Impressions from the Seine: Paris to Normandy 2021
8 days with Tauck Rating: Deluxe
River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive Paris / Embark Ship Tour begins: 4:00 PM. A transfer is included from the Charles de Gaulle airport or the Charles de Gaulle, Gare du Lyon, or Gare du Nord train stations to Tauck’s riverboat. Join us for the captain’s briefing, followed by a welcome reception and a Tauck Exclusive – a private evening visit to Musée du Louvre! Tauck guests skip the lines – and the general public – on a private after-hours evening visit to the incomparable Musée du Louvre, a showcase of Impressionist paintings. The Louvre, housed in a former royal palace, astounds with an incomparable collection of old masters, sculptures and antiquities, including the beguiling Mona Lisa and the wingless Venus de Milo. A wonderful start to a magnificent week in France! (D)
Day 2 Sightseeing in Paris Bonjour! Your first day in Paris begins with a special Tauck Exclusive – a private morning visit to Musée du Louvre! Tauck guests skip the lines – and the general public – on a private pre-opening visit to the incomparable Musée du Louvre, a showcase of Impressionist paintings. The Louvre, housed in a former royal palace, astounds with an incomparable collection of old masters, sculptures and antiquities, including the beguiling Mona Lisa and the wingless Venus de Milo. Afterward, enjoy a choice of sightseeing that includes a visit to Opera Garnier, a walking tour of the Latin Quarter and lovely St. Germain that includes a walk through Luxembourg Gardens, or a visit to Père Lachaise Cemetery, a mix between a tree-lined English park and a shrine with more than 70,000 burial plots (celebrities interred here include Maria Callas, Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, Frederic Chopin, and Jim Morrison and more). Return to the riverboat late afternoon; tonight, enjoy a cocktail hour followed by a welcome reception and dinner in Compass Rose. Musical entertainment rounds out the evening in the Lounge. (B, L, D)
Day 3 Château de Versailles
The epicenter of French royal power until 1789, King Louis XIV’s Château de Versailles epitomized the royal lifestyles in Old World Europe. Standing on the grounds of a once humble hunting lodge, the palace at Versailles was built to impress, inside and out. Your visit here today includes a look inside the most famous of its 700 rooms, the gilded Hall of Mirrors and the king’s over the top royal apartments, and a tour of the gardens, one of the biggest in the world. Spend the remainder of the day enjoying the amenities of your riverboat along with picturesque scenery as you cruise along the Seine to Rouen. (B, L, D)
Day 4 Memories of Rouen
Your riverboat docks in Rouen today, the historic capital of Normandy. A medieval city of history amidst half-timbered houses and storied squares, Rouen has been immortalized in paint and prose. One of its most immortalized residents is Joan of Arc who lost her fight and life here. On your guided visit with a local guide, hear tales of her triumphs and trials, walking in places where she lived and died. You may recognize the Cathedral Notre Dame de Rouen the moment you see it; Monet painted it more than thirty times to capture the ever-changing play of light on it during different times of the day. Even the city’s astronomic clock gracing a Renaissance arch has acquired renowned acclaim for its timely efficiency since 1527. Enjoy time at leisure to explore the sights as you wish before returning to the riverboat for an afternoon at leisure. This evening join us for a Tauck Exclusive gala reception and dinner with music at the 16th-century Château du Taillis in Duclair, a true Renaissance treasure. (B, L, D)
Day 5 D-Day Beaches, then and now
2019 marks the 75th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy in World II. Today’s poignant visit to the beaches of Normandy is led by a local guide knowledgeable about the day’s events, the heroics and the losses of this historic Allied operation of June 6, 1944, as well as its Allied liberation of Western Europe. See Pointe du Hoc where US Army Rangers scaled the 100-foot-high, crater-riddled cliffs and seized the German artillery pieces to keep them from firing on the American troops landing at Omaha and Utah beaches. Visit Omaha Beach, one of the five landing areas of the Normandy Invasion of World War II, today dotted with the remains of German bunkers. Pause at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial overlooking Omaha Beach and the English Channel, the final resting place for more than 9,300 troops who lost their lives in World War II. After lunch, meet your riverboat back in Caudebec-en-Caux. Dine at your leisure tonight. (B, L, D)
Day 6 Les Andelys, cider and Calvados
Look up as your riverboat pulls into Les Andelys this morning to see the ruins of Château Gaillard reigning atop its hillside perch. Built by Richard the Lionheart, King of England in 1197, it was considered the mightiest castle of its time. Exactly how did an English king lay claim to this important strategic stronghold in France? At the time, Richard I of England was the feudal duke of Normandy and he wanted to keep it that way. He constructed the fortress with the help of more than 6,000 workers in just one year in an attempt to keep the King of France from invading Normandy. Richard carefully chose the site for his fortress, building it where the Seine takes a sharp curve at Les Andelys. Take a walking tour of the town and the castle ruins above before a drive into the countryside where apples are king. A tasting and visit to a local farm shares the bounty of the land in the form of freshly pressed cider and aged brandy with pâte and confiture, preserved fruit. Cruise to Vernon after lunch onboard ship, arriving in time for an orientation walk of the town before dinner. Tonight, get ready to kick it up a few notches when dancers come aboard to perform the Parisian Can-Can! (B, L, D)
