2018 SEASON
Apr 2018 - Oct 2018

16 Day Grand France

Avalon River Cruise starting in Cote D'Azur and finishing in Paris

Read 8 reviews and enjoy exclusive savings on Avalon's 16 Day Grand France. This river cruise highlighting the best of France is certainly grand! Begin your adventure on the captivating French Riviera, also known as the Côte d'Azur. Explore this elegant area and relax along ...read more

Overview

Operator: Avalon
Type: River Cruise (Premium)
Duration: 16 Days
From: Cote D'Azur to Paris
Tour Code: WLP
Visits: France
Our Price From:
$ 6,671
Per Person ($AU)
Save This Month:
$ 1,819
Per Person ($AU)

Day By Day

1

Arrive In Cote D'azur, France

Welcome to France! Located between the mountains and the deep-blue Mediterranean Sea, the Cote d'Azur is synonymous with prestige and beauty with its enchanting yachts, glamorous villas, and famous events. Time at leisure lets you get acquainted with this amazing place.
2

Cote D'azur - Transfer To Arles (Embarkation)

This morning, enjoy free time to explore further or join an optional excursion. In the early afternoon, transfer by motorcoach to Arles in the Provence region, where you'll board your river cruise vessel. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception, then sail toward the mouth of the Rhone for a taste of the tranquil vistas of Camargue National Park (daylight permitting). (B/D)
3

Arles

In Arles, capital of the Provence, join your LOCAL GUIDE for a tour of the city. See the church of St. Trophime, dating from the 12th century, and visit the ROMAN AMPHITHEATRE. Still used today, the amphitheatre dates to the 1st century, and was constructed to hold over 20,000 spectators. Vincent Van Gogh was inspired by the special light of the Provence and spent a very productive year in Arles. (B/L/D)
4

Avignon

On your GUIDED TOUR you may choose to join an included visit of the PALACE OF THE POPES, built in the 14th century as the sovereign popes' residence. With a living space equivalent to four gothic cathedrals, it is the largest gothic fortress in the world. Alternatively, you may opt for only city sightseeing and more free time to explore on your own, or to join an optional outing to Pont du Gard or to the famed wine cellars of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. (B/L/D)
5

Cruising - Viviers

A leisurely morning on board to relax and enjoy the passing scenery. After lunch, join your LOCAL GUIDE for a walk around the charming town of Viviers, which developed around its ROMANESQUE CATHEDRAL. The OLD TOWN has an appealing mix of Christian, Roman, and medieval influences. (B/L/D)
6

Tournon/tain L'hermitage - Vienne

The twin cities of Tournon and Tain l'Hermitage lie nestled among vineyards between the Rhone River and the granite slopes of the Hermitage. Enjoy a GUIDED WALK of Tournon, one of France's oldest medieval cities, with its imposing 16th-century castle and Roman ruins. Arriving in Vienne in the late afternoon, a GUIDED WALK shows you the charming little town surrounded by steep hills. Explore the town centre to see the Roman Theatre, which once held 13,000 spectators, and the Augustus and Livia Temple, built around 20 BC and converted into a church in the Middle Ages. (B/L/D)
7

Lyon

Lyon is France's third-largest city and its gastronomic capital. Founded by the Romans in 43 BC, the city's prosperity dates back to the 16th century and is due to commercial, industrial, and banking activities. Roman remains, many excellent museums, and much renaissance architecture delight visitors. You are joined by a LOCAL GUIDE as you survey the city from Fourviere Hill-with its splendid views over the city- and explore the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its maze of medieval alleyways and Place des Terreaux, a popular area with lively cafes, monuments, and the famous fountain often depicted on postcards. Be sure to sample Beaujolais, the wine of the region. (B/L/D)
8

Cruising - St Jean De Losne

A leisurely day today as your final day on board. If you prefer to stay busy, a choice of optional excursions is available, including a visit to a wine cellar. While sailing to St. Jean de Losne, enjoy an onboard CHEESE TASTING. (B/L/D)
9

St Jean De Losne (Disembarkation) - Beaune - Dijon - Paris (Embarkation)

After breakfast, disembark and head by motorcoach to Beaune, the unofficial capital of the Cote d'Or area and Burgundy's wine capital. Although life here centres around wine, Beaune offers much more with its ramparts, medieval houses, cobblestone streets, and historical monuments. Visit the HOTEL-DIEU charity hospital, built in 1443 and paid for by the chancellor of Burgundy after the Hundred Years' War left many of the town's population destitute. Today, it houses Van der Weyden's painting of The Last Judgment and is one of France's architectural highlights. After lunch, continue to Dijon and board the TGV train to Paris, the "City of Light," where your ship is docked on the River Seine. Meet your crew at a welcome reception; before dinner, your ship glides smoothly out of Paris. (B/D)
10

