The Experience

Begin with your journey with 2-nights in magical Paris, the City of Light, with a panoramic tour of the cities’ top sights and a visit to the Musee d,Orsay. Visit the village of Giverny, where Monet lived and worked for 43 years, and Honfleur, a charming French harbor town immortalized by generations of artists. Stroll through Rouen, the historic capital of Normandy, then take an unforgettable excursion to the famous Normandy beaches of WWII. Visit Les Andelys, home of Chateau Gaillard. Disembark your river cruise ship in Paris, and then travel in style aboard the high-speed TGV train to Lyon, France’s gastronomical capital. From there, cruise through France’s legendary wine growing regions, home to such famous vintages as Beaujolais and Cate du Rhine.

Enjoy wine tastings at local vintners, marvel at ancient Roman ruins, stroll through medieval villages and shop for Provencal crafts. Your itinerary includes the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Avignon as well as Arles, the city where Vincent Van Gogh spent much of his life. Conclude your journey with three nights in magnificent Barcelona.


AmaWaterways has customized eight “In Celebration of Wine” theme cruises to showcase the acclaimed wine regions along the Rhone, Rhine and the Danube Rivers.

More from AmaWaterways:
New Year’s Knitting Cruise on the Danube
Jewels of France
Start with 2 nights in Paris, enjoy a 7-night Seine cruise, then travel by high-speed train to Lyon for a 7-night Lyon-Arles cruise, ending with 3 nights in Barcelona


21 Days ,“ Travel to Paris & return from Barcelona or reverse


Daily Program Features Daily Program Features (Cruise Only)

Select Direction:  Paris to Barcelona  or Barcelona to Paris

Board your overnight flight to Paris, France.

Arrive in Paris and check-in to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to begin exploring this romantic city on your own.

Today is a free day to explore the many sights of Paris.

Enjoy a panoramic tour of Paris today and a visit to one of the city’s most renowned museums. Located on the Left Bank, the museum was built in a former railway station and now houses an extensive collection of French art. Its collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces is the largest in the world and includes iconic works by Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cezanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin and Van Gogh. Embark upon your luxurious ship. Meet your fellow passengers at the Welcome Dinner. (B, D)

Spend the morning enjoying the scenery along the Seine as you cruise to the provincial town of Vernon. In the afternoon you will visit Giverny and the home and gardens of Impressionist master Claude Monet. The artist lived here for more than four decades and immortalized his ponds and flower gardens in some of his most iconic paintings (open seasonally). Alternatively, you will have the opportunity to tour the Palace and Gardens of the Chateau de Bizy (when available). Inspired by Versailles, Chateau de Bizy was constructed as a Royal Chateau and is still home to descendants of Emperor Napoleon. The ship moors overnight in Vernon. (B,L,D)

After a scenic morning cruise on the Seine, arrive in Rouen, the historic capital of Normandy. You will have a choice of two different tours. The first option is to visit Honfleur, a historic and picturesque port with pastel-colored houses that was a favorite subject of artists such as Courbet, Boudin and Monet. The town’s medieval Sainte-Catherine church, with its separate bell tower, is the largest wooden church in France. As an alternative, choose the “Routes des Abbayes” excursionspotlighting Normandy’s famous abbeys, more than 100 of which once covered this region. You will visit the ruined abbey in Jumièges as well as St. Wandrille, still a working monastery. (B,L,D)

Today, you have the choice of three different excursions. D-Day Remembered, is a full day excursion to the US sector, Omaha and Utah beaches. Your first stop will be Arromanches, with free time to visit the museums and have lunch before visiting St.Laurent-sur-Mer, the US Cemetery at Omaha Beach. The last stop of your excursion is the Ranger monument at Pointe du Hoc before returning to the ship in Rouen. As an alternative, you can tour the Gold, June & Sword beaches in the British and Canadian sectors. Your first stop will be Arromanches, with free time to visit the museums and have lunch before visiting the Juno Beach Centre. Later, you,™ll stop at the Pegasus Monument in Ranville. A third option is an excursion to rural Normandy, which includes a visit to the Pays d’ Auge and Routes du Cidre, (the Cider Road). You will visit traditional Norman towns and villages, such as Beuvron-en-Auge, Crevecoeur-en-Auge and Crambremer, some of the most beautiful villages in France, and tour a Calvados distillery where you may sample apple cider and apple brandy. (B,L,D)

Enjoy a morning walk through this medieval city and see the imposing Notre Dame Cathedral, painted numerous times by Monet, and the square where Joan of Arc was martyred. Afterwards, you will have free time to explore Rouen on your own, perhaps stopping to sample some of Normandy’s famous and delicious cheeses. This afternoon, enjoy scenic cruising on the Seine to Les Andelys. (B,L,D)

A stroll along the river in Les Andelys offers beautiful views of the Seine Valley’s dramatic white cliffs, centuries-old half-timbered houses, and the hilltop ruins of Chateau-Gaillard. This former stronghold of Richard the Lionhearted changed hands a number of times during the Hundred Years War. More athletic guests may hike up to visit the ruins of this historic castle before we continue our cruise along the Seine. The ship arrives tonight in Conflans. (B,L,D)

