Remarkable experiences. extraordinary value.

Journey to the Loire Valley and French Riviera

17 Nights featuring Paris, the Loire Valley, Barcelona, Nice, Marseille and Corsica Chateau Chenonceau (Loire Valley)

Includes: Roundtrip Airfare, Hotel, Tours, Transfers and More!

Start Date: August 30, 2020
(Sailing September 6, 2020)

About This Journey

If it’s romanticism, grandeur and epicurean delights you crave, then travel to the heart of France to explore the rich cradle of French history that is the Loire Valley. There’s no wonder this beautiful land has attracted aristocracy, artists and winemakers for centuries. Begin your journey in Paris with a starlight dinner cruise along the Seine to put you in the “joie de vivre” spirit before heading south to your home base in the city of Tours. From here, each day you will encounter the opulent chateaus and noble estates that sprinkle the landscape. From the Royal Chateau de Blois, home to 7 French kings and where Joan of Arc was blessed before battle, to the Chateau de Chenonceau, iconic for its renaissance gallery spanning the river below it. Enjoy the bucolic scenery and a tasting of the region’s celebrated wines while cruising on the peaceful Cher river. Roll up your sleeves for a lesson in local cuisine with a cooking class experience. Tour the fairytale castle rumored to have inspired Charles Perrault to write Sleeping Beauty and spend the afternoon wandering the lush Villandry Gardens to see why they call this region the “Garden of France.” We’ll explore the Chateau du Clos Luce, residence of Leonardo da Vinci in his final years, and have free time to discover the picturesque village of Amboise. You’ll partake in a winetasting in Vouvray, a region known for its chenin blanc and sparkling varieties. On your last day, an exclusive experience awaits you at a chateau where the proud owners will host you for a farewell lunch. You’ll then fly to Barcelona where you’ll embark the brand-new Celebrity Apex for a 10-night cruise along France’s Mediterranean coast, visiting the azure waters of Marseille, Nice, and Corsica.

Visits: Please add the ship, supplier and individual port cities during the cruise, plus copy/paste anything additional listed in the PR

Journey to the Loire Valley and French Riviera

Itinerary

Start Date: August 30, 2020
(Sailing September 6, 2020)

Day Port Arrival Departure
1 Arrive Paris – Transfer to hotel; Welcome Seine Dinner Cruise
2 Paris to Tours – Coach Transfer with Blois Chateau and Tours Walking Tour
3 Tours – Tour of Chenonceau, Wine Tasting Cruise and French Cooking Class
4 Tours – Tour of Chateau d’Usee and Villandry Gardens
5 Tours – Tour to Amboise, Wine Tasting in Vouvray
6 Tours – Tour of Chateau de Rivau and Chateau d’Azay-le-Rideau
7 Tours – Transfer to Paris for Flight to Barcelona
8 Barcelona – Transfer to Port for Embarkation 5:00 PM
9 Provence (Marseille), France 7:00 AM 5:00 PM
10 Nice (Villefranche), France 7:00 AM 8:30 PM
11 Ajaccio, Corsica 8:00 AM 6:00 PM
12 At Sea
13 Santa Margherita, Italy 7:00 AM 6:00 PM
14 Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy 7:00 AM 7:00 PM
15 Naples, Italy 7:00 AM 6:30 PM
16 At Sea
17 Palma De Mallorca, Spain 8:00 AM 6:00 PM
18 Barcelona – Disembarkation and Transfer to Airport 6:00 AM

**Please note that this itinerary is subject to change at anytime, including port of call changes. Please call a Personal Vacation Manager with any questions.

Land Program

Day 1 – Arrive Paris

View of the Eiffel Tower from the Seine River

Upon arrival at the airport, meet your Enrichment Journey guide, who will assist with transferring you to the hotel. After check-in, you’ll have time to get settled in and relax before joining your fellow travelers for a special Seine cruise welcome dinner. Sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds of Paris with window seating to give you unobstructed views of the City of Light during your meal. Return to the hotel by coach. Want more time in Paris? Ask about a 2-night extension (D)

 

Day 2 – Paris to Tours

Town Hall of Tours, France

Enjoy breakfast in the hotel before check-out and your transfer south to the city of Tours. As you drive into the Loire Valley, you’re entering one of the world’s largest UNESCO World Heritage Sites that stretches for 173 miles along the river, including all the chateaus and towns that lie within this section of the central Loire Valley. Along the way you will make a stop in the village of Blois to visit the exquisite Royal Chateau de Blois. The chateau has a special place in French history as it is the location where the Archbishop of Reims blessed Joan of Arc in 1429 before her battle against the English for Orleans. You can clearly see the four distinct architectural styles that vary as additional wings of the Chateau were added throughout the centuries; from the original 13th-century medieval design, to Gothic, Renaissance and Classical.  We’ll have lunch in a local restaurant before continuing to Tours where your guide will give you a walking tour of the Old Town. Check in to your hotel and home base for the next five nights, where you’ll then enjoy the rest of the evening at your leisure. (B, L)

Chateau de Chenonceau

Day 3 – Chenonceaux

Today we will travel by coach to Chenonceaux, a small commune in the heart of the Loire Valley, to visit one of the best known and most visited chateaus in France, Chateau de Chenonceau. The iconic renaissance gallery spanning the river below it was built by Jean Bullant, whose work on other famous projects include the Tuileries and Louvre palaces in Paris. The chateau boasts an extraordinary collection of furniture, tapestries and paintings of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. The home had many aristocratic owners including Catherine de’ Medici and was also given to the favorite mistresses of King Henry II and King Henry IV.

