DAY 1: Paris
Arrive at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.
DAY 2: La Roche-Guyon, Vernon
Your journey begins in regal fashion today with visits to two châteaux. At Château La Roche-Guyon, you may venture inside for a peek at the sumptuous rooms where French kings were once entertained (and royal hijinks no doubt ensured). Or climb to the top of the fortress tower for marvelous views of the gardens, village and valley below. Spend the evening at another beautiful château, an ideal setting for a concert of classical music. Kings, dukes, duchesses, cardinals, counts—France’s nobility created splendid palaces and intriguing castles. Today the Seine and your luxurious ship carry you to châteaux with close links to the history of French royalty, in a region that was once the borderland between French and English royal power.
Château de Bizy concert
Choice of Château La Roche-Guyon or Exclusive guided “Let's Go” Château La Roche-Guyon fortress tower climb
A special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.
DAY 3: Rouen
Normandy’s medieval capital has a historic quarter that remains amazingly intact. See Rouen’s top sights as well as its splendid Christmas market, held on the square in front of the cathedral Monet painted dozens of times. Inside, you can listen to ethereal liturgical music enhanced by the cathedral’s wonderful acoustics. Another treat awaits at La Couronne—tea and cake at the restaurant where Julia Child had a life-changing first meal in France. The medieval capital of Normandy, Rouen has managed to preserve much of its historic core, despite being turned into a battlefield numerous times.
Choice of Rouen walking discovery tour with Christmas Market and cathedral choir recital or Teatime at La Couronne
DAY 4: Mantes-la-Jolie (Versailles)
The magnificently flamboyant Palace of Versailles was built during a time of absolute power, setting new standards for over-the-top excess with its elaborate gardens, grand state apartments and glittering Hall of Mirrors. All this plus an exclusive “secret” tour that takes you were others cannot go? Priceless.
Exclusive “Secret Versailles” palace tour
DAY 5: Paris
Join a local expert for a guided walk through two of our favorite neighborhoods in the “City of Light,” the Île de la Cité and Latin Quarter. Admire the Gothic grandeur and grimacing gargoyles of Notre Dame, then wander the streets with stones worn by countless notable artists, writers and philosophers, including Matisse and Picasso, Hemingway and Fitzgerald. The cultural, political, artistic and financial heart of France, Paris is entrancing, magical and exhilarating. Every view is postcard worthy, and for the next few days it is yours to enjoy.
Exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” walking tour of the Île de la Cité and Latin Quarter
DAY 6: Paris
After visiting Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, Louis XIV was so green with envy that he gave his modest hunting lodge a total makeover. See the inspiration for Versailles on an excursion to this elaborately decorated winter wonderland, where the owner will host an exclusive reception for Uniworld guests. Tonight, we’ll treat you to a Paris illuminations tour.
Exclusive reception at Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte
Paris “Illuminations” tour
DAY 7: Paris
The shop windows of Paris are truly an art form, particularly during the holidays when they attract throngs of delighted onlookers. See these enchanting displays for yourself today on one of the city’s chicest streets. We’ll also take you inside the Paris Opera, described by its architect as a “Versailles for everyone.” For something completely different, take a guided bike ride along the Left Bank.
Choice of Walking discovery tour to the Paris Opera and Boulevard Haussmann or Exclusive guided “Let's Go” Left Bank bicycle ride
DAY 8: Paris (Disembark)
Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport for your flight home.
A celebration of French festivities and royalty
Northern France and its “City of Light” sparkle even more during the holidays. The grand Christmas tree at Notre Dame, enchanting animated window displays on Boulevard Haussmann and the gloriously lit trees lining the Champs-Élysées infuse the city with magic. Combine the festivities of the holidays in Paris and surrounding towns with the world of royalty, and you’ll be treated to a once-in-a-lifetime festive royal journey.
The world of French royalty will unfold before your eyes with four exclusive châteaux visits. Château La Roche Guyon perched above the Seine is a fascinating place. Here you’ll discover 10 centuries of French history through your renowned hosts while enjoying a wine tasting. Hidden behind trees that are several hundred years old lies Château de Bizy, nicknamed the “Versailles of Normandy.” Walk through the torch-lit gardens and past breathtaking sculptured gardens to the main reception room, where you’ll attend a private chamber music concert.
While at Château de Versailles, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most beautiful achievements of 18th-century French art, you’ll be taken on a private guided tour of the Hall of Mirrors, Queen and King’s chambers and Marie Antoinette’s Le Petit Trianon. And in Paris, you’ll be treated to a rare experience with a private cocktail reception hosted by the owners of the luxurious 17th-century Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte. You’ll also get a “Taste of Christmas” in the medieval city of Rouen and indulge in delicious holiday treats at La Couronne, the restaurant made famous by Julia Child. And for those sailing over New Year’s, ring in 2018 against the stunning backdrop of the twinkling Parisian skyline.
Who will enjoy this cruise
Romantics will relish the chance to see Paris adorned in holiday splendor, and history buffs and followers of royalty will delight in four exclusive châteaux visits.
All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions
Welcome and Farewell Gala Dinners
Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, specialty coffee and tea, and mineral water
6 days of excursions all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
Guided "Taste of Christmas," "Go Active," "Do as the Locals Do" and "Gentle Walking" programs
State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio-headset system on all excursions
Use of Nordic walking sticks
7-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the magical S.S. Joie de Vivre
Lavishly appointed riverview staterooms and suites have handcrafted Savoir® of England beds, high-thread count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, and a menu of pillow options
Free Internet and Wi-Fi access
1 country: France
2 UNESCO World Heritage sites
Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise Manager
All transfers on arrival and departure days
Captivating onboard local entertainment
Cultural enrichment, including a Signature Lecture: “The Mona Lisa and 10 Legendary Paris Works of Art”
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.