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Provence Canal Voyage: The Flavor of France by Barge

Program Number: 21556RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/11/2014 - 10/21/2014; 4/8/2015 - 4/18/2015; 4/13/2015 - 4/23/2015; 5/20/2015 - 5/30/2015; 9/9/2015 - 9/20/2015; 10/7/2015 - 10/18/2015;
Duration: 10 nights
Location: France
Price starting at: $3,995.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; River Boats Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 25; 9 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 9 Dinners    
Meal Options: Gluten Free; Vegetarian    

Experience the deep history, sun-splashed environments and local flavors of Provence on this voyage aboard a “hotel barge” exclusively chartered for a small Road Scholar group. Find Roman ruins, fortified medieval towns and cafe-lined streets that inspired artists like van Gogh. Absorb the rhythms of Provencal life along the canals and encounter wildlife from birds to wild horses in the Camargue.




Activity Particulars

Walking up to four miles per day; some uneven terrain and cobblestones.



The 04/13/15 date starts in Narbonne and ends in Avignon. On this date, the cruise embarks in Sete and disembarks in Avignon.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Avignon, 1 night; aboard Anne-Marie, 6 nights; Narbonne, 2 nights.



Day 1: Overnight flight from the U.S.A.


Days 2-3: Arrival Marseille (France) / coach to Avignon / embark Anne-Marie:

At the imposing Papal Palace, learn the story of the Avignon Papacy, during which seven popes led the Catholic Church from France. Continue through Avignon on foot before boarding the barge. Lodging: Stylish hotel in the center of Avignon.



Day 4: Beaucaire:

Discover the picturesque mountain village Les Baux-de-Provence and the charming town of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Then set sail down the Rhone to Beaucaire.



Day 5: Arles:

Explore the ancient ruins of this important Roman city including the Arles Amphitheater. Find city scenes that van Gogh captured in masterpieces like “Cafe Terrace at Night.”



Day 6: Saint-Gilles:

Today learn about the unique environment of the Camargue, a wetland region home to bulls, wild horses and 400 species of birds including flamingos.



Day 7: Aigues-Mortes / Palavas-les-Flots:

Follow the Canal du Rhone-a-Sète to the medieval walled town Aigues-Mortes. Learn about salt production in the Rhone Delta at a salt evaporation pond.



Day 8: Sète:

Absorb the beauty of your surroundings during your final day aboard the barge. Experience Sète, a lovely Mediterranean resort where many artists have found inspiration.



Days 9-10: Disembark / coach to Narbonne:

Venture into the hills and vineyards of Languedoc. Visit a lovely Cistercian abbey en route to the fortified city of Carcassonne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spend the day exploring Narbonne, home to one of the best covered market in France and whose fascinating history you discover as we explore the old city on the banks of the Canal du Midi. Lodging: Lovely canal-side hotel.



Day 11: Coach to Toulouse / departure


Anne-Marie

This brand-new two-deck barge will set sail for the 2014 season. It can accommodate up to 22 Road Scholar participants on an exclusive sailing. Each cabin has a window, private bath with shower, TV and independent temperature control. Amenities include a spacious lounge with a bar, a sun deck and a Jacuzzi. Bicycles are available for you to borrow.


France

The epicurious and the curious find much to admire in Western Europe’s largest nation, whose agricultural riches and terrain of beaches, mountains and fertile fields have drawn residents for thousands of years. The northern region hosts the nation’s Parisian capital, as well as unique Breton culture, while the sun-drenched Mediterranean coast sports the chic beach-goers and the terraced vineyards of the interior.



Meals and Lodgings
   Novotel Avignon Centre
  Avignon, France 1 night
   MS Jeanine
  Avignon, France
Beaucaire, France
Saint-Gilles, France
Aigues Mortes, France
Palavas les Flots, France
Sete, France
6 nights
   Clarion Narbonne
  Narbonne, France 2 nights
 Novotel Avignon Centre
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The Hotel Novotel Avignon Centre is located near the central station and the center of Avignon, close to the Pope's Palace and the Pont d'Avignon, on the edge of the Luberon in the heart of Provence. The Hotel Novotel Avignon Centre is located among the Côtes du Rhônes, Tavel and Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyards.
  Ship Information: N/A
  Contact info: 20 BOULEVARD SAINT ROCH
AVIGNON,   France
phone: +33 )4/32747010
web: www.novotel.com/gb/hotel-7571-novotel-avignon-centre/index.shtml
  Room amenities: Audible smoke alarms, safe deposit box, minibar, satellite/cable colour TV, RJ 11 outlet, 110/120 V AC, RJ 45 outlet, 220/240 V AC, Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, bathtub, shower, and hairdryer in the bathroom.
  Facility amenities: The Novotel Avignon Centre offers a spa, fitness center, and a hotel restaurant and bar that opens onto a Mediterranean terrace.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Based on availability No

