Giving to
Bryn Mawr

Katharine Houghton Hepburn Center

River Life in Burgundy & Provence

Co-Sponsored by Bryn Mawr and Haverford College

September 25 – October 3, 2010

Explore the cultural treasures and marvel at the tranquil beauty of the legendary French regions of Burgundy and Provence on this delightful seven-night cruise along the Rhône River and its tributary the Saône River. Enjoy four-star accommodations aboard the impeccably crafted M.S. REMBRANDT designed specifically to navigate the storied waterways of France. Join us and cruise past stately Roman ruins, medieval abbeys, romantic Renaissance castles and idyllic villages nestled among rolling hills and lush family-owned vineyards—picturesque landscapes that inspired Vincent van Gogh and Paul Cézanne. Walk in the footsteps of medieval popes in Avignon and explore the ancient monuments of Arles. Savor the world-renowned cuisine of Provence and Lyon, the gastronomic capital of France. Enlightening cultural enhancements, such as a private wine-tasting in the hills of Burgundy, a lecture by a resident expert and specially arranged meetings with local residents, help you capture the timeless allure of provincial France and come to know its people, traditions and history.

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Preliminary Itinerary

Please read about our optional Pre and Post tour extensions

Day 1, September 25, 2010
Depart the United States

Day 2, September 26, 2010 - LYON/CHALON SUR SAONE/FRANCE
Arrive in Lyon and transfer to ship docked in Chalon sur Saone

  • Embarkarkation begins for M.S. REMBRANDT
  • Ship overnights Chalon Sur Saone
  • Welcome Reception
  • Dinner

Day 3, September 27, 2010 - CHALON-SUR SAÔNE /BEAUNE /MACON
Drive from the ship to the medieval town of Beaune, located in the heart of the renowned vineyards of Burgundy. On your stroll through the town, see how affluent trading in the precious Burgundy wines has made the area. Everywhere there are town palaces dating back to the Late Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the Baroque period. The highlight is the Hotel Dieu, an impressive example of 15th century Flemish-Burgundian, Gothic architecture. Following the famous wine route, Côte d'Or is the seat of the Chevaliers de Tastevin.

  • Lunch onboard
  • Depart Chalon-sur Saône- ship
  • Afternoon Cruising
  • Dinner
  • Arrive Macon

Day 4, September 28, 2010 - MÂCON / LYON
Twenty-five kilometers west of Mâcon is Cluny, one of the most significant abbeys of the Christian Middle Ages. The power of the great abbeys on one hand, the Mystic Movement and the strict adherence to religious principles on the other meant that the Cluny order would spread quickly into the western world. (In the 12th century, there were 1,450 abbeys and 10,000 monks belonging to the Order of Cluny.) Erected between 1088 and 1130 on the site of the two former churches of St. Peter and St. Paul, Cluny had a total length of 177 meters, 5 haves, 2 transepts, 5 belfries, 300 windows and 225 choir stalls. A massive belfry tower and the ruins of the southern transept testify to its former glory. Research by the American archeologist, Professor Kenneth Conant, has allowed the reconstruction of a model which provides an overall idea of the sacred building.

  • Depart Macon – ship
  • Lunch onboard
  • Afternoon cruising
  • Dinner
  • Arrive Lyon late this evening.

Day 5, September 29, 2010 - LYON
In the morning, we will travel through the lovely town towards Lyon, where a Gothic cathedral stands shoulder-to-shoulder with a Roman Temple. After travelling for half an hour by bus, we will arrive at Lyon, the former capital of Roman Gaul. Travel up Fourvière Hill on the right bank of the Saône and the Rhône Rivers. At the foot of Fourvière Hill on the right bank of the Saône, the old part of Lyon (Vieux Lyon) stretches along with its districts of St. Jean, St. Paul and St. Georges. St. Jean, with its beautiful houses of the Gothic, Renaissance and late 16th century period, is a splendid example of the glorious epoch of Lyon during the development of the city into one of the most important centers of trade and banking.

  • Lunch onboard
  • Afternoon at leisure
  • Dinner onboard

Day 6, September 30, 2010 VIENNE
Vienne is noted for its many well preserved Roman buildings. The walking tour takes you from the ship through the Archeological Garden to the antique theater at the foot of Mont Pipet. In the first century the theater could hold an audience of 13,500. The tour continues to the most impportant historic monument, the completely preserved Temple d’Auguste et de Livie built in 25 BC in honor of Emperor Augustus and his wife Livia. Continue on to the Cathedral St. Maurice. There will be some free time for self exploration before returning to the ship.

