The Essence of Burgundy & Provence River Cruise
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France has consistently been named as one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world and plenty of recent polls have indicated that a majority of the French population supports same-sex marriage.
Your escape from the bustle of everyday life begins in Chalon-sur-Saône where the beautiful Avalon Poetry II awaits on the banks of the Saône River. Chalon-sur-Saône is a charming town, and before embarking on your voyage, you’ll have the chance to explore a collection of delightfully quaint shops and cafes. The town has a rich history, and there are many culturally significant sites and monuments to explore.
Tournus, with its narrow streets and enchanting architecture, is the first stop on your luxury tour of the region. The day will begin with a private tour of the town in which the area’s monastic and Romanesque heritage can be explored. After lunch, there’s an optional visit to the Castle of Cormatin, a gorgeous Renaissance castle that has been immaculately preserved. As the evening sets in, the group will gather on the deck for a participatory wine and cheese pairing workshop.
Lyon is often known as the “Capital of French Gastronomy”, and upon arrival, the group will be encouraged to explore the city’s old town, where a UNESCO World Heritage-designated array of markets and small cafes await. Here you can discover Lyon’s distinctive culinary character and indulge in dinner at a traditional Lyonnais bistro. Learn about the city’s storied wine heritage and learn the secrets of what makes the region’s produce so unbelievably memorable.
Your second day in Lyon will be spent relaxing and enjoying the opulent amenities on board the Avalon Poetry II. This is your chance to explore the city at your own pace, with optional excursions including a bike tour of Lyon’s architectural district and a guided walk through the historic district of Fourvière Hill.
Experience the stunning beauty and fascinating history of the French countryside on the Tournon-Viviers leg of your luxury river cruise. Here, you’ll be treated to bucolic vineyards, gorgeous castle views, and plenty of Medieval charm. The options for exploration are extensive in Tournon and Viviers and include activities such as vineyard hikes and guided walking tours. In the afternoon, the group will amble through the pale-stone buildings of Viviers and marvel at its Romanesque Old Town and diverse historical influences.
Known as the “City of Popes” thanks to its papal residents that set up shop here in the 14th century, Avignon is a picturesque city in Provence that offers a satisfying blend of art and history. A guided tour of the Papal Palace is the first item on the agenda for Avignon, after which the group will wander through the charming streets of Avignon’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and view the iconic Avignon Bridge. For those who want to explore Avignon deeper, there is the nearby village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, known for its wine production. Here, immersion in local wine practices and the stunning settings of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape Castle awaits.
Arles has garnered an international reputation for both its Roman monuments and its most famous former resident, Vincent van Gogh. Suitably, your time in Arles will begin with a painting workshop where the techniques of Van Gogh will be imparted by a knowledgeable local artist. Alternatively, travelers can opt for a guided walking tour of Arles, which will also include a visit to the town’s Roman Amphitheater. A hotspot for cultured relaxation, there is nothing better than an afternoon stroll through the charming streets of Arles’ Old Town. On this section of the tour, you’ll have the chance to discover the Church of St Trophime, a testament to the lasting impact of the Romanesque period of European art.
Today the group will spend time enjoying a farewell breakfast and reflecting on the memories made throughout the trip. After breakfast, there’s time for one last taste of Arles before disembarking the ship and heading home.
We want to ensure you have the best experience with us so we’ll keep working on your itinerary until perfect. You will have your own personal dedicated member of our team who will help build the perfect trip for you.
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To start planning your trip, please call us or complete the enquiry form and one of our team of experts will contact you as soon as possible for an initial consultation to discuss your travel plans in more detail.
All the prices on our website do not include flights. We can, of course, arrange them for you.