November 5, Tuesday - Departure
Today we depart from
O'Hare airport for our international flight to France. Enjoy superb in-flight
service and meals as we cross the Altlantic Ocean.
November 6, Wednesday -
We arrive in Nice International airport. Welcome to the French Riviera
which stretches across half of France's East Mediterranean coast to the
Italian border. The French Riviera has long been one of Europe's premier
tourist destinations. Before checking into our hotel, enjoy a short orientation
tour of the fashionable city of Nice, capital of the Riviera. Visit the
exceptionally interesting Old Town with its narrow streets, numerous shops,
and colorful markets. In the afternoon, enjoy free time. Nice is known
for its many museums, notably the Marc Chagall Musee, or enjoy a stroll
along the famous palm-lined boulevard Promenade des Anglais. In the evening
you are invited to a welcome reception and dinner. Dinner and overnight
in Nice. (D)
November 7, Thursday - Monaco
/ Monte Carlo / St.-Paul-de-Vence / Grasse
Hot buffet breakfast in hotel. This morning we travel to Monaco. The
kingdom is located between mountains and sea and is the home of the 700
year dynasty of the Grimaldi family. The most well known member of this
family was Grace Kelly, the American actress and wife of Prince Rainier.
Visit the Rock of Monaco, the Cathedral and Tomb of Princess Grace. View
the changing of the guard in front of the Grimaldi Palace. From the garden
of the Rock, enjoy a superb panoramic view of Monte Carlo. Afterwards
we travel through the Corniche Route which offers an astounding view of
the coast and its elaborate villas. Continue to Grasse and visit the typical
village of St.-Paul-de-Vence surrounded by 14th century walls. This village
offers beautiful landscape views which inspired the great masters, Picasso,
Chagall and Matisse. Works of Chagall can be found in the Auberge de la
Colombe. Arrive in Grasse where we visit the Galimard Perfumery factory
founded over 250 years ago. Galimard produces scents for world famous
perfumeries. Time available to browse through this perfumery. Return to
Nice. Dinner and overnight in Nice. (B,D)
November 8, Friday - Cannes
/ Aix-en-Provence / Avignon
Hot buffet breakfast in hotel. Today as we travel to Aix-en-Provence,
we stop in Cannes, home to one of the most important film festivals in
the world. We enter Provence, a lovely region of France that enjoys constant
sunshine. This area with its itensity of light, vibrant colors and blue
skies makes us realize why so many great French artists found their inspiration
here, including Paul Cezanne. Have an orientation tour of Aix-en-provence,
the City of the Thousand Fountains, and visit the workshop of Cezanne
where he painted so many of his works of art. Proceed to our hotel in
Avignon. Dinner and overnight in Avignon. (B,D)
November 9, Saturday - Les
Baux de Provence / Arles / Aigues-Mortes
Hot buffet breakfast in hotel. This morning we leave Avignon behind and
travel to the heart of Provence and the Camargue National Park, which
captured the imagination of Vincent Van Gogh. A visit to the former hilltop
stronghold village of Les Baux-de-Provence offers you a gorgeous view
of Provence and the Camargue landscapes. We have a guided tour of Arles,
capital of the Camargue region, formerly a Roman provincial center. You'll
visit Les Arenes, a second-century Roman ampitheater still in use today.
The walking tour also includes a visit to the 12th century Roman gothic
church of Sainte Trophime. You will note that not much has changed in
Arles since Van Gogh immortalized the city and surroundings in his paintings.
View the Van Gogh Bridge. Next we travel to Aigues-Mortes, a small city
surrounded by high walls built during the 13th century when the Crusaders
left from this harbor to fight in the Holy Land. Return to our hotel in
Avignon. Dinner and overnight in Avignon. (B,D)
November 10, Sunday - Avignon
/ Palace of Popes / Pont du Gard / Train to Paris
Hot buffet breakfast in hotel. Following breakfast we visit the walled
city of Avignon. In the 14th century, Avignon served as the Papal residence.
We visit the Palais des Papes, a gothic palace built for the pontiffs.
Proceed to the Roman aqueduct, Pont du Gard, one of the most well preserved
aqueducts in the world. Continue our journey on the TGV, Europe's fastest
train, to Paris. Arrive Paris and transfer to your hotel. Dinner and
overnight in Paris. (B,D)
November 11, Monday - Versailles
Hot buffet breakfast in hotel. No visit to Paris would be complete without
a visit to the city of Versailles, the most opulent palace in France.
Built in the mid 1600's during the reign of Louis XIV, the Sun King, it
reflects his taste for luxury and self glorification. No residence of
similar proportions was ever accomplished. Witness the impressive facade
and visit the State Apartments, the historic Hall of Mirrors and the enormous
gardens with lovely fountains, statues and the Grand Canal. In the afternoon,
we tour Paris, the City of Lights and Romance. Enjoy the sweet smell of
croissants that have just been taken out from the oven of the boulangeries.
Enjoy a guided city tour that will let us discover famous landmarks of
the city including: Napoleon's magnificent Arc de Triomphe, the Champs
Elysees, the Concorde, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower with its astounding
view of Paris from above and Notre Dame de Paris that inspired Victor
Hugo's famous story, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. After this breathtaking
day, we return to our hotel. In the evening, perhaps you can enjoy the
glamour of a cabaret or stroll along the tree-lined boulevards. Dinner
and overnight in Paris. (B,D)
November 12, Tuesday - Normandy
/ Omaha & D-Day Beaches / Military Cemetery
Hot buffet breakfast in hotel. Today we have a full day excursion to Normandy.
On June 6, 1944, the combined Allied Forces, some 156,000 troops, landed
at five beaches along the Normandy coast of Northern France to begin the
massive thrust eastward to Germany; it was the largest invasion in history.
More than a month of heavy fighting ensued before Caen was finally secured
on July 9. The beaches, code-named Utah, Gold, Juno, Sword, and "Bloody
Omaha," leave many with a tear in their eye. In St. Laurent-Sur-Mer,
we will see a chronological presentation of all phases of the occupation
until the day of the landings along with an exhibition of guns, uniforms
and military vehicles. Vontinue to the US military cemetery near Omaha
Beach and remember all those who died in the name of Peace and Freedom.
After this emotional day, we return to Paris. Dinner and overnight
in Paris. (B,D)
November 13, Wednesday -
Paris / Free Day / Farewell Dinner
Hot buffet breakfast in hotel. Today is our last day in the City of Lights.
Enjoy free time at your own leisure. Museums, shopping, sites, etc. In
the evening, enjoy our Gala Farewell Dinner. Dinner and overnight in
November 14, Thursday -
Hot buffet breakfast in hotel. Today we transfer to Charles de Gaulle
airport for our return flight to the United States.
Welcome home and thank your
for joining our tour...