Day 1 Cte d’Azur.
Travel to Nice where you will be met and transferred to the Cte d’Azur for one night at the Fairmont Monte Carlo, Monte Carlo (or similar).
Day 2 Cte d’Azur – Arles.
This morning, enjoy free time or join an optional excursion before driving to Arles in the Provence region to board your cruise ship. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception Later, cruise toward the mouth of the Rhne for a unique opportunity to experience the tranquil vistas of Camargue National Park (daylight permitting). (B, D)
Day 3 Arles.
Included today: Arles guided sightseeing, visit the Roman Amphitheatre.
On the northern tip of the Camargue, Arles is the capital of Provence and was once known as the ‘Little Rome of Gaul’. Your guided tour takes in the church of St Trophime and visits the Roman Amphitheatre. Still used today, the amphitheatre dates to the 1st century, and was constructed to hold over 20,000 spectators. Vincent Van Gogh was inspired by the beauty of Provence and spent a very productive year in Arles. (B, L, D)
Day 4 Avignon.
Included today: Avignon guided sightseeing, visit the Palace of the Popes.
Arrive in Avignon this morning during breakfast. The fortified city of Avignon is the capital of the Vaucluse region and one of the most picturesque regions of Provence. Dominated by the grandiose Palace of the Popes, the city is often referred to as the ‘City of Popes’ and was the centre of the Catholic Church in the 14th century. During the guided tour, you can choose to join an included visit to Palace of the Popes or you may opt for further city sightseeing and either time at leisure or one of the optional excursions to Pont du Gard or to the famed wine cellars of Chteauneuf-du-Pape. (B, L, D)
Day 5 Cruising – Viviers.
Included today: Viviers guided walk, visit the Old Town and the cathedral.
A leisurely morning on board to enjoy the passing scenery as you cruise. After lunch, join a Local Guide for a walk in the charming town of Viviers, which was developed around its Romanesque cathedral. The old town has an appealing mix of Christian, Roman and medieval influences. (B, L, D)
Day 6 Tournon & Tain l’Hermitage – Vienne.
Included today: Guided walks in Tournon and Vienne.
The twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage lie nestled among vineyards between the Rhne River and the granite slopes of the Hermitage. Tournon, with its imposing 16th century castle and Roman ruins, is one of France’s oldest medieval cities. Enjoy a walking tour before cruising to Vienne, a charming little town surrounded by steep hills. Explore the town centre on a guided walk to see the Roman Theatre and the Augustus and Livia Temple, built around 20BC and converted into a church in the Middle Ages. (B, L, D)
Day 7 Lyon.
Included today: Guided sightseeing.
Lyon is France’s third-largest city and its gastronomic capital. Founded by the Romans in 43BC, the city’s prosperity dates back to the 16th century and is due to commercial and industrial activities. Today Lyon offers up a wealth of Roman ruins, excellent museums and Renaissance architecture. With a Local Guide, view the city from Fourvire Hill and explore the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its maze of medieval alleyways and Place des Terreaux, a popular area with a famous fountain. Be sure to sample Beaujolais, the wine of the region. Before dinner, attend an onboard lecture and learn more about French culture. (B, L, D)
Day 8 Cruising – St. Jean de Losne
Included today: Cheese tasting.
A leisurely day today or if you prefer, there’s a choice of optional excursions available including a visit to a wine cellar. Whilst sailing to St. Jean de Losne, enjoy an on board cheese tasting. (B, L, D)
Day 9 St.Jean de Losne ( Disembarkation ) – Beaune – Dijon – Paris.
Included today: Visit Htel Dieu in Beaune.
After breakfast, disembark your cruise ship and drive to Beaune, the unofficial capital of the Cte d’Or area and Burgundy’s wine capital. Although life here centres around wine, Beaune offers much more with its ramparts, medieval houses, cobblestone streets, and historical monuments. Today, visit Htel Dieu charity hospital, the area’s most famous historical site which now houses Van der Weyden’s painting of the Last Judgement. After lunch, continue to Dijon and board the TGV to Paris and your cruise ship. This evening, meet your new crew at a welcome reception. (B, D)
Day 10 Vernon – Les Andelys.
Included today: Choice of excursion to Giverny or Bizy Castle; guided walk in Les Andelys; visit Parish church Le Grand Andely.
This morning, choose between a guided visit of Claude Monet’s house and stunning gardens at Giverny or a visit to Bizy Castle. Claude Monet lived at Giverny for almost 43 years. See his collection of Japanese prints, his charming house, and his biggest sources of inspiration including the lily pond and Japanese Bridge. Alternatively, visit Bizy Castle, built in 1740 and nicknamed ‘Normandy’s Versailles’. It is known for its famous stable, magnificent courtyard and water garden. After lunch, your ship arrives in Les Andelys, perched on a bend of the Seine and one of the most beautiful places in France. Join a Local Guide for a walk of the town, including a visit to the Parish Church of Le Grand Andely. The imposing Chteau Gaillard overlooks the town. Built by Richard the Lionheart in 1196 fearing an attack from France’s king, the chteau fortress was constructed in just one year and is a masterpiece of Middle Ages military architecture. (B, L, D)
Day 11 Caudebec.
Excursion along the “Normandy Abbeys Route”.
See some of Normandy’s charming and traditional half-timbered houses with their long, sloping thatched roofs, often sporting blue wooden doors and window shutters, or along the “NORMANDY ABBEYS ROUTE,” a short drive from Caudebec. More than 100 abbeys once covered this region, which has a micro climate 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 12 Caudebec.
Included today: Choice of excursion to Normandy Landing Beaches or A Taste of Normandy tour.
Today, choose between an included excursion to the historic Normandy Landing Beaches, visiting some of the most poignant sights of World War II such as Juno Beach, Pegasus Museum, and the British and Canadian Cemeteries, or a ‘Taste of Normandy’ tour for a more in-depth look at this picturesque, mainly agricultural region. The most important produce include dairy, apples and grain. Camembert cheese is a speciality, as is Calvadosa, a strong apple brandy that you’ll have the chance to taste at a local distillery. For a touch of history, visit the famous Bayeux Tapestry. (B, L, D)
Day 13 Rouen.
Included today: Guided sightseeing, see Astronomical Clock.
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 was later burned at the stake in the marketplace of this town in 1431. Join the guided walk through the medieval quarter with its half-timbered, glazed-tile houses and intricate Gros Horloge, an intricate Astronomical Clock dating back to the 16th century. Visit the splendid Gothic cathedral, once the tallest building in the world and subject of a series of Claude Monet’s paintings. The afternoon is free to explore on your own. (B, L, D)
Day 14 Conflans.
Included today: Choice of excursion to either Auvers-sur-Oise or Napolean and Josephine’s Chteau de Malmaison.
After breakfast, why not join either our guided excursion to Auvers-sur-Oise, the quaint little town where Vincent Van Gogh lived and died, or visit Napoleon and Josephine’s Chteau 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 15 Paris.
Included today: Guided sightseeing
During your included city sightseeing tour of Paris, see the magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral, the unique Louvre Museum, the commemorative Arc de Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower, a structural masterpiece of its age. Alternatively you may wish to join a guided walk through historic Ile St Louis and Ile de la Cit. In your free time, perhaps stroll the Champs-Elyses, visit the world-famous Louvre or head to Montmartre to enjoy its gleaming white Sacr Coeur Basilica. The city is well known for its nightlife and an optional outing to one of Paris’ famous cabarets might make the perfect finale to your cruise holiday.
(B, L, D)
Day 16 Paris.
Disembark and transfer to the airport or station for your journey to the UK. (B)