On board the Azamara Pursuit, you’ll get…
We begin our holiday in colourful Barcelona before boarding the stunning Azamara Pursuit. We embark on a luxury seven-night cruise along the famed southern coast of France. We’ll explore charming Port-Vendres, the medieval fortress town of Carcassonne, the historical streets of Marseille, and Provence – the ‘City of a Thousand Fountains’.
When we are sailing you are free to enjoy all of the onboard facilities the Azamara Pursuit has to offer. You have $50 onboard credit included, so you can treat yourself to a drink in the Discoveries Bar, enjoy a massage in the Sanctum Spa, or try one of the speciality restaurants. Make sure you pack a white outfit for the White Party, being as casual or formal as you wish, but make sure you are comfortable enough to dance!
We’ll also discover the glamorous Cote d’Azure with its picturesque coastal villages like Sanary-sur-Mer and the famed city of Saint-Tropez, before cruising to the island of Corsica. Here, you’ll find Calvi – a lively port town in a picturesque bay with mountain views all around. Continuing along the Mediterranean Sea we reach Monte Carlo in Monaco – playground of the rich and famous, and La Turbie, perched high in the hills above the sea. After bidding farewell to the Azamara Pursuit, we disembark in beautiful Nice.
Before concluding our holiday here, we’ll call at Antibes – an ancient seafaring town which attracted many artists and writers such as Picasso and Graham Greene, and we’ll also visit Fragonard, one of the oldest perfumeries in Grasse, perfume capital of the world, before returning to Nice.
Arrive at the airport for your flight to Barcelona. On arrival we transfer by coach to the four-star Hotel Catalonia La Pedrera, where our overnight stay includes breakfast.
Cosmopolitan Barcelona is an excellent place for shopping, so after checking in why not indulge in some retail therapy? You’ll find department stores and quirky outlets specialising in traditional crafts. The old port area brims with bars, shops and restaurants, set against the backdrop of the attractive harbour. In the evening head for Las Ramblas, the famous pedestrianised boulevard buzzing with tapas bars, musicians and mime artists.
During our guided tour of Barcelona this morning, we see the Gothic Quarter that contains the magnificent cathedral, the Ribera district with its imposing 14th-century mansions, the Picasso Museum and much more. However, the Catalan capital is particularly famous for its 19th-century Catalan Modernisme architecture and design. There are more than 50 examples of these buildings and our local guide will point out several of them.
This afternoon we board the Azamara Pursuit, our floating boutique hotel for the next seven nights, and depart for the sublime southern coast of France early this evening. Guests of Riviera Travel will also enjoy an exclusive wine pairing event on board, hosted by one of the ship’s own experts.
Our first port of call is Port-Vendres, a charming fishing town on the Vermillion Coast, which was a source of inspiration for many famous artists. Included today is a full-day tour to Carcassonne, one of Europe’s finest medieval walled towns. Situated on a rocky outcrop on the banks of the River Aude, its UNESCO-listed La Cité is surrounded by 52 roofed towers and serrated battlements, which top almost two miles of double-enclosure walls. Our tour evokes a real sense of history as we visit a number of glorious structures, including the Castle of the Counts and Basilica Saint-Nazaire Saint-Selse.
Afterwards, we sit down to an included lunch before returning to Port-Vendres. Our ship remains moored till tonight, so why not take the opportunity to get to know the town? The colourful port is a pleasant place for a promenade and where you can see the military fortifications commissioned by Louis XIV, such as the Redoute du Fanal.
This morning we arrive in Marseille, France’s vibrant second city and the capital of Provençe. Founded by Greek mariners, Massalia, as it was known, sided with the wrong faction at war with Julius Caesar and lost its independence. Marseille became a part of France in the 15th century and some three hundred years later, the city became a focal point of the French Revolution and the birthplace of France’s national anthem, La Marseillaise. Today, the city offers countless cultural attractions, so it comes as no surprise that it was named European Capital of Culture in 2013.
A holiday to the region of Provence would not be complete without a visit to Aix-en-Provence, perhaps the most famous of all Provençal towns. Our included guided tour of this ‘City of a Thousand Fountains’ takes you down colourful boulevards, through fine squares and labyrinthine alleys. You’ll see what inspired the city’s favourite son, Paul Cézanne, to produce numerous paintings in and around Aix.
After some free time to explore Aix, we return to the ship in time for a late lunch on board.
