Join AMA Waterways and FAMTrips.travel as we set sail from Lyon to Arles on the magnificent Rhone River through Provence and the French countryside. The exciting pre option to stay in Paris “the city of lights.” And post optional stay in magnificent Barcelona add fabulous dimensions to this FAMTrips.travel river cruise program! From the magic and mystery of Barcelona to the romance of Paris, and including the beauty of the Provence region of France, this itinerary is truly captivating. If you elect to add the pre stay, you will begin in Paris, with a lovely three night stay, city touring and ample time to explore the most wonderful city in the world on your own, as well. You will also travel in style aboard the high-speed TGV train from Paris to board the ship in Lyon.
During the cruise, itself, you will cruise through France’s legendary wine growing regions, home to such famous vintages as Beaujolais and Cote du Rhone. We will enjoy wine tastings at local vintners, marvel at ancient Roman ruins, stroll through medieval villages and shop for Provencal crafts. Our itinerary includes the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Avignon as well as Arles, the city where Vincent Van Gogh spent much of his life.
Optional Pre Stay in Paris: July 23-26, 2018:
You will stay at the lovey Le Parc Trocadero for your three night pre cruise tour with breakfast included each morning and a lovely city touring included, as well. Additional optional tours will be offered for you to take with your group, too! You won’t want to miss the illuminations of the Eiffel tower in the evening as it glistens like diamonds! Paris, the “City of Lights,” has so many wonderful neighborhoods to explore, world-class museums, over the top shopping, and so much more!
Day 1: July 26 – EMBARKATION – LYON, FRANCE
Board your cruise in Lyon. Tonight, meet your fellow passengers as the ship moors overnight. (D)
Day 2: July 27 – LYON
Discover dynamic Lyon, starting in Fourvière Hill, part of the city’s historic region that is now a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the 19th-century basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière. Continue on to the old town of Lyon, followed by a guided walk through the St. Jean district, where you will be introduced to the city’s unique covered walkways, known as “traboules.” During the afternoon, enjoy leisure time or join a guided bike tour through the city designed with cyclists in mind. Tonight we will dine together in the lovely alternative dining room, The Chef’s Kitchen as a group, so we can get to know one another and have a unique dining experience, too! (B,L,D)
Day 3: July 28 – COLLONGES – VIENNE
Travel to the Beaujolais wine region—known as the Pays d’Or or “land of the golden stones”. Indulge in a wine tasting at a traditional winery and learn about the history and techniques of their vineyard. Later set sail for Vienne, where you’ll enjoy free time to explore the town. (B,L,D)
Day 4: July 29 – VIENNE – TOURNON
Situated between the wine regions of Beaujolais and Côtes du Rhône lies Vienne with a Roman past that can be seen in its marvelously preserved ruins. Take a walking tour to see the amazingly well-preserved Augustus and Livia Temple, the Saint Maurice Cathedral, a Gothic church that took more than 500 years to build, and St. Pierre Abbey—one of the oldest surviving churches in France, and now an Archaeological Museum. For those wishing to be more active, you can either take a guided bike tour along a portion of the ViaRhôna bike route or a guided hike from the ship to the Monastery at Mount Pipet. (B,L,D)
Day 5: July 30 – TOURNON
Wine and chocolate lovers will enjoy visiting Tournon located in the heart of Côtes du Rhône. You have a choice of three excursions. Take a train ride past magnificent landscape carved along the Gorge du Doux stopping at the charming little station of Colombier le Vieux-Saint Barthélemy le Plain, where the train maneuvers in preparation for its return journey. Alternatively, lovers of wine and chocolate will want to visit Le Château de Tournon for a presentation and tasting on the pairing of red wine and chocolate. For a more active adventure, take a hike through the vineyards of Tain l’Hermitage, followed by a visit to a local winery where you’ll sample some of the wines. (B,L,D)
Day 6: July 31- AVIGNON
