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Cruising the Seine

Cruising the Seine Cruising the Seine
£ 3595

The River Seine, which flows from Burgundy to the English Channel, is perhaps France’s best-known waterway.

This delightful cruise aboard the elegant and comfortable river vessel MS Amadeus Diamond  follows its course from Paris along the winding Seine River into Normandy up to Le Havre on the rugged Atlantic coast.

Sailing through the beautiful region that inspired some of the world’s greatest artists, including Van Gogh, Cezanne and Gauguin, we will see historic towns, charming riverside villages and sights such as Monet’s garden at Giverny and the city of Rouen with its splendid Gothic architecture as well as the picturesque harbour town of Honfleur.

It promises to be a delightful journey, complemented by an inspiring array of shore excursions and captivating lectures from Douglas Skeggs.

8 days from
per person
Tour Date:
19th May 2021 -
26th May 2021
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Cruising the Seine

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Day 1 LONDON / PARIS / CONFLANS

Suggested flights (not included) British Airways flight BA 306 departing London Heathrow at 08.55 hrs arriving Paris at 11.15 hrs.

On arrival, transfer to a local restaurant for lunch. Continue to the dock in Paris to board the luxury MS Diamond and embark on a seven-night cruise on the Seine. Captain’s drinks followed by a welcome dinner on board.

Day 2 CONFLANS / ROUEN

This morning the vessel arrives in Conflans, at the confluence of the Oise and the Seine. Visit the little town of Auvers-sur-Oise, an inspiration to many of the famous Impressionist masters, including Cezanne, Pissarro and Daubigny and home to many painters in the 1800s. The most famous of these artists is Vincent van Gogh, whose final resting place, along with his brother, Theo, is located here. Visit Auberge Ravoux where Van Gogh lived in a very simple and small room only lit by sky light. Van Gogh painted close to 80 canvases here, which come alive in the winding streets of the village.

Lunch on board. Continue sailing to Rouen. Dinner on board.

Day 3 ROUEN / LE HAVRE

This morning the vessel reaches Rouen, often called the ‘Ville musée’ (Museum Town). Enjoy a walking tour to see the ‘Gros Horloge’, the astronomical clock, pride of the Rouennais, and the Parliament of Normandy, one of France’s rare civil constructions in Gothic style in the late Middle Ages. The Church of Saint-Maclou, a striking, flamboyant church dedicated to a Breton saint and known as Malo, is considered one of the best examples of Gothic architecture in Rouen. Also visit the cathedral that inspired Claude Monet and the modern Church of Joan of Arc with its magnificent 16th-century stained-glass windows. There will be free time to wonder the streets and visit the ‘Place du Vieux Marché’, the site where Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake.

Lunch on board. This afternoon the boat departs for Le Havre. Dinner on board.

Day 4 LE HAVRE

Early this morning the vessel arrives at the harbour of Le Havre, which although greatly destroyed in World War II, was rebuilt and continues to be an important port city in Normandy. Explore the Normandy coastline with a walk along Ètretat’s cliff-top paths for a view of steep chalk rocks with impressive needle-like formations, which have inspired many well-known artists including Monet, Maupassant, Victor Hugo and Flaubert.

Lunch on board. Afternoon excursion to the nearby city of Honfleur, where the Seine meets the Atlantic. This harbour town is regarded a jewel on the Côte Fleurie and is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

Wonder the narrow streets, steeped in history, in the footsteps of sailors, painters, artists and musicians. Stop at the world-famous Vieux Bassin (old port), the Lieutenancy building, from which Samuel de Champlain set out to discover Canada, the Old Salt Stores and St. Catherine’s Church, with its unusual architecture and separate bell tower which was built by sailor-carpenters. Today, dozens of galleries and artists’ studios continue to display a wide range of classical and modern paintings. Honfleur is also the perfect place to find local arts and crafts and specialties such as cider, Calvados, and caramels. Dinner on board.

Day 5 LE HAVRE / CAUDEBEC-EN-CAUX / LES ANDELYS

This morning the vessel departs Le Havre for Caudebec en Caux. Enjoy a full day, including lunch, discovering Normandy, a land of farmlands, beaches, and towns with their picturesque, half-timbered houses: a bucolic scenery as a backdrop to the WWII tragic events. It is a land with a rich culinary tradition, based on its fine local produce including world-famous cheeses and apples from which cider and Calvados are made. Normandy also boasts many historic landmarks, such as the city of Arromanches, the closest harbour linked with the liberation of Western Europe after D-Day. The staggeringly big concrete blocks remaining from the Mulberry artificial harbour bring the massive Allied operations here back to life. At the end of this excursion, rejoin the ship in Caudebec-en-Caux. Dinner on board. Boat departs for Les Andelys.

Day 6 LES ANDELYS / VERNON / PARIS

This morning your vessel anchors in the little town of Les Andelys in the shadow of Chateau Gaillard, built in 1196 by Richard the Lionheart. Visit nearby Giverny, home to Impressionist Claude Monet, until his death in 1926. The beautiful surroundings and vivid flora, were inspiration for some of his most famous works.

Return to the ship in Vernon for lunch. This afternoon visit Chateau Malmaison, a small castle purchased by Josephine Bonaparte in 1799. The castle became the headquarters of the French government, along with the Tuileries, from 1800 to 1802. After Napoleon and Josephine’s divorce in 1809, she continued to live there until her death in 1814. Captain’s Gala dinner on board.   Boat departs Vernon for Paris.

Day 7 PARIS

Arrive this morning back in Paris and enjoy a tour of this romantic city taking in the sights of the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame Cathedral, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, Les Invalides, famous as the burial place of Emperor Napoleon I, the fabulous Louvre Museum, the famous and elegant Champs-Elysées and the Jardin des Tuileries, the former palace gardens.

Lunch on board. Afternoon walking tour of the quirky artists’ district of Montmartre and the Sacré-Coeur, located in the 18th arrondissement and boasts a magnificent, panoramic view of Paris. With its narrow, winding streets peppered with steep stairways, charming lamp posts and cobbled squares filled with watercolour painters and sketch artists it is the picture-postcard idea of Paris. Montmartre also includes the hillside vineyard on the Rue des Saules, the festive Moulin de la Galette, where Renoir came to paint in the open air, and the Bateau Lavoir studio. Dinner on board.

Day 8 PARIS / LONDON

This morning disembark from the boat and transfer to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. Suggested flight (not included) British Airways flight BA 309 departing Paris at 12.10 hrs arriving London Heathrow at 12.30 hrs.

  • Once again, Neil did a fantastic job with our itinerary! He is so informative and efficient. Nothing seems too much trouble for him!

    -
    UP, Cambodia