10 cities in 10 days

1 hotel night in Paris, a 7-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the striking S.S. Catherine, and 1 night on the French Riviera

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Day 1 – August 1, 2026 - Paris

We MUST start our French experience in Paris! Our hope is you’ll have time to get to Paris early and thoroughly enjoy it before things kick off. There’s just so much to see and do. However, we also understand some people’s time will be limited, and a number of North American cities fly directly into Paris. And so, here’s where we commence race registration, and here’s where we begin! 

Day 2 – August 2, 2026 - Paris to Lyon

(Race Day 1)

Before departing Paris, we must run through it! Although tbd, our ultimate vision is to run the Champs-Elysees and through the Tulleries Garden.  Stay tuned!

Then, it’s time to board the buses to Lyon! We’ll coast through the French countryside to Lyon, where we meet our SUPER SHIP!  This is our floating home for the next 7 nights! 75 cabins of splendor, representing the absolute best in luxury river cruising. This vessel has meticulous attention to detail, with a two-story lobby, multiple bars, and even a life-size glass horse, who we have decided to affectionately name…Jacques Cousteau.  

Day 3 – August 3, 2026 - Lyon

(Race Day 2)

Rise and shine for Race 2! And don’t forget, here at R2A, a “Race” is what you want it to be. Walk it, hike it, jog it, run it, or race it, we don’t care. But get up and do it!

Ancient Lyon is a city of tantalizing contrasts, from Roman roots to stunning modern architecture and plenty of Renaissance flair in between. There’s much to explore here, from the city’s bike paths to the silk weavers’ secret passageways. While you’re in town, you might like to have lunch on your own at one of the many traditional bouchons that proliferate in the epicenter of French gastronomy.  That or head back to the ship as lunch will always be served there too.

Tonight, a special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.

Day 4 – August 4, 2026 - Macon

(Note: Today’s lunch will be on your own.)

We’ll be traveling north, up into Burgundy before making our way south on the Rhone.

When in Burgundy, it’s time to taste the wine of the region!  We’ll be sure to get our fill, celebrating the first few days of fitness behind us.


In Macon, the pace of life is decidedly more relaxed in Burgundy, where endless rows of grapes hang heavy on the vine. The capital of the region’s wine trade, Beaune is renowned for its history, beauty, and highly prized wine. For those wanting even richer architectural history, there’s a medieval-era hospital—the Hospices de Beaune, which has an incredibly interesting tour too.

Day 5 – August 5, 2026 - Tournon (Tain-l’Hermitage)

(Race Day 3)

If you love fine wine, you’ll love the twin villages of Tournon and Tain-l’Hermitage. Tournon may be a small town, but stirring events took place here: A castle was raised on the hilltop in the 10th century to protect the region, and new fortifications were added over the centuries, including two “new” towers built to defend against Protestant attacks in the 16th century.

Today is full of choices. One is a twin village stroll where you’ll visit local wine cellars and taste the region’s famous Côtes du Rhône, Saint-Joseph, and Crozes-Hermitage wines. These wines are produced from the Syrah grapes that grow on the steep slopes lining the river. After your wine tasting, you’ll have time to browse through the shops; the Valrhona chocolate factory is always a popular stop.That or choose to hike the steepest vineyards on the Rhone – The world-famous Hermitage Terrace Vineyards!

The even more adventurous will venture off the Rhone and onto the Doux River for a swim and steam train tour of the gorges!

Day 6 – August 6, 2026 - Viviers

(Race Day 4)

Viviers is an enchanting village where time seems to have stopped centuries ago.  It has a long and storied past that goes back more than 1,600 years – and a splendid architectural heritage to match!  At one time, Viviers was divided along religious lines—the clergy lived in the upper part of the town, the laity in the lower part. Our race this morning will take you through both parts, from the crest to the riverbank.

We’ll spend the rest of our day in Viviers and neighboring villages.  Sycamores line some of the stone-paved streets (planted, so they say, to provide shade for Napoleon’s soldiers), and houses here bear the watermarks of floods over the years. A local expert will show you the fountain squares in the Old Town, which combine Roman and medieval influences.  These cobblestone lanes are so narrow you can stand in the middle and touch the medieval houses on either side. View the smallest cathedral in Francem choose to learn how a local potter makes the attractive wares sold at Poterie; step into a villager’s home; or…belly up at a popular local bar.  There’s clearly no wrong answer here!  On your way back to the ship, stop to try your hand at a game of pétanque, which is akin to horseshoes, only it’s played with steel balls.

Day 7 – August 7, 2026 - Avignon

(Race Day 5)

The walled city of Avignon is one of the most fascinating towns in southern France, with a host of historic gems to explore—including the fortress residence of rebellious popes who broke from Rome and once lived and ruled here. You’ll see the Palace of the Popes and much more today, as well as have the chance to visit The Pont Du Gard, a 2,000-year-old Roman aqueduct.  This UNESCO World Heritage Site is as beautiful as it is fascinating.

Others may choose to bike to Isle Sur La Sorgue! It’s not a literal island, but it is affectionately known as one because the Sorgue River surrounds it entirely. This quaint village makes for an enticing day trip for many reasons—its charming canals, waterside cafes, and narrow streets, for example.

For those wanting a fun paddle just outside of Avignon, we’ll head over to the Gardon River for swimming and kayaking.

In short, the options in Avignon are many!

Day 8 – August 8, 2026 - Tarascon (Arles)

(Race Day 6)

Our final race takes place in the sun-drenched Provencal town of Arles!  Known for its remarkable Roman ruins, Arles inspired Van Gogh so much that he painted some 200 paintings there. Arles has existed since the sixth century BC, when the ancient Greeks founded it. Arles was where the Romans built their first bridge across the Rhône River, creating a vital overland route between Italy and Spain.


Join a local expert for a stroll through the city, where medieval houses crowd in among the ancient structures and the city gates date back to the 13th century. Pause before the town hall, built with stone quarried from the Roman theater, and the Romanesque St. Trophime Church, which was erected in the 12th century. Walk in Van Gogh’s footsteps past the cheery yellow Café de Nuit—still open and still the same shade of yellow it was when he painted it.  Visit the town’s bountiful farmers’ market, which displays seasonal fruits and vegetables, medicinal herbs and many more specialties of Southern France.  Peruse the local shops, go olive tasting or delve further into Arles’ stunning collection of architectural treasures.  And as always, find your favorite outdoor cafe and sip your favorite afternoon wine before the sun sets.

Day 9 – August 9, 2026 - Arles (Disembark) to Nice!

From Paris to Lyon to Burgundy to Provence.  From the top of the Rhone to the bottom.  This…is Race2Adventure France!  There’s only one thing left to do, and that’s head for the French Riviera!  Although Marseille is nearby, we’re going to get a little more beautiful, a little less city, and a lot more beach on our way to Nice.  Time permitting, a stop in Saint Tropez and/or Cannes is not out of the question!  Regardless, our final destination on this adventure is Nice.  Nice is a bustling city on the chic French Riviera. It’s famous for its great climate, stunning views and art and culture. It boasts gorgeous beaches, delicious food, and for those with an ounce of energy left, some incredible seaside nightlife!

Day 10 - Nice

We’re doubtful any of you will be racing to get home. Chances are, your time on the French Riviera (aka Cote d’Azur) are just beginning. And why shouldn’t it be that way? Because life is way too short, and our job is to squeeze every ounce of joy from it.  Relax, stay a while! And if you can’t, that’s okay, because Race2Adventure has THREE experiences lined up for 2027!  We hope to see you very soon.  

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