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France's Finest - Avignon to Paris - 2023

From Avignon, France to Paris, France
Length: 15 Days - Departs: Tue, May 30, 2023
Operator
Departure
May 30, 2023
Arrival
Jun 13, 2023

Please see below brochure cabin pricing

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Cruise fares listed are for cruise and cruisetour only in US dollars, per person and fares/discount offers are based on double occupancy and are valid for US residents only. Prices are based upon lowest price point and category at time of print and are subject to change without notice. If you are traveling within 21 days, echeck payments cannot be accepted and cannot be made by third parties (someone not traveling). Other restrictions may apply.


River Cruise Itinerary

  1. Day 1
    Avignon
    Tue, May 30, 2023

    Fly to Marseille. Transfer from the airport to your ship, docked in Avignon.* After boarding, take free time to explore this quaint town on the scenic Rhône River, or join our "welcome walk” to stretch your legs and get oriented. (Dinner)

    * Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.
  2. Day 2
    Arles
    Wed, May 31, 2023

    Disembark after breakfast and take a walking tour of Arles with its diverse architectural highlights. Experience the city's vibrant colors and striking quality of light that have inspired artists. Arles is also 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. Enjoy free time to explore Arles on your own. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

  3. Day 3
    Avignon
    Thu, Jun 01, 2023

    This morning, set out on a guided walk of Avignon, nicknamed "City of Popes” because it was home to seven popes from 1309 to 1377. Stroll through the historic center, see the picturesque Pont d'Avignon and walk the Place de l'Horloge. Continue to the renowned Palace of the Popes for a guided tour through this rambling maze of Gothic architecture that served as papal residence, fortress, church and palace. After the tour, enjoy an afternoon at leisure exploring Avignon. You can join the optional tour to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, visiting the vineyards and tasting the famous wine. Lunch and dinner are served on board your ship. We depart for Viviers this evening. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

  4. Day 4
    Viviers
    Fri, Jun 02, 2023

    This morning join a walking tour of Viviers' Old Town with its medieval and Renaissance buildings. Once a 5th-century Roman settlement, today the cobblestone streets are dominated by the 12th-century St. Vincent Cathedral. This afternoon, we set sail to Tournon. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

  5. Day 5
    Vienne
    Sat, Jun 03, 2023

    Board the Train de l'Ardèche this morning for a locomotive ride through the deep gorges of the Ardèche plateau, cut by the Doux River. Return to your ship and enjoy lunch on board as we cruise past dramatic landscapes. Arrive in Vienne this afternoon, a beautiful town with an ancient Roman past. See the Temple of Augustus and Livia, and visit the Gothic Cathedral of St. Maurice on a walking tour before dinner on board the ship. We remain docked in Vienne this evening. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

  6. Day 6
    Lyon
    Sun, Jun 04, 2023

    After breakfast, disembark in Lyon for a tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begin with a drive to the top of Fourvière Hill for amazing views of the city. Continue with a guided visit to the Basilica of Notre Dame and drive through town past the magnificent St. Jean Cathedral and the Palace of Justice. Then take a walking tour through the cobblestone streets of Vieux Lyon (Old Town), with free time to shop for souvenirs or sample some of the fine French cuisine for which Lyon is world-famous. Your ship remains docked overnight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

  7. Day 7
    Lyon
    Mon, Jun 05, 2023

    After breakfast, take a scenic drive through the rolling hills of Beaujolais, where viticultural tradition runs deep and enjoy a tasting in one of Beaujolais's famous cellars. Return to your ship for lunch and enjoy the rest of your day at leisure. As always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

  8. Day 8
    Lyon
    Tue, Jun 06, 2023

    After breakfast, disembark and enjoy a leisurely train ride from Lyon through the countryside of east central France to Paris to board your second ship, where a Welcome Dinner is served. (Breakfast, Dinner)

