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The Leader in Small Ship and River Cruising Worldwide
Worldwide Discovery at Extraordinary Value Since 1958

2017 Cruising Burgundy & Provence to the Cote d'Azur

13 Days from only $3595 including international airfare

ABOARD THE PRIVATELY OWNED 46-PASSENGER M/S PROVENCE DESIGNED FOR AMERICAN TRAVELERS

Paris • Lyon • Viviers • Avignon • Arles • Nice

Courtesy Small World Productions
Paris

Join travel expert Rudy Maxa to preview Paris’s iconic sights and sophisticated customs.

Trip Itinerary

Get more information about your detailed itinerary, like optional tours, exclusive Discovery Series events, and more.

Trip Experience

Watch travelers meet a local vintner and taste a sampling of his wines in Beaujolais.

Trip Extension: Nice

Bask in the Mediterranean sun and savor French cuisine on our optional extension.

Program Director

Meet French Program Director Jean Philippe Ruze, as he shares his longtime loves of France, family, and food.

Program Director

Learn why Jean Pierre Enguix thinks Lyon is one of the best places we visit on this River Cruise Tour.

Trip Extension: Paris

Visit Paris's iconic sites via Metro or savor the tastes of France in a local restaurant on our optional extension.

Courtesy Small World Productions
France’s Burgundy and Loire Regions

Revel in the art of good living as travel expert Rudy Maxa explores the legendary Burgundy region.

©2014 The New York Times
36 Hours in Nice

Witness the unique confluence of French and Italian cultures—the best of both worlds—on display in coastal Nice.

Courtesy Small World Productions
Provence

Join travel expert Rudy Maxa as he explores Provence, where verdant landscapes and Roman ruins are plentiful.

Courtesy Small World Productions
French Riviera

Join travel expert Rudy Maxa as he explores sun-dappled Nice and sophisticated Cannes, which you can enjoy on our trip extension.

Courtesy BBC.com Travel
In Paris, The Drink That Drove Van Gogh Mad

Toast to the legendary (and infamous) Green Fairy with this in-depth examination of absinthe.

Courtesy CNN
Top Chef Tours Paris for "Human Stories"

Join Parisian chef Gregory Marchand to learn where the locals go to get the best bread, olive oil, and more.

Courtesy CNN
Paris Vintage Shop Charges by the Kilo

See how a local singer-songwriter gleans inspiration in Paris, from thrift shops to a vintage guitar store and more.

Courtesy CNN
"Creepy" Antique Shopping in Paris

Immerse yourself in dark and decadent delights as a local tattoo artists shares her favorite Parisian haunts.

Courtesy Kristine Juergensen and Ian Cross
Bazaar: Provence

Follow guide Kate Comer as she tours the beautiful and varied region of Provence, chatting with local artisans along the way.

Courtesy Emeric Livinec
Riverbanks

Relax at Paris’s Berges de Seine, a section of riverbank ideal for late afternoon picnics with friends or an impromptu nap.

Courtesy Michael Gisselere
Château de Versailles

Revel in the splendor on display within Versailles' lush and gilded grounds in this special drone-shot film.

New Year, New Stories

Take a look at the films that inspire filmmaker David Conover—and preview the stories that await this year.

Climate Change & Travel

Travel with David Conover to see how people—from street protesters to Heads of State—respond to a changing climate and ocean.

Produced for CuriosityStream
Big Picture Earth Trailer

David Conover's newest television series takes us from Stonehenge to Petra, from Iceland to the Oracle at Delphi ... and beyond.

Sharing Travel Moments

Hear why visual storytelling helps to build a conversation about the world from filmmaker David Conover.

Solo Traveler Experience

Hear about one solo traveler’s experiences in Turkey and Greece.

The Grand Circle Cruise Line Experience

Travel aboard Grand Circle Cruise Line’s selection of river and small ships—from the Adriatic Sea to the Danube River.

Travel Protection Plan

Learn about the benefits of Grand Circle's plan—and how you can protect your entire trip investment.

