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Adventures Afloat: France Along the Rhone: Provence to Paris

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Road Scholar
Program #12417RJ

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13 Days | 12 Nights
Road Scholar has thousands of educational adventures to choose from. A good way to narrow down our list is to browse our collection of "Most Popular" programs.
See all of our Most Popular programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. Minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding, and rewarding, programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Ann from Fort Collins, CO Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 09/05/15 - 09/17/15
Every detail was covered and we had fabulous time. As mentioned by Ken below, our guide, Laurence had a cross section of truly important skills: she knew the history of France (from the Romans and Kings/Queens to the 20th C); she knew the typography; and the people who, outside of government rolls who added so much to the rich history of the areas we covered. We had side trips daily - taking us to Cezanne's studio (as it was when he painted) and to where Van Gogh painted his "bridge" and to the town he grew up in and finally the hospital where he died. A very moving side trip was to a Hospice home in Hospices of Beaune which is now a museum, several wineries, and a small place where the best chocolate is grown and turned into commercial candies and/or chocolate bars.The finale I won't spoil. But it takes place at night in Paris!

Kathleen from Tenafly, NJ Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 09/20/15 - 10/02/15
I had a wonderful experience, and I appreciate France and its different regions more than ever.

Kenneth from New York, NY Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 09/05/15 - 09/17/15
A wonderful introduction to France, especially the Rhone valley. One of the nicest things about this trip is that it included many places that are not on the usual tourist routes. Then too, our multi-talented guide Laurence Roux had a tremendous ability to convey the culture of Provence to us since she knows and lives it inside out. The history is fascinating, the country side is beautiful, the trip was well-organized and we also enjoyed the company of our fellow travelers.

Ann from Dennis, MA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 09/05/15 - 09/17/15
Enjoyed this trip greatly! Many thanks to our very knowledgeable leaders (Laurence & Ian) who shared the history and “flavor” of the region far beyond what any textbook or guidebook could provide. The city/village/local tours were full of awe-inspiring sights (crest road in Cassis, bull farm & games in the Camargue, picturesque village of La Garde Adhemar, after dark-stroll in Viviers, Saint-Romain-en-Gal Museum, Arles, Chaponost Aqueduct, Hospice de Beaune, Notre Dame in Paris, and night view of the Eiffel Tower) to name a few. The ship experience, MS Van Gogh, meals throughout, and camaraderie of our group added to the enjoyment. This trip was on a par with our trip last year to the Bordeaux/Sarlat/Dordogne area (highly recommended) but different enough in focus so that we were always covering new “territory”. A big thanks to Laurence, Ian and bus driver, Patrice!

Denise from Spotsylvania, VA Number of programs attended: 8
Date attended: 09/05/15 - 09/17/15
This program is a wonderful way to see and to experience Provence and the Burgundy region. Be prepared to be inundated with experiences through all of your senses.

James from Ludington, MI Number of programs attended: 9
Date attended: 05/03/15 - 05/15/15
We are seasoned travelers and this tour was among the best. Check out what you might see at: clark4626.org/04_Vacation/h_France/France.htm

Barbara from Iowa City, IA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 05/03/15 - 05/15/15
A great trip, with visits to many interesting, historic and/or lovely places with interesting and interested companions and guides. Unexpectedly, I found the ranch really interesting and the meal there was superb. Our primary guide Laurence was wonderful, she's well-informed, outgoing, and has a great sense of humor. Meals eaten off the boat varied between very good and great. Most meals on the boat were good, a couple were mediocre. Throughout, would be nice to include more vegetables, along with the protein, in most lunches and dinners. I've always wanted to go through a river lock and we went through several--it was a great experience.

Lucinda from Cranston, RI Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 04/17/15 - 04/29/15
Having just completed the trip Provence to Paris I would recommend it as a wonderful experience from start to finish. The guides were excellent and the days were segmented into comfortable blocks so that people could rest if necessary it keep going. Sometimes one can only absorb do much information and the program took this into consideration. The Van Gogh (boat) was super fun and the food delicious and plentiful.

