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France

French culture was born along the nation’s rivers.
Rhône & Saône, the light of Provence inspired an artistic movement along the leisurely Rhône. Garonne, the vines of Bordeaux produced an enduring viniculture. Along the Seine, Claude Monet perfected the art of Impressionism at his beloved Giverny. Romantic riverside ruins from Roman and Norman days tell a deeper story. And all waterways in France lead to fertile farmlands whose bounty has shaped a celebrated cuisine.

Arles
Arles is the site of some impressive Roman ruins, including Les Arènes, an arena that seats 20,000 and is still in use, as well as Romanesque monuments such as the Church of Saint-Trôphime, completed in the 15th century.

Avignon
Avignon, nicknamed “City of Popes” because it was home to seven popes from 1309 to 1377.

Bordeaux
Bordeaux’s highlights, including the Place des Quinconces, one of the largest squares in Europe; the neoclassical Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux; and several spectacular churches.

Les Andelys
The small town of Les Andelys, known for its imposing castle, Château Gaillard, built in 1196 by Richard the Lionheart.

Libourne (Saint-Émilion)
The medieval town of Saint-Émilion is an ideal place to linger. Wander its cobblestone lanes, lined with wine shops and bakeries, and stop to admire the amazing rock-hewn church that extends beneath the city’s streets. Another treasure awaiting you underground? A wine tasting in the cellars of a premier Grand Cru estate. With Libourne as your base, travel to nearby Saint-Émilion and immerse yourself more deeply in the region’s history and wine culture.

Lyon
A UNESCO Wolrd Heritage Site with its cobblestone streets of Vieux Lyon (Old Town) Discover Lyon’s historic significance by traversing its hidden traboules – secret passageways that date back to the 4th century, and visit Notre Dame Basilica, offering a fabulous vantage point for views across Lyon.

Macon
Beaujolais wine region, you’re sure to love Mâcon. Be fascinated by its history and delighted by the surrounding picturesque farming region acclaimed for its five wine appellations and gastronomy.

Paris
A dazzling city and marvel at its most remarkable sights, including the iconic Eiffel Tower, take in the École Militaire, Orsay Museum and Latin Quarter, and magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral, Louvre and Opera House.
Join an tour to the luxurious Palace of Versailles, former home of Louis XIV.e famed Champs-Élysées.

Rouen
The medieval city of Rouen, preeminent capital of Normandy. Walk through the center of Old Town, where you see the spectacular Gothic Notre Dame Cathedral, often painted by Claude Monet, and the famous Gros Horloge, a 16th-century astronomical clock. As you walk among the half-timbered storybook buildings, allow yourself to be transported back through time; see the 14th-century courthouse where Joan of Arc was sentenced to death and the nearby Market Square where she was martyred.

Vernon
Take a short ride from Vernon into the town of Giverny, where Claude Monet resided from 1883 until his death in 1926. Visit the beautiful gardens and charming stone farmhouse where he lived and worked; see the water garden with the recognizable Japanese bridge, water lilies, wisteria and azaleas that inspired many of his masterpieces.

Book by 30 June 2018 and save 10% on all 2019 river cruises.

Grand France

15 Days   |  Paris, La Roche-Guyon, Vernon (Giverny), Rouen, Caudebec-en-Caux (Honfleur or Étretat), Mantes-la-Jolie (Versailles), Mâcon (Beaune), Lyon, Tournon (Tain-l’Hermitage), Viviers, Avignon, Tarascon, Arles

From £4,140 pp

A meticulously planned itinerary tailor-made for culturally curious travellers. Soak up the joie de vivre that makes France one of the most adored countries in the world.

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