From the magic of Paris to the romance of Barcelona, this itinerary is one of our most captivating. Begin with few nights in Paris and visit the city with your private expert guide. Travel to Lyon France's gastronomical capital. From there, cruise through France’s legendary wine growing regions, home to famous wines such as Beaujolais and Côte du Rhône. Enjoy wine tastings at local vintners, marvel at Roman ruins, stroll through medieval villages and shop for Provencal crafts. Your itinerary includes the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Avignon as well as Arles, the city where Vincent Van Gogh spent much of his life. Disembark and continue to the magnificent Barcelona.
Cruise Departure Dates:
(2014) Barcelona-Paris: Apr 10, May 8, Jun 19, Jul 17, Aug 14,28, Sep 11, Oct 9,23, Nov 6,20
(2014) Paris-Barcelona: Apr 3,17, May 15,29, Jun 12, Jul 10, Aug 7, Sep 4, Oct 2,30, Nov 27
*Please note cruise itinerary may be subject to modification based on seasonality.
You will be picked up from the airport this morning for your private transfer to the Westminster Hotel.
A charming hotel designed by Jacques Garcia located on the left bank in the heart of Saint Germain des Prés, L'Hotel (4*) is a stone's throw from the Seine. The hotel offers 20 air-conditioned rooms, all decorated in different styles such as Moroccan, English, Indian, Japanese, Italian, Empire and Baroque. All rooms are equipped with satellite-TV with DVD-player, minibar, wifi and bathrooms with hairdryer and tub. The hotel also offers a restaurant, Le Bélier, overlooking the courtyard with a fountain from the 1830's. There is also a bar offering musical entertainment during evenings. Enjoy the swimming pool and the steambaths that were built according to the Romans traditional thermal baths.
Enjoy your walking tour of Montmartre with your private English-speaking guide. Topped by 19th century Sacre-Coeur white basilica, Montmartre is the highest Paris hill at 130 meters. You will discover gardens and steep streets with beautiful Paris views.
Enjoy a half day visiting the Palace of Versailles with a private car and English speaking driver. A superb Baroque palace known to the world as a symbol of civilization and pleasure, the Palace of Versailles dates back to 1038, and was the official residence of the Kings of France from 1682 until 1790. Used by Louis XIV initially as a hunting lodge he had the property expanded to become the magnificent site of French classical architecture complete with extensive manicured gardens that it is today. The interior showcases magnificent examples of baroque furnishings, a rare collection of objects d'art and houses special exhibitions. Visit with audioguide in the State Apartments (Hall of Mirrors, King and Queen`s Apartments). At the end of the tour you will be dropped at accommodation or in a central location of your choice in the city. (Includes entrance). Please let your Advisor know if you would like to have a Guide accompany you for this excursion and this tour can be re-priced for you.
Take a private train station transfer with a private vehicle and driver. Please note drivers may or may not speak English as their sole responsibility is to transfer clients from one location to another. If you would like to have the presence of an English speaking Assistant or Guide for your transfer this can be pre-arranged upon request and would be subject to an additional supplement.
Relax and enjoy the two hour train ride from Paris to Lyon on the high-speed TGV.
Port transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking driver in Lyon.
Embark your luxurious ship. Gather this evening on board for a Welcome Dinner.
Port charges are included in your multi-day itinerary.
Launched in 2006 the MS Amadagio carries 148 passengers in unequaled luxury, comfort and style and is staffed by a highly-trained professional crew, with an ongoing emphasis on personal service. The ship feature an array of amenities specifically designed for comfort, convenience and luxury on the great waterways of Europe.
Today your panoramic tour of Lyon will take you to the “Place Bellecour” with its equestrian statue of Louis XIV, the “Place des Terreaux,” with Bartholdi’s Fountain and the Town Hall. Afterwards, visit Fourvière, part of the historic region designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Known as the “Hill of Prayers,” Fourvière is famous for its iconic white Basilica of Notre-Dame; ruins of a Roman theater, and majestic views of the city below.Later, your ship will depart for the historic village of Trévoux.
Upon arrival, you will take a walking tour of this former capital of the ancient principality of Dombes. The town’s landmarks include a Parliament building, medieval ramparts and a hillside Chateau. You will also enjoy a traditional game of boules, otherwise known as pétanque.
