Paris, France / EmbarkArrive in Paris and transfer to your luxurious ship. Meet your fellow passengers at the Welcome Dinner.
Vernon & Giverny, FranceSpend the morning enjoying the scenery along the Seine as you cruise to the provincial town of Vernon. Upon arrival, enjoy time to explore the town at your leisure. Later, visit Giverny and the home and gardens of Impressionist master Claude Monet. The artist lived here for more than four decades and immortalized his ponds and flower gardens in some of his most iconic paintings. The ship moors overnight in Vernon.
Vernon / Caudebec-en-Caux, FranceAfter a scenic morning cruise on the Seine, arrive in the old fishing village of Caudebec-en-caux. Here you have the choice of two different tours. 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 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. Visit the ruined abbey in Jumieges as well as St. Wandrille, still a working monastery.
Caubec-en-Caux / Normandy Beaches, FranceToday, you have the choice of three different excursions. "D-Day Remembered" is a full day excursion to the US sector, Omaha and Utah beaches. Your first stop is Arromanches, where remains of the floating harbor used during WWII landings can be seen. Take some free time to visit the museums and have lunch on your own before visiting the US Cemetery at Omaha Beach at St. Laurent-sur-Me. The last stop of your excursion is the Ranger Monument at Pointe du Hoc before returning to the ship in Rouen. As an alternative, you can tour the Gold, June & Sword beaches in the British and Canadian sectors. Your first stop is the Pegasus Monument in Ranville, followed by the Canadian cemetery at Beny-sur-Mer. Then visit the Juno Beach Center, Canada's WWII museum, with a final stop at Arromanches. 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). Visit traditional Norman towns and villages, such as Beuvron-en-Auge, Crevecoeur-en-Auge and Crambremer, some of the most beautiful villages in France, and tour a Calvados distillery where you may sample apple cider and apple brandy.
Rouen, FranceEnjoy a morning walk through the medieval city of Rouen and see the imposing Notre Dame Cathedral, painted numerous times by Monet, and the square where Joan of Arc was martyred. Afterwards, you have free time to explore Rouen on your own, perhaps stopping to sample some of Normandy’s famous and delicious cheeses.
Les Andelys, FranceDepart Rouen early this morning and enjoy scenic cruising on the Seine to Les Andelys. An mid-day stroll along the river offers beautiful views of the Seine Valley’s dramatic white cliffs, centuries-old half-timbered houses, and the hilltop ruins of Château Gaillard. This former stronghold of Richard the Lionheart changed hands a number of times during the Hundred Years’ War. Athletically-inclined guests may enjoy hiking up to visit the ruins of this historic castle before we continue our cruise along the Seine. The ship arrives tonight in Conflans.
Conflans, FranceToday, you have a choice of two excursions. The first option is to visit Chateau Malmaison, former home of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and his wife Josephine. Your tour includes the chateau’s interior, gardens and museum. Alternatively, travel to the town of Auvers-sur-Oise, a town famous for the Impressionist painters who lived there in the 19th century – such as Paul Cézanne, Camille Pissarro and Vincent van Gogh. Your "Artists' Walk" tour will include many sites associated with their works, including the Auberge Ravoux, former home of Vincent van Gogh. The upstairs room where Van Gogh died has been meticulously preserved. He and his brother Theo are both buried in the nearby town cemetery. The ship departs this afternoon for Paris, arriving in the evening.
Disembark in Paris, FranceYour river cruise vacation comes to an end as you disembark in Paris to transfer to the airport for your homeward flight.