Vernon - Les Andelys

This morning in Vernon, choose between a guided visit of Giverny and a visit to Bizy Castle. Claude Monet lived at GIVERNY for almost 43 years (1883-1926) and viewed his flower and water gardens as works of art-just like his paintings. See his collection of Japanese prints, his charming house, and his biggest sources of inspiration. Or, visit BIZY CASTLE, built in 1740 and nicknamed "Normandy's Versailles." It is known for its famous stables-inspired by those at Versailles-and its magnificent courtyard and water garden. This afternoon, your ship arrives in Les Andelys, situated on a bend of the Seine and one of the most beautiful places in France. Join a Local Guide for a GUIDED WALK of the town, visiting the PARISH CHURCH OF LE PETIT ANDELY. Imposing Chateau Gaillard, built by England's King Richard the Lionheart as a fortress in 1196, is seen above the town. Constructed in only a year, it is a masterpiece of medieval military architecture. (B/L/D)
11

Caudebec

Today, join either a guided excursion along the "NORMANDY VILLAGES ROUTE" to see some of Normandy's charming and traditional half-timbered houses with their long, sloping thatched roofs, often sporting blue wooden doors and window shutters, or along the "NORMANDY ABBEYS ROUTE," a short drive from Caudebec. More than 100 abbeys once covered this region, which has a microclimate particularly suited to the production of fruit such as apples, pears, plums and cherries. The afternoon is free to explore on your own or to join an optional excursion to the pretty coastal town of Honfleur. (B/L/D)
12

Caudebec

Today, choose between an included fullday excursion to the historic NORMANDY LANDING BEACHES- with poignant sites such as Juno Beach, Pegasus Museum, and the Commonwealth Cemeteries - or a "TASTE OF NORMANDY" for a more in-depth look at this picturesque, mainly agricultural region. The most important products are dairy, apples, and grain. Camembert cheese is a specialty, as is CALVADOS, a strong apple brandy that you'll have the chance to taste at a local distillery. And for a touch of history, visit the famous BAYEUX TAPESTRY. (B/L/D)
13

Rouen

Rouen, the capital of Upper Normandy, is an important commercial city perhaps best known for its connection to Joan of Arc, who lived, was imprisoned, and burned at the stake in the marketplace of this town in 1431. Enjoy the GUIDED WALK through the medieval quarter with its half-timbered, glazed-tile houses, and take your pictures of the Gros Horloge, an intricate astronomical clock dating back to the 16th century. Visit the splendid gothic CATHEDRAL/ which was once the tallest building in the world and the subject of a series of Claude Monet's paintings. The afternoon is free for you to explore on your own. (B/L/D)
14

Conflans

After breakfast you may either join our included guided excursion to AUVERS-SUR-OISE, the quaint town where Vincent Van Gogh lived and died, or to Napoleon and Josephine's CHATEAU DE MALMAISON outside Paris. Requiring extensive renovations, this large country estate was purchased by Josephine Bonaparte in 1799 while Napoleon was fighting in Egypt. It was her aim to make it "the most beautiful and curious garden in Europe, a model of good cultivation." (B/L/D)
15

Paris

Known as one of the world's most romantic and lively cities, Paris is a delight for all your senses. Your included CITY SIGHTSEEING shows you magnificent must-see sights, such as Notre Dame Cathedral, the unique Louvre Museum with its glass pyramid as a contrast to its ancient architecture, the commemorative Arc de Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower. Alternatively, you may wish to join a GUIDED WALK through historic Ile St. Louis with its narrow one-way streets and Ile de la Cite, the centre of Paris where the medieval city was founded and home to NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL. In your free time, stroll down the Champs-Elysees with its lavish cafes, or perhaps visit the world-famous Louvre or Montmartre with its gleaming white Sacre Coeur Basilica and bevy of artists on Place du Tertre. Paris is also well known for its colourful nightlife and an optional outing to one of the world's most famous cabaret shows might make the perfect finale to your holiday. (B/L/D)
16

Paris (Disembarkation)

Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

Trip Inclusions

Included Experiences

  • CRUISE: Deluxe 14-night cruise in an outside stateroom (Category E) with Avalon's exclusive Comfort Collection Beds.
  • COTE D'AZUR-TRANSFER TO ARLES: Onboard welcome reception; sail into the Camargue region (daylight permitting).
  • ARLES: Guided sightseeing, visit the Roman Amphitheatre.
  • AVIGNON: Guided sightseeing, visit Palace of the Popes.
  • CRUISING-VIVIERS: Guided walk, visit the Old Town and the cathedral.
  • TOURNON/TAIN L'HERMITAGE-VIENNE: Guided walk in Tournon; guided walk in Vienne.
  • LYON: Guided sightseeing; picture stop on Fourviere Hill.
  • CRUISING-ST. JEAN DE LOSNE: Day at leisure; cheese tasting.
  • ST. JEAN DE LOSNE-BEAUNE-DIJON-PARIS: Visit the Hotel-Dieu in Beaune; TGV train from Dijon to Paris; onboard welcome reception.
  • VERNON-LES ANDELYS: Choice of guided excursions to Giverny or Bizy Castle; guided walk in Les Andelys, visit the Parish Church of Le Petit Andely.
  • 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'.
  • ROUEN: Guided walk, see the Gros Horloge astronomical clock and visit the cathedral.
  • CONFLANS: Choice of guided excursions to Auvers-sur-Oise or Chateau de Malmaison.
  • PARIS: Choice of guided sightseeing or 'Heart of Paris' walk, visit Notre Dame Cathedral.
  • SIGHTSEEING: Your day-by-day itinerary indicates in UPPERCASE all inside visits, special features, and guided sightseeing. All included guided sightseeing is conducted by a Certified Local Guide. Choose the sightseeing pace that suits you: Leisurely, Traditional, or Independent (where available).
  • LOCAL FAVOURITES: Special onboard and onshore experiences presented by entertainers, artisans, and experts, designed to enrich your cruise.
  • MEALS: are indicated by breakfast (B), lunch (L), and dinner (D); Captain's welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapes; Welcome dinner; Daily Afternoon Tea; Daily Night Fare; Farewell dinner; Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; wine, beer, or soft drinks with lunch and dinner are included daily on board your vessel.

Included Meals

  • 15 Breakfasts
  • 12 Lunches
  • 14 Dinners

Trip Notes

  • Accommodation, itinerary and inclusions subject to change.
  • Prices are for land/cruise only. International flights not included.

Reviews (8)

Trip reviews from past clients of Global Journeys who have travelled on Grand France with Avalon.
QLD, Australia
Sep 2017
1 Helpful Vote
4 Trips
“Wondeful French Adventure”
Value
Ship
Cabin
Excursions
Food
Entertainment
Booking With Global Journeys
We have just returned from a month in France which included Avalon's Grand France cruise (WLP) from Cote D'Azur starting on 18th September and ending on 3rd October 2017. We had cabin 203 on both ships. We also had the same cruise director for both cruises - Jean-Loup Domart who kept us entertained with his dry wit during his daily briefings and was very helpful, knowledgeable and patient. The first cruise was on Affinity and Creativity on the second leg. The ships do sail during the night, sometimes only for a short time but sometimes all night. Unfortunately cabin 203 on Affinity had a very annoying sliding glass door rattle which happened to be next to my head. I did let the receptionist know and was told maintenance would come and check it out but they never did. Otherwise, we were very happy with both cabins and ships overall.

I would suggest they should have coffee, tea etc available in the main lounge/bar area rather than at the rear of the ship too. We enjoyed all the included and optional excursions and everything was run smoothly and we were well looked after. The food was delicious but surprisingly we thought it was a little nicer on Affinity. The weather was very king to us and we had warm days and cool nights and mornings - a nice time to be in France. Overall we would highly recommend this cruise especially for first time travellers to France. As usual, Global Journeys handled our booking well and got us a good discount.
WA, Australia
Sep 2017
1 Trip
“Grand France Magic”
Value
Ship
Cabin
Excursions
Food
Entertainment
Booking With Global Journeys
Our Avalon river cruise through France was fantastic from beginning to end. From the fantastic friendly crew for whom nothing was too much trouble, and our super efficient and personable cruise director to the amazing food and fine dining, plentiful drinks and luxurious on board accommodation, everything was even better than I'd imagined. The local guides at each town along the way shared their extensive knowledge about the town and brought its history to life through interesting and at time humorous anecdotes. The optional extra tours provided even further opportunities to see even more. It was an unbeatable way to see France. I would thorough recommend this holiday and would happy do it all again.
QLD, Australia
Aug 2017
“Enjoyable River Cruising”
Value
Ship
Cabin
Excursions
Food
Entertainment
Booking With Global Journeys
We had previously travelled with Avalon some years ago and, while that tour was very good, we believe that the Avalon network has improved in quality since that time. The rooms are very efficiently designed and even though they are not large (about the size of a standard Paris hotel room - and that's not large) the amount of storage is amazing. The ships (back to back cruises here) were in excellent condition and kept immaculately. Anybody who has been on a river cruise knows that, by the end of the cruise, you are begging for no more food please! Breakfast, lunch and dinner are varied and of high quality.

