Colors of Provencewith Ancient Walled Villages, the French Riviera, the Castles, and Châteaus of the Loire Valley 17 day cruise/tour - June 24, 2023
This is a brand-new AmaWaterways Cruise we are introducing in 2023. The owners of Fun For Less Tours, after experiencing this cruise and itinerary, knew it should go directly to the top of everyone’s list – we had to offer it to our passengers! Michel Wilcox, who loves France and even speaks French, jumped at the chance to be part of this special cruise and tour. The “Colors of Provence” is the right name. During the summer in Southern France, most every window and building in the villages and cities are adorned in beautiful flowers, BUT the best time of all is when the South of France is covered in Lavender fields. There are certain places in the world that have the greatest highlights in a very short period of time, like being in the Netherlands during the short tulip season or being in Japan during the short Cherry blossom season – that is what it is like being in the South of France during the short Lavender blossom season. You not only experience all the normal beautiful flowers, you will also be blown away with the staggering beauty of the Lavender fields. The best time to see the beautiful Lavender fields is between mid-June to mid-July! We hit it perfectly as we board our AmaWaterways Cruise ship on June 29, setting sail through the heart of the best area to enjoy Lavender fields and ancient cobblestone villages.
Our fantastic itinerary includes a lot more than Lavender fields.
Here is a partial list of highlights you will enjoy on this specially designed tour:
- Carcassonne: Our owner’s favorite walled city in the world to stay in. They have stayed many times throughout the years inside the walled city of Carcassonne. They want you to have the same phenomenal experience. Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, along with many others were filmed in this fantastic medieval walled village and castle.
- French Riviera: Highlights include Nice, Monte Carlo, and the ancient walled village of Eze
- Avignon France: In the 1300’s the headquarters of the Catholic Church was moved from Rome to Avignon, France. 7 Popes oversaw the catholic church from Avignon. Visiting their massive spacious palace will be a huge highlight.
- Ancient picturesque villages, along with fields of Lavender, will be an experience you will never forget as we sail on the Rhone River.
- Lyon, France: So many wonderful things to enjoy in Lyon, well preserved ancient Roman Ruins, the saint Maurice Cathedral that took more than 500 years to build, the city’s historic region that is now a UNESCO World Heritage site, and so much more.
- Loire Valley: If it’s the French splendor you seek, the Lorie Valley will exceed your expectations, no matter how great! Kings, Queens, Dukes, and Nobles came here to establish feudal castles and palaces. It is said there are over 1,000 Châteaux and Palaces in the Loire Valley. This will be a highlight of highlights on this special tour and cruise.
- Paris, France: Even if you have been to Paris before, who doesn’t love spending time in Paris.
Click below to see the Chateau’s of Loire Valley in Tours, France
Package Price Includes:
17 Day Colors of Provence Cruise combined with Ancient Walled Villages, the French Riviera, the Castles, and Châteaus of the Loire Valley is a combination of TWO Packages:
The 5-Star Luxury Colors of Provence Cruise with AmaWaterways (with savings up to $1,800 per person) AND our special Land Tour and Hotel Packages in France, including the medieval walled village of Carcassonne, Monte Carlo, The French Riviera, Tours (with its thousands of Châteaus) and romantic city of Paris. Add Dr. Michael Wilcox as the educator and you have a package that can’t be beaten.
Package #1: AmaWaterways Colors of Provence Cruise Includes:
- 8 days 7-night sailing on a 5-star luxury riverboat from the Mediterranean Sea to Lyon, France on the Rhone River – during the best time of year to experience the beautiful Lavender Fields.
- Category D Cabin with Two LARGE Port Hole Windows. Example pictures of Cat D Cabins and images of upgraded balcony cabins can be found on pages 12 & 13.
- A MINIMUM of $1,000 off the ship’s pricing PER PERSON. Go ahead and compare! Even more, savings when you upgrade to balcony cabins.
- All ship port taxes and fees.
- All Shore Excursions.
- Special Guest Educator: Dr. Michael Wilcox.
- Fun For Less Tours Staff.
- Three quality meals onboard the ship every day.
- Free internet and free movies.
- Unlimited Bottled water.
- All bicycles and helmets on board are free to use.
- Option to upgrade cabin to French Balcony, Double Balcony, or Suite.
- Use of quality headsets.
Ship Package Pricing for Cat D Cabin: $4,498
PLUS, Ship Port Charges, Taxes & Fees: $200
Total Ship Package Cat D Cabin Pricing: $4,698
Minus Membership Savings off Ship Price: ($1,000)
OUR Total Ship Package Price: $3,698
Package #2: Our Special Land Package of Southern France, the French Riviera, the Loire Valley, the Walled Ancient Village of Carcassonne, along with Paris:
- 2 Nights Deluxe Hotel in the medieval walled village of Carcassonne, France.
- 2 Nights Deluxe Hotel Nice, France on the French Riviera.
- 2 Nights 4-Star Deluxe Hotel in Tours, France.
- 2 Nights 4-Star Deluxe Hotel in Paris, France.
- 10 days of buses and transfers in France and Germany.
- 4 Stunning Châteaus in the Loire Valley: Château Du Bloise, Château De Chambourg, Château Chenonceau, and Château Cheverny.
- All Entrance Fees, Tours, Guides, and Sightseeing.
- All Hotel and Bus Taxes and Fees.
- Special Guest Educator: Dr. Michael Wilcox.
- Fun For Less Tours Staff.
- “Whisper Perfect” headset receivers.
Land Package Price: $2,395
Package Price: $6,093 - Total for both Packages*
*Per person cash discount price, based on double occupancy.
Does not include airfare or tips.
