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13 Day Magic of Southern France River Cruise

LYON - ARLES - AVIGNON - VIVIERS - TAIN L'HERMITAGE – LYON- BORDEAUX - PAUILLAC - ROYAN - ROCHEFORT - LA ROCHELLE - LIBOURNE - SAINT-EMILION- CADILLAC - BORDEAUX

Join us on a magnificent cruise through the beautiful landscapes of Southern France. There is no better way to experience this spectacular region than on board our Premium Ships. The South of France is well known for its idyllic landscapes, famous wines, historical monuments, symbolic sites, and stunning architecture.

Sail through the wild Camargue all the way to Avignon, the "Papal city" and then along the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers from Bordeaux. Throughout this cruise you will experience our warm hospitality, exceptional service, authentic shore excursions and the finest French Cuisine and local wines, to make this a journey to remember!

Trip code : TWTLYL_BYH21

Duration : 13 days

Destination : France

Travel Dates :2021

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Cruise through the Camargue
  • Guided tour of Arles
  • Guided tour of Avignon and the Papal Palace
  • Visit the Gorges of Ardeche
  • Visit the Vercors Regional National Park
  • Guided tour of Pauillac and the Châteaux du Médoc route
  • Guided tour of Rochefort and La Rochelle
  • Tour Talmont-sur-Gironde and Meschers-sur-Gironde
  • Guided tour of Saint Emilion
  • Explore Bordeaux by night
  • Visit the Château de Roquetaillade and Cadillac
  • Guided tour of Bordeaux

You will be welcomed at the airport and transferred to the cruise ship. Passengers are welcome to board our ship at 4:00 p.m. We will start sailing towards the South of France. After comfortably settling into your cabin, we will introduce our crew at a welcome cocktail. Dinner tonight will be followed by an evening of entertainment.

Our ship will cruise through the night.

This morning will be spent cruising. In the afternoon enjoy a panoramic guided tour of the Camargue. Sit back and admire the rivers, marshes, ponds, pink flamingos, black bulls and the famous, indigenous Camargue horses. Discover the salt and rice fields that make the area so well known. We will visit a manade (bull breeding farm) and learn about the work of a manadier as we watch a demonstration of how they work with the animals they raise. Our visit will include a cocktail on the patio. At the end of our visit, we will return to the ship in Arles.

After dinner, we depart on foot for a guided tour of Arles. Arles with its two thousand years of history has preserved an exceptional monumental heritage, making the city a veritable open-air museum and is one of the most important tourist and cultural sites in France. During the course of this guided tour you will see the Roman Amphitheatre (the "Arènes"), the Ancient Roman Theatre, Place St Trophime with its cloister and church, which are part of the Arles route, one of the three pilgrimage routes leading to Santiago de Compostela. We will continue our visit with Place du Forum and finally, the Thermae of Constantine. Enjoy some free time and then return to the boat on foot.

This morning we cruise towards Avignon. On arrival we set out on foot for the guided tour of the old town of Avignon. With the Pope's Palace, classed as a world heritage site by UNESCO and a testimony to the city's past when it was known as the capital of Christianity back in the Middle-Ages, Avignon offers an impressive array of monuments. Along the Passage de l'Oratoire, you will be able to admire the exteriors of the chapel, classified as a historic monument, where many events take place during the famous Avignon Festival. We will move on to St Agricol street where you will get to see the diocesan Church, the oldest in the city. We will then stop by the Place de l'Horloge, which has always been the beating heart of Avignon. Cafés and restaurant terraces are now spread out where the Roman forum once stood. Right across, you will see the walls of the Town Hall and the theater that was built in the 19th century. We will continue to the Place du Palais. This square is roughly 800 ft long and 160 ft wide. To the East stands the Pope's Palace which faces the baroque sculptures of the Papal mint. A large golden Virgin seems to be watching the Notre Dame des Doms cathedral while the elegant Renaissance inspiration on the outside walls of the Petit Palais are showing further back. Then, discover the Pope's Palace, the most important monument in the city. It is made of two parts: the old Palais of Pope Benedict XII (1334 - 1342), and the new Palais of his successor Pope Clement VI (1342 - 1352). Our visit will take you through the staterooms where numerous ceremonies and feasts took place, the chapels, the Pope's private apartments and the terraces which offer a wonderful panorama on Avignon and the Rhône river. Return on board on foot.

