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Avalon Waterways Grand France – Cruise Only Northbound (WLP0)

15 days from Arles to Paris 
This river cruise vacation showcases France’s charm, breathtaking scenery, and rich history. Your adventure begins on the Rhône River with a visit to Arles, France—famous for inspiring the paintings of Van Gogh—and its 1st-century Roman Amphitheater, which hosts plays and concerts to this day. On a guided tour of historical Avignon, see the 14th-century Palace of the Popes—the largest gothic fortress in the world. The twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage are beautifully nestled among vineyards and you’ll go on a guided walk of Tournon, a medieval treasure with plenty of Roman ruins and a fascinating 16th-century castle. Lyon, France’s gastronomic capital, sits at the junction of the Rhône and Saône Rivers and is a showcase of medieval and Renaissance architecture. The Seine River offers a choice of excursion opportunities, such as a visit to the historic Normandy Landing Beaches, including Omaha Beach, the Point du Hoc monument, and the American Cemetery; a visit to delightful Les Andelys, Joan of Arc’s Rouen, and the choice between a visit to Vincent van Gogh’s Auvers-sur-Oise or Napoleon and Josephine’s Malmaison.

On this French river cruise, you’ll enjoy wine, cheese, beautiful scenery, and stops in charming and historical parts of France, but your adventure would not be complete without a visit to Paris—one of the world’s most romantic and vibrant cities! The “City of Light” has Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, and the Louvre Museum with its elegant glass pyramid contrasting its ancient architecture. A guided walk through historic Île St. Louis with its narrow streets, and Île de la Cité where medieval Paris was founded, will be a delight.

Ships: Poetry II & Tapestry II - Affinity & Creativity
Special Offer/Promotion

Avalon Waterways Promotions & Special Offers

  • Single supplement waived on the cruise portion of select 2017 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.*
  • Save $500 per couple on select 2017 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.*
  • Save $1,000 per couple on select 2017 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.*
  • Save $2,000 per couple on select 2018 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.*
    Promotion Depatures (Land): 04/07/18, 05/05/18, 07/14/18, 08/11/18
  • Save $1,000 per couple on select 2018 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.*
    Promotion Depatures (Land): 05/19/18, 06/02/18, 09/08/18, 09/22/18
  • Save $500 per couple on select 2018 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.*
  • Single supplement waived on the cruise portion of select 2018 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.*
  • $299 air from select cities on select 2018 Avalon Waterways Europe cruises.*
    Promotion Depatures (Land): 08/25/18, 10/06/18, 04/07/18, 05/05/18, 07/14/18, 08/11/18
  • Save $1,500 per couple on select 2018 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.*
    Promotion Depatures (Land): 08/25/18, 10/06/18
Restrictions May Apply

Avalon Highlights & Sightseeing

Day 1 Arles (Embarkation): welcome to France! onboard welcome reception; sail into the Camargue region (daylight permitting)

Day 2 Arles: guided sightseeing, visit the Roman Amphitheater

Day 3 Avignon: guided sightseeing, visit the Palace of the Popes

Day 4 Cruising–Viviers: guided walk, visit Old Town and the cathedral

Day 5 Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage–Vienne: guided walk in Tournon; guided walk in Vienne

Day 6 Lyon: guided sightseeing, picture stop on Fourvière Hill

Day 7 Cruising–St. Jean de Losne: day at leisure; cheese tasting

Day 8 St. Jean de Losne (Disembarkation)–Beaune–Dijon–Paris (Embarkation): visit the Hôtel-Dieu in Beaune; TGV train from Dijon to Paris; onboard welcome reception

Day 9 Vernon–Les Andelys: choice of guided excursions to Giverny or Bizy Castle; guided walk in Les Andelys, visit the Parish Church of Le Petit Andely

Days 10-11 Caudebec: excursion along the “Normandy Abbeys Route”; choice of excursions to Normandy landing beaches or “A Taste of Normandy”

Day 12 Rouen: guided walk, see the Astronomical clock and visit the cathedral

Day 13 Conflans: choice of guided excursions to Auvers-sur-Oise or Château de Malmaison

Day 14 Paris: “Heart of Paris” walk, visit Notre Dame Cathedral

Day 15 Paris (Disembarkation): your vacation ends this morning

Special Interest Departures

06/16/2018 - Grand France with Journeys Club Celebration - Cruise Only
06/30/2018 - Sounds of Jazz & WWII History in Grand France - Cruise Only
07/28/2018 - Grand France for Wine Lovers - Cruise Only
10/20/2018 - Grand France for Wine Lovers - Cruise Only

Related Avalon Tours

WLP - Take this cruise with land stays

Itinerary (2018)

