Trip Name: Southern France River-Cruise & Beaches
Wednesday August 16th 2017
Trip Length: 12 days
Trip Type: College
Destination Continent: Europe
Destination Country: France
Tour Fee: $2900
Tour ID: 170816T7b03
Upfront Deposit: $300
DAY 01: PARIS ARRIVAL
Upon arrival in Paris, you will be greeted and transferred to your local hotel to check in. You have the rest of the day tour the city on your own.
DAY 02: PARIS – CHALON-sur-SAONE (B,D)
After checking out in the morning, we will depart in a private coach, which will take us to Fontainebleau Palace. The Palace was once a hunting lodge for French kings during the Italian Renaissance and later became a residence for Napoleon I. We will have lunch at a local café near the palace. After the tour, we will head to Chalon-sur-Saone, our embarkation port. The boat will leave in the evening towards Mâcon. First dinner on board.
Optional Activity: For those who are new to Paris, we can arrange a 2-hour Paris City Tour starting in the morning of this day. The trip will end before your depart to Chalon-sur-Saone where your river-ship is docked.
The tour includes a sightseeing tour, an optional Seine River cruise trip or a visit to the Louvre Museum. Travel through various arrondissemnets – districts taking in the City of Light’s top attractions. Marvel at spectacular Sacre Coeur Cathedral at the center of Monmartre, see Hemingway’s favorite hangouts in Saint-Germain-des-Pres quarter and admire the ironwork of the magnificent Eiffel Tower. Then extend your explorations with either a leisurely boat ride or a visit to the Louvre, one of the world’s most impressive museums and home to Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. This tour may only be booked in advance before leaving US.
DAY 03: CHALON-sur-SAONE - LYON (B,L,D)
After breakfast on board, you will have the chance to take a walk in the old town of Mâcon. At 11:00am the boat will leave Mâcon and will stop after lunch in Montmerle. You will tour of the Beaujolais Vineyards, followed by a visit to the Hameau du Vin, a wine museum which is unique in Europe. After the tour, you will return to the boat for dinner. As the boat travels to Lyon, enjoy a spectacular night scenery of the city’s old quarters.
DAY 04: LYON - TAIN L'HERMITAGE - Valley of the Côtes du Rhône (B,L,D)
The morning will start with an Optional City Tour of Lyon provided by ship operator (not included). You will discover the second largest city and culinary capital of France admirably situated at the confluence of the Rhône and the Saône. Lunch on board. Departure for Tain l'Hermitage where you will arrive in the evening. Overnight stopover.
DAY 05: TAIN L'HERMITAGE - The Ardèche Gorges – AVIGNON (B,L,D)
The boat will depart in the morning and arrive at Ardèche Gorge where you will be having a tour after having lunch. Ardèche has eroded the cliff-face to create a grandiose natural arch. Explore the famous “route des gorges,” a series of harmonious meanderings of the river. Dinner on board. The boat will head for Avignon.
DAY 06: AVIGNON – ARLES (B,L,D)
After breakfast, join a walking guided tour of the “Palais des Papes”, a veritable citadel perched on a rocky pinnacle, surrounded by imposing ramparts. Head back to the boat for lunch. Departure for Arles. Arrival during the afternoon, free time in the old town of Arles. Dinner on board. Overnight stopover.
AboveZest will be offering an exclusive tour (see below) that is not available at any river cruise line operating in Southern France.
Optional Activity: Tour to Chateau Lacoste and Nostradamus Museum in Salon-de-Provence.After lunch onboard, head to Luberon, one of the most picturesque area in Provence and the inspiration for the movie A Good Year starring Russell Crowe. Visit the place of refuge for the Marquis de Sade when he fled Paris in 1766 and which belonged to his grandfather. In 2001 the château's current owner, fashion designer, Pierre Cardin, bought the property and open some boutiques and cafes at this small village with the impressive panoramic views across the lavender fields and vineyards of the Calavon Valley. Experience the countryside of Provence and drop by Salon-de Provence to visit La Maison de Nostradamus Museum. Since 1992, the museum became the home where Michel de Notredame lived from 1547 to his death and where he wrote his famous Prophecies in 1555. We arrive to Arles to re-embark the ship just before dinner starts onboard.
