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What People Are Saying About Us

I have come to expect excellence from Odysseys Unlimited and have never been disappointed.

Michael E. Leahy
Oak Lawn, IL

We have been to many, many places all over the world, with many different tour companies.  None of them compare to the Odysseys Unlimited small group experience.

Nancy & William Sondervan
Sherrills Ford, NC

The small group is wonderful and the quality of tour directors is exceptional.

Bill Jones
Vancouver, WA

All that was advertised was delivered. Consider this tour to be a real value as to sites visited, itinerary, hotels, and travel between sites.

Susan & Paul Krupp
Georgetown, TX

Odysseys does everything with style, but without pretension. Beautiful meals and hotels. Excellent guides.

Barbara Schoetzau
New York, NY

Very early in the tour we saw we got much more for our dollar than anything we could have put together ourselves. The value exceeded our expectations.

Tara Malmberg
Quitman, TX

Good value for $ — accommodations, food, guide, itinerary, and [small] size of group. Have traveled with other tour groups ... and like you best.

Jean Hall
Prairie Village, KS

We like the model – small groups, excellent tour directors, solid hotels, good mix of group/independent activities.

Roger Soder
Seattle, WA

The combination of excellent hotels with a small group is the way I like to travel. I would highly recommend Odysseys to everyone I know.

Patricia Joyce
Peoria, AZ

We love the small group experience.

Dave & Alice Wilson
Williamstown, MA

Odysseys is the best company we have traveled with. You have first-rate tours at affordable prices, with great itineraries, excellent guides, and outstanding accommodations.

Jane & Ronald Decker
Chicago, IL

Odysseys tours are just right for us: great value, nice group size, complete trips, sufficient free time.

Laurin & Phyllis LeTart
Shepherdstown, WV

This trip far exceeded our expectations: the small group size, the quality of the tour director (the best we’ve ever had), the ability to have dinners on our own, the lower cost without a significant reduction in the quality of the accommodations.

Barry & Bobbi Rosner
Somerset, NJ

I thought I would not like traveling in a group but I was wrong! [Our tour director] was so good at making the group seem as one that it turned out to be the best part of the trip.

Donna Stevenson
Dublin, OH

It was the best value in travel we’ve ever had. It was a wonderful experience.

Trish Merrill & Mac White
Austin, TX

This was my 7th trip with Odysseys and they keep getting better and better.

Merle Frank
Miami, FL

Love the small group format and the ease of traveling with arrangements made for us.

Ken & Carolyn Helm
Newburgh, IN

Tour exceeded my expectations having never taken a group tour. An excellent experience – can’t wait for my next one!

Ronni Goldberg
New York, NY

Absolutely the best bang for the buck – organization, quality, consistency.

Harvey Wine
Dallas, TX

I like the small size of Odysseys tours. [You] have excellent Tour Directors, great itineraries and spend more time in areas than some of the other tour companies.

Lynn Bafaloukos
Glendale, AZ

Because of the group size and outstanding guides, you make travel easy for us!

Sharon Irwin & John Akamatsu
Kent, OH
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Six-time honoree Travel + Leisure's World's Best Tour Operators awards

Explore the Region

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Small Group Tour Highlights
  • Six-night privately chartered barge cruise
  • Lyon sightseeing
  • Tour of Saline-Royale saltworks UNESCO site
  • Informal atmosphere of barge cruising
  • Wine and all bar drinks on board
  • Opportunities to walk or bicycle along canals and through villages
  • Rural French scenery
  • Visit to charming town of Dole
  • Remote village of Petit-Ouges
  • Grand Crus wine route excursion and wine tasting
  • Paris city tour including the Louvre
  • Free time to explore Paris
Day-by-Day Itinerary

Day 1: Depart U.S. for Lyon, France

Day 2: Arrive Lyon After arriving in Lyon today, we meet our Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director and fellow travelers at a briefing about the journey ahead, followed by a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. D

Day 3: Lyon Today’s tour of France’s second largest city features the beloved Fourvière Basilica and the ruins of the Gallo-Roman theater. We also see Lyon’s mind-boggling tromp d’oeil murals and Renaissance-era Vieux Lyon. Then we’re free for independent exploration in this city rich in history, culture, and gastronomy. With lunch and dinner on our own, we can indulge in some noted local fare – perhaps at a bouchon, a traditional tavern serving Lyonnais specialties. B

Day 4: Lyon/Beaune/Besançon/Board MS Jeanine This morning we set out by coach for Beaune, gateway to the Burgundy wine region. On our walking tour of this walled town, we visit the renowned Hótel Dieu Museum, with its colorful tiled roof, vineyard, and paintings of “The Last Judgment” by Flemish master Van der Weyden. Then we continue on to Besançon, where we board the privately chartered barge MS Jeanine and enjoy a welcome reception and the first of our meals on board. B,D

