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Colors of Provence (Arles to Lyon)

Spend 3 nights in Paris, travel by high-speed TGV train to Lyon, and embark upon an enchanting 7-night cruise through Provence, ending with 3 nights in Barcelona

  • Price starts at: $2999
  • Tour length: 8 Days
  • Trip Type: River Cruise

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Itinerary & Activities

Itinerary Map
(click for larger version)
Itinerary map of Colors of Provence (Arles to Lyon)>

Day 1

EMBARKATION - ARLES, FRANCE. Board your cruise in Arles. This evening, meet your fellow passengers for a Welcome Dinner. (D)

Day 2

ARLES - LES BAUX - AVIGNON. This morning, board a motor coach for an excursion to the village of Les Baux de Provence. The village’s castle has a fascinating exhibit of medieval weapons. Later, visit an olive farm to learn about this age-old Provençal farming tradition. Alternatively, take the Artist Experience tour to the the Carrières de Lumières, a stone quarry that projects artwork on its walls, and then Saint Paul de Mausole Asylum, where Van Gogh once lived and painted such well-known works as The Irises and Starry Night. Later this afternoon, join a city tour of Arles that will show you the city’s top sights, including the Romanesque cathedral and Roman amphitheater. Early this evening cruise to Avignon. As your ship docks, look for the illuminated Avignon Bridge made famous by the French children’s song “Sur le pont d’Avignon” (“On the Bridge of Avignon”). (B,L,D)

Day 3

AVIGNON - VIVIERS. This morning, you have your choice of two different activities in Avignon. Your first option is a walking tour of the magnificent Papal Palace, where seven popes once resided. You will also see the well-preserved medieval walls surrounding the historic center of town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your second option is to take an excursion to the impressive Pont du Gard, a Roman aqueduct that is a masterpiece of ancient engineering and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tonight the ship cruises to Viviers. (B,L,D)

Day 4

VIVIERS – TOURNON. After breakfast, enjoy an excursion to Grignan, a magnificent hilltop village surrounded by lavender fields. The village’s Renaissance castle provides a commanding view of the area’s beautiful countryside. Enjoy some free time to explore local shops for confections, homemade lavender soaps and other crafts. You will also have the opportunity to visit a truffle farm and learn about truffle harvesting. The ship will then cruise to Tournon, arriving early this evening. (B,L,D)

Day 5

TOURNON - VIENNE. You have one of three options in which to enjoy your morning in Tournon. Your first option is an exciting ride in a panoramic train car as you discover the magnificent landscape carved along the Gorge du Doux. After riding through the gorge, you will stop at the charming little station of Colombier le Vieux-Saint Barthélemy le Plain, where you can watch the train maneuver in preparation for its return journey. Your second option is a visit to Le Chateau de Tournon for a very special presentation and tasting with a local expert on the paring of red wine and chocolate. Your third option is hike followed by a wine tasting in the village of Tain Hermitage. After lunch, the ship sails to Vienne, situated between the wine regions of Burgundy and Beaujolais, arriving early evening. (B,L,D)

Day 6

VIENNE – LYON. Situated between the wine regions of Burgundy and Beaujolais, Vienne’s Roman past can be seen in its marvelously preserved ruins. You have three options in which to explore Vienne this morning. Your first option is to take a walking tour and see an ancient Roman temple, the ruins of a Roman theater, and the medieval Abbey Church of St. Pierre, today an Archaeological Museum. Your second option is a guided bike tour along a portion of the ViaRhôna bike route. Your third option is a guided hike from the ship up to the Monastery at Mount Pipet and back. After lunch, your ship will depart for Lyon. Upon arrival, you may choose to join a city tour and visit Fourvière Hill, part of the city’s historic region that is now a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. After some free time to see Notre Dame Basilica and majestic views of Lyon, you will join a panoramic tour that will take you past the Place Bellecour with its equestrian statue of Louis XIV, Place des Terreaux with Bartholdi’s Fountain and the Town Hall. Afterwards, enjoy a walking tour of Old Lyon. Alternatively, visit Les Halles market for a tasting of various meats, cheeses, wine and pastries. The ship moors overnight in Lyon. (B,L,D)

Day 7

LYON – COLLONGES – LYON. Enjoy a morning at leisure in Lyon before the ship departs in the early afternoon. Cruise to Collonges for your excursion through the Beaujolais wine region, the Pays d’Or (“land of the golden stones,” named for the ochre limestone used to build local homes and castles). You will visit the medieval hilltop village of Oingt and the home of a local vintner, where you will enjoy a wine tasting and vineyard tour, and learn about the history of wine production in the region. (B,L,D)

Day 8

LYON - DISEMBARKATION. Disembark your cruise in Lyon. (B)


Things to Know

Preparing For Your Trip
  • Make Sure to Bring All of Your Important Documents: Passport, Foreign visa (if applicable), Itinerary, Trip confirmation, Airline ticket, Drivers license, Credit cards, Travel documents.

  • Vaccinations Are Required for Entry to Some Countries. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) can provide you their recommendations for vaccinations and other travel health precautions for your trip abroad.

  • Are You Taking Any Prescriptions or Other Medications? Pack enough to last your entire trip, including some extra in case you are unexpectedly delayed.

  • Insurance: Purchase travel insurance to cover yourself against unexpected situations. You never know when something might happen, so always be prepared.
While Traveling
  • Keep an eye on your belongings. Do not leave your belongings unattended in public spaces

  • Always have local cash. Not every place takes credit cards.
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