March 29 - April 07, 2020
15 Days
Tour Status - Available

Join a culinary adventure on your European river cruise with unforgettable views along the Rhine and Rhône Rivers. Enjoy special excursions and activities to highlight great regional cuisine and wine. Enjoy the landscapes of Burgundy and Provence to sample the best food and wine in Lyon and Viviers. Your culinary cruise also includes a pastry demonstration; a chocolate, cheese, and wine tasting; and a food-and-wine pairing dinner hosted by your Master of Wine on board.

Begin with a guided canal cruise through Amsterdam’s iconic waterways, then cruise on the Rhine River to Cologne—with its gothic cathedral and soaring twin steeples. Take a guided tour of the city or a walking tour of Cologne’s historical Jewish sites. Sail through the spectacular Rhine Gorge on your way to Rüdesheim and visit the marvelous Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Museum. Continue to Mainz and visit the Gutenberg printing museum or magnificent Heidelberg Castle. Explore La Petite France District in Strasbourg, and sail to Breisach, Germany, gateway to the Black Forest. Visit the largest wine producer in Europe at Badischer Winzerkeller winemakers, and taste wines in the vineyards of Baden. Alternatively, spend a day in the Black Forest.

In France, see Beaune’s Hotel-Dieu Charity Hospital, home of Van der Weyden’s “The Last Judgement.” Sail to the Chardonnay wine region of Mâcon, with cheese tasting on board. Explore Lyon, France’s gastronomic capital, and sample local French food on a guided culinary walk. Nestled among vineyards are the twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage. Take a guided walk through the Roman ruins in Tournon. Visit charming Viviers and historical Avignon. See the 1st-century Roman amphitheater still used today in Arles on the Rhône River, and join a painting workshop in the style of Van Gogh whose work was inspired here. Your French river cruise concludes in Port-Saint-Louis.

This cruise is by our cruise partner, AVAL

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Tour Highlights

  • Cruise: deluxe 12-night cruise

  • Day 1 - Amsterdam (Embarkation): Onboard welcome reception

  • Day 2 - Amsterdam: Canal cruise

  • Day 3 - Cologne: Choice of Cologne highlights walking tour, or Jewish Heritage walking tour

  • Day 4 - Koblenz–Rhine Gorge–Rüdesheim: Free time in Koblenz; scenic cruise through the Rhine Gorge; visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim

  • Day 5 - Mainz. Excursion to Heidelberg: Choice of guided walk, visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, or guided tour of Heidelberg Castle, see the Great Vat, or hike up Philosophers’ Way

  • Day 6 - Strasbourg: Guided sightseeing, visit the La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral

  • Day 7 - Breisach: Choice of excursion to Black Forest, or visit to Badische Winzerkeller

  • Day 8 - Basel (Disembarkation)–Beaune–St. Jean de Losne (Embarkation): Transfer to Beaune, visit Hôtel-Dieu; onboard welcome reception

  • Day 9 - Mâcon: Leisurely cruising; onboard cheese and wine tasting

  • Day 10 - Lyon: Guided sightseeing; picture stop on Fourvière Hill; onboard pastry demonstration

  • Day 11 - Lyon: Culinary tour

  • Day 12 - Tournon–Viviers: Guided walk in Tournon; onboard chocolate and wine tasting; guided walk in Viviers with tasting of local products, visit the Old Town and the cathedral

  • Day 13 - Avignon: Guided sightseeing, visit Palace of the Popes; onboard food & wine pairing dinner

  • Day 14 - Arles: Choice of guided sightseeing in Arles, visit the Roman Amphitheatre, or painting workshop

  • Day 15 - Port St. Louis (Disembarkation): Your cruise ends this morning.

Welcome to France. Your Suite Ship® “Poetry II” is Ready for Boarding
Flights into Lyon must arrive by Noon. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

Day 2 - MÂCON (B, L, D) Wine and Cheese on the Stunning Saône
Enjoy leisurely cruising en route to Mâcon along the majestic Saône River. Consider a Guided Optional Excursion to a Chardonnay wine cellar, or to the Castle of Cormatin. Enjoy live entertainment while sailing for Trévoux this evening.