Day 5: Barging – Besançon/Ranchot We depart by coach this morning for Arc-et-Senans, where we tour the Saline-Royale, the historic royal saltworks built in 1775. A UNESCO site, the saltworks are known especially as a rare example of industrial architecture. Following our tour of the museum and grounds, we return to MS Jeanine and get our first taste of barging as we ply the waters of the Rhone-Rhine Canal, passing through rolling countryside dotted with ancient villages, farms, and vineyards. We’re bound for Ranchot, where we spend the night. B,L,D

Day 6: Barging – Ranchot/Dole This morning we continue on our leisurely course towards the small town of Dole in France’s Jura region. Our barge carries bicycles on board, so we have the opportunity to ride along the towpath that follows our route on the canal. Early this afternoon we reach Dole, a charming and refreshingly untouristed town with a well-preserved historic center lined with 17th-century stone buildings. Here we set out on a unique tour visiting Dole’s highlights following the cobblestoned “Trail of the Perched Cat,” a reference to the popular French tales of the “Perched Cat,” whose author lived here as a young boy. We also visit the home of scientist Louis Pasteur. Then we return to our barge for dinner and an overnight on board. B,L,D

Day 7: Barging – Dole/Saint-Jean-de-Losne We spend the morning cruising towards Saint-Jean-de-Losne, the region’s traditional barging hub at the confluence of the Saône River and the Burgundy Canal. After lunch on board, we explore the town and tour the Musée de la Batellerie, where we learn about the history of boating on the canals of France. B,L,D

Day 8: Barging – Saint-Jean-de-Losne/Petit-Ouges Built between 1775 and 1832 to allow cargo to move between the Atlantic and Mediterranean, the Burgundy Canal is one of historic import – and contemporary allure. We travel a portion of this celebrated water-way today as we barge to Petit-Ouges. Again, we may choose to bicycle along the canalside path, or simply relax on deck sipping French wine as we watch the gentle rural scenery unfold. This afternoon we dock in tiny Petit-Ouges, where we embark on an excursion along the Grand Crus wine route that comprises some of the area’s finest and most prestigious wineries. And naturally, we stop along the way for a wine-tasting session. B,L,D

Day 9: Barging – Petit-Ouges/Dijon We spend our last morning on the canal en route to Dijon, traveling through the lush green landscapes of the Saône Valley. This afternoon we embark on a guided tour of Dijon, capital of the Burgundy region know for its restored medieval center, its rich architecture ranging from Gothic to art deco, the beautiful covered market of Les Halles, and of course, its mustard. Back on board MS Jeanine, tonight we raise our glasses to our barge adventure at a gala dinner. B,L,D

Day 10: Disembark/Dijon/Paris We bid adieu to Burgundy today as we board the TGV high-speed train for the 1½-hour journey to Paris. After arriving in the French capital this afternoon, we embark on a panoramic tour that passes all the highlights: Notre Dame Cathedral, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Champs-Elysées, the Seine. Then we’re free for dinner on our own in this city celebrated for its cuisine. B

Day 11: Paris The City of Light, a moveable feast, all things artful and cultural – and that’s just a taste of this most celebrated of all capital cities. This morning we visit the Louvre, the world’s largest museum (or the Musée d’Orsay of Impressionist art when the Louvre is not available). This afternoon is free for independent exploration – perhaps to remain at the museum; explore the historic Marais district or relax in elegant Place des Vosges; enjoy a bateau mouche ride on the Seine; see the dazzling stained glass at medieval Ste-Chapelle; or get a bird’s-eye view of the city from atop the Eiffel Tower … the options are truly endless. Tonight, we celebrate our Gallic sojourn over a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. B,D

Day 12: Depart for U.S. We transfer to the airport this morning for our return flight to the U.S. B

B = Breakfast included L = Lunch included D = Dinner included

Tour Price Includes
  • Round-trip air transportation from listed cities
  • 10 nights’ accommodations: 4 nights in Superior First Class hotels; 6 nights aboard First Class MS Jeanine
  • 23 meals: 10 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 8 dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
  • Private 6-night barge cruise on the Rhone-Rhine and Burgundy canals
  • Unlimited beer, wine, and soft drinks at meals and at bar aboard barge
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
  • $100 frequent traveler credit towards your next Odysseys Unlimited tour ($200 after 3 tours; $300 after 10 tours)
Tour Dates & Prices

