Day 1 - Sunday, October 23: Avignon
Arrival in Avignon and transfer to the S. S. Catherine. Transfers will be provided but arrival and departure information will need to be provided to Pauwels Travel 90 days prior to travel. Time to settle in before dinner onboard.
Day 2 - Monday, October 24: Arles
Explore a sun-drenched Provençal town today with an allure all its own. Known for its remarkable Roman ruins, Arles so inspired Van Gogh that he painted some 200 paintings there. 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.
Featured Excursion: Arles walking tour
Day 3 - Tuesday, October 25: 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.
Choice of Avignon walking tour with Palace of the Popes or "Let’s Go” kayak ride on the Gardon River
A special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.
Day 4 - Wednesday, October 26: Viviers
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: Intimate Viviers “Village Day”
Day 5 - Thursday, October 27: Tournon (Tain-l’Hermitage)
If you love fine wine, you’ll love the twin villages of Tournon and Tain-l’Hermitage. Tournon may be a small town, but stirring events took place here: A castle was raised on the hilltop in the 10th century to protect the region, and new fortifications were added over the centuries, including two “new” towers built to defend against Protestant attacks in the 16th century. You’ll see the handsome houses constructed by wealthy merchants and garrison officers when you walk through the Rue de Doux area, and you’ll pass the 14th-century church and the oldest secondary school in France.
Choice of Tournon and Tain-l’Hermitage twin villages stroll with wine tasting or “Let's Go” Hermitage terrace vineyards hike with wine tasting.
Day 6 - Friday, October 28: 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 bike ride—a great way to see the sights.
Choice of Lyon Capital of Gastronomy tour or Silk weavers walking tour or “Let's Go” Lyon peninsula bike tour
Day 7 - Saturday, October 29: Macon (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.
Choice of Burgundy landscapes, Beaune and the hospices or Ma^con walking tour
Day 8 - Sunday, October 30: Lyon (Disembark)
Transfer to Paris via High-Speed TGV Train (Embark). Disembark the striking S.S. Catherine 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. Your luggage will be transported by Uniworld.
Day 9 - Monday, October 31: La Roche-Guyon, Vernon, Giverny
Today is a celebration of northern France’s natural beauty, with an excursion to a splendid château 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 Château de La Roche-Guyon, surrounded by beautiful gardens and offering sweeping views over the Seine. Later, you can visit the home and gardens of Claude Monet. Or take in the beautiful French countryside in a more invigorating way, with a guided bike ride from Vernon to Giverny.
Choice of Château La Roche-Guyon or "Let's Go" hike on the Crests trail or Monet’s gardens at Giverny or “Let's Go” bike ride from Vernon to Giverny
This evening, a special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.
Day 10 - Tuesday, November 01: 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 the spot where Joan of Arc was martyred, Rouen is a treasure trove for the culturally curious. 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: Rouen walking tour, the Dukes of Normandy’s capital
Day 11 - Wednesday, November 02: Caudebec-en-Caux (Honfleur or Étretat)
Caudebec-en-Caux, a lovely little town on the right bank of the Seine Estuary, is your base for one of two very different excursions. You could drive through the beautiful Calvados countryside to Honfleur, a delightful seaside harbor and city of painters, or head to the windy cliffs of Étretat for a game of golf.
Choice of Honfleur walking tour or “Let's Go” golfing in Étretat
Day 12 - Thursday, November 03: Rouen (Normandy Beaches)
There are moments when we travel that move us on an otherworldly level—experiences that stir a profound emotional connection. The Normandy beaches certainly have that effect. On your full-day outing, you’ll visit Normandy’s beaches, including Utah Beach and Ste-Mère-Église, with a choice to venture to either the American, British and Australian or Canadian beaches. After, you’ll go to the American cemetery and partake in a private ceremony at the Omaha Beach Memorial—a sentimental remembrance of Operation Overlord.
Choice of Normandy Beaches: highlights of American sites or Normandy Beaches: highlights of British & Australian sites or Normandy Beaches: highlights of Canadian sites
Day 13 - Friday, November 04: Mantes-la-Jolie (Versailles)
How did France’s rulers live over the centuries? Step into the private rooms of the Palace of Versailles, the lavish palace built by the Sun King, to find out.
Choice of Versailles Palace secret apartments or “Versailles Gardens and Queens Hamlet”
A special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.
Day 14 - Saturday, November 05: 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, join a local expert for a walk through two much-loved neighborhoods, or pedal your way along the Left Bank, a fresh and fun way to take in the sights.
Featured Excursion:“Heart of Paris” Seine River cruise
Choice of Paris city tour or “Do as the Locals Do” Île de la Cité and Latin Quarter or “Let's Go” Seine riverbanks bike ride
Day 15 - Sunday, November 06: Paris (Disembark)
Disembark the ship and transfer to Charles de Gaulle Airport for your flight home.