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VIKING RIVER CRUISES
15 Days | France's Finest
Southbound


PARIS TO AVIGNON

Day 1 | Paris, France. Arrive in Paris, romance capital of the world. Transfer from the Charles de Gaulle airport to your ship. After boarding, take free time to explore Paris—or join our “welcome walk” to stretch your legs and start getting oriented. (D)

Day 2 | 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 3 | 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 4 | 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 5 | 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 6 | 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 7 | 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 8 | Paris. Chalon-sur-Saône. After breakfast, disembark and enjoy a leisurely ride through the countryside of east central France from Paris to Chalon-sur-Saône. Stop for lunch 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 Chalon-sur-Saône to board your second ship. A welcome dinner is served on board. (B, D)

Day 9 | Beaune. Burgundy Wine Tour. 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 for lunch; the afternoon is at leisure to explore more of picturesque Beaune or visit the Musée des Beaux-Arts. Dine aboard as you set sail through Burgundy. (B, L, D)

Day 10 | Lyon. After a morning cruise through the picturesque countryside and lunch aboard, take an afternoon tour of Lyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begin with a drive to the top of Fourvière Hill for amazing views of the city. Visit 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. Dinner served aboard. (B, L, D)

Day 11 | Lyon. Vienne. The morning is free to further explore this remarkable 2,000-year-old city in the heart of France. Depart just before lunchtime. This afternoon, 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. Dine aboard and depart this evening. (B, L, D)

Day 12 | Tournon. Viviers. Awake in Tournon and take a ride 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. Lunch aboard and cruise through the afternoon; 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 13 | Arles. Arrive during breakfast and meet your guide for a walking tour of Arles with its diverse architectural highlights. Experience the city’s vibrant colors and the 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 beautiful Romanesque monuments such as Saint-Trôphime, completed in the 15th century. Return aboard for lunch followed by afternoon free time to explore or shop for handcrafted gifts. Dinner is served as you depart. (B, L, D)

Day 14 | Avignon. 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. You can join the optional tour to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, visiting the vineyards and tasting the famous wine. Lunch and dinner served aboard. Your ship remains docked overnight. (B, L, D)

Day 15 | Avignon. After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the Marseille airport for your return flight. Or, enjoy more of France with 2 nights in Marseille and a visit to Aix-en-Provence. (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
15 DAYS | PARIS TO AVIGNON
Click HERE to view 15-day NORTHBOUND. Click ship name to view deck plan.
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