Cooking class in Tours

It became designated a “Monument Historique” in 1840 by the French Ministry of Culture because of its importance to France’s historical, architectural and cultural heritage. Enjoy free time for lunch before boarding a boat on a tributary of the Loire, the Cher river, where you’ll take in the beautiful surroundings while participating in a tasting of the region’s delicious wines. After the cruise return to Tours for a special cooking class experience where you’ll learn how to prepare a French dish as your dinner this evening. (B, D)

Day 4 – Rigny Usse and Villandry

Chateau and gardens of Villandry

After breakfast, we set off to Rigny Usse to see the castle that is said to have inspired Charles Perrault to write Sleeping Beauty. Situated on the edge of the Chinon forest overlooking the valley, the Chateau d’Usse seems purposely built for a fairytale story. Following the tour, we’ll drive to Villandry to visit the spectacularly restored Renaissance Villandry Gardens. Originally constructed in 1532, the estate fell into disrepair until the Spanish doctor Joachim Carvallo purchased the home in 1906 with the mission to recreate the property’s gardens. First, you’ll enjoy a Farmer’s Market Menu lunch of salads and cheeses from the Touraine area, and homemade desserts in the chateau’s restaurant before you embark on your tour of the grounds. Discover the ornamental Kitchen Garden, the crown jewel of the estate. In true Renaissance style, it consists of nine patches all the same size, but each with a different geometric motif of vegetables and flowers in alternating colors, giving the impression of a multicolored checkerboard. Today, Joachim’s great-grandson is the current owner and continues the family tradition of improving and expanding the home’s gardens. Return to Tours for the remainder of your evening at leisure. (B, L)

Day 5 – Amboise and Vouvray

Village of Amboise and Chateau d’Amboise

Today we spend the morning in the picturesque village of Amboise, nestled on the Loire river. We’ll start with a tour of Chateau d’Amboise, home to King Charles VIII. As the place where he held court during his reign, Amboise was once the center of French power. The chateau’s chapel is also the final resting place of Leonardo da Vinci. You’ll further explore this town’s link to Leonardo with a visit to the nearby Chateau du Clos Luce. This home was the official residence of the Italian inventor for 3 years when he was invited by King Francis I in 1516 and accepted the role of “First Painter, Engineer and Architect to the King”. He brought with him to Amboise three of his favorite paintings, “The Mona Lisa”, “The Virgin and Child with St. Anne”, and “St. John the Baptist”, all of which are now exhibited at the Louvre in Paris. Explore the home turned museum before enjoying lunch in the chateau’s restaurant. Following lunch, enjoy free time in Amboise to stroll the town’s quaint streets and admire the beautifully preserved timber-framed houses. You’ll then depart for Vouvray to learn the region’s winemaking process. You’ll then depart for Vouvray to learn the region’s winemaking process from the vine to bottle. You’ll get a tour of the vineyard and visit the wine cellar dug into the limestone cliffs (typical for the region), before a tasting of the winery’s specialties. Return to Tours for the evening at your leisure. (B, L)

Day 6 – Lemer and Azay le Rideau

Chateau d’Azay-le-Rideau

Today we journey to Lemer where a special treat awaits. Upon arrival at the Chateau de Rivau, you’ll be greeted by the owner for a tour of the beautifully preserved medieval castle, including the 14 amazing gardens. The gardens are designated “Remarkable Gardens” by the French Ministry of Culture and include 450 varieties of fragrant roses. After your tour, you’ll enjoy a farewell lunch on the property before you continue to the Chateau d’Azay-le-Rideau, one of the jewels of early French Renaissance style. Built on an island in the Indre river in 1527, its façade and location make it one of the most photographed chateaus in the region. The home’s most ornate feature is the grand staircase that rises 3 floors and offers double bay windows on each landing overlooking the courtyard. Inside you’ll find many 16th and 17th century tapestries. Return to Tours for an evening at your leisure and time to pack for tomorrow’s flight. (B, L)

Day 7 – Paris to Barcelona

After breakfast, check out of the hotel and transfer back to Paris for your afternoon flight to Barcelona. En route we will make a photo stop at the last estate on our list, the Chateau Chambord. Upon arrival in Barcelona, you’ll be transferred to the hotel for check-in and an evening at leisure. (B)

Day 8 – Barcelona Embarkation

After breakfast, check out of the hotel and transfer to the port, where you will board the ship for a 10 -night round trip Mediterranean cruise. (B)

Day 9–18 -Cruising onboard the Celebrity Apex (see below for cruise highlights)

For meals not included in your land programs, all hotels chosen include a restaurant on property where you may relax and enjoy a meal. In addition, your guide is available to make suggestions on nearby dining, shopping or sightseeing.

Port Highlights

Parque Guell by Antoni Gaudi

Barcelona, Spain: Barcelona is a charming, cosmopolitan port on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. This prosperous and bilingual (Spanish and Catalan) metropolis measures up to a city such as Madrid: its museums, theaters, art galleries and nightlife area of an impressively high standard. Besides that, this art and design center has a lot of interesting sights to offer to its visitors. The best place to watch people go by, to stroll or simply relax, is ‘Las Ramblas’, a pedestrian street with dozens of outdoor cafes. Here, you’ll find flower-stands, book kiosks and small market stalls where they sell birds and small animals. Nearby is ‘Plaça Real’, with plenty of bars and restaurants, and ‘Palau Guell’, built by the Catalan architectural genius Antoni Gaudi in his undulating art-nouveau style. After having seen these sights, stroll the narrow winding streets of the ‘Barri Gotic’, the medieval Gothic quarter full of interesting tapas bars and cafes. Check out Picasso’s old hangout, ‘Els Quatre Gats’, which has been renovated without losing its bohemian charm.

Marseille, France

Provence (Marseille), France: Marseille, a port city in southern France, has been a crossroads of immigration and trade since its founding by the Greeks circa 600 B.C. At its heart is the Vieux-Port (Old Port), where fishmongers sell their catch along the boat-lined quay. Basilique Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde is a Romanesque-Byzantine church. Modern landmarks include Le Corbusier’s influential Cite Radieuse complex and Zaha Hadid’s CMA CGM Tower.

