Paris To Avignon

12 Day Viking River Cruise

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Enrich your Portraits of Southern France river cruise with two nights each in elegant Paris and Burgundy’s gastronomic hub of Dijon. This magnificent cruisetour is draped in French finery, from the romance of the “City of Light” to the sumptuous cuisine, ducal treasures and robust red wines of the Burgundian capital.

Then wind your way south on the beautiful Rhône, setting a course for the sun-splashed landscapes of Provence, where that ever-famous light lured the great Impressionists from van Gogh to Matisse. You’ll pause along the way to explore quaint villages, ancient Roman ruins and historic Avignon, “City of Popes.”


Arrive at the Paris airport, then transfer to your hotel*. The rest of the day is yours to explore the French capital of towering monuments, world-class museums and inviting cafés. Enjoy strolling the gracious streets lined with elegant architecture and beautifully manicured green parks.


After breakfast in your hotel, embark on a guided panoramic tour of the “City of Light,” where you’ll see the beloved landmarks of Paris that line the Seine, including the grand Notre Dame Cathedral and the palatial façade of the Louvre. The river’s historic banks are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and this afternoon you can take in their ambiance during a stroll on your own. You might also enjoy your free time admiring the masterpieces of the Louvre or ascending the Eiffel Tower for fantastic views. (B)


After breakfast, check out of your hotel and transfer to France’s legendary Burgundy province, home of fine food and bold red wines. Upon arrival in Dijon, the French culinary capital, enjoy an afternoon tour of the city’s Gothic and Renaissance treasures. You’ll stop to explore the classical Ducal Palace Museum, the former royal residence of the Dukes of Burgundy. Today, it houses the city’s Town Hall and the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon, a fine arts museum. (B)


Set out into the wine-growing countryside of Burgundy on today’s full-day tour. In the Côte de Nuits, admire the stunning limestone vistas with the distinct terroir that produces the region’s fine pinot noir grapes. Continue to the Côte de Beaune, where lighter wines with a more flowery bouquet are made. There will be ample opportunities to taste fine vintages when we stop at one of Beaune’s famous cellars along the way. You will also enjoy a tour of the Hospices de Beaune Museum. Founded as the Hôtel-Dieu to care for the poor and ill after the Hundred Years’ War, it remained a hospital until as recently as the 1970s. It is one of the finest examples of French 15th-century architecture, complete with its decorative polychrome roof. (B)


Transfer to Lyon this morning, stopping in the medieval town of Pérouges. Later today, embark your ship in Lyon, a remarkable 2,000-year-old city in the heart of France. (B)


After breakfast, take a scenic drive through the rolling hills of Beaujolais, where viticultural tradition runs deep. See the legendary Moulin-à-Vent, the windmill that gives its name to one of the most prestigious wines of the region, learn about the art of winemaking in a small museum and enjoy a tasting in one of the Beaujolais’s famous cellars. Return to your ship for lunch. Enjoy the rest of your day at leisure. As always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. Or, take an optional excursion to the picturesque Burgundy town of Cluny, known for its magnificent medieval abbey ruin. Return aboard for dinner. (B, L, D)


Wake up in Lyon this morning and take a tour of this city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begin with a drive to the top of Fourvière Hill for marvelous views. Visit the Basilica of Notre Dame and drive through town past the magnificent St. Jean Cathedral and the Palace of Justice. A walking tour is next, through the cobbled streets of Vieux Lyon (Old Town), where you’ll have free time to shop for souvenirs or sample some of the fine French cuisine for which Lyon is world famous. In the afternoon, your ship sails to Vienne, where you may participate in a tour of the extensive Roman ruins in neighboring St.-Romain-en-Gal. If you prefer, you may remain in Lyon for additional free time and enjoy a brief coach ride to Vienne. Dinner served aboard. (B, L, D)


This morning take a walking tour of Vienne, a beautiful town with an ancient Roman past. Visit the Temple of Augustus and Livia, the Roman amphitheater and the Gothic Cathedral of St. Maurice; then spend some time discovering more of this engaging riverside town on your own. In the afternoon, enjoy the rolling vine-clad banks of the river, as you sail through its wide meanders to Tournon. After dinner, enjoy a stroll along the riverbanks under the plane trees. (B, L, D)


All aboard the Train de l’Ardèche this morning for a locomotive ride through the deep gorges of the Ardèche plateau, cut by the Doux River. You’ll return to your ship and enjoy lunch aboard as we cruise to Viviers, an engaging little town in a mountainous setting. After dinner, join your Program Director for an evening stroll through Old Town with its medieval and Renaissance buildings. Enjoy free time before retiring for the evening. (B, L, D)


Arrive during breakfast and take a walking tour of Arles with its diverse architectural highlights. Experience the city’s vibrant colors and striking quality of light that have inspired artists. Arles is also the site of some impressive Roman ruins, including Les Arènes, an arena that seats 20,000 and is still in use, as well as Romanesque monuments such as the Church of Saint-Trôphime, completed in the 15th century. Return aboard for lunch followed by an afternoon on your own to explore or shop for handcrafted gifts. As always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. Dinner is served as you depart. (B, L, D)


This morning, set out on a guided walk of Avignon, nicknamed “City of Popes” because it was home to seven popes from 1309 to 1377. Stroll through the historic center, stop at the picturesque Pont d’Avignon and walk the Place de l’Horloge. Continue to the renowned Palace of the Popes for a guided tour through this rambling maze of Gothic architecture that served as papal residence, fortress, church and palace. You can join the optional tour to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, visiting the vineyards and tasting the famous wine. Lunch and dinner are served aboard. Your ship remains docked overnight. (B, L, D)


After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the Marseille airport for your return flight.* (B)

The following meals are included:
B = Breakfast; L = Lunch; D = Dinner

* Let us know if you would like help arranging your airport transfers or additional hotel accommodation in Paris


There are a number of factors which will influence the price of your travel arrangements, including the category of stateroom and the departure date of your cruise. Price quoted under 2-FOR-1 Special reflect a discounted sailing date and are subject to withdrawal at any time, with many dates and categories sold out.

Your All-Inclusive cruise price includes:

  • 7 nights in your river-view stateroom plus 2 nights in Paris hotel and 2 nights in Dijon hotel
  • 11 guided tours with audio headset
  • All onboard meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches & 7 dinners plus breakfast at the Paris & Dijon hotels
  • Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks with onboard dinner and lunch service
  • Visit 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
    Culture Curriculum: Sample a variety of French cheeses; find out how to make your own fondant au chocolat; try some Burgundian wines; enjoy lively French accordion tunes; attend lectures on current affairs & the painters of Provence; see how silk printing is done today; visit a local market
  • All port charges
  • Free Wi-Fi, connection speed may vary

Price Guarantee
Once you have paid in full for your trip, you are safe from any additional charges. Currency fluctuations, higher transportation costs, new government taxes, fuel surcharges—none of these will apply to you.

Viking Rivers - Paris, Burgundy & Provence - Paris to Avignon - 12 Days
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