Odyssey at Sea: From Provence & the French Riviera to Barcelona

The historic and cultural treasures nestled along the quixotic French Riviera are the stars of an epic educational adventure aboard Road Scholar’s favorite ship, the Aegean Odyssey.
Program No. 23520RJ
13 days
Starts at
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Flights start at

At a Glance

The artistic hilltop villages of Provence or the sensational beauty of the Côte d’Azur — why choose? Set off on an educational journey along a dazzling stretch of Mediterranean coast from the unspoiled landscapes of Corsica to glamorous Monte Carlo to elegant Aix-en-Provence, ending in the Catalonian capital of Barcelona. Discover the locales and vistas that inspired such artists as Matisse, Picasso and van Gogh, and soak up local life in bustling marketplaces and seaside villas. What’s more, you’ll experience these coastal gems during lovely moderate temperatures after the peak-season crowds have dispersed. Don’t miss your chance to experience the idyllic south of France on our first-ever floating campus!

For an easy travel experience...

We offer extra hotel nights before or after this program.

Odyssey at Sea: Lodging in Rome

Experience the passion and flavor of Rome when you spend one night in a centrally located hotel before your Odyssey at Sea voyage.
Activity Level
Choose Your Pace
This program offers two Activity Levels to choose from on every departure date: one that has less walking and fewer stairs and another at a more active pace.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Explore Nice’s most intriguing neighborhoods, including the markets of the city’s Old Town and medieval St. Paul de Vence.
  • Discover the historic charms of Aix-en-Provence’s Old Town, followed by an exploration of the Château La Coste winery.
  • Discover the Picasso Museum, full of works produced by the artist during his formative years.
  • Sail exclusively with ship mates who are all Road Scholar participants, as dedicated to learning as you are.

General Notes

We’ll have up to 350 Road Scholar participants on the ship, divided into groups of 35 for shore excursions. Please note roommate matching is available in categories F, H and L.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Matisse and Picasso, The Story of their Rivalry and Friendship
by Jack Flam
Jack Flam explores the compelling, competitive, parallel lives of these two artists and their very different attitudes toward the idea of artistic greatness, toward the women they loved and ultimately toward their confrontations with death.
A Year in Provence
by Peter Mayle
The original best-selling tale of an ex-pat settling down in Provence, told with warmth and a great deal of humor. It offers a wonderful inside look at the charms and quirks of the people and the countryside in the south of France.
Lonely Planet French Phrasebook
by Marie-Helene Girard, Anny Monet
This handy phrasebook focuses on pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.
Antonio Gaudi, Master Architect
by Juan Bassegoda Nonell
This lavish little collection of Gaudi's work captures the evolution, imagination and exuberance of one of the most influential architects of the 20th century.
Four Queens, the Provencal Sisters who Ruled Europe
by Nancy Goldstone
Transporting you back to back to the apogee of independent Provençal power in the Middle Ages, Goldstone captures the drama of 13th-century Europe in this history of the four daughters of the count of Provence -- future queens of France, England, Germany and Sicily.
Lonely Planet Spanish Phrasebook & Dictionary
by Cristina Hernandez Montero
This handy phrasebook focuses on pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.
Lonely Planet Italian Phrasebook & Dictionary
by Anna Beltrami, Mirna Cicioni, Karina Coates, Susie Walker
This handy phrasebook focuses on pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.
La Dolce Vita University: An Unconventional Guide to Italian Culture from A to Z
by Carla Gambescia
La Dolce Vita University (LDVU) is the perfect sampler for anyone curious about (or already in amore with) Italy and its remarkably rich cultural gifts, both past and present.
Two Towns in Provence
by M. F. K. Fisher
Celebrated food writer M.F.K. Fisher contrasts village life in Aix-en-Provence with bustling Marseilles, evoking both with anecdote and loving description.
by Robert Hughes
This big, thoroughly enjoyable cultural history of the city touches on architecture, art, religion and literature from Roman outpost to the present.
The Yellow House
by Martin Gayford
Gayford chronicles the turbulent three months and texture of the daily lives of Van Gogh and Gauguin in Arles, where they worked side by side in 1888. With 60 B&W reproductions.
by Joanne Harris
This charming novel set in the Loire Valley pits provincial morals against pleasure. Adapted into a popular movie.
Van Gogh in Arles
by Alfred Nemeczek
A study of Van Gogh in the stunning setting of Arles in Provence, the place of his death.
For Whom the Bell Tolls
by Ernest Hemingway
Following an American volunteer assigned to a guerilla unit in the 1930s Spanish Civil War, Hemingway's novel is one of the greats of the era.
My Life in France
by Julia Child
This famed autobiography was written during the last 6 months of Julia Child's life and recounts her time living in France and taking classes at the Cordon Bleu. Her immersion into French culture and cooking not only changed her life but also the landscape of cooking forever.

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