French Escapade: Monte-Carlo to Paris - Northbound Aboard ms Emerald

From Monte-Carlo on the Mediterranean, travel to Arles... cruise the Rhone and then the Saone rivers through Provence and into rich wine lands... and on to Lyon... and then overland to the magical city of Paris. Enjoy a true taste of all things Francais on one of our most popular river cruises in France!

On one of the most enjoyable river cruises in France, journey from the jet-setting capital of Monte-Carlo into Provence to Arles to board ms Emerald for a cruise along the Rhone River to Lyon and then along the Saone. Travel into the countryside past vineyards where some of the world's best grapes become some of the world's best wines, stopping to taste some of them. Discover river towns with Roman roots and lingering traces of medieval magic in their streets, experience the cowboy traditions and cuisine of La Camargue, and sample the pleasures of regional cuisine and wine throughout your trip. Explore a palace fit for a pope and an abbey that was once one of the most powerful in Europe. You'll find something new, something wonderful every day. And during two nights in Paris, you'll dine at chic Fouquet's on the Champs-elysees!

9-night cruise of the Rhone and Saone wine country with vineyard visits and wine tastings; Provencal lunch & cowboy demonstration on a family-owned ranch in La Camargue; exclusive gala evening at the Duchy d'Uzes; tasting tour of local food shops in Chalon-sur-Saone; visits to Cluny Abbey, Palais des Papes, and Haras National de Cluny equestrian center; 2-night stays in Paris and Monaco, with choice of museum visits in Paris and a farewell dinner at Fouquet's brasserie on the Champs-elysees.

Traveling Well Includes:
  • Gratuities to ship staff, drivers, local guides, Tauck Directors and Tauck Cruise Director
  • All private Tauck shore excursions - $5,320 Value!
  • TAUCK EXCLUSIVE - Private gala evening at the recently restored Chateau of the medieval Duchy d'Uzes
  • TAUCK EXCLUSIVE - La Camargue excursion to meet the family of a working farm for a Provencal lunch & a cowboy demonstration with prized black bulls
  • Farewell dinner in Paris at the famous Fouquet's brasserie on the Champs-elysees
  • Exploration of the Rhone and Saone wine country with vineyard visits and wine tastings
  • Tasting tour of local food shops in Chalon-sur-Saone
  • Visits to historic Cluny Abbey and Avignon's Palais des Papes
  • Choice of art museum visits in Paris
  • Unlimited complimentary beverages aboard ship now include regional wine, beer and premium spirits in addition to specialty coffee, water and soft drinks.
  • Airport and train station transfers upon arrival and departure as noted
  • 32 meals (13 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 11 dinners); select meals in local restaurants; service charges, taxes, porterage, and applicable fuel surcharges

  • Day 1 - Arrive in Nice and Monte-Carlo

    Tour begins: 6:30 PM, Fairmont Monte Carlo. A transfer is included from Nice Cote d'Azur Airport, the Nice Ville Train Station (TGV) or the Nice Riquier Train Station to the Fairmont Monte Carlo, approximately a 45-minute drive that follows the coast to Monaco. Your hotel is nestled along the glamorous Monte-Carlo waterfront, where Category 7 guests enjoy Sea View rooms. Join us for a welcome reception and dinner overlooking the seaport.

    Lodging: Fairmont Monte Carlo
    Meals: D

    Day 2 - A wonderful day in Monte-Carlo

    Few places are as sophisticated as Monte-Carlo, a favorite playground for jet setters and celebrities from around the world. Here mega-yachts anchor in the harbor, an amazing fleet of cars... think Porsches, Lamborghinis and Ferraris a la James Bond... park in front of the opulent casino, and the fairy-tale legacy of Princess Grace, Prince Rainier and the Grimaldi family, who have ruled the Principality of Monaco for over 700 years, lives on today. Explore Vieux Monaco, viewing the cathedral, the Place de Palais and winding medieval streets on a morning orientation tour, followed by time to explore on your own. Join us for an optional drive along the Mediterranean coast seeing villages tucked into cliffside hideaways and villas nestled in the lush country landscapes. Dinner is on your own tonight. You can walk to many restaurants right from your hotel.

    Lodging: Fairmont Monte Carlo
    Meals: B

    Day 3 - A day in Nice and on to Arles to embark your riverboat

    Today you'll discover why Nice is a perennial favorite of sophisticated travelers. Go on a city orientation walking tour this morning, followed by time to explore as you please. Early afternoon, travel to Arles, where you'll board ms Emerald and begin one of Tauck's most popular river cruises in France. The crew welcomes you aboard with a reception followed by dinner this evening.