FROM
$3595
13 DAYS
$277/DAY
including international airfare
12 DAYS FROM $2595 River Cruise Only
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Itinerary Overview

UPDATE ON NICE: We are operating all of our departures as scheduled. All of our travelers and associates in France are safe—we will continue to monitor the situation.

Come marvel at the lights of Paris, the capital of romance ... then explore France by River Cruise Tour, where you'll sail throughout the French countryside aboard one of Grand Circle’s private French river cruisers—which offer a more intimate cruising experience, with a maximum of just 46 American travelers. Along the way, you'll discover the lovely landscapes and enchanting villages that inspired the great artists of the 19th and 20th centuries ... revel in picturesque scenery, like gently sloping hills and vineyards that sustain one of the greatest wine industries in the world ... visit ornate papal palaces, Gothic cathedrals, medieval fortifications, and ancient Roman ruins ... and cap off your explorations in the elegant Cote d’Azur, with its golden sands and opulent casinos.

Day-to-Day Itinerary

  • 3 nights from only $645

    Often referred to as the "City of Light," the French capital is one of Europe's most stunning and influential metropolitan centers, featuring renowned landmarks and world-famous art museums—combined with romance, style, and a certain je ne sais quoi that make it one of the world's leading travel destinations.

    View Extension Itinerary
  • Depart today on your overnight flight to Paris, France.

  • Arrive in Paris today, where you'll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. You can choose to join your Program Director for a leisurely orientation walk with to get acquainted with the area around your hotel.

    This evening, gather with your Program Director and traveling companions, including those from the Paris, France pre-trip extension, for a Welcome Drink and briefing before enjoying dinner on your own.

  • Get to know the famed "City of Lights" this morning, starting with a panoramic tour of its highlights. Witness the metropolis from different perspectives as you travel along the notable Champs-Elysees—and as it ends at the large central roundabout, where twelve elegant tree-lined avenues converge, see the Arc de Triomphe, commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 and completed in 1836. You'll also drive by the magnificent Gothic Cathedral of Notre Dame and iconic Eiffel Tower. Then, head to Le Marais for walking tour of the neighborhood that captures what daily life in residential Paris is like.

    The afternoon is yours in Paris to pursue your own interests. Head to the Louvre using public transportation, exploring its many galleries at your leisure, or venture out to gilded Palace of Versailles to set eyes on its magnificent Grand Chambers and the Hall of Mirrors, where the Treaty of Versailles, ending World War I, was signed in 1919.

    This evening, join your fellow travelers at a brasserie for a distinctly Parisian Welcome Dinner.

  • France’s Burgundy and Loire Regions

    Revel in the art of good living as travel expert Rudy Maxa explores the legendary Burgundy region.

    Travel through the renowned province of Burgundy today, departing Paris after breakfast for Macon.

    France is renowned for its legendary wine—a deeply ingrained part of its heritage and source of national pride. One of the country's eleven major wine regions, Burgundy's rich soil produces many of the world's finest varietals and its enchanting landscapes are doted with vineyards. Stop along the way late this morning for an exclusive Discovery Series Burgundy wine experience, during which you'll visit a local château to learn more about this famed region and enjoy lunch.

    Continue your journey this afternoon with a scenic ride along Burgundy's Route des Vins (Wine Road), arriving in Macon late this afternoon and embarking your ship.

    This evening, savor your first dinner aboard the ship.

  • Begin cruising along the Saone River to Lyon early this morning, enjoying a relaxing start the day soaking in the passing riverside scenery.

    Arrive after lunch and disembark for a tour of historic Lyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Once the capital of Gaul under the Romans, Lyon flourished as a Renaissance trading center based on its extensive silk industry—and the first automatic loom able to weave complex patterns was invented here in the 1800s. In a country known for its fine cuisine, Lyon is said to be a gastronomic capital. Explore Old Lyon, once hidden behind medieval ramparts, and make the most of an included 2-day Metro Pass during your tour.

