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Ultimate France
From
US$10,599 Per Person
 

Experience the best of France with our 22-day cruise from Paris to Lyon and visit the the most charming regions of the country. Discover some of the most scenic sights of reach region that you will visit.

  • Country / Region
    France / Bordeaux & Provence
From
US$10,599 Per Person
 

Experience the best of France with our 22-day cruise from Paris to Lyon and visit the the most charming regions of the country. Discover some of the most scenic sights of reach region that you will visit.

  • Country / Region
    France / Bordeaux & Provence
Description 
  • Cruise Highlights
    AccommodationAccommodation Cabin accommodation in a riverview stateroomDrinksDrinks Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, specialty coffee and tea, and mineral water ExcursionsExcursions Excursions including tour options with a local tour guideItineraryItinerary 21-night cruise between Bordeaux to AvignonMealsMeals All meals onboard including welcome and farewell gala dinnersTransfersTransfers Transfers on arrival and departure daysInclusionInclusion Use of bicycles and Nordic walking sticksInclusionInclusion Free Internet and Wi-Fi access

Summary

From glimmering Paris to the windswept Atlantic coast, and historic Aquitaine to Mediterranean Provence, “Ultimate France” offers the crème de la crème.


This triumvirate of France brings you the very best of each region: Paris and the Normandy coast in the north, incomparable Bordeaux in the southwest, and the sun-drenched Mediterranean delights of Burgundy and Provence. You’ll tour glamorous capital cities in leisure and style, explore ancient villages still unspoiled by modern life, and walk in the footsteps of famous artists such as Monet and Van Gogh.


Inclusions

  • 21-night cruise in a riverview stateroom onboard S.S. Bon Voyage, Joie de Vivre and S.S. Catherine
  • 18 days of excursions, including “Choice Is Yours” options, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
  • Guided "Go Active," "Do as the Locals Do" and "Gentle Walking" programs
  • State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio-headset system on all excursions
  • All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients - 21 breakfasts, 18 lunches, 21 dinners
  • 3 Captain's welcome and 3 farewell receptions
  • 3 welcome and 3 farewell gala dinners
  • Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, specialty coffee and tea, and mineral water
  • All transfers on arrival and departure days
  • First class TGV train between Lyon and Paris, and Paris and Bordeaux
  • Services of an experienced Cruise Manager
  • All gratuities, both onboard and onshore
  • Captivating onboard local entertainment
  • Use of bicycles and Nordic walking sticks
  • Free Internet and Wi-Fi access

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Dates & Prices 

2019 Departure Dates

Departure Date Classic French Balcony Suite Grand Suite
April 14 $10,599 $13,299 $20,499 $26,599
April 28 $10,999 $10,999 $13,699 $20,899
May 12 $11,499 $14,199 $21,399 $27,499
June 9 $11,499 $14,199 $21,399 $27,499
June 23 $10,999 $13,699 $20,899 $26,999
July 7 $11,499 $14,199 $21,399 $27,499
July 21 $10,999 $13,699 $20,899 $26,999
August 4 $10,999 $13,699 $20,899 $26,999
September 29 $11,999 $14,699 $21,899 $27,999
  • All fares are per guest in US Dollars based on double occupancy unless otherwise noted.
  • Fares are capacity controlled and are subject to change at any time without notice.
  • Availability of all stateroom categories cannot be guaranteed.
  • Single Supplement applies for single accommodation.
  • Itineraries, hotels, and vessels may change, and substitute visits to other sites may occur during your trip due to water level fluctuations and other uncontrollable factors.
  • The order of sightseeing and docking ports are subject to change according to port authority assignments.
  • Prices exclude additional port charges of $510 per person
Itinerary 

Bordeaux to Avignon

Day 1, Bordeaux
Arrive at Bordeaux-Mérignac International Airport. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a representative and transferred to the ship.

