August 4-13, 2013
Your all gay adventure begins with two nights and guided sightseeing in Paris, the "City of Light." Travel south to fascinating Beaune for a Burgundy wine tasting; then board your ship in quaint Chalon-sur-Saône and set sail for lovely Tournus, Mâcon, France's gastronomic capital of Lyon, as well as medieval Tournon, charming Viviers, the UNESCO World Herit-age Site of Avignon, before disembarking in Arles, once home to Vincent Van Gogh. Guests participating in the optional post-cruise program in Barcelona, will continue by motorcoach to medieval Girona for a stop en route to your host hotel. This cruise vacation has it all—historic sites, charming towns, world-class wine and cuisine and more!
- 2 nights hotel accommodation in Paris, including daily buffet breakfast.
- 7 nights deluxe cruise accommodation in an outside stateroom, most with French balconies.
- State-of-the-art Infotainment System in all staterooms featuring free high-speed Internet access.
- 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 dinner on board.
- Bottled water in every stateroom replenished daily.
- Special highlights including lectures, cooking demonstration, onboard music performances and piano music.
- Optional guided bicycle tour.
- All English language on board in a non-smoking environment (smoking permitted only on the Sun Deck)
Welcome to Paris, France's capital on the River Seine and the "City of Light," where romance fills the air!
Paris' famous sights are living history: your included city sightseeing shows you magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral, the unique Louvre Museum with its glass pyramid as a contrast to its ancient architecture, the commemorative Arc de Triomphe, Opéra, Madeleine, Champs Elysées, and the Eiffel Tower, a structural miracle of its age. The city is well known for its color-ful nightlife that includes some of the world's most famous cabaret shows. (Breakfast)
After breakfast, drive south past the forest of Fontainebleau, the favorite hunting grounds of a long line of French kings, and into Burgundy. Beaune, the unofficial capital of the Côte d'Or area—which produces the region's finest vintages—owes its wealth to the production, aging, and selling of fine wines. Its most famous historical site, the Hôtel-Dieu charity hospital, houses Van der Weyden's painting of the Last Judgement and is one of France's architectural highlights. Enjoy a tasting of Burgundy wines before continuing south to Chalon-sur-Saône, where you'll board your river cruise vessel. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception as your ship departs for Tournus. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Tournus is one of the oldest and most important monastic centers in the region, with a superb abbey, St. Phili-bert, part of which dates back to the 10th century. Stroll through the quaint streets or explore the arts and crafts shops near the abbey. After lunch the ship departs for Mâcon, a city with a rich history that plays an important role in the wine trade. A choice of optional excursions, including a visit to a wine cellar, is available. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Enjoy a leisurely morning cruising on the Rhône. Lyon is France's second largest city and its gastronomic capital. Founded by the Romans in 43 BC, the city's prosperity dates back to the 16th century and is due to commercial, industrial, and banking activities. Roman remains, many excellent museums, and much renaissance architecture delight the visitor. Survey the city from Fourvière Hill and explore the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its maze of medieval alleyways, Place des Terreaux, and the beautiful Place Bellecour. Beaujolais is the wine of the region, and tradition dictates that the "Beaujolais Nouveau" is tasted for the first time on the third Thursday of November each year. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
A free day in this fascinating city to explore at leisure. Early risers might like to visit the local produce market. Your Cruise Director will have plenty of suggestions for things to do. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
The twin cities of Tournon and Tain l'Hermitage lie nestled among vineyards between the Rhône River and the granite slopes of the Hermitage. Tournon, with its imposing 16th-century castle and Roman ruins, is one of France's oldest medieval cities. Another charming town, Viviers, was developed around its Romanesque Cathedral, and the Old Town has an appealing mix of Christian, Roman, and medieval influences. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
The fortified city of Avignon is the capital of the Vaucluse region, the most picturesque part of Provence. Also referred to as the "City of Popes," it was the center of the Catholic Church in the 14th century, and the city landscape is dominated by the grandiose Palace of the Popes. A photo of the bridge of the popular song is a must, and optional outings to Pont du Gard or to the famed wine cellars of Châteauneuf-du-Pape are available this afternoon. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
During the night your ship will have sailed to Port St. Louis on the mouth of the Rhône. If you are an early riser, you might like to watch the sun come up over the Camargue, and then take in the tranquil scenes as you sail through this nature park toward Arles during breakfast. On arrival in Arles, located on the northern tip of the Camargue and the capital of the Provence region, you will have free time to explore the city. Take in sights such as the church of St. Trophime; “Les Alyscamps,” the remains of the Gallo-Roman burial road; and visit the ROMAN AMPHITHEATER. This afternoon, there is free time to relax or join an optional excursion. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Disembark after breakfast. For those guests choosing the optional Barcelona extension, you will enjoy a comfortable motor coach ride with a stop in medieval Girona en route to your two-night post-cruise program in spectacular Barcelona, Spain.
