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Avalon Waterways Grand France with Barcelona - Southbound (WPL2)

19 days from Paris to Barcelona 
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 visits Notre Dame Cathedral. Disembark and travel south 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. Daylight permitting, sail into the peaceful Camargue area.

Disembark your cruise ship and arrive in the French Riviera, the splendid Côte d’Azur, for a final night in France. Then, transfer to Nice airport for the start to your Monograms extension. We’ve arranged your flight to Barcelona, Spain, along with hotel reservations, daily breakfasts, sightseeing with a local expert, transfers to and from your hotels and the airport, and more. Plus, we know you may not be familiar with the city, so we've arranged the services of a friendly and knowledgeable Local Host® to answer questions, share inside information, help arrange your activities and excursions, and make you feel right at home. Guided sightseeing with an expert Local Guide features a drive along the elegant Passeig de Gracia and visits to Gaudi’s extraordinary Casa Batlló and Sagrada Familia Basilica. In your free time, you could explore the Picasso Museum, catch some rays on the beach, or have fun at Tibidabo Amusement Park. Your Local Host can help you make the most of this amazing river cruise and land vacation!

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

Avalon Waterways Promotions & Special Offers

  • Save $2,000 per couple on select 2018 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.*
    Promotion Depatures (Land): 04/07/18, 04/21/18
  • Save $1,000 per couple on select 2018 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.*
    Promotion Depatures (Land): 05/05/18, 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): 04/07/18, 04/21/18, 06/30/18, 08/25/18
  • Save $1,500 per couple on select 2018 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.*
    Promotion Depatures (Land): 06/16/18, 06/30/18, 08/25/18
Restrictions May Apply

Avalon Highlights & Sightseeing

Day 1 Paris (Embarkation): welcome reception

Day 2 Vernon–Les Andelys: choice of excursions to Giverny or Bizy Castle; 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”

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

Day 6 Conflans: choice of excursions: visit Auvers-sur-Oise or Château de Malmaison

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–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: 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

Barcelona: 3 nights hotel accommodation with buffet breakfast (B); Monograms Local Host Service & Destination Guide with city map; guided sightseeing, inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE; flight Nice-Barcelona with transfers.

Special Interest Departures

07/28/2018 - Art & Impressionism Discovery in Grand France with Barcelona - Southbound
08/11/2018 - A Culinary experience in Grand France with Barcelona - Southbound
10/20/2018 - Grand France with Barcelona for Wine Lovers

Related Avalon Tours

WPL - Grand France – Southbound

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. 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. 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. (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.” (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–Mâcon.
 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 ship arrives in Mâcon. 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–Barcelona, Spain.
 After breakfast at your Avalon hotel, an included transfer takes you to Nice airport for your FLIGHT to Barcelona, where you will join your Monograms vacation. (B)
Day 17Barcelona.
 Starting from Plaza Catalunya, morning guided sightseeing includes a drive along elegant Passeig de Gràcia to see the captivating façade of La Pedrera and to visit Gaudi’s CASA BATLLÓ. Passing through the central Eixample district, reach the extraordinary but still unfinished SAGRADA FAMILIA BASILICA. Your included entrance fees contribute to its completion. (B)
Day 18Barcelona.
 Your Local Host has many recommendations for your day at leisure, including an excursion to Montserrat, a trip to the Aquarium, a guided tour of the Picasso Museum, or a visit to whimsical Tibidabo Amusement Park. (B)
Day 19Barcelona.
 Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

Avalon Pricing Details

Dates and Prices do not include air travel.
Participation in this vacation requires purchase of the following flights from Avalon Waterways, not included in the pricing: (1) roundtrip air from your U.S. gateway and intra-vacation air segments; or (2) intra-vacation air segments only, starting at $172. Required intra-vacation air segments: Nice to Barcelona. Air prices were effective on April 5, 2017, and their availability is limited. At the time you purchase your tour, air prices may be higher.

Port charges:
$336

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

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 Barcelona:
in single room from $304 to $350, in twin room from $117 to $168

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 Seine section of departure July 28 is offered as an exclusive Art & Impressionist Cruise, including special lectures and features at no additional cost. Experience scenic northern France with a focus on art as you explore art museums, attend an art lecture and visit places that inspired some of the world’s famous artists: Giverny, Honfleur, Rouen’s cathedral, Auvers-sur-Oise and Paris.
  • The Seine section of departure August 11 is offered as an exclusive Culinary Cruise, including special lectures and tastings at no additional cost. Enter the food-lover’s paradise of Europe. At a special dinner, your chef will dazzle you with regional specialties and food preparation tips. During lectures and cooking demonstrations, you will learn more about European culinary traditions!
  • The Saône/Rhône section of departures 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 Seine section of departure July 28 is offered as an exclusive Art & Impressionist Cruise, including special lectures and features at no additional cost. Experience scenic northern France with a focus on art as you explore art museums, attend an art lecture and visit places that inspired some of the world’s famous artists: Giverny, Honfleur, Rouen’s cathedral, Auvers-sur-Oise and Paris.
  • The Seine section of departure August 11 is offered as an exclusive Culinary Cruise, including special lectures and tastings at no additional cost. Enter the food-lover’s paradise of Europe. At a special dinner, your chef will dazzle you with regional specialties and food preparation tips. During lectures and cooking demonstrations, you will learn more about European culinary traditions!
  • The Saône/Rhône section of departures 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 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

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Avalon Tour Dates

Tour Land StartAvalon RetailRequest Quote
04/07/2018 Special Offer/Promotion $7,124.00
04/21/2018 Special Offer/Promotion $7,524.00
05/05/2018 Special Offer/Promotion $8,188.00
06/02/2018 Special Offer/Promotion $8,124.00
06/16/2018 Special Offer/Promotion $8,074.00
06/30/2018 Special Offer/Promotion $7,724.00
*07/28/2018 $7,624.00
*08/11/2018 $7,724.00
08/25/2018 Special Offer/Promotion $8,224.00
09/08/2018 Special Offer/Promotion $8,374.00
09/22/2018 Special Offer/Promotion $8,274.00
*10/20/2018 $6,924.00
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