Day 1Arrive in Arles, France (Embarkation).
 Welcome to France! This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel docked in Arles in the Provence region. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception, then sail toward the mouth of the Rhône for a taste of the tranquil vistas of Camargue National Park (daylight permitting). (D)
Day 2Arles.
 In Arles, capital of the Provence, join your LOCAL GUIDE for a tour of the city. See the church of St. Trophime, dating from the 12th century, and visit the ROMAN AMPHITHEATER. Still used today, the amphitheater dates to the 1st century, and was constructed to hold over 20,000 spectators. Vincent Van Gogh was inspired by the special light of the Provence and spent a very productive year in Arles. (B,L,D)
Day 3Avignon.
 On your GUIDED TOUR you may choose to join an included visit of the PALACE OF THE POPES, built in the 14th century as the sovereign popes’ residence. With a living space equivalent to four gothic cathedrals, it is the largest gothic fortress in the world. Alternatively, you may opt for only city sightseeing and more free time to explore on your own, or to join an optional outing to Pont du Gard or to the famed wine cellars of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. (B,L,D)
Day 4Cruising–Viviers.
 A leisurely morning on board to relax and enjoy the passing scenery. After lunch, join your LOCAL GUIDE for a walk around the charming town of Viviers, which developed around its ROMANESQUE CATHEDRAL. The OLD TOWN has an appealing mix of Christian, Roman, and medieval influences. (B,L,D)
Day 5Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage–Vienne.
 The twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage lie nestled among vineyards between the Rhône River and the granite slopes of the Hermitage. Enjoy a GUIDED WALK of Tournon, one of France’s oldest medieval cities, with its imposing 16th-century castle and Roman ruins. Arriving in Vienne in the late afternoon, a GUIDED WALK shows you the charming little town surrounded by steep hills. Explore the town center to see the Roman Theater, which once held 13,000 spectators, and the Augustus and Livia Temple, built around 20 BC and converted into a church in the Middle Ages. (B,L,D)
Day 6Lyon.
 Lyon is France’s third-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 visitors. You are joined by a LOCAL GUIDE as you survey the city from Fourvière Hill—with its splendid views over the city—and explore the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its maze of medieval alleyways and Place des Terreaux, a popular area with lively cafés, monuments, and the famous fountain often depicted on postcards. Be sure to sample Beaujolais, the wine of the region. (B,L,D)
Day 7Cruising–St. Jean de Losne.
 A leisurely day today as your final day on board. If you prefer to stay busy, a choice of optional excursions is available, including a visit to a wine cellar. While sailing to St. Jean de Losne, enjoy an onboard CHEESE TASTING. (B,L,D)
Day 8St. Jean de Losne. (Disembarkation)–Beaune–Dijon–Paris (Embarkation).
 After breakfast, disembark and head by motorcoach to Beaune, the unofficial capital of the Côte d’Or area and Burgundy’s wine capital. Although life here centers around wine, Beaune offers much more with its ramparts, medieval houses, cobblestone streets, and historical monuments. Visit the HÔTEL-DIEU charity hospital, built in 1443 and paid for by the chancellor of Burgundy after the Hundred Years’ War left many of the town’s population destitute. Today, it houses Van der Weyden’s painting of The Last Judgment and is one of France’s architectural highlights. After lunch, continue to Dijon and board the TGV train to Paris, the “City of Light,” where your ship is docked on the River Seine. Meet your crew at a welcome reception; before dinner, your ship glides smoothly out of Paris. (B,D)
Day 9Vernon–Les Andelys.
 This morning in Vernon, choose between a guided visit of Giverny and a visit to Bizy Castle. Claude Monet lived at GIVERNY for almost 43 years (1883-1926) and viewed his flower and water gardens as works of art—just like his paintings. See his collection of Japanese prints, his charming house, and his biggest sources of inspiration. Or, visit BIZY CASTLE, built in 1740 and nicknamed “Normandy’s Versailles.” It is known for its famous stables—inspired by those at Versailles—and its magnificent courtyard and water garden. This afternoon, your ship arrives in Les Andelys, situated on a bend of the Seine and one of the most beautiful places in France. Join a Local Guide for a GUIDED WALK of the town, visiting the PARISH CHURCH OF LE PETIT ANDELY. Alternatively, you may wish to join your guide on a hike up to the ruins of imposing Château Gaillard, built by England’s King Richard the Lionheart as a fortress in 1196. Constructed in only a year, it is a masterpiece of medieval military architecture. (B,L,D)
Day 10Caudebec.
 Today, join a guided excursion along the “NORMANDY ABBEYS ROUTE,” a short drive from Caudebec. More than 100 abbeys once covered this region, which has a microclimate particularly suited to the production of fruit such as apples, pears, plums, and cherries. The afternoon is free to explore on your own or to join an optional excursion to the pretty coastal town of Honfleur. (B,L,D)
Day 11Caudebec.
 Today, choose between an included full-day 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, mainly agricultural region. The most important products are dairy, apples, and grain. Camembert cheese is a specialty, as is CALVADOS, a strong apple brandy that you’ll have the chance to taste at a local distillery. And for a touch of history, visit the famous BAYEUX TAPESTRY. (B,L,D)
Day 12Rouen.
 Rouen, the capital of Upper Normandy, is an important commercial city 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 take your pictures of the Gros Horloge, an intricate astronomical clock dating back to the 16th century. Visit the splendid gothic CATHEDRAL, which was once the tallest building in the world and the subject of a series of Claude Monet’s paintings. The afternoon is free for you to explore on your own. (B,L,D)
Day 13Conflans.
 After breakfast you may either join our included guided excursion to AUVERS-SUR-OISE, the quaint town where Vincent Van Gogh lived and died, or to Napoleon and Josephine’s CHÂTEAU DE MALMAISON 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 14Paris.
 Known as one of the world’s most romantic and lively cities, Paris delights the senses. Join a GUIDED WALK through historic Île St. Louis with its narrow one-way streets and Île de la Cité, the center of Paris where the medieval city was founded and home to NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL. In your free time, stroll down the Champs-Elysées with its lavish cafés, or perhaps visit the world-famous Louvre or Montmartre with its gleaming white Sacré Coeur Basilica and bevy of artists on Place du Tertre. (B,L,D)
Day 15Paris (Disembarkation).
 Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

