With Performance Today Host Fred Child

A Classical Floating Music Festival to Provence, Burgundy and Paris

Classical Rhone Valley with Performance Today (WAIT LIST STARTED)

WAIT LIST STARTED! Your classical music adventure starts when you board an exclusively chartered first class small ship, the MS Van Gogh. We will cruise north on the historic Rhône river among picturesque villages, ancient archaeological sites and esteemed wine estates. Along the way we will enjoy exclusive Perf Chats with PT Young Artists in Residence who will perform a curated chamber music repertoire that will be
the perfect accompaniment to the daily pursuit of beauty.

After we disembark, we’ll stop in Burgundy to sample some of the region’s outstanding wines before we arrive in the City of Light. In Paris, we’ll walk in the footsteps of Picasso, Rodin and Hemingway, and
have free time to explore the many museums, bookstores, colorful markets and cafés of Paris. Foodies will enjoy a complementary cooking demonstration at the world famous Cordon Bleu. To cap off the perfect day: a tour of the spectacular Garnier Opera House.

Fred Child

Fred Child

Fred Child loves music and the outdoors, Italian cheese, English soccer, flying, baseball, and cardamom.

Since 2000, Fred has been the host of APM's Performance Today, the most-listened-to classical music radio show in America. Fred is also the commentator and announcer for Live From Lincoln Center, the only live performing arts series on television. Fred also hosts musical events on stages around the country, working with major orchestras and festivals, and connecting with audiences coast to coast.

Beyond the world of classical music, Fred hosted NPR's innovative Creators@Carnegie, a program of wide-ranging performers in concert, including Brian Wilson, David Byrne, Dawn Upshaw, Youssou N'Dour, Caetano Veloso, Emmylou Harris and many more. Before going to NPR, Fred was music director and director of cultural programming at WNYC in New York, host of a live daily performance and interview program on WNYC, and for 10 years, a host at Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Fred has hosted live national concert broadcasts, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic from Walt Disney Hall, the Last Night of the Proms from London, New Year's concerts by the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, dozens of A-list artists from Carnegie Hall, and BBC specials for American audiences.

Fred's music reviews have appeared on NPR's All Things Considered, and his music reports have appeared on NPR's Morning Edition. He's been a contributor to Billboard magazine, and a concert host and commentator for BBC Radio 3.

While growing up in Portland, Oregon, Fred studied classical piano. He also dabbles in guitar, percussion and bagpipes. His percussion band opened for the Grateful Dead at the Oakland Coliseum. He has narrated works at the Aspen Festival, with the Virginia Symphony, with the U.S. Marine Band and at the Round Top Festival-Institute. His rare musical performances in public include percussion with guitarist Sharon Isbin, and piano four-hands duets with Andre-Michel Schub. He appears as an actor in a video commissioned for the Partita for Solo Violin by Philip Glass. this will be his ninth hosted trip.


Day 0, April 10, 2024: Depart North America for the South of France

In order to arrive in time, you’ll need to depart North America no later than April 10. You may also wish to arrive a few days early and relax and explore the beautiful coastal city of Nice.

Day 1, April 11: Arrive in Nice or Marseille

Passengers are welcome to board our ship, the MS Van Gogh at 6 p.m. After comfortably settling into your cabins, we’ll introduce our crew at a welcome cocktail. We’ll enjoy dinner on board. The rest of the evening is yours to do as you please. Our ship will cruise towards Port-Saint-Louis. (D)

Day 2, April 12: Port-Saint-Louis / Pont du Gard / Van Gogh's Arles

Join the excursion to the spectacular 2,000 year old aqueduct of the Pont du Gard. Considered one of the best preserved antiquities in Europe, it is a stunning feat of Roman engineering. Built without mortar, the massive stones were perfectly carved and placed and have staunchly survived for centuries. We’ll also tour a town that is an example of Provence at its quintessential best; Arles is filled with Roman ruins still used today and shops displaying traditional Provençal fabrics, herbes de Provence, honey, lavender and soap. The Musée Réattu contains many of Picasso’s sketches and there are year-round photography expositions and galleries including the Van Gogh Foundation, which feature rotating exhibits of contemporary works. Enjoy a late walking tour of Arles’ highlights and return on board for dinner. Sleep on board. (B,L,D)

Day 3, April 13: St. Remy / Van Gogh/Olive Oil Tasting

Head into the scenic Provençal countryside to the delightful town of St Rémy. Stroll the villages, and enjoy a walk around the grounds of the peaceful St Paul Mausole, a veritable masterpiece of Provençal Romanesque art, built in the neighborhood of the Gallo-Roman site of Glanum. This is the famous asylum where Vincent Van Gogh spent time resting and painting. Finally, stop to taste some of the wonderfully aromatic olive oil of this region before heading back to Arles to board the ship. Sleep on board. (B,L,D)