This afternoon, we depart for a panoramic tour by coach to the Ardeche Gorges, an area which abounds with wonderful dramatic and unspoilt natural scenery. Enjoy the breath taking views of the mountain relief, with steep valleys, dense vegetation, the ever present granite and volcanic rocks, and much more. The Ardeche is a wild untamed river until it reaches Vallon-Pont-d'Arc. Here it bore its way through the rock, creating a huge natural archway - the "Pont de l'Arc” which is some 34 metres high. After a photo stop at an appropriate viewing point, the panoramic tour continues to the Madeleine Cave, where the coach will stop for you to visit the cave. Located in the heart of an area of pure natural beauty, and awarded 3 stars by the famous Michelin Guide, the beauty of the caves has captivated even the most experienced of travellers. The Madeleine Cave is surely one of the most amazing worlds created by underground waters millions of years ago. Return by coach to the boat and we cruise towards Viviers.

This morning will be spent cruising. In the afternoon, we depart by coach from La Voulte towards Die. Carved out in limestone, the Vercors Regional Nature Park extends over 186,000 hectares between the Isère Valley to the North and the Diois to the South. Water has shaped deep gorges in the cliffs, majestic cirques, caves, and chasms among the most famous in Europe. Wooded plateaux and valleys shaped by agriculture are home to a remarkable fauna and flora.

We will stop at the cellars of Die Jaillance to discover a true love story between men and the vines and enjoy a wine tasting session. Afterwards, we will continue by coach for a panoramic view of the Rousset Pass located in the heart of the Vercors and reaching an altitude of over 1400 meters. The belvedere culminates at a height of 1245 meters and from this point of view the scenery is outstanding: arid escarpments and a road with hairpin bends down the hill, which accentuates the overall impression of depth. We'll move on towards Vassieux-en-Vercors, La Chapelle-en-Vercors and Pont-en-Royans where you'll get to see the suspended houses, whose daring architecture dates as far back as the perched village itself, built in the 15th century. Last, we will drive through Romans-sur-Isère well known for its shoe industry before returning by coach to Tain l'Hermitage to board our ship.

 We will return on board in Tain-l'Hermitage. Tonight, is our gala evening and dinner. We will cruise towards Lyon.

DAY 5

After breakfast, check out of your cabin by 9am. You will be transferred to your hotel in Lyon.

The rest of the day is free at your own leisure.

After breakfast check out and you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Bordeaux. On arrival in Bordeaux you will be met at the airport and transferred to the cruise ship.

You are welcome to board our ship at 6 p.m. After comfortably settling into your cabins, we will introduce our crew at a welcome cocktail and enjoy our first evening together. Our ship will begin to cruise to Pauillac. We will begin on the Garonne River, before entering the Gironde River where we will pass the islands of Cazeau and Patiras before reaching Pauillac.

After breakfast we depart by coach from Pauillac to discover the Médoc, prestigious wine-growing region. A corner of the world that produces the most prestigious red wines on the planet, tightly wedged between an ocean and an estuary. A mild, humid microclimate which has been favourable to the development of the vines. We will go through most of the Médoc appellations (Saint Julien, Margaux, Haut-Médoc). On the famous Châteaux Route, we will stop to taste the famous wines of the region. On the way you will see major domains such as Châteaux Laffitte-Rothschild, Latour and Mouton Rothschild. Return to the boat at the end of the afternoon.

We will cruise the Gironde until we reach the estuary. Then we will pass by the marshes, steep cliffs of Meschers-sur-Gironde, troglodyte homes, and fishing cabins before arriving in Royan during the afternoon.

On arrival we depart for a panoramic tour of Royan, a seaside city and an official French "Ville d’Art et d’Histoire." Villas from the Belle Epoque and the charming “retro” homes from the 1950s line the waterfront. In the Foncillon District, we will have a look at the fascinating church and learn about its conception. After our excursion, we will return on board the ship.

Join us for an evening of dinner and dancing.

 

After breakfast we leave by coach for Rochefort. Rochefort was originally chosen by Jean-Baptiste Colbert as a refuge, defense, and supply post for the French navy back in the mid-1660s. Its arsenal remained a naval base and dockyard until as late as 1926. The historical downtown area boasts lovely private mansions and beautiful homes where the legendary sailors and explorers lived. We will visit the Corderie Royale, a historical rope-making factory. Built between 1666 and 1669, it was the first industrial building in France, and the factory provided ropes for the French Navy and its ships for over three centuries. We will tour the main building and learn about the techniques used to produce the ropes used on the large sailing ships.  Afterwards, we will head to La Rochelle. We will stop for lunch in a local restaurant. The over 1,000-year-old city of La Rochelle is the capital of the Charente Maritime. It is tucked along the Bay of Biscay and contains some of the most beautiful natural and architectural heritage in the area. During a guided tour of the old town and port, you will learn about the Grosse-Horologe gate, Renaissance arcades, lovely half-timbered homes, finely sculpted facades of the private mansions, and the cathedral. Enjoy some free time before returning to the ship. At the end of our afternoon, we will return to Royan.

