Provence & Spain River Cruise
Join your Wine Hosts-Larry & Jane Pearson
November 19-26, 2015
Join expert wine hosts Larry & Jane Pearson on AmaWaterways’ exclusive “In Celebration of Wine” Rhone River cruise. Our insightful and entertaining wine hosts oversee tastings of wonderful wine, lead excursions to wineries and vineyards, and explain the nuances of traditional wine-making methods and European wine heritage and traditions
From the magic of Paris to the romance of Barcelona, this itinerary is truly captivating. Begin with three nights in Paris, then travel in style aboard the high-speed TGV train to Lyon, France’s gastronomical capital. From there, cruise through France’s legendary wine growing regions, home to such famous vintages as Beaujolais and Côte du Rhône. Enjoy wine tastings at local vintners, marvel at ancient Roman ruins, stroll through medieval villages and shop for Provencal crafts. Your itinerary includes the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Avignon as well as Arles, the city where Vincent Van Gogh spent much of his life. Conclude your journey with three nights in magnificent Barcelona or opt for a two night stay in Marseille, one of France's most vibrant cities.
Daily Program Features (Cruise Only)
Day 1 EMBARKATION - ARLES, FRANCE: Board your cruise in Arles. This evening, meet your fellow passengers for a Welcome Dinner. (D)
Day 2 ARLES - LES BAUX - AVIGNON: This morning, you will board a motor coach for an excursion to the hilltop village of Les Baux de Provence. The village’s castle has a fascinating exhibit of medieval siege weaponry. Later, visit an olive farm to learn about this age-old Provençal farming tradition. As an alternative, take the “Impressionist Experience” tour to the Saint Paul de Mausole Asylum, where Vincent Van Gogh painted such well-known works as The Irises and Starry Night. You will also visit the Carrieres de Lumieres, a stone quarry that projects European artwork on its walls, including many of Van Gogh’s famous paintings. Late this afternoon, your city tour of Arles takes you to the Romanesque cathedral and the Roman Amphitheater. Early this evening cruise to Avignon. As your ship docks, look for the illuminated Avignon Bridge made famous by the French children’s song “Sur le pont d’Avignon” (“On the Bridge of Avignon”). (B,L,D)
Day 3 AVIGNON - VIVIERS: This morning, you will have your choice of two excursions in and around historic Avignon. Seven popes once resided in the magnificent Gothic Papal Palace, which you will visit during your city walking tour. You will also see the well-preserved medieval walls surrounding the historic center of town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As an alternative, take an excursion to the Pont du Gard, a Roman aqueduct that is a masterpiece of engineering and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your tour will also visit Uzes, a lovely Provencal town known for its castle (still occupied by the Duke of Uzes and his family), medieval streets and picturesque town square. Enjoy free time for shopping in Uzes before returning to your ship. After lunch, the ship cruises to Viviers, arriving later this evening. You may join a “Ghost Walk” through this medieval town, with colorful stories brought to life by local residents. The ship moors overnight in Viviers. (B,L,D)
Day 4 VIVIERS – TOURNON: After breakfast, enjoy an excursion to Grignan, a magnificent hilltop village surrounded by lavender fields. The village’s Renaissance castle provides a commanding view of the area’s beautiful countryside. Enjoy some free time to explore local shops for confections, home-made lavender soaps and other crafts. You will also have the opportunity to visit a truffle farm and learn about truffle harvesting. Rejoin the ship in Le Pouzin and cruise to Tournon, arriving late afternoon. (B,L,D)
Day 5 TOURNON - VIENNE: This morning, you will enjoy an indulgent chocolate and red wine pairing. After lunch, the ship sails to Vienne, situated between the wine regions of Burgundy and Beaujolais, arriving early evening. (B,L,D)
Day 6 VIENNE – LYON: Vienne’s Roman past can be readily seen in its marvelously preserved ruins. This morning, you will have a guided walking tour of Vienne and see the 1st-century Roman Temple of Augustus and Livia, the ruins of a Roman theater, and the medieval churches of St. Andre-Le-Bas and Abbey St. Pierre. During lunch, your ship will depart for Lyon, arriving mid-afternoon for a city tour. Your panoramic tour of Lyon will take you to the Place Bellecour with its equestrian statue of Louis XIV, the Place des Terreaux with Bartholdi’s Fountain, and the Town Hall. Afterwards, visit Fourvière, part of the historic region designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Known as the “Hill of Prayers,” Fourvière is famous for its iconic white Basilica of Notre-Dame, ruins of a Roman theater, and majestic views of the city below. The ship moors overnight in Lyon. (B,L,D)
Day 7 LYON – COLLONGES – BELLEVILLE – LYON: This morning, enjoy some free time on your own. The ship departs after noon and cruises to Collonges for your excursion through the Beaujolais wine region, the Pays d’Or (“land of the golden stones,” named for the ochre limestone used to build local homes and castles). You will visit the medieval hilltop village of Oingt and the home of a local vintner, where you will enjoy a wine tasting and vineyard tour, and learn about the history of wine production in the region. Rejoin the ship in Belleville and return to Lyon, arriving late tonight (B,L,D)
Day 8 LYON - DISEMBARKATION: Disembark your cruise in Lyon. (B)
Daily Program Features (Cruise Only)
Optional - 3 night Pre Cruise package available in Barcelona.
Optional - 3 night Post Cruise package available in Paris.
$900 per person based on double Occupancy
Includes-Hotel, breakfasts, city tour and all taxes and fees.
Included Features-Cruise Only
- 7 nights deluxe cruise accommodation in an outside stateroom, most with French balconies
- Life enriching tours and excursions daily
- State-of-the-art Infotainment System in all staterooms featuring free high-speed Internet access, hit Hollywood movies, extensive music library & English language TV stations
- Complimentary Wi-Fi access on board
- Terry bathrobes and white-on-white plush bedding
- Gourmet dining with all meals included during your cruise
- Free-flowing red & white wines from France's great wine regions, beer & soft drinks with every lunch and dinner on board
- Bottled water in every stateroom replenished daily
- Tapteil Wine Lectures, tastings and pairings, wine excursions
- Cocktail Reception, Welcome Dinner & Captain's Gala Dinner
- Motorcoach from Arles to Perpignan and on to Barcelona, or Arles to Marseille
- Special highlights including lectures, cooking demonstration, onboard music performances and piano music
- Bicycles to explore on your own
- Services of professional Cruise Manager
- All English language on board in a non-smoking environment (smoking permitted only on the Sun Deck)
- All transfers with the purchase of cruise, land & air package
- All local taxes
- "Limited Edition Tours"
What’s not included?
- All pre and post cruise land arrangements
- All other beverages except of the ones mentioned above
- Taxes and gratuities (Recommendation: EURO 12 pp/ night for the entire crew and EURO 3 pp/ night for the Cruise Director on board. These can be pre-paid at USD$147 per person for the 7-night cruise.
- 3% credit card fee
- Roundtrip airfare
- Use of the Telephone in each cabin
- Items purchased in the Gift Shop
- Port charges of $168 per person
- Cancellation Insurance
- Optional shore excursions that might be offered in addition to our daily included shore excursion program