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Avalon Waterways Grand France with 2 Nights Aix-en-Provence & 2 Nights Nice – Southbound (WPL1)

19 days Paris to Nice 
This splendid river cruise vacation showcases France’s exciting scenery, history, and culture as you sail along its beautiful rivers.

Embark in Paris and head northwest along the Seine River up to the picturesque Normandy region. Dock at Vernon and choose between a guided visit of Claude Monet’s stunning gardens at Giverny or remarkable Bizy Castle. Continue to Les Andelys—home of Château Gaillard, built by England’s King Richard the Lionheart in 1196. Then, on to Caudebec, where you choose between an included excursion to the poignant Normandy landing beaches or a fascinating “Taste of Normandy” tour. Visit Joan of Arc’s historic Rouen; and in Conflans, choose between a guided excursion to Vincent van Gogh’s Auvers-sur-Oise or Napoleon and Josephine’s elegant Château de Malmaison. Then, head back to Paris for sightseeing that shows you the Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower. Disembark and travel to fascinating Beaune for a visit of the Hôtel-Dieu. In St. Jean de Losne, board your second cruise ship and sail on to Macon, the twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage, Viviers, Avignon, and Arles, as well as France’s gastronomic capital of Lyon, where you have time to explore this fascinating city.

Disembark your cruise ship and transfer to Aix en Provence for two nights and the start of your Monograms extension. Enjoy guided sightseeing with an expert Local Guide, walking along the 17th-century Cours Mirabeau, a lively area with fountains, elegant homes, and famous cafés, and visit the Cathedral of the Holy Savior, known for its mishmash of architectural styles. This was Cézanne’s hometown, and in your free time, you may want to take a tour following in his footsteps. Perhaps take an excursion to Cassis with an included cruise, soak in Aix-en-Provence's healing thermal baths, or shop for lavender and other local specialties. Finally, we’ll whisk you via high-speed train to Nice for your final two nights in France. Here, guided sightseeing with a local expert includes a walk through the Old Town and the Promenade des Anglais—Nice’s most famous boulevard. In your free time, you may want to take an excursion to Monaco, to St. Tropez, or to Cannes, known for its famous film festival. In both cities, we provide the services of Local Hosts®—a "friend in the city" to answer questions, share inside information, help arrange your activities and excursions, and more. Transfers to and from your hotels and train stations, as well as hotel reservations with daily breakfasts, are included.

Ships: Tapestry II & Poetry II
Special Offer/Promotion

Avalon Waterways Promotions & Special Offers

  • Save $500 per couple on select 2019 air-inclusive Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.*
    Promotion Depatures (Land): 04/02/19, 07/23/19
  • Save $2,500 per couple on select 2019 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.*
    Promotion Depatures (Land): 04/02/19, 07/23/19
  • Save $2,000 per couple on select 2019 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.*
    Promotion Depatures (Land): 04/16/19, 04/30/19, 07/09/19, 08/20/19, 10/01/19, 10/15/19
  • Save $1,000 per couple on select 2019 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.*
    Promotion Depatures (Land): 09/03/19
  • Single supplement waived on the cruise portion of select 2019 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.*
    Promotion Depatures (Land): 04/02/19, 04/16/19, 07/09/19, 07/23/19, 08/20/19, 09/03/19, 10/01/19, 10/15/19
  • Save $1,000 per couple on select 2018 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.*
    Promotion Depatures (Land): 06/30/18
  • Save $500 per couple on select 2018 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.*
    Promotion Depatures (Land): 04/07/18, 04/21/18, 05/05/18, 06/02/18, 06/16/18, 09/08/18, 09/22/18
Restrictions May Apply

Avalon Highlights & Sightseeing

Day 1 Paris (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception

Day 2 Vernon–Les Andelys: choice of excursions to Giverny or Bizy Castle; choice of guided walk, or guided hike in Les Andelys

Day 3 Caudebec: choice of excursion along the “Normandy Abbeys Route”, or hike in the Natural Park; lecture on board

