Savoring France: Paris, Lyon & Provence - 10 Days

Savoring France: Paris, Lyon & Provence

Tauck’s epicurean delights begin in Paris with a reception and dinner at Fouquet’s, the celebrity hotspot on the Champs Élysées, and a pastry class especially for Tauck guests at Le Cordon Bleu Paris. Ride the high-speed TGV through the French countryside to Lyon to taste your way through Les Halles, Lyon’s famed covered food market with its eye-popping vertical garden… cruise in search of culinary adventures along the Rhône… sip Beaujolais in Beaujolais… sample Provençal specialties for lunch at a private ranch in La Camargue… attend a memorable evening at the Duchy of Uzès… and learn secrets at a cooking demonstration at an award-winning cooking school in Valence. It’s the ultimate Rhône River cruise to the soul of French haute cuisine!

ONLY WITH TAUCK

Evening at the 12th-century Duché d’Uzès

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 Paris- Charles de Gaulle Airport or Paris-Orly Airport or Gare du Nord, Charles de Gaulle, or Gare de Lyon Train Stations, to the InterContinental Paris Le Grand is included, regardless of the time you check in to the hotel, provided you have furnished us with accurate flight arrival information at least three weeks prior to the start of your tour. Transportation from the riverboat to Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport or Gare de Lyon-Part-Dieu or Perrache train stations is also included when you disembark the riverboat. 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.

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

Day 1
Bonjour, Paris – Fouquet's & city lights

Tour begins: 6:00 PM, InterContinental Paris Le Grand Hotel. A transfer is included from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, Gare de Lyon Station, Charles de Gaulle Station or Gare du Nord to InterContinental Paris Le Grand Hotel in the heart of the city. Join us this evening for our special welcome cocktail reception and dinner at le Fouquet’s on the Champs-Elysées, an iconic landmark for celebrity dining for over a century, followed by a special tour of the city illuminated in the night sky. Much has been written about the city lights of Paris… you’ll see why on this fabulous tour of the city as it twinkles under the stars.

MEALS – Dinner

LODGING – InterContinental Paris Le Grand

Day 2
Parisian gourmet pleasures

Enjoy a culinary odyssey in Paris today with a walk through the city that inspires with the fragrances and flavors of French food, and offers tastings of local bread and macarons; and a lecture on chocolat with, of course, a delectable tasting! You’ll also have free time for lunch and the evening free to explore on your own and discover the dining possibilities in and around your Paris hotel.

MEALS – Breakfast

LODGING – InterContinental Paris Le Grand

Day 3
Le Cordon Bleu, to Lyon by TGV & embark

Take a pastry class this morning at Le Cordon Bleu Paris, where you’ll learn firsthand the tips of the pâtisserie trade – including how to make an original pastry – before catching the TGV high-speed train and enjoying the views en route to Lyon, set at the confluence of the rivers Saône and Rhône. In Lyon, you’ll board ms Emerald for your Rhône River cruise and settle into your cabin before joining us for a briefing and welcome reception followed by a welcome dinner in The Compass Rose and entertainment in the lounge.

MEALS – Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4
Lyon, Les Halles, a Beaujolais tasting & more

Lyon is considered the “culinary capital of France,” which is quite a compliment in a country famed for its cuisine and fine vintages. You’ll discover why during a tasting at the famous Les Halles de Lyon, the celebrated indoor food market that’s been a fixture in Lyon since 1850 and offers an unbelievable array of breads, cheeses, fresh fruits and vegetables, sausages, wines, chocolates… the list goes on. Everything is fresh and delicious, and it’s said that the best chefs in Lyon shop here! But Lyon is also a city with a venerable history and considerable charm, as you’ll discover when you also visit Vieux Lyon, the old Renaissance part of the city that is both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the first protected historic district in France, and the Basilica of Notre-Dame-de- Fourvière, built atop the ruins of an ancient Roman forum. This afternoon, it’s off to the celebrated wine-growing region of Beaujolais for a tasting in the countryside before continuing your Rhône River cruise to Viviers.

MEALS – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5
Medieval Viviers & wine tastings along the Rhône

ms Emerald cruises this morning to Viviers, a walled city with origins in the 5th century on the right bank of the Rhône. If medieval history and authentic period architecture are your thing, Viviers is your kind of place… because it’s one of the best-preserved medieval towns that you’re likely to see in all of France. Its narrow streets and lanes reveal what life might have been like here in the Middle Ages. Your choices today include a walking tour of Viviers with your local guide including views of the 12th-century Cathedral of Notre Dame de Rhône and the richly detailed façade of the Maison des Chevaliers, followed by a lively game of petanque with the locals; or a drive to Grignan for a walking tour of town and a truffle farm tour and tasting. Back aboard the riverboat, enjoy an onboard wine tasting presentation where you’ll learn about (and sample) some of the region’s excellent local wines; join us for a gala dinner in The Compass Rose this evening as we sail for Arles in Provence.