Day 7 Monet's house and gardens in Giverny
A Tauck Exclusive early opening visit to Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny gives you the rare privilege of experiencing the beauty of his home in the changing light of the day as Monet did every morning. Go inside his pink house, left exactly as it was when the artist and his family lived here, and stroll through painted gardens you may have seen in Paris on your museum visit. Flowers, planted according to their colors, are left to grow freely in the gardens and lilies bloom all summer long in the water garden where you will see the famous Japanese bridge covered with wisterias, along with smaller bridges, weeping willows and a bamboo wood. You will have time to visit Giverny’s Impressionist Museum at your leisure. Back aboard ship, join in a painting class led by a local artist as he shares insights, tips and techniques about the Impressionist works you have seen during the cruise, in preparation for creating your own impressive work of art. Join us onboard your ship this evening for a farewell reception and dinner as we bid adieu to our new friends. (B, L, D)
Day 8 Journey home Tour ends: Paris. Disembark ship by 9:00 AM. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from Tauck’s riverboat to Charles de Gaulle airport or the Charles de Gaulle, Gare du Lyon, or Gare du Nord train stations for your journey home. Allow a minimum of three hours for flight check-in at the airport. (B)
River Cruise Highlights
TAUCK EXCLUSIVE – Dinner at 16th-century Château du Taillis in Duclair
TAUCK EXCLUSIVE – Private, early morning visit to Musée du Louvre
All This Included
Along the River Seine to the coast of Normandy and back features art and daily life in Paris, stops in historic, small villages and towns, and a memorable visit to the beaches of Normandy.
Unique experiences include a Tauck Exclusive evening at Château du Taillis, a palatial private residence in Normandy, where guests will enjoy a reception, dinner, music, and a tour of the château’s small museum of World War II artifacts; and a private early-opening guided visit to the home and gardens of the painter Claude Monet at Giverny, where he painted many masterpieces, followed by free time to explore the nearby Impressionist Museum as you please; and in Paris, a choice of activities including a visit to Père Lachaise Cemetery, known for its ornate tombs and notable “residents” linked to Parisian history, like Marcel Proust, Frederic Chopin, and Edith Piaf, and a choice of museum visit. Highlights include Versailles, for guided visit inside Louis XIV’s magnificent palace and gardens at Château de Versailles; Rouen, where a walking tour includes visits to Cathédrale de Rouen and Joan of Arc Square with a local guide; the D-Day Beaches of Normandy, with guided visits to Pont du Hoc, Omaha Beach, and the American Cemetery along with lunch at the Omaha Beach Club; Les Andelys for a guided walking tour and a visit to Château Gaillard; and Tilly, for cider and Calvados tastings and a Normandy farm tour.
All gratuities to ship staff, drivers, local guides, Tauck Directors and Tauck Cruise Director
Tauck’s private shore excursions and distinctive inclusions valued at $1,560
Choice of museum visits in Paris, choosing from the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, Rodin Museum or the Musée National de l’Orangerie (subject to opening times and days)
A locally guided walking tour of historic Rouen, including the Cathedral painted by Monet more than 30 times and Joan of Arc Square
Guided exploration of D-Day sites with a local expert, including Pointe du Hoc, Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery, with lunch at the Omaha Beach Club
Cider and Calvados tasting at a farm in Tilly
A visit to the Château Gaillard ruins in Les Andelys
Early-opening visit to Monet’s house and gardens and the Impressionist Museum in Giverny
Unlimited complimentary beverages aboard ship include regional wine, beer and premium spirits in addition to specialty coffee, water and soft drinks
Airport and train station transfers on arrival and departure as noted
20 meals; service charges, taxes, porterage, and applicable fuel surcharges
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: cabin onboard ms Sapphire
Cabin upgrades are available.
Land / cruise price per person, based on double occupancy, includes cruise fare, most meals, port charges, shore excursions, applicable fuel surcharges, and gratuities to Tauck Directors, Tauck Cruise Director, ship staff, local guides & drivers, and on all included meals.
Private Louvre visit is not available on April 10 and May 23 departures – you'll have the choice of a guided museum visit.
Due to Versailles being closed on Monday, the April 10 departure will visit Versailles on day 7. (Day 3 and Day 7 are flipped)
The departure of November 2 will follow a slightly different itinerary on days 4, 6 & 7.
Although not expected, Tauck reserves the right to alter the sequence of ports or omit or substitute scheduled ports or attractions at any time without prior notice. Further, museums and attractions may be subject to closure due to state, local or religious holidays. This cruise includes a fair amount of walking.
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.