Savor the wines of the Burgundy Valley and Provence, explore this region, rich in history, sample culinary perfection in Lyon, the essence of these destinations will delight.
Duration: 8 days, 7 nights
Investment: Pricing starts at $2459 per person based on double occupancy
Indulge in French flavors on a palate-pleasing itinerary that highlights the essence of France’s Burgundy and Provence. Uncover the Roman history of Chalon-sur Saône and delight in charming Tournus with its towering Romanesque abbey and historic apothecary shop. Visit French châteaux from Burgundy to Provence, taste your way through the French culinary capital of Lyon and visit the Papal Palace in Avignon. While you’ll get more than a taste of Burgundy and Provence during this itinerary, the essence of these destinations will linger on your palate – and in your heart – for a lifetime!
1. Visit French châteaux from Provence to Burgundy.
2. Indulge in France’s palate-pleasing wines and culinary dishes.
3. Uncover the Roman history of Chalon-sur Saône and delight in charming Tournus with its towering Romanesque abbey and historic apothecary shop.
4. Visit the Papal Palace in Avignon.
5. Explore small towns, wineries, farms meeting winemakers and learning about their craft.
Itinerary – November 10-17, 2022
Day 1 EMBARKATION – ARLES, FRANCE
Embark your ship in Arles, France for your Essence of Burgundy & Provence river cruise.
Day 2 ARLES – TARASCON – AVIGNON, FRANCE
Arles is considered one of the most beautiful cities in France. Let your experienced guide lead you to the top sights, including the Romanesque cathedral and Roman amphitheater. Or, if you wish to delve further into Van Gogh’s Arles, join a special walking tour along with a visit to the Vincent van Gogh Foundation, showcasing his legacy. Alternately, you may take a guided bike tour through town. Later in the day, bike from Tarascon to Avignon, aptly named the “City of Popes. Or enjoy a walking tour that includes the Papal Palace and the well-preserved medieval walls surrounding the historic center of town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For a more flavorful experience, visit three venues around Avignon to taste regional specialties including macarons, cheese and wine, and tapenades. During the evening, enjoy an Illuminations cruise.
Day 3 VALENCE, FRANCE
Valence is a designated “City of Art and History,” where you can see such sites as its 11th-century Cathedral of St. Apollinaris or perhaps its House of Heads (named for the carved heads of its façade and courtyard) on your city tour. Or indulge your culinary wanderlust by attending a specialized excursion to a local French cooking school. If you prefer a more relaxing excursion, taste the Northern Rhône’s red Cornas wines. For a more active adventure, pedal through this bicycle-friendly city.
Day 4 VIENNE – LYON, FRANCE
Vienne boasts a Roman past that can be seen in its marvelously preserved ruins. There you can ride the charming mini train around the city. For those wishing to be more active, you can either take a guided bike tour along a portion of the ViaRhôna bike route or a guided hike from the ship to the Monastery at Mount Pipet. Later in the day, discover dynamic Lyon, starting in Fourvière Hill, part of the city’s historic region that is now a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the 19th-century basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière. Continue on to the old town of Lyon, followed by a guided walk through the St. Jean district, where you will be introduced to the city’s unique covered walkways, known as “traboules.” If you’re a self-described foodie, our Lyon tasting tour is for you, during which you’ll have a chance to taste some of Lyon’s local delights. Or get active a guided bike tour through the city designed with cyclists in mind. In the evening, sit back to see the city illuminated during a scenic nighttime cruise.
Day 5 MÂCON – TOURNUS, FRANCE
Join a guided tour through the “South Burgundy City” of Mâcon, learning about its local vineyards, museums, historical sites and perhaps its famous son, the poet and minister Alphonse de Lamartine. Or venture somewhat off the beaten path to Cluny, known for its large abbey, and the nearby castle Berze-le-Chatel, a well-preserved fortress perched on a rocky hill offering stunning views below. Alternately, you can enjoy a guided bike tour to Berze-le-Chatel. Should architecture or religion be one of your main interests, perhaps choose the excursion to the Royal Monastery of Brou, built in the 16th century and boasting a glorious white façade as well as a beautifully tiled roof. Later in the day, enjoy a panoramic view from the Sun Deck as you sail to Tournus, or opt for a bike ride from Mâcon to Tournus. Or, enjoy a delicious tasting of the region’s famous white Mâconnais wines.
Day 6 TOURNUS
Today you have a choice of a number of excursions as you explore Tournus. Let your knowledgeable guide lead you through Tournus and to its magnificent Benedictine Abbey of Saint Philibert. Or choose instead to visit the moated Château de Cormatin, which dates back to the early 17th century and features ornate apartments as well as a beautifully manicured garden. As an alternative, venture to the medieval village of Brancion with its preserved gateway, church and market hall. Later in the day, enjoy scenic cruising as you sail toward Chalon-Sur-Saône, or opt for a bike tour if you’re feeling adventurous.
Day 7 CHALON-SUR-SAÔNE, FRANCE
Located in southern Burgundy at the heart of the Côte Chalonnaise wine region, Chalon-Sur-Saône whispers the secrets of its medieval past which you will discover on your historic city tour. You’ll also stop at a local market where you can see and taste some of the local fare. Alternatively, choose an excursion in Beaune, a walled town nestled in the heart of Cote d’Or vineyards where you’ll stroll the cobblestone streets and take in such sights as the mosaic-tiled roof of the Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune, founded in the 15th century as a hospital for the less fortunate. Or, visit the storybook Château de Couches, a medieval fortress enveloped in idyllic hills and greenery that once served the Dukes of Burgundy. Later in the day, treat your palate to a tasting of Chalonnaise wines.
Day 8 CHALON-SUR-SAÔNE – DISEMBARKATION
Disembark your ship in Chalon-sur-Saône and prepare for your return flight home..
Pricing depends on cabin type. Final payment is due August 12, 2022. Deposit is $400 per person.
Your fare includes all meals, excursions, beer and wine with meals and $50 on board credit.
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