Important Note: We have phenomenal pricing for the BEST river cruise line In Europe, AmaWaterways. Because we charter AmaWaterways’ ships, we are able to pass on those huge savings to you. The ship will often offer a $250 early bird discount. With our special savings, you save between $1,000 and $1,800 per person. Yes, that is per person!
See cabin upgrades and pricing below.
Category Package. Upgrade Price SAVINGS off of Ship Pricing
Cat D Porthole Cabins Included in Package $1,000 per person
Cat C French Balcony $700 per person $1,100 per person
Cat BB Double Balcony $1,100 per person $1,300 per person
Cat BA Double Balcony $1,300 per person $1,300 per person
Cat AB Double Balcony $1,500 per person $1,300 per person
Cat AA Double Balcony $1,700 per person $1,300 per person
Luxury Suite $2,500 per person $1,800 per person
This is a partial list, and subject to change as needed to accomplish everything we can in each area we visit. We will have local guides who will make sure we see the very best in the time we have.
Day 1 June 24: Fly to Nice, France
Today we fly to Nice in southern France.
Day 2 June 25: Nice
Depending on our arrival time we will either transfer to our hotel or do a short tour of Nice before transferring to our hotel.
Day 3: June 26: Nice, France – Monte Carlo, Monaco
Today we will explore the three most fascinating cities of the French Riviera. We will begin the tour with a beautiful drive along the mountainside road called the “Grand Corniche”, which is dotted with charming coastal villages. The construction was commissioned by Napoleon. Our first stop will be in Monaco and the town of Monte Carlo. On our way to the Grand Casino, we will be traveling along a portion of the Grand Prix Motor Raceway. We will also visit the Rock of Monaco, which is a walled city overlooking the sea. Your guide will escort you through old Monaco. We will pass the 19th-century Romanesque cathedral and the Prince’s Palace. Once we arrive at the Grand Casino area you will be given time to browse through the exclusive shops at Casino Square. However, we will not have time to go into the actual casino. Next, we will travel on the Middle Corniche Road toward the mountain top village of Eze. Shops and artisans line the cobblestone streets of this charming walled city. Eze also offers beautiful panoramic views from its perch, high on the mountain top. Then we will return to Nice. We will take in the sights, sounds, and colors of the beautiful city before heading back to our hotel.
Day 4: June 27: Nice – Carcassone
This morning we will drive to the walled city of Carcassonne. It is France’s most famous medieval walled city. We will spend two nights experiencing the wonder of staying inside an ancient walled city. It is a UNESCO world heritage site. Many movies have been filmed here, including Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.
Day 5: June 28: Carcassonne
Full Free Day to explore the city and castle, walk the walls of the ancient fortress, shop, relax and enjoy this wonderful ancient walled city.
Day 6: June 29: Carcassonne – Avignon France
This morning we will depart for Avignon, France where our wonderful 5-Star Luxury River Cruise ship awaits us. We will do a little touring on our way and then in the afternoon board the ship where you will spend the next 7 nights. All of the tours are included on your AmaWaterways Cruise ship. We are listing the tour we recommend at each port of call. The ship often has another option or two, which you can change to when you get on board the ship.
Day 7: June 30: ship – Tarascon France:
The Provencal town of Tarascon is known for its medieval architecture and charming tales. Join a guided walking tour where you’ll visit the Roman ruins of Aries including its Roman Amphitheater and the Church of Saint Trophime. During the afternoon you’ll visit the enchanting medieval fortress, the Castle of Tarascon. A fortress designed to protect, but surprises everyone with its elegant interior, fit for royalty.
Day 8: July 1: Ship Avignon France:
Avignon, aptly named the “City of Popes,” was the center of the Catholic Church in the 14th century when its “Palais des Papers” 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.
Day 9: July 2: Vivers
Today should be a day to experience the wonderful, lush fields of lavender flowers. We will take in the quaint surroundings of Viviers, a charming commune that sidles up to the right bank of the Rhone. We then travel to the magnificent hilltop village of Gringnan. After visiting this enchanting Provencal town, we join a farmer in search of the highly prized “Black Diamond” truffles.
Day 10: July 3: Tournon
Admire the hilltop village of Tournon with its imposing castle. Take an exclusive private train ride past magnificent landscape carved along the Gorge du Dous, stopping at the charming little station for Colombier le Vieux-Saint Barthelemy Le Plain, where the train maneuvers in preparation for its return journey.
Day 11: July 4: Vienne – Lyon
Today we will 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. Later in the day, we travel to Lyon, which is considered to be the “Food Capital of France”. We take a walking tour that starts in Fourviere 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 Fourviere. Continue on to the old town Lyon with a walking tour. Lyon is truly wonderful.
Day 12: July 5: Villefranche-sur-Saone – Lyon
Our ship stays in port as you leave the town of Lyon to tour a traditional Beaujolais Winery and learn of the history and techniques of their vineyard, before returning to your cruise ship.
Day 13: July 6: Lyon – Loire Valley
This morning we depart early for our approximate 5-hour drive to the Loire Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage area. There are hundreds and hundreds of wonderful castles and Chateaux that fill the Loire Valley. They are stunning with beautiful gardens and landscaping. We have chosen some of the very best for you to experience this afternoon and tomorrow.
Day 14: July 7: Loire Valley Chateaux’s
Full day visiting Chateaux’s and Gardens
Day 15: July 8: Versailles – Paris:
Today we will drive back to Paris. We will do a picture stop at the Paris Temple. Then we will continue to Versailles where we will visit the palace of the king of France. Later we will continue to our hotel.
Day 16: July 9: Paris
Today we will tour Paris. We will visit the Louvre Museum, the home of the Mona Lisa, and the Eiffel Tower. We overnight in Paris
Day 17: Fly Home
This morning we will fly back to the US.