This morning tour will take you through the chateaux, fields and vineyards of the Beaujolais wine region, the Pays d’Or or “Land of the golden stones,” named for the ochre limestone of its homes and castles. You will visit the medieval hilltop village of Oingt. You will also visit the winery and home of a local vintner, which will include wine tasting, a vineyard tour and explanation of the history of wine production in the region. Return to the ship in the early afternoon and continue cruising towards Vienne.
Situated between the wine regions of Burgundy and Beaujolais, Vienne has a signifi cant Roman history, which is highlighted by its marvelously preserved ruins and remains. This morning, you will take a mini train tour and see the 1st-century Roman Temple of Augustus and Livia, the ruins of a Roman theater and the medieval churches of St. Andre-Le-Bas and Abbey St. Pierre. As an alternative, you may choose to visit the castle (when available). Your ship will depart at midday for Tournon.
This evening, explore the town of Tournon on your own.
This morning, visit Tain L’Hermitage, Tournon’s “twin” town located across the Rhone River and linked by a 19th-century suspension bridge. The fertile soil and ideal climate of the region has made Tain L’Hermitage the premier producer of the Côtes du Rhone wines. Enjoy a wine tasting and then free time this afternoon to visit the 16th-century castle which is now a town hall. Return to the ship for lunch as we cruise to Viviers.
Arriving this evening, you will enjoy a unique view of the town’s history and legends. Participate in an onboard nougat demonstration or follow along on a “ghost walk” through this once-thriving medieval town, as fascinating and poignant stories of its past are brought to life by the town’s current residents.
After breakfast, enjoy an excursion to Grignan, a magnificent village perched upon a hill surrounded by lavender fields, topped by a Renaissance castle. From the castle, enjoy a commanding view of the surrounding countryside. Return to the ship and cruise to Avignon.
As your ship docks, look for the Avignon Bridge, made famous by the French children song “Sur le pont d’Avignon” (“On the Bridge of Avignon”). Seven popes resided in the magnificent Gothic Papal Palace, which you will visit during your walking tour. You will also see the well-preserved medieval walls surrounding the historic center of town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the alternative, you can take an excursion to the Pont du Gard, a Roman aqueduct that is a masterpiece of engineering and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your tour will also visit Uzes, a lovely Provencal small town known for its Castle of the Duke of Uzes (still occupied by the Duke and his family), medieval streets and a picturesque town square framed by archways. Enjoy free time for shopping in Uzes before returning to your ship.
This morning, you will arrive in Arles and board a motor coach for an excursion to the village of Les Baux de Provence. This hilltop village and fortress was a Protestant stronghold during the French Wars of Religion until destroyed by Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu in 1633. At the castle, you will see examples of medieval siege weaponry. In the alternative, choose to take the “Van Gogh” tour which will take you the Saint Paul de Mausole Asylum. Here, Van Gogh painted some of his most well-known paintings such as The Irises and Starry Night. Later, visit an olive farm to learn about this age-old Provençal farming tradition.
Late this afternoon, your city tour of Arles takes you to the Romanesque cathedral and the Roman Amphitheater. The ship moors overnight in Arles.
Disembark your ship in Arles.
Meet your driver for a private transfer from Arles, France to Barcelona, Spain.
Hotel Barcelona Catedral (4*) is located right in the city centre, and is exclusive, modern and comfortable. It offers guests excellent quality rooms and an efficient service. The hotel features a swimming-pool, gym, personal trainer, patio-chill out, restaurant with outdoors terrace and smoking area, parking, free internet computers, wireless internet connection throughout the hotel and cooking lessons.
Meet your private driver and guide this morning at the hotel for a full day tour of the lively Mediterranean city of Barcelona. Head to the city's most renowned landmark, Gaudi's Sagrada Familia- a monumental piece of architecture still under construction over 100 years after building commenced. Stop for some photographs before continuing to Paseo de Gracia in the Gothic Quarter, an area with many fantastic modernist buildings. Walk through the medieval streets to the Gothic Cathedral, completed in 1450, for a visit of its interior. Return to your car for a drive along Paralel Avenue and Espanya Square, before heading to the top of Montjuic Hill, site of the 1992 Olympic Stadium. Circle the Columbus Monument and drive past the maritime facade of Barcelona, before heading to the renowned Picasso Museum for a guided tour. Here you can see one of the most extensive collections of famed 20th century Spanish artist. Afterward, enjoy a return to your hotel.
Meet your driver for a private airport transfer in Barcelona.
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