Cruise line: Grand Circle Cruise Line is based in Boston (; 1-800-221-2610).

The tour: 13 days, including seven nights on the riverboat, three nights in Paris and one night in Nice. My companions and I chose an extra, optional three-day extension in both Nice and Paris.

Ship: The 262-foot riverboat Chardonnay was designed for smaller French waterways. There are 23 cabins of 190 to 200 square feet each, with TV, twin beds, sofa and private bath. A crew of 14 and a program director are aboard, along with a maximum of 46 passengers.

Meals: 11 breakfasts, six lunches and eight dinners, with complimentary wine at dinner.

Tours: Eight included, more optional.

Cost: About $2,155. After we added airline, travel insurance, almost mandatory tips and extra days in Paris and Nice, the trip was closer to $6,000 each. Plus, of course, meals not covered by the tour. Our only souvenir was a Provence tablecloth.