 

Nice, France

Nice (Villefranche), France: Nice, the capital of the Cote d’Azur, is perhaps the most visited city along the Mediterranean and stays busy year-round. Thanks to the many festivals, exhibitions, expositions and the traditional carnival, Nice has grown into the modern, bustling city it is today. Take a walk along the renowned ‘Promenade des Anglais’ and become ‘smitten’ with this beautiful place and its spectacular surroundings. A melting pot for visitors from around the globe, this elegant palm-lined street follows the beach along the Baie des Anges (Bay of Angels). Numerous small restaurants line the beach, inviting you to sit down, relax and enjoy the amazing view of the Bay. The sea is crystal clear and blue, gentle waves roll the small pebbles back and forth, creating a unique sound. In sharp contrast to the hustle and bustle of the Promenade, visiting the old part of Nice is like stepping back in time. The buildings along the narrow streets date back to the 17th century, small alleyways are lined with little shops selling local merchandise and outdoor cafes are to be found everywhere. A popular stop for tourists is the Russian Orthodox Cathedral with its astonishing five domes and colorful exterior. On a plateau, 300 feet above Nice, are the remains of an old fortress. Now a park, this area is perfect for an excellent overview of Nice, the beach and the Bay. A huge man-made waterfall cascades down from the top and you can stroll through the beautiful Castle gardens or visit the Naval Museum. Nice boasts a number of excellent art museums, such as the Musee Cheret and the Musee National de Marc Chagall, displaying works of four centuries of European art.

Ajaccio, Corsica

Ajaccio, Corsica: Located on the west coast of the island of Corsica, the capital city of Ajaccio is famous as the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte. This Mediterranean port town enjoys an exceptionally mild climate and offers travelers a number of cafes, restaurants and shops to enjoy in addition to a number of interesting sites, including the Cathedrale Notre-Dame de la Misericorde, where Napoleon was baptized in 1771, and the Chapelle Imperiale, built in 1855 by Napoleon III to accommodate the tombs of the Bonaparte family. Impressive views of the town can be enjoyed from the Jetee de la Citadelle, located next to the 16th-century citadel currently occupied by the army.

Santa Margherita, Italy

Santa Margherita, Italy: Among the more classic tourist resorts there are names that evoke uncontaminated natural landscapes and others that owe their fame to the fascination of their buildings or their particular style of life. Santa Margherita does not belong to either of these categories. Or rather, it offers a pleasant combination of both these apparently conflicting features. Over the centuries man’s work has enhanced the original gift of nature. Indeed, it has gone further: it has added something unmistakable to an already perfect picture. Santa Margherita’s forms, colors, the arrangement of its characteristic houses, its rich villas, its great hotels have painted around its bay something similar to a magical reflection. Here the most varying demands are met, and bustle and calm are only apparently contradictory states. In Santa Margherita the visitor experiences a great sense of freedom and at the same time the pleasant impression of belonging to a privileged and happy world. Santa Margherita leads an intense life around its harbor: elegant social occasions, celebrations and traditional events. And there is plenty of sport, too: sailing, of course, but also water-skiing and canoeing, to name only those sports connected to the sea. Without forgetting all the small rituals of a really satisfying holiday which revolve around its tranquil waterfront where, together with beautiful pleasure craft, a fleet of fishing boats keeps up the ancient traditions of fishing and seamanship. It also keeps up the reputation of one of the most characteristic and tasty catches along the whole coast: the famous Santa Margherita lobsters. And the nightspots, restaurants and hotels where you can taste this authentic gift of the Mediterranean are many and varied. Range of choice is one more reason for preferring Santa Margherita.

Colosseum, Rome, Italy

Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy: Civitavecchia was settled in 108 A.D. by the Emperor Trajan and has since served faithfully as a gateway to Rome, the capital of Italy. Once the center of the Ancient World from which emperors ruled over nearly all western civilization, Rome is still a cultural mecca. Only a few cities in the world can boast such a well-preserved level of architecture, art, and religious iconography. There’s an enormous wealth of culture and history to discover on a cruise to Rome. Visit the ancient halls of the 50,000-seat Colosseum, gaze upon the ceilings of Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, and stroll the Capitoline Museum. Roman culinary prowess is well respected and beloved the world over. Experience authentic pizza, hearty bowls of fresh pasta, excellent cheeses, wines, seafood, and delightful desserts like tiramisu and gelato at family-run trattorias that have been preparing these traditional dishes for centuries. Walk the cobblestoned piazzas making your way to narrow side streets where you’re sure to find craftsman shops and beautiful boutiques filled with gorgeous handmade accessories and homewares for keepsakes and souvenirs.

Naples, Italy

Naples, Italy: Known as Napoli in Italian, Naples is the third-largest city in Italy, located in the Campania region in the southern part of the country sitting on the Bay of Naples. Approximately 2 hours south of Rome, on the coast of the northern edge of the Bay of Naples, one of the most beautiful bays in Italy. The name of Naples comes from the Greek Neapolis, meaning new city. Its close proximity to many interesting sites, such as Pompeii and the Bay of Naples, makes it a good base for exploring the area. Naples is a vibrant city, full of historical and artistic treasures and narrow, winding streets with small shops. Nearby is Mount Vesuvius, the still-active volcano that destroyed nearby Roman town Pompeii. Dating to the 2nd millennium B.C., Naples has centuries of important art and architecture. The city’s cathedral, the Duomo di San Gennaro, is filled with frescoes. Other major landmarks include the lavish Royal Palace and Castel Nuovo, a 13th-century castle.

Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Palma De Mallorca, Spain: Palma is a resort city and capital of the Spanish island of Mallorca (Majorca), in the western Mediterranean. The massive Santa María cathedral, a Gothic landmark begun in the 13th century, overlooks the Bay of Palma. The adjacent Almudaina is a Moorish-style Arab fortress converted to a royal residence. West of the city, hilltop Bellver Castle is a medieval fortress with a distinctive circular shape. Most of the major buildings and monuments in Palma were constructed during the “Golden Age,” between 1276 and 1344 under the rule of the Kingdom of Aragon. Among the most impressive is the graceful Gothic Cathedral, which was commissioned by King Jaime I of Aragon in 1230. Legend has it that on his way to recapture Mallorca from the Moors, Jaime the First’s ship was struck by a terrible storm, and he vowed at that moment, to the Virgin Mary, that if he survived, he would erect a church in her honor. He made good on his promise, but it took a while. The Cathedral wasn’t completed until 1601! You will find the people of Mallorca are quite charming, as their experiences have allowed them to perfect the art of hospitality. So, relax and enjoy this unique multicultural island — you’re in the hands of professionals.

Journey to the Loire Valley and French Riviera

Included Features

  • Roundtrip International airfare, transfers and baggage handling
  • 7-night pre-cruise land program in France and Spain
    • Paris, France – 1-night hotel stay
      • Welcome Dinner cruise on the Seine
    • Tours, France – 5-night hotel stay
      • Full-day tour to Blois Chateau and Tours walking tour
      • Full-day tour of Chenonceau, wine tasting cruise and French cooking class
      • Full-day tour of Chateau d’Usee and Villandry Gardens
      • Full-day tour of Amboise, vineyard tour and wine tasting in Vouvray
      • Full-day tour of Chateau de Rivau and Chateau d’Azay-le-Rideau
    • Barcelona, Spain – 1-night hotel stay
  • Tour Leader throughout France land program and Local Tour Hosts during included tours
  • Most meals while on tour (see itinerary highlights) and all meals while onboard
  • 10-night sailing aboard Celebrity Apex
    • 10% Off Shore Excursions (see “Special Offers”)
    • Choose 2 of the following on the Cruise: Gratuities, Beverages, Wi-Fi, or $300 Onboard Credit
    • SPECIAL OFFER UNTIL 11/30! Book a Veranda or higher and receive All 4 Extras: Gratuities, Beverages, Wi-Fi & $300 Onboard Credit

Journey to the Loire Valley and French Riviera

What to Expect on Your Trip

Pacing

Most days during the land portion will include full-day tours. There is a healthy mix of both visits to historical sites and time to enjoy the landscape and scenery. The overall pace is less strenuous than most Enrichment Journeys, as the focus is not on rushing to see sights but rather simply enjoying the chateaus and gardens.  Most days include two meals, allowing the third meal, typically dinner to be at the guests own leisure leaving the evening free. All hotels will have a restaurant on property where you may dine, then have the rest of the evening to relax. If you wish to go out, your guide or the hotel staff is available to make suggestions for nearby dining.

During the cruise you will have two relaxing days at sea and seven exciting days on land to explore the port cities. You may choose from optional shore excursions, which will allow for cultural immersion, exotic meals and numerous activities.

Physical Activity

The land portion of the trip should be considered moderate to active and includes a considerable amount of walking. In the Loire Valley, many places visited are smaller towns with cobblestone streets. Roads and walkways on inclines could transform a short walk into a strenuous one.

Enrichment Journeys will do everything in our power to ensure comfort through our third-party providers, including air-conditioned buses and comfortable accommodations where applicable. However, some areas cannot be accessed by coach, so our drivers will get you as close to sites as is legally allowed. Sensible, rubber-soled walking shoes are strongly recommended. Historical sites often do not have elevators, escalators or ramps due to the age of the building/structure. Steps can be steep and uneven. Wheelchair access at many sites is limited to extremely limited. Based on crowds and traffic, order of visits may be changed. A fold-up wheelchair may be able to be stored on the bus but requires prior arrangements. Motorized wheelchairs and scooters cannot be accommodated on this group program. Guests must be able to transfer from their chair to the transportation.  Guides/drivers are not allowed to lift or push wheelchairs, so guests requiring physical assistance must travel with a companion who can assist. For the cruise portion of the trip, passengers will board and leave the ship up stairways and gangways, and you may have to walk a moderate distance to transfer to train, bus and car stations. Time spent on the road and traveling can be long, so you will need to be prepared for stretches of down time in between destinations.

Cultural Focus

The entire Loire valley was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for the region’s significance in French history and culture. You will encounter dishes and ingredients typical to the region that you may not have encountered before, and you will be introduced to local artistry of the region. Enrichment Journeys encourages an open mind when in unique situations and meeting people abroad. Sometimes the attractions and cities themselves can be crowded, especially while on the cruise.

Unique Factors

If you have special needs or physical limitations, you will need to check in with your personal vacation manager before booking the trip. The temperature can vary between day and night, so pack accordingly with items that can be layered. Some guests may wish to have a light sweater or windbreaker with them.

Transportation

Included airfare is from select airports only. To inquire about a different airport, please contact your Personal Vacation Manager.

Enrichment Journeys is committed to providing remarkable experiences at extraordinary value. As a result, airlines and routes are selected to maximize that value and may involve multiple stops and extended layovers versus non-stop or direct flights. Passengers wishing to utilize specific carriers, direct/non-stop flights, Business Class upgrades, or to extend their time in any of our beginning or ending destination cities may do so by contacting Enrichment Journeys and inquiring about the Custom Airfare Program. There is a $50 per person charge for this service, however this charge will be applied toward any flights or upgrades you choose to purchase. The $50 charge must be paid prior to receiving a custom air quote.

