The culture, art, history, and romance of France sweeps you away on board a river cruise you’ll remember always. Start the journey to the Normandy region in Paris, where you’ll board your incredible ship for a rejuvenating 7-night river cruise. Sail to Conflans and visit Auvers-sur-Oise, once home to several 19th-century painters including Cézanne and Van Gogh. Cruise past the idyllic French countryside and dock in Rouen, Normandy’s historic capital where you’ll see the Gros Horloge astronomical clock. On to Le Havre on the English Channel and to explore Honfleur, the remarkable maritime city. Sail on to Les Andelys and Château Gaillard, constructed by Richard the Lionheart in the 12th century. Continue to the gardens of Giverny, muse to Impressionist painters such as Claude Monet. After an evening of dinner and dancing, journey on to Paris, the “City of Lights.” This is La Belle Seine – a journey as elegant as France itself.
Your journey opens in Paris. Board your ship and unpack once for a relaxing 7-night river cruise. Your beautiful vessel offers the newest technology, panoramic deck, panorama bar, delicious cuisine including regional wines with every dinner, and outstanding service. Tonight, a cocktail is served in the Panorama Bar where you will meet your fellow travelers before a lovely welcome dinner.
This morning, arrive in Conflans, situated at the confluence of the Oise and Seine rivers. Visit the town of Auvers-sur-Oise, once home to several 19th-century painters including Paul Cézanne, Charles-François Daubigny, Camille Pissaro, and perhaps most famously, Vincent Van Gogh. Embark on a tour of Auvers-sur-Oise that retraces Van Gogh’s time here, including Auberge Ravoux where he rented his room, the idyllic fields that inspired his last masterpiece, and his final resting place. This afternoon, cruise past lovely French countryside scenery as your journey continues.
Today your ship docks in Rouen, the historical capital of Normandy. Enjoy a guided walking tour of the medieval city, highlighting its many monuments and architectural treasures. Visit the cathedral and the Church of Joan of Arc before viewing the Gros Horloge astronomical clock. Spend time at leisure to continue exploring the city, perhaps with a visit to Place du Vieux Marché, the site where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in the 15th century. This afternoon, you may take an optional excursion with a local expert along the “Abbey Trail” to the ruins of both St. Wandrille Abbey and Jumièges. Learn about the rich history of the churches, castles and abbeys that once populated this region.
This morning we dock in Le Havre, a city located on the English Channel at the mouth of the Seine River. Perhaps you will join an optional morning sightseeing tour to Étretat, a town situated on the Normandy coast with stunning clifftop views and a charming fishing village where a guided walking tour highlights the various artists who have visited and painted there through the years. This afternoon, enjoy an included excursion to Honfleur, a remarkable maritime city. Explore the narrow streets and the old port with a local guide. View the Lieutenancy, the Old Salt Stores and St. Catherine’s Church before enjoying time to shop or explore independently.
A full day of remembrance awaits, as we travel through Normandy to visit some of the significant D-Day Landing sites of World War II. Begin at Pointe du Hoc, a strategic German battery that defended Utah and Omaha beaches from the Allied invasion, where craters from cataclysmic bombings occupy the landscape to this day. View Omaha Beach, one of the U.S. landing zones of the invasion of Normandy. Next, visit the Normandy American Cemetery and visitor’s center. Enjoy an included lunch locally before traveling on to Arromanche-les-Bains to view the Mulberry Harbor, one of the greatest engineering feats of WWII and a massive coup for the Allies. This evening, we rejoin the ship in Caudebec-en-Caux.
Begin your morning with a stop in Les Andelys to visit Château Gaillard, constructed in the 12th century by Richard the Lionheart. Admire the striking views of French countryside from the château’s vantage point on a promontory along the Seine. Next, continue to Giverny, where tranquil gardens combining flora and water elements inspired Monet’s greatest works. A guide will share stories of Monet’s time here as you tour his home and its surrounding gardens. Tonight, the captain welcomes you to the elegant Captain’s Gala dinner, immediately followed by an evening of dancing.
This morning, take a splendid panoramic coach tour that features views of the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, Les Invalides, the Louvre Museum, the famous Champs-Elysées and the Jardin des Tuileries. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to continue exploring this great city. Perhaps you will join an optional excursion to King Louis XIV’s magnificent Palace of Versailles,* the largest palace in Europe; visit the grand private apartments and the Hall of Mirrors on a guided tour of the palace; stroll the magnificent gardens which are amongst some of the world’s most famous and took over 40 years to complete. Or join an optional guided walking tour of the Montmartre district highlighting its narrow winding streets that have drawn artists to them for hundreds of years. Your day concludes with a farewell dinner where you will bid adieu to the illuminated “City of Lights.”
Your tour comes to a close today, leaving you with many pleasant memories of a wonderful adventure.
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
|16-Oct-2019 for 8 Nights||Double||
Back in 1918, when Jack Collette started the company, the first tour to ever run was made up of a jitney bus of travellers that left Boston, Massachusetts headed for Florida. This three-week adventure cost just $61.50! At that time few could have foreseen that nearly 100 years later, that same company would be taking guests from around the world to all seven continents.
Collette believe that a true travel experience starts and ends with people and they pride themselves in creating adventures which take you on a journey around the world. They offer over 150 tours taking you to the national parks of North America, the wonders of Central and South America, the culture of Europe, the ancient sites of Asia, the wildlife of Africa and the outback of Australia. Their extensive travel experience and local expertise, developed over their 100 year history, means they take you to the main sights but also to places rarely visited and those you have always dreamed of exploring. Their aim is to deliver authentic experiences so on their tours you can expect to experience and try your hand at local crafts and traditions, meet the locals and see a lifestyle often very different to your own.
Travelling is such an enriching experience, but it is not always straight forward. Language and cultural differences can be a challenge, but Collette have it covered. They have their own experts on the ground who speak the language and understand the customs, and they have designed tours to maximise your stay in your chosen destination. They have organised all the details with airlines, accommodation, transportation, meals, sightseeing and more to ensure your tour runs seamlessly. They transport you from A to B in comfort, so you can sit back, relax and really make the most of your travels.
Collette offer you their ‘Best Value’ approach. Their tours are inclusive of any domestic transportation, accommodation, most meals, daily tours including entrance fees, local guides and exceptional Tour Managers. When you book a flight inclusive tour with them, they will also transport you in style in your own private door to door airport transfers. All you have to pay for are any non-included meals, drinks and non-included excursions – not to mention the odd souvenir along the way! Before you travel, Collette includes, with your full itinerary, details on how to download your personal App for use on tour. The App will become your new travel friend, and is packed with useful information including all the details about your flights and accommodation on tour, useful weather updates, city maps, and restaurant and attraction recommendations. You can also use it to share photos via social media.
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