Opportunities abound on this delightful vacation to learn about France and the French. Your adventure begins with an overnight on the French Riviera, also known as the Côte d’Azur. Then, travel to Arles in the Provence region to board your ship and (daylight permitting) sail into the peaceful Camargue area during dinner, before returning to Arles. Avignon, charming Viviers, medieval Tournon, Vienne, France’s gastronomic capital of Lyon, as well as St. Jean de Losne and fascinating Beaune await you in France. Travel by motorcoach to Basel and embark on a mesmerizing journey along the Rhine. Enjoy guided sightseeing in Strasbourg, Koblenz, and Cologne, as well as an excursion to the Black Forest and to Heidelberg, Germany’s oldest university town. Sail through the dramatic Rhine Gorge, the most beautiful stretch of river dotted every mile with castles. Visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, see the legendary Lorelei rock, and enjoy a canal cruise in splendid Amsterdam. From here, we transfer you to Paris by high-speed train for your Monograms extension. We’ve arranged your hotel reservations, daily breakfast, sightseeing with local experts, transfers from/to your hotels to/from the train stations, and more. Plus, we know you are not familiar with the cities, so we’ve arranged the services of friendly and knowledgeable Local Hosts® to answer questions, share inside information, help you arrange your activities and excursions, and more. The moment you arrive in Paris, you’ll feel the magic. We’ve scouted out the best place to capture a photo of the iconic Eiffel Tower, and we’ll take you there! We’ll also take you to Notre Dame Cathedral to admire its amazing stained-glass Rose Window. For a different perspective on Paris, we’ve arranged for you to enjoy a Seine River cruise. With three overnights, the “City of Light” is yours for discovering. An included high-speed train transfer whisks you from Paris to London, where you’ll spend three nights and have plenty of time to investigate just what makes England so jolly. We’ll pick you up at your hotel for exclusive, guided sightseeing with a local expert. You’ll hear the inside stories around places like Westminster Abbey, where Prince William and Kate Middleton were married, and the Houses of Parliament. We’ll take you inside St. Paul’s Cathedral, the iconic cathedral where Prince Charles and Lady Diana were married. We’ll also take you to see the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace (if available). In both cities you’ll have a full day to explore on your own. From Paris, perhaps join an excursion to the opulent Palace of Versailles, enjoy dinner at the Eiffel Tower, visit one of the many museums, or stroll through the Jardin du Luxembourg. In London, you may want to ride the London Eye, shop at the iconic Harrods department store, ride a double-decker bus or the “Tube,” or take in a West End theater show.
Cruise: deluxe 14-night cruise in an outside stateroom with Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSMDay 1 Côte d’Azur: welcome to FranceDay 2 Côte d’Azur–Transfer to Arles (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception; cruise into the Camargue region (daylight permitting)Day 3 Arles: guided sightseeing, visit the Roman Amphitheater Day 4 Avignon: guided sightseeing, visit the Palace of the PopesDay 5 Cruising–Viviers: guided walk, visit Old Town and the cathedralDay 6 Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage–Vienne: guided walk in Tournon; guided walk in VienneDay 7 Lyon: guided sightseeing, picture stop on Fourvière Hill; onboard lectureDay 8 Cruising-St. Jean de Losne: day at leisure; cheese tastingDay 9 St. Jean de Losne (Disembarkation)–Beaune–Basel, Switzerland (Embarkation): visit the Hôtel-Dieu in Beaune; transfer to Basel; onboard welcome receptionDay 10 Breisach. Excursion to the Black Forest: visit a woodcarver’s workshop or visit a Black Forest open-air museum Day 11 Strasbourg: guided sightseeing, visit the La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral Day 12 Excursion to Heidelberg–Mainz: guided visit of the castle, see the Great Vat in Heidelberg; visit the Gutenberg Museum in MainzDay13 Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge–Koblenz: visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim and enjoy a special treat; cruise through the Rhine Gorge; guided walk in KoblenzDay 14 Cologne: choice of guided city walk or Jewish Heritage walkDay 15 Amsterdam: canal cruiseParis & London: 6 nights hotel accommodation with buffet breakfast (B); Monograms Local Host Service & Destination Guides with city maps; guided sightseeing, inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE; high-speed Thalys train (first-class) from Amsterdam to Paris; high-speed Eurostar train (standard class*) from Paris to London (porterage available for one suitcase on Paris–London stretch only); transfers to/from train stations
Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapésWelcome dinnerDaily Afternoon TeaDaily Night FareFarewell dinnerComplimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; wine, beer, or soft drinks with lunch and dinner are included daily on board your vesselBuffet breakfast daily in Paris & London
NOTES:In the event of water level problems or any problems of a technical nature, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or to alter the program.Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change becomes necessary, a substitute will be offered.In the event that a high-speed train is unavailable due to strikes or technical reasons, the route will be operated by motorcoach.