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. Take the opportunity to meet the Avalon executives, who will join this cruise to share this experience with our guests. Before dinner, your ship glides out of Paris. (Dinner)
NOTE: 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, charming house, and his biggest sources of inspiration. Or, after a WALKING TOUR in Vernon, 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. You may want to attend a PAINTING CLASS and learn how to become an artist and how to find the inspiration to paint a real masterpiece. In the afternoon, join a Local Guide for a GUIDED WALK of the town, visiting the PARISH CHURCH OF LE PETIT ANDELY. Alternatively, you may wish to join your guide on a hike up to the ruins of imposing Château Gaillard, built by England’s King Richard the Lionheart as a fortress in 1196. Constructed in only a year, it is a masterpiece of medieval military architecture. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 3 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 4 Le Havre
This morning, wake up in Le Havre and join a guided excursion along the “NORMANDY ABBEYS ROUTE." More than 100 abbeys once covered this region, which has a microclimate suited to growing fruit such as apples, pears, plums, and cherries. Alternatively, explore the city of Le Havre during GUIDED SIGHTSEEING and don’t miss the opportunity to take a picture in ETRETAT, one of the most suggestive panoramic views in the north of France. The afternoon is at your disposal to experience HIKING TOURS in the Regional Park La Boucle de La Seine or to visit the pretty coastal town of HONFLEUR. (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.” After lunch, visit the unique PALACE OF VERSAILLES, and learn all about Louis XVI and his kingdom. Tonight, dress up for a gala dinner on board and delight in the special menu the chef has created just for you! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 7 Paris
Known as one of the world’s most romantic and lively cities, Paris delights the senses. Choose from a choice of GUIDED WALKS through Paris’ history and habits. In your free time, stroll down the Champs-Elysées with its lavish cafés, or perhaps join one of our included excursions and visit the world-famous LOUVRE or MONTMARTRE with its gleaming white Sacré Coeur Basilica and bevy of artists on Place du Tertre. This evening end your cruise with an unforgettable panoramic view of the “City of Light” from the EIFFEL TOWER. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 8 Paris (Disembarkation)–Mont St. Michel
Say Au Revoir to the crew of Avalon Tapestry II and enjoy the drive to Mont St. Michel. In this flat terrain you can already spot this unique hill with its Abbey perched on the top, from afar, as it appears to grow right out of the sea. A GUIDED TOUR takes you inside the ABBEY and from here the views are spectacular. Then explore the narrow winding street with its many little shops and restaurants of this one-of-a-kind islet - a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Overnight at Mont St. Michel. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 9 Mont. St Michel–Loire Valley
Take your last picture of Mont St Michel with morning lights and relax on the transfer to the Loire Valley. After lunch visit CHENONCEAU CASTLE, the favorite residence of Catherine de’ Medici, built in 1500. Check in at your hotel for tonight, Château du Breuil in Cheverny, and take the opportunity to sample traditional cuisine at one of the cozy local restaurants. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Day 10 Loire Valley–Chartres–Paris
On your way back to Paris, stop in Chartres and visit the CATHEDRAL, dreaming of the stories that you might have read in Ken Follett’s novels. In the afternoon, arrive in Paris where you have free time to buy the last gifts that will always remind you of this fantastic trip to France. (Breakfast)
Day 11 Paris
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)
This fabulous river cruise combines time in France’s unparalleled capital of Paris with beautiful scenery along the Seine River and the picturesque and historical region of Normandy.
Embark on your adventure in Paris and sail to Vernon where you can choose between two exciting guided visits—Claude Monet’s stunning gardens at Giverny or the remarkable Bizy Castle or participate in a painting class. You may choose to go on an excursion to the historic Normandy Landing Beaches, including Omaha Beach, the Point du Hoc monument, and the American Cemetery; or join a “Taste of Normandy” excursion; a guided tour of Le Havre, or along the “Normandy Abbeys” route; a chance to hike, or visit pretty little Honfleur. In Rouen, best known as the home of Joan of Arc, you’ll go on a guided walk through the medieval quarter and visit the gothic cathedral, once the tallest building in the world. From Conflans, an excursion takes you to the quaint and inspiring town of Auvers-Sur-Oise, associated with several famous artists, including Vincent Van Gogh or to visit Napoleon and Josephine’s Malmaison. In Paris, one of the world’s most romantic and vibrant cities, we offer a choice of guided walks, a visit to the Louvre or to Montmartre, and an unforgettable panoramic view of the city from the Eiffel Tower.
Then leave your ship and take the opportunity to add other memorable destinations to your list. Head north to one-of-a-kind Mont St. Michel, surrounded by water at high tide, and to the Loire Valley to visit the Château of Chenonceau and to admire its sumptuous gardens. En route to Paris for one last night, stop in Chartres to visit the magnificent cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On this French river cruise, you’ll enjoy wine, cheese, beautiful scenery, and stops in charming and historical parts of France.
Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapés; Welcome dinner; Daily Afternoon Tea; Daily Night Fare; Farewell dinner; Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; soft drinks with lunch; and wine, beer, or soft drinks with dinner are included daily on board your vessel
Included excursions with Certified Local Guide; sightseeing as outlined in the day by-day itinerary; inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE.
Deluxe cruise in an outside stateroom with hotel-style beds
Headsets for shore excursions
Complimentary Wi-Fi access
Personalized room options & excursions
The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.