Join us for dinner and an evening of entertainment.

This morning, we depart for a guided tour of Saintes. Saintes has accumulated almost two thousand years of history, marked by its rich heritage and its Gallo-Roman and medieval ruins. We will visit the Roman theatre, one of the oldest from the era, which is still the best preserved on the Atlantic Coast and highlights the importance that Saintes held at the time. The theatre can hold up to 15,000 attendees and was used as a showplace for battles between gladiators and wild animals for almost three centuries. We will then continue to the Saint-Eutrope Basilica. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site along the Way of St. James, it is one of the most important monuments in the city and its crypt has been described as fascinating and impressive on online tourist reviews describing its startling contrasts between the Roman and Gothic style architecture and as a must-see visit for anyone in Saintes. After our excursion, we will return on board the ship.

This afternoon we visit a typical French seaside village with tons of charm which is officially listed as one the most beautiful villages in the country. Talmont-sur-Gironde is lined with cobblestone streets that take you to the white tower on the coastline, up to its beautiful Romanesque church, and over to the quaint port. The lovely, small houses dotting the streets are full of boutiques selling wares by local craftspeople.  In Meschers-sur-Gironde, we will tour the cave dwellings suspended in the cliffs which harbor treasures from centuries long ago.

After we return on board, we will begin to cruise to our next stop, spending the rest of our day cruising up the Dordogne to Libourne.

After breakfast we depart for a guided tour of Saint-Émilion's underground monuments, discovering the rich history of this medieval city, including its enigmatic monolithic church. We will then head to a vineyard where we will learn how the famous local wine is produced. We will enjoy a tasting of local products at the end of our tour.

We will return to the ship in Libourne. We will then spend the afternoon cruising to Bordeaux. On arrival in Bordeaux we depart for a panoramic night tour of the city, where you’ll be able to discover the main monuments, followed by a tour on foot of the old quarter of Bordeaux. We will discover the impressive areas such as the Place des Quinconces and the Grand Théâtre, as well as the intimate side streets tucked around the Place Saint Pierre.

After our excursion, we will return on board the ship. 

Today we cruise along the Garonne, with exceptional views of Bordeaux from the water as we make our way to Cadillac. We stop to visit the magnificent and prestigious Château de Roquetaillade. This castle has been the backdrop for several French films including Brotherhood of the Wolf (Le Pacte des Loups) and Fanfan la Tulipe. Explore the towers and keeps in this medieval château and take time to learn about the architecture, interiors, and ambiance of French life almost 500 years ago.  We then head to a wine cellar in the Sauternais to enjoy a tasting of the famous Sauternes wine. Afterwards, we’ll return to Cadillac for a guided tour of the city. Located on the right bank of the Garonne River, the city was founded in 1280 and still retains its original structure. We will explore the port, its ramparts, and the main square and stroll the streets to admire the old homes and 15th-century church.

We will spend the afternoon cruising to Bordeaux, and we’ll arrive during the evening. Tonight, is our festive gala evening.

After breakfast we depart by coach for the guided tour of Bordeaux. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Bordeaux has been awarded the precious label in the "cultural site" category. Half of the city, from the boulevards to the banks of the Garonne has been recognised for the quality of its architectural heritage. This panoramic tour of the city, will take in all the main monuments, followed by a walking tour of old Bordeaux. From the wide avenues of the neo-classical Les Quinconces quarter and the Grand Théâtre to the narrow lanes of the Saint Pierre quarter, this tour will uncover the diversity of Bordeaux's heritage.

We will have lunch on board. Enjoy some free time on your own in the city this afternoon.

Join us for dinner and an evening of entertainment.

DAY 13

Enjoy breakfast on board this morning before checking out of your cabin at 9:00 a.m. You will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight. End of our services.

***Important Note***

For operational reasons and passenger safety, Tweet World Travel and its suppliers reserve the right to change, vary, modify or cancel any itinerary or arrangement in relation to the tour/cruise as considered necessary.

This Cruise is not recommended for persons with reduced mobility.

All of our cruises/excursion require a reasonable level of fitness. Every traveller on our cruises is required the ability to walk around sights on uneven surfaces in both urban and rural / mountainous areas unaided. You will be getting on and off cruises, coaches and boats, walking around the sights and climbing some steps.

Please read our cruise itinerary carefully for outline of activities to help you select the right holiday for you.

Important notes:
• All persons must be fit and physically able to partake unaided in their chosen activities/packages/tours /cruise etc. as outlined in the itinerary.

