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A Taste of France

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A Taste of France

offered by supplier M07207 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 10 day(s)
Group Size: 118 people
Destination(s): France  
Specialty Categories: Food & Wine   Sightseeing  
Season: May - June
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 4990 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 8340 US Dollar (USD)

Day1 Bonjour, Paris – Fouquet's & city lights
Meals D
Our delectable culinary Rhône River cruise begins 6:00 PM at Paris – Le Grand. A transfer is included from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, Gare de Lyon Station, Charles de Gaulle Station or Gare du Nord to Paris – Le Grand, in the heart of the city just minutes from the Champs-Élysées. 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.
Lodging Paris – Le Grand

Day2 A private pastry class & more Parisian gourmet pleasures
Meals B
Begin your culinary odyssey in Paris with a walk through the city that inspires with the fragrances and flavors of French food. After indulging your passion for chocolate with a demonstration at a private workshop, learn firsthand the tips of the pâtisserie trade – including how to make macarons and dessert tarts – in a pastry class designed especially for our guests at École Lenôtre, located in a pavilion next to the French Presidential Palace. This evening is free to explore the dining possibilities in and around your Paris hotel.
Lodging Paris – Le Grand

Day3 Paris at leisure, the fast train to Lyon & a special gourmet feast
Meals B, D
Paris is yours to experience as you please this morning... perhaps visiting one of the city’s lesser-known museums, or an agreeable sidewalk café for some Parisian-watching… 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. There, board the riverboat for your Rhône River cruise and settle into your cabin before joining us for a briefing and welcome reception. Go ashore for dinner tonight, a true highlight of your trip – a gourmet feast at L’Abbaye de Collonges, located just outside Lyon on the banks of the Saône River, owned by the famous award-winning Michelin-starred chef, Paul Bocuse.
Lodging Aboard the Riverboat

Day4 Les Halles de Lyon, a Beaujolais tasting & more
Meals B, L, D
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.
Lodging Aboard the Riverboat

Day5 Medieval treasures in Viviers & tastings along the Rhône
Meals B, L, D
ms Swiss 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 on a walking tour with your local guide; view the 12th-century Cathedral of Notre Dame de Rhône and the richly detailed façade of the Maison des Chevaliers, home to an upwardly mobile salt merchant in the 1500s. Whet your appetite for country life with a wine tasting ashore before reboarding the riverboat and setting off for Arles.
Lodging Aboard the Riverboat

Day6 Historic Arles & Provençal pleasures in La Camargue
Meals B, L, D
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 banquet of farm-grown Provençal specialties, a musical serenade, a chance to see the region’s iconic white horses and a demonstration by fleet-footed gardians (cowboys) and the famous black bulls they raise here. Continue your Rhône River cruise to Avignon this evening, arriving in time to go ashore later tonight after dinner aboard the riverboat.
Lodging Aboard the Riverboat

Day7 A taste of southern France in Avignon & the Pont du Gard
Meals B, L, D
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. Take a walk through the city with your local guides, and explore 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. This evening, this engineering marvel becomes the amazing backdrop for a special treat for our guests only... a festive Provençal country-style dinner accompanied by fine local wines and entertainment, another highlight of your Rhône River cruise.
Lodging Aboard the Riverboat

Day8 Colorful discoveries in Roussillon & Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Meals B, L, D
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 en route to Tournon-sur-Rhône.
Lodging Aboard the Riverboat

Day9 Savory secrets of the Rhône Valley in Tournon & Valence
Meals B, L, D
Tournon-sur-Rhône is a perfect spot to start the final day of your Rhône River cruise with a guided walking tour. Wind your way up to a vantage point in this medieval town and admire the views of lush Côtes du Rhône vineyards and dramatic river vistas. After lunch, journey to Valence for an education in epicurean delights; the town is a major hub for fresh Rhône Valley produce and home to some of the finest culinary artists in the country, as you'll learn on a café-inspired tour of Valence. At Maison Pic, a Michelin-starred gastronomique restaurant and cooking school in town, attend a demonstration on the creation of mouth-watering local specialties... and taste some local wines and cheeses, too. Tonight, celebrate the conclusion of an extraordinary Rhône River cruise at the Captain’s farewell reception and dinner aboard the riverboat as it returns to Lyon.
Lodging Aboard the Riverboat

Day10 Homeward bound
Meals B
Your inspiring culinary Rhône River cruise ends: Lyon. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from the ms Swiss 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.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Prices vary on departure dates, they are based on double occupancy land only no air is included Also available in October

About This Supplier
Location: Canada
Joined InfoHub: Feb 1999
Client Request Served: 1369

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