This triumvirate of France brings you the very best of each region—Paris and the Normandy coast in the north, vineyard-rich Bordeaux in the southwest and the sun-drenched Mediterranean delights of Burgundy and Provence. You’ll tour glamorous capital cities in leisure and style, explore ancient villages still unspoiled by modern life and walk in the footsteps of famous artists such as Monet and Van Gogh. With Uniworld’s extraordinary exclusive excursions, you’ll visit the Palace of the Popes in Avignon, taste incomparable wines in Bordeaux, stroll the charming medieval lanes of Viviers and peruse the famed farmers’ market in Lyon before seeing the city spectacularly illuminated at night. All the while, savor the renowned wines and cooking traditions that have made French cuisine the most revered in the world.
Who will enjoy this cruise? Those who want to experience all that France has to offer, from decadent food and wine to breathtaking scenery and world-famous art and architecture.
Ultimate France is a combination of Paris & Normandy, Bordeaux Vineyards & Châteaux, and Burgundy & Provence.
Day 1: Paris (embark)
Day 2: Vernon (Giverny), Les Andelys
Day 3: Rouen (Normandy Beaches)
Day 4: Rouen
Day 5: Caudebec-en-Caux (Honfleur)
Day 6: Conflans-Sainte-Honorine (Auvers sur Oise)
Day 7: Paris
Day 8: Paris (disembark), transfer to Bordeaux via high speed TGV train (embark)
Day 9: Cadillac, Bordeaux
Day 10: Cruising the Garone River and Gironde Estuary, Pauillac
Day 11: Blaye, cruising the Gironde Estuary and Dordogne River, Libourne
Day 12: Libourne (Saint-Émilion)
Day 13: Libourne, cruising the Garonne River, Bordeaux
Day 14: Bordeaux
Day 15: Bordeaux (disembark), fly to Lyon (embark)
Day 16: Macon (Beaune)
Day 17: Lyon
Day 18: Tournon (Tain l’Hermitage)
Day 19: Viviers
Day 20: Avignon
Day 21: Tarascon (Arles or Tarascon)
Day 22: Avignon (disembark), transfer to Marseille Airport
- You will visit the following places:
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region. The city of Paris, within its administrative limits largely unchanged since 1860, has an estimated population of 2,193,031, but the Paris metropolitan area has a population of 11,836,970, and is one of the most populated metropolitan areas in Europe. In 2009 and 2010, the city has been ranked among the three most important and influential cities in the world, among the first three "European cities of the future" according to a research published by Financial Times and among the top ten cities in the world in which to live according to the British review Monocle. The city is the home of the most visited art museum in the world; ''the Louvre'' as well as the ''Musée d'Orsay'' noted for its collection of French Impressionist art, and the ''Musée National d'Art Moderne'' a museum of modern and contemporary art. The notable architectural landmarks of Paris include Notre Dame Cathedral (12th century); the Sainte-Chapelle (13th century); the Eiffel Tower (1889); and the Basilica of Sacré-Cœur on Montmartre (1914). In 2014 Paris received 22.4 million visitors, making it one of the world's top tourist destinations. It is also known for its fashion, particularly the twice-yearly Paris Fashion Week, and for its haute cuisine, and three-star restaurants. Most of France's major universities and grandes écoles are located in Paris, as are France's major newspapers, including Le Monde, Le Figaro, and Libération.
Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne River in southwest France, with an estimated (2008) population of 250,082. The Bordeaux-Arcachon-Libourne metropolitan area, has a population of 1,010,000 and constitutes the sixth-largest urban area in France. It is the capital of the Aquitaine region, as well as the prefecture of the Gironde department. Its inhabitants are called Bordelais. Bordeaux is the world's major wine industry capital. It is home to the world's main wine fair, Vinexpo, while the wine economy in the metro area moves 14.5 billion euros each year. Bordeaux wine has been produced in the region since the eighth century. The historic part of the city is on the UNESCO World Heritage List as "an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble" of the 18th century.
Lyon, a city in east-central France, in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, sits at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers. Lyon, also written Lyons in English, is the third largest city in France and centre of the second largest metropolitan area in the country. It is the capital of the Rhone-Alpes region and the Rhône département. It is known as a gastronomic and historical city with a vibrant cultural scene. It is also the birthplace of cinema.
Avignon is a commune in the Vaucluse department in southeastern France. The city is well known for its Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes), where several popes and antipopes lived from the early 14th to early 15th centuries. It is situated on the left bank of the Rhône, a few kilometres above its confluence with the Durance, about 580 km (360.4 mi) south-east of Paris, 229 km (142.3 mi) south of Lyon and 85 km (52.8 mi) north-north-west of Marseille. Avignon occupies a large oval-shaped area, not fully populated and covered in great part by parks and gardens. The historic centre, which includes the Palais des Papes, the cathedral, and the Pont d'Avignon, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. The medieval monuments and the annual Festival d'Avignon have helped to make the town a major centre for tourism.
City of Cadillac
Known for it's historically acclaimed architectural and horticultural structures, Normandy is a popular destination when visiting France. Normandy's museums, memorials, concert halls, chateaux and manors, national parks and culinary culture are designed to pay homage to Norman architecture of England after the Normand Conquest of 1066. The culture and structure of this beautiful French region are sure to appeal to all tastes.
Honfleur is a commune in the Calvados department in northwestern France. It is located on the southern bank of the estuary of the Seine across from le Havre and very close to the exit of the Pont de Normandie. The most picturesque of the Côte Fleurie's seaside towns, its inhabitants are called Honfleurais. It is especially known for its old, beautiful picturesque port, characterized by its houses with slate-covered frontages, painted many times by artists, including in particular Gustave Courbet, Eugène Boudin, Claude Monet and Johan Jongkind, forming theécole de Honfleur (Honfleur school) which contributed to the appearance of the Impressionist movement. The Sainte-Catherine church, which has a bell tower separate from the principal building, is the largest church made out of wood in France.
Rouen is a city on the River Seine in the north of France. It is the capital of the region of Normandy. Formerly one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe, Rouen was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy during the Middle Ages. It was one of the capitals of the Anglo-Norman dynasties, which ruled both England and large parts of modern France from the 11th to the 15th centuries. An important city in the Roman era and Middle Ages, it has Gothic churches and a cobblestoned pedestrian center with hundreds of medieval half-timbered houses.
Libourne is a commune in the Gironde department in Aquitaine in southwestern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department. It is the wine-making capital of northern Gironde and lies near Saint-Émilion and Pomerol. The Gothic church, restored in the 19th century, has a stone spire 232 ft (71 m) high. On the quay there is a machicolated clock-tower which is a survival of the defensive walls of the 14th century; and the town-house, containing a small museum and a library, is a quaint relic of the 16th century. It is located by the main square, the Place Abel Surchamp, which hosts every week end one of the largest fresh food market in the region.