• Sold Out

France by River Cruise

Plus an eight day coach tour through Belgium and Northern France

Avalon River Cruise Special!
SAVE $3,000 per couple when booking our 2018 France Riverboat Tour

Become absorbed in the culture along the way, calling at Rouen of Joan of Arc fame, the attractive seaport of Honfleur and back to Paris.
Travel to the Burgundy wine region, cruise to the wine city of Mâcon, historic Lyon, the fortified city of Avignon and Arles, the capital of Provence.
Pre-cruise, this tour embraces a nostalgic journey to some of the Battlefields of WW1, including Passchendaele, Ypres in Belgium and the well-remembered, Kiwi-liberated French town of Le Quesnoy, plus the colourful cities of Brussels and Brugge. 

  • Avalon Poetry II
  • Avalon Poetry II Observation Lounge
  • Avalon Poetry II Suite
  • Itinerary Map

Your travel itinerary

Friday 14 September

Auckland – Dubai

Evening departure on Emirates for direct flight to Dubai. Change planes.

Saturday 15 September

Dubai - Brussels (Belgium)

Dinner iconDinner

Arrive Brussels early afternoon and transfer to hotel for a two-night stay. Welcome Dinner tonight.

Sunday 16 September


Breakfast iconBreakfast Dinner iconDinner

After breakfast, enjoy a walking tour of Central Brussels, the ‘Grote Markt,’ the historic city centre with its cafés and colourful buildings gives a relaxing introduction to Belgium’s capital city. See the grandiose EU Headquarters before dinner at a local restaurant.

Monday 17 September

Brussels – Ghent – Bruge (Belgium)

Breakfast iconBreakfast Dinner iconDinner

After breakfast, we travel through the countryside to Ghent, known as the medieval and cultural hub of Belgium. Our guided walking tour will give us an insight to the city from the Middle Ages. Continue on to Bruge and enjoy a canal cruise, the best way to appreciate this Flemish city.

Tuesday 18 September

Bruge – Ypres (Belgium)

Breakfast iconBreakfast Dinner iconDinner

Time in Bruge before driving through the Flemish countryside to Passchendaele where more than 2500 New Zealand soldiers were killed during WW1. Visit Tyne Cot Cemetery, resting place of many Commonwealth soldiers including New Zealanders, the Memorial Museum and the poppy gardens. Continue on to the town of Ypres, scene of several WW1 battles
and transfer to hotel for a two night stay.

Wednesday 19 September

Ypres – Poperinge – Le Quesnoy (France) – Ypres

Breakfast iconBreakfast Lunch iconLunch

Today focusses on New Zealand’s role in the region during WW1. Visit Nine Elms Cemetery near Poperinge and see the grave of former 1905 All Black captain Dave Gallaher.

Continue on to Le Quesnoy, the town liberated by Kiwi soldiers in what was one of the last major actions of WWI. Numerous links to New Zealand can be found from street names to the Garden of Remembrance and the Maori Giant in City Hall. Return to Ypres in time for the sounding of the Last Post at Menin Gate.

Thursday 20 September

Ypres – Epernay

Breakfast iconBreakfast Lunch iconLunch Dinner iconDinner

Today drive through French countryside to Champagne and Epernay – home of Champagne. Enjoy a French lunch before visiting the cellars of a prestigious wine house. Some of these underground storage areas are more
than a 1km long. Continue on to your hotel for a two-night stay.

Friday 21 September


Breakfast iconBreakfast

A day to relax or explore Epernay, the “Capital” of the Champagne area. Walk the Ave de Champagne and see the outstanding architecture. The old quarter of the town has narrow and irregular streets to contrast the more modern buildings.

Saturday 22 September

Eperney– Versailles - Paris

Breakfast iconBreakfast Dinner iconDinner

After breakfast, a leisurely drive to Versailles where a guided tour of this jaw-dropping Palace is included with time to walk the gardens and have lunch before continuing on to Paris to board ‘MS Poetry II’ and meet your crew at
a welcome reception. Sail out of Paris in the evening along the Seine River as it flows to the sea in Normandy.

Sunday 23 September

Vernon – Les Andelys

Breakfast iconBreakfast Lunch iconLunch Dinner iconDinner

In Vernon, the option of a guided tour of Giverny, home of Claude Monet or visit Bizy Castle nicknamed ‘Normandy’s Versailles.’ Sail on to Les Andelys for a guided town walk.

