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15 Days | Grand France
Southbound (WPL0)


Day 1 | Arrive in Paris, France. Embarkation. Welcome to Paris, France’s capital on the River Seine. This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at a welcome reception. (D)

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, including some of the world’s most famous cabaret shows. (B,L,D)

Day 3 | 
Paris. Conflans. After breakfast, enjoy a relaxing morning on the Sky Deck as your ship slips its moorings and glides gently down the River Seine, passing through suburban Paris. This afternoon, dock at Conflans—and now the choice is yours: either join our guided excursion to AUVERS-SUR-OISE, the quaint little town where Vincent Van Gogh lived and died, or 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.” (B,L,D)

Day 4 | 
Vernon. This morning, choose between a guided visit of Claude Monet’s house and stunning gardens at GIVERNY or a visit of BIZY CASTLE with its magnificent courtyard. Relax on board this afternoon or take in a pastry-making DEMONSTRATION. (B,L,D)

Day 5 | 
Rouen. Rouen is the capital of Upper Normandy, 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 guided walk through the medieval quarter with its half-timbered, glazed-tile houses, and the Gros Horloge, an intricate Astronomical Clock. The splendid gothic CATHEDRAL was once the tallest building in the world and the subject of a series of Claude Monet’s paintings. (B,L,D)

Day 6 | 
Rouen. Make your choice today between an included 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 agricultural region, of which Calvados, famous for apple brandy and cider, is a part. (B,L,D)

Day 7 | 
Les Andelys. The most dramatic sight along the Seine is imposing Château Gaillard at Les Andelys. Built by England’s King Richard the Lionheart in 1196, the château is truly a masterpiece of medieval military architecture. (B,L,D)

Day 8 | 
Paris. Disembark. Beaune. Chalon-sur-Saône. Embarkation. Tournus. After breakfast today, bid farewell to the crew of the Avalon Creativity and head south into Burgundy. Beaune 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 to Chalon-sur-Saône, where you’ll board the Avalon Scenery. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception as your ship departs for Tournus. (B,D)

Day 9 | 
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 10 | 
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 11 | 
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 12 | 
Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage. Viviers. The twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage lie nestled among vineyards between the River Rhône and the granite slopes of the Hermitage. Charming Viviers developed around its ROMANESQUE CATHEDRAL, and the OLD TOWN has an appealing mix of Christian, Roman, and medieval influences. (B,L,D)

Day 13 | 
Avignon. Avignon, also referred to as the “City of Popes,” was the center of the Catholic Church in the 14th century, and is dominated by the grandiose PALACE OF THE POPES. Optional outings to Pont du Gard or to the famed wine cellars of Châteauneuf-du-Pape are available this afternoon. (B,L,D)

Day 14 | 
Arles. Camargue. Port St. Louis. 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. 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 15 | 
Port St. Louis. Disembark. 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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