Begin your journey in magical Paris, the “City of Light,” where you will embark your luxurious river cruise ship. Visit the village of Giverny, where Monet lived and worked for 43 years, and Honfleur, a charming French harbor town immortalized by generations of artists. Stroll through Rouen, the historic capital of Normandy, then take an unforgettable excursion to the famous Normandy beaches of WWII. Visit Les Andelys, home of Château Gaillard before concluding your trip back in Paris. Add on a 2-night post-cruise extension in this elegant city.
Our first river cruise. Excellent, capable staff, great shore itineraries and guides.
— Pamela S., Guilford, CT
Note: This cruise is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as agent in booking your reservation with the ship operator. The itinerary, lecturers, and all other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the cruise line.
Paris / Embark
Arrive in Paris, one of Europe’s most romantic cities, and board your luxurious ship. Meet your fellow travelers at the Welcome Dinner.
Vernon / Giverny
Spend the morning enjoying the scenery along the Seine as you cruise to the provincial town of Vernon. Upon arrival, you will have free time to explore the town at your leisure. Later, visit Giverny and the enchanting home and gardens of Impressionist master Claude Monet, as well as the Impressionist Museum. The artist lived here for more than four decades, working to immortalize his ponds and flower gardens in some of his most iconic paintings. Alternatively, you can visit the palace and lush gardens of Château de Bizy. The ship moors overnight in Vernon.
Caudebec / Honfleur or Normandy’s famous abbeys
After a scenic morning cruise, arrive in the old fishing village of Caudebec-en-Caux. You will be able to choose from two different tours today. The first option is to visit Honfleur, a historic and picturesque port with pastel-colored houses that was a favorite subject of artists such as Courbet, Boudin, and Monet. The town’s medieval Sainte-Catherine church, with its separate bell tower, is considered the largest wooden church in France. As an alternative, choose the "Routes des Abbayes" excursion spotlighting Normandy's famous abbeys, more than 100 of which once covered this region. You will visit the ruined abbey in Jumièges as well as St. George Boscherville, a former Benedictine abbey.
Normandy Beaches or Pays d’Auge
Today, you have the choice of four different excursions. “D-Day Remembered” is a full day excursion to the US sector, where you will visit the cemetery at Coleville-sur-Mer, Omaha Beach, the artillery battery at Longues-sur-Mer, and the village of Arromanches, where the remains of the floating harbor used during the WWII landings can be seen. As an alternative, you can tour the Gold and Juno beaches in the British and Canadian sectors, where you will visit Ranville Cemetery, Pegasus Bridge, the Canadian cemetery at Beny-sur-Mer, the WWII museum in Courselle, Juno and Gold Beaches, and finally Arromanches. Afterwards, you will return to the ship in Caudebec. A third option is an excursion to rural Normandy, which includes a visit to the Pays d’Auge and “Routes du Cidre” (the Cider Road). You will visit beautiful Norman towns and villages, such as Beuvron-en-Auge, and Cambremer, the Chateau St. Germaine de Livet, and a Calvados distillery where you may sample apple cider and apple brandy.
Enjoy a morning walk through the medieval city of Rouen and visit the imposing Notre Dame Cathedral, painted numerous times by Monet, and see the square where Joan of Arc was martyred, as well as the Medieval Quarter and Great Clock. Afterwards, you will have free time to explore Rouen on your own or join a guided bike tour along the banks of the Seine.
Les Andelys / Château Gaillard
Depart Rouen this morning and enjoy scenic cruising on the Seine to Les Andelys. A mid-day stroll along the river in Les Andelys offers beautiful views of the Seine Valley’s dramatic white cliffs, centuries-old half-timbered houses, and the hilltop ruins of Château Gaillard. You can make your way to this former stronghold of Richard the Lionheart, which changed hands a number of times during the Hundred Years’ War, on a standard tour or on a hike. You may also opt instead for a guided bike tour through the village of Les Andelys. The ship arrives tonight in Conflans.
Château Malmaison or Auvers-sur-Oise
Today, you have a choice of two excursions. The first option is to visit Château Malmaison, former home of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and his wife Josephine. Your tour includes the Château’s interior, gardens, and museum. Alternatively, travel to Auvers-sur-Oise, a town famous for the Impressionist painters who lived there in the 19th century, including Paul Cézanne, Camille Pissarro, and Vincent Van Gogh. Your “Artists’ Walk” tour will include many sites associated with their work, including the Auberge Ravoux, former home of Van Gogh. The upstairs room where he died has been meticulously preserved. He and his brother, Theo, are buried side by side in the nearby town cemetery. The ship departs this afternoon for Paris, arriving in the evening.
Paris / Disembark
Disembark the ship in the morning.
ADD ON A POST-CRUISE PARIS LAND PROGRAM
Additional 2 nights in Paris post-cruise from $760
Paris / Disembark / City tour of Paris
After disembarking the ship this morning, guests participating in the post extension will enjoy a panoramic tour of Paris on which they will see many fantastic sights, such as the Pantheon, Champs de Mars, Eiffel Tower, and Arc du Triumph. Afterwards, you will visit one of the city’s most renowned museums, the Musée d’Orsay, built in a former railway station on the Left Bank. Its collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces is the largest in the world and includes well-known works by Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin, and Van Gogh. After touring the museum, you will be transferred to your hotel.
Day free in Paris
Today is yours to enjoy however you wish. Explore Paris’ multitude of landmarks, museums, cafes and shops.
Transfer to the airport and depart on homeward-bound flight.