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zJewels of France Celebration of Wine L&C 2013

20 days

20 Day Tour and Cruise

Engaging Discoveries for our World Travelers:

  • Set sail on 2 all-inclusive French cruises enjoying sightseeing, fine meals and free-flowing local wines with dinner.
  • Visit the village of Giverny, where Monet lived for 43 years.
  • Explore Honfleur, a charming French harbor town made famous from artist's paintings.
  • Stroll through Rouen, the historic capital of Normandy, followed by an unforgettable excursion to the famous Normandy beaches.

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Day 1: Arrive Barcelona, Spain

Arrive in Barcelona and transfer to your hotel. The balance of the day is free to start exploring this beautiful city.


Day 2: Barcelona

Your full day in Barcelona begins with a driving tour to the top of Montjuic Hill where you will enjoy glorious views of the city below. Continue along the waterfront to Las Ramblas, the iconic tree-lined boulevard at the heart of the city. You will explore the Gothic Quarter, the medieval center of the city. Your tour also includes the unique architectural works of Antoni Gaudí, including Casa Milà, Casa Batlló and La Sagrada Familia, the basilica and UNESCO World Heritage Site that has been under construction for over a century. In the alternative, choose the “tapas and boqueria” excursion where you will visit tapas bars and sample local favorites. Also, discover why Mediterranean cuisine is internationally known due to its ingredients during your guided tour of the “Market of la Boqueria.” Meals B


Day 3: Barcelona

Enjoy a full day at your leisure, or take part in the optional Montserrat Excursion, visiting the famous Benedictine Abbey atop Montserrat Mountain. Meals B


Day 4: Barcelona - Embarkation - Arles, France

After breakfast, you will transfer from Barcelona to Arles, the gateway to Provence. Along the way, you will stop in the medieval town of Perpignan, France, close to the Mediterranean. Here, you will have free time for lunch and some exploring on your own. Continue on your transfer, passing through the unique marshland region of the Camargue before arriving in Arles. This evening, meet your fellow passengers for a Welcome Dinner. Meals B,D


Day 5: Arles - Les Baux - Avignon

This morning, you will arrive in Arles and board a motor coach for an excursion to the village of Les Baux de Provence. This hilltop village and fortress was a Protestant stronghold during the French Wars of Religion until destroyed by Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu in 1633. At the castle, you will see examples of medieval siege weaponry. In the alternative, choose to take the “Van Gogh” tour which will take you the Saint Paul de Mausole Asylum. Here, Van Gogh painted some of his most well-known paintings such as The Irises and Starry Night. Later, visit an olive farm to learn about this age-old Provençal farming tradition. Late this afternoon, your city tour of Arles takes you to the Romanesque cathedral and the Roman Amphitheater. This evening cruise to nearby Avignon. As your ship docks, look for the Avignon Bridge, made famous by the French children’s song “Sur le pont d’Avignon” (“On the Bridge of Avignon”). Enjoy a wine lecture and tasting this evening. Meals B,L,D


Day 6: Avignon - Viviers

This morning, you will have your choice of two excursions in and around historic Avignon. Home to the papacy from 1309 to 1377, Avignon was an important center of the Catholic Church. Seven popes resided in the magnificent Gothic Papal Palace, which you will visit during your walking tour. You will also see the well-preserved medieval walls surrounding the historic center of town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the 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 small town known for its Castle of the Duke of Uzes (still occupied by the Duke and his family), medieval streets and a picturesque town square framed by archways. Enjoy free time for shopping in Uzes before returning to your ship. In the afternoon, visit the renowned Chateau Neuf-du-Pape. You will then cruise to Viviers. Arriving this evening, you will enjoy a unique view of the town’s history and legends. The ship moors overnight in Viviers Meals B,L,D


Day 7: Viviers - Tournon

After breakfast, enjoy an excursion to Grignan, a magnificent village perched upon a hill surrounded by lavender fields, topped by a Renaissance castle. From the castle, enjoy a commanding view of the surrounding countryside. Enjoy some free time to explore local shops for confections, home-made lavender soaps and other crafts. Your ship will depart at midday for Tournon as you join an onboard wine lecture. This evening, enjoy a winery visit in Tournon. Meals B,L,D


Day 8: Tournon - Vienne

This morning, enjoy a chocolate tasting and wine tour in Tournon. Enjoy free time this afternoon to visit the 16th-century castle which is now a town hall. You will have an onboard wine lecture this afternoon. This evening, you will arrive in Vienne. Situated between the wine regions of Burgundy and Beaujolais, Vienne has a significant Roman history, which is highlighted by its marvelously preserved ruins and remains. Enjoy paired French wines at dinner. Meals B,L,D


Day 9: Vienne - Trevoux

This morning, you will take a mini train tour 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. As an alternative, you may choose to visit the castle (when available). Returning to the ship, you will enjoy an onboard wine lecture as you cruise to the historic village of Trévoux. Upon arrival, you will take a walking tour of this former capital of the ancient principality of Dombes. The town’s landmarks include a Parliament building, medieval ramparts and a hillside Chateau. This evening, you will take part in a winery event in Trevoux. Meals B,L,D


Day 10: Trevoux - Lyon

This morning’s tour will take you through the chateaux, fields and vineyards of the Beaujolais wine region, the Pays d’Or or “land of the golden stones,” named for the ochre limestone of its homes and castles. You will visit the medieval hilltop village of Oingt. You will also visit the winery and home of a local vintner, which will include wine tasting, a vineyard tour and explanation of the history of wine production in the region. After lunch, depart your ship in Collonges and travel to Lyon. Today 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 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. Later, rejoin your ship now docked in Lyon, where you will enjoy the captain’s dinner this evening onboard. Meals B,L,D