Day 4 Caudebec: choice of full day excursion to Normandy landing beaches, or “A Taste of Normandy” excursion

Day 5 Rouen: guided sightseeing, see the Astronomical Clock and visit the cathedral

Day 6 Conflans: choice of excursion to Auvers-sur-Oise, or excursion to Napoleon and Josephine’s Château de Malmaison

Day 7 Paris: choice of guided sightseeing, or “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–Mâcon: leisurely cruising; free time in Mâcon; onboard cheese tasting

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

Day 15 Arles (Disembarkation)–Aix-en-Provence: transfer to Aix-en-Provence; guided walking tour, visit the Cathedral of the Holy Saviourtravel

Day 16 Aix-en-Provence: day at leisure

Day 17 Aix-en-Provence–Nice: travel to Nice by high-speed TGV train (first class); guided walking tour with Promenade des Anglais and the old town

Day 18 Nice: day at leisure

Day 19 Nice: your vacation ends this morning

Special Interest Departures

07/28/2018 - Art & Impressionist Discovery in Grand France with Aix-en-Provence & Nice – Southbound
05/28/2019 - Grand France WWII Remembrance & History Cruise with 2 Nights Aix-en-Provence & 2 Nights Nice
06/11/2019 - Grand France WWII Remembrance & History Cruise with 2 Nights Aix-en-Provence & 2 Nights Nice
10/29/2019 - Grand France with 2 Nights Aix-en-Provence & 2 Nights Nice for Wine Lovers

Related Avalon Tours

WPL - Grand France - Southbound

Itinerary (2019)

 Bienvenue en France! Your Suite Ship® is Ready for Boarding.

Flights into Paris must arrive by 2:30 pm.

Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

Your day is free to explore the world’s most romantic city before starting your cruise on the Seine. Get acquainted with the City of Lights today with some shopping, strolling, or with a croissant and café au lait to watch the world go by amid the Parisian cityscape.


 Monet’s Muses, Castle Courtyards, and Crêpes du Jour

Start the day with a Morning Stretch with your Avalon Adventure Host.

CLASSIC Take a Guided Tour of Giverny, home and inspiration of the master impressionist painter Claude Monet. Walk the grounds and see Monet’s charming residence, and the flower and water gardens captured in his masterpieces, OR:

CLASSIC Join a Guided Visit to Bizy Castle—called “Normandy’s Versailles” for its magnificent courtyard, water garden, and stables.

DISCOVERY While sailing, enjoy a traditional French Luncheon of authentic French crêpes, followed by a Pastry Demonstration.

This afternoon, enjoy cruising to the picturesque town of Les Andelys.


Serenity on the Seine’s Most Beautiful Riverbends

CLASSIC Take a Guided Walking Tour of Les Andelys—one of France’s most picturesque spots on the Seine, OR:

ACTIVE Join a Guided Hike up to the castle ruins of Château Gaillard—historic home of King Richard the Lionheart.


 Churches, Cherry Orchards, and White Cliffs of Normandy

ACTIVE Join your Avalon Adventure Host for a Morning Run in Normandy’s town of Caudebec.

CLASSIC Take a Guided Trip along the Normandy Abbeys Route—where more than 100 medieval Benedictine and Augustine abbeys and churches were built along the Seine, OR:

ACTIVE Explore Boucles de la Seine Normande with a Guided Hike of Normandy’s vast regional nature park in a region rich in apple, plum, pear, and cherry orchards.

This afternoon, you may choose a Guided Optional Excursion to the old seaside town of Honfleur, or take a Guided Optional Excursion to see the white-chalk cliffs and arches of the oceanside town of Étretat.


 Heroic Bravery on Normandy Beaches and French Farming Traditions

CLASSIC Join a Guided Tour of the WWII landing beaches of Normandy, with a full-day tour of significant U.S. sites, including Omaha Beach, the Pointe du Hoc monument, and the American Cemetery, OR:

CLASSIC Take a full-day Guided Tour of the British and Canadian commemorative sites, including the British cemetery, Pegasus Memorial, the seaside town of Arromanches, the Juno Beach Center, and the Bény-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery, OR:

CLASSIC Join “A Taste of Normandy” Guided Tour for an in-depth look at this rich agricultural region. See the famous Bayeux Tapestry, visit the beautiful village of Beuvron en Auge and taste Calvados apple brandy at a local distillery.