MEALS – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

EXCURSION CHOICES – Grignan Walking Tour & Truffle Farm Visit

Day 6
Arles & a unique day in La Camargue

It may seem that the Romans were everywhere along the Rhône, and Arles is no exception, as is witnessed by the triumphal arch, circus and baths they left behind – and an arena in which gladiators fought and is still a venue for performances and bullfights today – as you explore the city on a walking tour and time on your own. Do take time to look beyond the city walls at the incredible quality of the light here that so enraptured Vincent van Gogh – and the landscapes of yellow rocks, red soil and lilac mountains that inspired in the Dutch artist a newfound creativity, and led to his creating hundreds of paintings while a patient at a nearby asylum, one of the most productive periods of his short life. Lunch today is a real treat, as you visit a private ranch in La Camargue for a private banquet of farm-grown Provençal specialties, a musical serenade, and a chance to see the region’s iconic white horses, fleet-footed gardians (cowboys) and famous black bulls. As you continue your Rhône River cruise to Avignon this evening, try your hand at painting a chocolate art piece during an onboard demonstration before dinner aboard the riverboat.

MEALS – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

EXCURSION CHOICES – Bicycling Excursion in the Arles Countryside

Day 7
Avignon, Palais des Papes & Uzès evening

Although the fortified city of Avignon was undoubtedly a pleasant place before they arrived, the 14th-century popes, who spent less than a century here when Rome became “tedious” for them, really put it on the map, and cultivated the local wine industry (Châteauneuf-du-Pape) and an appreciation for good food. This morning, choose a bicycle excursion in Avignon or a visit to the fortress-like home that the pontiffs built for themselves, the Palais des Papes. Later, visit the Pont du Gard – a famous Roman aqueduct over the River Gardon. Join us this evening ashore for a sparkling Tauck Exclusive event – a special evening including a tour, reception and dinner at the restored château and grounds of the medieval Duchy of Uzès.

MEALS – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

EXCURSION CHOICES – Bicycling Excursion in Avignon

Day 8
Roussillon & Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Venture deeper into Provence today on a visit to the yellow-and-brown town of Roussillon, in the Luberon region. This place is all about color, from the ochre cliffs surrounding the town to the purple of the lavender during its blooming season and the lush, green pine forests, as you’ll discover for yourself on a walking tour. Have lunch on the riverboat as you cruise to Châteauneuf- du-Pape; over 200 days of sunshine per year and rain-bearing mistral winds enable the soil to store water for the long summer, meaning that vineyards thrive here. Since medieval times, the life of this hillside village has centered around growing and producing wine of the same appellation; its residents have benefitted from the proceeds of flourishing vineyards as early as the 13th century, when the village was adjacent to a summer palace for the popes of Avignon. Visit one of the area’s acclaimed châteaux for a wine tasting before returning to the riverboat for dinner and onboard relaxation as your cruise continues.

MEALS – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9
Culinary tips in Valence & Tain l'Hermitage

The riverboat docks in Tain l’Hermitage for the final day of your Rhône River cruise. From here you’ll head to Valence, a town known for its markets offering produce from the surrounding countryside – including delicacies like truffles and asparagus – and as home to the gourmet cooking school of award-winning chef Anne-Sophie Pic, where you’ll be privy to a chef’s demonstration and a wine and cheese pairing class and tasting that features the superb products crafted in the area. Your day also includes a visit to a chocolate shop in Tain l’Hermitage and a mini-train ride through the renowned Heritage vineyards before you reboard the ship for tonight’s farewell reception followed by dinner as ms Emerald begins her return to Lyon.

MEALS – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10
Homeward bound

Tour ends: Lyon. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from the ms Emerald to Lyon Airport or Perrache or Part Dieu train stations. Please allow 3 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
  • Tauck’s private shore excursions and distinctive inclusions valued at $4,227
  • Pastry class for Tauck guests at Le Cordon Bleu Paris
  • Provençal lunch at a private ranch in La Camargue
  • Reception and dinner at Fouquet’s, followed by a city lights tour of Paris at night
  • Private wine tastings in Beaujolais and Châteaneuf-du-Pape
  • A walking tour of historic Vieux Lyon and a tasting at Les Halles de Lyon
  • Cooking demonstration and a wine and cheese tasting at an award-winning cooking school in Valence
  • Unlimited complimentary beverages aboard ship include regional wine, beer and premium spirits in addition to specialty coffee, water and soft drinks
  • Airport transfers upon arrival and departure as noted
  • 23 meals; service charges, taxes, porterage, and applicable fuel surcharges

NIGHTS 1 – 2 PARIS, FRANCE

InterContinental Paris Le Grand

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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.

NIGHTS 3 – 9

ms Emerald

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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.

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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

You can send your inquiry via the form below.