Transportation while on tour:

Paris – Tours: 2.5 Hour Coach Transfer

Paris – Barcelona: 2 Hour Flight

Journey to the Loire Valley and French Riviera

2-night Paris Extension (pre-cruise)

Although everyone on the Enrichment Journey will fly into the Paris airport, the itinerary does not include any time in the city other than the first night. With this optional extension you will arrive to Paris 2 days early and stay in the city, giving you time to explore Paris on your own before transferring to Tours to start the Enrichment Journey program. Note: tours are not included. Price of $315 per person includes:

  • 2-night hotel accommodations in Paris with daily breakfast
  • Private transfer from airport to hotel

2-night Barcelona Extension (post-cruise)

Although everyone on the Enrichment Journey will fly into Barcelona the night before the cruise, the itinerary does not include any time in the city other than one night. With this optional extension you will spend 2 nights in the city after the cruise, giving you time to explore Barcelona on your own. Note: tours are not included. Price of $375 per person includes:

  • 2-night hotel accommodations in Barcelona with daily breakfast
  • Private transfer from port to hotel and hotel to airport

Choose 2 of the following: Classic Beverage Package, Pre-paid Gratuities, Unlimited Internet or $300 Onboard Credit per stateroom

Book a Veranda or higher and receive All 4 Extras:

  • Classic Beverage Package for two guests
  • Pre-paid Gratuities for two guests
  • Unlimited internet for two guests
  • $300 Onboard Credit per stateroom

Guests in the same stateroom must select the same option(s). View Celebrity Terms and Conditions. Offer Expires 11/30/2019.

Receive 10% off all shore excursions from Shore Excursions Group!

Journey to the Loire Valley and French Riviera

Dates & Prices
8/30/2020 Retail Value EJ Price Savings Per Person Single Rates
Infinite Veranda (E4) $10,132 $7,599 $2,533 CALL FOR DETAILS
Infinite Veranda (E3) $10,212 $7,659 $2,553 CALL FOR DETAILS
Concierge Class (C3) $10,399 $7,799 $2,600 CALL FOR DETAILS

Prices are in USD.

Interested in the land program without the cruise? Call us for a quote.

Air Add-Ons
City Add-On City Add-On City Add-On
Atlanta $350 Houston Intercontinental $350 Philadelphia $250
Boston $250 John F. Kennedy $0 Phoenix $400
Denver $400 Los Angeles $400 San Diego $450
Dallas-Ft. Worth $350 Tampa $350 San Francisco $400
Newark $150 Miami $350 Toronto $300
Washington – Dulles $250 Chicago $300
– Business Class Air Available on Request
– Additional Gateways Available on Request
– Air Add-On Rates are subject to change without notice. While we try to include the most common airports by default, we have many clients coming from different parts of the country. If you desire air from an unlisted airport, you must first reserve your Enrichment Journey with one of the listed airports as your default gateway and then ask, or have your Travel Agent ask, Enrichment Journeys to provide a quote for your preferred gateway.

All prices on our website and e-Journey Travel Guide are subject to change without notice. While we make every effort to provide you the most accurate and up-to-date information, occasionally, a trip or pricing category may be misprinted or unavailable at the time of booking. In the event of an incorrect price due to typographical, photographic, or technical error, or error in pricing information received from our suppliers, we retain the right to correct the price and to refuse or cancel any bookings placed at the incorrect price. In addition, all offers, prices, and conditions of sale may be subject to change without notice including tours, included features, highlights, minimum or maximum stays, itinerary, times in port, and/or other conditions/restrictions.

Journey to the Loire Valley and French Riviera

The following hotel list is preliminary and subject to change. Although we contract for hotels a year or more in advance, unforeseen circumstances do occasionally require a change of hotel. Should it be necessary to change a hotel, one of equal quality or value will be substituted and you will receive confirmed hotel information with your final itinerary.

Accommodations
Le Meridien Etoile

81 Boulevard Gouvion Saint-Cyr, 75848 Cedex 17, Paris 75017 France

Telephone: +33 1 40 68 34 34

Le Méridien Etoile welcomes you to the City of Light with effortless elegance, impeccable service and a magnificent location, across the street from the Palais des Congrès. This hotel has the proud distinction of being the flagship Le Méridien hotel in Paris, with captivating mid-century modern design and boutique amenities reflective of our lively surroundings. Artfully appointed accommodation includes modern technology, luxurious bath products and the Le Méridien Signature Bed. Start your morning with a meal at the light-filled Espace Latitude, and return in the evening to savor a dinner at the restaurant. Visit the remarkable Jazz Club Etoile, where live music provides the backdrop for cocktails and conversation. Last but not least, the prime hotel location facilitates discovery; in addition to being across from the Palais des Congrès, the hotel is within walking distance of the Champs Elysées and the Arc de Triomphe.

Oceania Hotel De L’Univers

5 Boulevard Heurteloup, 37000, Tours, France

Telephone: + 33 02 47 05 37 12

In a lavish “Grand hotel” spirit, this unique establishment, redolent of history, has successfully retained its character, right in the center of Tours. Opposite the town hall, this 4-star hotel is ready to welcome you following the creation of a spa and the complete renovation of its common areas and 91 rooms, which perfectly blend tradition, design and modernity: high ceilings, warm colours, some with hydrotherapy baths. The restaurant has also been fully refurbished. Everything has been done with the goal of conserving and showcasing the authenticity and charm of the building, with the addition of deft touches of color and elegance. The spa and well-being area boasts a superb stainless steel swimming pool that places the accent firmly on modernity. The Jacuzzi, hammam and fitness room are perfect for a break that blends relaxation and well-being. The Oceania L’Univers Tours hotel and restaurant is one those historic hotels that’s deeply marked by the illustrious figures who have stayed here, to whom the hotel pays homage with an impressive gallery of portraits overhanging the immense lobby. Thanks to the new colors, materials, furniture and facilities, this hotel will offer you a truly remarkable level of comfort during your stay in Tours.

