Here’s a glorious sample of summertime France, a holiday that combines a round-trip canal cruise from Paris with three nights in the French capital and a two-night stay in in Nice at the heart of the French Riviera.
Exclusive to Worldwide Cruise Centres (worldwidecruisecentres.com.au), this 11-night special is called ‘Paris Canals to the French Riviera’.
It departs Australia on 24 July 2016, priced from A$6699 per person twin share – including return flights from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth to Paris and return from Nice. It’s valid for sale until 6 November 2015 unless sold out beforehand.
‘Paris Canals to the French Riviera’ includes sightseeing in Paris, with a cruise along the Seine river and lunch at the Eiffel Tower. A Cote d’Azur via Mont Alban day tour from Nice visits the Principality of Monaco and heads to elegant Antibes and to Cannes, Mediterranean retreat of film stars and liner-sized yachts. A first class train journey from Paris to Nice is included as well.
The six-night canal cruise from Paris along the famed Champagne Route is with long-established French line CroisiEurope, a byword for fine French river and canal cruising. CroisiEurope cruises are known for convivial atmosphere and attentive staff. Enjoy unlimited complimentary onboard beverages, including beer, fine wine, spirits, mineral bottled water, soft drinks, specialty coffees and tea.
The stylish canal-barge used in ‘Paris Canals to the French Riviera’ is CroisEurope’s Raymonde, just the right size at 24 passengers and newly constructed by CroisiEurope – sailing for the first time in 2014. Raymonde has two decks and 12 cabins, a spacious lounge with bar, restaurant, sun deck with lounges and parasols, barbecue deck, Jacuzzi and WiFi aboard. It also carries bicycles for use by passengers – you can cycle away into idyllic French countryside!
The holiday begins when you swap Australian winter for French summer and arrive in Paris. Three nights in a four-star Parisian hotel give you time to explore at leisure, and a tour, escorted by a driver guide, shows you the best of Paris in two hours. It takes in the Champs-Elysees, Arc de Triumph, Concorde Square, the Invalides, the Eiffel Tower, the Trocadero, the Opera, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre Museum, Orsay Museum, Madeleine Church and other notable places of interest.
After that, a table is reserved for you at the Eiffel Tower’s first-floor restaurant, Le 58, for three-course meal including drinks. A cruise along the Seine ensues, showing you famous Parisian riverside views and ending at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.
Board CroisiEurope’s Raymonde now for your six-night canal cruise. It starts with a welcome cocktail reception hosted by the captain, and ends with a farewell gala dinner when you disembark at the end.
All meals aboard are included and cuisine is superb, as you’d expect from CroisiEurope, staffed by French chefs. Drinks are complimentary and unlimited, there are shore excursions, along with professional entertainment and crew team show.
The canal cruise visits the charming town of Meaux. You’ll wander magnificent Bossuet Garden and sample a cheese tasting, sail through the heart of the Seine-et-Marne countryside and its Champagne vines. Discover the town of Château Thierry and its castle walls, explore Reims, famed for Champagne and its Cathedral. The Champagne Route takes you to the village of Hautvilliers, birthplace of Champagne. Visit to a major Champagne house is followed by a tasting – then the Gala Evening back on board.
Disembarking after buffet breakfast, travel now by first-class train south to Nice, capital of the French Riviera, for two nights in a four-star hotel.
A special Cote d’Azur via Mont Alban day tour ascends Mont Alban, with its sweeping views over Nice and Villefranche. Then on to Eze, a typical French medieval village, famous for perfume making. In Monaco, see the Cathedral, changing of the guards at noon and the Formula 1 Grand Prix Circuit. Then to St Paul de Vence, the artistic jewel of Provence; to picturesque Antibes to marvel at the enormous yachts moored at “Billionaires’ Quay”. Final visit of a wonderful day’s touring is to Cannes. Drop by the Croisette to see the prints of famous actors who have come to Cannes for the film festival.
After all that, take a final sip of Pernod or Champagne and jet back home to Australia.
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