 MS Jeanine
Type: Luxury Barge
  Description: Entirely renovated in April 2013, the MS Jeanine is one of the most modern barges in operation today. There are 12 cabins and each are 97 sq. ft.
  Contact info: 12, rue de la Division Leclerc
Strasbourg,   France
phone: +Nopublicphoneforthebarge
  Room amenities: Each cabin has a window and is equipped with private en-suite facilities (shower and WC), hairdryer, TV, radio, telephone (for internal calls only), safe and independant air-conditioning.
  Facility amenities: The MS Jeanine has a spacious lounge with bar, restaurant, sun deck with loungers and parasols, a barbecue deck,a jacuzzi at the prow of the barge, bicycles on board available for use by passengers and free wifi.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Clarion Narbonne
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The Clarion Suites Narbonne Ile Du Gua offers a peaceful location along the canal and is only five minutes from the historical city center.
  Ship Information: N/A
  Contact info: 28 rue de l'Aude
Narbonne,   France
phone: +33468414414
web: www.moulindugua.com/en/welcome
  Room amenities: All the rooms have a private terrace, whirlpool, kitchen facilities, flat-screen television with cable, mini bar, desk, coffee maker, refrigerator, microwave and hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel has an on-site business center, which offers a computer with Internet and access to copy and fax services. There is free high-speed Internet access available in all rooms. The hotel also has a water garden, a sunbathing terrace and a bar.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: Not recommended We do not recommend making additional night bookings since the airport is farther away.


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
The program starts with orientation at the hotel in Avignon at 5 p.m. You will be staying at Novotel Avignon Centre that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast on the last day and an early transfer to the Toulouse airport. You will be staying at Clarion Narbonne the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Driving to this program is not recommended.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Avignon
  Nearest city or town:  Marseille
  Nearest highway: A7
  Nearest airport:  Marseille-Provence Airport
  Transportation to site: A group arrival transfer is organized for all participants who purchased an air inclusive program and arrive on the group date. Independent travelers are welcome to join this group transfer. Independent travelers may choose to take a shuttle to the Marseille train station and then take the train to Avignon. A taxi from the Marseille Airport to Avignon takes approximately one hour.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Narbonne
  Transportation from site: A group departure transfer is organized for all participants who purchased an air inclusive program and depart on the group date. Independent travelers may choose to take the train from Narbonne to Toulouse and then a taxi to the Toulouse airport.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Departures from the USA
(Saturday, October 11)
   
 In Transit Overnight: International flight to France.

Day 2: Arrival Avignon and Orientation
(Sunday, October 12)
   
 Morning: Arrive in Marseille and transfer to the hotel.
 Afternoon: Check-in at the hotel and take some time to unpack and to relax before orientation. We will gather in our private meeting room where the Study Leader will greet you with a warm welcome and introduce everyone. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
 Dinner: Get to know your fellow participants at the welcome dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Novotel Avignon Centre
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Discover Avignon and Embarkation
(Monday, October 13)

Note: Today's activities include walking up to two miles over cobblestone streets.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Enjoy a late morning. Check-out must be completed by 10:00 a.m. and luggage can be stored in the lobby. After checking out, we will head over on foot into the center of Avignon to explore le Palais des Papes, the Rocher des Doms, and le Pont d'Avignon.
 Lunch: On your own to choose from one of the many cafés on Place de l'Horloge.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a walk around Avignon before embarking our barge. (Your luggage will be delivered from the hotel).
 Dinner: Welcome dinner on board the MS Anne Marie.
   
Accommodations: MS Jeanine
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Avignon to Beaucaire / Les Baux-de-Provence / St. Rémy
(Tuesday, October 14)

Note: Today's activities include walking up to two miles over cobblestone streets. Les Baux-de-Provence does require some steeper incline.



   
 Breakfast: On board the MS Anne Marie.
 Morning: Enjoy the highlights of Les Baux-de-Provence and later a stop in St. Rémy de Provence. Both offer picturesque sites and a great opportunity to learn more about Provençal culture and life.
 Lunch: On board the MS Anne Marie.
 Afternoon: We will cruise the Canal du Rhône heading towards Beaucaire. As we sail, enjoy a special presentation on the history of the Romans in the region by your Study Leader.
 Dinner: On board the MS Anne Marie.
 Evening: Join in on a game of French trivia.
   
