Day 1 Paris.
Travel to Paris where you will be met and transferred to your cruise ship for seven nights. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception. (D)
Day 2 Vernon - Les Andelys.
Included today: Choice of excursion to Giverny or Bizy Castle; guided walk in Les Andelys; visit the Parish church of Le Petit Andely.
This morning, choose between a guided visit of Claude Monet's house and stunning gardens at Giverny or a visit to Bizy Castle. Claude Monet lived at Giverny for almost 43 years. See his collection of Japanese prints, his charming house, and his biggest sources of inspiration including the lily pond and Japanese Bridge. Alternatively, visit Bizy Castle, built in 1740 and nicknamed 'Normandy's Versailles'. It is known for its famous stable, magnificent courtyard and water garden. After lunch, your ship arrives in Les Andelys, perched on a bend of the Seine and one of the most beautiful places in France. Join a Local Guide for a walk of the town, including a visit to the Parish Church of Le Petit Andely. The imposing Château Gaillard overlooks the town. Built by Richard the Lionheart in 1196 fearing an attack from France's king, the château fortress was constructed in just one year and is truly a masterpiece of Middle Ages military architecture. (B, L, D)
Day 3 Caudebec.
Included today: Choice of excursion along either the 'Thatched Cottages' route or the 'Normandy Abbeys' route.
Today, either join an excursion along the Route des Chaumières 'Thatched Cottage Route' to see some of Normandy's charming and traditional half-timbered houses, with their long sloping thatched roofs, often sporting blue wooden doors and window shutters; or along the 'Normandy's Abbeys' route, a short drive from Caudebec. More than 100 abbeys once covered this region, that has a microclimate particularly suited to the production of fruit such as apples, pears, plums, and cherries. The afternoon is free to explore on your own or to join in an optional excursion to the pretty coastal town of Honfleur. (B, L, D)
Day 4 Caudebec.
Included today: Choice of excursion to Normandy Landing Beaches or A Taste of Normandy tour.
Today, choose between an included excursion to the historic Normandy Landing Beaches, visiting some of the most poignant sights of World War II such as Juno Beach, Pegasus Museum, and the British and Canadian Cemeteries, or a 'Taste of Normandy' tour for a more in-depth look at this picturesque, mainly agricultural region. The most important produce include dairy, apples and grain. Camembert cheese is a speciality, as is Calvados, a strong apple brandy that you'll have the chance to taste at a local distillery. (B, L, D)
Day 5 Rouen.
Included today: Guided sightseeing, see Astronomical Clock.
Rouen, the capital of Upper Normandy, is an important commercial city perhaps best known for its connection to Joan of Arc, who lived, was imprisoned and was later burned at the stake in the marketplace of this town in 1431. Join the guided walk through the medieval quarter with its half-timbered, glazed-tile houses and Gros Horloge, an intricate Astronomical Clock dating back to the 16th century. Included, there is an option to visit Musee Beaux Art - if not you will have free time. Visit the splendid Gothic cathedral, once the tallest building in the world and subject of a series of Claude Monet's paintings. The afternoon is free to explore on your own. (B, L, D)
Day 6 Conflans.
Included today: Choice of excursion to either Auvers-sur-Oise or Napolean and Josephine's Château de Malmaison.
After breakfast, why not join either our guided excursion to Auvers-sur-Oise, the quaint little town where Vincent Van Gogh lived and died, or visit 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'. (B, L, D)
Day 7 Paris.
Included today: Guided sightseeing or 'Heart of Paris' walk.
During your included city sightseeing tour of Paris, see the magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral, the unique Louvre Museum with its contrasting modern glass pyramid and striking Renaissance architecture, the commemorative Arc de Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower, a structural masterpiece of its age. Alternatively you may wish to join a guided walk through historic Ile St Louis and Ile de la Cité. In your free time, perhaps stroll the Champs-Elysées, visit the world-famous Louvre or head to Montmartre to enjoy its gleaming white Sacré Coeur Basilica and bevy of artists on the Place du Tertre. The city is well known for its colourful nightlife and an optional outing to one of Paris' famous cabarets might make the perfect finale to your cruise holiday. (B, L, D)
Day 8 Paris.
Disembark and transfer to the airport or station for your journey to the UK. (B)