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Cruise Provence & Burgundy

Trip Highlights

Join this specially arranged nine-day French sojourn in world-famous Provence and the wine regions of Burgundy and Beaujolais wine regions during springtime, the best time of year to visit. Cruise from historic Lyon along the fabled Rhône and Saône Rivers aboard the exclusively chartered, deluxe Amadeus Provence. Enjoy an excursion to the Beaujolais vineyards for a private wine tasting and fortepiano performance at the Château de Montmelas and a walking tour of Lyon, France’s gastronomique gateway. Dock in the heart of port towns and visit the legendary Hôtel-Dieu in Beaune, the Roman city of Orange, the medieval Papal Palace of Avignon and the wonderfully preserved Roman amphitheater in Arles. Marvel at the UNESCO-inscribed Pont du Gard, an exquisite 2000-year old aqueduct, and classical antiquities of Vienne. Experience a specially arranged wine and chocolate tasting with a well-known French oenologist in Vienne. The carefully designed Pre‑Program Option features cosmopolitan Geneva, Switzerland, and the beautiful towns of Gruyeres and Montreux, Switzerland. 

 

  • Exclusively chartered, deluxe small ship, an intimate cruising experience.
  • Specially designed, one-of-a-kind itinerary cruising France’s storied Rhône and Saône Rivers during the best season to visit.
  • One port call every day, often docking in the very heart of each charming French city, town or village—all excursions included.
  • Visit six UNESCO World Heritage sites.
  • Tour captivating Lyon, France’s gastronomique gateway.
  • Exclusive tour of the Beaujolais wine region’s 10th-century Château de Montmelas, guided by a noble member of the resident family, with a specially arranged fortepiano concert and wine tasting.
  • Complimentary wine and beer with lunch and dinner aboard ship.
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access (conditions permitting).
  • Specially arranged, educational lectures.
  • This program sells out every year!
  • Geneva Pre-Program Option.

 

Pre-Program Option – Geneva and the French Alps

Delight in the mountainous beauty of the Savoie Mont-Blanc region at the convergence of France, Switzerland and Italy. Visit the world‑class city of Geneva, ideally located on the crystalline shores of the largest lake on the course of the Rhône, fed by the waters flowing through the valleys of the Swiss Alps. Enjoy a specially arranged tour of the interior chambers of the Palais des Nations, a United Nations headquarters.  

Visit the medieval jewel of Gruyères where 12th-century ramparts enclose cobblestone streets dotted with traditional shops and restaurants specializing in the region’s famed cheese. Discover magical Montreux, beloved by 19th-century artists for its stunning lakeside setting and crowned by the fairy-tale Chillon Castle, the nation’s most treasured landmark.

Enjoy a visit to Annecy, the “Venice of the Alps,” for a guided walking tour. This medieval town is noted for its crystal‑clear canals, pastel-toned houses and old‑world ambiance. Accommodations are for three nights in the deluxe, centrally located Hôtel Bristol Genève.

 

The Pre-Program Option is available at additional cost. Details will be provided with your reservation confirmation.

 

Shared departure: This departure is shared with other universities.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Depart Gateway City

Depart for France.

Day 2 – Lyon, France/Embark Amadeus Provence

Arrive in the captivating city of Lyon, a UNESCO World Heritage site located at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône Rivers, and embark the deluxe Amadeus Provence. Enjoy the Captain’s Welcome Reception this evening.

Meals: Reception, Dinner

Day 3 – Tournus/Beaune/Mâcon/Beaujolais

Visit enchanting Beaune, founded in the fifth century B.C. and the longtime capital of Burgundy wines, located in the famous Côte d’Or département. This historic city and its surrounding Burgundy terroirs, vineyards and cultural landscape comprise a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here, tour the legendary, Burgundian Renaissance-style Hôtel-Dieu, a charitable hospital since the Middle Ages and one of the best examples of 15th-century French architecture, lauded for its varnished, polychrome Flemish tiled roof and Gothic turrets.

Travel to Mâcon through Burgundy’s Saône-et-Loire département, amid green vineyards growing lusher at this time of year, followed by an excursion to the lovely vineyards of Beaujolais, the “land of the golden stones,” from which France’s youthful, fruity nouveau wines are cultivated. Located along the banks of the Saône River, this internationally acclaimed wine region has been known to produce more red wine than the Burgundy vineyards of Chablis, Côte d’Or, Côte Châlonnaise and Mâconnais combined.

