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Avalon Waterways Burgundy & Provence (Southbound) (WJL)

8 Day River Cruise Chalon-sur-Saône to Arles 
Take a delightful river cruise through France along the Rhône and Saône Rivers with guided sightseeing in known French treasures and some hidden gems too! Take in the beautiful countryside, quaint villages and towns, as you sail through the most captivating views of France. Lyon, France’s gastronomic capital, founded by the Romans in 43 BC, sits at the junction of the Rhône and Saône Rivers and is a showcase of medieval and Renaissance architecture. Visit the popular Place des Terreaux with its lively cafés and monuments and stand in front of the famous fountain you’ve seen on postcards. You’ll have plenty of time to explore this historical city further and be sure to sample Beaujolais, the famous wine of the region. Beautifully nestled among vineyards, you’ll find the city of Tournon, a medieval treasure with plenty of Roman ruins and a fascinating 16th-century castle, where you’ll go on a guided walk. Continue your river cruise to historical Avignon and see the 14th-century Palace of the Popes—the largest gothic fortress in the world. On the Rhône River sits Arles, France—famous for inspiring the paintings of Van Gogh and its 1st-century Roman Amphitheater, which hosts plays and concerts to this day.

Ships: Poetry II

Avalon Highlights & Sightseeing

Day 1 Chalon-sur-Saône (Embarkation): Onboard welcome reception

Day 2 Tournus: Guided walk in Tournus; onboard cheese tasting

Day 3 Lyon: Choice of guided sightseeing; with picture stop on Fourvière Hill or bike with your Adventure Host; onboard lecture

Day 4 Lyon: Culinary tour

Day 5 Tournon-Viviers: Guided walk in Tournon; guided walk in Viviers, visit the Old Town and the cathedral

Day 6 Avignon: Guided sightseeing, visit to the Palace of the Popes

Day 7 Arles: Choice of guided sightseeing in Arles, visit the Roman Amphitheater, or painting workshop or walk with your Adventure Host

Day 8 Arles (Disembarkation): Your cruise ends this morning.

Special Interest Departures

08/13/2024 - Burgundy & Provence for Photography Enthusiasts
10/22/2024 - Burgundy & Provence for Wine Lovers (Southbound)
11/05/2024 - Burgundy & Provence for Wine Lovers (Southbound)
11/19/2024 - Burgundy & Provence for Wine Lovers (Southbound)
10/21/2025 - Burgundy & Provence for Wine Lovers (Southbound)
11/04/2025 - Burgundy & Provence for Wine Lovers (Southbound)
11/18/2025 - Burgundy & Provence for Wine Lovers (Southbound)

Itinerary (2024)

Day 1CHALON-SUR-SAÔNE, FRANCE (EMBARKATION)
 Welcome to France. Your Suite Ship® is Ready for Boarding

Flights into Lyon must arrive by 2 pm.

Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN TOURNUS

(D)
Day 2TOURNUS
 Pearl of Southern Burgundy

Visit the Adventure Center for today’s activities with your Adventure Host.

CLASSIC Tucked away in the southeast corner of Burgundy, Tournus is one of the oldest and most important monastic centers in the region, Our Local Guide will show the highlights of this delightful town.

Consider a Guided Optional Excursion to a Chardonnay wine cellar or to the Castle of Cormatin.

DISCOVERY Later, enjoy a delicious Cheese Tasting on board your ship.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN TRÉVOUX

(B,L,D)
Day 3LYON
 La Vie En Rose in Lyon

Sail for lovely Lyon this morning.

ACTIVE Discover Lyon's architectural district by bike with your Adventure Host, over bridges, and along the banks where the Rhône and Saône rivers meet, OR:

CLASSIC Join a Guided Sightseeing Tour to survey Lyon from Fourvière Hill with its numerous churches. You’ll also explore the Old Town with its maze of medieval alleyways, and the lively cafés, monuments, and famed fountain of Place des Terreaux.

DISCOVERY Be our guest for a WWII & French Resistance your lecture on board your ship.

Later enjoy live entertainment after dinner.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN LYON

(B,L,D)
Day 4LYON
 Adventures in Food and Wine

DISCOVERY Join a Culinary Walk through the city to discover why Lyon is known as the gastronomic capital of France.