  9. Day 9
    Paris (Le Pecq)
    Wed, Jun 07, 2023

    After breakfast, embark on a tour of this dazzling city and marvel at its most remarkable sights, including the iconic Eiffel Tower. Take in the École Militaire (Military Museum), Orsay Museum and Latin Quarter, and resilient Notre Dame Cathedral. Then drive past the Louvre and Opera House and along the famed Champs-Élysées. This afternoon, you may join an optional tour to explore Montmartre Hill and the Sacré-Coeur or sample the delights of French cuisine during a food tour. Return on board for dinner and start your cruise on the Seine this evening. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

  10. Day 10
    Vernon
    Thu, Jun 08, 2023

    Arrive in La Roche-Guyon before breakfast and enjoy a morning at your leisure to explore. The village is officially classified as one of France's most beautiful; you will see why as you stroll through the town's narrow streets lined with picturesque houses with wood-paneled facades. After lunch, join an included tour to 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.† Dinner is served on board. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

    † Monet gardens not available before April 1 or after November 1; a visit to the village of Auvers-sur-Oise, favored by van Gogh and other artists, will be substituted.
  11. Day 11
    Rouen
    Fri, Jun 09, 2023

    Indulge in leisurely morning cruising along the Seine. Spend the afternoon in the medieval city of Rouen, preeminent capital of Normandy. Begin with a walking tour 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.

    Use your free time to discover more of Rouen or visit one of its museums of art or antiquities. Dine on board or at a sidewalk café. Your ship remains docked overnight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

  12. Day 12
    Normandy Beaches
    Sat, Jun 10, 2023

    After breakfast, begin your full-day tour to the historic beaches of Normandy. Visit World War II landmarks, such as Omaha Beach, the American Military Cemetery and the Caen Memorial Museum. Alternatively, take a tour of Bayeaux, where you can admire the magnificent tapestry that chronicles the pre-Battle of Hastings events. Afterward, head to Normandy's coast and enjoy free time at Juno Beach after your visit to the museum; then visit the Pegasus Museum. Return to your ship for dinner and relax on board, or take an evening stroll through Rouen. (B, L, D)

  13. Day 13
    Les Andelys
    Sun, Jun 11, 2023

    Enjoy a leisurely morning cruise to the small town of Les Andelys, known for its imposing castle, Château Gaillard, built in 1196 by Richard the Lionheart. Disembark and join a guided walk to this fatally flawed masterpiece of Middle Ages architecture before returning to your ship. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

  14. Day 14
    Mantes-la-Jolie
    Mon, Jun 12, 2023

    After breakfast, disembark for a visit to Château de Malmaison, where Napoleon Bonaparte spent his final days in France. Along with the Tuileries, this elegant manor house, purchased by the emperor's wife Josephine in 1799, served as the seat of Napoleon's French government from 1800 to 1802. This afternoon, join an optional tour to the luxurious Palace of Versailles, former home of Louis XIV. This evening, you can take in the illuminated sights of Paris during a panoramic drive and cruise. Your ship remains docked in Paris overnight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

  15. Day 15
    Paris
    Tue, Jun 13, 2023

    After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the airport for your return flight.* Or, extend your time in France's romantic capital with a 3-night Paris extension. (Breakfast)

    * Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.

Countries Visited

France

Rivers Visited

Rhone, Saone, Seine

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Inclusions

0 Days

Port Charges: Included on all itineraires

Health and Safety Protocols for Viking

Pre-Departure Test
To ensure your journey is smooth and that you are able to fully enjoy your voyage as planned, we highly recommend that all guests take a pre-departure COVID-19 test, no more than three days prior to beginning your journey.

Purified Air
Enjoy fresh air in your stateroom, knowing that all staterooms on Viking river ships feature independent air handling units that do not share air with other areas of the ship. Take comfort in knowing that the air in the public areas of your ship has also been purified with new short-wavelength ultraviolet (UV-C) lights and high-density filters, which kill 99.99% of all airborne viruses and bacteria.

Medical Services
While every precaution can reduce the risk of illness, we are also prepared for that outcome. Each of our vessels has always had a state-of-the-art Medical Center; those facilities have now been upgraded with more specialized equipment. We have also launched a new 24/7 hotline staffed by doctors, specifically for our river cruises.