    Lodging: ms Emerald
    Meals: B, D

    Day 4 - Discover van Gogh's Arles and meet the cowboys in the Camargue

    It may seem strange to encounter Roman ruins in Provence but Arles was, after all, once a Roman city; while the gladiators are gone, the arena they left behind - just one of the town's many Roman remnants - still hosts performances and bullfights today. You have a choice today of exploring Arles' medieval streets and city walls on a walking tour, or embarking on a challenging, 2-hour bicycling excursion across the countryside surrounding Arles (which van Gogh found so enchanting). Then it's off to La Camargue, France's wild west, where cowboys tend to herds of bulls destined for bullfighting rings in Spain. Visit a working farm to see what these cowhands and their charges do during a demonstration, followed by lunch featuring traditional Provencal fare and entertainment.

    Lodging: ms Emerald
    Meals: B, L, D

    Day 5 - Avignon & a gala dinner in Uzes

    The fortified city of Avignon was probably a much more peaceful place before Rome became inconvenient for the popes who moved the papacy here about 700 years ago. Although they stayed for less than a century, they kept busy during those years... as you'll see on your visit to the impressive Palais des Papes that they built for themselves during this morning's sightseeing in this key medieval city. After a free afternoon aboard ship, travel to the Duchy d'Uzes - a medieval city dating back to the 11th century, often called the First Duchy of France, that forms the heart of the town of Uzes - for a guided visit followed by a cocktail reception and a Tauck Exclusive gala dinner at the recently restored Chateau.

    Lodging: ms Emerald
    Meals: B, L, D

    Day 6 - St. Remy & Chateauneuf du Pape

    With your riverboat docked in Avignon for the morning, you can spend more time exploring the medieval city or take a morning excursion to Saint-Remy-de-Provence - home to the ruins of the Roman city of Glanum, as well as the Saint-Paul Asylum where Vincent van Gogh was a patient. After returning to the ship for lunch onboard, head out again for an afternoon wine tasting at one of the select vineyards permitted to produce Chateauneuf-du-Pape - literally the New Castle of the Pope - the most famous of the Cotes du Rhone wines; your host reveals secrets of the terroir as you sample estate-crafted red and white wines from a region that's been producing wine for more than 2,500 years! Catch up with the riverboat in Chateauneuf-du-Pape and spend the evening onboard.

    Lodging: ms Emerald
    Meals: B, L, D

    Day 7 - Vienne or a bike tour along the Rhone

    It seems that the Romans were everywhere along the Rhone, and Vienne (which they called Vienna in their day) was no exception. During your time on a walking tour here this morning, look for the theatre and temple they left behind, as well as other sights straight out of history. Alternatively, you may instead choose to join a guided bicycle tour following part of the ViaRhona cycling path system along the River Rhone. Return to the riverboat this afternoon to continue your cruise.

    Lodging: ms Emerald
    Meals: B, L, D

    Day 8 - A historic abbey & the equestrian life along the Saone

    Your riverboat arrives in Macon on the Saone River this morning, for exploration in Cluny. During the reign of Charlemagne (742 - 814), monastic influences inspired a great revival in art, education and culture; today you'll visit one of the great monasteries of the period when you tour the great Benedictine Abbey of Cluny. Founded in 910, it was at the center of this major monastic reform movement and was also the largest Christian building in the world until the construction of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. You'll also visit Haras National de Cluny (France's national equestrian center), which dates back to the 19th century, to learn about its high-quality thoroughbred stallions. Have lunch off the riverboat today; later, reboard ms Emerald and enjoy onboard entertainment after dinner as you cruse to Chalon-sur-Saone.

    Lodging: ms Emerald
    Meals: B, L, D

    Day 9 - Chalon-sur-Saone and beyond

    Chalon-sur-Saone on the River Saone lies in the heart of southern Burgundy. Although its history dates back to the time of Charlemagne, it has another significant claim to fame - this is considered the birthplace of photography. So you have local inventor Nicephore Niepce, who started it all with several photographic firsts right here in the 1820s, to thank for the great photos of the town's Romanesque churches and other monuments you'll take during a walking tour - and you'll savor local culinary offerings on a guided tasting tour of some of Chalon-Sur-Saone's noted food shops, from an artisan chocolate boutique to a mustard shop. This afternoon, it's your choice for sightseeing. Attend a wine tasting at Chateau de Rully, a private vineyard on a grand family estate in the largest wine-producing area in the Cote Chalonnaise; or travel to the town of Beaune for a walking tour that includes a visit to Hospices de Beaune (Hotel-Dieu de Beaune). Return to the ship for dinner this evening.

    Lodging: ms Emerald
    Meals: B, L, D

    Day 10 - Tournus & a day in beautiful Burgundy

    After cruising the Saone overnight, ms Emerald calls on Tournus this morning, from which you'll head out to explore the beautiful wine producing region of southern Burgundy, where history lies around every corner (this was a major crossroads during Roman times), and vineyards are everywhere. Picture in your mind what a typical French vineyard looks like... and then view the most amazing landscape that surrounds you for miles and miles. Vineyards, gently rolling hills, orchards, red-tiled farmhouses, medieval cathedrals, the occasional village to stop in... and historic country estates like the 17th-century Chateau de Cormatin, which you'll explore on a visit today. With its moat, drawbridge, turrets, gilded rooms and parklike grounds - including the mazes and fountains of its completely restored pleasure garden that's now among the finest in France - this classic Burgundy chateau takes you back through the centuries. Return to the riverboat in Tournus for lunch, and continue your cruise this afternoon and evening to France's culinary capital, Lyon.