    This evening, gather for a Welcome Drink, followed by your Captain's Welcome Dinner.

  • Start the day with an exclusive Discovery Series French market experience, which takes place both onboard and off. First, explore a local market in Lyon, taking in the scenes of local life and varied sweet and savory items for sale. Then return to the ship to learn more about—and sample—regional specialties, including the many kinds of French breads, from the long, thin baguettes to the plumper loaves.

    The afternoon is yours to continue discovering Lyon with your included Metro Pass. Or, you can choose to join an optional tour to explore the beautiful Beaujolais region north of Lyon, home to 13 French wine appellations, and partake in a wine tasting.

  • Enjoy a relaxing day cruising along the Rhone, taking in scenic views of vineyards, farmhouses, sleepy villages, and emerald-green wooded hillsides.

    This afternoon, partake in two Discovery Series events as your travel. First, learn how to prepare (and sample) a few of France's culinary delights as your ship's chef demonstrates cooking techniques. Later, brush up on your conversational French during a language lesson.

    Arrive in Tournon this evening, disembarking after dinner to experience in a local pastime—Petanque. Akin to horseshoes, the players aim to get hollow hollow metal balls as close to a wooden ball as possible without stepping outside of a marked circle. Head to a Petanque court, supported in part by the Grand Circle Foundation, for a up-close glimpse the action.

  • Arrive in Viviers—the gateway to Provence—early this morning. After breakfast, get a closer look at this charming town during walking tour, followed by free time to explore on your own.

    Return to the ship for lunch, and set off for Avignon. During your afternoon cruise, find a comfortable deck chair and relax as you pass through a lovely stretch of the Ardeche region, an area of ancient villages and spa towns set against the backdrop of a rugged, natural landscape. You'll also learn about Herbs de Provence and its use in the legendary foods associated with this region during an exclusive Discovery Series event.

    Enjoy dinner onboard this evening, and dock in Avignon tonight.

  • Explore Avignon, known as the "City of Popes," on a morning walking tour. For most of the 14th century, the popes left the turmoil of Rome and installed themselves in this calm possession of the Catholic Church. Beginning with Clement V (who was born here), they built residences, chateaux, a number of fortified palaces, and churches in Avignon, and you'll have guided exploration of the impressive Papal Palace during your tour.

    The afternoon is yours to make your own discoveries in Avignon. Wend the winding streets of some of the city's ancient neighborhoods, or relax at an outdoor cafe. Or, join an optional Afternoon in Provence to visit Provencal village of Les Baux de Provence and the Carrieres de Lumieres, where artwork is displayed on the walls of carved limestone chambers.

    Tonight, gather with your fellow travelers for the Captain's Farewell Dinner.

  • In the early morning hours, begin cruising to Arles. Arrive after breakfast and set off on a walking tour of the town beloved by Vincent van Gogh—and find signs indicating places rendered in his works. See the Cafe l'Alcazar, the still-standing establishment where van Gogh stayed and used the manager, Madame Ginoux, as his model for his painting l'Arlesienne.

    One of the most distinctive towns in enchanting Provence, visiting Arles is like journeying back to Ancient Rome. The town is filled with landmarks and ruins dating from its periods of Roman domination that began in 30 BC. Witness the outside of the colossal hilltop Roman amphitheater, where 21,000 spectators thrilled to gladiator fights in the first century—and where bullfights are held today, more than 20 centuries later. You'll also see the 7,000-seat Antique Theater. Enjoy a bit of time on your own to continue exploring the cobbled lanes.

    Then, head into the Camargue region—Europe's largest delta, a dramatic landscape caught between land and sea—for an exclusive Discovery Series visit to a bull farm. The keepers of this land are its gardians, akin to our cowboys. They live here with their families, often several generations together, carving out lifestyles in sync with the land, following the rhythms of nature and the needs of the livestock they tend. Experience traditional daily life at a gardian's bull farm, sharing lunch and the friendliness of their down-to-earth hospitality. You'll also climb aboard a farm truck to see the bulls in their natural environment.

