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Paris to Normandy with Britain Sampler

16 days with Avalon Waterways  Rating: Deluxe

Book this River Cruise Now and Save!


  • Save $500 to $2,000 per couple off 2018 Europe cruises. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Pay no single supplement on this trip. Expires February 20. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Avalon Journeys Club members save 5% off the cruise/land price. Click here for eligible departures.

Offers subject to change or withdrawal, availability is limited. Some discounts are not combinable.

River Cruise Itinerary
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. (D)

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, 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. 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. (B,L,D)

Day 3 Caudebec.
Today, join a guided excursion 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 the pretty coastal town of Honfleur. (B,L,D)

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. (B,L,D)

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. (B,L,D)

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.” (B,L,D)

Day 7 Paris.
Known as one of the world’s most romantic and lively cities, Paris delights the senses. 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. (B,L,D)

Day 8 Paris (Disembarkation)–London, England.
This morning, disembark your Avalon ship in Paris and join the included transfer to the train station for your journey to London by Eurostar train. Upon arrival at St Pancras station a Local Host will greet you and you will be transferred to your London hotel. (B)

Day 9 London. 
After a hearty English breakfast, morning sightseeing with a Local Guide includes all the famous landmarks: the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben beside the Thames River, Westminster Abbey, Whitehall’s mounted horseguards and the Prime Minister’s Downing Street, Piccadilly Circus, and Buckingham Palace. The highlight is a visit to ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL, Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece built between 1675 and 1708. Free time in the afternoon for independent activities or to join an optional excursion to Windsor Castle or the Tower of London with its fabulous Crown Jewels. Later, how about an optional dinner, followed by a cruise on the Thames River? (B)

Day 10 London–Stonehenge–Bath. 
Meet your Tour Director and traveling companions, and depart at 8 am for a memorable day of sightseeing. First, try to unravel the mystery of prehistoric STONEHENGE. Explore the visitor center with its imaginative exhibitions, then take the shuttle to the stone circle and admire the magnificence of the monument up close. Cross Salisbury Plain and head for the elegant Georgian city of Bath, where you see the amazing excavations of the ROMAN BATHS. You will also have time to explore the town further on your own. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner at your hotel. (B,D)

Day 11 Bath–Stow-on-the-Wold–Stratford-upon-Avon–Llangollen, Wales–Chester, England.
Savor vistas of the Cotswolds on your way via the medieval market town of Stow-on-the-Wold to Stratford-upon-Avon. Time here to visit SHAKESPEARE’S BIRTHPLACE and for pictures of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. The afternoon is dedicated to North Wales. Take a stroll in picturesque Llangollen, home of an annual international contest for poets and musicians. Spend the night at Chester, the historic county town on the Dee River. (B,D)

Day 12 Chester–Grasmere–Gretna Green, Scotland–Edinburgh.
This morning’s walking tour includes the Roman remains, black and white half-timbered buildings, the cathedral, and the two-tiered shopping arcades called the “Rows.” Focus now on the tranquil Lake District, recently awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. Take a break in Wordsworth’s beloved Grasmere, and try original [LF] GRASMERE GINGERBREAD. Then, head north for the Scottish border. On the way through the history-steeped Lowland Hills, stop at Gretna Green, where the blacksmith used to wed runaway couples. In Edinburgh, don’t miss our optional Scottish evening with Highland dancers, bagpipers, and the Ceremony of the Haggis. (B)

Day 13 Edinburgh.
Morning city sightseeing with a Local Guide introduces you to the 200-year-old “New Town,” and the famous scientists, inventors, and novelists who lived there. In the “Old Town,” drive up the narrow Royal Mile to EDINBURGH CASTLE to admire Scotland’s Crown Jewels, then explore HOLYROOD PALACE (when available). The afternoon is free to enjoy the Scottish capital at your own pace. Later, a unique optional experience: board the former Royal Yacht Britannia, once the perfect royal residence for glittering state visits and family holidays. Dinner rounds off this optional evening. For departure numbers 0730 through 0820, tickets are included for tonight’s performance of the world-renowned MILITARY TATTOO, a vast spectacle of massed Scottish pipe bands that takes place in an arena on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle. (B)

Day 14 Edinburgh–Abbotsford–Jedburgh–York, England.
First on today’s agenda is a guided tour of Sir Walter Scott’s ABBOTSFORD HOUSE. After the tour, enjoy a [LF] CUP OF TEA and SHORTBREAD at Ochiltree’s Dining. Melrose Abbey and the ruins at Jedburgh are pointed out on the way to the English border and Northumberland National Park. In York, England’s most complete medieval city, stand in awe in front of the great structure of York Minster, then follow your Tour Director through a maze of quaint streets including the narrow Shambles. (B,D)

