ARRIVE PARIS, FRANCE
Arrive in Paris, where you are met and transferred to your elegant boutique hotel for check-in. This evening, meet your Resident Tour Director for dinner — exclusive to Connections guests — at Les Ombres, enjoying wonderful views of the nearby Eiffel Tower.
PARIS | Surveying the City of Light
Explore the heart of medieval Paris this morning, with stops at Sainte-Chapelle, the Conciergerie and the lovely Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris. After lunch at a local restaurant, the remainder of the day is yours for individual exploration of the City of Light.
BEAUNE | Medieval Marvel
Set out on a food walk in Montmartre with your intimate group of Connections guests, stopping to sample fresh-baked pastries, just-plucked produce and a variety of local delicacies. In Beaune, visit Hôtel-Dieu, a 15th-century charity hospital, before settling into your historic, boutique accommodations, an intimate hideaway brimming with antiques and period charm.
BEAUNE | Wine Capital of Burgundy
Travel to a traditional, family-run mustard mill for a private small-group tour and opportunity to make the piquant condiment. Join a local expert sommelier in his home for a tutored tasting of memorable vintage wines, followed by lunch. Next, travel to Lyon for priority embarkation aboard ‘Amadeus Provence.’ Take time to settle into your premium cabin or suite with an open-air French or walk-out balcony. Gather this evening for a welcome cocktail and dinner.
MÂCON | A Taste of Chardonnay
Arrive this morning in Mâcon. Travel privately by small group to Cluny to tour the abbey. After lunch, continue to Chardonnay on a Connections-only excursion. Sample its namesake grape for yourself at a private wine tasting.
CHALON-SUR-SAÔNE | Riverside Town
Dock in picturesque Chalon-sur-Saône. Your Resident Tour Director shares an orientation before you set off on a morning at leisure to explore this delightful riverside town with its graceful cathedral. After lunch aboard ship, visit medieval Brancion, continuing to the 17th-century Château de Cormatin. See its turrets; gilded rooms; and ornate, English-style gardens. Half in ruins, it remains under the same private ownership today.
LYON | Historic Old Quarter
Arrive in Lyon to tour its old quarter, walking the charming, centuries-old streets of this UNESCO World Heritage Site by small group, with insight from your Resident Tour Director and local guide. See the traboules (hidden passageways) of Croix-Rousse Hill and enter a silk weavers’ workshop. Visit the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière which overlooks the city. Later, cruise the Rhône River and enjoy a private pre-dinner cocktail party in the ship’s Amadeus Club. End the evening at an exclusive Chef’s Highlights dinner with fellow Connections guests.
AVIGNON | Magnificent Palais des Papes
Meet your intimate group and embark on a full-day excursion, starting at the Pont du Gard, a towering Roman aqueduct. Enjoy a Connections-exclusive lunch in its shadow before taking a fascinating tour of Avignon. Its center, surrounded by medieval stone ramparts, features the prominent Palais des Papes and the remains of Saint-Bénezet bridge (Pont d’Avignon). After visiting the Palais des Papes, explore the city at your own pace, with time at leisure. This evening, step ashore to experience the flavors of the South of France during a Connections-only dinner at a specially chosen restaurant.
SÉNANQUE & ARLES | An Exclusive Experience
Begin your exclusive, day-long Connections excursion at the Cistercian Abbey of Sénanque, famous for its fields of lavender. In Saint Paul-de-Mausole, see the asylum where Vincent van Gogh was voluntarily interned for a year, taking note of the gardens that inspired some of his famous paintings. Then, stop at Mas de la Pyramide — a family-run Provençal farm — for a lunch brimming with fresh-plucked, home-grown produce. Talk with your hosts as you gain an inside perspective on rural life. Complete the day in Arles, a city settled since 800 BC. Discover its massive Roman amphitheater, beautiful basilica and the Place du Forum, where Van Gogh painted his Café Terrace at Night. You have the chance to stand in the exact spot where the master artist set up his easel.
VIVIERS | Local Pastimes
Visit Viviers, a small walled city steeped in history and nestled on the Rhône River. Explore with a local guide, meet some residents and learn about — and play — a traditional game of pétanque. Tonight, gather a final time with fellow guests and join the captain for a celebratory gala dinner.
After breakfast, transfer to the Lyon airport, where you board your homebound flight for departure.
NOTE: High or low water levels may impact sailing and require changes to the itinerary.