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AVALON WATERWAYS
11 Days | Burgundy and Provence
Southbound (WCL)


PARIS TO THE COTE D'AZUR

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. Paris’ famous sights are living history: your included city sightseeing shows you magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral, the unique Louvre Museum with its glass pyramid as a contrast to its ancient architecture, the commemorative Arc de Triomphe, Opéra, Madeleine, Champs Elysées, and the Eiffel Tower, a structural miracle of its age. The city is well known for its colorful nightlife that includes some of the world’s most famous cabaret shows. (B)

Day 3 |
Paris. Beaune. Chalon-sur-Saône. Embarkation. Tournus. After breakfast, drive south past the forest of Fontainebleau, favorite hunting grounds of a long line of French kings, and into Burgundy. Beaune, the unofficial capital of the Côte d’Or area—which produces the region’s finest vintages—owes its wealth to the production, aging, and selling of fine wines. Its most famous historical site, the Hôtel-Dieu charity hospital, houses Van der Weyden’s painting of the Last Judgement and is one of France’s architectural highlights. Enjoy a TASTING of Burgundy wines before continuing south to Chalon-sur-Saône, where you’ll board your river cruise vessel. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception as your ship departs for Tournus. (B,D)

Day 4 |
Tournus. Mâcon. After breakfast a local expert will show you the highlights of this delightful town, tucked away in the south-east corner of Burgundy. The town is one of the oldest and most important monastic centers in the region, with a superb ABBEY, St. Philibert, part of which dates back to the 10th century. Then there’s free time to stroll through the quaint streets or to explore the arts and crafts shops near the abbey. After lunch your ship departs for Mâcon, a city with a rich history that plays an important role in the wine trade. A choice of optional excursions, including a visit to a wine cellar, is available. (B,L,D)

Day 5 |
Beaujolais Region. Lyon. Enjoy a leisurely morning cruising on the Rhône. Lyon is France’s second-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, many excellent museums, and much renaissance architecture delight the visitor. Survey the city from Fourvière Hill and explore the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with its maze of medieval alleyways, Place des Terreaux, and the beautiful Place Bellecour. Beaujolais is the wine of the region and wine connoisseurs will know that the grapes must be hand picked. Tradition dictates that the “Beaujolais Nouveau” is tasted for the first time on the third Thursday of November each year. (B,L,D)

Day 6 |
Lyon. A free day in this fascinating city to explore at leisure. Early risers might like to visit the local produce market. Your Cruise Director will have plenty of suggestions for things to do. (B,L,D)

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. Tournon, with its imposing 16th-century castle and Roman ruins, is one of France’s oldest medieval cities. Another charming town, Viviers, was developed around its ROMANESQUE CATHEDRAL, and the OLD TOWN has an appealing mix of Christian, Roman, and medieval influences. (B,L,D)

Day 8 |
Avignon. The fortified city of Avignon is the capital of the Vaucluse region, the most picturesque part of Provence. Also referred to as the “City of Popes,” it was the center of the Catholic Church in the 14th century, and the city landscape is dominated by the grandiose PALACE OF THE POPES. A photo of the bridge of the popular song is a must, and optional outings to Pont du Gard or to the famed wine cellars of Châteauneuf-du-Pape are available this afternoon. (B,L,D)

Day 9 |
Arles. Camargue. Port St. Louis. On the northern tip of the Camargue, Arles is the capital of the Provence and was once known as the “Little Rome of Gaul.” See the church of St. Trophime; “Les Alyscamps,” the remains of the Gallo-Roman burial road; and visit the ROMAN AMPHITHEATER. Vincent Van Gogh was inspired by the special light of the Provence and spent a very productive year in Arles. The “Foundation Vincent Van Gogh” is a tribute to the artist. Depart Arles before dinner and enjoy tranquil scenes of the Camargue Regional Nature Park area as you sail to Port St. Louis in the Rhône delta. (B,L,D)

Day 10 |
Port St. Louis. Disembark. 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. (B)

Day 11 |
Côte d’Azur. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

NOTE: Itinerary is subject to change without notice. For the most up-to-date information, please refer to the itinerary schedule you receive with your final documents.

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SOUTHBOUND ITINERARY (WCL)
11 DAYS | PARIS TO THE COTE D'AZUR

Click HERE to view 11-day NORTHBOUND (WLC) itinerary.
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