22040
France

French Art Voyage: Paris, the Rhône and the French Riviera

Discover French artistry from the Mediterranean to Paris, reveling in museums, sculpture gardens, vineyards and the timeless landscapes that inspired many of Europe’s masters.
Rating (5)
Program No. 22040RJ
Length
14 days
Starts at
4,799
Flights start at
850
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14 days
13 nights
30 meals
12 B 8 L 10 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Nice, to Antibes, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Nice
D
Best Western Plus Hotel Massena Nice

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m.

Morning: Aeroport Nice Côte d'Azur — Nice Côte d'Azur International Airport (NCE), 7 miles (12 km) from the hotel in Antibes. See your program’s travel details regarding transfers.

Afternoon: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. On 'Chartered Exclusively for Road Scholar' programs there will be other Road Scholar program(s) on board the vessel. If another group's Group Leader is giving a lecture during the cruise when your group does not have planned activities, please feel free to attend the lecture. When a program is not ‘Chartered Exclusively’, you are invited to take advantage of activities and events on board the ship that are separate from the Road Scholar program. All port stops and field trips are subject to change as weather and river conditions may affect the itinerary. River conditions could affect the progress of the ship, making it run late and sometimes miss ports because it is not safe to dock. Therefore, the cruise itinerary should always be regarded as provisional. Additionally, the time available in each port is set by the cruise line and the cruise line reserves the right change the itinerary without prior notice. Whenever possible, the Road Scholar daily schedule indicates port arrival and departure times. Road Scholar delivers a robust educational program in each port, and this may mean that free time in port is limited. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At a local restaurant near the hotel. In France, restaurants take pride in creating a relaxed atmosphere where patrons can take their time and enjoy every bite. This allows the customer to set the pace of the meal, and means that they have to inform the server when they are ready for the check (“l’addition”) at the end of the meal. It is customary for servers to wait until everyone has finished their dish before clearing the table and bringing out the next course. You may indicate to the server that you have finished your meal by placing your utensils together on the right hand side of your plate. Meals are accompanied by complimentary bread (“pain”) and water (“eau” or “l’eau”), so you need not ask for them. When wine is offered at meals, please note that it is customary to fill your glass half way to allow the wine to breathe.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Nice, Matisse & Chagall Museums
Nice
B,L,D
Best Western Plus Hotel Massena Nice

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach. Walking up to 3 miles throughout the day; cobblestone streets, uneven and even terrain. Standing on even terrain in museums for up to 2 hours.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will hear a lecture about painters in the French Riviera from the 19th and 20th centuries. We will ride into Nice by motorcoach to see some of the iconic sites with commentary by a local expert. We will see the Russian Orthodox church, stop at Castle Hill for a panoramic view of the city, and drive along the Promenade des Anglais before reaching the “Old Town”. After seeing Nice, we will head up the hill of Cimiez to the Matisse Museum housed in the Hotel Regina where Matisse lived. At the museum, we will see a comprehensive collection of Henri Matisse’s artwork from all periods of his life: from the first paintings made in 1890 to the famous gouache cutouts. There are 236 drawings, 218 engravings, and a complete presentation of the books illustrated by the artist at this museum.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We will ride down Cimiez Hill to the “Musée national message biblique Marc Chagall” (National Museum Marc Chagall Biblical Message). It features scenes from Genesis, Exodus, and the Song of Songs illustrated in 17 large paintings, sculptures, stained glass windows, mosaics and tapestries, along with preparatory sketches, gouaches, engravings, and lithographs — all housed in a museum built especially for these works and opened by the artist in 1972.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy the local fare.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Flower Market, Matisse Chapelle, Fondation Maeght
Nice
B,L
Best Western Plus Hotel Massena Nice

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach. Walking up to 3 miles throughout the day; gravel paths, cobblestone streets, even and uneven terrain. Expect crowds at the flower market.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will take a motorcoach in to Nice with the Group Leader to explore the renowned Marché aux Fleurs (flower market). We will also savor the flavors of Nice as we visit food markets and artisan shops where local specialties are made.

Lunch: Everyone will be given “tickets restaurant” (or meal vouchers) that can be used at select restaurants, bakeries, brasseries and cafes. Choose what you would prefer to eat from any eatery that has a "TR" sticker on the front window to designate that they accept meal vouchers. Change is not given back if your meal cost is less than the value of the voucher provided. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and directions.