Day 2, Garonne River . Gironde Estuary, Cussac Fort Médoc & Pauillac La-Fayette
Journey from Bordeaux, the “Pearl of the Aquitaine,” a famed wine-growing region, to the historical village of Cussac-Fort-Médoc, before arriving in coastal Pauillac later in the afternoon. Pauillac, once a crucial enemy stronghold during World War II, is still home to remnants of its war-torn past. Embark on an afternoon Bunker Archaeology tour, where you’ll begin to understand WWII from the enemy’s point of view. Led by a local guide, tour the remains of defensive army camps, wander inside bunkers and get up close and personal with the Atlantic Wall, an extensive coastal defense system and series of fortifications built by Nazi Germany that lies along the coast of numerous European countries.

Choice of Médoc Châteaux route with exclusive wine tasting or Bunker Archaeology tour.

Day 3, Cadillac
Satisfy your sweet tooth in elegant Cadillac, a town known for its production of sweet dessert wines and perfectly situated in the center of an acclaimed international wine region. The town, which still holds on to its medieval structure, is home to a plethora of impressive wine estates, beautiful chateaus and trails perfect for enjoying the French countryside. We’ll treat you to an exclusive artisanal wine-pairing lunch at Château Royal de Cazeneuve prior to an appropriate photo stop at Château d’Yquem.

Choice of Sauternes vineyard with exclusive artisanal wine-tasting or Château de Cazeneuve.

Day 4, Blaye, Bourg sur Gironde & Libourne
Spend your morning on a scenic drive along the Route de La Corniche Fleurie. Marvel at the spectacular homes etched into cliffs, sprawling gardens, Blaye Fortress and Lansac’s windmills along your way. Or, choose to experience it by bike, where you’ll cycle towards quiet roads, riverside paths and charming villages.

Featured Excursions:

  • Scenic drive along the Route de la Corniche Fleurie with Blaye Fortress
  • "Let's Go" bike tour: Corniche Fleurie

Day 5, Libourne (Saint-Émilion)
A full day in Libourne means you’ll have plenty of time to explore the majestic landscape of villages and vineyards. Nestled along the confluence of the Isle and Dordogne rivers, the quaint town is as pretty as a postcard. On the outskirts of Libourne, you’ll find neighboring Saint-Émilion. Discover the wine-making town by foot on a tour of its most picturesque sights, such as the magnificent Monolithic Church, all capped by a wine tasting at a beautiful château.

Featured Excursion: Saint-Émilion walking discovery tour with wine tasting

Day 6, Libourne, Bordeaux & Cité du Vin
The French insist that the key to their superb wines is the soil in which they’re grown, the terroir. That same terroir also makes for extraordinary produce—the foundation for the country’s acclaimed cuisine—as you’ll discover today at a local farmers’ market.

Featured Excursion: Libourne “Village Day” with farmers’ market

Day 7, Bordeaux (Quai des Chatrons)
There’s so much to discover with a full day in Bordeaux’s port of Quai des Chatrons. The architecture is impressive, the wine is exquisite and the shopping is to die for. Explore La Cité du Vin, a one-of-a-kind cultural center and museum that brings the heritage of wine to life through interactive exhibits, shows, academic seminars and more. Do as the locals do and uncover Bordeaux’s unique heritage on a walking tour or choose to traverse the city by bike. Celebrate the end to a spectacular trip with a farewell dinner onboard.

Choice of “Do as the Locals Do” Bordeaux Heritage walking tour or ”Let’s Go” biking in Bordeaux backstreets.

Day 8, Bordeaux - Paris
Disembark the breathtaking S.S. Bon Voyage and transfer to Paris via high-speed, first-class TGV train. Your next ship, the magical S.S. Joie de Vivre, waits to carry you along the Seine on the next leg of your adventure.

Day 9, La Roche-Guyon, Vernon Giverny
Today is a celebration of Northern France’s natural beauty, with an excursion to a splendid chateau and gardens situated in an equally grand setting, plus a chance to immerse yourself in the very landscapes that inspired Impressionist master Claude Monet. Visit the hilltop Chateau La Roche-Guyon, surrounded by beautiful gardens and offering sweeping views over the Seine. Later, you can visit the home and gardens of Impressionist master Claude Monet—the inspiration for many of his most beloved works. Or, take in the beautiful French countryside in a more invigorating way, with a guided bike ride from Vernon to Giverny.

