Arrive in Paris, romance capital of the world. Transfer from the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris to your ship.* After boarding, take free time to explore Paris—or join our “welcome walk” to stretch your legs and start getting oriented. (D)
Wake up to a full day in Paris. After breakfast, embark on a half-day tour of this beautiful city and take in its most remarkable sights, including the iconic Eiffel Tower. Continue past the École Militaire, Orsay Museum and Latin Quarter. See the Cathedral of Notre Dame, then drive past the Louvre and Opera House and along the famous Champs Elysées. Return aboard for lunch. Afternoon is free to visit the Louvre, shop the many boutiques, visit the artists’ district of Montmartre or enjoy a cruise along the Seine. As always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. Dinner is served aboard. (B, L, D)
Day 3Giverny & Vernon
Arrive in Vernon before breakfast; take a short ride into the town of Giverny, where Claude Monet lived from 1883 until his death in 1926. Visit the beautiful gardens and charming stone farmhouse where he lived and worked; see the water garden with its Japanese bridge, water lilies, wisteria and azaleas that inspired many of his masterpieces.†
After lunch, spend some time with your Program Director in the provincial town of Vernon. Take a stroll to see the Maison du Temps Jadis (House of Past Times), Vernon’s oldest house, and the 11th-century Church of Notre Dame. Dinner is served aboard. (B, L, D)
† Monet garden not available before April 1 or after November 1; a visit to the charming village of Auvers-sur-Oise, favored by van Gogh and other artists, will be substituted.
Indulge in a leisurely morning cruising along the Seine. The afternoon is spent in the medieval city of Rouen, historic capital of Normandy. Begin with a walking tour through the old town center, where you see the spectacular Gothic Notre Dame Cathedral so often painted by Claude Monet and the famous Gros Horloge, a 16th-century astronomical clock. As you walk among the half-timbered buildings you feel yourself transported back through time; see the 14th-century courthouse where Joan of Arc was sentenced to death and the nearby Market Square where she was martyred.
Take free time to discover more of Rouen or visit one of its museums of art or antiquities. Dine aboard, or visit a sidewalk café—your ship remains docked overnight. (B, L, D)
Day 5Normandy Beaches
After breakfast, begin your full-day tour to the historic beaches of Normandy. Drive past Gold Beach, Courseulles sur Mer and Juno Beach on your way to visit World War II landmarks such as Omaha Beach, the American Military Cemetery and Arromanches Debarkment Museum. Have dinner and relax on board or take an evening stroll. (B, L, D)
Day 6Les Andelys & Conflans
Enjoy a leisurely morning cruise to the small town of Les Andelys, known for its imposing castle, Château Gaillard, built in 1196 by Richard the Lionheart. After lunch, join a guided walk to this fatally flawed masterpiece of Middle Ages architecture. Return aboard for scenic cruising and dinner aboard. Late in the evening we dock in Conflans, a riverside town whose unique culture reflects its status as a local hub for barge transportation along the Seine and its tributaries. (B, L, D)
Day 7Conflans & Paris
After breakfast, take a walking tour through the charming neighborhoods of Conflans. Or, join an optional tour to the luxurious Palace of Versailles, former home of Louis XIV. Lunch aboard as you sail back to Paris this afternoon. Dine aboard and then enjoy some free time in the City of Light. (B, L, D)
After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the Paris airport for your return flight.* Or, extend your time in France’s romantic capital with a 3-night Paris extension. (B)