From 5:15 pm Transfer of the passengers from the Avignon TGV train station to the Phenicien who is moored at Quai de la ligne, Avignon. A driver is waiting for you at the meeting point on the ground floor. Journey time is 15 minutes. Reception of passengers from 5:30 pm, our crew takes care of your luggage and helps you to install in your cabins. Navigate in Provence and Camargue 6:00 pm we are waiting for you on the sun deck to introduce your crew with a welcome drink, but also to discuss with you the program of the week, safety rules on board, practical issues of meal times and to meet your needs and answer your questions. 7:30 pm dinner served, plates service with food and wine pairings. Discover the Provence and Camargue with luxury barge cruises in Provence and Camargue After dinner, you can take a walk in Avignon (the center is at 5 minutes by walk) or have a nice walk along the Rhone River to the famous bridge of Avignon or take your time and enjoy the sun deck of Le Phenicien.
After your breakfast at 9:00 am we accompany you to the Pope’s Palace for a cultural guided tour of 2 hours that will transport you to the world of the Popes who built this architectural marvel in the heart of the city of Avignon. You will take a break of 1h30 to visit the city in all freedom to go shopping or to stroll with the caves of the pedestrian and shopping streets of the old center. We wait for you at 12:30 aboard, lunch in the navigation to Villeneuve les Avignon where Le Phenicien stops at the foot of the Philippe Le Bel Tower which is the remnant of a fortress built at the end of the 13th century, used to control the entrance of the bridge Saint Bénezet (or Pont d’Avignon) leaning both banks of the Rhone River. At 2.30 pm it is by private bus that we enjoy the jewels of the appellation Châteauneuf du Pape, Domaine de Beaurenard, owned by the Coulon family for 7 generations. This visit and tasting of this vineyard makes you discover wines full of character and elegance, the visit lasts about 1:30 and you have the opportunity to buy wine directly at the property. Of course, the wines of Domaine de Beaurenard will complement one of your dinners. Back to the Phoenician around 5:30 pm, our bartender will be delighted to welcome you for a drink on the sun deck. Dinner and overnight in Villeneuve les Avignon, always with the freedom of nocturnal walks or others.
This morning around 9 am our bus takes us to one of the most popular cultural sites in France: The Pont du Gard, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, The Pont du Gard is a bridge-aqueduct built by the Romans in the 1st century of our era. It is exceptional in its dimensions with its 49 meters high, it is the highest Roman aqueduct bridge in the world. Our private guided tour of the Pont du Gard, taking you to the top with an incredible and unique view of the valley. We are currently visiting the Pont museum, which will enchant you with its very visual explanations On the Pont du Gard site, which is the largest interpretation center in France on the Roman amateur genius, which tells the story of the Roman aqueduct. Models, virtual reconstructions, multimedia screens, soundscapes call to the discovery of Roman antiquity. Return to the boat to the village of Aramon, with lunch in navigation. We arrive at the Estéres river stop in Aramon around 16:30 where we will stop for the night. This village spreads amphitheatrically around its castle built on a rocky outcrop. Its port activity from the Roman era reached its peak in the seventeenth century. Oil, wine, salt, cereals went from Aramon to the whole of France. Rural village until the 1960s with its many wickerwork workshops, It has retained its agricultural vocation: fruit growing, the culture of the vineyard and olive trees and beautify its built heritage do not testify the many homes from the 15th to the 18th century. So you’ve had some free time for a bike ride or a walk to the picturesque village of Aramon.
It’s a morning departure by private bus that takes us to the village of Les Baux de Provence for a guided tour rich in historical events of this village, ranked in the top 10 most beautiful villages in France. The village of les Baux-de-Provence is unique because it is a little more magical and a little more illustrious in this extraordinary setting. However, the very essence that makes the charm and the perfume so special of the Provencal villages is there: the small squares, the shaded terraces, the narrow streets, and their shops. After this busy morning, we return to Le Phénicien for a lunch in navigation, with the passage of the Beaucaire lock, which measures 180 meters long and 12 meters wide, and its impressive 15 meters of the waterfall. Around 4:30 pm we stop in Arles, where we spend the night. Le Phenician is moored at the Lamartine dock situated at 5 minutes walk from the Roman Arena and the town center. You can go shopping, visit the pedestrian streets or take a refreshing drink in the famous Van Gogh café. It is also an opportunity to play a game of “petanque” in the shade of plane trees just in front of the mooring and can be thrown a challenge to some members of the crew.
This morning your guide will pick you up on board to make you discover the historical side of the city, during the visit it will evoke various periods of the history of Arles, from the Roman time until the Renaissance, but also the Catholicism with St. Trophime Cathedral and he will talk about Vincent Van Gogh. Back to the boat at 12:30, we will sail up the Rhone River, then take the little Rhone River to pass the lock of Saint Gilles and navigate the Canal de Provence. We will stop for the night at the port of Gallician, a village located in Camargue. You can go for a bike ride or walk along the paths along the canal.
We dive this morning in the heart of the bulls breeders traditions of Camargue with the visit of the most beautiful and most titled Manade(ranch) of Camargue: Les Marquises, property of the Laurent family since the post-second world war period. We will discover their breeding of bulls for the Camargue races but also the Camargue horses and all the tradition that there is around this sport. This morning is a true immersion in the authenticity of this region of France which is also a protected natural park. It is in the midst of bulls and Guardians that we will explain the breeding of bulls and the rules of Camargue races. After a Camarguais aperitif, we will return to Le Phénicien for lunch while sailing to the town of Aigues-Mortes, medieval fortified city of the 14th century emerging from the sands of Camargue. We will be there around 2:30 pm. The city is very touristy and almost entirely pedestrian. It is good to walk there and to go shopping. It will also be time for our weekend gala dinner.
This morning after your breakfast, you will be transferred to the Nimes train station from 9:00 am.