• All parties acknowledge the physical demands and hazards involved in the tour or cruise they will be undertaking and have chosen to participate at their own risk.
We provide a wealth of dining experiences and venues. Most meals during the cruises are onboard or at famous restaurants during excursion, with the menus handpicked and planned to highlight a perfect mix of Local and Western cuisines.

• Meals onboard are a cultural culinary experience: Continental breakfast buffets with a rich menu are offered daily, while lunch and dinner are set menus.

• Gala evening: The gala evening is a long-awaited tradition in the world of cruising. This is the night we like to dress up, although no dress code is imposed. The crew all in their dress uniform, are presented to the passengers who are invited have a pre-dinner drink with the captain in the company of the purser, and the head chef.

Note: It is your responsibility to notify us of any dietary requests/requirements. We will do our best to meet your request/requirements, however, cannot guarantee that it can always be accommodated.
The currency accepted on board is the local currency or US dollar. You can pay in dollars or using an international credit/debit card (Visa and MasterCard) at the end of the cruise. It is recommended to have some local currency or US dollars in cash with you during your cruises.
A range of activities and entertainment are provided on board:

• Before dinner, games and quizzes are hosted by our entertainers in the lounge bar

• On the sun deck, where you can stroll alone, be with family or friends or sit comfortably in the sun loungers, gymnastics sessions are organised in the morning whilst enjoying the magnificent views of the landscapes that pass by.

• The panoramic lounge bar, the library and the "piano bar"
• Depend on the destination, lectures on subjects related to the history and geography of the places visited, are offered in the lounge bar.

• Some evenings, the dance floor of the lounge bar comes to life with musical evenings, folk groups or singers

• Some cruises have variety evenings where the crew members reveal their hidden talents are also provided.
All cabins are air-conditioned and double-occupancy cabin with shower in bathroom

• Triple Share: Available upon request
• Bedding Configuration: Double or twin bedding (subject to availability).
• Adjoining / Interconnecting Rooms: Not Available
• Laundry service: Not Available
• Wi-Fi: All the cruise is equipped with free Wi-Fi available in all lounges / bars and receptions. For some destination it is available in the cabin.
After purchase, you will receive a Booking Confirmation and Passenger Information Form by email. Within 24 hours of purchase you need to send us a copy of your passport together with your Passenger Information Form.

After purchase, you are required to make a deposit or full payment for your order. Please note most of our deposit is non-refundable. Please check your booking and your invoice for the Terms and Conditions which apply specifically to your booking.

If you would like to cancel your booking, please refer to our cancellation terms.

Please note:
• Any special requests, preferences MUST be clearly stated in your Passenger Information Form
• Any change requested after submitting your Passenger Information Form cannot be guaranteed, is strictly subject to availability and will incur surcharges
Safety Net Protection is not included in our tour/cruise packages. If you wish to purchase safety net protection, an additional fee of $105 per person will be incurred. This is only valid for a one-time use (claim).

Safety Net Protection enables passengers to amend their tour and/or river cruise 15 days prior to departure, to another tour/cruise to the same destination, departing in the same year (once only) without any applicable cancellation charges or penalties.

The new tour/cruise must be at the same cost or higher but cannot be at lower cost than the initial cruise/ tour booked. If the passenger chooses the higher cost option, then the additional difference amount must be paid. However, no modifications shall be accepted less than 15 days prior to departure.

Important notes:
• Safety Net Protection is payable immediately at the time of making the deposit payment. Once purchased, Safety Net Protection is not refundable
• Safety Net Protection does not apply for airfares or third-party fees and charges.
• Safety Net Protection allows for amendment ONLY, not cancellation.
• You will be responsible for all your personal belongings while on the tours. It is your responsibility to make sure your room is secure.
Tipping is not compulsory and is not included in this cruise. We believe that if you choose to tip, you should only pay for the service you receive.

In general, tipping is widely accepted as a way to show your appreciation of good service but is not compulsory. Tipping is expected and often makes up a large part of people's wages.

• If travel on a river cruises and happy with the services provided by your crews and service onboard. Recommended tips - For the crew members on board the ship - $10US per day per passenger.

• If you are happy with services provided by your tour guides and drivers, a tip is appreciated. Recommended tips - For the guides and drivers - $6US per day per passenger.
You must carry your own luggage from/to the coach and to/from the hotel or cruise. The driver/crews and his assistance will assist with the uploading/off-loading of your luggage.

Please note:

• You will be responsible for all your personal belongings while on the tours/cruises. It is your responsibility to make sure your room/cabin is secure.