Accommodations: MS Jeanine
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Beaucaire to Arles / Saint-Gilles
(Wednesday, October 15)

Note: Today's activities include walking up to two miles over cobblestone streets.



   
 Breakfast: On board the MS Anne Marie.
 Morning: We will depart for Arles where we will visit the Roman arenas and some of the sites painted by Van Gogh.
 Lunch: On board the MS Anne Marie.
 Afternoon: As we sail towards Saint-Gilles, learn about the great painters that called Provence home.
 Dinner: On board the MS Anne Marie.
 Evening: Enjoy the evening at leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Jeanine
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Sail from Saint-Gilles to Aigues Mortes
(Thursday, October 16)

Note: Today's activities include walking up to two miles over cobblestone streets and dirt paths.



   
 Breakfast: On board the MS Anne Marie.
 Morning: Learn about the Camargue as you explore the Rhône River Delta. Later, enjoy some free time in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer.
 Lunch: On board the MS Anne Marie.
 Afternoon: As we sail towards Aigues Mortes, learn about the Natural Park of the Camargue.
 Dinner: On board the MS Anne Marie.
 Evening: Enjoy the evening at leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Jeanine
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Aigues Mortes to Palavas-les-Flots / Salt Flats of the Rhône Delta
(Friday, October 17)
   
 Breakfast: On board the MS Anne Marie.
 Morning: Learn about Aigues Morte on a short walk in the villages. Later, discover the salt production in the Rhône Delta and also explore the salt marshes of the Rhône called the "Salin du Midi."
 Lunch: On board the MS Anne Marie.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a presentation on the region's Cathar history.
 Dinner: On board the MS Anne Marie.
 Evening: Take delight in French and regional trivia.
   
Accommodations: MS Jeanine
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Palavas-les-Flots to Sète
(Saturday, October 18)

Note: Today's activities include walking up to two miles over cobblestone and dirt paths.



   
 Breakfast: On board the MS Anne Marie.
 Morning: Enjoy the final sailing on the Canal du Rhône towards Sète.
 Lunch: On board the MS Anne Marie.
 Afternoon: We will go on a field trip to explore Sète and the Mont Saint-Clair.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner on board the MS Anne Marie.
   
Accommodations: MS Jeanine
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Disembarkment / Languedoc
(Sunday, October 19)

Note: Today's activities include walking up to two miles over cobblestone streets.



   
 Breakfast: On board the MS Anne Marie.
 Morning: After disembarking, we will depart by coach to travel away from the coast, into the hills where we will visit a Cistercian Abbey that was part of the St. James pilgrimage route.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We will continue exploring the countryside as we make our way to Narbonne.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Clarion Narbonne
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Carcassone / The Canal du Midi
(Monday, October 20)

Note: Today's activities include walking up to two miles over cobblestone streets.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will explore the historic sites of Narbonne and walk along the Canal du Midi.
 Lunch: On a barge on the Canal du Midi.
 Afternoon: We will explore the fortified city of Carcassone and then you will have some free time to explore at your own pace.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner in Narbonne.
   
Accommodations: Clarion Narbonne
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Departure from Toulouse
(Tuesday, October 21)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Depart Narbonne and transfer for flights out of the Toulouse Airport. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Saint-Rémy-de-Provence Arles: Arlaten Museum
Housed in the former Laval-Castellane town house, dating back to the 15th century. The museum was created in 1896 by Frédéric Mistral, a Provençal regionalist writer, and contains costumes, furniture, tools, objects relating to religious and superstitious traditions, that illustrate life in Provence during the 19th century. For additional information, visit www.avignon-et-provence.com/navigation/gb/art/musees_provence.htm
  Arles: Réattu Museum
On the banks of the Rhone in the former Grand Priory of the Knights of Malta, the museum displays works by old masters (17th to 19th centuries), drawings and paintings by Picasso and contemporary art.
  Les Baux de Provence: Musée des Santons
Santons are traditionally handcrafted, miniature figures that populate the Nativity; however, all of the characters depict the typical residents of Provence. For additional information, visit www.lesbauxdeprovence.com/us/cult/monument/santons.html
  Les-Baux-de-Provence: Musée Yves Brayer
The Musée Yves Brayer displays 100 or so canvas paintings, watercolors and drawings representative of the artists' work. For additional information, visit www.lesbauxdeprovence.com/us/cult/peintres/brayer.html
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


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