Afternoon: We will regroup at a designated time and place, reboard our motorcoach, and ride to the Matisse Chapel in Vence, on a hillside above Nice. The Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence was a labor of love by Matisse out of gratitude to Monique Bourgeois, the nurse who cared for him after cancer surgery in 1941. They became devoted to one another. Later, Monique entered the religious order of the Dominicans and asked Matisse to advise her in the decoration of their chapel. Instead, the artist took it on as a far greater project. For four years, Matisse dedicated himself to designing every element of the building, regarding the finished chapel as his masterpiece. We will next discover the Fondation Maeght, an exceptional example of modern cultural achievement. It was founded by art lovers Marguerite and Aimé Maeght to present modern and contemporary art in all its forms. The building was designed by master Catalonian architect Josep Lluís Sert, and the collection includes works by Bonnard, Braque, Calder, Chagall, Giacometti, Miró, and more. Altogether, the Maeght Foundation boasts one of the largest and finest collections of 20th century art in Europe.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Aix-en-Provence, Cezanne Studio
Martigues
B,L,D
CroisiEurope's Van Gogh

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approximately 2.5 hours over the course of the day (about 128 miles, 295km) with a stop in Aix-en-Provence. Walking up to 3 miles throughout the day; cobblestone streets. Standing for up to 1 hours on even ground.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will check-out of the hotel and head by motorcoach to Aix-en-Provence. When we arrive, we will be met by a local expert for a walking exploration of Aix. This is Cezanne's birthplace and the landscape that inspired many of his paintings.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We will head off to the Cezanne studio. Paul Cézanne's house in Aix is one of the most remarkable artists' studios in the world. Preserved exactly as he left it, it is filled not just with the objects he painted but also, with his hat still sitting on its peg and a glass of wine on the table, a sense of the man himself. By motorcoach we will go to Martigues to embark the ship and have a brief orientation led by the crew on ship and safety regulations.

Dinner: Welcome meal onboard. Lunch and dinner each day include unlimited drinks: beer, table wine (red & white), mineral water, fruit juice, tea or coffee.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Saint-Remy-de-Provence, Arles
Avignon
B,L,D
CroisiEurope's Van Gogh

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach. Walking up to 3 miles throughout the day; cobblestone streets, uneven terrain; unavoidable steps at certain historic sites in Arles. Standing for up to 2 hours total; even and uneven ground.

Breakfast: On board.

Morning: We will ride by motorcoach to the Provençal village of Saint-Remy-de-Provence, where Van Gogh spent the penultimate year of his life after being forced to leave Arles, and visit Maison de santé Saint-Paul de Mausole. This was the mental hospital where Van Gogh committed himself from 1889-90. It became for him an island of serenity and source of creativity where he made 143 oil paintings and more than 100 drawings over a period of 53 weeks. Some of his most important were paintings — “Cypresses,” “Irises,” and “Starry Night” — were inspired by local vistas. The building itself is considered a masterpiece of Provençal Romanesque architecture and still functions as a psychiatric hospital.

Lunch: On board.

Afternoon: We will set out on foot to explore the old city of Arles. With its Roman and Romanesque monuments, Arles is a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site. From the UNESCO inscription: “Arles is a good example of the adaptation of an ancient city to medieval European civilization. It has some impressive Roman monuments, of which the earliest – the arena, the Roman theatre and the cryptoporticus (subterranean galleries) – date back to the 1st century B.C. During the 4th century Arles experienced a second golden age, as attested by the baths of Constantine and the necropolis of Alyscamps. In the 11th and 12th centuries, Arles once again became one of the most attractive cities in the Mediterranean. Within the city walls, Saint-Trophime, with its cloister, is one of Provence’s major Romanesque monuments.” A local expert will lead our exploration of the old town on foot and point out a few of these special sites. We will also learn about some of the picturesque places that inspired Van Gogh and the works he created while he lived in Arles.

Dinner: On board.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Avignon, Palais des Papes, Viviers
Viviers
B,L,D
CroisiEurope's Van Gogh

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day; cobblestone streets, even ground. Standing for up to 1 hour; even ground.

Breakfast: On board.

Morning: We will head out on foot, accompanied the Group Leader, into the center of Avignon to explore the Palais des Papes, Palace of the Popes. This was built during the so called “Babylonian Captivity” — the period from 1309-1376 when the seat of the papacy was transferred to France. The magnificent palace was constructed in only 20 years and was the largest Gothic palace in Europe. We will learn about its history from the days of grandeur to near destruction and restoration.

Lunch: On board.

Afternoon: As we cruise toward Viviers, we will hear an expert lecture by our Group Leader on the prehistory of Provence.

Dinner: On board.

Evening: If you would like, join our Group Leader for an evening stroll in Viviers.

DAY
8
Grottes Chauvet, Tain l'Hermitage
Tain l'Hermitage
B,L,D
CroisiEurope's Van Gogh

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approximately 1 hour total. Walking up to 2 miles total; uneven and even terrain. Standing for up to 1 hour during morning and afternoon visits.

Breakfast: On board.

Morning: We will set out on a motorcoach to visit the Grottes Chauvet, a cave containing some of the best-preserved cave paintings in the world. We will head out on the motorcoach to La Voulte, where we will meet up with the boat.

