French Escapade: Paris to the Riviera - 14 Days

French Escapade: Paris to the Riviera

Cannes France – Paris France

Travel into the countryside past vineyards where some of the world’s best grapes become some of the world’s best wines, stopping to taste some of them. Discover river towns with Roman roots and lingering traces of medieval magic in their streets, experience the cowboy traditions and cuisine of La Camargue, and sample the pleasures of regional cuisine and wine throughout your trip. Explore a palace fit for a pope and an abbey that was once one of the most powerful in Europe. You’ll find something new, something wonderful every day. And during two nights in Paris, you’ll dine at chic Fouquet’s on the Champs-Élysées!

Only With Tauck

  • Private gala evening at the recently restored Chateau of the medieval Duchy d’Uzès
  • La Camargue excursion to meet the family of a working farm for a Provençal lunch & a cowboy demonstration with prized black bulls.

Cruise prices are per person in U.S. dollars. All riverboat and hotel accommodations, motor coach transportation, port charges, land excursions, admissions, entertainment, special dinners, beverages while on the riverboat (including unlimited soft drinks, regional wine, beer and premium spirits), sightseeing, porterage, and the services of the Tauck Directors, the Tauck Cruise Director, hotel and ship staff, and local guides and drivers are included. Transportation from Nice Côte D’Azur Airport or the Nice Train Station is included, regardless of the time you check into the hotel, provided you have furnished us with accurate flight arrival information at least three weeks prior to the start of your cruise. If you are arriving into a local train station inMonte-Carlo, youwillneedtotakeataxitotheriverboatandretainareceiptfromthedrivertogivetoyourtourdirectorfor reimbursement. If you join the cruise in Arles, you will need to take a taxi to the hotel and retain a receipt from the driver to give to your tour director for reimbursement. Transportation from the InterContinental Paris Le Grand Hotel to the Paris area airports and train stations is also included when you check out of the hotel. Transportation to and from airports and train stations may be shared with other Tauck guests. If you are staying at a hotel other than the Tauck-designated hotel before or after your tour, contact Tauck regarding your various transfer options.

We pledge to make every effort to operate all tours as advertised. We reserve the right to alter or curtail the itinerary, or substitute sightseeing, hotels, and/or conveyances as deemed necessary. Any savings realized by these changes will be refunded to you. Any resultant added expense will be covered by us. Although not expected, prices on this website may be modified due to unexpected significant external factors not forecast at the time of publication.

Rates and schedules are not guaranteed until booked and will vary based on departure date.

Day 1
Welcome to Nice and Monte-Carlo

Tour begins: 6:30 PM, Hôtel Martinez. A transfer is included from the Nice Cote d’Azur Airport, Nice Ville Train Station and Nice Riquier Train Station to Hôtel Martinez. Join us for a cocktail reception and dinner in the Mediterranean playground of Cannes.

Meals – Dinner

Day 2
Nice and Monte-Carlo or Grasse and St. Paul de Vence

Explore the south of France on a choice of sightseeing excursions today. Your first choice is an excursion that includes walking tours of Nice and Monte-Carlo plus a famed drive… mega-yachts from around the world bobbing in the bay… the rich, the famous, the jet setters… a casino world-renowned for its glamour… a real-life royal fairy-tale romance… it’s all part of Nice and Monte-Carlo’s magic spell… Alternatively, journey to the hills above Cannes for a visit to Grasse, one of the world’s premiere centers for the perfume industry, and a visit to the picturesque walled town of Saint Paul de Vence, a Provençal hilltop town that was built in the 13th century, for a walking tour – you’ll be taken with its medieval look and easily understand why it became an artists’ enclave. Return to Cannes late afternoon for the evening.

Meals Breakfast

Excursion Choices Walking tour of Nice and Monte-Carlo

Day 3
Aix-en-Provence & embark ship in Arles

Travel to lovely Aix-en-Provence; it’s not hard to imagine great artists like Vincent van Gogh or Paul Cézanne at work amidst the spectrum of colors found in Provence as you view Mont Ste-Victoire and join your local guide for a walking tour among the fountains, squares and medieval center. Early afternoon, travel to Arles, where you’ll board ms Emerald and begin one of Tauck’s most popular river cruises in France along the Rhône and the Saône. The crew welcomes you aboard with a reception followed by dinner this evening.