Today, you have a choice of two excursions. The first option is to visit Chateau Malmaison, former home of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and his wife Josephine. Your tour includes the chateau’s interior, gardens and museum. Alternatively, travel to the town of Auvers-sur-Oise, a town famous for the Impressionist painters who lived there in the 19th century“ such as Paul Cezanne, Camille Pissarro and Vincent van Gogh. Your Artists Walk, tour will include many sites associated with their works, including the Auberge Ravoux, former home of Vincent van Gogh. The upstairs room where Van Gogh died has been meticulously preserved. He and his brother Theo are both buried in the nearby town cemetery. The ship departs this afternoon for Paris, arriving in the evening. (B,L,D)

After disembarking your ship, you will board a TGV high-speed train that will whisk you through the French countryside to Lyon. Nestled between the Saone and Rhone rivers, Lyon is one of France’s most important cities its gastronomic capital. Upon arrival, enjoy some free time for lunch on your own before a private cooking demonstration. Later, transfer to your luxurious ship, where you will gather this evening for a Welcome Dinner. (B,D)
Day 12 LYON
Today your panoramic tour of Lyon will take you to Place Bellecour with its equestrian statue of Louis XIV, Place des Terreaux with Bartholdi’s Fountain, and the Town Hall. Afterwards, visit Fourvière, part of the historic region designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Known as the Hill of Prayers,, Fourvière is famous for its iconic white Basilica of Notre-Dame, ruins of an ancient Roman theater, and majestic views of the city below. The ship departs for Belville this evening. (B,L,D)

This morning’s tour will take you through the Beaujolais wine region, also known as the Pays d’ Or (land of the golden stones,, named for the ochre limestone used to build local homes and castles). You will visit the medieval hilltop village of Oingt as well as the home of a local vintner, where you will enjoy a wine tasting, vineyard tour and explanation of the history of the region,™s wine production. Return to the ship in the afternoon and continue cruising towards Vienne, where you,™ll have a free evening to explore on your own. (B,L,D)

Situated between the wine regions of Burgundy and Beaujolais, Vienne,™s Roman past can be seen in its marvelously preserved ruins. This morning, you will take a mini train tour and see the 1st-century Roman Temple of Augustus and Livia, the ruins of a Roman theater, and the medieval churches of St. Andre-Le-Bas and Abbey St. Pierre. Your ship will depart at midday for Tournon. This evening, explore the town on your own. (B,L,D)

This morning, visit Cornas, the premier producer of Rhone wines. Enjoy a wine tasting and free time this afternoon to visit the 16th-century castle that is now a town hall. Return to the ship for lunch as we cruise to Viviers. After arriving this evening, you may take a Ghost Walk, through this medieval town with colorful stories brought to life by local residents. (B,L,D)

After breakfast, enjoy an excursion to Grignan, a hilltop village surrounded by lavender fields. The village’s Renaissance castle provides a commanding view of the surrounding countryside. Return to the ship and cruise to Avignon, site of the bridge made famous by the French children’s song Sur le pont d’Avignon, (On the Bridge of Avignon,). Seven popes once resided in the magnificent Papal Palace, which you will visit during your walking tour. You will also see the well-preserved medieval walls surrounding the historic center of town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As an alternative, take an excursion to the Pont du Gard, a Roman aqueduct that is a masterpiece of engineering and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your tour will also visit Uzes, a lovely town known for its castle (still occupied by the Duke of Uzes and his family), medieval streets and picturesque town square. Enjoy free time for shopping before returning to your ship. (B,L,D)

This morning, you will arrive in Arles and board a motor coach for an excursion to the village of Les Baux de Provence. The village’s castle has a fascinating exhibit of medieval weapons. Later, visit an olive farm to learn about this age-old Provenal farming tradition. As an alternative, take the Impressionist Experience, tour to the Saint Paul de Mausole Asylum, where Van Gogh once lived and painted such well-known works as The Irises and Starry Night. You will also visit the Carrieres de Lumieres, a stone quarry that projects European artwork on its walls, including many of Van Gogh’s famous paintings. Late this afternoon, a city tour of Arles takes you to the Romanesque cathedral and the Roman Amphitheater. Another option is a guided bike tour to a Roman museum (capacity controlled).The ship moors overnight in Arles. (B,L,D)

Disembark your ship in Arles and transfer to Barcelona. Along the way, you will pass through the eerie Camargue marshland and stop in the medieval town of Perpignan in France, where you will have free time for lunch and some exploring on your own. (B)
Your full day in Barcelona begins with a driving tour to the top of Montjuic Hill where you will enjoy glorious views of the city below. Continue along the waterfront to Las Ramblas, an iconic tree-lined boulevard, and explore the Gothic Quarter in the medieval center of the city. Your tour also includes the unique architectural works of Antoni Gaudi­, including Casa Mila , Casa Batlle and La Sagrada Familia, the basilica and UNESCO World Heritage Site that has been under construction for over a century. (B)

Enjoy a full day at your leisure, or take part in an optional excursion to Montserrat to visit the famous Benedictine Abbey atop Montserrat Mountain. (B)

Bid farewell to Barcelona and prepare for your homeward flight. (B)


The Route

Start with our vacation planner so we can match you with our most suitable travel advisor. We do it all for you, air, car, accommodations, tours, you name, it in a seamless luxury vacation experience you will treasure for a lifetime.