Choice of Monet’s gardens at Giverny or “Let's Go” bike ride from Vernon to Giverny.

Day 10, Rouen (Normandy Beaches)
The Normandy coast will forever be associated with the Allies’ D-Day invasion, a day that comes vividly to life today on an excursion to the beaches of 1944. Immerse yourself in the tactics, desperate courage and horrendous human cost of the 1944 Allied invasion of France, the first step in the ultimately victorious land campaign against the Third Reich. It began here, on these Norman beaches.

Featured Excursion: Omaha Beach and Normandy American Cemetery

Day 11, Caudebec-en-Caux (Honfleur or Étretat)
Golfing? On a river cruise? This delightfully unexpected excursion—a Uniworld exclusive—features a dramatic links course set atop Normandy’s Alabaster Coast at the windy cliffs of Étretat .In a word, magnifique. Not into golf? Stroll through the beautiful Calvados countryside to seaside Honfleur, captured on canvas by generations of artists.

Choice of Honfleur walking discovery tour or Exclusive “Let's Go” golfing in Étretat.

Day 12, Rouen
Walk in the footsteps of greatness in Normandy’s medieval capital, a city with a historic quarter that remains amazingly intact. From the cathedral Monet painted dozens of times to the cross marking to spot where Joan of Arc was martyred, Rouen is a treasure trove for the culturally curious. The medieval capital of Normandy, Rouen has managed to preserve much of its historic core, despite being turned into a battlefield numerous times. The roll call of famous people who lived or died in Rouen is long and varied— Richard the Lionheart, Joan of Arc, Gustave Flaubert and Claude Monet are among them.

Featured Excursion: Capital of the dukes of Normandy

Day 13, Mantes-la-Jolie (Versailles)
How did France’s rulers live over the centuries? Step into the private rooms of either the Palace of Versailles, the lavish palace built by the Sun King, or Marie Antoinette’s hamlet to find out.
Choice of Palace of Versailles secret apartments or "Let's Go" biking Versailles Gardens and the Queen's Hamlet.

A special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.

Day 14, Paris
Whether you’re a first-time visitor to the “City of Light” or you’ve been here many times before, there’s something for everyone today in Paris. Enjoy a panoramic overview of the city, or join a local expert for a walk through two much-loved neighborhoods.

Choice of Paris city tour or “Do as the Locals Do” Île de la Cité and Latin Quarter walking tour.

Day 15, Paris - Lyon
Disembark the S.S. Joie de Vivre and transfer via high-speed, first-class TGV train to Lyon for the fantastic final leg of your French adventure, where you’ll find the striking S.S. Catherine waiting to carry you through Burgundy and Provence.

Day 16, Mâcon (Beaune)
The pace of life is decidedly more relaxed in Burgundy, where endless rows of grapes hang heavy on the vine. The capital of the region’s wine trade, Beaune, is renowned for its history, beauty and highly prized wine, as well as its medieval-era hospital—the Hospices de Beaune. Located in the southernmost part of Burgundy, Mâcon, a Saône River port, is your gateway to Beaune.

Choice of Burgundy wine landscapes or Mâcon walking discovery tour.

A special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.

Day 17, Lyon
As the epicenter of French gastronomy, Lyon is a city of tantalizing contrasts. There’s much to explore here, from the work of culinary visionaries to silk weavers’ secret passageways. After your choice of excursions, embrace the locals’ favorite mode of transportation with a patisserie-fueled bike ride—a great way to see the sights. Two rivers: one tranquil, one torrential. Two hills: one for labor, where the sound of the silk weavers’ looms used to echo; the other for prayers, crowned by a spectacular basilica. Two cities, as different as night and day: one boasting colorful Old World façades, medieval mansions and hidden passageways; one with a sophisticated urbanity reminiscent of Paris. Situated at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers, and with roots stretching back over 2,000 years to the days of Julius Caesar, Lyon is a place of fascinating dualities. Today you have your choice of ways to explore this city of contrasts: Sample its culinary riches with a visit to its peerless market hall or follow the footsteps of the silk weavers in the old quarter. For a more active option, see the city from its extensive—and lovely—bike paths.