Negresco Princess Hotel

Roger de Lluria 16-18, 08010 Barcelona, Spain

Telephone: +34 932 150 052

Just steps from Plaça Urquinaona, Plaça Catalunya and Passeig de Gracia. Hotel Negresco Princess’ privileged location makes it the perfect choice for visiting Las Ramblas, Barcelona’s Cathedral, the Gothic Quarter, La Pedrera, Casa Batlló and shopping at the best boutiques on Passeig de Gràcia. Whether from the avant-garde atrium, one of the 128 welcoming rooms, relaxation area, gym or terrace with privileged views of the whole city, a solarium and infinity pool, the hotel is the perfect base for discovering all of Barcelona’s secrets. Plus the great food at Nesgresco Restaurant on the ground floor and La Terrazza by Bobby’s on the seventh floor. Cool and cosmopolitan, Hotel Negresco features a free minibar in every room and free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.

Celebrity Apex

Cruise Line: Celebrity

Since its inception in 1989, Celebrity has held true to its original commitment of taking the very best aspects of classic, elegant cruising and updating them to reflect current lifestyles. In 1997, they merged with Royal Caribbean International to form Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. What sets Celebrity apart from other vacation choices today is the cruise line’s passionate dedication to providing guests with a cruise experience that embodies modern luxury. This has become the definition of Celebrity Cruises, and has set the worldwide standard for today’s expression of what first made cruising famous—high quality, superior design, spacious accommodations, grand style, attentive service and exceptional cuisine. Celebrity Cruises’ iconic “”X” is the mark of modern luxury, with its cool, contemporary design and warm spaces; dining experiences where the design of the venues is as important as the cuisine; and the amazing service that only Celebrity can provide, all providing an un-matchable vacation experience.

Ship: Celebrity Apex

Celebrity ApexSM is the second of four sister Edge-class ships and contains many unique features and a modern design unseen on any other ship currently at sea. The ship’s design is beautiful and streamlined with the outside spaces designed by architect Tom Wright and interior design by Kelly Hoppen. Some of the most exciting innovations and updates include the Rooftop Garden, the Adults-only Solarium, the Magic Carpet and the Infinite VerandasSM.
The Magic Carpet is a tennis court-sized sliding deck that allows for easy embarkation and debarkation for tendering and also serves as a viewpoint and outdoor bar with live music at night. The Infinite VerandasSM allow you to take advantage of your entire veranda stateroom, inside and out. At the touch of a button, your veranda doors will completely fold out of the way, allowing you a full view out over the water. You also have the option to keep the veranda doors open, but enclose the glass balcony, turning the railing into a floor to ceiling window. The Celebrity ApexSM was designed to change the way you experience the world, and the culinary offerings don’t fall short of this either. Enjoy 29 unique food and beverage experiences crafted by a Michelin-starred chef. Your vacation time is precious. Time aboard Celebrity Apex will make the most of it.

Journey to the Loire Valley and French Riviera

Before You Go

Money Matters

How you handle your currency and financials while on the trip is up to you. Some people prefer to exchange all their money in advance, while others will rely solely on credit cards. Consider calling your bank ahead of time to make them aware of your international travel, especially when using cards or withdrawing money.

ATM Machines

These are often readily available, especially in major cities. Some will charge fees on top of what your hometown bank may charge for using ATMs abroad. Look for well-marked machines that have the Visa or MasterCard symbols.

Foreign Banks

Currency can be exchanged at most banks, if needed. Ask a local host or tour manager if there is a nearby bank that is open.

Credit Cards

During your trip, you’ll find that most major credit cards are accepted. Call your specific card issuer ahead of time to find out its limitations and benefits overseas.

Incidentals

Do be aware that some additional charges for mini-bars, laundry and room service will not be included in the tour package. Plan accordingly for these extra charges.

Packing Guidelines

Pack as simply as possible for easy transfers and customs screenings. Check with your domestic and international carriers regarding baggage guidelines, allowances, and check for additional fees. All bags will be screened before boarding flights and the cruise ship.

What to pack

Basics and layers are key to a comfortable Journey. Be sure to check the weather in the destinations you will visit, and pack accordingly. There are always unpredictable variables as well, so make sure you have one sturdy jacket and an outfit for a formal occasion too, just in case.

Here are a few key items to take on your trip:

  • Raincoat/poncho
  • Hooded jacket/fleece pullover
  • Pants with pockets
  • Skirt with pockets
  • Hat with visor & sunscreen/bug spray
  • Warm socks
  • Sturdy sandals
  • Practical shoes for walking/easy hiking
  • Extra pair of prescription sunglasses and/or glasses (if needed)
  • Camera(s)

Have back-ups for everything to avoid disappointment. Charge batteries in advance and bring extra film or digital memory cards. If bringing a high-end camera, consider investing in insurance to protect your asset.

Luggage Screening Process

To pass through screening, have liquids either in small containers and bagged, or in checked luggage. All valuables necessary for the trip should be on your person at all times, if possible. This includes medications and documentation. We recommend one main bag and a carry-on, per airline guidelines for weight and size.

Labeling

Have all your bags labeled with your name and address clearly marked. Add something to you luggage that is recognizable in the event your bags are misplaced. You may also consider marking your bags with “Enrichment Journeys” for efficiency.

Carry-on items

In many countries, including the US, large liquid containers are not allowed in carry-ons. On the way back into The States, food or agriculture items are prohibited. If you have questions about a certain item, visit www.tsa.gov for a list of items that cannot be packed.

Airport transfers

Airport transfers are included as part of your Enrichment Journey. Local representatives will advise you of the departure time from your hotel the night before departure. Generally speaking, arrangements have been made to have you at the airport approximately three hours in advance of departure, though this may vary depending on local circumstances. At the end of the cruise, an airport transfer will also be provided. Please advise your Personal Vacation Manager if you do not require transfer arrangements at the time of booking your Journey.

Cell phones

Some cell phones will work overseas, but incur additional charges for the use. Choose whether you would like to add an international plan by calling your carrier, or consider purchasing a pay-as-you-go phone overseas. However, in some destinations, many smartphones and tablets can pick up wireless Internet for free.

