UW-MT-Exterior-Budapest-9871.jpg

Inspiring Itineraries

 

 Columbia & Snake River Cruise 

columbia.png
Highlights

 

  • Breathtaking landscapes from desert plains to gorges, mountain forests and waterfalls.

  • Diverse ecosystems and abundant wildlife

  • Ideal viewing locations from balconies, sun decks and the banks of the rivers.

  • Unique onshore experiences:  museums, state parks, historical homes, and winery visits.

  • On board experts including a Riverlorian that will bring history to life.

  • Performers who weave in the heritage and culture of the region.

  • Regionally inspired locally sourced cuisine.

Sample Itinerary

Day 1 CHALON­SUR SAÔNE – EMBARKATION


Board your ship in preparation for your 7 night Essence of Provence & Burgundy Cruise




Day 2 CHALON­SUR SAÔNE


CHALON­SUR SAÔNE Historic City Tour with Local Market or Beaune Walking Tour OR Château de Couches TOURNUS Scenic cruising, Chalon­ Tournus bike tour OR Chalonnaise wine tasting Located in southern Burgundy at the heart of the Côte Chalonnaise wine region, Chalon-Sur-Saône whispers the secrets of its medieval past which you will discover on your historic city tour. Alternatively, choose an excursion in Beaune, a walled town nestled in the heart of Cote d’Or vineyards where you’ll stroll the cobblestone streets and take in such sights as the mosaic-tiled roof of the Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune, founded in the 15th century as a hospital for the less fortunate. Or, visit the storybook Château de Couches, a medieval fortress enveloped in idyllic hills and greenery that once served the Dukes of Burgundy. Later in the day, enjoy a scenic sailing to Tournus, or pedal from Chalon-Sur- Saône to Tournus on an exhilarating guided bike tour. Alternatively, once in Tournus, sample the region’s famous white Mâconnais wines.




Day 3 TOURNUS


TOURNUS Tournus city tour & Abbey of Saint Philibert visit OR Château Cormatin OR Medieval Brancion OR Bike tour to Brancion Macon Macon bike tour OR Maconnais wine tasting Today you have a choice of a number of excursions as you explore the cities of Tournus and Macon. Let your knowledgeable guide lead you through Tournus and to its magnificent Benedictine Abbey of Saint Philibert. Or choose instead to visit the moated Château de Cormatin, which dates back to the early 17th century and features ornate apartments as well as a beautifully manicured garden. As an alternative, venture to the medieval village of Brancion with its preserved gateway, church and market hall, or pedal through the charming town. Return to the ship and enjoy a scenic cruise to Mâcon, or instead join a guided bike tour from Tournus to Macon and meet the ship in the latter. If you chose to cruise, you can later enjoy a tasting of Chalonnaise wines.




Day 4 MACON


MACON “The South Burgundy City” Macon tour OR Cluny & Berze­-le­-Chatel visit OR Monastère de Brou OR Bike tour to Berze­le­Chatel Villefranche-sur-Saone Scenic Cruising OR Beaujolais wine tasting LYON Illuminations cruise Join a guided tour through the “South Burgundy City” of Mâcon, learning about its local vineyards, museums, historical sites and perhaps its famous son, the poet and minister Alphonse de Lamartine. Or venture somewhat off the beaten path to Cluny, known for its large abbey, and the nearby castle Berze-le-Chatel, a well-preserved fortress perched on a rocky hill offering stunning views below. Alternately, you can enjoy a guided bike tour to Berze-le-Chatel. Should architecture or religion be one of your main interests, perhaps choose the excursion to the Royal Monastery of Brou, built in the 16th century and boasting a glorious white façade as well as a beautifully tiled roof. Return to the ship and head to the Sun Deck to enjoy a light lunch and the passing landscapes on the way to Villefranche-sur-Saône. For those traveling by ship, enjoy a tasting of Beaujolais wines once you arrive. During the evening, enjoy a special Illuminations cruise – a highlight of your river cruise – as you enter the city of Lyon.




Day 5 LYON


LYON

“France’s Culinary Capital” city tour OR Lyon bike tour

OR Lyon tasting tour Mini train Vienne tour

OR ViaRhôna bike tour

OR Mount Pipet hike

Discover dynamic Lyon, starting in Fourvière Hill, part of the city’s historic region that is now a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the 19th-century basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière. Continue on to the old town of Lyon, followed by a guided walk through the St. Jean district, where you will be introduced to the city’s unique covered walkways, known as “traboules.” Or get active a guided bike tour through the city designed with cyclists in mind. If you’re a self-described foodie, our Lyon tasting tour is for you, during which you’ll have a chance to taste some of Lyon’s local delights. Later in the day, sail to Vienne, which boasts a Roman past that can be seen in its marvelously preserved ruins. There you can ride the charming mini train around the city. For those wishing to be more active, you can either take a guided bike tour along a portion of the ViaRhôna bike route or a guided hike from the ship to the Monastery at Mount Pipet.




Day 6 VIENNE


VIENNE

Scenic cruising Valence city tour

Valence

Valence City Tour OR Bike tour

OR Cooking school OR Cornas wine tasting

Take your coffee on your balcony or the Sun Deck as you cruise to Valence, a designated “City of Art and History,” where you can see such sites as its 11th-century Cathedral of St. Apollinaris or perhaps its House of Heads (named for the carved heads of its façade and courtyard) on your city tour. For a more active adventure, pedal through this bicycle-friendly city. Or indulge your culinary wanderlust by attending a specialized excursion to a local French cooking school. If you prefer a more relaxing excursion, taste the Northern Rhône’s red Cornas wines.




Day 7 AVIGNON


AVIGNON

Walking tour and Papal Palace OR Tastes of Avignon

OR Avignon­ Tarascon bike tour Arles walking tour

OR Van Gogh walking tour OR Arles bike tour

Avignon, aptly named the “City of Popes,” was the center of the Catholic Church in the 14th century when its “Palais des Papes” was the equivalent of today’s Vatican. Discover the history of Avignon on a guided walking tour that includes the Papal Palace and the well­preserved medieval walls surrounding the historic center of town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alternately, you can visit three venues around Avignon to taste regional specialties including macarons, cheese and wine, and tapenades. Or, you can enjoy a bike tour along the Rhône from Avignon to the provençal town of Tarascon. Later in the day, cruise to Arles, considered one of the most beautiful cities in France. Let your experienced guide lead you to the top sights, including the Romanesque cathedral and Roman amphitheater; or take a guided bike tour to the Roman ruins. If you wish to delve further into Van Gogh’s Arles, join a special walking tour along with a visit to the Vincent van Gogh Foundation, showcasing his legacy. Or take some time to focus on wellness with a guided bike tour through town.




Day 8 ARLES


Bid farewell to Arles and prepare for your return flight home or begin a 3 days post cruise land package in Barcelona.





 

 Train from London to Venice 

+ 7 Night Adriatic & Greece Voyage 
VSOE-EXT-SCE-08.jpg
Highlights
  • ​London: Enjoy two full days in the city to embrace the history, culture and cosmopolitan flair of England’s timeless capital.

  • Historic Railway: Board the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express for an inspiring journey across Europe that includes a fabulous overnight stay on this exquisitely
    elegant train.

  • Superb Accommodations: Enjoy a private cabin and a personal steward to
    see to all your needs.

  • Foodie Experiences: Savor a Bellini brunch; a delicious three-course lunch; and a decadent four-course dinner, paired with superb wine – all while gliding along the rails.

  • Panoramic Europe: While enjoying the comforts of the golden age of travel, soak up panoramas as you cross Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany and France.

  • Venice: Disembark the train in Italy’s most breathtaking city and explore independently

  • 7 Night Adriatic & Greece luxury small ship cruise

  • Athens:  Explore this ancient city with a 2-night stay diving deep into all things Greek!

 

About Venice Simplon-Orient Express

 

The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is the more storied set of carriages in the world, inviting you to cross Europe with a grace that harkens back to the golden age of rail travel. From the landmarks of London to the canals of Venice, you will journey in grand style with rich woodwork, sumptuous upholstery and antique fixtures making for a divine Art Deco ambiance. Gourmet cuisine and impeccable service further add to the experience as you cross through Austria, Germany and France soaking up sweeping panoramas the entire way. Enjoy a taste of the good life and a wonderful trip back in time.

VSOE-BAR-33.jpg
Sample Itinerary

Day 1 London


Meet your local representative who will escort you to your hotel in the heart of London. Check in and enjoy the first of two days on your own, discovering the rich history and fashion-forward attitude of England’s most captivating city. You may wish to ride the London Eye or head to the top of the Shard for bird’s-eye views of the city, immerse yourself in the foodie delights of Borough Market, or simply stroll along the riverside getting a feel for the vibrant city. Stop for a drink in a typical London pub, or find a curbside eatery and watch the capital go about its business. Retire to your boutique hotel as you dream of what tomorrow holds.




Day 2 London


Take advantage of another uninterrupted day in London. You are free to explore at your own pace – as there are a lot of choices, it is a good idea to prioritize. If you are a history buff, the Tower of London is a must. Enter this mighty fortress and hear tales of royal treachery, imprisonment and bloody beheadings. Take in the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace or soak up views from the walkways of iconic Tower Bridge. Hyde Park is a great place to unwind and there is always something happening at Piccadilly Circus. Come evening, set out for a night on the town. Glittering restaurants and world-class shows abound. This is your day to do exactly as you wish.




Day 3 Venice Simplon-Orient-Express


After breakfast, check out and meet your driver early in the morning for the transfer to London Victoria Station. Check in with the Belmond team before boarding the Belmond British Pullman for a luxurious ride to the coast. Relax and savor a Bellini brunch on the way to Folkestone, then disembark and transfer to the awaiting coach. A 35-minute drive through the Eurotunnel takes you across the English Channel to Calais, France. This is where you will board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express for your European journey. Marvel at the train’s old-world elegance and settle into your private cabin with help from your personal steward. Later, dress for the occasion as a gourmet four-course dinner is served. Enjoy a nightcap in the Bar Car before retiring to your cabin, which has been magically transformed into a cozy bedroom.




Day 4 Venice


Wake at your leisure and enjoy a continental breakfast served in your cabin. Watch the panoramic views pass by, or perhaps join your follow guests for coffee in the Bar Car. Later, sit down to a three-course lunch. Then, sit back, relax and soak up some of Europe’s most spectacular scenery as you pass through the Italian Dolomites. If you are so inclined, take afternoon tea in your cabin as your first glimpse of Venice comes into view. Pull into Santa Lucia Station, where you will disembark the train. Welcome to La Serenissima! From here, your adventure continues as you spend a day or two exploring the city before you board your cruise.





greece.png
Croatia, Montenegro, and Greece

 

Arrive early in Venice to drink in as much of this romantic, scenic city as you can before we set sail on an immersive voyage along the Adriatic coast and around the Greek Isles.

 

In Sibenik, Croatia, a major wine-producing region, enjoy a local red babic and pair it with freshly caught Adriatic seafood. One of Europe’s best-preserved medieval cities, Kotor, Montenegro, is our next destination, where a dry white Krstac wine pairs perfectly with exploring a maze of cobblestone streets. Then it is on to the Greek Island of Corfu, home to turquoise blue waters and gorgeous sandy beaches. Savor every second of an island sunset and treat yourself to a nightcap, thanks to a late stay in port.

 

Katakolon is next on the itinerary, and for good reason—the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Olympia is just a 40-minute drive from port. Escape to the gem of the Aegean, Santorini. We stay late again here, so take your time strolling the bustling streets and volcanic beaches before finishing your day with a glass of Vinsanto (a sweet, strong dessert wine).

 

Mykonos is your next stop, with its whitewashed houses, breathtaking blue harbor, and vibrant nightlife. Your journey concludes in the cradle of European civilization—Athens. You will have one more chance to drink in the spellbinding beauty of Greece and give one last shout of “Opa!” before you depart.

Voyage Itinerary

Day 5 Venice Italy


Experience Venice, one of the most captivating—and romantic—cities in the world. Tour the city’s cobblestone streets and overarching bridges or take to the water and explore the canals on a water taxi or gondola. As you make your way through the city, you will find plenty of opportunities to shop, sample delicious Veneto wines, or people watch in Piazza San Marco.




Day 6 Sibenik Croatia


A must see in the old part of Sibenik is the Cathedral Sveti Jakov, and if you love the great outdoors, then visit Krka National Park. One of the best ways to see Sibenik is to lose yourself in the side streets and alleys that lead to charming shops and squares. Be sure to take a break at one of the city’s many restaurants and enjoy a local red babic paired with some fresh Adriatic seafood.




Day 7 Kotor Montenegro


A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kotor is filled with churches, shops, bars, restaurants, and hidden piazzas. (The latter are perfect for enjoying Montenegrin wines like the red Vranac or dry white Krstac.) The entire city is surrounded by stone, both in the form of imposing Mount Saint John and by towering ancient walls, creating a cozy feeling of protection when you walk the cobblestone streets.




Day 8 Corfu Greece


It is one of the most popular Greek Isles for good reason. Explore the cobblestoned streets of Old Town in search of handcrafted treasures or while away the day on a sandy beach in town, or head out to the charming countryside. Here you will find olive groves, lemon trees, and rugged cliffs that are more than postcard worthy.




Day 9 Katakolon (Olympia), Greece


The quaint seaside town of Katakolon has many charms but let us be honest: You’re going to want to head to Olympia. Located just a 40-minute drive away, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is the site of the original Olympic Games, dates back to 776 BC, and has excellent companion museums like the Archaeological Museum of Olympia and the Museum of the History of the Ancient Olympic Games.




Day 10 Santorini, Greece


The capital, Fira, clings to the rim of the caldera 900 feet above the sea. Take the cable car or giddy up on a donkey to climb the 588 steps to the top. Hike to nearby Oia, a quintessential Greek village. Head south to the 3,500-year-old Minoan town Akrotiri. Often called Greece’s answer to Pompeii, the well-preserved ruins provide a glimpse into Santorini’s storied (and explosive) past.




Day 11 Mykonos, Greece


Picture perfect is the best way to describe Mykonos. Idyllic in every way, from the brilliant blue water in its harbor to the rows of 16th-century Venetian windmills, Mykonos is a postcard come to life! Spend your days strolling delightful cobblestone streets and visiting artisan craft shops. And when the sun goes down, discover why locals refer to this hedonistic city as the Ibiza of Greece!




Day 12 Piraeus (Athens), Greece


Disembark from your cruise liner as your driver takes you to your boutique hotel. From there, start your journey in Piraeus with an archaeological walk past landmarks like the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Ancient Agora, and of course, the Acropolis. Afterwards, head to the Central Market for a feast of fresh fruit and veggies, nuts, olives, and Grecian cheese. Finally, check out a local taverna where you can rub elbows with the locals well into the wee hours of the night.




Day 13 Piraeus (Athens), Greece


Meet your private guide and start with a visit to the Acropolis Hill, covering the main buildings such as the imposing gates the so-called "Propylaea", the stunning Temple of Athena Nike, the most elaborate of all temples Erectheion. Then you will head down to the southern slope of the hill to pass by the city's ancient hospital, the temple of Asclepius, the healing god, to finally visit the theatre of Dionysus, where Ancient Greek drama was born. Spend some time in the Acropolis Museum to discuss the evolution of sculpture through the remains of the decoration of the buildings that are still standing on the Acropolis. Have an afternoon break before making your way to your hosts home to enjoy a traditional Greek cooking class with dinner. You will dine with an evening view of the Acropolis in the charming home of your hosts. Satisfied by a great meal and perfectly paired wines, you will be smiling thinking about how fabulous your vacation has been.




Day 14 Piraeus (Athens), Greece


Your private driver will transport you from your hotel to the airport for your flight back home.





 

 Segments & World Cruises 

segments.png
Just imagine…
  • Embarking on a leisurely, extended voyage with a heart full of anticipation and wonder

  • Relishing the many moments, the view outside your window changes

  • Settling into your cozy new home for a month or three with a routine you freely create

  • Becoming one with the cultures by experiencing them up close and personal

Cruises date back to the Golden Age of steam ships when stylish, well-to-do passengers circumnavigated the globe in the time-honored tradition. On board these days, you will find younger travelers, that can work remotely as well as those passengers with more time on their hands.  These itineraries invite those to see more with much less effort than taking multiple, individual trips.  The best benefit, in our view, is the value World Cruises and segments offer.

 

World Cruise amenities are generous and give travelers the satisfaction of packaging all their needs into one bundle.  Add on top of that Virtuoso amenities and it is a win-win for those who yearn for more time on the sea and longer stays in ports. There are a multitude of itinerary options, and we recommend booking these journeys more than a year before sailing date. While you leave the ship navigation to the Captain, let us assist in navigating just the right length for your journey as well as the perfect ship for your indulgent voyage!  Here is a sample of a well-rounded 71 Day Grand Voyage itinerary departing and returning from a US port.

Red roofs of Eden Island, aerial view of
 

 Iceland Expedition 

Iceland Circumnavigation

Land of fire and ice. A Viking stronghold.  A modern country on an ancient island.  It has culture, wildlife, water wonders and such dramatic beauty, it will change the way you look at the world.  Air travel time from the Northeast US is 5.5 hours.

iceland.png
Highlights

  • You will witness firsthand this global hotspot for culture

  • Reykjavik is considered the cleanest and greenest city in the world!

  • Sail North of the Arctic Circle by visiting Grimsey

  • The world’s newest island, Surtsey, was formed by a volcano in 1963!

  • Landscapes beyond imagining, explore by hiking, explore the coastline
    in Zodiacs, walk on black sand beaches that are nuzzled against
    rugged coastlines.

  • Be in awe at the windswept volcanoes, secret hot springs hidden in misty valleys while majestic waterfalls cascade from every hill.

  • You will see fjords, sea stacks, bird cliffs, lava fields, glaciers and caves!

  • Benefit from traveling with local guides, knowledge-keepers, wildlife experts, naturalist, and researchers.  You will be engaged and educated about the wild places and wild species of Iceland.

  • There is a chance to see the Northern Lights if you visit during the late fall.

Sample Itinerary

Day 1 Reykjavík, Iceland


Iceland’s cosmopolitan capital, Reykjavík, was established in 874 AD. Powered by geothermal energy, Reykjavík is widely considered one of the cleanest, greenest cities on Earth. Food, culture, and nightlife abound! The National Culture House preserves treasures like the Poetic Edda, and the Norse Sagas in their original manuscripts. Cruisers depart Reykjavík in the evening after an organized tour.




Day 2 Snæfellsnes Peninsula


This day we will explore the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, a region known for its dramatic beauty and fascinating geological history. There will also be many opportunities to observe seabirds and marine life as we explore one of Iceland’s most amazing coastlines.




Day 3 The Westfjords


Only 10% of travelers ever see this region, known for its jagged bird cliffs and multihued beaches. Coastal Fjords, immense mountains and tiny villages can be found here, and a traditional lifestyle that is embraced by the region’s inhabitants.




Day 4 Siglufjörður


This area used to be the center of the herring fishing industry. Today, it is resurgent. The Herring Era Museum, which includes re-enactments, is wonderful. Foodies will enjoy visiting the bakery, chocolate factory and brewery. The folk music center is a gem as well.

Grimsey – this island lies on the Artic Circle. Its small human population shared the island with nearly a million seabirds! These birds include puffins, guillemots, and gulls. A Zodiac cruise among rock formations is a trip highlight.




Day 5 Akureyri


Iceland’s second-largest urban area, Akureyri, enjoys a relatively mild climate and ice-free harbor. Shops, cafes, and restaurants make for good exploring of the urban kind, along with ten museums to discover and explore. Akuyeri’s botanical gardens are among the northernmost in the world, miraculously growing several thousand plant species. The view from the steps of the monumental Lutheran church is worth the walk!




Day 6 Húsavík on Skjalfandi Bay


Húsavík on Skjalfandi Bay, is known as the “Whale Capital” of Iceland. Fifteen different whale species frequent the area; we also hope to see dolphins and dozens of varieties of birds. Various museums await exploration, including the Whale Museum, Húsavík Museum, and the Exploration Museum, which houses artifacts Apollo astronaut training in the area.




Day 7 Seyðisfjörður


Seyðisfjörður is nestled at the tip of its namesake fjord. The picturesque town of 700 is known for its flourishing art scene, cobbled rainbow road, and excellent handicrafts. There are numerous opportunities for hiking, including a walk up to Tvísöngur sound sculpture on a nearby hill. Nearby Skalanes Nature Reserve is family owned and operated. The center for research and interpretation of Iceland’s environment and cultural history is a model for sustainable tourism.




Day 8 Southeast Iceland


The south of Iceland is home to some of the country’s most beautiful natural attractions. Here we have opportunities to explore a unique mix of volcanoes, lagoons, and glaciers—as well as hot springs, geysers, and spectacular waterfalls.




Day 9 Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands)


Vestmannaeyjar lies off the south coast of Iceland and comprises fourteen islands, numerous rocks, and skerries. Only the largest island, Heimaey, is inhabited. Heimaey rose to global prominence when it was nearly destroyed by the eruption of the volcano Eldfell in 1973. Nearby sea cliffs dotted with massive sea caves offer excellent opportunities for birds, including the much-loved puffins.




Day 10: Reykjavík, Iceland


Disembarkation in Reykjavik. Fly home or stay a few nights to enjoy this cosmopolitan city.





 

 Essence of Burgundy & Provence 

7 ­NIGHT CRUISE with 3 Night Geneva Pre Cruise
or/and 3 Night Barcelona Post Cruise Land
essenceOfburgundy.png

Indulge in French flavors on a palate­pleasing itinerary that highlights the essence of France’s Burgundy and Provence. Uncover the Roman history of Chalon­sur Saône and delight in charming Tournus with its towering Romanesque abbey and historic apothecary shop. Visit French châteaux from Burgundy to Provence, taste your way through the French culinary capital of Lyon and visit the Papal Palace in Avignon. While you will get more than a taste of Burgundy and Provence during this itinerary, the essence of these destinations will linger on your palate – and in your heart – for a lifetime!

Sample Itinerary

Day 1 CHALON­SUR SAÔNE – EMBARKATION


Board your ship in preparation for your 7 night Essence of Provence & Burgundy Cruise




Day 2 CHALON­SUR SAÔNE


CHALON­SUR SAÔNE Historic City Tour with Local Market or Beaune Walking Tour OR Château de Couches TOURNUS Scenic cruising, Chalon­ Tournus bike tour OR Chalonnaise wine tasting Located in southern Burgundy at the heart of the Côte Chalonnaise wine region, Chalon-Sur-Saône whispers the secrets of its medieval past which you will discover on your historic city tour. Alternatively, choose an excursion in Beaune, a walled town nestled in the heart of Cote d’Or vineyards where you’ll stroll the cobblestone streets and take in such sights as the mosaic-tiled roof of the Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune, founded in the 15th century as a hospital for the less fortunate. Or, visit the storybook Château de Couches, a medieval fortress enveloped in idyllic hills and greenery that once served the Dukes of Burgundy. Later in the day, enjoy a scenic sailing to Tournus, or pedal from Chalon-Sur- Saône to Tournus on an exhilarating guided bike tour. Alternatively, once in Tournus, sample the region’s famous white Mâconnais wines.




Day 3 TOURNUS


TOURNUS Tournus city tour & Abbey of Saint Philibert visit OR Château Cormatin OR Medieval Brancion OR Bike tour to Brancion Macon Macon bike tour OR Maconnais wine tasting Today you have a choice of a number of excursions as you explore the cities of Tournus and Macon. Let your knowledgeable guide lead you through Tournus and to its magnificent Benedictine Abbey of Saint Philibert. Or choose instead to visit the moated Château de Cormatin, which dates back to the early 17th century and features ornate apartments as well as a beautifully manicured garden. As an alternative, venture to the medieval village of Brancion with its preserved gateway, church and market hall, or pedal through the charming town. Return to the ship and enjoy a scenic cruise to Mâcon, or instead join a guided bike tour from Tournus to Macon and meet the ship in the latter. If you chose to cruise, you can later enjoy a tasting of Chalonnaise wines.




