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Join Premier Tours & Travel on an escapade of French cuisine, wine, and culture on our Expertly Done Culinary & Wine Travel tour with Chef Bob Waggoner. Experience cities such as Paris, Orléans, and Reims, and their diverse cultural sites and culinary treasures. Immerse yourself in chateau living in the Loire Valley with hands-on cooking opportunities and visit iconic chateaux, such as Versailles and Fontainebleau. Experience traditional French markets and taste Chablis, Champagne, and Sancerre at acclaimed and boutique wine houses in the Loire Valley, Burgundy, Champagne, and Ile de France. This Premier Experience is sure to elevate your senses and enlighten palate.
June 3-13, 2023 (departing USA June 2, 2023)
June 17-27, 2023 (departing USA June 16, 2023)
From $8,499 per person (Double Occupancy)
Single Supplement $1,300 per person
Highlights of Paris, France
Depart on an overnight flight to Paris, France.
Arrive this morning in the City of Lights where you will be met by our Premier Tours & Travel representative for a group transfer into Paris (preferred arrival for group transfer by 10 AM). Enjoy a visit to Montmartre to visit Sacre Coeur followed by a Welcome Lunch before checking into your 4* Superior accommodations mid-afternoon. The balance of your day will be at leisure to settle into your new time zone and spectacular environs: Paris!
Enjoy a guided, panoramic and walking tour of Paris. Take in such iconic sites as the Jardin des Tuileries, the Louvre, Notre Dame, Saint Chapelle, the Champ Elysée, and the Arc du Triomphe. Of course, no tour would be complete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower. Your panoramic tour will end at the Eiffel Tower. Go up and have a bird’s eye view of the City of Love (2nd floor tickets included) before enjoying lunch at leisure. Reconnect with the group this evening for a dinner and river cruise on the Seine to bask in the flickering glow of Paris at night.
*Continental breakfast daily.
Highlights of the Loire, Burgundy & Champagne Regions
The Loire Valley is your next stop on this cuisine, wine, and culture escapade of France. Travel just a little over an hour from Paris, and be transported to an enchanted forest and the charming village alongside it: Barbizon.
Barbizon was once the base for the kings of France to hunt in the nearby Fôret de Fontainebleau. Enjoy a guided walking tour to learn about a group of painters who discovered the rural beauty of the Barbizon landscapes and created the Barbizon School of painting, which was dedicated to a new realism portraying everyday life. Walk along the main street and find a succession of beautiful homes, shops, and art galleries. Following, enjoy a light picnic lunch in the Fôret de Fontainebleau before a guided visit of the historic Château de Fontainebleau. The castle was a base for the Kings of France for about seven centuries with almost no interruption. Because of its historical importance to France, the chateau has been officially recognized as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Embark on the final stretch of your journey to your chateau near Montargis in the Loire Valley for the next four nights. Settle into your room and into the magic of a castle steeped in history and modern in its comforts and charm. The owner of this 17th-century castle is a culinary artisan and she will welcome you with a traditional dinner this evening.
Cross into the Burgundy region today to the town of Auxerre. Experience an authentic, vibrant French market to purchase items for the Chef’s dinners before exploring with your local guide the charming old town of this “Villes d’Art et Histoire,” (a protected historic site in France).
Head to Chablis, the “Golden Gate of Burgundy,” to experience this charming, iconic village famous for its namesake wine. The village is surrounded by vines for as far as the eye can see, which are exclusively Chardonnay grapes. Enjoy a guided tour of the old village, nestled on the banks of the River Serein, and venture out to a private Chablis winery tour and tasting with lunch among the vines. Return to the chateau with time to relax before assisting (as much or as little as you wish) with the evening’s Chef’s dinner.
Embark on a full-day adventure to the city of Orléans, which is in heart of the Loire Valley. Enjoy a guided visit to Les Halles Châtelet Orléans, including tastings of local products such as Cotignac, Mazet pralines, Jargeau sausage, and regional wines selected by our Expert Host as you wander through the market, and shop for ingredients for the Chef’s dinner. Following, take a guided tour of the historic center — an UNESCO World Heritage Site —to see such sites as beautiful Martroi Square and the Orléans Cathedral, and learn of the deep and cherished history of the city’s patron saint, Joan of Arc. Enjoy time at leisure for lunch, shopping, or visiting one of the many excellent museums before returning to the chateau to relax before the evening’s Chef’s dinner.
Spend today exploring Sancerre, France in the Loire Valley. Sancerre is a small town situated above the Loire River. Sancerre village is on a low hill from where you can look out over miles of the countryside. Enjoy a guided tour of the medieval old town and explore what this region is best known for: Sancerre wine and Crottin de Chavignol (goat cheese). Visit an acclaimed Sancerre winery and taste their exceptional wines with lunch. Return to the chateau for your final hands-on Chef’s dinner.
Depart the chateau this morning for Reims, which is the capital of the unofficial champagne wine capital of the world. What’s more, every single French King, from 987 to Charles X in the 19th century, was crowned at the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims — an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enroute visit a renowned champagne house for a tour and tasting. After checking into your 4* Superior accommodations for the next two nights, reconnect with the group for a city tour of Reims to immerse yourself in the history and enjoy a tasting of the famous pink “Boudoir” biscuit. Return to the hotel, which is conveniently located to explore at leisure this evening.
