Cruise Trip Shore Excursion in Marseille - France

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MARSEILLE - Shore Excursions & Tours  FRANCE

Shore Excursions
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 Marseille Shore Excursion 1: Aix en Provence
 Marseille Shore Excursion 2: Arles & Les Baux de Provence
 Marseille Shore Excursion 3: Avignon & Les Baux
 Marseille Shore Excursion 4: Avignon Pope's Palace & Wine Tasting
 Marseille Shore Excursion 5: Marseille City Tour

                                                       Shore Excursion Aix en Provence                                        
Duration: Approximately 4 hours - AM departure

A one-hour drive through the bucolic scenery of Provence takes you to the charming old town of Aix-en-Provence. Two of its most famous sons are Impressionist Paul Cezanne and novelist Emile Zola. Your guide will take you on a walking tour through narrow lanes paved with cobblestones in Vieux Aix, the oldest part of town. You will see Cours Mirabeau, a lovely street flanked by intertwining plane trees.
Aix is often referred to as the city of a thousand fountains, as you will begin to see as you walk down the Cours Mirabeau. During your stroll you may see the 17th century Fontaine des Quatre Dauphins (Fountain of the Four Dolphins) in the Quartier Mazarin, as well as other fountains of note in the Place d'Albertas and the Place des Trois-Ormeaux. Some date back to the Romans.
The Cours divides Vieux Aix into two parts: The older, medieval streets are to the north and the sophisticated 18th-century mansions to the south of it. The cathedral St. Sauveur has a remarkable 15th-century triptych by Nicolas Froment. Its Romanesque cloisters feature carved pillars and slender colonnades. There will be time to sightsee, stop at a café or shop in one of the lovely boutiques before returning to the ship.

Note: Tour is on foot over uneven walkways. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

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                                  Shore Excursion to Arles & Les Baux de Provence                          
Duration: Approximately 8 1/2 hours - AM departure

Arles was a Roman capital in the Middle Ages and still preserves vestiges of those glory days, with Roman ruins at nearly every corner. You will visit the excellently preserved arena, a Roman theatre still used for concerts today, and the lovely St.Trophimus church with its incomparable Romanesque cloister. You will see Town Hall, rebuilt in the 17th century, which features a fine clock tower and wonderful vaulting. An ancient obelisk stands in the square in front of the Town Hall. Forum Square may look familiar to fans of Vincent van Gogh, who frequented the cafes here and also painted them. You will stop for lunch in Les Baux de Provence, an amazing medieval fortress/village built on the top of a rocky spur in the Alpilles mountains. We'll visit St. Vincent's Church, where a Nativity ceremony is held each year, and have some free time to discover the little village. You can shop, explore or climb to the top of the citadel.

Note: Tour participation is limited. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

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                                       Shore Excursion to Avignon & Les Baux                                          
Duration: Approximately 8 1/2 hours - AM departure

City of art and culture, Avignon spreads along the banks of the Rhone. It is surrounded by ramparts and dominated by Doms Rock, with its remarkable Gothic-style Palace of the Popes. On a guided walking tour of Avignon, you will have time to visit the Palace, which housed seven French Popes in the 14th century. Drive to Les Baux, a "court of love" that attracted poets and troubadours in the Middle Ages. At the height of its power, Les Baux contained a fortress hewn from the top of a towering rock, plus several grand homes. Ater visiting the 12th-century St. Vincent's Church, you will have time to explore this intriguing village on your own.

Note: Tour participation is limited and is not suitable for persons with walking difficulties or in wheelchairs. There are approximately 200 steps in the Palace.

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                        Shore Excursion to Avignon Pope's Palace & Wine Tasting              
Duration: Approximately 8 1/2 hours - AM departure

Sitting majestically atop Doms Rock, the Palace of the Popes looks like a citadel built straight out the rock. You will visit the Palace, consisting of two buildings joined together and built in the 14th century to house French Popes. Enjoy a delicious lunch in the heart of Avignon before driving to Chateauneuf du Pape, home of many of the finest Rhone wines. The original vineyard was planted in the 14th century on land belonging to the Avignon Popes, who summered here. After a visit to the vineyard, you will sample some of the wines.

Note: This tour is not suitable for persons with walking difficulties. There are approximately 200 steps in the Palace.

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                                                  Shore Excursion Marseille City Tour                                    
Duration : 3 1/2 hours - AM departure 

See all the highlights of this cosmopolitan port city, beginning with a visit to the old harbor, guarded by the fortresses of St. Jean and St. Nicholas. It was the heart of Marseille's booming maritime life from 600 BC until the 19th century. At the nearby Pharo Park, you will have a short walk on the promontory near the harbor entrance to admire the scenic view. Continue with a drive along the three-mile-long corniche J.F. Kennedy, which follows the coastline and offers vistas of expansive beaches and offshore islands. The 19th-century basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde, built at the apex of a rocky hill, dominates the sykline of Marseille. Motor vehicles are forbidden from driving all the way to the top, but guests can climb along a wide road to reach the church. Those who do will be rewarded by an outstanding panoramic view of the city, the surrounding lands and the sea. The belfry of the church is topped with a 30-foot gilded statue of the Madonna. The interior is decorated with mosaics and colored marble. In the crypt is an impressive marble sculpture of the Madonna. You will drive through the main shopping areas in the city's center, then stop at the handsome Palais Longchamps for photos. The palace has a splendid fountain, colonnade and gardens and also houses the Museum of Beaux Arts. You will have some free time to shop and sightsee in Marseille before returning to the ship.

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