TouringForLess
CIE Tours - Specials and Promotions

Avalon Cruise Map

click map to enlarge

Avalon Waterways A Culinary Experience in Grand France (WPL-T2)

16 days from Paris to Côte d’Azur 
This river cruise highlighting the best of France is certainly grand! And as the Seine portion focuses on a culinary aspect, enjoy culinary treats and tastings, beautiful scenery, and stops in the most charming and historical parts of France.

Set out on the Seine River and choose from a variety of excursions: to Claude Monet’s Giverny or Bizy Castle from Vernon, along the “Normandy Abbeys” route and to the historic Normandy Landing Beaches, including Omaha Beach, the Point du Hoc monument, and the American Cemetery; or a “Taste of Normandy” to visit a cheese farm and a Calvados distillery from Caudebec; and to Vincent van Gogh’s Auver-sur-Oise or Napoleon and Josephine’s Malmaison from Conflans. Visit Joan of Arc’s Rouen, and pretty Les Andelys. Enjoy an onboard crêpes lunch, a pastry demonstration, cheese and wine tasting and an exclusive onboard food and wine-pairing dinner hosted by your Master of Wine. Before you depart the beautiful Seine River, spend time in Paris—one of the world’s most romantic and vibrant cities! 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. Continue your river cruise vacation on the Saône and Rhône Rivers. Lyon, France’s gastronomic capital, is France’s third-largest city and a showcase of medieval and Renaissance architecture. 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. On a guided tour of historical Avignon, see the 14th-century Palace of the Popes—the largest gothic fortress in the world. Situated on the Rhône River, Arles, is famous for inspiring the paintings of Van Gogh and for its 1st-century Roman Amphitheater, which hosts plays and concerts to this day.

As a perfect finale to your France river cruise vacation, spend some time in the captivating French Riviera, also known as the Côte d’Azur. Explore this elegant area and relax along the remarkably blue water of the Mediterranean Sea.

Ships: Tapestry II & Poetry II

Avalon Highlights & Sightseeing

Day 1 Paris (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception

Day 2 Vernon–Les Andelys: choice of excursions to Giverny or Bizy Castle; onboard crêpes lunch and pastry demonstration; guided walk in Les Andelys, visit the parish church of Le Petit Andely

Day 3-4 Caudebec: excursion along the “Normandy Abbeys Route”; choice of excursions to Normandy landing beaches or “A Taste of Normandy, including visit and lunch at a local cheese farm

Day 5 Rouen: guided sightseeing, see the Astronomical Clock and visit the cathedral; onboard cheese and wine tasting

Day 6 Conflans: choice of excursions: visit Auvers-sur-Oise or Château de Malmaison; onboard food and wine pairing dinner

Day 7 Paris: “Heart of Paris” walk, visit Notre Dame Cathedral

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

Day 9 Seurre–Macon: leisurely cruising; onboard cheese tasting; free time in Mâcon

Day 10 Lyon: guided sightseeing; picture stop on Fourvière Hill

Day 11 Lyon: a day to explore this fascinating city at leisure

Day 12 Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage–Viviers: guided walk in Tournon; guided walk in Viviers, visit the Old Town and the cathedral

Day 13 Avignon: guided sightseeing, visit Palace of the Popes

Day 14 Arles: cruise into the Camargue region (daylight permitting); guided sightseeing in Arles, visit the Roman Amphitheater

Day 15 Arles (Disembarkation)–Côte d’Azur: travel by motorcoach to Côte d’Azur

Day 16 Côte d’Azur: your vacation ends this morning

Special Interest Departures

08/11/2018 - A Culinary Experience in Grand France

Related Avalon Tours

WPL0 - Save with the Cruise-Only Portion
WPL1 - Add Aix-en-Provence & Nice to Your Vacation
WPL2 - Add Barcelona to Your Vacation

Itinerary (2018)

Day 1Arrive in Paris, France (Embarkation).
 Welcome to Paris, France’s capital on the River Seine, the “City of Light,” where romance fills the air. This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. Before dinner, your ship glides smoothly out of Paris. (D)

