• Escorted Tour
  • Lady Share
  • Guaranteed Departure

France by Riverboat

A journey through a timeless land including WW1 sites

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.

  • Tour Map

Your travel itinerary

Monday 31 August

Auckland – Dubai

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

Tuesday 01 September

Dubai - Brussels (Belgium)

Dinner iconDinner

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

Wednesday 02 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 with the afternoon at leisure before dinner at a local restaurant.

Thursday 03 September

Brussels – Ghent – Bruges (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 Bruges and enjoy a canal cruise, the best way to appreciate this Flemish city.

Friday 04 September

Bruges – Ypres (Belgium)

Breakfast iconBreakfast Dinner iconDinner

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.

Saturday 05 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.

Sunday 06 September

Ypres – Epernay – Chantilly

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 Chantilly for a two-night stay in a small chateau set in 12 acres of parkland.

Monday 07 September


Breakfast iconBreakfast

A day to relax, walk in the extensive grounds and park, indulge in a spa or take a taxi into the town of Chantilly.

Tuesday 08 September

Chantilly – Versailles - Paris

Breakfast iconBreakfast Dinner iconDinner

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.

Wednesday 09 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.

Thursday 10 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.

Friday 11 September


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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.

Saturday 12 September


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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.

Sunday 13 September


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

Monday 14 September


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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.

Tuesday 15 September

Paris – Beaune – St Jean de Losne

Breakfast iconBreakfast Dinner iconDinner

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 

Wednesday 16 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.

Thursday 17 September


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.

Friday 18 September


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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. 

Saturday 19 September

Tournon – Viviers

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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.

Sunday 20 September


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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.

Monday 21 September


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

Tuesday 22 September

Arles – Port-Saint-Louis (Disembarkation) – Marseille

Breakfast iconBreakfast Dinner iconDinner

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

Wednesday 23 September

Marseille – Nice – Dubai

Breakfast iconBreakfast

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

Thursday 24 September

Dubai – Auckland

Breakfast iconBreakfast

Morning arrival into Auckland.

Optional Extension

Optional Stopover in Dubai

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


  • Economy air flights Auckland – Dubai – Brussels // Nice – Dubai – Auckland
  • Transfers as specified
  • 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 Tapestry II’ & ‘Avalon Poetry II’
  • Port charges
  • Gratuities on board ‘Tapestry II’ & ‘Poetry 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 guided tours at most ports (with three exceptions)
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell receptions with canapes and sparkling wine
  • Daily afternoon tea and night fare
  • Pukekohe Travel escort, subject to 20 persons travelling


Cost Per Person *
Auckland - Auckland
Twin ShareSingle 
 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)                            SOLD OUT  $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 – 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)
  • Optional shore excursions

Booking Conditions

  • A non-refundable deposit of $1,000 per person will secure a place on this trip
  • Full payment is due no later than 15 May 2020

Cancellations and Refunds

  • From the date of booking until 15 May 2020 – loss of deposit
  • After 15 May 2020 - no refund

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance is essential. Please feel free to contact us for a quote.

General Information

General Information

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

Health and Fitness

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

Ship Information

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