Monday 24 September


Breakfast iconBreakfast Lunch iconLunch Dinner iconDinner

Enjoy a guided excursion to see some of Normandy’s traditional houses and abbeys. The region produces a variety of fruit. Afternoon free to explore or take an optional tour to the seaside town of Honfleur.

Tuesday 25 September


Breakfast iconBreakfast Lunch iconLunch Dinner iconDinner

A full day of optional tours include Normandy Landing beaches, the agriculture delights including sampling the local drink Calvados and
a trip to the famous Bayeux Tapestry.

Wednesday 26 September


Breakfast iconBreakfast Lunch iconLunch Dinner iconDinner

The day in the city of Rouen where Joan of Arc was imprisoned includes a walking tour of the medieval quarter and a free afternoon to explore.

Thursday 27 September


Breakfast iconBreakfast Lunch iconLunch Dinner iconDinner

Optional tours to Auvers-Sur-oise or Chateau de Malmaison on the outskirts of Paris.

Friday 28 September


Breakfast iconBreakfast Lunch iconLunch Dinner iconDinner

The day in Paris will be special with a half-day city sightseeing tour that includes Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre Museum, Arc de Triomphe
and Eiffel Tower. The afternoon and night are yours to explore this iconic city.

Saturday 29 September

Paris – Beaune – St Jean de Losne – Seurre

Breakfast iconBreakfast Dinner iconDinner

After disembarkation from ‘MS Poetry II’, travel by TGV train to Dijon and onto the Burgundy wine producing city of Beaune to visit Hôtel Dieu. Continue to St. Jean de Losne where we embark ‘MS Tapestry II’ and enjoy a welcome
reception as you depart.

Sunday 30 September

Seurre – Mâcon

Breakfast iconBreakfast Lunch iconLunch Dinner iconDinner

Enjoy leisurely cruising along the Saône River with cheese tasting and lunch before arriving in the Beaujolais city of Mâcon, known for its burnt siena, buttermilk and rose painted buildings, giving it a Mediterranean look. Time to explore this wine producing city.

Monday 01 October


Breakfast iconBreakfast Lunch iconLunch Dinner iconDinner

Lyon, France’s third largest city, founded by the Romans in 43BC, sits at the confluence of the Saône and Rhône rivers with its impressive giant piazza. A special guided tour gives you an insight into this historic city.

Tuesday 02 October


Breakfast iconBreakfast Lunch iconLunch Dinner iconDinner

A free day to explore with the options of visiting the new Confluences Museum which compares with the Guggenheim in Bilbao. Explore the
‘traboules’ narrow Renaissance alleyways, markets, parks or Notre Dame de Fouriere – the 19th century basilica of shimmering white stone.

Wednesday 03 October

Tournon – Viviers

Breakfast iconBreakfast Lunch iconLunch Dinner iconDinner

Continue down the Rhône River and enjoy the guided tours of the welcoming little town Tournan and Viviers on the right bank of the Rhône River.
The walking tours will take you through vineyards, medieval streets and Roman ruins.

Thursday 04 October


Breakfast iconBreakfast Lunch iconLunch Dinner iconDinner

Arrive in the fortified city of Avignon, known as the ‘City of Popes.’ With its intact ramparts, cobblestone streets and squares and the famous
Saint Bénezet Bridge, Avignon offers a real interest.

Friday 05 October


Breakfast iconBreakfast Lunch iconLunch Dinner iconDinner

Wake up in the tranquil capital and gateway of Provence of Arles where a city tour includes the Roman Amphitheatre and local highlights.

Saturday 06 October

Arles (Disembarkation) – Côte d’ Azur

Breakfast iconBreakfast Dinner iconDinner

After breakfast, disembark ‘MS Tapestry II’ and join our coach journey along the south coast to the Côte d’ Azur or French Riviera. Afternoon free to explore before our Farewell Dinner.

There is the opportunity to extend your holiday in Europe post tour. Please ask for options.

Sunday 07 October

Côte d’ Azur – Nice – Dubai

Breakfast iconBreakfast

Drive to Nice for our afternoon Emirates flight to Dubai, arriving around midnight. Check into an aiport hotel.