Day 4, April 14: Avignon / The Papal Palace

Enjoy the lively atmosphere of the medieval walled city of Avignon where we will have a walking tour of the city and the Popes’ Palace. Stay in town for lunch in a local café or walk back to the ship to dine. We’ll have dinner onboard and dance on the deck “sous le Pont d’Avignon.” Classical concert this evening. Sleep on board. (B,L,D)

Day 5, April 15: Viviers / Truffle Farms

When arriving in Viviers, you have the impression of entering a village where time has stood still. Join an excursion to an enchanting village and some local truffle farms, where the adorable working dogs will obligingly demonstrate their truffle-digging skills. Sleep on board. (B,L,D)

Day 6, April 16: Explore Lyon

Spend a day exploring this spellbinding city. Tour the opera house, the Roman theater and explore the city’s charming neighborhoods. Winding their way through buildings, courtyards, and up and down staircases, Lyon’s secret covered passageways, or “traboules,” are an ideal way of visiting the city’s hidden and colorful past. Every traboule is different though. Each has a unique pastel color, a particular curve or spiral staircase, vaulted ceilings or Renaissance arches. Classical concert this evening. Sleep on board. (B,L,D)

Day 7, April 17: Lyon to Paris via Burgundy

Enjoy breakfast on board this morning before disembarking at 9:00 a.m. Travel north to Paris today. Enjoy lunch at a winery in Burgundy en-route. Sleep in Paris (B,L)

Day 8, April 18: Opera Garnier / Tour of Paris

You’ll be treated to a walking tour of Paris today and an included lunch, after which we’ll tour the spectacular Opera Garnier. (B,L)

Day 9, April 19: A Day in Paris: In the Footsteps of the Lost Generation

Enjoy some free time in Paris today to shop and visit any museums that tickle your fancy. (Be sure and make reservations ahead of time!) We’ll also offer a fun cooking demonstration at the famous Cordon Bleu. (Space will be limited). We’ll gather tonight for a farewell dinner and toast to our “tres beau voyage!” (B,D)

Day 10, April 20, Depart Paris for the USA

Your journey culminates after breakfast today. Have extra time? Why not spend a few additional nights in Paris and visit Monet’s springtime gardens in Giverny. Paris is a feast for the senses! Bon Voyage!


  • with Performance Today Host Fred Child
  • Guided by Earthbound Co-founders, Danna and Matthew Brumley
  • 6 nights on board the newly refurbished first-class, MS Van Gogh
  • 3 fabulous post-cruise nights in Paris
  • On-board performances
  • Special wine tastings in the Rhône Valley and Burgundy
  • Outings to colorful local markets, a truffle farm and Provençal villages
  • In-depth city walking tours of Avignon and Arles with local experts
  • A special tour of the Paris Opera Garnier
  • Cooking demonstration at the renowned Le Cordon Bleu
  • Entrances to all activities listed in itinerary

Pricing and Terms

Double Cabin CategoryPer Person Before DiscountEarly Bird DiscountPrice After Discount Each
Main Deck - Debussy$5,799-$300$100*$6,199

*Final Balance by Check Discount may only be applied to final balances over $3,000 per person.

Single Travelers: Upper or Main Deck add $1,599. Space is limited.
Not included: Gratuities for ship staff, travel insurance and any items not mentioned in your itinerary. Port taxes, charges & fees are currently estimated at $199 and are additional.
Savings: $100 discount applies for all PERFORMANCE TODAY or Earthbound travel alum. If your deposit is made by Date

Date and/or you make your final payment by check, you will receive the additional discounts.

Advanced, canceled or delayed sailing for cruises: Please note that cruise schedules and tour activities can be subject to change due to changes in water levels, port accessibility, weather, labor disputes or for any other reason whatsoever. The Owner or Operator of the cruise vessel may, at any time, cancel, advance or postpone any scheduled tour and may, but is not obliged to, substitute another vessel or itinerary, and it shall not be liable for any loss whatsoever to passengers by reason of any such cancellation, advancement or postponement.
Exclusive air rate is in economy class and allows for no deviations or upgrades. Seat assignments are subject to the discretion of the airline, specific requests cannot be guaranteed.

Need more information?

Call us: (1) 800-723-8454 Earthbound Expeditions is open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. Contact us! Complete our contact form and one of our travel consultants will contact you to answer your questions and help you complete your reservation.