Itinerary

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OPTIONAL: 3-NIGHT PRE-CRUISE TOUR OF PROVENCE

MONDAY, APRIL 19 – THURSDAY, APRIL 22, 2021

DAY 1: MONDAY, APRIL 19

MARSEILLES AIRPORT TO AIX-EN-PROVENCE

You will be met upon arrival at Marseilles International Airport and transferred to our hotel in Aix-de-Provence. The remainder of day is at leisure.

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

DAY 2: TUESDAY, APRIL 20

AIX-EN-PROVENCE / LES 2 GARCONS DINNER

This morning enjoy a guided walking tour of “Aix”, 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 Aix.Tonight enjoy dinner at Les Deux Garcons, one of the city’s most popular traditional restaurants. (B,D)

DAY 3: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21

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: THURSDAY, APRIL 22

SALON-DE-PROVENCE — CAMARGUE — ARLES

This morning visit the studio museum of Impressionist artist Paul Cezanne, followed by a tour of the Calisson Museum, where some of the finest candies in France are made. Then journey one hour to the Camargue, the wild delta region of the Rhône River where 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 gardiens” — 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 a late lunch. Arrive in Arles at our ship AmaCello by 5pm. (B,L,D)

7 NIGHT ESSENCE OF BURGUNDY & PROVENCE RHÔNE RIVER CRUISE

THURSDAY, APRIL 22 – THURSDAY, APRIL 29, 2021

DAY 1, THURSDAY APRIL 22

ARLES, FRANCE — EMBARKATION

Board the beautiful AmaCello in Arles between 3-5pm This evening, meet your fellow passengers for the Captain’s Safety Briefing and Reception followed by Welcome Dinner. (D)

DAY 2, FRIDAY APRIL 23

ARLES — TARASCON — AVIGNON

Arles is considered one of the most beautiful cities in France. Enjoy and guided walking tour of this ancient city, including cathedral and Roman amphitheater. You may also join a guided bike tour to the Roman ruins. There is also a special guided walking tour of Van Gogh’s Arles, including a visit to the Vincent van Gogh Foundation. This afternoon it is possible to bike from Tarascon to Avignon, aptly named the “City of Popes. Avignon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A walking tour of the city center visits the Papal Palace and strolls along the well-preserved medieval walls. For a more flavorful experience, visit three different Avignon venues to taste regional specialties including macarons, cheese, local wines and tapenades. This evening, enjoy an Illuminations cruise on the Rhône. (B,L,D)

DAY 3, SATURDAY APRIL 24

VALENCE

Valence is a designated France’s “City of Art and History.” See the 11th-century Cathedral of St. Apollinaris and the aptly named House of Heads, named for the carved heads of its façade and courtyard. For a more active adventure, pedal through this bicycle-friendly city. Or indulge your culinary wanderlust by attending a specialized excursion to a local French cooking school. If you prefer a more relaxing excursion, visit a local winery to taste the regional red Cornas wines. (B,L,D)

DAY 4, SUNDAY APRIL 25

VIENNE — LYON

Vienne boasts a Roman past that can be seen in its marvelously preserved ruins. Board a charming mini train around the city. For those wishing to be more active, you can either take a guided cycling tour along the Via Rhôna bike route or a guided hike from the ship to the Monastery at Mount Pipet. Later in the day, we dock in dynamic Lyon.Experience Fourvière Hill, part of the city’s historic region, now a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the 19th-century basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière. Continue to old town 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.” There is also a guided bicycle tour. Lyon is considered the gastronomic capital of France. This city lives on its stomach! If you’re a self-described foodie, sample Lyonnaise local dishes on a tasting tour. Tonight see the city illuminated from the Observation Deck during an evening scenic cruise. (B,L,D)

DAY 5, MONDAY APRIL 26

MACON — TOURNUS

This morning enjoy a guided tour through the southern Burgundy city of Mâcon. Learn about its local vineyards, museums, historical sites. This is the home of 19th century poet Alphonse de Lamartine, an important government minister in his day.Venture somewhat off the beaten path to Cluny, known for its large abbey and nearby castle Berze-le-Chatel. This well-preserved fortress is perched on a rocky hill, offering stunning views below. There is an excursion excursion to the Royal Monastery of Brou, built in the 16th century with its glorious white façade and beautifully tiled roof.Cyclists may journey from Mâcon to Tournus and enjoy a delicious tasting of the region’s famous white Mâconnais wines. (B,L,D)

DAY 6, TUESDAY APRIL 27

TOURNUS

Today explore Tournus via several different excursions. Walk through Tournus to its magnificent Benedictine Abbey of Saint Philibert. Or visit the moated Château de Cormatin, which dates back to the early 17th century. The chateau features ornate apartments and an extraordinary garden. A third excursion visits the medieval village of Brancion, with its preserved gateway, church and market hall. This afternoon cyclists may bike to Chalon-Sur-Saône. (B,L,D)

DAY 7, WEDNESDAY APRIL 28

CHALON-SUR-SAONE

Located in southern Burgundy at the heart of the Côte Chalonnaise wine region, Chalon-sur-Saône has a delightfully wicked medieval past. Stop at a local market to see and taste some of the local delicacies.Alternatively, choose an excursion in Beaune, a walled town nestled in the heart of Cote d’Or vineyards. Stroll the cobblestone streets. See the mosaic-tiled roof of the Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune, founded in the 15th century as a hospital for the less fortunate. Or visit the storybook Château de Couches, a medieval fortress for the Dukes of Burgundy surrounded by lush green hills. This afternoon treat your palate to a tasting of Chalonnaise wines. (B,L,D)

DAY 8, THURSDAY APRIL 29

CHALON-SUR-SAONE — DISEMBARKATION

Disembark the ship and transfer to Lyon Airport as you prepare for your flight home. (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.