The Avalon Scenery is the ship of choice when cruising in France. France is known for its gastronomy, and the Avalon Scenery an-swers the call for remarkable cuisine with the finest chef-inspired recipes, 5-star service, and complimentary regional wines. Ac-commodating only 138 passengers in an elegant, contemporary design, the Avalon Scenery also offers deluxe staterooms and suites - most with floor-to-ceiling sliding-glass doors and French balconies - with all the comforts you'd want and expect on a va-cation to France. A host of popular onboard amenities further enhances the cruise experience, including three lounges and a bar, an Internet corner, Sky Deck with deck chairs and whirlpool, elevator, hair salon, and fitness center. The Ship
Paris – Marriott Rive Gauche
Situated in downtown Paris with direct access to major airports, the 4-star Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel is conveniently located by the Latin Quarter and Saint-Germain-des-Pres. The metro station nearby takes you directly to the Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees, Montparnasse business district and Notre Dame in less than half an hour.
All hotel rooms are entirely renovated and feature spectacular views, Marriott's supremely comfortable Revive bedding and upscale shower products. The 70s inspired R'Yves Great Room concept combines a restaurant, cocktail bar and private lounges as well as a take-away counter for guests to enjoy great food in a trendy atmosphere, with wireless internet access. In the central Rive Gauche vicinity of France's capital city, this Marriott hotel in Paris provides excellent services and facilities for a successful business trip, week-end visit or a holiday away in this unique European destination.
Barcelona – Cristal Palace
The Eurostars Cristal Palace is one of the references of quality in the epicentre of the Catalonian capital. Renovated so that the Mediterranean light penetrates the most hidden corners of your stay in Barcelona, the hotel boasts a huge façade of translucent glass - thus the name Cristal Palace.
The Pictory restaurant offers an exquisite and varied assortment of succulent dishes in a luxurious environment enveloped in a warm, modern ambiance. From the Pictory kitchens emerge Mediterranean gourmet delights and local produce, perfectly paired with a wide selection of national and international wines. The restaurant offers a daily fixed menu and à-la-carte options, in addition to the possibility of elaborating special menus for groups, meetings and celebrations.
Perfectly situated, the hotel is flanked by the Rambla and Paseo de Gracia avenues, where a universe of possibilities opens out: Casa Batlló, Pedrera, Liceo, Plaza Catalunya, Palau de la Musica, Tapies Foundation, the Gothic District, hundreds of shops and stores, the university campus and gardens, art galleries and the mediaeval Consejo de Ciento, plus a non-ending number of secrets which we leave to you to discover, at your own pace and inclinations. The aerobus and train from the airport have a stop one minute from the hotel, in the Plaza de Catalunya.
All prices in U.S. dollars and are cruise/land only.
All reservations are subject to Brand g's Terms and Conditions.
* Price is per person based on double occupancy. Port fees of $126 are additional. Recommended gratuities of $145 are paid onboard.
Single Supplement for Cruise is 33% of twin price.
Optional 2-night extension in Barcelona.
Includes transfer from Arles to Barcelona, 2 nights' accommodations with breakfast daily, and all hotel taxes.