    Tonight, savor a Provencal-themed dinner onboard the ship.

  • Conclude the river cruise portion of your trip this morning, disembarking after breakfasting to travel through scenic Provence to Nice on the Cote d'Azur (the French Riviera).

    Stop en route this morning in Draguignan to visit to the Rhone American Cemetery, set on twelve acres outside the city. Established just days after Allied troops landed and began an offensive against the German Army in southern France and the Rhone Valley, the cemetery commemorates one of the important battles that followed the D-Day landings on the beaches of Normandy. Today, 861 American soldiers are buried at the memorial site.

    Continue on to Nice, arriving in the mid-afternoon. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon to settle in, relax, and get to know the area, with dinner on your own tonight.

  • 36 Hours in Nice

    Witness the unique confluence of French and Italian cultures—the best of both worlds—on display in coastal Nice.

    Nice is the Cote d'Azur's premier Riviera resort—a city of art and theater known for its lush gardens and superb setting on the Mediterranean's Bay of Angels. Set off on a morning discovery walk with your Program Director, taking in the city's unique, seaside spirit as you stroll Vieux Nice (Old Town) and the Promenade des Anglais.

    Enjoy lunch on your own to experience the city's diverse culinary options, and the rest of the day to pursue your own interests in Nice, like unwind on a smooth pebbeled beach or witnessing famed works in Musée Matisse.

    Gather with your fellow travelers this evening for a farewell toast, then enjoy dinner on your own.

    • Meals included:

    This morning, transfer to the airport for your flight home. Or continue your discoveries with the Nice, France or Italian Rivieria & the Cinque Terre post-trip extensions.

  • POST-TRIP EXTENSION:
    Nice, France

    3 nights from only $645

    Elegant hotels, fashionable seaside promenades, an opulent casino, and famous sunny beaches—Nice more than merits her title as the grande dame of the Cote d'Azur. Stroll the ancient lanes of this city, where the French Riviera phenomenon began more than a century ago.

    View Extension Itinerary
  • POST-TRIP EXTENSION:
    Italian Riviera & the Cinque Terre

    4 nights from only $1095

    This lovely seaside resort town is home to several medieval relics, like a 16th-century castle, and the Abbazia della Cervara (Abbey of Cervara), which was erected in the late 1300s, and features an expansive garden overlooking the sea. Santa Margherita is a charming place to relax and sample the town's vintages.

    View Extension Itinerary
  • 3 nights from only $645

    Elegant hotels, fashionable seaside promenades, an opulent casino, and famous sunny beaches—Nice more than merits her title as the grande dame of the Cote d'Azur. Stroll the ancient lanes of this city, where the French Riviera phenomenon began more than a century ago.

    View Extension Itinerary
  • 4 nights from only $1095

    This lovely seaside resort town is home to several medieval relics, like a 16th-century castle, and the Abbazia della Cervara (Abbey of Cervara), which was erected in the late 1300s, and features an expansive garden overlooking the sea. Santa Margherita is a charming place to relax and sample the town's vintages.

    View Extension Itinerary
  • Depart today on your flight to Nice, France. 

  • Arrive in Nice today, where you'll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. You can choose to join your Program Director for a leisurely orientation walk with to get acquainted with the area around your hotel.

    This evening, gather with your Program Director and traveling companions, including those from the  Nice, France or Italian Riviera & the Cinque Terre, Italy pre-trip extensions, for a Welcome Drink and briefing before enjoying dinner on your own.

  • 36 Hours in Nice

    Witness the unique confluence of French and Italian cultures—the best of both worlds—on display in coastal Nice.

    Nice is the Cote d'Azur's premier Riviera resort—a city of art and theater known for its lush gardens and superb setting on the Mediterranean's Bay of Angels. Set off on a morning discovery walk with your Program Director, taking in the city's unique, seaside spirit as you stroll Vieux Nice (Old Town) and the Promenade des Anglais.