2020 Tour Dates & Prices
including international airfare and all taxes, surcharges, and fees

May 4
May 11*
May 18
Oct 5
Oct 12*
May 25*
Jun 1
Jun 8*
Jun 15
Aug 24
Sep 28*
Aug 31*
Sep 7
Sep 14*
Sep 21
Boston, New York$5,597$5,697$5,897
Charlotte, Phil,
Washington, DC
$5,797$5,897$6,097
Atlanta, Chicago,
Cincinnati, Cleve,
Dallas, Detroit,
Hou, Miami, Minn,
Orlando, Tampa
$5,897$5,997$6,197
Denver, Los Ang,
Phoenix, Port (OR),
San Fran, Seattle
$5,997$6,097$6,297

Please call if your city is not listed or for land only prices. Prices are per person based on double occupancy in an outside cabin and include airline taxes, surcharges, and fees of $502, which are subject to change until final payment has been made.

Single travelers please add $2,995. Your $375 deposit is fully refundable up to 155 days prior to departure. All 2020 tour prices above (excluding airline taxes, surcharges, and fees) are guaranteed.

*Reverse barge itinerary Dijon to Besançon

Airline upgrades (subject to availability) on round-trip Trans-Atlantic flight: Business Class – $3,595 per person; Premium Economy – $1,595 per person

Accommodations
    Hotel Carlton Lyon, Lyon / Days 2-3 / Superior First Class

    The Hotel Carlton Lyon sits in the heart of Lyon’s Presqu’île, the city’s bustling central peninsula set between the Rhône and Saône Rivers.  This trendy district contains a multitude of cafes, restaurants, shops, and museums, and offers the perfect base from which to explore the city of Lyon.  Housed in a lovely cream-colored stone building with wrought-iron railings, the hotel is decorated with upscale, red-accented furnishings and offers a luxe cocktail bar and lounge, bicycles for rent, spa with massage service (for a fee), and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, tea- and coffee-making facilities, minibar, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

    M/S Jeanine, Burgundy Canals / Days 4-9 / First Class

    The 126-foot MS Jeanine provides a leisurely private cruising experience along the impossibly charming canals of Burgundy.  The barge’s bright blue and white exterior trim give way to a contemporary interior featuring a cozy lounge/bar and a restaurant with panoramic windows (both of which serve complimentary beer and wine throughout the cruise).  The Jeanine also offers two open-air spaces to relax and take in the scenery:  the sun deck, running along the top of the barge and offering loungers and parasols; and the barbecue deck, an open space at the bow with tables and chairs for enjoying a snack or drink.  Other amenities of the barge include an outdoor Jacuzzi, 12 complimentary bicycles available to cycle alongside the canals, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Each of the 11 air-conditioned cabins is 97 square feet and includes an above-waterline window and private en-suite full bathroom with stand-up shower.

    Due to the nature of barge travel, ships are built in a compact manner to navigate narrow canals and low bridges.  As such, ceilings on both decks of the barge are approximately two meters (6 feet, 7 inches) in height. There is also limited storage space inside cabins, and luggage will be stored underneath the beds, which have a maximum clearance of 15 ¾ inches.

    Hotel Edouard VII, Paris / Days 10-11, Extension / Superior First Class

    Named for its most famous frequent guest, King Edward VII of the United Kingdom, the Hotel Edouard VII sits in the heart of Paris.  The hotel is located in Paris’s Opera district, just two blocks from the Opera Garnier and less than 10 minutes’ walk from two famed department stores:  Printemps and Galeries Lafayette.  In keeping with its location, the hotel offers a classically elegant atmosphere that includes a restaurant, bar, fitness center, and Wi-Fi internet access.  After undergoing a recent renovation, the Hotel Edouard VII now reflects the sensibilities of the fashionable king for which it was named, as each guest room is outfitted with rich fabrics and designed around an individual color scheme.  The guest rooms are air-conditioned and offer private bath with hair dryer, minibar, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

Ratings are based on the Hotel & Travel Index, the travel industry standard reference.
Post-Tour Extension

Paris – On Your Own

2 days/2 nights for $435 total price
Single Supplement: $395

See more of this wondrous city on your own, at your own pace.

 

Your Tour Price Includes
  • 2 nights’ accommodations at Hotel Edouard VII (Superior First Class)
  • 2 meals: 2 breakfasts
  • Transfer to Paris airport

Please see the Accommodations tab for hotel information.