This afternoon you’re free to explore Marseille: Stroll along the old port filled with pleasure boats or soak up the artistic atmosphere of Le Panier, the city’s oldest quarter and site of ancient Massalia. Trace the city’s rich history since prehistoric times at the compelling Marseille History Museum or see the anthropological exhibits of the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations, linked by a dizzying footbridge to the massive Fort Saint-Jean.
This evening we will be treated to an exclusive performance of So Frenchy at the stunning Palais du Pharo.
A leisurely morning’s cruising takes us to the alluring Côte d’Azur and Sanary-sur-Mer, a picturesque coastal village that’s perfect for whiling away the day. Blessed with lovely weather and plenty of sunshine, Sanary has attracted many famous figures, including writer Aldous Huxley and polymath Jacques Cousteau who pioneered the equipment crucial to deep-sea diving off the waters here.
Take your seat at one of the many seafront cafés along the pretty palm-lined harbour and admire the pointu or traditional fishing boats – some more than a hundred years old. From here you can see the Gothic-Revival church of Saint Nazaire and the medieval tower that the village was originally built around. Behind the port lies the lively old town filled with shops and restaurants. The Stations of the Cross path is a pleasant walk uphill to Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Pitié, a 16th-century church with superb frescoes.
After dinner on board, the Azamara Pursuit continues cruising along the beautiful French Riviera.
Ever since Brigitte Bardot illuminated the silver screen in And God Created Woman and propelled the sleepy fishing village of St-Tropez to international renown, visitors have flocked here to enjoy the jet-setting lifestyle. This fascinating town has a colourful history as an Arab colony, a small republic and a source of inspiration for haute couture heavyweight Coco Chanel.
After our morning arrival, you have the entire day to soak up the sunshine and dip your toes in the warm waters of the sparkling sea. Beyond the glitz and glamour is a serene side waiting to be uncovered. Meander the cobbled lanes of its old fishing quarter or simply sip a pastis as you watch pétanque players from a café on the legendary Place des Lices. To discover the town’s rich maritime history, you may wish to visit the museum housed in the dungeon of a 17th-century citadel, which also affords excellent views of the surrounding area.
Tonight, our ship continues its coastal journey to our next destination.
This morning we find ourselves in Calvi on the French island of Corsica. The Mediterranean’s answer to Mont St Michel, this lively port town enjoys a picturesque position in a crescent-shaped bay, with lovely views of the coast and surrounding snow-capped mountains.
Calvi’s star feature is the remarkably preserved citadel that dominates the rocky promontory overlooking the town. Fortified by Genoese rulers from the 13th century, it was here during the Siege of Calvi in 1794 that Vice-Admiral Nelson famously lost the sight in his right eye in an explosion of stone splinters. It’s the perfect place to begin a leisurely stroll along the palm-fringed promenade, which bustles with restaurants, cafés and bars. Watch the world go by over a cup of coffee or head to the town centre for some shopping. If you’re feeling energetic, you may wish to climb the steep steps up to the citadel for a wander. Locals claim Calvi to be the birthplace of Christopher Columbus and the remains of his house can still be seen in the citadel, commemorated by a plaque.
After another delicious dinner on board, we continue cruising across the Mediterranean Sea.
Hedonistic Monaco is a playground for the rich and famous, but there’s much more to it than that. Today’s included tour gives you a real insight into its history, the story of the Grimaldis and how they managed to retain their independence despite being sandwiched between powerful neighbours. We take in Monte Carlo, famed for its opulent casino, jaw-dropping superyachts and designer boutiques, then drive along part of the famous Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit.
In dramatic contrast is charming Monaco Ville, which crowns a pistol-shaped promontory and is the only part of Monaco to have retained its old town. Highlights include the Renaissance-style Prince’s Palace and the Romanesque-Byzantine Cathedral, where crowds pay their respects to Prince Rainier and Princess Grace at their flower-adorned graves.
Then we take a short drive to the French town of La Turbie, perched high in the hills above the sea. We stop to marvel at the spectacular Trophy of Augustus, built to celebrate the Romans’ decisive victory over the tribes of the Alps.
We return to Monaco with ample time to relax on board or further explore, as the ship departs tonight after dinner.
