Enrich your Lyon & Provence river cruise with two nights each in elegant Paris and Burgundy’s gastronomic hub of Dijon. This magnificent cruisetour is draped in French finery, from the romance of the “City of Light” to the sumptuous cuisine, ducal treasures and robust red wines of the Burgundian capital. Then wind your way south on the beautiful Rhône, setting a course for the sun-splashed landscapes of Provence, where that ever-famous light lured the great Impressionists from van Gogh to Matisse. You’ll pause along the way to explore quaint villages, ancient Roman ruins and historic Avignon, “City of Popes.”
The following meals are included: B = Breakfast; L = Lunch; D = Dinner
DAY 1 | PARIS, FRANCE
Arrive at the Paris airport, then transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to explore the French capital of towering monuments, world-class museums and inviting cafés. Enjoy strolling the gracious streets lined with elegant architecture and beautifully manicured green parks.
DAY 2 | PARIS, FRANCE
After breakfast in your hotel, embark on a guided panoramic tour of the “City of Light,” where you’ll see the beloved landmarks of Paris that line the Seine, including the grand Notre Dame Cathedral and the palatial façade of the Louvre. The river’s historic banks are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and this afternoon you can take in their ambiance during a stroll on your own. You might also enjoy your free time admiring the masterpieces of the Louvre or ascending the Eiffel Tower for fantastic views. (B)
DAY 3 | DIJON, FRANCE
After breakfast, check out of your hotel and transfer to France’s legendary Burgundy province, home of fine food and bold red wines. Upon arrival in Dijon, the French culinary capital, enjoy an afternoon tour of the city’s Gothic and Renaissance treasures. You’ll stop to explore the classical Ducal Palace Museum, the former royal residence of the Dukes of Burgundy. Today, it houses the city’s Town Hall and the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon, a fine arts museum. (B)
DAY 4 | DIJON, FRANCE & BURGUNDY WINE TOUR
Set out into the wine-growing countryside of Burgundy on today’s full-day tour. In the Côte de Nuits, admire the stunning limestone vistas with the distinct terroir that produces the region’s fine pinot noir grapes. Continue to the Côte de Beaune, where lighter wines with a more flowery bouquet are made. There will be ample opportunities to taste fine vintages when we stop at one of Beaune’s famous cellars along the way. You will also enjoy a tour of the Hospices de Beaune Museum. Founded as the Hôtel-Dieu to care for the poor and ill after the Hundred Years’ War, it remained a hospital until as recently as the 1970s. It is one of the finest examples of French 15th-century architecture, complete with its decorative polychrome roof. (B)
DAY 5 | LYON, FRANCE
Transfer to Lyon this morning, stopping in the medieval town of Pérouges. Later today, embark your ship in Lyon, a remarkable 2,000-year-old city in the heart of France. (B)
DAY 6 | MÂCON, FRANCE & BEAUJOLAIS WINE TOUR
After breakfast, take a scenic drive through the rolling hills of Beaujolais, where viticultural tradition runs deep. See the legendary Moulin-à-Vent, the windmill that gives its name to one of the most prestigious wines of the region, learn about the art of winemaking in a small museum and enjoy a tasting in one of the Beaujolais’s famous cellars. Return to your ship for lunch. Enjoy the rest of your day at leisure. As always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. Or, take an optional excursion to the picturesque Burgundy town of Cluny, known for its magnificent medieval abbey ruin. Return aboard for dinner. (B, L, D)
DAY 7 | LYON, FRANCE
Wake up in Lyon this morning and take a tour of this city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begin with a drive to the top of Fourvière Hill for marvelous views. Visit the Basilica of Notre Dame and drive through town past the magnificent St. Jean Cathedral and the Palace of Justice. A walking tour is next, through the cobbled streets of Vieux Lyon (Old Town), where you’ll have free time to shop for souvenirs or sample some of the fine French cuisine for which Lyon is world famous. In the afternoon, your ship sails to Vienne, where you may participate in a tour of the extensive Roman ruins in neighboring St.-Romain-en-Gal. If you prefer, you may remain in Lyon for additional free time and enjoy a brief coach ride to Vienne. Dinner served aboard. (B, L, D)
DAY 8 | 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. (B, L, D)
DAY 9 | TOURNON & VIVIERS, FRANCE
All aboard the Train de l’Ardèche this morning for a locomotive ride through the deep gorges of the Ardèche plateau, cut by the Doux River. You’ll return to your ship and enjoy lunch aboard as we cruise to Viviers, an engaging little town in a mountainous setting. After dinner, join your Program Director for an evening stroll through Old Town with its medieval and Renaissance buildings. Enjoy free time before retiring for the evening. (B, L, D)
DAY 10 | ARLES, FRANCE
Arrive during breakfast and take a walking tour of Arles with its diverse architectural highlights. Experience the city’s vibrant colors and striking quality of light that have inspired artists. Arles is also the site of some impressive Roman ruins, including Les Arènes, an arena that seats 20,000 and is still in use, as well as Romanesque monuments such as the Church of Saint-Trôphime, completed in the 15th century. Return aboard 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. (B, L, D)
DAY 11 | 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 d’Avignon and walk the Place de l’Horloge. 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 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, visiting the vineyards and tasting the famous wine. Lunch and dinner are served aboard. Your ship remains docked overnight. (B, L, D)
DAY 12 | AVIGNON, FRANCE
After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the Marseille airport for your return flight.* (B)
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Once you have paid in full for your trip, you are safe from any additional charges. Airfare increases, currency fluctuations, increased fuel surcharges, new government taxes—none of these will apply to you.