Meals – Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4
Arles & the cowboys of the Camargue

It may seem strange to encounter Roman ruins in Provence but Arles was, after all, once a Roman city; while the gladiators are gone, the arena they left behind – just one of the town’s many Roman remnants – still hosts performances and bullfights today. You have a choice today of exploring Arles’ medieval streets and city walls on a walking tour, or embarking on a challenging, 2- hour bicycling excursion across the countryside surrounding Arles (which van Gogh found so enchanting). Then it’s off to La Camargue, France’s “wild west,” where cowboys tend to herds of bulls destined for bullfighting rings in Spain. Visit a working farm to see what these cowhands and their charges do during a demonstration, followed by lunch featuring traditional Provençal fare and entertainment.

Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Excursion Choices – Bicycling Excursion in the Arles Countryside

Day 5
Avignon & a gala dinner in Uzès

The fortified city of Avignon was probably a much more peaceful place before Rome became “inconvenient” for the popes who moved the papacy here about 700 years ago. Although they stayed for less than a century, they kept busy during those years… as you’ll see on your visit to the impressive Palais des Papes that they built for themselves during this morning’s sightseeing in this key medieval city. After a free afternoon aboard ship, travel to the Duchy d’Uzès – a medieval city dating back to the 11th century, often called the “First Duchy of France,” that forms the heart of the town of Uzès – for a guided visit followed by a cocktail reception and a Tauck Exclusive gala dinner at the recently restored Chateau.

Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6
Avignon, St. Remy & Chateauneuf du Pape

With your riverboat docked in Avignon for the morning, you can spend more time exploring the medieval city or take a morning excursion to Saint-Remy-de-Provence – home to the ruins of the Roman city of Glanum, as well as the Saint-Paul Asylum where Vincent van Gogh was a patient. After returning to the ship for lunch onboard, head out again for an afternoon wine tasting at one of the select vineyards permitted to produce Châteauneuf-du-Pape – literally “the New Castle of the Pope” – the most famous of the Côtes du Rhône wines; your host reveals secrets of the terroir as you sample estate-crafted red and white wines from a region that’s been producing wine for more than 2,500 years! Catch up with the riverboat in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and spend the evening onboard.

Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7
Explore the vineyards of Tain L'Hermitage

Arrive this morning in Tain L’Hermitage, deep in the heart of Cote du Rhône wine country, where you’ll have a choice of two sightseeing excursions this morning. Visit a local orchard (with tastings), take a mini-train through the Tain L’Hermitage heritage vineyards, and explore the region’s other passion on a visit to the Valrhona chocolate factory. Or, go on a fascinating 2.5 mile hike through the heritage vineyards of Tain L’Hermitage where you’ll learn about the history of the region’s wine. Reboard the riverboat midday and spend the remainder of the day cruising to Macon.

Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Excursion Choices – Hike through Tain L’Hermitage vineyards

Day 8
Mâcon & Cluny – Horses, an abbey & more

Your riverboat arrives in Mâcon on the Saône River this morning, for exploration in Cluny. During the reign of Charlemagne (742 – 814), monastic influences inspired a great revival in art, education and culture; today you’ll visit one of the great monasteries of the period when you tour the great Benedictine Abbey of Cluny. Founded in 910, it was at the center of this major monastic reform movement and was also the largest Christian building in the world until the construction of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. You’ll also visit Haras National de Cluny (France’s national equestrian center), which dates back to the 19th century, to learn about its high-quality thoroughbred stallions. Have lunch off the riverboat today; later, reboard ms Emerald and enjoy onboard entertainment after dinner as you cruise to Chalon-sur-Saône.

Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9
Chalon-sur-Saône & beyond

Chalon-sur-Sâone on the River Saône lies in the heart of southern Burgundy. Although its history dates back to the time of Charlemagne, it has another significant claim to fame – this is considered the birthplace of photography. So you have local inventor Nicéphore Niépce, who started it all with several photographic firsts right here in the 1820s, to thank for the great photos of the town’s Romanesque churches and other monuments. Visit the walled city of Beaune – the “wine capital” of the famous Burgundy wine-producing region, and one of France’s most important wine centers. A walking tour includes a visit to Hospices de Beaune or Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune, considered one of the best-preserved examples of 15th-century French architecture; you may also see the old market (les Halles), the Beffroi (clock tower), parts of the medieval walls and ramparts, and more. This afternoon you have a choice of wine tasting in Burgundy or a walking tour (and tasting tour) of Chalon-sur- Saône, including a stop at the bakery, the chocolate shop and a mustard shop.

Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Excursion Choices – Walking Tour of Chalon-sur-Saône

Day 10
Tournus & a day in beautiful Burgundy

After cruising the Saône overnight, ms Emerald calls on Tournus this morning, from which you’ll head out to explore the beautiful wine producing region of southern Burgundy, where history lies around every corner (this was a major crossroads during Roman times), and vineyards are everywhere. Picture in your mind what a typical French vineyard looks like… and then view the most amazing landscape that surrounds you for miles and miles. Vineyards, gently rolling hills, orchards, red-tiled farmhouses, medieval cathedrals, the occasional village to stop in… and historic country estates like the 17th-century Château de Cormatin,whichyou’llexploreonavisittoday.Withits moat,drawbridge,turrets,gildedroomsandparklikegrounds– including the mazes and fountains of its completely restored “pleasure garden” that’s now among the finest in France – this classic Burgundy château takes you back through the centuries. Return to the riverboat in Tournus for lunch, and continue your cruise this afternoon and evening to France’s culinary capital, Lyon.

Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11
Lyon,where food is king

Ahh, Lyon. If you’re a serious foodie, Lyon is the place for you! But of course there is more to this 2,000 year-old city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, than food. Your day includes getting a panoramic view of Lyon from the hilltop district of Fouvière;avisit tothestunningBasilicaofNotre-Dame-de-Fourvière–builtinthe1870son“thehillthatprays,”itfeatures exquisite marble work, stained glass windows, colorful mosaics and gilt galore; a tour of medieval Vieux Lyon; and a free afternoon to explore more of the city as you please. As ms Emerald spends the night docked in Lyon, join us aboard ship for our farewell reception followed by dinner this evening.

Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12
Disembark in Lyon & on to Paris via TGV

As all river cruises in France must, the cruise portion of your vacation ends today as you disembark in Lyon and bid a fond farewell to ms Emerald. Board the TGV (a high-speed train) for two nights in the capital city of Paris. Whether you explore on- or off-the-beaten-path, you’ll find yourself navigating the city’s arrondissements (districts), beginning with the geographical center and spiraling outwards in a clockwise direction. A panoramic city tour upon arrival shows you landmark icons and the grand boulevards. The remainder of the day and evening are free to spend as you please in one of the world’s favorite cities; there are boulevards to stroll, pastries to sample, sidewalk cafés to enjoy, wines to savor and French fare to try that tempts every palate.

Meals – Breakfast

Lodging – InterContinental Paris Le Grand

Day 13
Paris museums as you please & dinner at Fouquet's

Ernest Hemingway called Paris a “moveable feast” – and even if you’ve been here many times, today might be the day that you discover something about the city that you didn’t know before. The day is free to explore and enjoy as you please. We’ve included admission to your choice of one of two of the city’s finest museums (subject to availability). You may elect to view the priceless art inside the famous Musée du Louvre, home to da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, the Hellenistic Winged Victory, the beautiful Venus de Milo and others. Or perhaps you’re interested in viewing the impressive works exhibited at the Musée Jacquemart- André, a stunning museum in Paris’ 8th arrondissement created from the former private mansion of 19th-century husband-and- wife art collectors Édouard André and Nélie Jacquemart – he, a member of a wealthy banking family and she, a renowned society painter – to display the art masterpieces they acquired during their lives together. The collection includes works by Canaletto, Rembrandt, Hals, Gainsborough, Bernini, Botticelli and many others. Tonight, we’ll all gather for a memorable farewell dinner at chic Fouquet’s, the quintessential Paris brasserie on the Champs-Élysées; elegance and classic cuisine have made it a celebrity favorite for more than a century!

