7 Night Cruise sailing from Paris roundtrip aboard Avalon Creativity.
Combine time in France’s marvelous capital with discoveries of quaint towns along the Seine and in the picturesque Normandy region. Embark in Paris, sailing to Vernon, for a choice of guided visits to either Claude Monet’s stunning gardens at Giverny or magnificent Bizy Castle. Continue to Les Andelys with its Château Gaillard, built by England’s King Richard the Lionheart in 1196, and enjoy guided sightseeing. Then, on to Caudebec, where you choose between an included excursion to the poignant Normandy landing beaches or a fascinating “Taste of Normandy.” Visit Joan of Arc’s historic Rouen, and Iin Conflans, choose between a visits of Vincent van Gogh’s Auvers-sur-Oise or Napoleon and Josephine’s elegant Château de Malmaison before heading back to Paris. During your last day on the Seine, a Local Expert will show you some of the famous sights, such as the Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, and more!
Culinary theme cruise
Enter a food lovers paradise in France. An expert chef will dazzle you with regional specialities and food preparation tips. There’ll be cider and wine tastings, visits to a distillery and cheese farm, and you’ll even come away with easy-to-make recipes. Bon Appetit!
Day 1 ARRIVE IN PARIS, FRANCE (EMBARKATION).
Welcome to Paris, France’s capital on the River Seine, the ‘City of Light,’ where romance fills the air. This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. Before dinner, your ship glides smoothly out of Paris. (D) (NOTE: Flights into Paris must arrive by 2:30 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.)
Day 2 VERNON-LES ANDELYS.
This morning in Vernon, choose between a guided visit of Giverny and a visit to Bizy Castle. Claude Monet lived at GIVERNY for almost 43 years (1883-1926), and viewed his flower and water gardens as works of art – just like his paintings. See his collection of Japanese prints, his charming house, and his biggest sources of inspiration. Or, visit BIZY CASTLE, built in 1740 and nicknamed ‘Normandy’s Versailles.’ It is known for its famous stables – inspired by those at Versailles – and its magnificent courtyard and water garden. After lunch, join an onboard PASTRY DEMONSTRATION before your ship arrives in Les Andelys, situated on a bend of the Seine and one of the most beautiful places in France. Join a Local Guide for a GUIDED WALK of the town, visiting the PARISH CHURCH OF LE GRAND ANDELY. Imposing Chateau Gaillard, built by England’s King Richard the Lionheart as a fortress in 1196, is seen above the town. Constructed in only a year, it is a masterpiece of medieval military architecture. (B,L,D)
Day 3 CAUDEBEC.
Today, either join an excursion along the Route des Chaumieres to see some of Normandy’s charming and traditional half-timbered houses with their long, sloping thatched roofs, often sporting blue wooden doors and window shutters, or visit JUMIEGES ABBEY, a former Benedictine Abbey church considered one of the most ancient and important monasteries in the western world. The afternoon is free to explore on your own or to join an optional excursion to the pretty coastal town of Honfleur. Before dinner, you may wish to attend an ONBOARD LECTURE about D-Day. (B,L,D)
Day 4 CAUDEBEC.
Make your choice today between an included full-day excursion to the historic NORMANDY LANDING BEACHES – with poignant sites such as Omaha Beach, the Pointe du Hoc monument, and the American Cemetery – or a ‘TASTE OF NORMANDY’ for an in-depth look at this picturesque, mainly agricultural region. The most important products are dairy, apples, and grain. Camembert cheese is a specialty, as is CALVADOS, a strong apple brandy you’ll have the chance to taste at a local distillery. And for a touch of history, visit the famous BAYEUX TAPESTRY. (B,L,D)
Day 5 ROUEN.
Rouen, the capital of Upper Normandy, is an important commercial city perhaps best known for its connection to Joan of Arc, who lived, was imprisoned, and burned at the stake in the marketplace of this town in 1431. Enjoy the included GUIDED WALK through the medieval quarter with its half-timbered, glazed-tile houses, and take your pictures of the intricate Gros Horloge astronomical clock, dating back to the 16th century. Visit the gothic CATHEDRAL, which was once the tallest building in the world and the subject of a series of paintings by Claude Monet. The afternoon is free to explore on your own. (B,L,D)
Day 6 CONFLANS-PARIS.
After breakfast you may either join our included guided excursion to AUVERS-SUR-OISE, the quaint little town where Vincent Van Gogh lived and died, or to Napoleon and Josephine’s CHATEAU DE MALMAISON just outside Paris. Requiring extensive renovations, this large country estate was purchased by Josephine Bonaparte in 1799 while Napoleon was fighting in Egypt. It was her aim to make it ‘the most beautiful and curious garden in Europe, a model of good cultivation.’ This evening, arrive in Paris. (B,L,D)
Day 7 PARIS.
Known as one of the world’s most romantic and lively cities, Paris is a delight for all your senses. Your included CITY SIGHTSEEING shows you magnificent must-see sights, such as Notre Dame Cathedral, the unique Louvre Museum with its glass pyramid as a contrast to its ancient architecture, the commemorative Arc de Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower. Alternatively, you may wish to join a GUIDED WALK through historic IIe St. Louis with its narrow one-way streets and IIe de la Cite, the centre of Paris where the medieval city was founded and home to NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL. In your free time, stroll down the Champs-Elysees with its lavish cafes, or perhaps visit the world-famous Louvre or Montmartre with its gleaming white Sacre Coeur Basilica and bevy of artists on Place du Tertre. Paris is also well known for its colourful nightlife, and an optional outing to one of the world’s most famous cabaret shows, the Moulin Rouge, might make the perfect finale to your Seine cruise. (B,L,D)
Day 8 PARIS (DISEMBARKATION).
Your cruise ends with breakfast this morning. (B)