Later, enjoy live entertainment on board your ship.


 The Cathedral of Notre-Dame, and a Heroine for France

ACTIVE Join your Avalon Adventure Host for a Morning Walk.

CLASSIC Take a Guided Waking Tour of Rouen—home of the martyred Saint Joan of Arc—and see the medieval quarter with its 16th-century Astronomical Clock, and Notre-Dame Cathedral.

Spend free time this afternoon to explore Rouen’s city markets, shops, and bike paths.

Enjoy onboard entertainment before setting sail this evening.


 Walk in the Footsteps of Van Gogh, Bonaparte, and Louis XIV

CLASSIC Join a Guided Visit to Auvers-sur-Oise, home and resting place of Vincent van Gogh, OR:

CLASSIC Take a Guided Tour of the opulent Château de Malmaison—home of Napoléon Bonaparte and his wife Josephine.

Perhaps, join a Guided Optional Excursion tour of the Palace of Versailles—home to a succession of French kings.


 Cafés, Cathedrals, & Canvases—The City of Lights Truly Shines

ACTIVE Take a Morning Walk with your Avalon Adventure Host to see Paris at first light.

CLASSIC Take a Guided Walking Tour through the Heart of Paris to see the historic Île St. Louis, Île de la Cité, and Notre-Dame Cathedral, OR:

CLASSIC Join a Guided City Tour, that shows you the iconic sites of Paris, such as the Louvre Museum, the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, Opéra Garnier, and the famous Champs-Élysées.

Stroll through Paris on your own, or linger over wine in a literary café on the Left Bank.


 Take a High-Speed Train from Paris to Dijon before driving to Beaune.

DISCOVERY Visit the Hôtel-Dieu Charity Hospital, built in 1443, today home of the Van der Weyden’s painting of the Last Judgement.

This afternoon, travel to St. Jean de Losne to board your Suite Ship® on the Saône for a brief evening cruise to Seurre.


 Wine and Cheese on the Stunning Saône

Enjoy leisurely cruising en route to Mâcon along the majestic Saône River. Consider a Guided Optional Excursion to a Chardonnay wine cellar, or to the Castle of Cormatin.

DISCOVERY Later, enjoy a delicious Cheese Tasting on board your ship.

Enjoy live entertainment while sailing for Trévoux this evening.


Day 10LYON
 Adventures in Food and Wine in the Gastronomy Capital of France

Sail for lovely Lyon this morning for French fare.

CLASSIC Join a Guided Sightseeing Tour to survey Lyon with its numerous churches from Fourvière Hill. You’ll also explore the Old Town with its maze of medieval alleyways, and the lively cafés, monuments, and famed fountain of Place des Terreaux.

Spend free time biking through Lyon’s town squares, over bridges, and along the banks where the Rhône and Saône rivers meet.

Later on board your ship, be our guest for a WWII & French Resistance Lecture, and enjoy live entertainment after dinner.


Day 11LYON
 French Food and Wine—La Vie En Rose in Lyon

Enjoy a free day in Lyon, or choose a Guided Optional Culinary Walk through the city to discover why it is known as the gastronomic capital of France!

Your day is free to explore, relax, or shop in France’s third largest city. Take a bike from the ship and explore local produce markets and parks, or take a leisurely tour of the city’s more than 100 murals.


 A Rendezvous with Castle Views and Vineyards

CLASSIC Take a morning Guided Walking Tour to explore Tournon—one of France’s oldest medieval cities. See its 16th-century castle, and Roman ruins between the Rhône River and the granite slopes of the Hermitage.


