Itinerary

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Colors of Provence Rhone River Cruise

Thursday, November 10 – Thursday, November 17, 2022

Day 1: Thursday, November 10

EMBARKATION – LYON, FRANCE

Board the luxurious M/S AmaKristina for your Colors of Provence cruise. (D)

Day 2: Friday, November 11

LYON

Discover dynamic Lyon, starting in Fourvière Hill, part of the city’s historic region that is now a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the 19th-century basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière. Continue on to the old town of Lyon, followed by a guided walk through the St. Jean district, where you will be introduced to the city’s unique covered walkways, known as “traboules.” Alternately, join a guided bike tour through the city designed with cyclists in mind. In the afternoon, enjoy the rest of your day at your own leisure to explore the city. (B,L,D)

Day 3: Saturday, November 12

VILLEFRANCE

Travel to the Beaujolais wine region – known as the Pays d’Or or “land of the golden stones.” Indulge in a wine tasting at a traditional winery and learn about the history and techniques of their vineyard. (B,L,D)

Day 4: Sunday, November 13

VIENNE-TOURNON

Situated between the wine regions of Beaujolais and Côtes du Rhône lies Vienne with a Roman past that can be seen in its marvelously preserved ruins. Follow the footsteps of the ancient Romans on a walking tour to see the amazingly well-preserved Augustus and Livia Temple, the Saint Maurice Cathedral, a Gothic church that took more than 500 years to build, and St. Pierre Abbey – one of the oldest surviving churches in France, and now an Archaeological Museum. For those wishing to be more active, you can either take a guided hike from the ship to the Monastery at Mount Pipet or a guided bike tour along a portion of the ViaRhôna bike route. (B,L,D)

Day 5: Monday, November 14

TOURNON

You have a choice of three excursions. Take a train ride past magnificent landscape carved along the Gorge du Doux, stopping at the charming little station of Colombier le Vieux-Saint Barthélemy le Plain, where the train maneuvers in preparation for its return journey. Alternatively, lovers of wine and chocolate will want to visit Le Château de Tournon for a presentation and tasting on the pairing of red wine and chocolate. For a more active adventure, take a hike through the vineyards of Tain l’Hermitage, followed by a visit to a local winery where you’ll sample some of the wines or cycle through the French countryside. (B,L,D)

Day 6: Tuesday, November 15

TARASCON – ARLES

Provençal town Tarascon is known for its medieval architecture and charming tales-especially the legend of the Tarasque monster. Join a guided walking tour where you’ll visit the Roman ruins of Arles such as its Roman Amphitheater and the Church of Saint Trophime, famous for its Romanesque architecture. Alternatively, you can enjoy a bike ride along the Rhône, through town to the Langlois Bridge, a famous subject from several Vincent Van Gogh paintings. And for those who wish to delve further into Van Gogh’s Arles, join a special walking tour along with a visit to the Vincent van Gogh Foundation, showcasing his legacy. During the afternoon, you’ll visit the enchanting medieval fortress, the Castle of Tarascon-a fortress designed to protect but surprises all with its elegant interior, fit for royalty. Or, delve deeply into the Carrières de Lumières, where you’ll be treated to a spectacular presentation of art, sound and history projected on the former limestone quarry walls of caves. Alternately, you can enjoy an excursion to explore the medieval, walled village of Aiges-Mortes. Then, you’ll drive to the beautiful Camargue National Park, a protected natural territory that lines the Mediterranean Sea south of Arles. Afterwards, venture to the medieval hilltop village, Les Baux de Provence. In the evening, enjoy an illuminations cruise around Avignon. (B,L,D)

Day 7: Wednesday, November 16

AVIGNON

Depending on your interests, you have three choices of excursions for the morning. Avignon, aptly named the “City of Popes,” was the center of the Catholic Church in the 14th century when its “Palais des Papes” was the equivalent of today’s Vatican. Discover the history of Avignon on a guided walking tour that includes the Papal Palace and the well-preserved medieval walls surrounding the historic center of town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can visit three venues around Avignon to taste regional specialties including macarons, cheese and wine, and tapenades or you can enjoy a bike tour. During the afternoon, you can go to another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the impressive Pont du Gard, a Roman aqueduct that is a masterpiece of ancient engineering. Alternately, you can go to the magnificent hilltop village called Grignan. After visiting this enchanting Provençal town, go in search of the highly prized “Black Diamond” truffles with a farmer and his trustworthy canine companion. (B,L,D)

