RHONE RIVER • NOVEMBER 29th – DECEMBER 6th, 2013
December 6–9, 2013 (€1,049 pp)
Revel in the riches of Barcelona on a three-day, three-night visit. Absorb the city’s unique blending of tradition and avant garde. Picasso, palaces, and Gaudi and Gothic sights are on the itinerary. We’ll take in UNESCO sites, the flavors, colors, and sounds of Catalonia, a complex history, and Barcelona’s essential appeal.
Private tour of CERN and luncheon
November 28, 2013 (pre-cruise) ($899 pp)
From the tiniest constituents of matter to the immensity of the cosmos, discover the wonders of science and technology at CERN. Join MacMania for a private pre-cruise, custom, full-day tour of this iconic facility. (If the LHC is still undergoing its scheduled maintenance it is likely we will go into the LHC Cavern.)
Whether you lean toward concept or application there’s much to pique your curiousity. Discover the excitement of fundamental research and get a behind-the-scenes, insider’s look at the world’s largest particle physics laboratory.
Our full day will be led one of our speakers (TBA) and by other CERN physicists. We’ll have an orientation; visit an experiment; get a sense of the mechanics of the large hadron collider (LHC); if at all possible, go down inside the LHC tunnel (picture above); make a refueling stop for lunch; and have time to peruse the grounds and exhibits on the history of CERN and the nature of its work. And if you’re so inclined, the CERN gift shop.
This tour includes:
The price is $899 per person (based on double occupancy). Subtract $100 pp if you come in one day early on November 27. This trip is limited to 50 people. (Pictures from a previous trip.)
Click a Tab for Shore/Port Information (shore excursions/tours described under the tabs are included in the price; these tours are subject to change).
The Rhone River gave the Romans a conduit to the resources of Europe without traversing the Alps. The Rhone offers you a fabulous way to immerse yourself in France without traversing the hurdles of packing, itinerary planning, navigating, and finding memorable dining. We’ll glide down the Rhone at a pace conducive to the mind’s eye, absorbing beautiful panoramas, vineyards, distant mountains, Roman arches, aqueducts, and theaters, and medieval towns.
A cultural and commercial artery, the Rhone has been an important highway since the times of the Greeks and Romans. It was the main trade route from the Mediterranean to east-central Gaul and a route for Greek cultural influences to impact the Hallstatt and the La Tène cultures, which were Celtic tribes living near the Rhone.
You visit small-town France on the Rhone. We’ll be in the region of world-famous chateaux, silk production, chocolate artisans, lavender fields, and deep history. Our Rhone cruise allows us to enjoy an experience of vistas, local culture and traditions, and historic sites in a thoughtfully orchestrated way.
Explore a gem of Western Europe, enjoy a carefree French cultural immersion, or simply be in the moment in a lovely place — all facets of an interlude on the Rhone.
Third largest city in France, Lyon is celebrated for its millennia of history, cuisine, and vibrant culture. The city is the birthplace of cinema and home to Hermes luxury products. In ancient times, Lyon was a key city in Gaul, and an economically important provincial center in the Roman Empire. The history of Lyon, and its many architecturally significant buildings from many periods are acknowledged by the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Site status.
Your tour of Lyon
Your tour will take you through the highlights of the Historic Site of Lyon, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998. Part of your tour will be by bus, passing by Place des Terreaux, the Town Hall, the Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon and one of the murals in the La Martinière district. We’ll stop at Fourvière Hill, where you can see a classic panoramic view over the city and can visit the inside of the Basilica. Onward to the Renaissance district (Vieux Lyon), where your guide will take you for a walk by St. Jean’s Cathedral and the narrow passageways (named traboules). (This tour is included in the price of your cruise.)
Trévoux is a quiet little town on the edge of the Saòne river however it has a number of very impressive buildings, evidence of the town’s importance in the past. Trévoux was once the capital of the Principality of the Dombes and part of the Germano-Roman Empire. It has a medieval fortified keep built during this period of its history. During the 18th century Trevoux was the seat of Parliament for this area. Trevoux was also famous for its dictionary — the Dictionnaire de Trévoux’ — which was known throughout Europe in the 18th century. In recent times Trévoux has established an important industry of wire making using diamond dies (the things that a wire is passed through to make it smooth and even). At the top of the town is Trévoux’s fortified castle with its unusual octagonal tower. The chateau was built in the 14th century and has an attractive striped pattern built into its brickwork.
Situated 20 miles south of Lyon in a region known for lavender fields, Vienne’s architecture signals its importance as an urban center through much of its history. Vienne was one of Gaul’s largest settlements becoming a Roman colony in 47 BC under Julius Caesar. The historic center of Vienne is known for two noteworthy Roman monuments. The temple of Augustus and Livia dates from 10 BC and was repurposed as a Catholic church, and then the site of Vienne’s “Festival of Reason” during the 18th century French Revolutionary Reign of Terror.
