AmaWaterways recently announced that the line will sail to France next year with the AmaLegro and AmaDagio riverboats on 11 and 21-day trips – the Paris & Normandy itinerary with a 7-night Seine cruise plus 2 nights in Paris, and the combo Jewels of France itinerary with 3 nights in Barcelona followed by a 7-night Rhone cruise, a 7-night Seine cruise and 2 nights in Paris.
“These itineraries take our guests through the heart of France,” said AmaWaterways’ founder, Rudi Schreiner. “From the design of the French Balconies onboard our ships to the locally-sourced ingredients, menu selections and wines, AmaWaterways combines old-world French charm with a luxury travel experience.”
Daily tours are included in the price of the voyages and include AmaWaterways’ new Culinary Delights – Bites & Sights excursions, European cooking and tasting experiences, and the available tour offerings are extensive.
Paris & Normandy
After boarding in Paris, the AmaLegro will sail by Vernon the following day to stop at Giverny for an excursion to visit the house of French impressionist painter, Monet. The following three days are spent in Rouen, the historic capital of Normandy, with land tours including “D-Day Remembered,” the traditional Norman villages of Pays D’Auge, the large fortress at Caen, the port and famous artistic subject of Honfleur, and the remaining abbeys of Normandy.
Then after a scenic cruise to Les Andelys, there’s a walking tour of the ruins of Château Gaillard’s castle and moats. At Conflans the next day, you can either visit Château Malmaison, the home of Napoleon Bonaparte, or take an artist walking tour featuring sites related to the masters, Cézanne, Pissarro and Van Gogh. Upon returning to Paris and disembarking the AmaLegro, an art museum tour is planned at the impressive Musée D’Orsay. The itinerary is concluded with two nights and optional tours in Paris.
This itinerary is available from March 29 – November 8, 2013. Cruise and land packages start at $3,019 with the cruise alone starting at $2,499.
Jewels of France
By combining a 3-night stay in Barcelona and a 7-night Rhone cruise onboard the AmaDagio, just before taking a TGV train to join the Paris & Normandy tour described above, you get what amounts to AmaWaterways’ king-sized itinerary, Jewels of France. During the Barcelona prologue, city and tapas tours are included featuring the architectural works of Gaudi and the local cuisine. Plus, there is also an optional tour to Montserrat Mountain and the Benedictine Abbey nestled within the dramatic topography.
Once transferred to Arles and embarking the AmaDagio, a day is spent for Van Gogh and Les Baux village tours plus an afternoon city tour of a Romanesque cathedral and Roman amphitheater. The following day is comprised of a Papal Palace excursion or Pont du Gard, Roman aqueduct, tour in Avignon as well as a nougat demonstration or ghost walk in Viviers. There too is an excursion to the village of Grignan and its Renaissance castle the next day.
Then comes a winery visit and tasting at Tournon and a walking tour and mini train ride, or castle visit in Vienne to explore its Roman history and ruins. Once in Trevoux, you can take a walking tour of the ancient principality of Dombes while remaining in Trevoux through the next part of the day with an exploration of the area’s wines. The itinerary finishes up in Lyon with a city tour and high-speed TGV transfer to part two of the journey leaving from Paris with the Paris & Normandy itinerary above.
This itinerary is available from March 26 – October 25, 2013. Cruise and land packages start at $6,398 with the cruises alone starting at $5,098.
AmaLegro & AmaDagio
Both French itineraries are luxuriously accommodated by the AmaLegro and AmaDagio with spacious cabins up to 255 sq.ft. in size – suites larger than those available on Viking River Cruises’ riverboats sailing in the region. The award-winning dining onboard is arranged by chefs from Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, and dinners include local wines, beer and soft drinks. All the while, passengers can observe the passing scenery from the sun deck or main observation lounge and bar.
Other onboard features include a whirlpool and walking track, a massage and beauty salon, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access. During the voyages, passengers have lectures, themed dinners, cooking demos, and musical performances to enjoy, and there is even a fleet of bicycles available to explore the shoreside at your own pace.
Come 2013, AmaWaterways will have these attractive French river cruises ready to set sail. For more information, visit www.amawaterways.com.