Welcome to Paris, France's capital on the River Seine, the "City of Light", where romance fills the air. This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. Before dinner, your ship glides smoothly out of Paris. (Dinner); Note: Flights into Paris must arrive by 2:30 pm. Guests must be onboard ship by 5 pm.

DAY 2
Vernon, France
Giverny, France
Vernon, France
Les Andelys, France

This morning in Vernon, choose between a guided visit of Giverny and a visit to Château de Bizy. Claude Monet lived at Giverny from 1883-1926, and viewed his gardens as works of art—just like his paintings. See his collection of Japanese prints, his charming house, and his biggest sources of inspiration. Or, visit Château de Bizy, built in 1740 and nicknamed "Normandy's Versailles". It is known for its famous stables—inspired by those at Versailles—and its magnificent courtyard and water garden. This afternoon, while your ship is sailing to Les Andelys, situated on a bend of the Seine and one of the most beautiful places in France, enjoy the onboard lecture by our expert. Join a local guide for a guided walk of the town, visiting the Parish Church of Le Petit-Andely. Imposing Château Gaillard, built by England's King Richard the Lionheart as a fortress in 1196, is seen above the town. Constructed in only a year, it is a masterpiece of medieval military architecture. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 3
Caudebec-en-caux, France

Today, join either a guided excursion along the "Normandy Villages Route", to see some of Normandy's charming and traditional half-timbered houses with their long, sloping thatched roofs, often sporting blue wooden doors and window shutters, or along the "Normandy Abbeys Route", a short drive from Caudebec. More than 100 abbeys once covered this region, which has a microclimate particularly suited to the production of fruit such as apples, pears, plums, and cherries. The afternoon is free to explore on your own or to join an optional excursion to the pretty coastal town of Honfleur. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 4
Caudebec-en-caux, France
Saint-pierre-du-mont, France
Saint-laurent-sur-mer, France
Colleville Cemetery, France
Caudebec-en-caux, France

Make your choice today between an included full-day excursion to the historic Normandy landing beaches—with poignant sites such as Omaha Beach, the Pointe du Hoc monument, and the American Cemetery—or a "Taste of Normandy" for a more in-depth look at this picturesque, mainly agricultural region. The most important products are dairy, apples, and grain. Camembert cheese is a specialty, as is calvados, a strong apple brandy that you'll have the chance to taste at a local distillery. And for a touch of history, visit the famous Bayeux Tapestry. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 5
Rouen, France

Rouen, the capital of Upper Normandy, is an important commercial city perhaps best known for its connection to Joan of Arc, who lived, was imprisoned, and burned at the stake in the marketplace of this town in 1431. Enjoy the included guided walk through the medieval quarter with its half-timbered, glazed-tile houses, and take your pictures of the intricate Gros-Horloge astronomical clock, dating back to the 16th century. Visit the Gothic cathedral, which was once the tallest building in the world and the subject of a series of paintings by Claude Monet, or join the included walking tour focused on the French resistance, the daily life of the Rouennais during the occupation, and the sites that were heavily bombed. The afternoon is free to explore on your own after which, upon departure for Conflans, you may participate in our onboard lecture. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 6
Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, France
Auvers-sur-Oise, France
Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, France

After breakfast you may either join our guided excursion to Auvers-sur-Oise, the quaint town where Vincent Van Gogh lived and died, or to Napoleon and Josephine's Château de Malmaison just outside Paris. Requiring extensive renovations, this large country estate was purchased by Josephine Bonaparte in 1799 while Napoleon was fighting in Egypt. It was her aim to make it "the most beautiful and curious garden in Europe, a model of good cultivation". (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 7
Paris, France

One of the world's most romantic and lively cities, Paris delights the senses. Included city sightseeing shows off the must-see attractions: Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre Museum with its glass pyramid as a contrast to its ancient architecture, the 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-Élysées with its lavish cafés, or perhaps visit the world-famous Louvre or Montmartre with its Sacré-Cœur Basilica and bevy of artists on Place du Tertre, or you can join the visit of Les Invalides dedicated to the liberation of the city and see the Museum of the Order of the Liberation. Paris is known for its colorful nightlife, and an optional outing to one of the cabaret shows makes the perfect finale to the Seine portion of your cruise. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 8
Paris, France
Dijon, France
Beaune, France
Saint-jean-de-losne, France
Seurre, France

