This fantastic cruise vacation showcases France’s breathtaking scenery, amazing history, and exciting variety. Your adventure begins on the stunning Côte d’Azur, then travel to Arles to board your ship and sail into the peaceful Camargue area during dinner (daylight permitting) before returning to Arles. Then, sail north up the scenic Rhône and Saône Rivers. Along the way, explore Arles, Avignon, delightful Viviers, medieval Tournon, charming Vienne, France’s gastronomic capital of Lyon, as well as St. Jean de Losne, and fascinating Beaune. Take the TGV train from Dijon to Paris, embark your second cruise ship, and begin your journey along the Seine River into the picturesque Normandy region. In Vernon, choose between a guided visit of Claude Monet’s stunning gardens at Giverny or magnificent Bizy Castle. Continue to Les Andelys, home of dramatic Château Gaillard, then on to Caudebec, where you choose between an included excursion to Normandy’s historic landing beaches or an interesting “Taste of Normandy.” Next up: Joan of Arc’s historic Rouen. In Conflans, it’s your choice of excursions to either Vincent van Gogh’s Auvers-sur-Oise or Napoleon and Josephine’s elegant Château de Malmaison. Return to Paris for guided sightseeing, taking in the most famous sights of this magnificent city. Then, trade your “Bonjours” for “Cheerios” as an included high-speed train transfer whisks you to London for three exciting nights. Your Monograms package includes hotel reservations, guided sightseeing, daily breakfast, a destination guide to familiarize you with the city, and best of all—the services of a Monograms Local Host® to welcome you and lend a helping hand throughout your stay. This “friend in the city” can answer your questions, offer suggestions, and help make your vacation what you want it to be. During your guided sightseeing tour with a local expert, see the sights you cannot go home without seeing—Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Piccadilly Circus, and more. Enjoy VIP access to St. Paul’s Cathedral, the wedding site for Lady Diana and Prince Charles, and witness the Changing of the Guard (if held). You’ll have plenty of free time to maybe take in a West End theater show, join a guided tour of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, check out the Wimbledon Lawn & Tennis Museum, and explore the Churchill Museum Cabinet War Rooms—the secret underground headquarters during WWII. Day trips are available out of the city to Oxford, Warwick Castle, or mysterious Stonehenge. Monograms offers over 40 exciting activities and excursions, so you have loads of options.
Cruise: deluxe 14-night cruise in an outside stateroom with Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSMDay 1 Côte d’Azur: welcome to FranceDay 2 Côte d’Azur–Transfer to Arles (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception; sail into the Camargue region (daylight permitting)Day 3 Arles: guided sightseeing, visit the Roman AmphitheaterDay 4 Avignon: guided sightseeing, visit the Palace of the PopesDay 5 Cruising–Viviers: guided walk, visit Old Town and the cathedralDay 6 Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage–Vienne: guided walk in Tournon; guided walk in VienneDay 7 Lyon: guided sightseeing, picture stop on Fourvière HillDay 8 Cruising–St. Jean de Losne: day at leisure; cheese tastingDay 9 St. Jean de Losne (Disembarkation)–Beaune–Dijon–Paris (Embarkation): visit the Hôtel-Dieu in Beaune; TGV train from Dijon to Paris; onboard welcome receptionDay 10 Vernon–Les Andelys: choice of guided excursions to Giverny or Bizy Castle; guided walk in Les Andelys, visit the Parish Church of Le Petit AndelyDays 11-12 Caudebec: choice of excursion along either the “Normandy Villages Route” or the “Normandy Abbeys Route”; choice of excursions to Normandy landing beaches or “A Taste of Normandy”Day 13 Rouen: guided walk, see the Gros Horloge astronomical clock and visit the cathedralDay 14 Conflans–Paris: choice of guided excursions to Auvers-sur-Oise or Château de MalmaisonDay 15 Paris: choice of guided sightseeing or “Heart of Paris” walk, visit Notre Dame CathedralLondon: 3 nights hotel accommodation with buffet breakfast (B); Monograms Local Host Service & Destination Guide with city map; guided sightseeing, inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE; high-speed Eurostar train from Paris to London (standard class*) with porterage for one suitcase; transfers to/from train stations.
Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapésWelcome dinnerDaily Afternoon TeaDaily Night FareFarewell dinnerComplimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; wine, beer, or soft drinks with lunch and dinner are included daily on board your vesselBuffet breakfast daily while in London
NOTES:The Seine section of departure April 17 is offered as an exclusive Culinary Cruise, including special lectures and tastings at no additional cost. Enter a food-lover’s paradise in northern France. At a special dinner, a local chef will dazzle you with regional specialties and food preparation tips. If you participate in our “Taste of Normandy” excursion, there’ll be cider and wine tastings, a visit to a distillery, and you’ll even come away with easy-to-make recipes. Bon Appétit!The Saône/Rhône section of departure June 26 is offered as an exclusive Jazz Cruise, including special music features at no additional cost. On our Jazz Cruise, attend the annual Jazz Festival in Vienne, France and enjoy lively entertainment as local jazz musicians come on board your ship at several ports.The Seine section of departure April 21 is offered as an exclusive cruise with Canadian Entertainer Jann Arden. Cruise through France in the company of award-winning Canadian entertainer, Jann Arden! This special departure sails along the Seine from Paris to the scenic and historic Normandy coast, where you will spend the day with Jann while learning about Canada’s involvement on the battlefields of Europe. You will also enjoy a seperate photo op with Jann, a CD signing session, and a private concert on board.In the event that a high-speed train is unavailable due to strikes or technical reasons, the route will be operated by motorcoach.In the event of water level problems or any problems of a technical nature, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or to alter the program.Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change becomes necessary, a substitute will be offered.