ALL THIS IS INCLUDED
- 7 nights in your river-view stateroom plus 2 nights in Paris: Le Méridien Étoile Paris and 2 nights in Dijon: Mercure Dijon Centre Clemenceau (or similar)
- 11 guided tours with audio headset
- All onboard meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches & 7 dinners plus breakfast at the Paris & Dijon hotels
- Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks with onboard dinner and lunch
- Visit 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
- Culture Curriculum: Sample a variety of French cheeses; find out how to make your own fondant au chocolat; try some Burgundian wines; enjoy lively French accordion tunes; attend lectures on current affairs & the painters of Provence; see how silk printing is done today; visit a local market
- All port charges
- Free Wi-Fi, connection speed may vary
2017 CRUISE AND AIR SAVINGS: On all sail dates the discount is per stateroom, per person, based on double occupancy. Single supplement savings are off applicable rates. Offer applies to new bookings as of October 01, 2016 in US dollars for US residents only. Save $2,800 per couple on cruise and air on categories D/DX and above. 20th Anniversary Savings now included in cruise fare. Viking all-inclusive air with transfers available. Air does not have to be purchased to get cruise/tour offer. Portugal and Egypt itineraries are $2,000 off per couple on cruise and air. Additional restrictions may apply. Book and pay in full by October 31, 2016. Offer expires October 31, 2016.
CHOICE OFFER: Your choice of 1) A complimentary Silver Spirits Package; or 2) $500 per stateroom Shipboard Credit on Grand European Tour, European Sojourn, and France’s Finest; $400 per stateroom Shipboard Credit for all other 2017 River itineraries, excluding Magnificent Mekong and Pathways of the Pharaohs; or 3) Risk-free cancellation in form of a Future Cruise Voucher. All cancellations made to bookings placed within the aforementioned time period are risk-free of any penalty and can be claimed up to day of departure in the form of a Future Cruise Voucher (FCV) that must be used on a sailing prior to December 31, 2018. Cancellations must be in writing. Passengers would not be eligible for a refund from both their insurance provider and Viking Cruises. Must mention offer code CHOICE. Silver Spirits Package and Shipboard credit not valid on Mekong and Egypt cruises. Combinable with 2017 River cruise and air savings. Offer expires October 31, 2016.
GENERAL RESTRICTIONS: Cruise fares listed are cruise only in U.S. dollars, per person, based on double occupancy. Cruise fares listed are valid for U.S. residents only. Cruise ship fuel surcharge may apply. All fares and offers are for new bookings only as of October 01, 2016, are subject to availability, may not be combinable with other offers except Viking Explorer Society Travel Credit and Referral Rewards Credit, are capacity-controlled and may be withdrawn at any time without prior notice. Special cruise fares are based upon published full brochure fares; cruise fares do not include pre-paid charges, optional facilities and service fees, and personal charges, as defined in the terms and conditions of the Passenger Ticket Contract which may be viewed elsewhere on this website. Full brochure fares may not have resulted in actual sales in all stateroom categories and may not have been in effect during the last 90 days. Promotional fares may remain in effect after the expiration date. Air promotion applies to economy, roundtrip flights only from select Viking River Cruises U.S. gateways and includes airport-to-ship or hotel transfers, air taxes and air fuel surcharges. Viking reserves the right to correct errors or omissions and to change any and all fares, fees and surcharges at any time. For up-to-date prices, please call Viking or your Travel Agent. The cruise ship fuel surcharge is additional revenue to Viking River Cruises, as are any additional charges relating to currency fluctuation other than for fully paid cruise fares and full fares, which fluctuations are beyond our control. Additional terms and conditions may apply. Complete terms and conditions may be found in the Passenger Ticket Contract.