Protecting the Value of Your Travel Investment

Enrichment Journeys offers a comprehensive travel insurance package you can purchase alongside your trip. It eases the mind and lets you cancel your trip for a covered reason up until the departure date with a full refund of the Journey.

The insurance covers a wide variety of incidents, including travel delay, emergency medical services, and even baggage delay. You will also receive a pre-existing medical conditions waiver if travel insurance is purchased within 14 days of your initial deposit. For a full list of coverage provided, visit the FAQ section of the website.

Medical Issues and Handicaps

As with any extensive trip abroad, our excursions with Enrichment Journeys will require some physical capabilities, including transfers from cruise ships, walking on cobblestone streets and navigating through some busy cities with guides. Although we encourage all types of travelers to join us, we do ask you are aware of your own physical limitations. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual care to those who may have walkers, wheelchairs or other aids. Enrichment Journeys also cannot accommodate pregnant women past their six month gestation period. Please speak with one of our Personal Vacation Managers to see if certain itineraries are suitable for you and your needs. We are happy to suggest other viable options for you that are more accessible.

Per the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, travelers have the right to be reasonably accommodated in terms of tours in public situations. However, the laws do not apply for trips and outside the United States. So you must let Enrichment Journeys know ahead of time of any physical limitations, including information added to our questionnaire that needs to be filled out by all passengers. Failure to inform Enrichment Journeys of these limitations could result in refusal to participate, whether it be at the airport through the airline, on board the ship or at the accommodations booked.

If you have any sort of prescription medication, this should be a number one priority in packing. Bring extra, just in case. A small medical kit is also advisable for quick access to remedy minor aches and pains.

Briefing sessions

A local host or tour manager will be happy to guide you through the trip and answer all of your questions. Upon arrival to your destination, an Enrichment Journeys representative will meet with the group and go over items such as the daily schedule, weather and local customs.

Hotels

All hotels booked by Enrichment Journeys are held to a high standard of comfort and quality, in accordance to international accommodation standards and rating systems. However, each accommodation varies so you may experience various types of properties throughout your excursions.

Journey to the Loire Valley and French Riviera

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Journey to the Loire Valley and French Riviera

Regional Information

Travel Documentation

Have your passport and visas ready and available at all checkpoints. Scan and copy these documents to print out. It is recommended that you e-mail a copy to yourself and someone back home in the event these documents are misplaced. Also, it may be worth bringing an international ID or license.

Passport and Visa

To travel internationally, you must have a passport in good condition, and it must be valid for at least 6 months after the last day of your trip. Visa requirements change frequently and for various reasons. As a result, our Personal Vacation Managers are not always able to provide visa information, and you should not rely on the information provided below to be the most current and accurate. The best way to obtain up-to-date information regarding visa requirements is to visit the official US government website for Americans traveling abroad, Travel.State.Gov, (Canadian citizens should visit https://travel.gc.ca/, for all other countries please visit your government website or local embassy), which details specific information on the countries you would like to visit, including visa requirements.

You may also use a third-party visa service, such as Expedited Travel. These services require an additional service fee but make the process of applying for a visa much simpler.

Vaccinations

Vaccinations are recommended to protect one’s health from preventable diseases abroad. It is always good to have routine vaccinations up to date when traveling for ailments such as chickenpox, measles, and the flu shot. Use your own discretion when deciding on what vaccinations to have based on your preferences and personal medical history. During your Enrichment Journeys tour, the utmost care will be taken with prepared food, atmosphere and other elements, so the likelihood of contracting diseases is scarce.

For a list of recommended vaccinations based on destination, visit https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel or feel free to contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention directly at 1-800-232-4636.

Electric Current

You will need an adaptor for some parts of your trip.  To see what the plugs will look like at your destination, visit https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/ and click on each country from the right menu.

You may also need to use a converter. Most countries outside of North and Central America use 220-240 V, whereas the U.S. and Canada use 110 V. However, most chargers these days have a box which will act as a converter so that it can be used in all countries around the world. If your charger box says “Input: 100-240V, 50/60 Hz” then you do NOT need to use a converter (but you may still need an adaptor so that the plugs fit in the socket).

Some hotels may have two and three pronged outlets to use for various appliances. Ship cabins also have outlets for you to use with their converter. However, we recommend having at least one or two adaptors with you, as we cannot guarantee that all hotels will be able to accommodate this.

Local Currency

France, Spain and Italy use the Euro (€), currency code EUR

Please visit https://www.oanda.com/currency/converter/  for the current exchange rate.

How you handle your currency and financials while on the trip is up to you. Some people prefer to exchange all their money in advance, while others will rely solely on credit cards. We suggest having at least some local currency with you during the trip, at least enough to take a taxi if needed. Consider calling your bank ahead of time to make them aware of your international travel, especially when using cards or withdrawing money.

Tipping Guidelines

Tipping is always appreciated but not always required. Expect several instances throughout the hospitality industry that allow for tipping. Have small bills ready for hotel staff, boat crew, restaurant servers, drivers, guides, and baggage handlers. If you have a meal outside the itinerary or hire a resident driver, a few dollars in the local currency is customary.

Gratuities are included for group meals, at hotels, and at airports. The host, guide, or tour manager can be tipped roughly $8.00-$12.00 USD per person, per day, as can any ship staff member (which is often split at the end of the day by all). Drivers can be tipped $5 USD per person, per day.

For more information about when and how much to tip in each country, feel free to speak with your tour guide at the start of your Journey. A good reference for international tipping is https://www.cntraveler.com/stories/2008-11-11/etiquette-101-tipping-guide.

Time Differences

Please be aware that you may be crossing through several time zones throughout your Journey. To view a time zone map, visit https://m.worldtimezone.com/m-index12.php.

Climate

With the tour covering various regions, you will most likely come in contact with warm and/or cool weather, occasional rain, wind and/or damp environments. Check the weather online before departing for an up-to-date look at the conditions in major destinations.

