Guests are met upon their arrival in the late afternoon in Avignon by barge personnel who will assist with luggage and the transfer to the awaiting Le Phénicien. Settle in to your new surroundings, perhaps a stroll around Avignon, and later and enjoy welcome cocktails onboard.
Dinner this evening will be served with wines specially selected from top local vineyards.
Overnight: Le Phénicien at Avignon
After breakfast Golfers will depart Le Phenicien in Avignon to play at Pont Royal. Designed by Seve Ballesteros, it features large bunkering, water hazards and ravines which are all played over an undulating landscape. Pont Royal requires clever strategy and accuracy more so than strength, but like on many Seve designs long hitters have real opportunities to take risks on several holes. When the Mistral is blowing, Pont Royal becomes one of the most difficult courses on continental Europe
NON-GOLFERS: Enjoy a morning tour in Avignon, including a visit the Palace of the Popes, residence of the Sovereign Pontiffs during the 14th century. The Palace of the Popes stands as the mighty symbol of the church's influence throughout the western Christian world in the 14th century. Construction was started in 1335 and completed in less than twenty years under the leadership of two popes, Benedict XII and his successor Clement VI. The Popes Palace is the biggest Gothic palace in all of Europe. Visitors can see over 20 rooms with particular attention to the pope's private chambers and the frescoes painted by the Italian artist Matteo Giovannetti.
Following the tour, Le Phénicien will depart Avignon and sail for Chateauneuf du Pape. After being joined by the Golfers, all will enjoy a visit to one of the best vineyards in the region. Vines were cultivated here since the 12th century. Enjoy a walk within the vineyards before discovering the 13 grape varieties used in Chateuneuf du Pape and learn the secrets of one of the best French wines.
Following the visit travel by motor coach to rejoin Le Phénicien in the charming village of Villeneuve les Avignon, the residence of cardinals during the 14th century. The village is rich in historical monuments and history and rises up a rocky escarpment above the west bank of the Rhône, looking down upon its older neighbour from behind far more convincing fortifications. Historically, Villeneuve operated largely as a suburb of Avignon, with palatial residences constructed by the cardinals and a great monastery founded by Pope Innocent VI.
Dinner on board.
Overnight: Le Phénicien at Villeneuve les Avignon
After breakfast a group visit is planned to the gigantic Roman aqueduct Le Pont du Gard'. Two thousand years ago over 1,000 people worked for 5 years to build this amazing structure. The objective was to transport water from the Eure spring to the city of Nimes via a 50km long aqueduct.
After the visit Le Phénicien will sail from Villeneuve les Avignon to Vallabregues, a quiet and charming little port on the banks of the Rhone River. People enjoy playing pétanque, or boules in the sandy areas under shady trees near the town center. The streets of Vallabregues are too narrow for cars and most villagers get around by bicycle.
Dinner on board.
Overnight: Le Phénicien at Vallabregues
Golfers will play this morning at Servanes. Set at the foot of the Alpilles Mountains. The course twists and turns along the white rocky barrier, contrasting with the bright blue sky and the rich colours of the countryside. The fairways are bordered with olive trees, vines, cypress trees and cascading lakes.
NON-GOLFERS: Today visit "Les Baux de Provence", a magnificent historical village, featuring an incredibly rich architectural heritage. Perched on a rocky spur, the citadel overlooks the Provencal landscape offering a brilliant view of Arles, the Camargue and the Alpilles. The village is officially classified and labelled as "one of the most beautiful villages in France". Its cultural heritage is exceptionally rich, with 22 architectural treasures classified as Historic Monuments, including the church, chateau, town-hall, hospital, chapels, houses and doorways. Non-Golfers will continue the tour around the Alpilles Mountains. These limestone hills are surrounded by the pleasant Provencal villages of Fontvieille, Paradou, Maussane, Saint-Remy and are set amongst vineyards and olive orchards.
After the morning activities all guests return to Le Phénicien in Vallabregues and enjoy an afternoon sail to Arles. Known as ''Little Rome in Gaul'', for the splendor of its Roman and Romanesque monuments, including the the Roman Theater. It's splendid medieval monuments bear witness to the wealth and dynamism of the early Middle Ages. Arles also has many lovely preserved buildings from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries which is an essential element of the charm of this old city. The horizon around Arles is made up of different landscapes surrounding the city and continues to fascinate visitors from all over the world.
Dinner on board
Overnight: Le Phénicien at Arles
This morning the group will go deep into the heart of the wild Camargue to visit a Manade, which is a typical ranch, where the horse guardians (authentic local cowboys), show how they tend the herds of bulls on their superb white horses. Return to the barge for a scenic journey on the Rhone from Arles to Gallician.
Dinner on board
Overnight: Le Phénicien at Gallician
Enjoy a morning sail from Gallician to Aigues-Mortes.
Golfers will depart Le Phénicien in Aigues Mortes and transfer for golf at La Grande Motte. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr, this course meanders through the Camargue landscape. Trent Jones cleverly shaped the course on this magnificent land, the main features are the large bunkers, tree lined fairways.
NON-GOLFERS: Enjoy a tour around medieval Aigues-Mortes. The city of the 'Dead waters' was established by the French Crusader King, Louis IX and developed and fortified by his son, Philip the bold, and his grandson, Philip the Fair. Louis built the Tower de Constance and had a channel dug across the marshes to connect Aigues Mortes with the sea. The Tower de Constance, a great building 100ft high with walls 20ft thick, was built to protect the workers during the construction of the town. It lies outside the main city and is connected with the city walls by a narrow bridge which spans the only part of the original moat left undrained. Aigues Mortes is unlike most medieval cities as it has not been greatly restored. While tourism plays a large part of the town's economy, wine, asparagus and sea salt are also important staples. In the surrounding countryside, bulls and Camargue horses are bred.
Dinner on board
Overnight: Le Phénicien at Aigues-Mortes
After breakfast, by 9:00am disembark Le Phénicien in Aigues-Mortes this morning and continue with onward travel arrangements
On alternate weeks the cruise sails in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.