The staff on the ships were outstanding - well trained, efficient, welcoming and very friendly. The excursions were OK and starting the tour in Monte Carlo, whilst a bit of a gimmick, was probably worth it for fun value. Although Monte Carlo is more difficult to get to than, say, Nice or Marseilles, it is probably a place most people would avoid. A room on the very front row of the Fairmont Hotel looking out over the billionaires boats and sitting directly over the F1 circuit at the Fairmont Hairpin is a bit of fun.

The on-board entertainment was not a strong feature but it was adequate. In summary, I was impressed by the commitment of Avalon to quality improvement.
NSW, Australia
Jul 2017
2 Trips
“Relaxing way to explore France”
Value
Ship
Cabin
Excursions
Food
Entertainment
Booking With Global Journeys
This was our second Avalon cruise and we thoroughly enjoyed it. The best thing about river cruising is being able to settle into your stateroom and know you can stay there for the whole journey. Both the boats, Avalon Affinity and Avalon Creativity were comfortable and the hotel staff and crews of both provided excellent service. Our cruise director, Joost Ruitenberg was outstanding: a most engaging manner together with great organisational skills, which made our cruise run very smoothly. He successfully transferred 82 travellers from St Jean to Losne by coach and TGV to Paris, without losing anyone!

The experiences on the cruise were varied with lots of included walks through small towns and villages, as well as optional tours to nearby places. There were so many enjoyable experiences, I cannot name a favourite. We were, however, pleased that we had prebooked all our optional excursions before leaving Australia. Because of this those tours were guaranteed, which meant there were only four people on one tour and five on another. We were the only passengers who had prebooked and as a result, several other tours were cancelled due to insufficient numbers.
WA, Australia
Aug 2016
3 Helpful Votes
3 Trips
“16 Day Grand France”
Value
Ship
Cabin
Excursions
Food
Entertainment
Booking With Global Journeys
This was basically two tours. The first section was on the Affinity. We were lucky with the Captain and the Cruise Directory who went to both ships. However on the Affinity we did not enjoy the same service that we enjoyed on a previous Avalon ship. We found the Hotel Manager and the restaurant manager to be not that friendly and not as welcoming as expected. There was one exceptional staff member called Emile that provided very good service. At one stage the Restaurant manager had told a waitress to not serve alcohol to us after the main meal. This is not what we experience on a previous Avalon ship. Once we mentioned this to the Cruise Director the Hotel Manager and restaurant manager spoke to us an blamed the waitress. We observed other people getting served alcohol after their main meal. Also when they have the Bistro meal I the lounge all the good waiters are servicing in that area and the main dinning room is under staffed. When you have a beer in the dining room it is not as cold as it should be as they pour it into jugs from the bar upstairs and they get warm. I would suggest that they have a tap beer in the dining room area. This was the same at both ships.

The second leg was the Creativity which was a total more enjoyable experience. The Hotel Manager (Vincent) was excellent and he greeted us on all occasion we returned to the ship after and excursion. He and the Captain were wonderful. The Captain also welcomed us on returning to the ship. All the waiters , front desk staff and bar staff on the Creativity were excellent. It was a far better experience on the Creativity than the Affinity. Nancy the Cruise Director was also excellent on both tours. The Monograms extra stay at the Pullman was also very good. Our experience on the Affinity has made us think about another Cruise line and not Avalon in the Future. We have been very good ambassadors for Avalon after our trip on the Expression from Budapest but the Affinity experience may change our minds. We would have no hesitation recommending the Creativity as a fun ship to be on.

Operator Details

Avalon Reviews: (372)
River Cruises on Sale: 94
Gratuities: Onboard Included Only
Airport Transfers: Available, Not Included
Balconies: French & Private Balcony
Shore Excursions: Included
Drinks: Wine & Beer Included with Meals
Destinations: Asia & Europe

MS Poetry II Deck Plans

Category E
Stateroom
Category D
Stateroom
Category B
Panorama Suite
Category A
Panorama Suite
Category P
Panorama Suite
Royal Suite
Royal Suite
Ship Profile
Indigo Deck
Sapphire Deck
Royal Deck
Sky Deck