Featured Excursion: “Let's Go” Lyon peninsula bicycle tour

Choice of “Do as the Locals Do” Lyon silk weavers or Lyon capital of Gastronomy tour.

Day 18, Tournon (Tain-l’Hermitage)
If you love fine wine, you’ll love the twin villages of Tournon and Tain-l’Hermitage. Whether you opt for a guided walk or a more vigorous vineyard hike, you’ll also have a chance to taste the local specialty—wonderful wines made primarily from Syrah grapes.

Choice of “Let's Go” Hermitage terrace vineyards hike with wine tasting or Exclusive Tournon and Tain-l’Hermitage twin villages stroll with wine tasting.

Day 19, Viviers
Meet some new friends today in the village of Viviers; encounters that really get at the heart and soul of the French people and their culture and traditions. No matter whom you get to know—a pottery maker, a dance teacher or a local homeowner—you’ll have an enjoyable and truly authentic experience, something you’ll remember for years to come. An enchanting village where time seems to have stopped centuries ago, Viviers has a long and storied past that goes back more than 1,600 years—and a splendid architectural heritage to match. At one time, Viviers was divided along religious lines—the clergy lived in the upper part of the town, the laity in the lower part. Your exploration of the town will take you through both parts, as you begin at the crest and make your way to the riverbank.

Featured Excursion: Exclusive intimate Viviers “Village Day”

Day 20, Avignon
The walled city of Avignon is one of the most fascinating towns in southern France, with a host of historic gems to explore—including the fortress residence of rebellious popes who broke from Rome and once lived and ruled here. You’ll see the Palace of the Popes and much more today, and also have a chance to kayak under a 2,000-year-old Roman aqueduct. Avignon is home to the medieval bridge immortalized in the folk song “Sur le Pont d ’Avignon,” as well as the mighty Palace of the Popes. From a distance, the picture-perfect city center looks as though it has been lifted straight from the pages of a history book, but all you need to do is step inside its medieval walls to discover the prosperous heart of contemporary Avignon.

Choice of Avignon walking discovery tour with Palace of the Popes or Pont du Gard Roman Aqueduct visit.

Day 21, Tarascon (Arles or Tarascon)
Explore one of two sun-drenched Provençal towns today, each with an allure all its own. Known for its remarkable Roman ruins, Arles so inspired Van Gogh that he painted some 200 paintings there; Tarascon boasts an ancient castle, as well as a local legend about a ferocious dragon. Arles has existed since the sixth century BC, when the ancient Greeks founded it and named it Theline. It was here that the Romans built their first bridge across the Rhône River, creating a vital overland route between Italy and Spain and facilitating the expansion of their empire. Long renowned as one of the region’s most attractive cities, it lured artist Vincent van Gogh, who painted hundreds of works here (including Sunflowers and The Yellow House) in just 15 months. A short distance from Arles is the ancient and charming town of Tarascon. Its many medieval sites include a 12th-century church and a 15th-century castle that is rich with tales of a beloved ruler. Bask in the warmth of the Provençal sunlight in either of these friendly Mediterranean towns.

Featured Excursions:

  • Mediterranean Arles walking discovery tour
  • Tarascon walking discovery tour

A special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.

Day 22, Avignon
Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Marseille International Airport for your flight home.

Enquire about this Cruise

Call us

Prefer speaking to us over the phone? Our French Specialists would love to help you out!

AU 1300 858 304

Opening Hours:
9am - 5.30pm Monday to Friday

Find out more information from our French Travel Specialist

Call us

Prefer speaking to us over the phone? Our French Specialists would love to help you out!

AU 1300 858 304

Opening Hours:
9am - 5.30pm Monday to Friday

Enquire Now

Find out more information from our French Travel Specialist

Enquire Now

Meet Your French Travel Specialist...

Contacts