ARRIVE IN PARIS, FRANCE
Upon arrival in Paris, you are met and transferred to your hotel. Later, join your Resident Tour Director — exclusive to Connections guests — for a festive welcome dinner atop the Tour Montparnasse, Paris' tallest building.
PARIS, REIMS & CHAMPAGNE
Board a TGV high-speed train from Paris to Reims, the unofficial capital of the Champagne wine region. Drive with your small group through the French countryside to Épernay. Take a Dom Pérignon tour at the Moët & Chandon estate, followed by lunch at a local Michelin-starred restaurant. Spend the afternoon exploring Reims, including a visit to the city’s stunning Gothic cathedral. Return to Paris by TGV.
PARIS & BEAUNE
Set out on a food walk in Montmartre with your intimate group of Connections guests, stopping to sample fresh-baked pastries, just-plucked produce and a variety of local delicacies. Then, travel by private transport to Beaune, the wine capital of Burgundy. Visit l'Hôtel-Dieu, a 15th-century charity hospital, before settling into your historic, boutique accommodations, an intimate hideaway brimming with antiques and period charm.
Visit a traditional family-run mustard mill for a private tour and tasting. In Puligny-Montrachet, join a local expert sommelier in his home for a tutored tasting of memorable vintage wines, accompanied by lunch. Travel to Lyon for priority embarkation aboard your stylish, comfortable river ship, where you have time to settle into your premium cabin or suite with an open-air French or walk-out balcony. This evening, gather for a welcome cocktail before dinner on board.
Arrive in Mâcon. Join a local expert as you set out by small group on a Connections-exclusive, full-day excursion into the Mâconnais region, complete with a goat cheese tasting in Taizé, a truffle tasting in Cortevaix and a country lunch, followed by a private wine tasting with fellow Connections guests.
Dock in picturesque Chalon-sur-Saône. A specialist guide leads your intimate group on a private exploration of local products, including wine, chocolate and baked goods at a typical boulangerie. Enjoy the rest of your morning at leisure to explore this riverside town. After lunch on board, visit medieval Brancion to see Château de Cormatin and its splendid gardens.
Arrive in Lyon, France's gastronomic epicenter. As you explore the city by small group, exclusively discover its worldfamous market, Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse, pausing for tastings of local foods. During a Connections-exclusive cooking class, learn how to prepare regional appetizers, such as cervelle des canut. Later, cruise the Rhône River, attending a private Connections cocktail party, hosted by your Resident Tour Director, and an exclusive Chef’s Highlights dinner aboard.
Travel with fellow guests for a Connections-exclusive full-day excursion, beginning at Pont du Gard, a stunning Roman aqueduct that you explore with your intimate group. Then, sit down to an al fresco lunch at its base. Upon returning to Avignon, see the medieval stone ramparts and the remains of Saint-Bénezet bridge (Pont d’Avignon). Visit the Gothic-style Palais des Papes, followed by time at leisure. This evening at a local restaurant, attend a cooking demonstration, followed by dinner ashore — culinary experiences planned by A&K, just for your small group of Connections guests.
SÉNANQUE & ARLES
Join your intimate group of Connections guests on a day of exclusive excursions, beginning at the Cistercian Abbey of Sénanque. In Saint Paul-de-Mausole, see the asylum where Vincent van Gogh was voluntarily interned for a year, walking amid the environs that inspired a series of paintings. Then, stop at a family-run Provençal farm for an authentic French country lunch and opportunity to gain insight into rural life. End today in historic Arles, where you discover its massive Roman amphitheater, beautiful basilica and the Place du Forum, where Van Gogh painted Café Terrace at Night.
Arrive in Viviers, a small walled city steeped in history. Disembark for an intimate, Connections-exclusive winery visit and tasting, then stroll a local village market. Tonight, join the captain for a gala dinner to celebrate your journey.
After breakfast, transfer to the Lyon airport and board your homebound flight.