Lunch: On board.

Afternoon: While we cruise along, we will enjoy an on-board lecture about the wine regions along the Rhone and the origin of wine. Later, we will have an onboard wine tasting of some of the regional Rhône wines from Tain l'Hermitage.

Dinner: On board.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Vienne, Lyon, Free Time
Lyon
B,L,D
CroisiEurope's Van Gogh

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach Walking up to 3 miles total; cobblestone streets, inclined terrain in Lyon. Standing for up to 2 hours; even ground.

Breakfast: On board.

Morning: We will take a short walk with our local expert along the bridge that connects Vienne to visit the Roman Temple of Augustus. Back on board, we will hear an expert lecture on important people in Lyon's history.

Lunch: On board.

Afternoon: We will arrive in Lyon and take a look at urban development in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Lyon, a world UNESCO heritage city, sits at the confluence of two great rivers: the Saône and Rhône. Long at the center of European trade due to its strategic location, the city serves as a midway point of France. We will take the funicular down to Old Lyon for further exploration of the architecture, hidden traboules and alleyways of one of the greatest Renaissance sites in France. We will also have a change to visit the Beaux-Arts museum using audio guides. Free time.

Dinner: On board.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
Tournus, Chalon
Chalon sur Saône
B,L,D
CroisiEurope's Van Gogh

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach. Walking up to 2 miles total; even and uneven terrain.

Breakfast: On board.

Morning: On board, our Group Leader will present a lecture on the Dukes of Burgundy.

Lunch: On board.

Afternoon: We will explore the monastic city of Tournus and learn about the role of monasteries in the wine trade. We will go by motorcoach to Chalon to visit the Museum of Photography Nicéphore Niepce and a wine tasting afterwards.

Dinner: Farewell meal and evening celebration on board.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
11
Beaune, Dijon, To Paris
Paris
B,D
Les Jardins du Marais

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach. Getting on/off TGV (high speed train); climbing 3-12 steps with railings to reach reserved seat on train; participants are responsible for handling their own luggage; restrooms are on board the train; approximately 2.5 hours to Paris. Walking up to 2 miles total; even and uneven terrain.

Breakfast: On Board.

Morning: We will disembark the ship and head out by motorcoach towards Dijon. Our route will take us past some of the world's most renowned vineyards. We will make a stop in Beaune for an educational stroll through this fortified city, capital of the Burgundy wine trade. We will also visit the Hospices de Beaune, a former hospital dating back to the Middle Ages.

Lunch: On your own.

Afternoon: We will continue on the motorcoach to Dijon for an exploration on foot. We will make our final transfer by train to Paris to check-in at the hotel.

Dinner: At a restaurant near the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
12
Jacquemart André Museum, Orangerie Museum
Paris
B
Les Jardins du Marais

Activity note: Use of Paris Metro; unavoidable stairs when escalators/elevators aren't available or in service; standing on moving subway when seats aren't available; expect crowds. Walking up to 3 miles total; cobblestone and paved streets. Standing for up to 2 hours during visits on even and uneven ground.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will head on the metro to the Jacquemart André Museum, housed in the former private home of Édouard André (1833–1894) and Nélie Jacquemart (1841–1912). The museum displays the art they collected during their lives.

Lunch: On your own.

Afternoon: We will hop back on the Paris Metro to the Orangerie Museum, which is a must-see museum in Paris. Claude Monet chose to exhibit some of his most prized works featuring his large water lily paintings. Here we will enjoy a lecture about art of the 20th century and the Walter Guillaume collection. This collection includes Monet and its waterlilies, Modigliani, Rousseau, Matisse, Utrillo, and Soutine.

Dinner: On your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
13
Le Marais, Picasso Museum
Paris
B,D
Les Jardins du Marais

Activity note: Use of Paris Metro; unavoidable stairs when escalators/elevators aren't available or in service; standing on moving subway when seats aren't available; expect crowds. Walking up to 3 miles total; cobblestone and paved streets. Standing for up to 2 hours during visits on even and uneven ground.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: At the hotel we will hear an expert lecture on Picaso. We will walk around one of oldest and most visually stunning quarters of Paris, Le Marais, to discover the most beautiful mansions. Le Marais which means 'marsh' in French , which once was one and went from being a mostly working-class and immigrant neighborhood to one of the most affluent and prestigious areas in the city.

Lunch: On your own.

Afternoon: We will gather and head out by metro to the Picasso Museum. At the Picasso Museum we will learn more about Pablo Picasso, his work, and his time in France. This collection is composed of 5,000 pieces by the artist, more than 200,000 personal archives, and his own collection of some 150 works (Matisse, Cézanne, Le Douanier Rousseau, etc.)

Dinner: At a local restaurant we will enjoy a farewell meal together.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
14
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out 12:00 Noon.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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