    Enjoy lunch on your own to experience the city's diverse culinary options, and the rest of the day to pursue your own interests in Nice, like unwind on a smooth pebbeled beach or witnessing famed works in Musée Matisse.

    Tonight, gather with your fellow travelers at a local restaurant for a Welcome Dinner.

  • Enjoy time on your own in Nice this morning before cruising through scenic Provence in the afternoon, as you make your way to Arles.

    Stop en route this afternoon in Draguignan to visit to the Rhone American Cemetery, set on twelve acres outside the city. Established just days after Allied troops landed and began an offensive against the German Army in southern France and the Rhone Valley, the cemetery commemorates one of the important battles that followed the D-Day landings on the beaches of Normandy. Today, 861 American soldiers are buried at the memorial site.

    Continue on to Arles, arriving late this afternoon to embark the ship. Tonight, enjoy a Provencal-temed onboard dinner.

  • Discover Alres on a morning walking tour of the town beloved by Vincent van Gogh—and find signs indicating places rendered in his works. See the Cafe l'Alcazar, the still-standing establishment where van Gogh stayed and used the manager, Madame Ginoux, as his model for his painting l'Arlesienne.

    One of the most distinctive towns in enchanting Provence, visiting Arles is like journeying back to Ancient Rome. The town is filled with landmarks and ruins dating from its periods of Roman domination that began in 30 BC. Witness the outside of the colossal hilltop Roman amphitheater, where 21,000 spectators thrilled to gladiator fights in the first century—and where bullfights are held today, more than 20 centuries later. You'll also see the 7,000-seat Antique Theater. Enjoy a bit of time on your own to continue exploring the cobbled lanes.

    Then, head into the Camargue region—Europe's largest delta, a dramatic landscape caught between land and sea—for an exclusive Discovery Series visit to a bull farm. The keepers of this land are its gardians, akin to our cowboys. They live here with their families, often several generations together, carving out lifestyles in sync with the land, following the rhythms of nature and the needs of the livestock they tend. Experience traditional daily life at a gardian's bull farm, sharing lunch and the friendliness of their down-to-earth hospitality. You'll also climb aboard a farm truck to see the bulls in their natural environment.

    Return to the ship this evening and begin cruising to Avignon. Join your fellow travelers for the Captain's Welcome Reception and Port Talk, followed by the Captain's Welcome Dinner. The ship arrive sin Avignon late tonight.

  • Explore Avignon, known as the "City of Popes," on a morning walking tour. For most of the 14th century, the popes left the turmoil of Rome and installed themselves in this calm possession of the Catholic Church. Beginning with Clement V (who was born here), they built residences, chateaux, a number of fortified palaces, and churches in Avignon, and you'll have guided exploration of the impressive Papal Palace during your tour.

    The afternoon is yours to make your own discoveries in Avignon. Wend the winding streets of some of the city's ancient neighborhoods, or relax at an outdoor cafe. Or, join an optional Afternoon in Provence to visit Provencal village of Les Baux de Provence and the Carrieres de Lumieres, where artwork is displayed on the walls of carved limestone chambers.

    Begin cruising to Viviers this evening, arriving late tonight.

  • Arrive in Viviers—the gateway to Provence—early this morning. After breakfast, get a closer look at this charming town during walking tour.

    Return to the ship this morning and spend the rest of the day cruising toward Lyon, where you'll arrive tomorrow. During your cruise today, enjoy three exclusive Discovery series events. First, learn about Herbs of Provence and its use in the legendary foods associated with this region this morning. Then this afternoon, see how to prepare (and sample) a few of France's culinary delights as your ship's chef demonstrates cooking techniques. Early this evening, brush up on your conversational French during a language lesson.

    Arrive in Tournon this evening, disembarking after dinner to experience in a local pastime—Petanque. Akin to horseshoes, the players aim to get hollow hollow metal balls as close to a wooden ball as possible without stepping outside of a marked circle. Head to a Petanque court, supported in part by the Grand Circle Foundation, for a up-close glimpse the action.

    to Lyon tonight.