  • Depart Vienne
  • Lunch onboard
  • Afternoon cruising
  • Dinner onboard
  • Cruising overnight

Day 7, October 1, 2010 - AVIGNON
Walking Tour of Avignon :Apart from the Papal Palace, numerous sights are well worth seeing, like museums, late Gothic churches, the world-famous Pont d'Avignon and an almost completely intact, extensive city wall, make a visit to Avignon an experience to remember. From the pier where the PRINCESSE DE PROVENCE docks, it is only a few minutes by foot to the center of the city of Popes. At the rivers edge you can see the remaining four arches of the famous Pont d’Avignon. Visit The Papal Palace, the center of the Christian world in the 14th century, is one of the most individual and grandiose pieces of architecture erected in the Gothic ear. In its capacity as fortress, church and palace (double palace) it particularly reflects the bourgeois, military and religious styles of architecture of the Middle Ages. After visiting the palace, ta ke a walk past the beautiful facades of the townhouses and Cardinal's Palaces. OPTION TO CLIMB cathedral hill to the Garden of the Popes. From the cathedral Rocher (rock) there is a fantastic view far into the Rhône Valley, over the Pont Saint-Benezet, Villeneuve, Mount Ventoux and the Luberon Massif.

  • Lunch on ship
  • Afternoon at leisure
  • Village Life Forum: Village Life Forum to discuss history, politics, society and contemporary issues of the region.
  • Depart Avignon - ship
  • Farewell Reception & Dinner

Day 8, Ocotber 2, 2010 - ARLES
Walking tour of Arles: Visit the amphitheater built shortly after the foundation of the Roman colony there. Next, visit the former Cathedral of St Throphime. The Cathedral is a Romanesque Basilica constructed in the 12th century. Free time to explore

  • Lunch on ship

Enhancement Lecture: This morning’s guide, Janice Lert, will come on board the ship and talk about “Arles and the Camargue: The Importance of the River Rhone”. Janice was born in Augusta Maine, received Major in French at Middlebury College and a Masters degree in Foreign Language from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey before marrying a frenchman from Arles in 1969. She has been working with her husband who is an architect in Arles and she is now a guide-lecturer, certified by the French “Caisse Nationale des Monuments Historiques.” Remainder of afternoon at leisure in Arles

Day 9, October 3, 2010 - ARLES/MARSEILLE/U.S
Transfer to the Marseille Airport for flight home

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Optional Pre-Tour Program
September 23 – 26, 2010

September 23, 2010
Depart gateway US City

September 24, 2010
Arrive Lyon, France
Transfer to Cours des Loges Hotel - Dinner on own

September 25, 2010 - LYON, FRANCE

Lyon “Croix Rousse”
Discover this morning the district of “Croix Rousse”. The Croix Rousse district started developing in the 18th century when the silk workshops moved here from the Vieux Lyon area. These slopes became a typical working class neighbourhood where the silkworkers known as canuts lived and worked. The density of the buildings created a maze of streets and it is easy to imagine the bustle in the streets when Lyons was the centre of silk manufacture in Europe. To help people get from one street to another, staircases and passages (traboules) were added inside buildings and inner courtyards. The idea was to create short cuts from street to street to go up and down the hill. Some of the traboules were used as hiding places for the silkworkers protesting in the 1831 revolution. The Croix-Rousse area and its unique passages is absolutely charming.

  • Lunch on own
  • Return to the hotel and afternoon at leisure
  • Dinner on own

September 26, 2010 - LYON

Discover this morning the ‘Halles de Lyon-Paul Bocuse”. This covered food market is a real temple of French gastronomy, the kingdom of the greatest local products. You can meet the best Chefs of Lyon and Rhône-Alpes in the alleyways or you can have a good meal (mâchon as it is called in the region) in the bouchons (typical restaurants of Lyon), and which are installed around the shops and where you can taste oysters, with a "pot" of Mâcon (white wine) at the stall of the oyster sellers.