Avignon, aptly named the “City of Popes,” was the center of the Catholic Church in the 14th century when its “Palais des Papes” was the equivalent of today’s Vatican. Depending on your interests, you have three options of excursions. Discover the history of Avignon on a guided walking tour that includes the Papal Palace and the well-preserved medieval walls surrounding the historic center of town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alternatively, you can go to another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the impressive Pont du Gard, a Roman aqueduct that is a masterpiece of ancient engineering. Or if you prefer, visit three venues around Avignon to taste regional specialties including macarons, cheese and wine, and tapenades. During the afternoon, you can enjoy free time in Avignon; go on a bike tour; or go to the magnificent hilltop village, Grignan. After visiting this enchanting Provencal town, go in search of the highly prized “Black Diamond,” truffles, with a farmer and his trustworthy canine companion. (B,L,D)
Day 7: August 1 – AVIGNON – ARLES
Considered one of the most beautiful cities in France, Arles enchants. For art lovers, you’ll wish to visit Saint Paul de Mausole Asylum, where Vincent van Gogh once lived and painted such well-known works as “The Irises” and “Starry Night.” Many people consider Van Gogh’s Arles period to be the most creative of his career. Afterwards, go to the Carrières de Lumières, where you’ll be treated to a spectacular presentation of art, sound and history projected on the walls of caves. Alternatively, venture to the medieval hilltop village, Les Baux de Provence, followed by a visit to an olive farm where you’ll learn about age-old Provençal traditions from a master olive miller as well as sample the olive oil. During the afternoon, you can join a walking tour of Arles highlighting top sights, including the Romanesque cathedral and Roman amphitheater, or take a guided bike tour to the Roman ruins. And for those who wish to delve further into Van Gogh’s Arles, join a special walking tour along with a visit to the Vincent van Gogh Foundation, showcasing his legacy. (B,L,D)
Day 8: August 2 – DISEMBARK IN ARLES
If you decide to take the Optional Post Stay in Barcelona from Aug 2-5, you will disembark your ship in Arles and travel a short distance to Nîmes. See the highlights of this delightful town with one of the finest collections of Roman buildings in France. Afterwards, board the TGV high-speed train to the city that inspired Antoni Gaudí and is certain to inspire you. This post stay will continue from Aug 2-Aug 5. Barcelona, the bustling capital of Catalonia, is an artist’s, architect’s, foodie’s, historian’s and culturist’s dream. Tour the cobblestoned lanes of the Gothic Quarter in the medieval city center and Las Ramblas. Visit Montjuïc Hill and see some of Antoni Gaudí’s imaginative architectural creations, including Casa Milà, Casa Batlló and La Sagrada Familia. This city is a eclectic collection of some of the most amazing creations of Gaudi and you will easily take in its beauty during this post stay visit!
- 7 nights deluxe cruise accommodation in an French Balcony stateroom
- Complimentary life-enriching tours and excursions daily
- Entertainment on demand in all staterooms featuring free high-speed Internet access
- Complimentary Wi-Fi access on board
- Fine dining with all meals included during your cruise including alternative dining experience at “The Chef’s Table.”
- Special selections of red & white wines and beer from France’s great wine regions with every lunch and dinner onboard.
- Bottled water in every stateroom replenished daily
- Cocktail Reception, Welcome Dinner & Captain’s Gala Dinner and complimentary CHEF’S TABLE alternate dining room experience
- High Speed train and motor coach transfer from Barcelona to Arles (for those doing the Pre Stay in Barcelona)
- Pre Cruise Options available for 3 Nts in Barcelona at Le Meridien including breakfasts, city tour and other optional touring
- Post Cruise Option available for 3 Nts in Paris at Le Parc Trocadero including breakfast, city tour, as well as other optional touring
- Special highlights including lectures, cooking demonstrations, onboard music performances and piano music
- Bicycles to explore on your own
- Transfers between hotel and ship are included with the purchase of cruise and land package
- Airport transfers are included with the purchase of airfare from AmaWaterways (or can be purchased separately)
Price Per Agent:
Category A French Balcony $1899 pp plus port tax $168 pp
(This is more than 50% off of regular rates)
Category B French Balcony $1999 pp plus port tax $168 pp
(This is more than 55% off of regular rates)
Based upon availability, Agents can also request additional staterooms
for “Friends and Family” at special discounted rates, as well!
To BOOK this FAMTrips.travel FAM