This morning, say goodbye to your crew and board the TGV train to Dijon. 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. Continue to St-Jean-de-Losne, where your ship awaits. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception as you depart for Seurre. (Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 9
Seurre, France
Mâcon, France

Enjoy some leisurely cruising this morning, before arriving in Mâcon, a city that plays an important role in the wine trade. Free time allows you to explore at your own pace. Alternatively, you may choose to participate in one of the optional excursions on offer, such as a visit to a wine cellar. Before dinner, enjoy an onboard cheese tasting. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 10
Lyon, France

Enjoy some relaxing time onboard before arriving 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 11
Lyon, France

Enjoy a free day 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 of them), or select one of the available optional excursions. Be sure to taste the gastronomic delights and sample Beaujolais, the wine of the region; wine connoisseurs know the grapes must be hand picked. Your cruise director will have suggestions for things to do. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 12
Tournon, France
Viviers, France

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. Arriving in Viviers in the afternoon, an included 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 13
Avignon, France
Pont du Gard, France
Avignon, France

The fortified city of Avignon is the capital of the Vaucluse region—the most picturesque part of Provence. Intact ramparts encircle 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. Your guided tour includes a visit of the Palace of the Popes, built in the 14th century as the sovereign papal residency. A photo of the famous Pont Saint Bénezet (Saint Bénezet Bridge), of the popular song Sur le Pont d'Avignon, is a must-see. Optional outings to Pont du Gard or to the famed wine cellars of Châteauneuf-du-Pape are available. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 14
Arles, France

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 the 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 over 20,000 spectators. This evening, sail toward the mouth of the Rhône for a taste of the tranquil vistas of Camargue National Park (daylight permitting). (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 15
Arles, France

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

Grand France – Cruise Only Southbound map

What's Included

Included

  • The Avalon Tapestry II is a true haven on the river - two full decks of Panorama Suites with Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows that transform the living space into a unique Open-Air Balcony. With 200 square feet, Panorama Suites are more than 30% larger than the industry standard, giving you the rare opportunity to wake each morning to enchanting scenery and fresh breezes. Onboard amenities and services include free Wi-Fi access, Internet corner, a fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment, a hair salon, elevator, and a spacious Sky Deck with shade system, whirlpool, deck games, and the delightful Sky Bistro for al-fresco lunches of light grill fare.

Not Included

  • Airfare | Gratuities | Any items of a personal nature | Anything not specifically noted as included

About Us

When designing its new ships, Avalon Waterways started with the traveler instead of the ship. This is a river cruise company that invites innovation, imagination and a relentless desire to create a smart use of space be its guide. The result? More space. Bigger views. More comfort … All thanks to one-of-a-kind Panorama SuitesSM on the industry’s only Suite Ships®. The Suite Ships of Avalon are revolutionizing the river cruise industry. For instance, on these signature vessels, Avalon brings an unprecedented level of thoughtfulness and attention to detail to every aspect of the Panorama Suites, providing travelers an oasis to escape to, not escape from. Even better? Avalon doesn’t offer travelers just a few Panorama Suites on each ship. Instead, 80 percent of the guest rooms on Suite Ships are Panorama Suite (they’re 30 percent larger than the average river cruise room). In designing its ships, Avalon has refused to see space as a barrier. That fact couldn’t be truer when looking at the company’s inspired indoor/outdoor space. For instance, Avalon’s Open-Air Balconies®, a completely new concept, make full use of the intended balcony experience – in any weather condition, in any season – without compromising room space. How? Giant wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows with a 7-foot opening. Avalon has considered every detail of the cruise experience. But perhaps it’s what the company hasn’t done that makes it so unique. It hasn’t filled ships to capacity with people. In fact, because the river cruise line made its rooms so spacious, there’s more room for less people. Simply put, Avalon Waterways is built differently

Insider Tip

Step aboard Europe's youngest fleet and you'll find yourself surrounded by the most expansive views, innovative technologies and inspired designs.

Terms & Conditions

Cruise-only fares are per person, based on double occupancy in US dollars, unless otherwise noted. Pricing and itinerary are subject to change without notice. Restrictions may apply.

Cruise-only fares are per person, based on double occupancy in US dollars, unless otherwise noted. Pricing and itinerary are subject to change without notice. Restrictions may apply.

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