France’s Finest

Resort: Paris to Avignon
Operator: Viking River Cruises
Destination: France
Price From: £4290.00

France's Finest 2021 Map

Explore Paris, Burgundy & Provence

Pay your respects at Normandys World War II beaches. Walk in Joan of Arcs footsteps at Rouen. Luxuriate in Pariss sophistication. Savor Lyons culinary heritage. Toast the Beaujolais vineyards. Explore Avignons Palace of the Popes. Celebrate the Provenal lifestyle. Art, cuisine, style,joie de vivreif you love everythingFranais, this is for you: a 15-day journey that combines our popularParis & the Heart of NormandyandLyon & Provencecruises into onetour de force.

Day 1 Paris, France

Arrive in Paris, romance capital of the world. Transfer from the airport in Paris to your ship.* After boarding, take free time to explore Paris, or join our welcome walk to stretch your legs and get oriented. (Dinner)

* Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.

Day 2 Paris, France

After breakfast, embark on a tour of this dazzling city and marvel at its most remarkable sights, including the iconic Eiffel Tower. Take in the cole Militaire (Military Museum), Orsay Museum and Latin Quarter, and resilient Notre Dame Cathedral. Then drive past the Louvre and Opera House and along the famed Champs-lyses. This afternoon, you may join an optional tour to explore Montmartre Hill and the Sacr-Coeur or sample the delights of French cuisine during a food tour. Return on board for dinner and start your cruise on the Seine this evening. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3 La Roche Guyon & Vernon, France

Arrive in La Roche Guyon before breakfast and enjoy a morning at your leisure to explore. The village is officially classified as one of Frances most beautiful; you will see why as you stroll through the towns narrow streets lined with picturesque houses with wood-paneled facades. After lunch, join an included tour to the town of Giverny, where Claude Monet resided from 1883 until his death in 1926. Visit the beautiful gardens and charming stone farmhouse where he lived and worked; see the water garden with the recognizable Japanese bridge, water lilies, wisteria and azaleas that inspired many of his masterpieces. Dinner is served on board. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Monet gardens not available before April 1 or after November 1; a visit to the village of Auvers-sur-Oise, favored by van Gogh and other artists, will be substituted.

Day 4 Rouen, France

Indulge in leisurely morning cruising along the Seine. Spend the afternoon in the medieval city of Rouen, preeminent capital of Normandy. Begin with a walking tour through the center of Old Town, where you see the spectacular Gothic Notre Dame Cathedral, often painted by Claude Monet, and the famous Gros Horloge, a 16th-century astronomical clock. As you walk among the half-timbered storybook buildings, allow yourself to be transported back through time; see the 14th-century courthouse where Joan of Arc was sentenced to death and the nearby Market Square where she was martyred.

Use your free time to discover more of Rouen or visit one of its museums of art or antiquities. Dine on board or at a sidewalk caf. Your ship remains docked overnight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5 Normandy Beaches

After breakfast, begin your full-day tour to the historic beaches of Normandy. Drive past Gold Beach, Courseulles sur Mer and Juno Beach on your way to visit such World War II landmarks as Omaha Beach, the American Military Cemetery and Arromanches Debarkment D-Day Museum. Alternatively, you may take a tour of Bayeaux, where you can admire the magnificent tapestry that chronicles the preBattle of Hastings events. Afterward, continue to Normandys coast and enjoy some free time at Juno Beach after your visit to the museum; then visit the Pegasus Museum. Return to your ship for dinner and relax on board, or take an evening stroll through Rouen. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6 Les Andelys, France

Arrive this morning in the small town of Les Andelys, known for its imposing castle, Chteau Gaillard, built in 1196 by Richard the Lionheart. Join a guided walk to this fatally flawed masterpiece of Middle Ages architecture before returning to your ship. Enjoy scenic sailing this afternoon as you cruise toward Paris. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 7 Le Pecq & Paris, France

After breakfast, disembark for a visit to Chteau de Malmaison, where Napoleon Bonaparte spent his final days in France. Along with the Tuileries, this elegant manor house, purchased by the emperors wife Josephine in 1799, served as the seat of Napoleons French government from 1800 to 1802. This afternoon, join an optional tour to the luxurious Palace of Versailles, former home of Louis XIV. This evening, you can take in the illuminated sights of Paris during a panoramic drive and cruise. Your ship remains docked in Paris overnight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8 Paris & Lyon, France

After breakfast, disembark and enjoy a leisurely train ride from Paris through the countryside of east central France to Lyon to board your second ship, where a Welcome Dinner is served. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 9 Lyon, France

After breakfast, tour the city of Lyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begin with a drive to the top of Fourvire Hill for amazing views of the city. Continue with a guided visit to the Basilica of Notre Dame and drive through town past the magnificent St. Jean Cathedral and the Palace of Justice. Then take a walking tour through the cobblestone streets of Vieux Lyon (Old Town), and use your free time to shop for souvenirs or sample some of the fine French cuisine for which Lyon is world-famous. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 10 Lyon, France

After breakfast, take a scenic drive through the rolling hills of Beaujolais, where viticultural tradition runs deep and enjoy a tasting in one of Beaujolaiss famous cellars. Return to your ship for lunch and enjoy the rest of your day at leisure. As always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 11 Vienne & Tournon, France

This morning take a walking tour of Vienne, a beautiful town with an ancient Roman past. Visit the Temple of Augustus and Livia, the Roman amphitheater and the Gothic Cathedral of St. Maurice; then spend some time discovering more of this engaging riverside town on your own. In the afternoon, enjoy the rolling vine-clad banks of the river as you sail through its wide meanders to Tournon. After dinner, enjoy a stroll along the riverbanks under the plane trees. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 12 Tournon, France

Board the Train de lArdche this morning for a locomotive ride through the deep gorges of the Ardche plateau, cut by the Doux River. Return to your ship and enjoy lunch on board as we cruise to Viviers, an engaging little town in a mountainous setting. After dinner, enjoy an evening stroll through Old Town with its medieval and Renaissance buildings. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 13 Arles, France

Disembark after breakfast and take a walking tour of Arles with its diverse architectural highlights. Experience the citys vibrant colors and striking quality of light that have inspired artists. Arles is also the site of some impressive Roman ruins, including Les Arnes, an arena that seats 20,000 and is still in use, as well as Romanesque monuments such as the Church of Saint-Trphime, completed in the 15th century. Return on board for lunch followed by an afternoon on your own to explore or shop for handcrafted gifts. As always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. Dinner is served as you depart. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 14 Avignon, France

This morning, set out on a guided walk of Avignon, nicknamed City of Popes because it was home to seven popes from 1309 to 1377. Stroll through the historic center, stop at the picturesque Pont dAvignon and walk the Place de lHorloge. Continue to the renowned Palace of the Popes for a guided tour through this rambling maze of Gothic architecture that served as papal residence, fortress, church and palace. You can join the optional tour to Chteauneuf-du-Pape, visiting the vineyards and tasting the famous wine. Lunch and dinner are served on board. Your ship remains docked overnight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 15 Avignon, France

After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the Marseille airport for your return flight.* (Breakfast)

* Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.

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