This river cruise highlighting the best of France is certainly grand! Begin your adventure on the captivating French Riviera, also known as the Côte d’Azur. Explore this elegant area and relax along the remarkably blue water of the Mediterranean Sea. On the Rhône River sits Arles, France—famous for inspiring the paintings of Van Gogh—and its 1st-century Roman Amphitheater, which hosts plays and concerts to this day. On a guided tour of historical Avignon, see the 14th-century Palace of the Popes—the largest gothic fortress in the world–and, later on join an excursion to the wine region of Châteauneuf du Pape. The twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage are beautifully nestled among vineyards, and you’ll go on a guided walk of Tournon—a medieval treasure with plenty of Roman ruins and a fascinating 16th-century castle. Lyon, France’s gastronomic capital, sits at the junction of the Rhône and Saône Rivers and is a showcase of medieval and Renaissance architecture. Take then a guided tour to Beaujolais and the following day to Chardonnay, where you will have the opportunity to taste local wines. After disembarkation, taste some of Burgundy wines before reaching Paris. A Master of Wine will travel with you on this first portion of the cruise and will hold lectures, tastings and will introduce you to food and wine pairing.
On the Seine River, you’ll have the choice of seeing the historic Normandy Landing Beaches, including Omaha Beach, the Point du Hoc monument, and the American Cemetery; the delightful Les Andelys, Joan of Arc’s Rouen, Vincent Van Gogh’s Auvers-sur-Oise, or Napoleon and Josephine’s Malmaison. On this French river cruise, you’ll enjoy wine, cheese, beautiful scenery, and stops in the most charming parts of France. And your adventure would not be complete without a stay in Paris—one of the world’s most romantic and vibrant cities! The “City of Light” has Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, and the Louvre Museum with its elegant glass pyramid contrasting its ancient architecture. Enjoy a guided walk through historic Île St. Louis with its narrow streets and Île de la Cité where medieval Paris was founded.
After Paris, fly to Venice to enjoy 3 nights each in Venice & Rome. With expert guided sightseeing and helpful onsite support from expert Local Hosts®, your Italian holiday also includes a flight from Paris to Venice, a high-speed train transfer between Venice and Rome.
Your French river cruise, Normandy Beaches tour, and extra tour of Venice and Rome, will be hard to match for the beauty, culture, and new sights to recall for years to follow.