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Detailed Itinerary Colors of Provence (Christmas)
CRUISE YEAR
Day 1
EMBARKATION – LYON, FRANCE
Board the ship for your Colors of Provence cruise. (D)

Day 2
LYON
Discover dynamic Lyon, starting in Fourvière Hill, part of the city’s historic region that is now a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the 19th-century basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière. Continue on to the old town of Lyon, followed by a guided walk through the St. Jean district, where you will be introduced to the city’s unique covered walkways, known as “traboules.” Your time in Lyon also includes time to browse the Lyon Christmas Markets and watch the city sparkle in festivities and tradition during its lights festival. Alternately, join a guided bike tour through the city designed with cyclists in mind. In the afternoon, enjoy the rest of your day at your own leisure to explore the city. (B,L,D)

Lyon
Day 3
VILLEFRANCHE
Travel to the Beaujolais wine region—known as the Pays d’Or or “land of the golden stones.” Indulge in a wine tasting at a traditional winery and learn about the history and techniques of their vineyard. Explore the Provençal holiday traditions in Oignt where you will see crèche displays made of santons, terracotta figurines depicting the nativity scene set in Provence. (B,L,D)

Villefranche-sur-Saone
Day 4
VIENNE – TOURNON
Situated between the wine regions of Beaujolais and Côtes du Rhône lies Vienne with a Roman past that can be seen in its marvelously preserved ruins. Follow the footsteps of the ancient Romans on a walking tour to see the amazingly well-preserved Augustus and Livia Temple, the Saint Maurice Cathedral, a Gothic church that took more than 500 years to build, and St. Pierre Abbey—one of the oldest surviving churches in France, and now an Archaeological Museum. For those wishing to be more active, you can either take a guided hike from the ship to the Monastery at Mount Pipet or a guided bike tour along a portion of the ViaRhôna bike route. (B,L,D)

Vienne
Day 5
TOURNON
Lovers of wine and chocolate will want to visit Le Château de Tournon for a presentation and tasting on the pairing of red wine and chocolate. For a more active adventure, take a hike through the vineyards of Tain l’Hermitage, followed by a visit to a local winery where you’ll sample some of the wines. You’ll also have many opportunities to taste the Provence’s regional specialties, including its traditional 13 desserts of Christmas throughout your journey. (B,L,D)

Tournon
Day 6
TARASCON - ARLES
Provençal town Tarascon is known for its medieval architecture and charming tales – especially the legend of the Tarasque monster. Join a guided walking tour where you’ll visit the Roman ruins of Arles such as its Roman Amphitheater and the Church of Saint Trophime, famous for its Romanesque architecture. Alternatively, you can enjoy a bike ride along the Rhône, through town to the Langlois Bridge, a famous subject from several Vincent Van Gogh paintings. And for those who wish to delve further into Van Gogh’s Arles, join a special walking tour along with a visit to the Vincent van Gogh Foundation, showcasing his legacy. During the afternoon, you’ll visit the enchanting medieval fortress, the Castle of Tarascon – a fortress designed to protect but surprises all with its elegant interior, fit for royalty. Or, visit the St. Remy Christmas Markets for holiday festivities and delights at every corner. Following the markets, delve deeply into the Carrières de Lumières, where you’ll be treated to a spectacular presentation of art, sound and history projected on the former limestone quarry walls of caves. Alternately, you can enjoy an excursion to explore the medieval, walled village of Aiges-Mortes. Then, you'll drive to the beautiful Camargue National Park, a protected natural territory that lines the Mediterranean Sea south of Arles. In the evening, enjoy an illuminations cruise around Avignon. (B,L,D)

Tarascon
Day 7
AVIGNON
Depending on your interests, you have three choices of excursions for the morning. Avignon, aptly named the “City of Popes,” was the center of the Catholic Church in the 14th century when its “Palais des Papes” was the equivalent of today’s Vatican. Discover the history of Avignon on a guided walking tour that includes the Papal Palace and the well-preserved medieval walls surrounding the historic center of town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can visit three venues around Avignon to taste regional specialties including macarons, cheese and wine, and tapenades or you can enjoy a bike tour. You will have time to enjoy the Carpentras Christmas Markets with its famous crib exhibition, holiday performances and delicious regional specialties. During the afternoon, you can go to another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the impressive Pont du Gard, a Roman aqueduct that is a masterpiece of ancient engineering. Alternately, you can go to the magnificent hilltop village, Grignan. After visiting this enchanting Provençal town, go in search of the highly prized “Black Diamond” truffles with a farmer and his trustworthy canine companion. (B,L,D)

Avignon
Day 8
AVIGNON – DISEMBARKATION
Bid farewell to Avignon and prepare for your flight home. (B)

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