Day 11: Lyon - Disembarkation - Paris - Embarkation

Disembark your cruise in Lyon. Transfer to Paris via TGV train. Arrive in Paris and transfer to your luxurious ship. Meet your fellow passengers at the Welcome Dinner. Meals B,L,D


Day 12: Vernon

Spend the morning enjoying an onboard wine lecture and tasting as cruise along the Seine to the provincial town of Vernon. The afternoon brings the chance to visit Giverny. There, you will tour the house and gardens of the Impressionist master Claude Monet. The artist lived here for more than four decades, immortalizing the flowers, footbridges and stone structures of his country estate in some of his most famous paintings, including the renowned Water Lillies series. Meals B,L,D


Day 13: Vernon - Rouen

In the morning, enjoy the scenery as you cruise leisurely on the Seine. Arrive in Rouen, where you will tour this medieval city, the historic capital of Normandy. Walk through the old town to the imposing Notre Dame Cathedral, painted numerous times by Monet. You will also visit the square where Joan of Arc was martyred. Afterwards you will visit at local winery for a tasting of different wines from France’s various wine regions. Tonight, join your fellow guests on board for the Chaîne Des Rôtisseurs dinner and wine pairing. Meals B,L,D


Day 14: Rouen

Today, you will have the choice of three different excursions. “D-Day Remembered” is a full day excursion tracing the events of June 6th 1944. The first excursion is to the US sector, Omaha and Utah beaches. Your first stop will be Arromanches, with free time to visit the museums and have lunch before visiting St.Laurent-sur-Mer, the US Cemetery at Omaha Beach. The last stop of your excursion is the Ranger monument at Pointe du Hoc before returning to the ship in Rouen. Alternatively, you will tour the Gold, June & Sword beaches in the British and Canadian sectors. Your first stop will be Arromanches, with free time to visit the museums and have lunch before visiting the Juno Beach Centre – the Canadian Museum – followed by a stop at St. Laurent-sur-Mer, the US Cemetery at Omaha Beach. The last stop of your excursion is the Pegasus Monument in Ranville, the first bridge to be liberated by British Glider borne troops on D-Day. As an alternative to the “D-Day Remembered” excursions, enjoy a “Taste of Normandy” excursion with a tour to a Calvados distillery and a sampling of both Cider and the apple brandy Calvados. Meals B,L,D


Day 15: Rouen

This morning you have a choice of two different tours. The first option is to visit Honfleur, located on the southern bank of the Seine across from Le Havre. Known for its historic port surrounded by picturesque houses with slate-covered facades, Honfleur was a favorite subject of artists such as Courbet, Boudin and Monet. Honfleur’s 15th-cenutury Sainte-Catherine church, with its detached bell tower, is the largest wooden church in France. Alternatively, you may choose an excursion to the Fécamp Monastery for a tasting of Bénédictine, a herbal liqueur based on brandy, which was first made by the monks in the 16th century and is now made by a private company on the grounds of the old abbey. This afternoon, cruise the Seine as you enjoy an onboard wine tasting. Meals B,L,D


Day 16: Les Andelys

Located on a bend in the Seine surrounded by white cliffs, Les Andelys is the birthplace of the classical painter Nicolas Poussin. A stroll on the riverside offers beautiful views of the Seine Valley, centuries-old half-timbered houses and the ruins of Chateau-Gaillard perched above the town. The once-massive stronghold of Richard the Lionheart was completed in 1198, and consisted of three different enclosures divided by dry moats. Captured by the French in 1204, it changed hands a number of times during the Hundred Years War, coming permanently under French control in the 15th century. More active guests will have the opportunity to tour the ruins of this historic castle before continuing your cruise along the Seine. Your ship will depart at midday for Paris as you join an onboard wine lecture and tasting. This evening, mingle with your fellow guests on board at the Captain’s Gala Dinner. Meals B,L,D


Day 17: Paris

This morning, you will have the chance to visit the Wine Museum of Paris. In the museum's dense limestone cellars, you will learn the history of French winemaking techniques, then enjoy a tasting of wine from the museum's own vineyard, located in the South of France. This afternoon, you will also enjoy a champagne tasting. Meals B,L,D


Day 18: Paris - Disembarkation

After disembarkation this morning, you will enjoy a panoramic city tour of Paris before touring one of Paris’ most spectacular museums: the Musee D’Orsay, Located on the Seine’s Left Bank, the museum was built in the former Gare (railway station) d'Orsay, and houses an extensive collection of French art dating from 1848 to 1915. Its collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces is the largest in the world; and includes iconic works by Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin and Van Gogh. Among the paintings on display are many that will seem familiar from your cruise, such as Monet’s series on the Rouen Cathedral and his Blue Water Lillies, and Van Gogh’s The Church at Auvers, Portrait of Dr. Gachet and Bedroom in Arles. After touring the museum, you will transfer to your hotel. Meals B


Day 19: Paris

Today is yours to enjoy as a free day in the “City of Light,” where a multitude of landmarks, museums, cafes and shops beckon. Meals B


Day 20: Depart Paris

Your river cruise vacation comes to an end as you transfer to the airport for your homeward flight. Meals B


Note: Shore excursions and sightseeing tours on this program are offered by Ama Waterways and are not limited to 16 guests.

Port charges: $294 per person
Single Supplement for Cruise Only: 50% of twin price; Suites: 100% of twin price

Prices are per person in Category E in a deluxe outside stateroom with window.