What better place to explore the best in French wines than in France itself? Embark on the Seine River portion of your cruise in Paris, and sail to Monet’s home and gardens in Vernon. In Andelys, take a picturesque walking tour or visit the castle of King Richard the Lionheart. From Caudebec, take an excursion to Normandy with your choice of a “Taste of Normandy” excursion in the pastoral landscapes, or a tour of the WWII landing beaches and Allied monuments and cemeteries. A moving experience to be sure. In Rouen, take a guided sightseeing tour in the city of Joan of Arc. Cruise to Conflans and choose a guided tour of Vincent Van Gogh’s home or the opulent Château de Malmaison—Napoléon and Josephine’s lavish palace. Disembark your ship in Paris and travel by high-speed train to Dijon. Transfer to Beaune and board your second Avalon Suite Ship in St. Jean de Losne.
You’ll cruise in the company of a Master of Wine on the Rhône and Saône Rivers. Hear fascinating facts about the vintner process, and enjoy wine tastings for the perfect pairings of dinner, cheese, and chocolates. Cruise to Mâcon for an excursion to a Chardonnay wine cellar, and visit Lyon for a culinary walking tour in the gastronomic capital of France. Enjoy an onboard wine-and-cheese tasting, and visit medieval Tournon, nestled among the vineyards, for a wine-and-chocolate tasting or a walk through the vineyards. Cruise to beautiful Viviers in the French wine country, and visit a Chardonnay wine cellar in Avignon. Spend a day in Arles, with free time to linger in the Van Gogh café in the setting that inspired the artist. Disembark your cruise in Port-Saint-Louis, and transfer to lovely Marseille for an overnight stay in the south of France!