There is much to share about travel to France in 2018. It will be another banner year for major events, new architectural wonders and cultural venues.
For the French West Indies the upcoming year begins with the fall start of the 2017/2018 season. We will have regular updates on the progress of reconstruction for the islands of Saint-Barts and Saint-Martin. However, we are pleased to report that the Islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique were both unscathed by their close encounters with Hurricanes Irma and Maria. In addition, Norwegian Air will add a new non-stop route from Providence/Boston to Martinique and Guadeloupe. From Fort Lauderdale It will also add non-stop seasonal service to Martinique to its pre-existing flights to Guadeloupe and increase its non-stop seasonal service to both islands from JFK. Finally and in November, Air France will operate twice weekly on its new Atlanta to Guadeloupe route, which then goes on to Fort-de-France.
For 2018 Paris and the Paris region will play host to two major sporting events. First up will be the Gay Games, from August 4 to 12, a festive and open to all sporting event. 15,000 athletes will compete in 36 sports to take place in 50 prestigious venues throughout Paris and the Ile-de-France.
Then comes one of the golf world’s signature events; the Ryder Cup. It will take place September 28 to 30, 2018 at the Golf National, near Versailles where 24 of the finest players from the United States and Europe, will face off on the Albatross, the Golf National’s championship course. The Ryder Cup will showcase France as a golf destination. It is one where golfers can actually play on the Albatross and at scores of world-class golf courses throughout France.
2018 will also mark the hundredth anniversary of the end of WWI and the signing of the armistice in Compiègne on November 11, 1918. Leading up to that historic moment will be several events and developments in what was known as the Western Front in Northern France—and it will be the perfect opportunity to visit the recently re-opened and redesigned Franco-American Museum at the Chateau de Blerancourt near Paris.
Provence will also generate major buzz with the new region wide event Marseille-Provence 2018 also known as MP 2018 “Quel Amour”—“What love”. The event will kick-off on Valentine’s Day with a huge and festive ball in Marseille, followed by a series of 20 love-themed cultural events through September 1. Finally and just a stone’s throw from the city’s Roman Amphitheater, Arles has become home to an exciting project: the Luma Foundation’s experimental and contemporary art center. Partially open and hosting exhibitions, the striking center will be completed early 2019 along with an ultra contemporary structure designed by Frank Gehry.
A little to the West, in the sister region now known as Occitania, the city of Nîmes will welcome a new museum. Nimes is notable for its well preserved Roman sites and edifices, including the Maison Carrée, its two-tiered 2000-year old amphitheater and the nearby Roman aqueduct, the Pont du Gard. Opening June 2, 2018, the Musée de la romanité will be dedicated to the Roman civilization.
June will be also be a fun month to visit southwestern France, this time getting there aboard the new high-speed TGV Océane which now whisks passengers from Paris to Bordeaux in just two hours. The huge wine and food fest “Bordeaux Fête le Vin” will celebrate its 20th anniversary. For the occasion, there will be a gathering of tall ships, parading in June 14 and docking along the Garonne River’s Port de la Lune and parading out on the 18th. And speaking of tall ships, not far from the Cité du Vin, the new Maritime and Sea Museum, will open with an impressive inaugural exhibition titled Monet and the Sea featuring 40 works from the Impressionist master.
Last, but not least, getting to France from the Pacific Northwest and the Midwest will get even easier. Starting March 25, Air France will add a Seattle to Paris Charles-de-Gaulle route and beginning May 25, Sky Team partner Delta Airlines, will offer the first-ever non-stop service from Indianapolis to Paris CDG as well.
With major sporting events, new museums and happenings, more gateways and faster connections, France 2018 is a destination for all.