Normandy & Gems of the Seine
Enjoy the opulent amenities of your floating hotel as she glides her way peacefully through the Isle-de-France region to Les Andelys. Hike to King Richard the Lionheart’s Château Gaillard, or journey to Lyons la Forêt, one of ‘the most beautiful villages of France’, and sample cider, the regions specialty, at the charming Le Pressoir d’Or estate.
This morning we awake in Rouen. Enjoy a walking tour of Rouen that takes in the famous sites of Joan of Arc and the historic Rouen Cathedral. Or, if you’d prefer, enjoy a cooking demonstration and tasting and learn exactly why French baking and patisseries are so world renowned. This region is also the gateway to the historic Western Front, and you’re able to gain fascinating insights into the Somme battlefields with on board lectures from a local expert. It’s a great opportunity, as you’ll be visiting the sites tomorrow.
This full-day excursion commemorates the 100 years since WWI, and includes a visit to the Australian National Memorial and Victoria School in Villers-Bretonneux. Alternatively, marvel at the superb collection of Impressionistic paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts, which was founded by Napoleon Bonaparte.
You’ll love cruising toward the open waters of the English Channel, so simply sit back and enjoy the trip. Later, take the opportunity to explore Honfleur, which will delight you with its quaint architecture, its relaxed coastal atmosphere and the many colorful fishing boats bobbing up and down on its waters. Alternatively, immerse yourself in the beautiful la Cote Fleurie region on France’s northern beaches, and discover dashing Deauville, playground of the rich and famous. The estate of Manoir d’Appreval welcomes Scenic guests exclusively for a unique cocktail event showcasing their prestigious apple spirits in a setting you’ll remember fondly for many years to come. Celebrate your visit to the picturesque Calvados region with a beverage of the same name, and let your eyes soak up the surrounding beauty, from the many flowering apple trees to the blue waters of the English Channel in the distance. Later, back on board, kick up your heels on the dance-floor as a fabulous local swing band belts out the best of the 1920’s in the Panorama Lounge. What a wonderful day.
Walk the historic Normandy beaches and allow your imagination to replay the D-Day landings where they took place. At the Landing Museum at Arromanches, you’ll be struck by the sombre ambience surrounding the 9,387 graves of the Normandy Cemetery. While there, take a moment to visualize the scene, and reflect on the momentous impact of that day, as you look out from your lofty hilltop position above Omaha Beach. Alternatively, explore Normandy’s famous Calvados Route, and delight in the many charming villages that dot the landscape. It’s also a great opportunity to sample the varietals of the region’s famous exports.
With steep limestone cliffs that plunge dramatically to the emerald waters of the English Channel below, the beauty of the Alabaster Coast will leave you breathless. Sitting proudly atop this dramatic seascape is the town of Etretat, where you’ll have the opportunity to explore this charming tourist and farming town. Sample the regional delights of goat’s milk cheese varietals when back on board. Alternatively, travel to the hilltop village of Bolbec and view the fabrics at the fascinating Textile Museum. If you wish, explore Caudebec-en-Caux with your Scenic Tailormade GPS device, or to take a leisurely cycle along its picturesque riverbank.
In a region rich in visual treasures, enjoy a full morning of relaxation and the opportunity to take in the incredible scenery as you cruise into Vernon. It’s easy to understand why this region of France is famous for inspiring so many beautiful paintings by many of history’s most famous artists. Visit Giverny, and gain entry to Monet’s former residence and gardens. If you’re feeling more adventurous you can do it by bike, with a self-guided cycle tour that starts at Vernon. You can also step ashore with Scenic Tailormade and discover Vernon at your own pace and pleasure.
This morning we cruise to the charming medieval town of Conflans, with its distinctive barge houses docked within easy reach of the quaint main square. Discover the charms of Auvers-sur-Oise and get to see Vincent van Gogh’s room, or step inside the magnificent Chantilly Castle for a guided tour of this remarkable château, set amidst beautiful parklands. After a leisurely afternoon of cruising, the evening will see us gliding into Paris, the city of love itself, and you’ll have the chance to view the beautiful illuminated skyline, and the soaring Eiffel Tower. Make sure you have your cameras ready.
Today you have the choice of either spending time exploring France's most celebrated city, or a discovery beyond the city limits. Shop with a Chef when you visit one one of the Paris's local food markets, and enjoy exquisite tastings, or walk the city with a resident expert and hear tales that only the locals know. Alternatively, you may wish to explore beyond Paris and tour the 17th century estate of Vicomte Palace. Louis XIV's inspiration for Versailles Palace. Featured in the James Bond movie Moonraker, the Palace of Vicomte has been leaving visitors in awe of its magnificence for centuries. You'll have a chance to explore Paris at leisure this afternoon.