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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: $4,099.00 - 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; Low Fat; Low Salt    

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
   Clarion Narbonne
  Narbonne, France 2 nights
   MS Anne Marie
  Sete, France
Palavas les Flots, France
Saint-Gilles, France
Avignon, France
5 nights
   Novotel Avignon Centre
  Avignon, France 2 nights
 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: http://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 prior: Not recommended We do not recommend making additional night bookings since the airport is farther away.

 MS Anne Marie
Type: Riverboat
  Description: With a capacity of 22 passengers, 12 spacious cabins with a window, MS Anne Marie is 39 m long and 5.05 m wide. Each cabin with an outside view is equipped with a bathroom, shower and toilet, a TV, a radio, an indoor telephone, a safety deposit box, and air conditioning. On board, everything has been designed to be convivial with a lounge bar, a restaurant, a sun deck with loungers and parasols, a Jacuzzi and a barbecue deck at the front of the boat for outdoor pleasure. Bicycles are also available onboard. This new vessel will be inaugurated in Strasbourg in April 2014.
  Ship Information: The ship is a motorized canal and river barge. It is 128 feet long and 24 feet wide.
  Contact info: 12, rue de la Division Leclerc
Strasbourg,   France
phone: +Nopublicphoneforthebarge
  Room amenities: All cabins are outside cabins with window or porthole and feature a private bathroom with shower, TV, radio, telephone (for internal calls only), safe, and independant air-conditioning.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Bathroom: Showers only

 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: http://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 after: Based on availability No


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
The program starts with orientation at the hotel in Narbonne at 5 p.m. You will be staying at Clarion Narbonne that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast on the last day and an early transfer to the Marseille airport. You will be staying at Novotel Avignon Centre 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:  Narbonne
  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:  Avignon
  Nearest city or town:  Marseille
  Nearest highway: A7
  Nearest airport:  Marseille-Provence Airport
  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 U.S.
(Monday, April 13)
   
 In Transit Overnight: International flight to France.

Day 2: Arrival Toulouse and Orientation
(Tuesday, April 14)
   
 Afternoon: Afternoon transfer to the hotel and check-in. Take some time to unpack and to relax. We will gather in our private meeting room where the Group 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: Welcome dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Clarion Narbonne
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Languedoc
(Wednesday, April 15)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: We will travel away from the coast, into the hills where we will visit a Cistercian Abbey that was part of the St. James pilgrimage route. Later, we will explore a small town in the heart of the Languedoc vineyards.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We will continue exploring the countryside as we make our way to board the ship.
 Dinner: On board the MS Anne Marie.
 Evening: Join in on a game of French trivia.
   
Accommodations: Clarion Narbonne
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Sète / Palavas-les-Flots
(Thursday, April 16)

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



   
 Breakfast: On board the MS Anne Marie.
 Morning: We will depart by coach to visit the historic centre of Sète. Afterward, we will set off for Mont Saint-Clair.
 Lunch: On board the MS Anne Marie.
 Afternoon: Enjoy some free time to explore Palavas-les-Flots.
 Dinner: On board the MS Anne Marie.
 Evening: Enjoy the evening at leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Anne Marie
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Palavas-les-Flots / Aigues-Mortes
(Friday, April 17)

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



   
 Breakfast: On board the MS Anne Marie.
 Morning: Enjoy a presentation on the region's Cathar history.
 Lunch: On board the MS Anne Marie.
 Afternoon: Learn about Aigues-Mortes 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."
 Dinner: On board the MS Anne Marie.
 Evening: Enjoy the evening at leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Anne Marie
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Camargue
(Saturday, April 18)
   
 Breakfast: On board the MS Anne Marie.
 Morning: The morning is spent cruising.
 Lunch: On board the MS Anne Marie.
 Afternoon: We will depart on an excursion to the Camargue, an enormous nature reserve where you will find an extraordinary array of water fowl and birds. There will be some free time in the lovely town of Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer.
 Dinner: On board the MS Anne Marie.
 Evening: Take delight in French and regional trivia.
   
Accommodations: MS Anne Marie
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Arles
(Sunday, April 19)

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 sail towards Arles.
 Lunch: On board the MS Anne Marie.
 Afternoon: Explore the city of Arles. We will stop at the Roman Arena's and some of the sites painted by Van Gogh.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner on board the MS Anne Marie.
   
Accommodations: MS Anne Marie
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Avignon
(Monday, April 20)

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



   
 Breakfast: On board the MS Anne Marie.
 Morning: The ship will head for Avignon.
 Lunch: On board the MS Anne Marie.
 Afternoon: We will visit Les Baux-de-Provence and Saint Rémy de Provence. Both offer picturesque sites and a great opportunity to learn more about Provencal culture and life.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner onboard the MS Anne Marie.
   
Accommodations: MS Anne Marie
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Avignon / Disembarkation
(Tuesday, April 21)

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



   
 Breakfast: On board the MS Anne Marie.
 Morning: We will disembark and head for the hotel in Avignon.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We will explore the fortified city of Carcassone and then you will have some free time to explore at your own pace.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Novotel Avignon Centre
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Avignon
(Wednesday, April 22)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will head over on foot into the center of Avignon to explore the Palace of the Popes, the Rocher des Doms and the Avignon Bridge.
 Lunch: On your own.
 Afternoon: Enjoy some free time.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Novotel Avignon Centre
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11: Departure from Marseille
(Thursday, April 23)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: This morning, we leave Avignon and transfer for flights out of the Marseille 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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