Day 3 - LYON (B, L, D) Adventures in Food and Wine in the Gastronomy Capital of France
Sail for lovely Lyon this morning.
CLASSIC: Join a Guided Sightseeing Tour to survey Lyon from Fourvière Hill with its numerous churches. You’ll also explore the Old Town with its maze of medieval alleyways, and the lively cafés, monuments, and famed fountain of Place des Terreaux.
Spend free time riding a bike through Lyon’s town squares, over bridges, and along the banks where the Rhône and Saône rivers meet.
DISCOVERY: Enjoy a pastry demonstration hosted by a French chef on board your ship.
Later enjoy live entertainment after dinner.

Day 4 - LYON (B, L, D) French Food and Wine—La Vie En Rose in Lyon
DISCOVERY: Join a Culinary Walk through the city to discover why Lyon is known as the gastronomic capital of France.
The rest of your day is free to explore, relax, or shop in France’s third largest city. Take a bike from the ship and explore local produce markets and parks, or take a leisurely tour of the city’s more than 100 murals. Later, enjoy live entertainment on board.

Day 5 - TOURNON (B, L, D) A Rendezvous with Castle Views and Vineyards
CLASSIC: Take a morning Guided Walking Tour to explore Tournon—one of France’s oldest medieval cities. See its 16th-century castle, and Roman ruins between the Rhône River and the granite slopes of the Hermitage.
DISCOVERY: Enjoy an onboard chocolate and wine tasting hosted by your Master of Wine.

Enjoy a leisurely sail to Viviers after lunch.
VIVIERS - World History in a Charming French Country Village
DISCOVERY: Explore the pale-stone buildings of Viviers on a late afternoon Guided Walking Tour of this charming village. You’ll see its Romanesque cathedral and Old Town with a mix of historical Christian, Roman, and medieval influences. During the tour you will also discover and taste local specialties.

Day 6 - AVIGNON (B, L, D) The City of Popes in Picturesque Provence
CLASSIC: Take a Guided Sightseeing Tour of the fortress city of Avignon—with its ramparts encircling the city—and a visit to the amazing Palace of the Popes.
Guided Optional Excursions include a visit to the ancient Roman aqueduct of Pont du Gard, a trip to the famed wine cellars of Châteauneuf-du-Pape for a true taste of the Rhône wine region, or a cooking class.
Explore Avignon on your own for the city’s art and culture, theatre, and museums. Be sure to snap photos of the captivating countryside, historic monuments, and the medieval Pont Saint-Bénézet.
DISCOVERY: This evening, join an onboard food and wine pairing dinner hosted by your Master of Wine.
Later, enjoy onboard live entertainment.

Day 7 - ARLES (B, L, D) Inspiring Sights and Avant-Garde Lights
ACTIVE: Join your Avalon Adventure Host for a Morning Walk.
CLASSIC: Enjoy a Guided Walking Tour of Arles—the captivating city of the Provence region. You’ll visit the Roman Amphitheater in this visually stunning city, OR:
DISCOVERY: Attend a Painting Workshop to learn the style and techniques of Vincent van Gogh. You’ll create your own painting in the style of the classic master who took inspiration from the Provence light and landscape in Arles.
Consider a Guided Optional Excursion to the Carrières de Lumières (Cathedral of Images) to immerse yourself in a truly unique experience of art, sound, and light in the old quarries of Val d’Enfer.
Take advantage of any free time remaining with a stop in Le Café Van Gogh for a glass of wine, to relax and watch the world go by.

Your cruise ends with breakfast this morning.
Flights should not leave Marseille airport before 10 am.

Per Person, Double - from $4,408, Cat. "D/E" cruise only
Other categories available
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Single Occupancy - Call our office for pricing