Monday 08 October

Dubai - Auckland

Morning departure from Dubai on Emirates for the flight home to New Zealand.

Tuesday 09 October


Morning arrival into Auckland.

Optional Extension

Optional Stopover in Dubai

Monday 08 Dubai B D
Day at leisure to explore the city before enjoying a Sundowner Dinner cruise.
Tuesday 09 Dubai B
Enjoy a half-day city tour with the balance of the day free.
Wednesday 10 Auckland
Morning departure from Dubai on Emirates for flight home to New Zealand.
Thursday 11 Auckland
Morning arrival into Auckland.

Cost per person *NZD
Twin share $533
Single supplement $977


  • Economy air flights Auckland – Dubai – Brussels // Nice – Dubai – Auckland
  • All transfers and coach travel pre and postcruise
  • Meals as specified
  • Local tour guides in Belgium and France pre-tour
  •  Entrance fees where applicable
  • Fourteen nights on board Avalon’s river boats ‘Avalon Poetry II’ & ‘Avalon Tapestry II’
  • Port charges
  • Gratuities on board ‘Avalon Poetry II’ &‘Avalon Tapestry II’
  • All meals on board
  • Complimentary regional wines, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner on board
  • Two drink vouchers which can be redeemed outside meal times on board
  • Included selected guided shore excursions 
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell receptions with canapes and sparkling wine
  • Daily afternoon tea and night fare
  • Gail Littin as tour escort, subject to 20 persons travelling


Cost Per Person *
Auckland - Auckland
Twin ShareSingle 
 Panorama Suite (Category P)  $18,727 $25,933
 Deluxe Stateroom (Category A)  $18,473 $25,562
 Stateroom (Category E)  $15,449 $21,400
Business Class Upgrade +$6,452
Early Booking Discount (If deposit paid by 01 December 2017) $100
Previous International Pukekohe Travel Tour Discount $100

*This is a cash or cheque price. Credit cards will incur a 2% fee
*Itinerary and costs subject to change, airline and fuel charges and currency fluctuations prior to final payment

*Includes Avalon River Cruise’s $1,500 per person discount 


• Travel Insurance – compulsory – please ask us for a quote
• Items of a personal nature
• Gratuities on coach tour
• Items not specified
• Airport and airline taxes (approx NZD190)

Booking Conditions

  • A non-refundable deposit of $1,250 per person will secure a place on this trip
  • Full payment is due no later than 01 June 2018


General Information


  Max ˚c Min ˚c
Brussels 19 11
Paris 21 11
Avignon 20 10
Dubai 35 26

On board Avalon Riverboats by day – comfortable touring clothes and walking shoes.
By night – smart casual

Belgium / France Euro

Cruise Ships

Avalon Suite ships Poetry II and Tapestry II are two sister ships used extensively on river cruises in Europe.
Launched in 2014 and 2015 respectively, both feature two full decks of suites; Sky Bistro dining options; friendly, Englishspeaking
crew and Director; on-board lectures; fitness centre and very comfortable, relaxing Panorama and Stateroom cabins.
• Length 110m • Passengers 128
• Crew 37 • Decks 4 • Cabins 64

Included for every guest on board
• Spacious outside Deluxe Stateroom
• Large three-door closets and in-room safe
• ‘Comfortable Collection Beds’ with Egyptian cotton linen
• Large desk & power outlets
• Individual climate control
• Well-stocked mini bar with complimentary bottled water
• Plush bathrobes and slippers
• Flatscreen TV
• L’Occitane bath products
• Complimentary WIFI throughout
• Regional wines & beer with every on-board lunch and dinner
• Sparkling wine with breakfast
• High quality coffee / hot chocolate / tea

• Fitness room with top quality equipment
• Included sightseeing with certified local guides
• Professional Cruise Director and staff to assist


• A current passport is required, valid six months beyond date of travel
• No visa is required for New Zealand passport holders
• All other passport holders please ask

Health and Fitness

• Walking tours are an important part of the itinerary and a good standard of health is required with the ability to walk on uneven surfaces and negotiate stairs

Note: Pukekohe Travel reserves the right to correct errors and omissions on our website without recourse.
* Itinerary subject to change