Join an exciting yet relaxing 12-day cruise aboard La Nouvelle Etoile as it sails from Belgium to Paris for a tour that will introduce you to the region's history and modern-day beauty. Visit the beautiful town of Bruges, also known as the Venice of the North. Have a look at the "Adoration of the Mystic Lamb” by the Van Eyck brothers. Have an adventure going to Vermandois Hills of Picardie and view rural France and its spectacular scenery.
Visit the beautiful town of Bruges
Visit Ghent and the fabulous painting “The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb”
Climb over the Vermandois Hills of Picardie and view the scenery
Visit the war museum in Peronne
Visit the charming village of Auvers sur Oise and Gogh's home
Guests can meet in Bruges or Brussels to be transferred to La Nouvelle Etoile moored in the beautiful town of Bruges, known as "Venice of the North". The crew waits to give you a warm welcome, complete with champagne. Once settled in, you will visit Bruges to tour on one of the little canal boats which meander through this picture perfect town. Upon returning to the ship, you will have your first dinner on board.
A local tour guide will join you on a walking tour of Bruges this morning. You will then return to the ship for lunch. After enjoying lunch, you will have ample time to wander around Bruges before returning to the ship to sail to Ghent. Dinner will be served on board.
You will visit Ghent in the morning to view the exceptional painting by the Van Eyck brothers, the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb. Upon returning to the ship, you will continue cruising up the River Schelde to the town of Oudenaarde where you will spend the night. Enjoy dinner with your fellow travelers on board.
This morning, the cruise will continue up the River Schelde which will take you to the ancient town of Tournay. Here you can see the famous "Pont des Trous" or Bridge with Holes. It was used to collect tolls on the rivers in ancient times. In the afternoon, stroll around Tournay before returning to the La Nouvelle Etoile for dinner.
Continue sailing along the Schelde through the town of Valenciennes while enjoying a relaxing breakfast. Then have an excursion off of the ship to visit the museum of fine arts in Valenciennes. After admiring local art, board the ship which will eventually come to the junction of the Canal du Nord at the little French village of Arleux. Dinner on board.
La Nouvelle Etoile begins the climb over the Vermandois Hills of Picardie through the many locks and several tunnels of the Canal du Nord. From this vantage point, you will have sweeping views of rural France and its spectacular scenery. After lunch, there will be a trip to Amiens to visit one of the greatest of all Gothic cathedrals! Dinner will be served on board.
After breakfast on the ship, have the opportunity to visit the war museum in Peronne. Upon returning to La Nouvelle Etoile, the cruise will continue on the Canal du Nord. Passengers will have many opportunities to walk or bike while the ship travels from each lock. After navigating the Canal du Nord all day, your sailing will end in the valley of the Somme River. Dinner will be served on board.
This morning, we cruise down to the Oise River valley to moor in the riverside town of Compiegne. There are many sights to see in Compiegne including the train where the World War I armistice was signed, as well as the Royal Palace. Return to the ship this evening for dinner.
Start this day by cruising down the Oise River valley to explore the village of Auvers sur Oise, a charming town reminiscent of a van Gogh scene. Vincent van Gogh was a Dutch Post-Impressionist painter who is among the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art. He lived in Auvers ser Oise and painted most of his last and most important paintings here in a small room above a local café. In the afternoon, take a walk around the town and visit the cemetery where Vincent and his brother are buried. End your day with a delicious dinner on board.
After an early lunch, you will be driven in Giverny to visit the home and gardens of Claude Monet. This time of year, you will see the famous lily pond and Japanese bridge which inspired so many works of this famous impressionist painter. Moor for the night at Conflans - the junction of the Oise and Seine Rivers. Enjoy a lovely dinner on board La Nouvelle Etoile.
This morning you cruise to Bougival and visit Malmaison, the home of Napoleon. Here you will see its many lavishly decorated rooms that were furnished by Josephine. You will return to La Nouvelle Etoile for an afternoon cruise up the River Seine past the Eiffel Tower to our Paris mooring for the Captains Farewell Dinner on board.
Day 12: Paris
After breakfast, disembark La Nouvelle Etoile and transfer to your drop-off point in Paris.
Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!