Tour Directors for this Journey
Guillaume van Bockstaele

“As usual a 12 on a 1-10 system.”
Bob & Susan Lyons
Brentwood, TN

Caroline Buizza

“Caroline is fantastic. Her knowledge and presentation of history is at the tip of her tongue. She’s amazing!…Had an explanation for all our questions and always with a smile.”
Carl & Elaine Martin
Denver, CO

Catherine Chamoux

“Catherine is incredibly knowledgeable and knows how to share that knowledge without overwhelming [her guests]. She is personable and attentive to all the details and has a lovely sense of humor.”
Lyn Emerich
Chapel Hill, NC

Jean Pierre Enguix

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Laurent Pesneaud

“Laurent was a delight! The depth of his knowledge is amazing… He has a ‘can do’ attitude and never seems to run out of energy… Once again, Odysseys has hired the best!”
Ellie & Vern Bonner
Carlsbad, CA

Balwinder Probhakar de Bois-Juzan

“Balwinder went over and above in helping us. She recognized our needs without our asking! Extremely knowledgeable and a pleasure to be with!”
Cynthia Mall
Newman, CA

Destination Insight

Suggested Reading

Ina Caro
The Road from the Past, Traveling through History in France
Time travel through France by way of its finest castles, chateaux, cathedrals and monasteries. This unusual travelogue is an invaluable companion for traveling in Paris, southern France, the Dordogne and the Loire Valley, combining personal observation with large doses of well-presented history.

Mary Gordon
Joan of Arc
In elegant, insightful prose, novelist Gordon meditates on the courageous and complex young girl and the iconic status she has acquired.

William Rodarmor (Editor)
France, A Traveler’s Literary Companion
This collection contains literary gems from all corners of France by a select group of 20th-century French writers from Colette to Simenon.

Eyewitness Guides
Eyewitness Guide France
This superb guide to all of France features color photography, dozens of excellent local maps and a region-by-region synopsis of the country’s attractions. Handsome, convenient and up-to date, this is the guide to carry.

Michelin
France Map
A colorful, accurate and up-to-date map of France at a scale of 1:1,000,000.

Mike Gerrard
DK Eyewitness Top Ten Paris
A compact, illustrated guide in the popular series, featuring favorite attractions. With handy pullout map.

Marie-Helene Girard, Anny Monet
Lonely Planet French Phrasebook
This handy phrasebook focuses on pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.

Waverly Root
The Food of France
An evocative and beautifully written survey of French food. First published in 1958 and revised in the mid-1970s, the book covers the important regions of French cuisine by dividing them into domains of Butter (northern France), Fat (Alsace) and Oil (the south).

Joan Dejean
How Paris Became Paris, The Invention of the Modern City
A vibrant chronicle of how Parisian rulers transformed the city into a cosmopolitan metropolis.

Jean-Benoit Nadeau, Julie Barlow
Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong
Two Canadian journalists tackle the contradictions and complexities of the French character, paying particular attention to the question of why the French resist globalization.

 Adam Gopnik
Paris to the Moon
Gopnik writes with candor and humor about Paris and Parisian ways in these charming reflections on adapting to life in glorious exile.

Ernest Hemingway
A Moveable Feast
A treasure for anyone interested in Parisian cafe society and its luminaries circa 1925. Hemingway includes sharp portraits of Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ford Maddox Ford and others who idled on their way to greatness.

Shaun Whiteside (Editor)
Paris Stories
Flaubert meditates on humanity, Fitzgerald revels in “la vie belle” and many other great writers explore Paris in these classic stories. Part of the Everyman’s Pocket Classics series.

Bill Hezlep
Betty’s Barge; Adventures Afloat on the Canals of France
An author with over thirty years’ experience living on, restoring, and sailing boats all around the world tells the tale of life aboard an authentic Burgundy canal barge.

Nina George
The Little Paris Bookshop
Bookseller Monsieur Perdu believes that books can cure all of life’s afflictions, but when he is left heartbroken, he sets out from his shop in Paris to make peace with his past, dispensing wisdom (and more books) along the way. A love letter to the written word, this internationally renowned novel has been translated into over 28 languages.

Bill Nanson
The Finest Wines of Burgundy: A Guide to the Best Producers of the C’ote D’Or and Their Wines
Despite its modest size, Burgundy is well known as one of the world’s finest wine-producing regions. In this highly visual volume containing maps, illustrations, and over 150 photographs, readers take a journey into Burgundy’s vineyards and wine cellars.

Ray Walker
The Road to Burgundy: The Unlikely Story of an American Making Wine and a New Life in France
American Ray Walker had a successful career in finance when he took a wine-tasting vacation in France’s Burgundy region. This vacation ignited a passion, and Walker quit his job and moved to France to open a vineyard despite having no winemaking experience and only a limited grasp of French. His story highlights the inherent joy in following one’s true passion, no matter what the perceived challenges.

 

 

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