Avalon Pricing Details

Port charges:
$336

Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included.

Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.

Extra nights per person in Paris:
in single room from $400 to $440, in twin room from $200 to $225

Prices shown include cruise in Category E in a deluxe outside stateroom on Indigo Deck.

To upgrade to a higher category, add per person:

Category / Decks / Price
D / Indigo / Deck / $398
B / Sapphire Deck / $2,298
A / Sapphire Deck / $2,398
P / Royal Deck / $2,598
Royal Suite / Royal Deck / $3,998

NOTES:
  • The Rhône/Saône section of departure June 30 is offered as an exclusive Jazz Cruise, including special music features at no additional cost. On our Jazz Cruise, attend the annual Jazz Festival in Vienne, and enjoy lively entertainment as local jazz musicians come on board your ship at several ports.
  • The Seine section of departure June 30 is offered as an exclusive WWII History Cruise, including special lectures and features at no additional cost. Take a cruise through history! These fascinating cruises give you an even richer experience as you learn the stories behind Europe’s famous sites.
  • The Saône/Rhône section of departures July 28 & October 20 are offered as exclusive Wine Appreciation Cruises, including special lectures and tastings at no additional cost. Your palate will applaud as you learn what to look for in a good wine. A distinguished wine authority will teach you the ropes as you visit a wine village and attend tastings to test your newfound talent.

Avalon Notes

  • The Rhône/Saône section of departure June 30 is offered as an exclusive Jazz Cruise, including special music features at no additional cost. On our Jazz Cruise, attend the annual Jazz Festival in Vienne, and enjoy lively entertainment as local jazz musicians come on board your ship at several ports.
  • The Seine section of departure June 30 is offered as an exclusive WWII History Cruise, including special lectures and features at no additional cost. Take a cruise through history! These fascinating cruises give you an even richer experience as you learn the stories behind Europe’s famous sites.
  • The Saône/Rhône section of departures July 28 & October 20 are offered as exclusive Wine Appreciation Cruises, including special lectures and tastings at no additional cost. Your palate will applaud as you learn what to look for in a good wine. A distinguished wine authority will teach you the ropes as you visit a wine village and attend tastings to test your newfound talent.
  • In the event that the TGV is unavailable due to strikes or technical reasons, the transfer from Dijon to Paris will be operated by motorcoach.
  • In the event of water level problems or any problems of a technical nature, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or to alter the program.
  • Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change becomes necessary, a substitute will be offered.

Avalon Waterways Fleet

Click Quote for an Avalon Waterways Tour Date for our low price tour quote


Avalon Tour Dates

Tour Land StartAvalon RetailRequest Quote
08/26/2017 $6,749.00
09/05/2017 $6,899.00
09/09/2017 $6,899.00
09/19/2017 $6,849.00
10/03/2017 $6,299.00
10/07/2017 $6,149.00
04/07/2018 Special Offer/Promotion $5,949.00
05/05/2018 Special Offer/Promotion $6,899.00
05/19/2018 Special Offer/Promotion $6,999.00
06/02/2018 Special Offer/Promotion $6,949.00
*06/16/2018 $6,899.00
*06/30/2018 $6,649.00
07/14/2018 Special Offer/Promotion $6,449.00
*07/28/2018 $6,449.00
08/11/2018 Special Offer/Promotion $6,499.00
08/25/2018 Special Offer/Promotion $7,049.00
09/08/2018 Special Offer/Promotion $7,199.00
09/22/2018 Special Offer/Promotion $7,099.00
10/06/2018 Special Offer/Promotion $6,399.00
*10/20/2018 $5,849.00
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