Day 8: Thursday, November 17

DISEMBARKATION – AVIGNON, FRANCE

Bid farewell to Avignon and prepare for your flight home. (B)

OPTIONAL: 3 NIGHT POST-CRUISE TOUR IN AIX-EN-PROVENCE

Thursday, November 17 – Sunday, November 20, 2022

Day 1: Thursday, November 17

CAMARGUE-AIX-EN-PROVENCE

Depart Avignon at 9:30am for Camargue, the wild delta region of the Rhone River before it spills into the Mediterranean Sea. At 360 square miles, this is Europe’s largest delta and one of the continent’s most important wetland regions.Wild horses and cattle inhabit the grasslands, also home to “Les Gardiers”, French cowboys!Visit the farm of Olivier Fernay, a breeder of horses and fighting bulls.Enjoy an equestrian demonstration in the bull ring, followed by lunch.This afternoon travel to Aix-en-Provence.Visit the studio museum of Impressionist artist Paul Cezanne, before arriving at our hotel. (B,L)

OVERNIGHT: RENAISSANCE HOTEL AIX-EN-PROVENCE (3 nights)

Day 2: Friday, November 18

AIX-EN-PROVENCE / PROVENCE DINNER

This morning enjoy a guided walking tour of “Aix”, considered one of the most charming small cities in France. Once the capital of Provence, Aix-en-Provence was a favorite haunt of Cezanne, Emile Zola and Ernest Hemingway.Divided by the broad thoroughfare Cours Mirabeau, bordered by plane trees, picturesque mansions from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries line the streets of old town.The afternoon is at leisure to explore.Tonight enjoy dinner at one of “Aix” town’s finest traditional French restaurants.(B,D)

Day 3: Saturday, November 19

CHATEAU LA VERRERIE-SALON-DE-PROVENCE

This morning journey to Chateau La Verrerie, in the Luberon foothills of the French Alps.Owned by the Descours family, this lovely wine producing estate boasts a magical location and elegant manor house.Tour the cellars and vineyards before joining a masterclass 5-wine & food pairing workshop led by the resident sommelier.Later enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in nearby Salon-de-Provence. This village is known for producing fine soap, exquisite candies called “Calissons” and being the village and final resting place of visionary Michel Nostradamus. It is also an important French Air Force base.After lunch walk “On the Path of Nostradamus”, a guided tour visiting the visionary prophet’s home and museum here, before returning to Aix-en-Provence.This evening is at leisure. (B,L)

Day 4: Sunday, November 20

AIX-EN-PROVENCE TO MARSEILLES AIRPORT

Morning transfers are arranged to Marseilles International Airport for onward flights. (B)

PLEASE NOTE:

A reasonable degree of mobility is required for all passengers on this program. Most of the guided tours provided on your cruise are walking tours. Many historic villages in Europe are located on hilltops, where it is necessary to walk up and down hilly, cobblestone streets that may have narrow passageways. Ships docked in port are often rafted side-by-side to another river ship. Passengers are then required to ascend and descend flights of 12 or more stairs to walk up to observation deck, down to gang planks to enter or exit the rafted ships. To participate in tours and get on and off the ship, travelers must be able to walk unaccompanied.

Disabilities and Wheelchairs
Persons with a walking disability or an injury, or who require a wheelchair/scooter or other mobility device, must have another dedicated person traveling with them to assist/push etc. The ship’s crew and other cruise guests are not available to assist persons with limited mobility. On customized pre or post cruise land programs, the Expanding Horizons tour manager is authorized to remove, or ask to leave from the tour, any traveler incapable of, unwilling to, or impeding the overall movement and progress of the tour group.