Duration of the tour: Appx. 5 hours, the tour can only be booked in advance and will only be operated under the condition subjective to the number of participants
DAY 07: ARLES - THE CAMARGUE – MARTIGUES (B,L,D)
Today we have a tour in the Camargue. An immense exceptional plain where sea, wetlands and pools are inhabited by an extraordinary variety of water fowl. Tour of the delightful village of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, famous for its religious gypsy gatherings. Back aboard the boat for Port Saint-Louis for lunch. Continuation of the cruise via the canal de Fos which runs alongside the Mediterranean towards Martigues. Dinner and gala evening. Overnight stopover.
DAY 08:MARTIGUES (B)
Disembarkation after breakfast in Martigues. End of our cruise. Transfer by coach to Nice. Arrive in Nice and check-in at centrally located hotel around lunch time. Afternoon and evening at leisure. Dinner on your own.
DAYS 09–11: NICE – COTE D’AZUR (B)
Day at leisure. Explore nearby local famous French Cote d’Azur resorts, St.Tropez, Cannes, Antibes or Monaco that all are within 1-2 hours to from your hotel depending of the means of transportation.
Optional Activity: French Riviera small group full day tour.
See all the highlights of the French Riviera, from Cannes to Monaco, with this small group trip from Nice. Soak in the scenic beauty of the road that shakes between cliffs and the Mediterranean Sea. Enjoy pretty coastal towns like Eze, Cannes and Juan-les-Pins as well as the glamorous city-state of Monaco. A small group size of no more than eight people ensures plenty of personalized attention from your guide.
Begin with a stop in the town of Eze to see Fragonard, one of the famous perfumeries in the South of France, and stroll along the historic streets of the town. Next, head to the Principality of Monaco to visit the Old Town of Monte Carlo, the Grand Casino, the Cathedral, the Formula One Grand Prix circuit and Royal palace. Visit Cannes to see the handprints of many stars outside the Film Festival Palace and browse the fancy shops on Croisette Boulevard. Travel through Juan-les-pins to see the Old Toen of Antibes, where multi-million dollar yachts float in the waters of Billionaires’ Quay, before heading back to Nice.
DAY 12: Nice (B)
After breakfast, we transfer you to Cote d’Azur - Nice International airport for your flight back home.
After making your trip reservation, on My Account page, you can add any of below supplements to your trip.
An option to have your own room at the hotel while being on the trip and enjoy the total privacy. This is for single occupancy on cruise main deck.
This is for he upper deck double occupancy supplement.
- 11 nights First Class accommodations. 1 night stay at Odeon Hotel or similar in Paris, 6 nights river-cruise onboard comfortable river-ship type MS Mistral or similar, followed by 4 nights stay at Residhome Nice Promenade Hotel or similar in Nice.
- All transfers if you book Air with us or you come in group around the same time.
- Meals as stated on the itinerary (B: Breakfast, L:Lunch, D: Dinner)
- Your cruise with all meals from dinner the first day to breakfast on the final day - drinks including water, wine, beer, fruit juices and coffee served during meals on board, drinks served at the bar (excluding champagne and wines on the wine list) - double-occupancy cabin with shower in private bathroom - onboard entertainment - assistance from our onboard multi-lingual host/hostess - welcome cocktail - the excursions mentioned in the program except optional tours - the gala dinner and evening - repatriation insurance - all port fees.
- Sightseeing per itinerary in modern AC land transport.
- Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout.
- Services of English-speaking local guides.
- Entrance fees per itinerary.
- Toll and parking fees
Note: transfers from airport to hotel and vice versa are not included unless you make your flight reservations through Above Zest Company.
- Tour Fee
Tour fees are based on double occupancy and main deck stateroom onboard river-ship. The total tour supplement fee for a single occupancy traveler is $980. The upper deck double occupancy supplement fee is $390 per person.
- Roommate Matching
If you have a preference for a roommate, please let us know full first and last name. Otherwise, we will match you up with a roommate as long as you're a non-smoker. You must book at least 90 days prior to the tour date to take advantage of our free roommate match up service. Don't let not having a roommate keep you from going on this amazing trip!
- Flight Reservation Instructions
Depending on your departure point, you may experience a long flight, so we advise you to arrange your flight early enough to get to the Paris airports: Charles de Gaulle International airport (CDG) or Paris Orly International airport (ORY). Also, you should schedule your return flight from Cote d’Azur International airport in Nice (NCE).
We advise all travelers to have travel insurance- Travel Insurance Options- InsureMyTrip
You can go to the below pages to learn more about our tour terms, policies, and tips: