Day 1: Arrival in Avignon
Welcome to Avignion also known as 'the other Rome". Upon arrival, your driver meets you and takes you to your centrally located hotel for check-in.
Today you have time to explore the city on your own and dive in the atmosphere of this historical town.
Day 2: Discovering the Hill-top Villages of Luberon
In the morning after breakfast prepare for a full day tour of the Provence countryside. Together with your driver-guide you explore the Luberon region, characterized by a series of strikingly picturesque perched, hill-top villages, dating back 1000 years or more.
The Luberon is an area of lush vegetation and exceptional wildlife and a place where vineyards and cherry orchards dot the hillsides. Together with your guide you visit a local market and taste the famous rosé wines of Provence at a local winery.
After the tour you are transferred back to your hotel. The rest of the day is free.
Day 3: Treasures of Provence Tour
Meet your driver-guide for a day trip devoted to the incredible Roman heritage of Provence.
In the 1st century BC, Julius Caesar and his Legionnaires defeated the Celts in Gaul, and the land they conquered became Roman Provincia. The region still boasts rich Roman presence, which lasted for about 500 years, and today you get to tour the best-preserved Roman monuments in the south of France.
One of the places you see today is the ancient UNESCO-listed Pont du Gard which is the highest aqueduct ever built in Roman times. You then proceed to Nimes, one of the major cities in Roman times, to visit the well-preserved Nimes Amphitheatre (entrance tickets included).
As a culmination of the tour you proceed to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a village and a renown French Wine Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC), the history of which is entwined with the history of Avignon Papacy. Here you visit a local winery and taste its rich wines.
After the tour, you are transferred back to your hotel. The rest of the day is free.
Day 4 Embarkation
Following breakfast in your hotel, you check out and have a transfer to the port.
Day 4: Embarkation
Upon arrival in the port you board Belmond Napoléon. Here you are welcomed with a champagne reception, meet the crew, who serves an exceptional voyage through the French countryside. Once you are settled in, experience your first cruise past the famous Pont Saint-Bénezet and Villeneuve les Avignon to the country mooring of Roquemaure.
In the evening you enjoy a superb cuisine skilfully created by the chef accompanied by wines from France's finest vineyards.
Day 5: Tour of Avignon
Following a sumptuous breakfast of freshly baked bread and pastries, your guide takes you on the short drive back to visit the splendid walled city of Avignon.
Your guided walk includes a tour of the Palace of the Popes and free time for shopping or sampling café society. Back to the barge for a late lunch and cruise to Viviers, a charming medieval town mooring. This is an ideal spot to take the barge’s bikes out or challenge the crew to a game of pétanque.
Day 6: Trip to Grignan and Truffle Farm
After breakfast your guide escorts you on a very scenic drive through the countryside to visit Grignan, a typical Provençal village, known for its wild roses and 12th century chateau, famously the beautiful home of Madame de Sevigny where she wrote many of her now published letters.
There is time to visit the quaint village and its narrow cobbled alleys. Lunch is enjoyed at a local restaurant. On the way back to the barge, stop at a truffle farm to learn all about the black diamond and taste the world-renowned delicacy.
Back on board as the barge continues the cruise to La Voulte.
Day 7: Exploring Côtes du Rhône
Following breakfast, you have time to relax on the top deck and watch the beautiful scenery of the Rhône Valley glide by as the barge cruises towards Tain l’Hermitage.
Enjoy lunch on board before your guide takes you to a local winery, just steps from where the boat moors. Take time to explore the delights of the Côtes du Rhône, which include the famous Valrhona chocolate shop, before returning to the barge for dinner.
Day 8: Tour of Vienne and Wine Tasting
Cruising the Vallée du Rhône south of Lyon is a delightful experience. The magnificent vineyards of the Côtes Rôties and the Côtes du Rhône seem to descend right into the river as the Vallée du Rhône narrows en route to Les Roches de Condrieu.
Today, your guide takes you on a walking tour of Vienne, a wonderful river side town full of Roman history. Return to Condrieu to taste the wine produced here.
Day 9: Arrival in Lyon
In the morning you arrive in Lyon, and shortly after lunch your guide takes you on a walking tour of France's second city, renowned for its culture and gastronomy.
Dominating the skyline is the splendidly ornate Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière. Shoppers are sure to appreciate the top-quality stores and chic boutiques. You may also choose to relax in a sunny pavement café and simply watch the world go by. Back on board, your farewell gala dinner provides the perfect chance to exchange stories about your remarkable journey.
Day 10: Departure and Train to Paris
After breakfast the crew bids you farewell before you disembark the barge. Meet the driver for a rail station transfer and in about 2 hours arrive in the capital of France - Paris!
Day 10: Private Cooking Class in Paris
Welcome to the most romantic city in the world and the charming capital of France - Paris! Upon arrival, your driver meets you at train station and takes you to the centrally located hotel.
Today you meet your private guide-chef to take a glimpse into Parisians' daily life on a private cooking class and market tour. Together you enter a non tourist neighbourhood, visit a traditional market street and purchase the ingredients of the menu. Cook an entire meal with a starter, a main dish and a dessert. After an apéritif with Champagne, enjoy a delicious meal all together.
After the tour you return to the hotel.
Day 11: Exploring Champagne Region
Following early breakfast in the hotel, you join a small group tour which takes you to Champagne region that is bubbling over with heritage sites and fine Champagne.
During the tour you get to visit two famous Champagne houses as well as one smaller local producer to have an excellent overview of the process of making world-class Champagne, its history and have a Champagne tasting. Then continue to Reims to see its main sight from the outside, the Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Reims. This Gothic cathedral was the site of 25 coronations of the kings of France, from Louis VIII in 1223 to Charles X in 1825.
After the tour, you are taken back to Paris.
Note: the tour is not available on Sunday. Group size is up to 8 people.
Day 12: Departure
This is a final day of your amazing trip in France! After breakfast, you check out from the hotel and have a departure transfer to the airport.
We wish you a safe flight and hope to work on your future trips!
Not included: international flights, multiple arrival/departure transfers, other meals not mentioned in the program, optional tours and services, all personal expenses.
1. Hotels availability is subject to change. In case current hotels are booked out we will provide alternative hotels of an equal value for you.
2. We include 1 vehicle for your arrival and departure transfers. If multiple vehicles are required additional transfer costs will apply.
Stress-free Booking Book your journey without stress and at convenient pace. You can pay a deposit of 20% to book any tour in any major currency; the final balance will be due 90 days before start date. In event if you decide to change or postpone your trip, you can transfer your deposit to any other packages we offer. Cruise bookings and special offers may be subject to different booking terms.
Trip Assurance If you need our assistance during your trip, you can call our support line available from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. (CET) on weekdays and weekends.