Start the day with a visit to an acclaimed champagne house. Enjoy a guided tour and tasting before transferring to Epernay for lunch at leisure and a brief guided tour, including Avenue de Champagne, which is lined on both sides by magnificent private dwellings constructed by the Champagne houses and now an UNESCO World Heritage site. Arrive at a boutique champagne house for a guided tour and tasting. Return to the hotel for time at leisure before enjoying a traditional regional dinner with the group.
Highlights of Versailles, France
Bravo, Champagne! Depart for Versailles, France to finish your tour in royal fashion. Enroute, visit the village of Meaux — home of the famous Brie de Meaux cheese — for lunch in a charming auberge. Enjoy some time at leisure before departing for Versailles. Arrive at your 4* Superior accommodations for your final two nights in France. Your evening is at leisure.
Enjoy a guided tour of Versailles Palace and visit its beautiful royal gardens today with no-wait access. The balance of the afternoon will be at leisure to explore the city of Versailles for any last-minute shopping or tastings. Reconnect with the group this evening for a farewell to France dinner.
Say au revoir to France this morning. Check out of the hotel and a group transfer to the airport.
*IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Itinerary subject to change. Premier Tours & Travel reserves the right to modify programs and itineraries (including arranged sightseeing, accommodations, dining experiences, aircraft, trains, vessels, and so forth) at any time due to unforeseen circumstances or circumstances beyond Premier Tours & Travel’s control, including force majeures. In the instance our Expert host cancels due to unforeseen circumstances, Premier Tours & Travel has the right to substitute another Expert host, such as a chef, in such an emergency (timing allowed) and/or the tour will continue in its entirety. Every effort is made to operate our itineraries as planned but alterations may need to be made after the final itinerary has been issued. International Airfare is not included. Group transfers are included; please check with Premier Tours & Travel to ensure you arrive within the group transfer window or transfers will be at your expense. Alcoholic beverages are included as noted. Additional alcohol is the responsibility of the guest. Please see Key Items to Know Before You Leave Home attached.
Standard rooms are included at the hotels in the program. Upgrades are available upon request and are based upon availability.
Variations in room sizes at the chateau cannot be controlled and we take into consideration mobility/age/other physical limitations. Should you wish to reserve The Royale Suite in the chateau, it is available to reserve for an additional $500 for the entirety of the stay; first come, first serve.
Premier Experiences, Premier Advantages
English-speaking director and local Premier representatives
Airport meet and greet
Private Group transfers*
Curated 4-Star superior hotels and a high-end country estate
Full breakfast included daily; Lunches and Dinners as noted
Curated tours and experiences, such as guided city tours, Les Halles de Orleans tour and tasting, river cruise, Eiffel Tower, winery tours and tastings, Versailles Palace and gardens (including entrance fees, taxes, and gratuities)
Internet (where available)
24/7 Premier support
ABOUT CHEF BOB WAGGONER
Chef Bob Waggoner Bob received his formal training with Michael Roberts at Trumps in Los Angeles from 1981 to 1983, and later in France at a constellation of Michelin-rated restaurants with chefs Jacques Lameloise, Charles Barrier, Pierre Gagnaire, Gerard Boyer and Mark Meneau. At 23, he took on his first chef position at the private club “Members” in Caracas, Venezuela. Chef Bob Waggoner returned to France at age 24 to become chef of the Hotel de la Poste in Avallon for three years. Then, in 1988 at age 26, in the town of Moneteau in Burgundy, he became the first American chef to own his own restaurant in France, the much acclaimed Le Monte Cristo. He is one of the few Americans to be Knighted with the “l’Odre du Mérite Agricole” from the Government of France. In 1991, Waggoner was offered the opportunity of Chef de Cuisine with Chef Jean-Pierre Silva, the two-star Michelin, at Le Vieux Moulin in Beaune, France. After 11 years in France, he returned to the States in 1993 to cook at the award-winning Turnberry Isle in Florida, before joining The Wild Boar in Nashville, where he earned the restaurant a coveted AAA Five-Diamond Award and the Grand Award from Wine Spectator.
He finally found his way to Charleston where he was Executive Chef of Charleston Grill at Charleston Place for a dozen years. Every year, Chef Bob was at the Charleston Grill, it was awarded AAA Four-Diamond and the Mobile Four-Star award, and in 2001-2005 he was nominated four times for The Beard Foundation "Best Chef Southeast" award. He is author of the Charleston Grill at Charleston Place: French Influenced Lowcountry Cuisine cookbook. Always well regarded as a media-savvy chef, he has won an Emmy for his television show “Off the Menu” with Turner South. He also hosted 2 cooking shows with PBS, U Cook with Chef Bob and Sing for Your Supper with Chef Bob. Currently, he is the owner of “In the Kitchen with Chef Bob Waggoner” where he hosts cooking classes in a relaxed, casual, and sophisticated atmosphere. With his easygoing nature, he can teach anyone the culinary tips and techniques for "how it's done" in the finest restaurants.