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VIKING RIVER CRUISES
15 Days | France's Finest
Northbound


AVIGNON TO PARIS

Day 1 | Avignon, France. Arrive in Marseille and transfer to your ship, docked in Avignon. After boarding, take free time to explore this quaint town on the scenic Rhône River—or join our “welcome walk” to stretch your legs and start getting oriented. (D)

Day 2 | Arles. Arrive during breakfast and take a walking tour of Arles with its diverse architectural highlights. Experience the city’s vibrant colors and striking quality of light that have inspired artists. Arles is also the site of some impressive Roman ruins, including Les Arènes, an arena that seats 20,000 and is still in use, as well as Romanesque monuments such as the Church of Saint-Trôphime, completed in the 15th century. Return aboard for lunch followed by an afternoon on your own to explore or shop for handcrafted gifts—as always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. Dinner is served as you depart. (B, L, D)

Day 3 | Avignon. Viviers. This morning, set out on a guided walk of Avignon, nicknamed “City of Popes” because it was home to seven popes from 1309 to 1377. Stroll through the historic center, stop at the picturesque Pont d’Avignon and walk the Place de l’Horloge. Continue to the renowned Palace of the Popes for a guided tour through this rambling maze of Gothic architecture, which served as papal residence, fortress, church, and palace. After the tour, enjoy an afternoon at leisure exploring Avignon. You can join the optional tour to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, visiting the vineyards and tasting the famous wine. Lunch and dinner are served aboard. Arrive after dinner in Viviers, a quaint town in a mountainous setting. Join your Program Director for an evening stroll through the Old Town with its medieval and Renaissance buildings. Enjoy free time before retiring for the evening. (B, L, D)

Day 4 | Tournon. After a scenic morning cruise and lunch aboard, take a tour through Tournon to Châteauneuf-sur-Isère near Tain l’Hermitage. During a guided tour of the area, learn about the region’s winemaking traditions and taste some famous regional red wines. Then visit the Musée de Tain l’Hermitage, located in the oldest house in the region. Dine aboard and cruise through the evening. (B, L, D)

Day 5 | Vienne. Lyon. This morning, take a walking tour of Vienne, a beautiful town with an ancient Roman past. Visit the Temple of Augustus & Livia, the Roman amphitheater, and the Gothic Cathedral of St. Maurice; then spend some time discovering more of this charming riverside town on your own. Return to your ship for lunch and an afternoon departure. Later, this afternoon, arrive in Lyon. Enjoy free time to explore this remarkable 2,000-year-old city in the heart of France. Dinner is served aboard and your ship remains docked overnight, so you may choose to take an evening stroll. (B, L, D)

DAY 6 | Lyon. After breakfast, tour Lyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begin with a drive to the top of Fourvière Hill for amazing views of the city. Continue with a guided visit to the Basilica of Notre Dame and drive through town past the magnificent St. Jean Cathedral and the Palace of Justice. Then take a walking tour through the cobbled streets of Vieux Lyon (Old Town), with free time to shop for souvenirs or sample some of the fine French cuisine for which Lyon is world-famous. Return to your ship for an afternoon departure. (B, L, D)

Day 7 | Pommard. Burgundy Wine Tour. Beaune. After breakfast, take a scenic drive along France’s Burgundy wine route through Pommard, Volnay and Meursault. Arrive in Beaune, wine capital of Burgundy, for a guided tour of beautiful Hôtel Dieu, founded as a hospice in 1443. Learn about local viticulture and enjoy a wine tasting at one of Beaune’s famous cellars. Return to your ship, which is docked in Chalon-sur-Saône, for lunch. Enjoy free time to explore this quaint town on the scenic Saône River. (B, L, D)

Day 8 | Chalon-sur-Saône. Paris. After breakfast, disembark and enjoy a leisurely ride through the countryside of east central France from Chalon-sur-Saône to Paris. Stop in picturesque Dijon, with its many churches, its Porte Guillaume (a miniature Arc de Triomphe) and its museums, including one devoted to steak and mustard. Continue to Paris to board your second ship, stopping for lunch along the way. A welcome dinner is served on board. (B, D)

Day 9 | Paris. Wake up to a full day in Paris. After breakfast, embark on a half-day tour of this beautiful city and take in its most remarkable sights, including the famous Eiffel Tower. Continue past the École Militaire, Orsay Museum and Latin Quarter. See the Cathedral of Notre Dame, then drive past the Louvre and Opera House and along the famous Champs Elysées. Return aboard for lunch. Afternoon is free to visit the Louvre, shop the many boutiques, visit the artists’ district of Montmartre or enjoy a cruise along the Seine—as always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. Dinner is served aboard. (B, L, D)

Day 10 | Giverny. Vernon. This morning, take a short ride into the town of Giverny, where Claude Monet lived from 1883 until his death in 1926. Visit the beautiful gardens and charming stone farmhouse where he lived and worked; see the water garden with its Japanese bridge, water lilies, wisteria and azaleas that inspired many of his masterpieces. ??After lunch, we spend some time in the provincial town of Vernon. Take a stroll to see the Maison du Temps Jadis (House of Past Times), Vernon’s oldest house, and the 11th-century Church of Notre Dame. Dinner is served aboard. (B, L, D)

Day 11 | Rouen. Indulge in a leisurely morning cruising along the Seine. The afternoon is spent in the medieval city of Rouen, historic capital of Normandy. Begin with a walking tour through the old town center, where you see the spectacular Gothic Notre Dame Cathedral so often painted by Claude Monet and the famous Gros Horloge, a 16th-century astronomical clock. As you walk among the half-timbered buildings you feel yourself transported back through time. Finally, we visit the 14th-century courthouse where Joan of Arc was sentenced to death and the nearby Market Square where she was martyred. Take free time to discover more of Rouen or visit one of its museums of art or antiquities. Dine aboard, or visit a sidewalk café—your ship remains docked overnight. (B, L, D)

Day 12 | Normandy Beaches. After breakfast, begin your full-day tour to the historic beaches of Normandy. See World War II landmarks such as Omaha Beach, the American Military Cemetery and Arromanches Debarkment Museum. On the way back to the ship, pass Gold Beach, Courseulles sur Mer and Juno Beach. Have dinner and relax on board or take an evening stroll. (B, L, D)

Day 13 | Les Andelys. Conflans. Enjoy a leisurely morning cruise to the small town of Les Andelys, known for its imposing castle, Château Gaillard, built in 1196 by Richard the Lionheart. After lunch, join a guided walk to this fatally flawed masterpiece of Middle Ages architecture. Return aboard for scenic cruising and dinner aboard. Late in the evening we dock in Conflans, a riverside town whose unique culture reflects its status as a local hub for barge transportation along the Seine and its tributaries. (B, L, D)

Day 14 | Conflans. Paris. After breakfast, take a walking tour through the charming neighborhoods of Conflans and visit its museum. Or, join an optional tour to the luxurious Palace of Versailles, former home of Louis XIV. Lunch aboard as you sail back to Paris this afternoon. Dine aboard and then enjoy some free time in the City of Light. (B, L, D)

Day 15 | Paris. After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the Paris airport for your return flight. (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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NORTHBOUND
15 DAYS | AVIGNON TO PARIS
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