Welcome to the Paris! Our representatives will greet you at the Charles De Gaulle airport and transfer you to our host hotel, the Hilton Paris Opera Hotel for your included two-night stay. Tonight, we gather for a festive welcome dinner cruise on the Seine river to see the lights of Paris. The dinner cruise begins at 6:30pm, so we suggest you plan to arrive to Paris before 4pm. (Dinner)
Following breakfast, you’ll have your choice of two half-day guided excursions, the price of which are included in the total trip cost:
Option A – Versailles: You have probably heard about Versailles, read about it, and have seen Sophia Ford Coppola’s movie “Marie-Antoinette” that was shot in the Versailles Palace and gardens.
The palace is just a 40-minute drive from central Paris, during which our guides will regale you with tales of its construction, the traditions, King Louis XIV (also called the Sun King), his wife, Marie-Antoinette, and the fascinating 17th century royal life.
Versailles Palace stands as a witness to the power, splendor and romance of The Golden Century in France. Then, step outside the palace into the spectacular French-style Gardens, designed by Le Nôtre.
Option B- Hidden Passages of Paris with Wine Tasting: Built from the late 18th to mid-19th century, the covered passages are truly hidden gems, not much known even by Parisians, full of picturesque discoveries: small bookshops, old toy stores, stamp collectors, tea rooms, etc.
Quiet and off the touristic track, they offer an alternate vision of Paris, a more intimate image of how the city looked 150 years ago.
During this tour, guests discover one of Paris’ hidden treasures: the Palais Royal Gardens, which offers not only beautiful gardens but also gorgeous galleries and arcades. A wine tasting will be offered to conclude the tour.
Following your morning excursion, you will have the afternoon to continue exploring the “City of Lights” at your leisure. (Breakfast)
After breakfast, a leisurely morning in Paris before your transfer to the Amadeus Provence. Mid-day, we will board the high speed TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse) to Lyon for embarkation. Once on board, you will be able to settle in, explore the ship, and enjoy a welcome dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After breakfast, explore the medieval towns of Brancoin and Cormatin. The fortified city of Brancoin gives you a glimpse of France in the 13th to 15th centuries. Also, we will visit Cormatin, the old fortified house that controlled one of the roads of Cluny. At the beginning of the 17th century, the fortress was dismantled by Antoine du Blé. The castle displays the sober and rigorous principles of the French “rustic style”. This afternoon, the vessel arrives in the town of Mâcon, located in southern Burgundy. This wine-producing region produces some of the most expensive wines in the world. Spend the morning exploring the city, and perhaps visit the wine museum, dedicated to the history and production of Burgundy wines. Near the city of Macon is the Cluny Abbey, dedicated to St Peter. This afternoon offers the opportunity to visit the ‘spiritual heart of medieval Europe’. Founded in 910 by Guillaume d’Aquitaine, the abbey is comprised of three abbey churches. At its height, it was home to over 10,000 monks. (B, L, D)
At the confluence of the Rhone and the Saône rivers, sits the third-largest city in France. This UNESCO World Heritage city is considered the “gastronomic capital of the world” as well as offering historical and architectural landmarks such as the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourviere and the Vieux Lyon (Old Lyon) which is the Renaissance area along the bank of the Saône. (B, L, D)
The Provencal city of Avignon is home to the Papal Palace, once the seat of Western Christianity in the 14th century. The Papal Palace was home to six papal conclaves, but became obsolete when the papacy decided to return to Rome.
The area of Provence is also home to the Pont du Gard, a three-level aqueduct constructed over 2000 years ago by the Romans and is one of the architectural masterpieces of the ancient world. Your vessel remains in Avignon this evening. (B, L, D)
Arles captured the imagination of the brilliant Impressionist painter, Van Gogh. Walking through the town, many of the settings may seem familiar as some of Van Gogh’s best known pieces, which reflect the beauty of the town. (Various spots are commemorated with signs reflecting the matching painting.)
Outside of Arles, the Camargue Nature Park covers 86,000 hectares and is known for its unique flora and fauna as well as semi-wild bulls and white Camargue horses. (B, L, D)