Liza from Charlottesville, VA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 04/17/15 - 04/29/15
This was our first Road Scholar trip and we loved it! We had a small, congenial group with excellent guides. Everything was well organized and all stops were interesting and educational, not to mention beautiful. This is a wonderful way to relax and learn about the world around you at the same time. We were sorry when it was over.

Casey from Santa Ynez, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 04/17/15 - 04/29/15
This was a great trip. I loved taking a river boat and appreciated that it was a smaller vessel than a cruise ship. The rooms were nice, but small. Yet we managed to store things in their well-planned space. The food was very good and the desserts were excellent. Maybe too excellent for my waistline. Our guides were friendly and very knowledgeable. We made many day trips to visit small towns, an unusual cattle ranch, wineries, and amazing Roman ruins. And there were the churches and cathedrals with beautiful stained glass windows and amazing architecture. We ended in Paris with a visit to Notre Dame. I loved the quality of life that exists in Provence. I took one morning off a tour and stayed on the boat as it went to the next destination. It was really nice just sitting on the upper deck as we moved through the water while I enjoyed the countryside. Our group was just the right size, about 20 I think. It was quite congenial and I got to meet some very interesting people. I would highly recommend this trip.

Melody from Warwick, RI Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 04/17/15 - 04/29/15
This was a wonderful program - exceptional leaders, delightful companions, varied experiences, great pacing, and super organization. The tone was casual and flexible. Boat was smooth and comfortable with attentive staff. Note that meals are set so indicate any food issues in advance. Food was quite good. Scenery, nature, history, culture, Provencal life. Definitely recommended.

Johanna from Louisville, KY Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 04/17/15 - 04/29/15
Lovely trip through Provence on way to Paris. Beautiful countryside and scenery. Enjoyed the casual atmosphere of the tour and the river boat. Good mix of active time and relaxing time. Very knowledgeable guides - learned a lot about Provence and its history. Highly recommend.

Sheryl from Roswell, GA Number of programs attended: 9
Date attended: 04/17/15 - 04/29/15
We enjoyed the beauty and diversity of Provence while learning about French history, saw more than 2000 years of building styles, appreciated the small businesses that dot the countryside and just relaxed while cruising on the river. A wonderful trip!!

Rowena from Bedford, IN Number of programs attended: 18
Date attended: 09/30/14 - 10/12/14
Loved the program; very well done; so enjoyed having time to spend in the French Villages along the Rhone. The food on the vessel was very good and service excellent. Would go again in a heartbeat!!!

Ann from Washington, DC Number of programs attended: 15
Date attended: 09/30/14 - 10/12/14
This was a very good program: educational and fun. Very good food and wine, too. All of the particpants were enjoyable to be with. My favorite parts of the trip were the walk around Aix-en-Provence, the field trip to Atelier Cézanne,the trip to Cassis including the boat ride, lunch, and drive along coast road, visiting a rural village, winery and chocolatier, the Hospices de Beaune and, and Cerise's tour of Notre Dame. Even if you have been to Notre Dame before, go on this tour. Kate Webb is an outstanding group leader. She is very knowledgeable. She is very organized and keeps every thing running on time. She makes it seem like 34 is not a large group. Finally, Kate is the ultimate problem solver. She is very flexible and always very gracious. I cannot imagine a better leader. I would go on any trip that had Kate as the group leader. Laurence Roux is an exceptional instructor. The amount of knowledge she can impart without ever looking at notes is quite amazing.

Cary from Biloxi, MS Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 10/05/14 - 10/17/14
I would definitely recommend this program. There was a lot to see and learn about, the coordinator and guides were good, and the food was good.

James from Olathe, KS Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 10/05/14 - 10/17/14
The organization, quality and leadership of this program exceeded my expectations. I would recommend this trip for anyone who would like to get a better understanding of the culture and history in the Provence and Rhone valley region. It was a great experience.