Sanitization
Rest assured that the surfaces on your ship will be cleaned and sanitized continuously with daily scheduled deep cleanings. You will notice more hand sanitization stations throughout your ship. And on our ocean and expedition ships, we are using new sanitization robots that utilize UV-C light to treat surfaces in guest and crew public areas—an industry first.

Dining & Entertainment
On your ship, you can expect spacious, airy public areas and abundant options for al fresco dining. Also, on our ocean voyages, as always, you can enjoy complimentary 24-hour room service. Now, more options for spaced seating in all dining venues will allow for physical distancing; there will be additional table service at all bars and lounges; and new capabilities will allow you to watch more live events and enriching content through your in-room entertainment system.

Physical Distancing & Face Masks
Public health experts agree that proper physical distancing and the use of face masks are effective in helping slow the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses. Face masks are optional while moving about the ship. Please note: Viking’s Medical Team continually monitors conditions and may deem face masks to be necessary while moving about the ship, based on conditions at the time of travel. While ashore, guests will need to comply with any local guidelines for face masks and physical distancing. Face masks continue to be required for all crew.

Local Partner Training
As part of the Viking Health & Safety Program, we will regularly train every local partner, including motor coach drivers and tour guides. While ashore, Viking’s measures will meet or exceed local guidelines for social distancing and other precautions.

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Ship Information

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Cabins

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Life on Board

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Questions & Answers

Question: Will the day-by-day itinerary change?

Yes, the river cruise itineraries may change due to reasons such as inclement weather or unforeseen events. Your safety is the number one concern aboard and all precautions necessary will be taken in order to ensure passenger safety, including changing itineraries. Please note that when itineraries do change, the ship staff will do their best to substitute any missed port with an alternative destination.

Question: In what language is the river cruise conducted?

The river cruise will be conducted in English only.

Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4.4
Accommodations
4.3
Itinerary
4.3
Professional Staff
4.6
Repeat with Operator
4.4
Value for Money
4.3

Ratings based off 42 reviews - currently showing 9 reviews with comments only

This was our fourth Viking cruise, and we have never been disappointed. This company has consistently been excellent in terms of quality, service and value.

At his was our second Viking River cruise and it was excellent. Highly recommend.

We chose France's Finest on Viking based on the itinerary and because our anniversary is on Bastille Day and we wanted to be in France one year for our anniversary. Viking is very service oriented and always rate above average in my opinion. We took the included tours which gave an overview of the places we were docked. I especially enjoyed the small towns where we were docked and could walk from the boat. To get from the Rhoen river to the Seine river, we took the TGV fast trains. Viking took our luggage by truck and it was waiting in our stateroom when we boarded the second ship. The whole train trip was seamless as Viking reserved 1st class seats and their representatives guided the group from the ship to train and they were waiting for us in Paris. Entertainment was good as they brought groups on for evenings, food was also very good with selections for even the picky eaters but we are not foodies so for us it was very good. Viking is not upscale which suits us but if people like dressing up they should look at other ships. I guess you could says we like the Viking brand as this was our 5th & 6th Viking River cruises.

Viking always proves to be a pleasant experience. I feel they are on top of every situation and truly make everyone feel comfortable.

Viking did a great job of taking care of the guest on this cruise. Food was excellent, service fantastic and the crew(s) were attentive to your every need. Our two Program Directors did a great job of keeping everyone informed and engaged in each day's activities or excursions.

The local tour guides and trip directors for the tour and cruise portions of the trip were informative and personable. We enjoyed all parts of the trip - cruise food, personnel, airport transfers, excursions. Everything seemed well planned.

Everything on the trip went well. Planning was good; information received in a timely manner.

This was our second experience with Affordable Tours and Viking Cruises. Everything that both agencies did was perfect. We can't wait to use Affordable's services again. Looking forward to our next Viking journey also.

Post cruise to Paris was in a lovely hotel, Saint James Albany, perfectly located to walk to the major museums - Louvre, d'Orsay, Orangerie. Hotel was across the street from Tuileries Garden.

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