Program offerings are subject to change.
Skip to Avignon to Lyon Day-to-Day
Arrive at Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport, where you will be transferred to the ship docked in Lyon. (D)
Chalon sur Saône (Beaune)
FEATURED EXCURSION: Beaune, Hospices de Beaune, and open-air food market visit
Located in the heart of Burgundy, Chalon sur Saône is an important center of the French wine trade. Burgundy’s wines are celebrated all over the world; in fact, the wines of this region, along with those of Bordeaux, are the reason France is famous for its wine. You will journey to nearby Beaune to visit the famous Hospices de Beaune, a charitable hospital founded by the Chancellor of Beaune in 1443. Marvel at the multicolored tile roofs of this architectural jewel, which has become one of the symbols of Burgundy. The hospice monks were given some vineyards in the 15th century so they could make wine to auction in order to help support their charities, and to this day the tradition continues. You’ll find plenty of local delicacies at the open-air market: Burgundian and Jura cheeses, heirloom vegetables, honey, sausages. The stalls spread out from the covered market into the pedestrian streets around the hospice. (BB, D)
Note: The open-air food market visit will take place in Arles on the reversedirection cruise (Lyon to Avignon).
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Lyon city tour or exclusive “Do as the Locals do” Lyon walking tour or exclusive guided “Go Active” bike ride along the Rhône River banks
Lyon is France’s lively and creative capital of gastronomy. The city’s origins date to the first century (when it was founded by the Romans), but it didn’t become an economic power in the region until the 15th century, when it was the center of France’s printing industry. A couple of centuries later, Lyon’s silk looms employed half the city’s population and produced textiles that were famous the world over. Now France’s second- largest conurbation, the city is a commercial powerhouse and the proud possessor of a UNESCO World Heritage-designated Old Town. Your tour starts with a drive to the Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière, Lyon’s hallmark church, for a dramatic view of the town, which was built at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers. From the motorcoach, you will view Terreaux Square, the Musée des Beaux-Arts, and the Opera House. Or opt for an intimate exploration of Lyon on foot, venturing into the alleyways, courtyards, and traboules (historic passageways) of the St. Jean old quarter, and strolling along the waterfront to experience the modern-day life of this pedestrian-friendly city. Or bike along the banks of the Rhône with an expert guide. In the evening, enjoy a Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner. (BB, L, FD)
Featured Excursion: Choice of Tournon walking tour with wine tasting or exclusive guided “Go Active” Nordic walking tour
Nestled among famous vineyards, the twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage are an ideal destination for true connoisseurs of wine. Visit Tournon and its historic castle, then cross the Marc Seguin suspension bridge and indulge in some mid-valley Côtes du Rhône wines from the Hermitage, a wine-growing district credentialed by Louis XIV. If you love chocolate, you might want to stop by the Valrhona shop too. Or take a guided Nordic walking tour along the city ramparts. (BB, L, D)
Featured Excursion: Choice of Viviers village day with organ concert or exclusive guided “Go Active” Nordic walking tour.
Lovely Viviers, which developed around its 12th-century cathedral, retains much of its historic charm. Founded in the fifth century, Viviers was once an important regional capital; stone houses, dating to the Middle Ages, still line the tiny lanes. Your tour starts in this historic area. Visit an artisan shop where you can enjoy the traditional pottery of the region. You will take the Rue Chévrerie to Porte Riquet, then climb Rue du Château to reach St. Vincent Cathedral, where you will hear an organ concert. Finally, walk through the Medieval streets of this delightful village back to the ship. Or take a Nordic walking tour in the countryside with a local expert. (BB, L, D)
Featured Excursions: Choice of Avignon walking tour and Palace of the Popes or exclusive “Off the Beaten Path” walking tour or exclusive guided “Go Active” kayak ride on the Gardon River
Avignon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, brims with history, culture, art, and life, and you will capture all of that on your walking tour of the “City of the Popes.” Start at the Medieval ramparts and continue to Clock Tower Square, where colorful café terraces face the magnificent City Hall, the Opera Theatre, and the classic mansions. Then it’s on to Popes’ Palace Square for an inside view of the maze of galleries, chambers, and chapels that make up the grand Palace of the Popes, where seven fourteenth-century popes resided during a turbulent period in church history. Or opt instead to discover Avignon’s picturesque hidden alleys and secret squares on an exclusive guided tour that takes you “off the beaten path.” Alternatively, spend a fun and relaxing afternoon paddling the clear, tranquil waters of the Gordon River. You’ll paddle from Collias to Remoulins, gliding under the arches of the 2,000-year-old UNESCO-designated Pont du Gard. (BB, L, D)
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Arles walking tour or Tarascon walking tour or exclusive guided “Go Active” hike to Dukes of Anjou Fortress
Enchanted by the light and the vivid colors of Provence, Vincent van Gogh produced more than 300 paintings and drawings in just 15 months, including Starry Night. During your walking tour, discover Van Gogh’s Arles as well as a wealth of fascinating Roman monuments, among them the Amphitheater and the Baths of Constantine, which were built in the fourth century for the emperor’s personal use. Or opt instead to explore the historic heart of Tarascon, with its charming Provençal architecture, Medieval church, and King René’s beautifully preserved Renaissance palace. If you are entranced by Provence’s distinctive printed fabrics, you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about them at the Souleiado Museum. Or climb to the fortress of the Dukes of Anjou with a guide for a beautiful view of the Rhône. In the evening, enjoy a Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala dinner. (BB, L, WD)
Disembark the ship and transfer to Marseille International Airport for your return flight home. (CB/BB)