Day 15 York–Stamford–Cambridge–London.
Leave Yorkshire and its associations with James Herriot, and drive through the richest farmland in Britain. Pause in the market town of Stamford before arriving in the beautiful university city of Cambridge. Return to London around 3:30 pm. How about a night out on the town with newfound friends? (B)

Day 16 London.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • Paris (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception
  • Vernon–Les Andelys: choice of excursions to Giverny or Bizy Castle; guided walk in Les Andelys, visit the parish church of Le Petit Andely
  • Caudebec: excursion along the “Normandy Abbeys Route”
  • Caudebec: choice of excursions to Normandy landing beaches or “A Taste of Normandy” 
  • Rouen: guided sightseeing, see the Astronomical Clock and visit the cathedral 
  • Conflans: choice of excursions to visit Auvers-sur-Oise or Napoleon and Josephine’s Château de Malmaison
  • Paris: “Heart of Paris” walk, visit Notre Dame Cathedral
  • Paris, France (Disembarkation)–London, England: transfer to train station for your journey to London by Eurostar Train
  • London: guided sightseeing
  • London–Stonehenge–Bath: explore prehistoric Stonehenge, see the Roman relics in Bath, welcome dinner
  • Bath–Stow on the Wold–Stratford upon Avon–Llangollen–Chester: take a stroll in this Cotswold village, take pictures of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage in Stratford upon Avon, visit Shakespeare’s birthplace
  • Chester–Grasmere–Gretna Green, Scotland–Edinburgh: a walking tour in Chester, stop in Wordsworth’s village, try original Grasmere gingerbread
  • Edinburgh: guided sightseeing, visit Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace
  • Edinburgh–Abbotsford–Jedburgh–York, England: guided tour of Sir Walter Scott’s house in Abbotsford, then enjoy a cup of tea and shortbread at Orchiltree’s Dining, in Jedburgh take pictures of the abbey ruins, walking tour in York
  • York–Stamford–Cambridge–London: explore the university city of Cambridge
  • London: your vacation ends this morning
All This Included
This vacation offers a fabulous river cruise with time in France’s unparalleled capital of Paris, beautiful scenery along the Seine River, and stops in the most fascinating parts of Normandy coupled with a comprehensive land tour of Britain.

Embark on your adventure in Paris and sail to Vernon, where you’ll choose between a guided visit to Claude Monet’s stunning gardens at Giverny or the remarkable Bizy Castle, known as “Normandy’s Versailles.” 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. 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 Rouen Cathedral—once the tallest building in the world. From Conflans, go on an excursion to the quaint and inspiring town of Auvers-Sur-Oise—associated with several famous artists, including Vincent Van Gogh—or visit Napoleon and Josephine’s Malmaison. Before you disembark your cruise ship, spend time in Paris— one of the world’s most romantic and vibrant cities! The “City of Light” has Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, and the Louvre Museum with its elegant glass pyramid contrasting its ancient architecture. A guided walk through the historic Île St. Louis with its narrow streets, and Île de la Cité, where medieval Paris was founded, will be a delight.

Next, travel by Eurostar for your land tour of Britain which offers you the best of this great land. You'll see all of the fascinating sights from London to Edinburgh and back to London. Guided sightseeing in London includes the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Piccadilly Circus, and Buckingham Palace. History buffs will be delighted in seeing mysterious, prehistoric Stonehenge (just imagine how these stones got there!) and the Roman Baths in Bath, constructed around 70 AD and one of the best preserved Roman remains in the world. Also, Edinburgh offers the fascinating Edinburgh Castle, which houses Scotland’s crown jewels. Literary fans will enjoy visiting Shakespeare's birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon and exploring the colleges attended by many famous writers in Cambridge.

From the historical sights to the beautiful scenery to the special experiences, this river cruise of Normandy and land tour of Britain has a little something for everyone!
  • 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
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: Cabin onboard Avalon Tapestry II
London: Hilton London Metropole or Park Plaza Westminster Bridge
Bath: Hilton Bath City
Chester: Doubletree by Hilton Chester
Edinburgh: Mercure Edinburgh Princes Street
York: Mercure York Fairfield Manor
London: Dorsett Shepherds Bush
Pre and Post Add-ons
Extra nights per person in Paris:
in single room $400-$440, in twin $200-$225

Extra nights per person in London:
in single room $264-$396, in twin $149-$221
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades available.
  • Supplement to upgrade to standard premier on Eurostar train Paris-London: $185.
  • Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.
  • Port charges of $168 are not included.
  • Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included on Avalon portion only. 
  • In the event of water level problems or any problems of a technical nature, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or to alter the program.
  • Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change is necessary, a substitute will be offered.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions

* 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.



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