Day 4 MACON


MACON “The South Burgundy City” Macon tour OR Cluny & Berze­-le­-Chatel visit OR Monastère de Brou OR Bike tour to Berze­le­Chatel Villefranche-sur-Saone Scenic Cruising OR Beaujolais wine tasting LYON Illuminations cruise Join a guided tour through the “South Burgundy City” of Mâcon, learning about its local vineyards, museums, historical sites and perhaps its famous son, the poet and minister Alphonse de Lamartine. Or venture somewhat off the beaten path to Cluny, known for its large abbey, and the nearby castle Berze-le-Chatel, a well-preserved fortress perched on a rocky hill offering stunning views below. Alternately, you can enjoy a guided bike tour to Berze-le-Chatel. Should architecture or religion be one of your main interests, perhaps choose the excursion to the Royal Monastery of Brou, built in the 16th century and boasting a glorious white façade as well as a beautifully tiled roof. Return to the ship and head to the Sun Deck to enjoy a light lunch and the passing landscapes on the way to Villefranche-sur-Saône. For those traveling by ship, enjoy a tasting of Beaujolais wines once you arrive. During the evening, enjoy a special Illuminations cruise – a highlight of your river cruise – as you enter the city of Lyon.




Day 5 LYON


LYON

“France’s Culinary Capital” city tour OR Lyon bike tour

OR Lyon tasting tour Mini train Vienne tour

OR ViaRhôna bike tour

OR Mount Pipet hike

Discover dynamic Lyon, starting in Fourvière Hill, part of the city’s historic region that is now a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the 19th-century basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière. Continue on to the old town of Lyon, followed by a guided walk through the St. Jean district, where you will be introduced to the city’s unique covered walkways, known as “traboules.” Or get active a guided bike tour through the city designed with cyclists in mind. If you’re a self-described foodie, our Lyon tasting tour is for you, during which you’ll have a chance to taste some of Lyon’s local delights. Later in the day, sail to Vienne, which boasts a Roman past that can be seen in its marvelously preserved ruins. There you can ride the charming mini train around the city. For those wishing to be more active, you can either take a guided bike tour along a portion of the ViaRhôna bike route or a guided hike from the ship to the Monastery at Mount Pipet.




Day 6 VIENNE


VIENNE

Scenic cruising Valence city tour

Valence

Valence City Tour OR Bike tour

OR Cooking school OR Cornas wine tasting

Take your coffee on your balcony or the Sun Deck as you cruise to Valence, a designated “City of Art and History,” where you can see such sites as its 11th-century Cathedral of St. Apollinaris or perhaps its House of Heads (named for the carved heads of its façade and courtyard) on your city tour. For a more active adventure, pedal through this bicycle-friendly city. Or indulge your culinary wanderlust by attending a specialized excursion to a local French cooking school. If you prefer a more relaxing excursion, taste the Northern Rhône’s red Cornas wines.




Day 7 AVIGNON


AVIGNON

Walking tour and Papal Palace OR Tastes of Avignon

OR Avignon­ Tarascon bike tour Arles walking tour

OR Van Gogh walking tour OR Arles bike tour

Avignon, aptly named the “City of Popes,” was the center of the Catholic Church in the 14th century when its “Palais des Papes” was the equivalent of today’s Vatican. Discover the history of Avignon on a guided walking tour that includes the Papal Palace and the well­preserved medieval walls surrounding the historic center of town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alternately, you can visit three venues around Avignon to taste regional specialties including macarons, cheese and wine, and tapenades. Or, you can enjoy a bike tour along the Rhône from Avignon to the provençal town of Tarascon. Later in the day, cruise to Arles, considered one of the most beautiful cities in France. Let your experienced guide lead you to the top sights, including the Romanesque cathedral and Roman amphitheater; or take a guided bike tour to the Roman ruins. If you wish to delve further into Van Gogh’s Arles, join a special walking tour along with a visit to the Vincent van Gogh Foundation, showcasing his legacy. Or take some time to focus on wellness with a guided bike tour through town.




Day 8 ARLES


Bid farewell to Arles and prepare for your return flight home or begin a 3 days post cruise land package in Barcelona.