THE VALUE OF ALL INCLUSIVE CRUISING!
Inclusive. A word that you don’t tend to associate with cruising. A river cruise with no extra costs and unexpected fees. Your entire experience from ship to shore is included.
From enriching excursions led by Certified Local Guides, to VIP access into the must-see sites. From sparkling wine with breakfast, to specialty coffees throughout the day, to regional beers and wines with dinner. From luxuriously spacious staterooms boasting floor-to-ceiling windows to free WiFi.
Book by April 4th and save up to 40% on select France River Cruises. PLUS book an air-inclusive tour and save an additional $600. AND for a limited time, save an additional $200 per couple when you book with Bains Travel.
*All pricing is subject to availability, and is per person based on double occupancy.
FRANCE TO NORMANDY 2017 OVERVIEW
Combine time in France’s marvelous capital with discoveries of quaint towns along the Seine and in the picturesque Normandy region. Embark in Paris, sailing to Vernon, for a choice of guided visits to either Claude Monet’s stunning gardens at Giverny or magnificent Bizy Castle. Continue to Les Andelys with its Château Gaillard, built by England’s King Richard the Lionheart in 1196, and enjoy guided sightseeing. Then, on to Caudebec, where you choose between an included excursion to the poignant Normandy landing beaches or a fascinating “Taste of Normandy.” Visit Joan of Arc’s historic Rouen, and in Conflans, choose between a visit of Vincent van Gogh’s Auvers-sur-Oise or Napoleon and Josephine’s elegant Château de Malmaison before heading back to Paris. During your last day on the Seine, a Local Expert will show you some of the famous sights, such as the Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, and more!
DAY 1 ARRIVE IN PARIS, FRANCE (EMBARKATION)
Welcome to Paris, France’s capital on the Seine River, the “City of Light,” where romance fills the air. This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. Before dinner, your ship glides out of Paris. (Dinner)
Flights into Paris must arrive by 2:30 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.
DAY 2 VERNON–LES ANDELYS
This morning in Vernon, choose between a guided visit of Giverny and a visit to Bizy Castle. Claude Monet lived at GIVERNY for almost 43 years (1883-1926), and viewed his flower and water gardens as works of art—just like his paintings. See his collection of Japanese prints, his charming house, and his biggest sources of inspiration. Or, visit BIZY CASTLE, built in 1740 and nicknamed “Normandy’s Versailles.” It is known for its famous stables—inspired by those at Versailles—and its magnificent courtyard and water garden. This afternoon, arrive in Les Andelys, situated on a bend of the Seine and one of the most beautiful places in France. Join a Local Guide for a GUIDED WALK of the town, visiting the PARISH CHURCH OF LE PETIT ANDELY. Imposing Château Gaillard, built by England’s King Richard the Lionheart as a fortress in 1196, is seen above the town. Constructed in only a year, it is a masterpiece of medieval military architecture. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 3 CAUDEBEC
Today, join a guided excursion along the “NORMANDY VILLAGES ROUTE” to see some of Normandy’s charming half-timbered houses with their sloping thatched roofs, often sporting blue wooden doors and window shutters, or along the “NORMANDY ABBEYS ROUTE,” a short drive from Caudebec. More than 100 abbeys once covered this region, which has a microclimate suited to growing fruit such as apples, pears, plums, and cherries. The afternoon is free to explore on your own or to join an optional excursion to pretty coastal Honfleur. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 4 CAUDEBEC
Make your choice today between an included full-day excursion to the historic NORMANDY LANDING BEACHES—with poignant sites such as Omaha Beach, the Pointe du Hoc monument, and the American Cemetery—or a “TASTE OF NORMANDY” for an in-depth look at this picturesque, mainly agricultural region. The most important products are dairy, apples, and grain. Camembert cheese is a specialty, as is CALVADOS, a strong apple brandy you’ll have the chance to taste at a local distillery. And for a touch of history, visit the famous BAYEUX TAPESTRY. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 5 ROUEN
Rouen, capital of Upper Normandy, is an important commercial city perhaps best known for its connection to Joan of Arc, who lived, was imprisoned, and burned at the stake in the marketplace of this town in 1431. Enjoy the included GUIDED WALK through the medieval quarter with its half-timbered, glazed-tile houses, and take photos of the intricate Gros Horloge astronomical clock, dating back to the 16th century. Visit the gothic CATHEDRAL, which was once the tallest building in the world and the subject of a series of paintings by Claude Monet. The afternoon is free to explore on your own. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 6 CONFLANS
After breakfast you may either join our included guided excursion to AUVERS-SUR-OISE, the quaint little town where Vincent Van Gogh lived and died, or to Napoleon and Josephine’s CHÂTEAU DE MALMAISON just outside Paris. Requiring extensive renovations, this large country estate was purchased by Josephine Bonaparte in 1799 while Napoleon was fighting in Egypt. It was her aim to make it “the most beautiful and curious garden in Europe, a model of good cultivation.” (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 7 PARIS
Known as one of the world’s most romantic and lively cities, Paris is a delight for all your senses. Your included CITY SIGHTSEEING shows you magnificent must-see sights, such as Notre Dame Cathedral, the unique Louvre Museum with its glass pyramid as a contrast to its ancient architecture, the commemorative Arc de Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower. Alternatively, you may wish to join a GUIDED WALK through historic Île St. Louis with its narrow one-way streets and Île de la Cité, the center of Paris where the medieval city was founded and home to NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL. In your free time, stroll down the Champs-Elysées with its lavish cafés, or perhaps visit the world-famous Louvre or Montmartre with its gleaming white Sacré Coeur Basilica and bevy of artists on Place du Tertre. Paris is also well known for its colorful nightlife, and an optional outing to one of Paris’ famous cabaret shows might make the perfect finale to your Seine cruise vacation. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 8 PARIS (DISEMBARKATION)
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)
Click here to read a blog by owner Dolly Bains about the experience of taking an Avalon European River Cruise like this! Or contact us today for pricing on this Feature River Cruise deal, or others you may be interested in. We offer all Avalon, Viking, Ama, Uniworld, and Emerald Scenic River Cruises worldwide!