Your day begins with an orientation tour to help you get your bearings and consider all the ways that you can enjoy the "City of Light" at your leisure and as you please for the rest of the day. The remainder of the day is free. We’ve included admission to your choice of one of two of the city's finest museums (subject to availability). You may elect to view the priceless art inside the famous Musée du Louvre, home to da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, the Hellenistic Winged Victory, the beautiful Venus de Milo and others.
Or perhaps you’re interested in viewing the impressive works exhibited at the Musée Jacquemart-André, a stunning museum in Paris’ 8th arrondissement created from the former private mansion of 19th-century husband-and-wife art collectors Édouard André and Nélie Jacquemart – he, a member of a wealthy banking family and she, a renowned society painter – to display the art masterpieces they acquired during their lives together. The collection includes works by Canaletto, Rembrandt, Hals, Gainsborough, Bernini, Botticelli and many others.
Note: select departures join us this evening for a Tauck Exclusive – an after-hours guided visit to Musée du Louvre. A showcase of Impressionist paintings. the museum is housed in a former royal palace, astounds with an incomparable collection of some of the world's greatest art masterpieces – old masters, sculptures, antiquities – and the Mona Lisa; ask at booking. (B)
Chalon-sur-Sâone on the River Saône lies in the heart of southern Burgundy. Although its history dates back to the time of Charlemagne, it has another significant claim to fame – this is considered the birthplace of photography. So you have local inventor Nicéphore Niépce, who started it all with several photographic firsts right here in the 1820s, to thank for the great photos of the town’s Romanesque churches and other monuments. Visit the walled city of Beaune – the “wine capital” of the famous Burgundy wine-producing region, and one of France’s most important wine centers.
A walking tour includes a visit to Hospices de Beaune or Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune, considered one of the best-preserved examples of 15th-century French architecture; you may also see the old market (les Halles), the Beffroi (clock tower), parts of the medieval walls and ramparts, and more. This afternoon you have a choice of wine tasting in Burgundy or a walking tour (and tasting tour) of Chalon-sur-Saône, including a stop at the bakery, the chocolate shop and a mustard shop. (B/L/D)
With your riverboat docked in Tournus this morning, head out to explore the beautiful wine producing region of southern Burgundy, where history lies around every corner (this was a major crossroads during Roman times), and vineyards are everywhere. Picture in your mind what a typical French vineyard looks like... and then picture the most amazing landscape that surrounds you for miles and miles.
Vineyards, gently rolling hills, orchards, red-tiled farmhouses, medieval cathedrals... and historic country estates like the 17th-century Château de Cormatin, which you'll explore on a visit today. With its moat, drawbridge, turrets, gilded rooms and parklike grounds – including the mazes and fountains of its completely restored "pleasure garden" that's now among the finest in France – this classic Burgundy château takes you back through the centuries. Return to the riverboat for lunch, and continue your cruise to Mâcon. There is an opportunity to follow the ship to Mâcon by bicycle for a 20-mile ride along the Saône River. (B/L/D)
Ahh, Lyon. If you’re a serious foodie, Lyon is the place for you! Regarded as the culinary capital of France, there are more restaurants here per capita than anywhere else in the country. But of course, there is more to this 2,000-year-old city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, than food. Begin your exploration with a panoramic view of Lyon from the district of Fouvière, set high on a hill. Check out the town's winding passageways and the Cathedrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste, with its 19th-century astronomical clock.
Your day also includes the stunning Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-Fourvière – built in the 1870s, it features exquisite marble work, stained glass windows, colorful mosaics and gilt galore; and a tour of La Maison des Canuts, a silk factory where you'll discover the secrets behind the creation of these exceptional silks. Enjoy dinner onboard while continuing your France river cruise to Vienne this evening. (B/L/D)
It may seem strange to encounter Roman ruins in Provence but Arles was, after all, once a Roman city; while the gladiators are gone, the arena they left behind – just one of the town's many Roman remnants – still hosts performances and bullfights today. You have a choice today of exploring Arles' medieval streets and city walls on a walking tour or embarking on a challenging, 2-hour bicycling excursion across the countryside surrounding Arles (which van Gogh found so enchanting).
After lunch, it’s off to La Camargue, France’s "wild west." Visit a working farm to see an exciting demonstration by gardians (local cowboys) and the black bulls they raise here – not something usually experienced on a France river cruise; you'll also enjoy lunch and traditional Provençal entertainment. Join us this evening for the ship’s farewell reception followed by dinner. (B/L/D)
Explore the south of France on a choice of sightseeing excursions today. Your first choice is an excursion that includes walking tours of Nice and Monte-Carlo plus a famed drive... mega-yachts from around the world bobbing in the bay… the rich, the famous, the jet setters… a casino world-renowned for its glamour… a real-life royal fairy-tale romance… it’s all part of Nice and Monte-Carlo’s magic spell...
Alternatively, journey to the hills above Cannes for a visit to Grasse, one of the world's premiere centers for the perfume industry, and a visit to the picturesque walled town of Saint Paul de Vence, a Provençal hilltop town that was built in the 13th century, for a walking tour – you'll be taken with its medieval look and easily understand why it became an artists' enclave. Return to Cannes for a farewell reception and dinner at the hotel. (B/D)
|Cat 1 (Prices Shown)||$ 0|
|Cat 2||$ 340|
|Cat 3||$ 550|
|Cat 4||$ 1,575|
|Cat 5||$ 2,400|
|Cat 6||$ 2,670|
|Cat 7||$ 3,360|