Many countries outside of North America use Celsius. Here is a °C to °F quick reference guide:

-5° C = 23° F 5° C = 41° F 15° C = 59° F 25° C = 77° F 35° C = 95° F
0° C = 32° F 10° C = 50° F 20° C = 68° F 30° C = 86° F 40° C = 104° F

High/Low Temperatures in Fahrenheit:

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Paris 45/37 46/37 54/41 61/45 68/52 73/57 77/61 77/61 70/55 61/50 52/43 46/37
Barcelona 59/48 59/47 63/50 67/55 73/60 80/68 84/73 85/74 79/69 73/62 65/54 60/49

Practice the Local Language

Knowing a few phrases in the local vernacular can be a wonderful way to connect with people and feel immersed in the culture. Here are some key words and phrases:

France: French

  • Bonjour (Boh(n)-zhoo): Hello
  • Oui (wee): Yes
  • Non (No): No
  • Où sont les toilettes? (Oo soh(n) lay twa-let?): Where are the restrooms
  • Merci (Mare-see): Thank you
  • Je vous en prie (Zhuh vooz ahn pree): You’re welcome
  • S’il vous plaît (Seal voo play): Please
  • Pouvez-vous m’aider? (Poo-vay voo meh – day?): Can you help me?

Visit https://www.17-minute-world-languages.com/en/french/ for more phrases with sound.

Spain: Spanish

  • Hola (OH-lah): Hello
  • Adiós (ad-ee-OHS): Goodbye
  • Si (see): Yes
  • No (noh): No
  • Por favor (PAWR-fah-VAWR): Please
  • Gracias (GRAH-syahs): Thank you

Visit https://www.17-minute-world-languages.com/en/spanish/ for more phrases and sound.

Italy: Italian

  • Buon giorno (Bwohn JOHR-noh): Hello
  • Come sta? (Koh-meh STAH?): How are you?
  • Non c’è problema (Non cheh proh-BLEH-mah): No problem.
  • Mi scusi (Mee SKOO-zee): Excuse me
  • Grazie (GRAHT-tsyeh): Thank you
  • Sì (SEE): Yes
  • No (Noh): No
  • Uomini (WOH-mee-nee): Men’s (restroom)
  • Donne (Dohn-NEH): Women’s (restroom)
  • Che tempo fa? (Keh TEHM-poh fah): How is the weather?

Visit https://www.17-minute-world-languages.com/en/italian/ for more phrases with sound.

Facts and Figures

Check out these interesting facts about the destinations you will visit on your Journey.

Spain

  • The first novel was written by a Spaniard. Cervantes’ Don Quixote, written in 1605, is considered to be the first modern novel.
  • The first known stapler was made in the 18th century in Spain’s Basque region for the French King Louis XV – and every single staple was engraved with the royal emblem. Spain has also given the world the mop and bucket (1956) and the astronaut’s space suit (1935).

France

  • Paris was originally a Roman city called “Lutetia”.
  • The French government gives medals to citizens who have “successfully raised several children with dignity.”
  • There’s only one STOP sign in the entire city of Paris.
  • French toast isn’t a French cuisine. Joseph French advertised the modern toast but forgot to add the apostrophe “s.” It should have been advertised as “French’s Toast” not “French Toast.”

Italy

  • The name Italy comes from the word “italia”, meaning “calf land.” This is due to the bull being a symbol of the ancient Southern Italian tribes.
  • Tuscany has a long wine history; it can be traced back to the 5th century BCE. Grapes were first cultivated by the Etruscans nearly 3,000 years ago, grown in such wide abundance that they were often sold overseas and quickly became the area’s most trusted cash crop. 80% of all wines produced in Tuscany are produced with red grapes, the vast majority of which use Sangiovese as a grape.
  • Italy is approximately 116,400 square miles, including the islands of Sicily and Sardinia, which is slightly larger than Arizona.
  • Famous Italian explorers include Christopher Columbus, Marco Polo, John Cabot, and Amerigo Vespucci.

Recommended Reading List

Vacation should be easy, peaceful and, most of all, completely stress-free. Let us handle the details, so you can sit back, relax and curl up with a good book as you count down the days to your next Journey! We’ve compiled the following list of books and movies to introduce you to the destinations you are about to visit.

Books

  • France: The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
  • France: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  • France: The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
  • Italy: The Italians by Luigi Barzini
  • Italy: Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes (also a movie)
  • Italy: The Rise and Fall of the House of Medici by Christopher Hibbert
  • Italy: A Room with a View by E.M. Forester (also a movie)
  • Spain: Cities of Spain by David Gilmour
  • Spain: Iberia by James A. Michener
  • Spain: Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

Travel Guides

Films

  • France: Les Miserable (2012)
  • France: Amelie (2001)
  • France: An American in Paris (1951)
  • France: Midnight in Paris (2011)
  • France: A Good Year (2006)
  • Italy: Eat Pray Love (2010)
  • Italy: Roman Holiday (1953)
  • Italy: Gladiator (2000)
  • Italy: Angels and Demons (2009)
  • Italy: La Dolce Vita (1960)
  • Spain: Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2009)

Journey to the Loire Valley and French Riviera

eJourney Guide

Receive your personalized eJourney Guide today!
Simply fill out the form below and your eJourney Guide will be on its way via email.
Your easy-to-read, printable PDF-formatted eJourney Guide makes it convenient to review and plan your next world-class Journey with us!

It contains a wealth of valuable travel information including:
  • Detailed Destination Information
  • Day-by-Day Itinerary
  • Preparing for Your Trip
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Local Cultural Information
  • Recommended Readings
  • And so much more!
Don’t delay! Your Journey’s availability may be limited.

As always, our friendly and dependable Personal Vacation Managers are committed to assist you every step of the way.

Feel free to call us at:
888-966-8117

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