This delightful river cruise and land vacation is an exciting opportunity to learn all about France and the French. Your adventure begins with an overnight on the French Riviera, also known as the captivating Côte d’Azur. Then, travel to Arles in the Provence region to board your ship and (daylight permitting) sail into the peaceful Camargue area during dinner, before returning to Arles. Avignon, charming Viviers, medieval Tournon, Vienne, France’s gastronomic capital of Lyon, as well as St. Jean de Losne and fascinating Beaune await you in France. Travel by motorcoach to Basel and embark on a mesmerizing journey along the Rhine River. Enjoy guided sightseeing in Strasbourg, Koblenz, and Cologne, as well as an excursion to the Black Forest and to Heidelberg—Germany’s oldest university town. Sail through the dramatic Rhine Gorge, the most beautiful stretch of river dotted every mile with castles. Visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, see the legendary Lorelei rock, and enjoy a canal cruise in splendid Amsterdam.Then you’ll transfer to Paris by high-speed train for your Monograms extension. We’ve arranged your hotel reservations, daily breakfasts, sightseeing with local experts, transfers to and from your hotels and train stations, and more. Plus, we know you may not be familiar with the cities, so you’ll have the services of friendly and knowledgeable Local Hosts® to answer questions, share inside information, help arrange your activities and excursions, and make you feel right at home. The moment you arrive in Paris, you’ll feel the magic. We’ve scouted out the best place to capture a photo of the iconic Eiffel Tower and we’ll also take you to Notre Dame Cathedral to admire its amazing stained-glass Rose Window and the Louvre museum to see Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and other treasures. With three overnights, the “City of Light” is yours for discovering. An included high-speed train transfer whisks you from Paris to London, where you’ll spend three nights and have plenty of time to investigate just what makes England so jolly. You’ll hear the inside stories around places like Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. Go inside St. Paul’s Cathedral, the iconic cathedral where Prince Charles and Lady Diana were married. You’ll also be able to take photographs of Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, and the Shard—just to name a few iconic London landmarks. All of this, and plenty of free time to explore on your own, gives you variety, convenience, and the chance to make this fabulous vacation your own!For specific details on this special interest river cruise, please view the day-by-day itinerary.
Cruise: deluxe 14-night cruise in an outside stateroom with Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSMDay 1 Côte d’Azur: welcome to FranceDay 2 Côte d’Azur–Transfer to Arles (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception; cruise into the Camargue region (daylight permitting)Day 3 Arles: guided sightseeing, visit the Roman AmphitheaterDay 4 Avignon: guided sightseeing, visit the Palace of the Popes; excursion to Châteauneuf du PapeDay 5 Cruising–Viviers: onboard chocolate and wine tasting; guided walk, visit Old Town and the cathedralDay 6 Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage–Vienne: guided walk in Tournon; guided walk in VienneDay 7 Lyon: guided sightseeing, picture stop on Fourvière Hill; onboard lecture; excursion to Beaujolais; onboard food and wine pairing dinnerDay 8 Cruising St. Jean de Losne: day at leisure; on board cheese and wine tastingDay 9 St. Jean de Losne (Disembarkation)–Beaune–Basel, Switzerland (Embarkation): visit the Hôtel-Dieu in Beaune; or wine tasting in Beaune; transfer to Basel; onboard welcome receptionDay 10 Breisach. Excursion to the Black Forest: visit a woodcarver’s workshop or visit a Black Forest open-air museumDay 11 Strasbourg: guided sightseeing, visit La Petite France district and the gothic cathedralDay 12 Excursion to Heidelberg–Mainz: guided visit of the castle, see the Great Vat in Heidelberg; visit the Gutenberg Museum in MainzDay 13 Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge–Koblenz: visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum and enjoy a special treat in Rüdesheim; cruise through the Rhine Gorge; guided walk in KoblenzDay 14 Cologne: choice of guided city walk or Jewish Heritage walkDay 15 Amsterdam: canal cruiseDay 16 Amsterdam (Disembarkation)–Paris: travel by HIGH-SPEED THALYS TRAIN to ParisParis & London: 6 nights hotel accommodation with buffet breakfast (B); Monograms Local Host Service & Destination Guides with city maps; guided sightseeing, inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE; high-speed Thalys train (first class) from Amsterdam to Paris; high-speed Eurostar train (Standardclass*) from Paris to London (porterage available for one suitcase on Paris–London stretch only); transfers to/from train stations
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.