    Lodging: ms Emerald
    Meals: B, L, D

    Day 11 - A day in Lyon, where food is king

    Ahh, Lyon. If you're a serious foodie, Lyon is the place for you! But of course there is more to this 2,000 year-old city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, than food. Your day includes getting a panoramic view of Lyon from the hilltop district of Fouviere; a visit to the stunning Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-Fourviere - built in the 1870s on the hill that prays, it features exquisite marble work, stained glass windows, colorful mosaics and gilt galore; a tour of medieval Vieux Lyon; and a free afternoon to explore more of the city as you please. As ms Emerald spends the night docked in Lyon, join us aboard ship for our farewell reception followed by dinner this evening.

    Lodging: ms Emerald
    Meals: B, L, D

    Day 12 - Disembark in Lyon & on to Paris via TGV

    As all river cruises in France must, the cruise portion of your vacation ends today as you disembark in Lyon and bid a fond farewell to ms Emerald. Board the TGV (a high-speed train) for two nights in the capital city of Paris. Whether you explore on- or off-the-beaten-path, you'll find yourself navigating the city's arrondissements (districts), beginning with the geographical center and spiraling outwards in a clockwise direction. A panoramic city tour upon arrival shows you landmark icons and the grand boulevards. The remainder of the day and evening are free to spend as you please in one of the world's favorite cities; there are boulevards to stroll, pastries to sample, sidewalk cafes to enjoy, wines to savor and French fare to try that tempts every palate.

    Lodging: InterContinental Paris Le Grand
    Meals: B

    Day 13 - Paris museums as you please & dinner at Fouquet's

    Ernest Hemingway called Paris a moveable feast - and even if you've been here many times, today might be the day that you discover something about the city that you didn't know before. The day is free to explore and enjoy as you please. We've included admission to your choice of one of two of the city's finest museums (subject to availability). You may elect to view the priceless art inside the famous Musee du Louvre, home to da Vinci's Mona Lisa, the Hellenistic Winged Victory, the beautiful Venus de Milo and others. Or perhaps you're interested in viewing the impressive works exhibited at the Musee Jacquemart-Andre, a stunning museum in Paris' 8th arrondissement created from the former private mansion of 19th-century husband-and-wife art collectors edouard Andre and Nelie Jacquemart - he, a member of a wealthy banking family and she, a renowned society painter - to display the art masterpieces they acquired during their lives together. The collection includes works by Canaletto, Rembrandt, Hals, Gainsborough, Bernini, Botticelli and many others. Tonight, we'll all gather for a memorable farewell dinner at chic Fouquet's, the quintessential Paris brasserie on the Champs-elysees; elegance and classic cuisine have made it a celebrity favorite for more than a century!

    Lodging: InterContinental Paris Le Grand
    Meals: B, D

    Day 14 - Journey home

    Tour ends: Paris. Fly home anytime. A transfer from InterContinental Paris Le Grand Hotel to Charles de Gaulle Airport or the Gare de Lyon, Charles de Gaulle or Gare du Nord train stations is included; allow a minimum of 3 hours for flight check-in.

    Meals: B

    Call (888) 825-2779 for more information or to book today! Mention code 14484838

    Cruise Line
    Tauck River Cruising
    Offer valid through 9/30/2019
    14 Days
    Cruise Ship
    ms Emerald

    Click for more information on this ship.

    Day 1Monte Carlo  
    Day 2Monte Carlo  
    Day 3Arles  
    Day 4La Camargue  
    Day 5Chateauneuf-du-Pape  
    Day 6Viviers  
    Day 7Vienne  
    Day 8Macon/Cluny  
    Day 9Mercurey  
    Day 10Tournus  
    Day 11Lyon  
    Day 12Lyon/Paris  
    Day 13Paris  
    Day 14Paris  

    Click Quote or call (888) 825-2779 to get additional information on your chosen travel date. Special offers or competitive pricing may be available!

    DatePrice / DescriptionQuote
    * Land / cruise price per person in U.S. dollars, based on double occupancy, includes cruise fare, most meals, port charges, shore excursions, applicable fuel surcharges, and gratuities to Tauck Directors, Tauck Cruise Director, ship staff, local guides & drivers, and on all included meals.

    Itinerary Changes - Although not expected, Tauck reserves the right to alter the sequence of ports or omit or substitute scheduled ports or attractions at any time without prior notice. Further, museums and attractions may be subject to closure due to state, local or religious holidays.


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