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.