The rest of your day is free to explore, relax, or shop in France’s third largest city. Take a bike from the ship and explore local produce markets and parks, or take a leisurely tour of the city’s more than 100 murals.

EVENING CRUISE TO TOURNON

(B,L,D)
Day 5TOURNON
 A Rendezvous with Castle Views and Vineyards

CLASSIC Take a morning Guided Walking Tour to explore Tournon—one of France’s oldest medieval cities. See its 16th-century castle, and Roman ruins between the Rhône River and the granite slopes of the Hermitage.

Enjoy a leisurely sail to Viviers after lunch.

VIVIERS

World History in a Charming French Country Village

CLASSIC Explore the pale-stone buildings of Viviers on a late afternoon Guided Walking Tour of this charming village. You’ll see its Romanesque cathedral and Old Town with a mix of historical Christian, Roman, and medieval influences.

Later, enjoy live entertainment on board.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO AVIGNON

(B,L,D)
Day 6AVIGNON
 The City of Popes in Picturesque Provence

Join your Adventrue Host for today’s special activities.

CLASSIC Take a Guided Sightseeing Tour of the fortress city of Avignon—with its ramparts encircling the city—and a visit to the amazing Palace of the Popes.

Guided Optional Excursions include a visit to the ancient Roman aqueduct of Pont du Gard, or a trip to the famed wine cellars of Châteauneuf-du-Pape for a true taste of the Rhône wine region.

Explore Avignon on your own for the city’s art and culture, theatre, and museums. Be sure to snap photos of the captivating countryside, historic monuments, and the medieval Pont Saint-Bénézet.

Later, enjoy onboard live entertainment.

EVENING CRUISE TO ARLES

(B,L,D)
Day 7ARLES
 Inspiring Sights and Avant-Garde Lights

ACTIVE Get your daily dose of exercise through Nordic walking in Arles with your Adventure Host, OR:

DISCOVERY Attend a Painting Workshop to learn techniques of Vincent van Gogh. You’ll create your own painting in the style of the legendary artist, OR:

CLASSIC Enjoy a Guided Walking Tour of Arles—the captivating city of the Provence region. You’ll visit the Roman Amphitheater in this visually stunning city.

Consider a Guided Optional Excursion to the Carrières de Lumières (Cathedral of Images) a unique experience of art, sound, and light in the old quarries of Val d’Enfer.

Take free time to stop in Le Café Van Gogh for a glass of wine.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN ARLES

(B,L,D)
Day 8ARLES (DISEMBARKATION)
 Your cruise ends with breakfast this morning.

Flights should not leave Marseille airport before 10 am.

(B)

Avalon Pricing Details

Gateway city for arrivals is Lyon.
Gateway city for departures is Marseille.

Port charges:
$210

Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included on Avalon portion only.

Avalon offers the opportunity for solo travelers to sail with no single supplement (subject to availability).

Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.

Avalon Notes

  • In the event of technical or water level issues, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or alter the program, including hotel overnight when necessary.
  • Guided Tours, Optional Excursions, activities, sailing and docking schedules may be contingent on weather conditions or other issues outside of our control and could therefore be subject to change at any time.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.

Avalon Waterways Fleet

Click Quote for an Avalon Waterways Tour Date for our low price tour quote


Avalon Tour Dates

Tour Land StartAvalon RetailRequest Quote
*08/13/2024 $4,199.00
*10/08/2024 $4,199.00
*10/22/2024 $3,899.00
*11/05/2024 $3,699.00
*11/19/2024 $3,599.00
*04/08/2025 $4,099.00
*04/22/2025 $4,299.00
*05/20/2025 $4,499.00
*06/03/2025 $4,499.00
*07/01/2025 $4,399.00
*07/15/2025 $4,399.00
*08/12/2025 $4,399.00
*08/26/2025 $4,499.00
*09/23/2025 $4,599.00
*10/07/2025 $4,399.00
*10/21/2025 $4,199.00
*11/04/2025 $3,899.00
*11/18/2025 $3,799.00
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