  • Begin cruising along the Saone River to Lyon early this morning, enjoying a relaxing start the day soaking in the passing riverside scenery.

    Arrive after lunch and disembark for a tour of historic Lyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Once the capital of Gaul under the Romans, Lyon flourished as a Renaissance trading center based on its extensive silk industry—and the first automatic loom able to weave complex patterns was invented here in the 1800s. In a country known for its fine cuisine, Lyon is said to be a gastronomic capital. Explore Old Lyon, once hidden behind medieval ramparts, and make the most of an included 2-day Metro Pass during your tour.

  • Start the day with an exclusive Discovery Series French market experience, which takes place both onboard and off. First, explore a local market in Lyon, taking in the scenes of local life and varied sweet and savory items for sale. Then return to the ship to learn more about—and sample—regional specialties, including the many kinds of French breads, from the long, thin baguettes to the plumper loaves.

    The afternoon is yours to continue discovering Lyon with your included Metro Pass. Or, you can choose to join an optional tour to explore the beautiful Beaujolais region north of Lyon, home to 13 French wine appellations, and partake in a wine tasting.

    Tonight, gather with your fellow travelers for the Captain's Farewell Dinner.

  • Enjoy a relaxing start to the day with a morning at leisure. Then, late this morning, being cruising along the Saone River to Macon, soaking in the passing riverside scenery.

    Arrive in Macon this evening, and after an onboard dinner, go ashore for a discovery walk with your Program Director of Macon—considered the entryway to the Burgundy region and the end of the Beaujolais region.

  • France’s Burgundy and Loire Regions

    Revel in the art of good living as travel expert Rudy Maxa explores the legendary Burgundy region.

    Travel through the renowned province of Burgundy today, disembarking the ship in Macon after breakfast for Paris with scenic ride along Burgundy's Route des Vins (Wine Road).

    France is renowned for its legendary wine—a deeply ingrained part of its heritage and source of national pride. One of the country's eleven major wine regions, Burgundy's rich soil produces many of the world's finest varietals and its enchanting landscapes are doted with vineyards. Stop along the way late this morning for an exclusive Discovery Series Burgundy wine experience, during which you'll visit a local châteaux to learn more about this famed region and enjoy lunch.

    Continue your journey to Paris, arriving this evening. The evening is yours to settle in, relax, and enjoy dinner on your own.

  • Get to know the famed "City of Lights" this morning, starting with a panoramic tour. Witness the metropolis from different perspectives as you travel along the notable Champs-Elysees—and as it ends at the large central roundabout, where twelve elegant tree-lined avenues converge, see the Arc de Triomphe, commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 and completed in 1836. You'll also drive by the magnificent Gothic Cathedral of Notre Dame. Then, head to La Marais for walking tour of the neighborhood that captures what daily life in residential Paris is like.

    The afternoon is yours in Paris to pursue your own interests. Head to the Louvre using public transportation, exploring its many galleries at your leisure, or venture out to gilded Palace of Versailles to set eyes on its magnificent Grand Chambers and the Hall of Mirrors, where the Treaty of Versailles, ending World War I, was signed in 1919.

    Gather with your fellow travelers this evening for a Farewell toast, then enjoy dinner on your own.

    • Meals included:

    This morning, transfer to the airport for your flight home. Or continue your explorations with our Paris, France post-trip extension.

  • POST-TRIP EXTENSION:
    Paris, France

    3 nights from only $645

    Often referred to as the "City of Light," the French capital is one of Europe's most stunning and influential metropolitan centers, featuring renowned landmarks and world-famous art museums—combined with romance, style, and a certain je ne sais quoi that make it one of the world's leading travel destinations.

    View Extension Itinerary

Click below to read our Travel Planning Guide on Cruising Burgundy & Provence to the Cote d'Azur

Read Travel Planning Guide