Patricia from Oakland, CA Number of programs attended: 7
Date attended: 04/05/14 - 04/17/14
This France Along the Rhone trip was even better than I had anticipated, with a nicely varied itinerary that included guided walks through charming French villages, visiting an artist's studio, several generous wine tastings, travel through the picturesque countryside by bus to meet the boat at it's next port, wine with most meals, tasty food (lots of duck), actually learning about medieval France, and lively companionship. As a single traveler, I always wonder if I'll find compatible travelers, and I usually do because the other tour members are interested in the covered topics and usually are seasoned travelers. This trip was no exception and our small number (only 14 in our group) added to the fun and fellowship. The combination of land-based activities and living and traveling by river boat was welcome and added to the uniqueness of this trip. Each stop, each town brought something new, and anticipation towards the next destination. Each town held some unexpected attraction and held it's own surprise quality -- a view, a church, a night tour, a unique museum. I looked forward to every day and wound up a night tired but satisfied.

Nina from Holland, PA Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 04/05/14 - 04/17/14
This was a perfect program on all aspects - it included the history, the art, the food and wine, not to mention a great company of a relatively small group (just 14 of us) and an outstanding tour director Penny Old. The pace was moderate, the program included a number of small towns one never hears about, each with its own rich history and art. The Vienne mosaics were particularly unexpected. The food and wine were part of the educational experience, both on the land and on the boat, and what an experience!!! Try it and see for yourself!

Polly from Auburn, GA Number of programs attended: 40
Date attended: 04/05/14 - 04/17/14
If you are interested in learning about Provence this is a perfect program for you. It is well planned, has lots of information and is also lots of fun. I do not believe you could do any better!!!!!

Sandy from Green Bay, WI Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 03/31/14 - 04/12/14
Enthralling journey through a mix of large and small towns. Great commentary by superb tour guide and instructor. Enjoyed meeting local people and time for self exploration. Loved the pretty countryside, the extraordinary architecture, the river cruise. Wonderful way to experience France.

Lincoln from Rochester, NY Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 03/31/14 - 04/12/14
This program is a great way to experience the region with new experiences every day. The Road Scholar program is informative, interesting, surprising, and fun. The shipboard experience is very well done, with an attentive and friendly crew. All-in-all, we had a great time with new-found friends.

Alberta from Alameda, CA Number of programs attended: 28
Date attended: 10/13/13 - 10/25/13
I enjoyed this whole program, especially the visit to the manade. Our leader and instructor were gracious about my attempts to speak French, too.

Elaine from Willow Street, PA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 10/13/13 - 10/25/13
The trip was very diverse with Roman ruins, wine tasting, visits to delightful small cities, cathedrals, country gardens, a bull ranch, a bird sanctuary, and a boat ride on the Mediterranean. . It was very busy but there was also time to enjoy the scenery while cruising the Rhone. Cherifa Swearingen, the tour director, was fantastic. She cheerfully handled the problems that are sure to arise on such a trip and made adjustments when necessary. All of the guides were knowledgeable and clearly loved France and its history.

John from Rutherford, NJ Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/13/13 - 10/25/13
We could not have been more pleased with our river excursion to Provence and Burgundy in October 2013. The accomodations on the MS Van Gogh, Hotel Artea and Villa Pantheon were very good and well located. Our Group Leader, Kate Webb, was exceptional! We could not have asked for anyone better. She was knowledgable, well organized, outgoing and personable along with being very accomodating to the needs of individuals in the group. The daily excursions were very informative and provided a real taste of the regions visited. We particularly like the trips to the typical Provencal country home and garden along with excursions to a Burgundy winery and a trip to the town of Cassis. The progam, overall, is very full but does provide enough free time to explore a little on your own. When comparing this Road Scholar excursion to similar ones offered by other providers, the value offered by Road Scholar is far and away the better one.

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"Lunch in Aix en Provence" Uploaded By: Alan
"Lunch in Aix en Provence" Uploaded By: Alan

"A demonstration by Les Gardians (cowboys) on a bull ranch in the Camargue region" Uploaded By: Lincoln

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11 nights of accommodations
29 meals: 11 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 10 dinners
6 Expert-led lectures
17 Field trips
2 Hands-on experiences


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