March 31 - April 07, 2020
8 Days
Tour Status - Available

Indulge in a culinary adventure on your European river cruise! Your unforgettable views along the Saône and Rhône Rivers are only matched by special excursions and activities to highlight great regional cuisine and wine. From haute cuisine to pastoral favorites, you’ll enjoy the rich 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.

Embark on your French river cruise and sail to the Chardonnay wine region of Mâcon, where you’ll enjoy a cheese tasting on board. You’ll visit Lyon, a showcase of medieval and Renaissance architecture, as well as France’s gastronomic capital. Lyon offers wonderful sights, including the popular Place des Terreaux with its famous fountain seen on postcards, and world-famous cuisine to discover on a guided culinary walk. Beautifully nestled among vineyards, you’ll find the twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage, where you’ll go on a guided walk of Tournon, a medieval treasure with plenty of Roman ruins and fascinating 16th-century castle. Continue to Viviers for a guided walk through this charming village. Cruise to historical Avignon and see the 14th-century Palace of the Popes—the largest gothic fortress in the world. On the Rhône River sits Arles, with its 1st-century Roman amphitheater still used today. Attend a painting workshop in the style of Van Gogh whose work was inspired by the setting here. You’ll conclude your delightful French river cruise in Port-Saint-Louis.

This cruise is by our cruise partner, AVAL

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Tour Highlights

  • Cruise: deluxe 8-night cruise

  • Day 1: St. Jean de Losne (Embarkation):Onboard welcome reception

  • Day 2: Mâcon:Leisurely cruising; onboard cheese and wine tasting

  • Day 3: Lyon:Guided sightseeing; picture stop on Fourvière Hill; onboard pastry demonstration

  • Day 4: Lyon:Culinary tour

  • Day 5: 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 6: Avignon:Guided sightseeing, visit Palace of the Popes; onboard food & wine pairing dinner

  • Day 7: Arles:Choice of guided sightseeing in Arles, visit the Roman Amphitheatre, or painting workshop

  • Day 8: 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