Prices & Dates

Travelling Solo Savings!
No single supplement on all 2018 Avalon Europe & Asia river cruises! All stateroom categories (excluding Suites) T&C's apply.
Journeys Club
If you have previously travelled with Avalon Waterways or another of their sister brands including Globus, Cosmos or Monograms Holidays save an additional 5% off your tour or river cruise. Excludes extra night accommodations, extensions, taxes/fees, tips and supplements.
Past Client Loyalty Saving
Have you booked a trip with Global Journeys previously? Thanks! Save an additional $50 per person (up to $100 per booking) off the trip of your choice (over 6 days in length). This saving is open for a period of 4 years from the date of last booking you made with Global Journeys.
Trip Starts Trip Ends Ship Retail Offer Save Our Price  
Friday
06 Apr 2018
Saturday
21 Apr 2018
MS Poetry II

8,430

per person

1,759

per person

6,671

per person

Enquire
Friday
20 Apr 2018
Saturday
05 May 2018
MS Poetry II

8,976

per person

1,781

per person

7,195

per person

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Friday
04 May 2018
Saturday
19 May 2018
MS Poetry II

9,584

per person

1,805

per person

7,779

per person

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Friday
18 May 2018
Saturday
02 Jun 2018
MS Poetry II

9,705

per person

1,810

per person

7,895

per person

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Friday
01 Jun 2018
Saturday
16 Jun 2018
MS Poetry II

9,645

per person

1,807

per person

7,838

per person

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Friday
13 Jul 2018
Saturday
28 Jul 2018
MS Poetry II

9,037

per person

1,783

per person

7,254

per person

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Friday
10 Aug 2018
Saturday
25 Aug 2018
MS Poetry II

9,098

per person

1,785

per person

7,313

per person

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Friday
24 Aug 2018
Saturday
08 Sep 2018
MS Poetry II

9,766

per person

1,812

per person

7,954

per person

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Friday
07 Sep 2018
Saturday
22 Sep 2018
MS Poetry II

9,948

per person

1,819

per person

8,129

per person

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Friday
21 Sep 2018
Saturday
06 Oct 2018
MS Poetry II

9,827

per person

1,815

per person

8,012

per person

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Friday
05 Oct 2018
Saturday
20 Oct 2018
MS Poetry II

8,976

per person

1,781

per person

7,195

per person

Enquire
Friday
06 Apr 2018
Saturday
21 Apr 2018
MS Poetry II

0

per person

1,422

solo traveller

-1,422

solo traveller

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Friday
20 Apr 2018
Saturday
05 May 2018
MS Poetry II

0

per person

1,422

solo traveller

-1,422

solo traveller

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Friday
04 May 2018
Saturday
19 May 2018
MS Poetry II

0

per person

1,422

solo traveller

-1,422

solo traveller

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Friday
18 May 2018
Saturday
02 Jun 2018
MS Poetry II

0

per person

1,422

solo traveller

-1,422

solo traveller

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Friday
01 Jun 2018
Saturday
16 Jun 2018
MS Poetry II

0

per person

1,422

solo traveller

-1,422

solo traveller

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Friday
13 Jul 2018
Saturday
28 Jul 2018
MS Poetry II

0

per person

1,422

solo traveller

-1,422

solo traveller

Enquire
Friday
10 Aug 2018
Saturday
25 Aug 2018
MS Poetry II

0

per person

1,422

solo traveller

-1,422

solo traveller

Enquire
Friday
24 Aug 2018
Saturday
08 Sep 2018
MS Poetry II

0

per person

1,422

solo traveller

-1,422

solo traveller

Enquire
Friday
07 Sep 2018
Saturday
22 Sep 2018
MS Poetry II

0

per person

1,422

solo traveller

-1,422

solo traveller

Enquire
Friday
21 Sep 2018
Saturday
06 Oct 2018
MS Poetry II

0

per person

1,422

solo traveller

-1,422

solo traveller

Enquire
Friday
05 Oct 2018
Saturday
20 Oct 2018
MS Poetry II

0

per person

1,422

solo traveller

-1,422

solo traveller

Enquire
Key
Earlybird Discount & Exclusive Online Savings. Subject to availability at the time of booking.
Note: Your Global Journeys consultant will check the availability of your departure date when you enquire. Additional savings may apply. We guarantee the lowest price in Australia. T&C’s apply.

Cabin Upgrades

Deluxe Stateroom E  (Prices Shown) $ 0
Deluxe Stateroom D $ 484
Panorama Suite B $ 2,793
Panorama Suite A $ 2,914
Panorama Suite P $ 3,157
Royal Suite S $ 4,858

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Tour Notes
Trip prices are per person, and reflect applicable discounts. Discounts are subject to availability, exclusive to Global Journeys and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Trip prices are correct at the time of the products going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however are subject to change by Avalon. Full terms & conditions are available here.
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