• Tweet World Travel will not be liable for any loss or damage to your luggage or other personal belongings.
Our products DO NOT include Travel Insurance. Travel insurance is not included in our cruises and shore excursions.

For your protection, we strongly recommend that you purchase comprehensive travel insurance for your travel arrangements (without limitation) that include coverage for medical expenses, loss of luggage, cruise, land content and airfare charges that may occur.

You need to provide us your Travel Insurance details upon booking, or at least before 30 days prior to your departure.

If you do not have travel insurance prior to your departure, we retain the rights to refuse boarding/joining our tours or cruises. We might refund / provide travel credits for you, less any unrecoverable fees including but not limited to admin fees, visas fees, other suppliers’ cancellation fees. We won’t be held liable for any costs associated with this matter.
FAQ & Travel Blog

FIRST-CLASS SERVICE

  • Assistance from our onboard multi-lingual host/hostess
  • Expert services of English-speaking local guides throughout your trip
  • Airport Meet-and-Greet welcome service
  • Local assistance and travel guidance

ACCOMMODATION

  • Stay in excellent Premium ship docked in central location, with all meals included while onboard
    • 4 nights on board MS Camargue (Premium ship)
    • 7 nights on board MS De Bergerac (Premium ship)
  • Double-occupancy cabin with shower in bathroom
  • One-night accommodation in 4-star hotel in Lyon, with breakfast

SIGHTSEEING

  • Headsets are included for excursions
  • Classic Shore Excursion package (Rhone River cruise):
    • Touring the Camargue and visiting a manade
    • Guided walking tour of Arles
    • Avignon and the Pope's Palace
    • Gorges de l'Ardeche
    • Excursion into the Vercors 
  • Classic Shore Excursion package (Bordeaux region):
    • Pauillac and the Chateaux du medoc Route
    • The seaside cities of Rochefort and La Rochelle
    • Talmont-sur-Gironde and Meschers-sur-Gironde
    • Guided tour of Bordeaux
    • Guided tour of Bordeaux by night
    • Guided tour of Saintes
    • Guided tour of Saint Emilion and wine tasting
    • Guided tour of the Chateau de Roquetaillade and Cadillac

FLIGHT

  • Domestic flight from Lyon to Bordeaux with full service airlines
    • Economy class with luggage allowance

TRANSPORTATION

  • Arrival and departure airport transfers in private air-conditioned vehicles
    • Transfer from Lyon airport to cruise ship
    • Transfer from cruise ship to Lyon hotel
    • Transfer from Lyon hotel to Lyon airport
    • Transfer from Bordeaux hotel to cruise ship
    • Transfer from cruise ship to Bordeaux airport
  • All touring in air-conditioned vehicles
  • Locally based professional drivers

TOUR GUIDE & TOUR LEADER

  • English-speaking local tour guides who live and breathe the destination - they will bring your itinerary to life

MEALS & DRINKS

  • Refined French Cuisine
  • 2 x Welcome Cocktail
  • 2 x Gala Dinner
  • All meals onboard (from first evening to breakfast on the final day)
    • Meals: 12 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches and 11 dinners
  • DRINKS INCLUDED with meals and at the bar during the cruise (except for drinks from the special lists)

ENTERTAINMENT

  • Entertainment on board CroisiEurope Cruise ship

OTHERS

  • Free Wi-Fi in lounge and bar onboard cruise ship
  • All port fees included
  • 1-night accommodation in hotel in Lyon including breakfast

Please note:  this cruise doesn’t include the entry visa for the country it travels to. Make sure you have acquired a valid visa before travelling and joining the cruise. Check whether a single entry or multiple entry visa is required/ available.

When assisting with an international travel booking, we assume that all travellers in the booking have a valid Passport and Visas to enter to the country it travels to. Passports must be valid for the countries through which a ship or tour passes. It is the responsibility of each passenger to ensure the validity and conformity of their passport/Visas.

It is the customer’s responsibility to make sure that the travellers have the valid visas and/or correct visa type to enter the destination country they are travelling to. Travellers might need to present the visas at multiple checkpoints and may be refused to fly out of their countries, if the visa documents cannot be presented. If such an event occurs, we won’t be liable and the travellers will be deemed as “no-show”. Please check our Terms & Conditions for penalty for “no-show”.

Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) change regularly. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate for up-to-date information.

Important Note:

  • All travellers must have a valid passport for international travel and most countries require at least 6 months validity from the date of return and some countries require a machine‐readable passport.
  • Some countries require visas and re‐entry permits which meet the requirements of immigration and other government authorities.
  • It is your sole responsibility if any fines, penalties, payments or expenditures incurred as a result of such documents not satisfying the requirements of those authorities.