This Grand 15-night, north to south river cruise in France, begins in Paris with a return riverboat cruise to Normandy, before sailing down the Saone and Rhone rivers to Arles in Provence near the Mediterranean Coast.
Become absorbed in the culture along the way, calling at Rouen of Saint Joan of Arc martyrdom fame and the attractive seaport of Honfleur before returning 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, Ypres in Belgium and the well-remembered, Kiwi-liberated French town of Le Quesnoy, plus the colourful cities of Brussels and Bruges.
Evening departure on Emirates for direct flight to Dubai. Change planes.
Arrive Brussels early afternoon and transfer to hotel for a two-night stay. Welcome Dinner tonight.
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 with the afternoon at leisure before dinner at a local restaurant.
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 Bruges and enjoy a canal cruise, the best way to appreciate this Flemish city.
Time in Bruges 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.
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.
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 Chantilly for a two-night stay in a small chateau set in 12 acres of parkland.
A day to relax, walk in the extensive grounds and park, indulge in a spa or take a taxi into the town of Chantilly.
After breakfast, travel by coach to Versailles where a guided tour of this jaw-dropping Palace is included. Continue on to Paris to board ‘MS Tapestry 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Optional tours to Auvers-Sur-oise or Chateau de Malmaison on the outskirts of Paris.
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.
After disembarkation from ‘MS Tapestry 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wake up in the tranquil capital and gateway of Provence of Arles where a city tour includes the Roman Amphitheatre and local highlights.
After breakfast, disembark ‘MS Poetry II’ and join our coach journey along the south coast to the Côte. Afternoon free to explore before our Farewell Dinner.
There is the opportunity to extend your holiday in Europe post tour. Please ask for options
Drive to Nice for our afternoon Emirates flight to Dubai, arriving around midnight. Check into hotel.
Morning arrival into Auckland.
Cost per person
Twin Share $300
Friday 25 Dubai B
Day at leisure to explore the city before an optional Sundowner Dinner cruise.
Saturday 26 Dubai B
Enjoy a half-day city tour with the balance of the day free.
Sunday 27 Dubai - Auckland
Morning departure from Dubai on Emirates for flight home to New Zealand.
Monday 28 Auckland
Morning arrival into Auckland.
*Costs and Itinerary subject to change
|Cost Per Person * |
Auckland - Auckland
|Panorama Suite (Category P)||$20,399||$28,715|
|Deluxe Stateroom (Category A)||$19,990||$28,427|
|Deluxe Stateroom (Category D)||$17,597||$24,607|
|Stateroom (Category E)||$16,995||$23,863|
|Business Class Upgrade||+$6,452|
|Mixed Class (Business / Economy)||+$3,786|
|Early Booking Discount ( 01/12/2019 )||$150|
|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
Travel Insurance is essential. Please feel free to contact us for a quote.
Weather 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
Dubai United Emirates Dirham
A good standard of health and fitness is required and clients should be independently mobile with the ability to walk unaided 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