  • Local lunch at the Halles de Lyon-Paul Bocuse
  • Transfer to the dock for embarkation in Chalon Sur Saone
  • Embark m.s. Rembrandt
  • Ship overnights Lyon

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Post Program Tour
October 9 – 11, 2010


Transfer to Aix en Provence

  • Enjoy time at leisure at the famous Aix en Provence market. (food, flowers, etc.)
  • antiques)
  • Lunch on own
  • Check in to Hotel Roi Rene
  • Remainder of afternoon & evening at leisure

October 10, 2010 - AIX EN PROVENCE, FRANCE

Walking tour of Aix En Provence: Stroll the two main districts, The Mazarin district and the Old Aix with its mansions on Cours Mirabeau. See the Town Hall and St. Sauveur Cathedral.

  • Lunch in the oldest café of the city dating from 1792 - Restaurant Les deux Garcons on Cours Mirabeaux in Aix.

In the Footsteps of Paul Cezanne

Start with a visit of the Atelier de Cezanne, a small studio just outside Aix where many of Cezanne’s late masterpieces were painted. Drive to the colorful “Route Cezanne” to the foot hills of the Montagne St. Victoire. This is the road that Cézanne used to take to paint his favorite scenery : Ste Victoire Mountain. We will drive through provençal landscape to arrive at the foot of the Ste Victoire and discover where Paul Cézanne got his inspiration for many of its paintings.

  • Return to the hotel and evening at leisure.
  • Dinner on own

October 11, 2010 - AIX EN PROVENCE, FRANCE / U.S.

Transfer to airport in Marseilles

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Cost and Included Features

Rates from . . . . $3,195*
* Land only based on double occupancy (preliminary)

This includes:

Seven-night cruise from Châlon-sur-Saône to Arles with calls at Macon (Cluny),Lyon, Vienne and Avignon
Accommodations in comfortably appointed cabins with individual climate controls and private bathroom facilities
Welcome and farewell receptions
All meals are included in main trip itinerary, featuring Continental cuisine. House wine is included with dinner.

All tours and excursions are led by experienced local guides in addition to our Bryn Mawr study leader:

  • Walking tour of Beaune, a medieval city known for its Burgundy wines
  • Visit to Cluny Abbey (A.D. 910), one of Europe’s largest and most impressive medieval religious monuments
  • Visit Lyon, renowned for its magnificent gothic and Renaissance architecture and exquisite cuisine
  • Walking tour of Vienne, highlighted by the Archaeological garden, Temple d’Auguste et de Livie and the cathedral of St. Maurice
  • Walking tour of Avignon, including the Papal Palace and the famous Pont d’Avignon
  • Tour of Arles, highlighted by the Cathedral of St-Trophime and the Roman Amphitheater

A full program of educational and cultural enrichment:

  • Lecture present by Arles resident and expert guide Janice Lert on “The Importance of the River Rhone.”
  • Exclusive Village Forum with local residents

All gratuities to local guides and drivers included

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Bryn Mawr Study Leader

Catherine LaFarge
Catherine Lafarge

Leading your trip will be Catherine Lafarge, Professor Emeritus of French at Bryn Mawr College.

A native of France, Lafarge came to the United States in 1957 as a Fulbright scholar at Mt. Holyoke College, where she earned her bachelor's degree. She began teaching at Bryn Mawr in 1966, immediately upon earning her doctorate from Yale University. An expert in the literature of 18th-century France, she developed innovative courses on the city of Paris in the 17th and 18th centuries and was a founding member of Bryn Mawr's unique Growth and Structure of Cities Program. She chaired the French Department from 1979 to 1984 and also from 1996 to 1991; she served as dean of the GSAS from 1985 to 1995. In October, 2004 Professor Lafarge was awarded France's Ordre des Palmes Academiques in a ceremony in the Ely Room of Wyndham House. The order, instituted in 1808 by Napoleon I, honors those who have made significant contributions to the understanding of French culture throughout the world.

Throughout her career, Lafarge has been active in numerous professional societies, particularly the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, which she served as treasurer, board member and president. Among the honors she has won are grants from the American Philosophical Society and the American Council of Learned Societies, as well as the Mt. Holyoke Alumnae Association's prestigious Sesquicentennial Award.

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M.S. Rembrandt

Read about the splendor of this luxury ship

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