Meals – Breakfast, Dinner

Lodging – InterContinental Paris Le Grand

Day 14
Homeward bound

Tour ends: Paris. Fly home anytime. A transfer from InterContinental Paris Le Grand Hotel to Charles de Gaulle Airport, Gare de Lyon Station, Charles de Gaulle Station and Gare du Nord is included. Please allow a minimum of three hours for flight check-in. We wish you a safe and pleasant journey home.

Meals – Breakfast

What's Included

  • All gratuities to ship staff, drivers, local guides, Tauck Directors and Tauck Cruise Director All private Tauck shore excursions – $3,850 Value
  • Farewell dinner in Paris at the famous Fouquet’s brasserie on the Champs-Élysées Exploration of the Rhône and Saône wine country with vineyard visits and wine tastings Tasting tour of local food shops in Chalon-sur-Saône
  • Visits to historic Cluny Abbey, Avignon’s Palais des Papes
  • Choice of art museum visits in Paris
  • Unlimited complimentary beverages aboard ship now include regional wine, beer and premium spirits in addition to specialty coffee, water and soft drinks
  • Airport and train station transfers upon arrival and departure as noted
  • 32 meals; select meals in local restaurants; service charges, taxes, porterage, and applicable fuel surcharges

Nights 3 – 11

ms Emerald

One of the 361-foot (110-meter) riverboats in Tauck’s Destination Fleet, this newly redesigned riverboat debuted in 2017 with a new deck plan optimized for the utmost in spaciousness – with 70% of her cabins measuring 225 square feet or larger – and accommodating no more than 98 guests, while similar-sized riverboats average about 160. Guest amenities inside her 14 lush 300-square-foot Tauck Suites include brocade upholstery, roomy walk-in closets with built-in drawers, spacious bathrooms with separate showers, and two French balconies with floor-to-ceiling windows that open to idyllic riverscapes. She also sports twenty roomy 225-square-foot cabins, four 183-square-foot cabins and one 182 square-foot cabin, similarly furnished. Eight 150-square-foot cabins are cozy and comfortable, and are similar in décor and style to our larger suites. 85% have floor-to- ceiling windows with real French balconies that open on to a balcony in the fresh air; all have in-room movies, minibar, adjustable heating and cooling, private bathroom and shower with pampering toiletries. In addition to our main dining room, The Compass Rose, the ship also features Arthur’s, a second dining venue offering casual fare.

Amenities

Alternate dining venue, Arthur’s, offering classic favorites at lunch and dinner and lighter breakfasts in the morning Al fresco dining on Sun Deck, weather permitting
American breakfast room service available in Category 7 Tauck Suites
Complimentary snacks served 10:00 AM – midnight

Onboard putting green
Unlimited complimentary beverages aboard ship include regional wine, beer and premium spirits in addition to specialty coffee, water and soft drinks
Onboard entertainment includes enrichment lectures, piano music nightly, in-room movies, culinary demos, local entertainment and “themed” fun
110-volt and 220-volt outlets included in every cabin for small electronics; minibar stocked with complimentary water and soft drinks
Complimentary Internet & Email available
Fitness center; massages available; putting green on Sun Deck; Jacuzzi on Sun Deck – available 24 hours Bicycles available aboard for use ashore
Laundry service available

Nights 12 – 13 Paris, France

InterContinental Paris Le Grand

Located in the heart of Paris, the landmark InterContinental Paris Le Grand overlooks Place de l’Opéra near the fashionable Rue St. Honore. With floodlit views of the Opera House, this superbly renovated luxury hotel is at the heart of Parisian society. Opened in 1862, it defines historical grandeur, from Café de la Paix to La Verriere Restaurant, set in a winter garden. Located in the 9th arrondissement, close to the Louvre Museum, shopping, theatre and banking districts, the hotel is an icon in the city, successfully blending its impressive history with 21st-century comfort and technology. Amenities range from the world-class I- Spa by Algotherm, featuring relaxing and energizing treatments, beauty cures, and massages, to your view of daily life in Paris from world-famous Café de la Paix.

Tauck Guests enjoy complimentary Internet access in guest rooms!

You can send your inquiry via the form below.