The Plan de l’Aiguille is a truncated pyramid resting on a portico with four arches, from the Roman circus. The city is known for its balconied medieval and 16th century balconied houses, the 12th century Romanesque style church and cloisters of the Church of Saint-André-le-Bas, and the 13th century cathedral of Saint Maurice that combines both Romanesque and Gothic styles.
Your tour of Vienne
Situated between the wine regions of Burgundy and Beaujolais, Vienne has a significant Roman history, which is highlighted by its marvelously preserved ruins and remains. This morning, you will take a mini train tour and see the countryside and first century Roman Temple of Augustus and Livia, the ruins of a Roman theater, and the medieval churches of St. André-le-Bas and Abbey St. Pierre. (This tour is included in the price of your cruise.)
Tournon is a sleepy town, across the Rhone from Tain-l’Hermitage a popular destination with epicurean travelers. The Côtes du Rhone wines Hermitage and the Crozes-Hermitages are produced along this stretch of the river. Tain-l’Hermitage is also known as the home of Valrhona chocolate, prized by avid bakers and cooks.
Experience a scenic drive through the Cornas wine-making region where we make a special visit to a winery.
After a welcome from the wine specialist, we will learn about the history and techniques of winemaking in this area. Following the guided tour, you will visit the wine cellar for a tasting, savoring the strong aromas and complete bouquet of the wines for which this region is celebrated. (This tour is included in the price of your cruise.)
The small walled city of Viviers is your home on the Rhone on December 3. The Viviers region has been inhabited since Upper Paleolithic/Late Stone Age times. It was the capital of the Gaulish Helvii region, and in late Roman times Viviers was capital of the Vivarais region. Today Viviers and its Cathedral of Saint-Vincent is the seat of the bishop of Ardéche. During the French revolution, the bishop of Viviers, Charles de la Savine, was the first bishop in France who swore his allegiance to the constitution. Thanks to his oath, Viviers escaped being plundered and destroyed by the revolutionary soldiers
Your tour of Viviers: We’ll arrive in Viviers by evening where you can follow along on a “ghost walk” through this once-thriving medieval town. (This tour is included in the price of your cruise.)
Often referred to as the “City of Popes”, Avignon is closely associated with the Catholic popes, and is celebrated for its cultural festivals. The “City of Popes” is noted for its ramparts, historic center, the Palace of the Popes, and the bridge of Avignon. The historic core of Avignon is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In 1309 the city, part of the Kingdom of Arles, was chosen by Pope Clement V as his residence instead of at its traditional seat in Vatican City. From 1309 until 1377 Avignon was the seat of the Papacy instead of Rome ultimately leading to a schism in the Catholic Church.
Avignon belonged to the Papacy until 1791 when, during the French Revolution, it became a part of France.
Your tour of Avignon
Our day in Avignon is still in the making. We do know that we’ll visit the historic center of Avignon. With Dr. Lynn Lancaster, a noted authority on Roman architecture and technology, we’ll travel just west of Avignon to visit the engineering landmark and UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Pont du Gard (see picture above), a three-tiered Roman aqueduct that runs from a spring in Uzes to Nimes. (This tour is included in the price of your cruise.)
The light and landscapes of Arles inspired Van Gogh, and he painted prolifically here. Picasso, too, was attracted to Arles and the surrounding Camargue region by its history of bullfighting, and its connection to Van Gogh.
In the distant past, Arles was a significant city of Roman Gaul and is known for its Roman amphitheater, the Roman baths of Constantine, and its system of crypts. The Camargue today is known for its traditions of bullfighting, cowboys, rich bird life, and national parks featuring wetlands.
Your tour of Arles
Specifics for our day in Arles are not finalized. With Dr. Lynn Lancaster’s guidance we’ll visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site Barbegal aqueduct and mills. We also plan to visit the Roman amphitheater of Arles, currently used for bullfights, and the Cathedral of St. Trophime, renowned for its Romanesue sculptural elements. (This tour is included in the price of your cruise.)
The cruise fares start at $2,799 for a Category E. French Balcony cabins start at $3,378. A Junior Suite is available for $4,498. Cruise fares include six half-day excursions (see two-column box directly above). For those attending our PROGRAM, there is a $1,395 fee. For detailed information and pictures of our ship, please visit CABIN & SHIP INFO page. Additional per-person fees include: government taxes and fees ($147) and gratuities are €15 per day. All prices and fees are detailed on the BOOK NOW page.
For a detailed listing of the cruise itinerary please review our ITINERARY page.
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The conference fee is $1,395 and includes all 16 seminars below. Classes only take place when we’re cruising, between 8:30am and 7:30pm.
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