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10 Days | France Family Adventure
Southbound Only


Kids of all ages love France and all things Français... Paris, where wide boulevards, like the Champs Élysées, mean wide open spaces filled with cafés, famous brasseries and shops of every kind... new food experiences, from divine pastries to fantastic bread and the most sublime "chocolat"... the fantastic Seine... the Louvre (imagine seeing it on a scavenger hunt!)... a picnic lunch in Tuileries Gardens, where 500+ years of French history leave lingering traces... And then explore the heart of France river cruising along the Rhône deep into the heart of Provence, inspiration of the world's most famous artists such as van Gogh, Cézanne, Picasso, Gauguin, Matisse... Families of every generation feel perfectly welcomed aboard Tauck Bridges' fantastic riverboat, experiencing... Lyon, a modern city with a Renaissance heart... a chocolate tasting... medieval villages... Roman ruins... a French ranch where you'll meet the daring gardians (cowboys)... a papal castle... a kayaking adventure... a family cooking lesson in delectable French cuisine... Family France river cruising lets families experience the best of France – together.

Day 1 | Paris. A transfer is included from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to the Hilton Arc de Triomphe Paris hotel. Meet the families you'll be traveling with at a fun-filled reception and dinner at Fouquet’s, a light-hearted brasserie on the Champs d’ Élysées, made more so with juggling, jokes and music – perhaps topped only by seeing the city alit at night on an after-dinner Illuminations Tour. A great beginning for 10 days of France river cruising with your family! (D)

Day 2 | Paris. Get a heads-up on all the fuss made about the city of Paris on an orientation tour that gives you a firsthand look at the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Louvre. Then head to the “Left Bank,” Paris’ more Bohemian, artsy side, where you’ll have the chance to select the makings of your very own picnic at Le Bon Marche, the oldest department store in Paris with a supersized collection of gourmet foods from around the world. Head to the Tuileries Gardens to enjoy your picnic lunch before an insider’s visit to Notre Dame. Join us later for a sure-to-be-remembered visit to La Manoir de Paris, a haunted mansion where legends of Paris are brought to life – with a twist. (B)

Day 3 | Paris. Lyon. Embark Ship. Spend your morning in one of the most famous museums in the world, where you’re invited on a treasure hunt like no other. Right under your nose – or maybe not – you’ll team up to follow clues that lead to works of art that are among the most prized art treasures of the world (like the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory or Liberty Leading the People). Then hop aboard a high-speed train called the TGV to travel south to Lyon, where you’ll board the ms Swiss Emerald, your floating hotel for the next seven nights. Tauck's family France river cruising begins as the crew makes sure that you know your way around before the captain’s welcome reception and dinner tonight aboard ship. (B,D)

Day 4 | Lyon. Basilique de Fourviére stands magnificently en garde above central Lyon; visit this fortress-like cathedral, nicknamed the “upside-down elephant,” this morning for a fascinating overview of 19th-century architecture and spectacular city views. Head down to Vieux Lyon, where you’ll discover a maze of narrow streets, elegant buildings and underground passageways thought to date back to the 4th century; they were used by medieval craftsmen to transport their silk wares without exposure to bad weather and during World War II, by locals trying to evade the city’s German Occupation. This afternoon presents options for some serious fun like biking or swimming at a city-center pool formidable, followed by a “dare-you-to” tasting of Lyonnaise delicacies. Just a typical day on Tauck France river cruising. (B,L,D)

Day 5 | Vienne. Discover Vienne, a town set on the vineyard-covered banks of the Rhône, surrounded by steep hills. One of the most ancient towns in France, Vienne was once a Roman colony and a residence for its emperors. Right in the center of town, surrounded by cafés and shops, you’ll find remains of the Temple of Augustus – constructed around 20 to 10 BC, and a Roman Theatre. You'll encounter several Roman ruins today – you just never know what you'll find during France river cruising...! Head up to Mont Pipet by train for fantastic views of the town and the Rhône, then refortify yourself with a sampling of local culinary delights. (B,L,D)

Day 6 | Viviers. This morning brings adventure to your France river cruise with a walking tour of Viviers, where you’ll wind your way up through narrow, cobbled streets, curious passageways and doorways in shades of blue and green... leading up to the petite 12th-century Cathédrale Saint-Vincent. Next, try your hand at a game of pétanque, played by tossing a small metal boule about the size of an orange. Back on the ship, don’t miss this afternoon’s chocolate demonstration or an evening walk to get acquainted with Arles, known as the town in which the artist Vincent van Gogh painted some of his most beloved works. (B,L,D)

Day 7 | La Camargue. Arles. France river cruising presents a different opportunity for your family today – get a change of scenery on a drive into the Camargue for a taste of France’s "wild west." This vast marshy delta has been home to free-roaming black bulls since Roman times; today the bulls are looked after by French gardians (cowboys), saddled up on white Camargue horses. You’ll see them up close at a private ranch, called a manade, and a hayride into the fields to see bulls, mares and foals. Enjoy a Provençal lunch, gypsy music and a daring show in which players attempt to retrieve paper tokens from a bull’s horns. Later today you'll arrive in medieval Arles for a walking tour that brings alive many of the places captured in brilliant strokes of color by van Gogh. (B,L,D)

Day 8 | Avignon. Everyone dreams at one time or another of living in a palace... and today's France river cruising brings your family to an extravagant grand palace with four mighty towers... On a guided tour of 12th-century Palais des Papes in Avignon, once a “renegade” papal palace (built in opposition to Rome), your imagination takes flight as you explore one of Europe's largest medieval Gothic buildings. Afterward, discover Avignon as you please with time for swimming or kayaking* and then meet up to walk across the famed Pont du Gard. This three-level, 164-ft.-high “bridge” was built by the Romans to carry fresh water over the Gardon River. (B,L,D)

Day 9 | Valence. Tournon-sur-Rhône. Tain l'Hermitage. Fine French cuisine is the focus of today’s fun when you visit a three-Michelin-starred cooking school for a very cool family cooking demonstration in Valence. Next, in Tournon-sur-Rhône, you’ll see a town known for the 10th-century feudal castle built into a rock overlooking the town before venturing just across the waterway in Tain l’Hermitage to stop in at the home of Valhrona chocolates for tastes of the exquisite confections made on-site. France river cruising days end this evening with the captain's farewell reception and dinner – a family travel experience that will be long remembered in the years to come! (B,L,D)

Day 10 | Lyon. Disembark. Our family France river cruising concludes in Lyon today as your family disembarks ms Swiss Emerald; fly home anytime. A transfer is included from the riverboat to either the Lyon Airport or the Lyon train station; you should allow a minimum of 3 hours for flight check-in at the airport. (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. *For activities marked with an asterisk (*) in day-by-day descriptions, participation is at your own risk and a signed liability waiver will be required by Tauck.

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