World History in a Charming French Country Village

CLASSIC Explore the pale-stone buildings of Viviers on a late afternoon Guided Walking Tour of this charming village. You’ll see its Romanesque cathedral and Old Town with a mix of historical Christian, Roman, and medieval influences.


 The City of Popes in Picturesque Provence

CLASSIC Take a Guided Sightseeing Tour of the fortress city of Avignon—with its ramparts encircling the city—and a visit to the amazing Palace of the Popes.

Guided Optional Excursions include a visit to the ancient Roman aqueduct of Pont du Gard, or a trip to the famed wine cellars of Châteauneuf-du-Pape for a true taste of the Rhône wine region.

Explore Avignon on your own for the city’s art and culture, theatre, and museums. Be sure to snap photos of the captivating countryside, historic monuments, and the medieval Pont Saint-Bénézet.

Later, enjoy onboard live entertainment.


 Inspiring Sights and Avant-Garde Lights

CLASSIC Enjoy a Guided Walking Tour of Arles—the captivating city of the Provence region. You’ll visit the Roman Amphitheater in this visually stunning city that inspired the works of Vincent van Gogh.

Consider also a Guided Optional Excursion to the Carrières de Lumières (Cathedral of Images) for a truly unique experience of art, sound, and light in the old quarries of Val d’Enfer.

Take advantage of any free time with a stop in Le Café Van Gogh for a glass of wine to relax and watch the world go by.


 Leave your Avalon vacation one day early upon disembarkation in Arles, and take the included transfer to Aix-en-Provence to join your Monograms package. Your guided walking tour includes a visit to the Cathedral of the Holy Saviour, known for its interesting combination of architectural styles and The Burning Bush triptych art masterpiece by Nicolas Froment.

 Enjoy a full day at leisure in Cézanne’s hometown. Your Local Host will help you get the most out of your stay.

 Travel by high-speed TGV train (first class) to Nice. Your guided sightseeing features the Promende des Anglais, originally built in the second half of the 18th century and the most famous boulevard in Nice and a walk through the charming Old Town.

Day 18NICE
 Your Local Host has recommendations for your full day at leisure on the beautiful Côte d’Azur.

Day 19NICE
 Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.


Avalon Pricing Details

Port charges:

Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included on Avalon portion only.

Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.

Extra nights per person in Paris:
in single room from $315 to $433, in twin room from $187 to $246

Extra nights per person in Nice:
in single room from $133 to $574, in twin room from $75 to $288

All prices per person based on double occupancy. Cruise price based on Category E in a deluxe outside stateroom on Indigo Deck. See below for upgrade pricing.

To upgrade to a higher category, add per person:

Category / Decks / Price
D / Indigo Deck / $398
B / Sapphire Deck / $2298
A / Sapphire Deck / $2398
P / Royal Deck / $2598
Royal Suite / Royal Deck / $4398

  • Special Interest Cruises: Wine Appreciation October 14 & October 28 & October 29 (Rhône/Saône section), 75th Anniversary of D-Day WWII History & Remembrance May 27 (Seine section), WWII History & Remembrance May 28 & June 11 (Seine section)

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 is necessary, a substitute will be offered.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.

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
05/05/2018 Special Offer/Promotion $8,197.00
06/16/2018 Special Offer/Promotion $8,433.00
06/30/2018 Special Offer/Promotion $8,083.00
*07/28/2018 $7,780.00
08/25/2018 $8,447.00
04/02/2019 Special Offer/Promotion $7,710.00
04/16/2019 Special Offer/Promotion $8,326.00
04/30/2019 Special Offer/Promotion $8,727.00
*05/28/2019 $8,943.00
*06/11/2019 $8,912.00
07/09/2019 Special Offer/Promotion $8,841.00
07/23/2019 Special Offer/Promotion $8,841.00
08/20/2019 Special Offer/Promotion $8,896.00
09/03/2019 Special Offer/Promotion $9,135.00
10/01/2019 Special Offer/Promotion $8,518.00
10/15/2019 Special Offer/Promotion $8,260.00
*10/29/2019 $7,429.00
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