After a final breakfast on board the Azamara Pursuit, we disembark in picture-postcard Nice and enjoy a guided tour of the city. Founded as a Greek settlement and named after Nike the goddess of victory, it was ceded by the Sardinian king to France in 1860. Nice’s Italian heritage is still evident in the old town’s ochre-coloured buildings, Venetian-style arches and no end of pasta shops. See the iconic Promenade des Anglais, named after the aristocratic English patrons who once paraded along the waterfront in their horse-drawn carriages. Our guide will point out a number of landmarks, such as the palatial Hotel Negresco, the famous flower market at Cours Saleya, and Place Masséna, the city’s main square.
There’s time for lunch at your leisure before we transfer to the four-star Mercure Nice Centre Notre Dame, where our two-night stay includes breakfast.
This morning we drive to Antibes, one of the region’s most enticing coastal towns, with a seafaring tradition dating back to ancient times. On our guided walk through the old town, we follow in the footsteps of artists and writers such as Picasso and Graham Greene, who once walked along these cobbled streets.
There’s free time after, so perhaps visit the medieval Château Grimaldi, Picasso’s studio for a brief time and now one of the largest collections of his works. For a slice of local life, the town’s renowned Provençal market is a treasure trove of fresh produce, from delicious cheeses to fragrant lavender honey.
In the afternoon we drive to Grasse, regarded as the world’s perfume capital. The fragrance industry in Grasse dates back to the 17th century and we visit Fragonard, one of the oldest perfumeries, to experience first-hand this traditional art before returning to Nice.
Transfer to the airport for your flight home.
The price of this holiday is per person based on two people sharing a twin room. Single rooms are subject to availability at the relevant supplement. The price includes:
Your boutique hotel at sea, the Azamara Pursuit is a mid-sized ship with a deck plan that’s intimate but never crowded, boasting everything modern voyagers are looking for – plus some unexpected extras.
Re-imagined staterooms include modern amenities and furnishings and come with plush cotton robes and slippers, French bath products, fresh flowers, and 24-hour room service. The ship also features a large number of staterooms and suites with balconies, perfect for starting your day with fresh sea air and stunning views.
Add to all of that world-class dining options, spa experiences to relax and refresh, and all new entertainment offerings, the on-board experience is matched only by the immersive cultural encounters in store for you on shore.
Treat yourself to health, beauty, and restorative treatments in the new Sanctum Spa; enjoy treatments ranging from an ocean-front massage to a quick manicure, hairstyling services, or even acupuncture. Beyond the spa, there is a selection of complimentary on-board fitness classes, as well as a well-equipped gym for you to work out at your own pace.
Main dining options vary from elegant a la carte to nightly themed buffets, with the possibility to visit the ship’s speciality restaurants. On-board entertainment takes in signature shows and guest performers, as well as live bands playing each night.
Across the Azamara fleet, authentic service goes beyond the expectations of even the most well-travelled cruisers. Friendly and approachable, staff are attentive, and happy to offer everything from poolside service to recommendations for your on-shore exploration.
UK Citizens do not require a visa to enter France or Spain however must have a valid passport. For the most up-to-date passport and visa information visitand
We are unable to accept responsibility if you are unable to travel because you have not complied with any passport/entry/immigration requirements.
Your cabin number will be allocated by Azamara and will be confirmed on your travel documents. If you have a specific request please call and speak to one of our experts.
We want to ensure you make the correct choice before you book your holiday with us. If you have any concerns regarding the suitability of the holiday due to reduced mobility we would encourage you to call us to discuss these concerns. General information on mobility in connection with our tours can be found here.
There are no current health requirements for travel to Europe, however, whilst the travelling schedule shall pose no problems for people of any age in normal physical health, we would point out that we often enjoy walking tours (sometimes over unmade paths) so this holiday may not be suitable for clients of greatly impaired mobility. Please bear this in mind when considering this holiday.
All transfer times listed here are approximate, and dependent on traffic. If you have a question regarding transfer times please don't hesitate to contact us.
|Arrival airport||First hotel location||Transfer time||Final hotel location||Departure airport||Transfer time|
|Barcelona El Prat Airport||Barcelona||30 mins||Nice||Nice Cote d'Azure Airport||45 mins|
Brian and Sue Furber
An excellent well paced tour. The content was superb and the whole experience was greatly enhanced by our tour manager John. His knowledge of Spanish culture and history was outstandingly good and he communicated it with enthusia...
Val and Les Hutchinson
Our third river cruise with Riviera. Wonderful time, very relaxing. MS Lord Byron and crew were, as usual, excellent. Mandy, tour director, was great. She did the Seine cruise we did last year and we cant speak highly enough of th...