NOTE:
Flights into Paris must arrive by 2:30 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.
Day 2Vernon–Les Andelys.
 This morning in Vernon, choose between a guided visit of Giverny and a visit to Bizy Castle. Claude Monet lived at GIVERNY from 1883-1926, and viewed his 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. Enjoy an onboard CRÊPES LUNCH and afterwards a PASTRY DEMONSTRATION, during which you will be shown how to make a local specialty. 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 3Caudebec.
 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 4Caudebec.
 Make your choice today 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. This tour will include a guided visit with lunch at a local cheese farm, during which clients will taste, among other Norman specialties, also some AOP (appellation d’origine protégé) cheeses produced on the farm. And for a touch of history, visit the famous BAYEUX TAPESTRY. (B,L,D)
Day 5Rouen.
 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 included GUIDED WALK through the medieval quarter with its half-timbered, glazed-tile houses, and take your pictures of the intricate Gros Horloge astronomical clock, dating back to the 16th century. Visit the gothic CATHEDRAL, which was once the tallest building in the world and the subject of a series of paintings by Claude Monet. The afternoon is free to explore on your own. A Master of Wine will join you on board and will introduce you to some of France’s wines and answer any questions you may have. This afternoon, you will be tempted with a TASTING of CHEESE and WINE. (B,L,D)
Day 6Conflans.
 After breakfast, you may either join our 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 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.” This evening, enjoy a special onboard FOOD AND WINE PAIRING DINNER hosted by our Master of Wine, who has specifically chosen the wines for this occasion. (B,L,D)
Day 7Paris.
 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 Sacré Coeur Basilica and bevy of artists on Place du Tertre. (B,L,D)
Day 8Paris (Disembarkation)–Dijon–Beaune–St. Jean de Losne (Embarkation)–Seurre.
 This morning, say goodbye to your crew, board the TGV train to Dijon and, from there, drive to Beaune, the unofficial capital of the Côte d’Or area. Beaune owes its wealth to the production, aging, and selling of fine wines. Although life here centers around wine, Beaune offers much more. 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. Continue to St. Jean de Losne, where your ship awaits. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception as you depart for Seurre. (B,D)
Day 9Seurre–Macon.
 Enjoy some leisurely cruising this morning. In the afternoon, you might choose to participate in one of the optional excursions on offer, such as to a Chardonnay wine cellar, before your ships arrives in Macon In the late afternoon, enjoy an ONBOARD CHEESE TASTING. (B,L,D)
Day 10Lyon.
 Lyon, France’s third-largest city and its gastronomic capital, was 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, excellent museums, and renaissance architecture delight visitors. A LOCAL GUIDE joins you as you survey the city from Fourvière Hill and explore the Old Town 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. (B,L,D)
Day 11Lyon.
 Enjoy a free day to explore at leisure. Early risers might like to visit the local produce market. Perhaps wander through one of Lyon’s parks, discover some of the murals (there are over 100 of them), or select one of the available optional excursions. Be sure to taste the gastronomic delights and sample Beaujolais, the wine of the region; wine connoisseurs know the grapes must be hand picked. Your Cruise Director will have suggestions for things to do. (B,L,D)
Day 12Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage–Viviers.
 The twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage lie nestled among vineyards between the Rhône River and the granite slopes of the Hermitage. A LOCAL GUIDE will show you Tournon, one of France’s oldest medieval cities, with its imposing 16th-century castle and Roman ruins. Arriving in Viviers in the late afternoon, an included GUIDED WALK shows you this charming town that developed around its ROMANESQUE CATHEDRAL. The OLD TOWN has an appealing mix of Christian, Roman, and medieval influences. (B,L,D)
Day 13Avignon.
 The fortified city of Avignon is the capital of the Vaucluse region—the most picturesque part of Provence with its intact ramparts encircling the entire city, cobblestone streets and squares, and private mansions built in the 18th and 19th centuries. Known as the “City of Popes,” it was the center of the Catholic Church in the 14th century. Your GUIDED TOUR includes a visit of the PALACE OF THE POPES, built in the 14th century as the sovereign popes’ residency. A photo of the famous Pont Saint Bénezet (Saint Bénezet Bridge), of the popular song Sur le Pont d’Avignon, is a must. Optional outings to Pont du Gard or to the famed wine cellars of Châteauneuf-du-Pape are available. (B,L,D)
Day 14Arles.
 This morning, wake up early to the tranquil vistas of Camargue National Park (daylight permitting) before arriving in Arles after breakfast. Located on the northern tip of the Camargue, Arles is capital of the Provence region. Your LOCAL GUIDE will show you highlights of the city and you’ll visit the ROMAN AMPHITHEATER. Still used today, it dates to the 1st century and was constructed to hold over 20,000 spectators. (B,L,D)
Day 15Arles (Disembarkation)–Côte d’Azur.
 After breakfast, a comfortable motorcoach ride takes you to the Côte d’Azur for a last night in France. Also known as the French Riviera, the Côte d’Azur stretches along France’s Mediterranean coast from Toulon to the Italian border and is synonymous with prestige and beauty. (B)
Day 16Côte d’Azur.
 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

Extra nights per person in Côte d’Azur:
in single room from $290 to $695, in twin room from $165 to $355

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

Avalon Notes

  • 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.
  • In the event that a high-speed train is unavailable due to strikes or technical reasons, the route will be operated by motorcoach.

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
*08/11/2018 $6,809.00
We Sell the Same Escorted Tours. What makes us different is we sell to you for LESS!