In the heart of Beaujolais, visit the 10th-century Château de Montmelas. A distinguished member of the resident family will greet you upon arrival and guide your exclusive tour through the home. Enjoy a private, specially arranged performance of fortepiano music by an internationally recognized pianist living in Burgundy, accompanied by a wine tasting and local canapés. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 – Lyon

A UNESCO World Heritage site, Lyon is a captivating city at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône Rivers, illuminated by the gleaming city lumières, which cast an incandescent glow on the riverfront. From Lyon’s lofty Fourvière (Praying Hill), enjoy views of the neo-Byzantine Basilique Notre-Dame-de-Fourvière. Walk the tree-lined streets of the restored Vieux Lyon, the old town, where well-preserved Gothic and Renaissance mansions attest to the wealth of Lyon’s long-standing silk industry. Stroll through the ancient quarter of Saint-Jean and explore the unique, often hidden traboules—narrow, covered pedestrian passageways. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 – Avignon

Built on the banks of the Rhône and ringed by low medieval walls, the ancient city of Avignon is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city formed the axis of Western Christendom from 1309, when Pope Clement V moved the papal capital here until the Great Schism with Rome in 1378.

Tour the grandiose Palais des Papes (Papal Palace), the largest château-fort built in Europe during the Gothic era and the primary testament to Avignon’s golden age. At the river’s edge, see the remaining four arches of the Pont Saint-Bénezet (Pont d’Avignon), the only bridge built across the Rhône during the Middle Ages and an exceptional example of medieval fortifications. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 – Arles

This archetypal Provençal city is unmatched in its joie de vivre and home to one of the most majestic collections of UNESCO World Heritage-designated Roman monuments. Originally a Celtic settlement, Arles became the Roman capital of Gaul, Britain and Spain. Visit the magnificently restored amphitheater, built in the first century B.C. for 20,000 spectators, and the 12th-century Église Saint-Trophime, a former cathedral known for its Last Judgment-themed portal, a fascinating example of Romanesque sculpture. The city’s colorful houses, bathed in golden light, inspired Van Gogh, who produced over 200 works during his 14-month stay in 1888, including The Sunflowers and The Café Terrace at Night—the café on Place du Forum is still open to the public. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7 – Châteauneuf-du-Pape/Orange/ Pont du Gard

Traverse the pastoral French countryside, passing colorful champs (fields) and stucco maisons (houses) en route to Orange. Admire the Roman city’s UNESCO World Heritage sites—visit the well-preserved ancient Roman Theater, the best-preserved Roman theater in the world, dominated by a colossal stage wall with an ornate façade embellished with columns, doorways and niches; the theater still hosts performances today. See the Triumphal Arch, built in the late first century in testimony to Augustus Caesar and Roman imperial glory.

Visit the UNESCO World Heritage-designated Pont du Gard, an exquisitely built, 2000-year-old Roman aqueduct triumphed as one of Europe’s most impressive archaeological sites. The 31- mile aqueduct once supplied over nine million gallons of water daily to the city of Nîmes and is hailed for its 82-foot arch gap, one of the largest spans in the Roman world. This extraordinary masterpiece of engineering was constructed of limestone cut to fit together seamlessly without mortar, using arches to support the weight. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8 – Vienne

Located at a scenic bend in the Rhône River, Vienne features a trove of architectural treasures. The Romans’ major wine port, Vienne was of great strategic importance and some of the finest Classical antiquities in France attest to its past glory. See the pristinely preserved Temple of Augustus and Livia, with striking Corinthian columns, built around 10 B.C. in honor of Rome’s greatest emperor, and the beautifully restored amphitheater at the foot of Mont Pipet, seating up to 13,000 spectators and still in use today. The town’s most notable medieval landmark is the Romanesque-Gothic Cathédrale de Saint-Maurice, constructed between the 12th and 16th centuries. Enjoy a specially arranged wine and Valrhona chocolate tasting with a well-known French oenologist on board the ship. Enjoy the Farewell Reception on board the ship this evening.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Reception, Dinner

Day 9 – Lyon/Disembark/Return Home

Disembark the ship in Lyon and transfer to the airport for your return flight home.

Meals: Breakfast

 

Show Full Itinerary

Your Journey

Cruise Provence & Burgundy

By participating in an Alumni Association of the University of Michigan travel trip, you have stated that the Alumni Association has the exclusive right to use video and other visual/audio portrayals of You or Your likeness taken during Your trip in any medium of any nature whatsoever for any purpose, including advertising or promoting the services of the trip without any compensation being paid to You. Any such portrayal or likeness shall be the exclusive property of the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan.

(9 days)
Starting price: $3,995
Deposit per person: $800
Europe
Gohagan & Co.
Type: Cruise, River Cruise, Shared Departure

You must be an Alumni Association member to travel with us. Questions? Call Michigan Alumni Travel at 855.764.0064.

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