2020 Tour Season

The Seine: Paris to Normandy

Group Size

This trip has a group size of 150 travelers with our local program Director exclusive to Grande Circle.

Pacing

12 days, with 10 nights aboard M/S Bizet, and 1 single night hotel stay.

what’s Included
  • Includes International airfare, airport transfers, government taxas, fee’s, airline fuel surcharge’s. Unless you choose to make your own air arrangements. Air from Houston IAH $1100. per person. You may upgrade if desired.
  • Accommodations for 10 nights abroad M/S Bizet with wireless internet access in all common area’s and cabins, and 1 night at the Novotel Convention & Wellness Roissy CDG of similar.

Main Trip leaves US April 26 and returns May 8, 2020.

Optional Extensions
  • Brittany and Mont. St. Michel, France Pre Trip: $995. per person. Depart April 23.
  • Loire Valley, France Post Trip $995. per person. Return May 12.
7 included tours with personal headsets and 6 exclusive discovery series events
  1. French Language lesson
  2. Impressionists discussion
  3. Painting class
  4. Home Hosted Visit
  5. Cooking demonstration
  6. French Cheese Tasting
  • Local program directors, A grand cruise line exclusive Our dedicated experts are with you and your group of 38 travelers from beginning to end to provide insider’s knowledge and the perspective that will enrich your experience.
  • Gratuities for local guides and motorcoach drivers
  • All Port Charges
  • Baggage Handling for 1 piece of luggage per preson, including tips.
  • 5% Frequent Traveler Credit toward your next trip – an average of $312

Pricing

Deck Price
Soprano Deck A $4395
Soprano Deck B $4195
Alto Deck A $3995
Alto Deck A $3595

Day 2

Arrive this morning or afternoon in Paris. You are met at the airport and transferred to your airport hotel, located 18 miles from the Paris city center.
If you began your European exploration early with our pre-trip extension in London, England, you will join the main group today. You have the balance of the day to relax after your overseas flight.
Later, celebrate the start of your France River Cruise with a Welcome Drink and briefing with your fellow travelers and Program Director.

Day 3

From Paris, you will transfer to the well-preserved port town of Honfleur, founded in the eleventh century, If you began your European explorations early with our pre-trip extension in Brittany & Mont St. Michel, France,
you will join the main group today. En route, visit the Peace Memorial Museum in Caen, a state-of-the-art facility that does an outstanding job of presenting the events of World War II, including D-Day, very vividly.
Your visit here will be an excellent way to put into context what you’re going to see when you visit Normandy’s beaches later in your trip. You’ll have time here for lunch on your own.
You’ll arrive at and embark your ship in the mid-afternoon, with time to settle into your outside cabin, your private retreat for the next ten nights of your Seine River Cruise.
This evening gather with your fellow travelers and Program Director for our first Port Talk: During your Seine River Cruise, you’ll receive daily briefings about the next day’s discoveries, so that you can make the best use of your free time there.
Then, celebrate the beginning of your trip together with a Welcome Drink and Captain’s Welcome Dinner in the dining room.

Day 4

After breakfast, enjoy a walking tour of Honfleur. Situated on a Seine estuary opposite Le Havre, the town was once one of the most important ports in France.
It was from here that many voyages of discovery were launched, including the journey of native son Samuel de Champlain, who would go on to found Port Royal in Nova Scotia and the settlement of Quebec in Canada.
The port changed hands frequently between France and England during the Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453) and was finally won back by France in 1450. In the 1800s, Le Havre displaced Honfleur as a major port.
After lunch on the ship, you are at leisure to explore Honfleur on your own. Or, join an optional visit to the Tapestry Museum of nearby Bayeux, which showcases, a remarkable piece of embroidered fabric – 230feet in length – Depicting the events of the 1066 Norman invasion of England.
Study elaborate scenes created with wool yarn of russet and gold, and learn the history that inspired this fascinating work of art. The ship remains in port tonight, where you will have the opportunity to learn a few essential French phrases during a language lesson.

Day 5

The D-Day landings, code-named “Operation Overlord,” were the largest military operation in recorded history. The beaches of Normandy bore the brunt of the invasion.
Beginning at 6:30 am on June 6, 1944, nearly 7000 boats hit the beaches along the coast of Normandy. Those vessels carried tens of thousands of soldiers from the United States, Great Britan, Canada And many other Allied nations, all of whom arrived determined to carry out General Eisenhower’s order, “Full victory-nothing else.”
After a box lunch at the village of Arromanche, continue to the American Military Cemetary. You’ll see the monument that honors the fallen, and visit the cemetery of Colleville sur Mer, where 9,386 American soldiers rest.
You’ll have the opportunity to walk down to Omaha Beach for an up close look of where the first Allied footing was achieved in German-occupied France. When they arrived on the beaches on D-Day, the Allies were met with a deafening barrage of German gunfire.
Then continue on to Pointe du Hoc-a place all Normandy veterans know well-where Allied forces scaled 328-foot cliffs as they sought to silence German artillery. Your evening is at leisure onboard the ship.

Day 6

Early this morning (depending on the tide), depart Honfleur and cruise to Caudebec, passing under the Honfleur’s 90-foot-tall Tancarville Bridge en route.
After lunch onboard, disembark the ship for an afternoon at leisure discovering charming Caudebec and its historic main square. Or, join a half-day optional excursion to the beautiful cliffs on the Normandy coase at Etretat.
You’ll discover the treasure of Etretat including the clifftop Chapel Notre Dame Garde. Return to the ship for dinner onboard this evening.

Day 7

After breakfast, disembark for a walking tour of Rouen. The capital of Normandy, Rouen is an important French commercial city with a distinguished history dating to pre-Roman times.
But it is more infamous as the city where Joan of Arc was imprisoned, tried for heresy, and burned at the stake in 1431. Here you’ll see the 14th-century abbey where she was sentenced to death, and visit the Market Square where her execution took place.
You’ll have free time to explore after your tour, and you might visit the Joan of Arc Museum, containing a fascinating history of the French heroine of the Hundred Years’ War.
Savor regional dishes during lunch in a local restaurant, followed by time in the afternoon to do as you please in Rouen. Perhaps you’ll visit its wonderful Gothic Notre Dame Cathedral, whoe facade has graced more than 30 Monet paintings.
The great painter rented rooms across from the cathedral in 1892, and he painted several canvases simultaneously, capturing nuances of light and weather that played across its Gothic facade.
This afternoon, join a local family for an exclusive Discovery Series Home-Hosted Visit for the opportunity to learn more about life in rural France as you share a sweet and local treat. Enjoy dinner onboard this evening.

Day 8

This morning as you cruise toward Les Andelys, take in views of Chateau Gaillard, an imposing fortress from the ear of Richard the Lionhearted. You may also join an onboard cooking demonstration and French cheese tasting during two exclusive Discovery Series events.
After lunch onboard, you’ll disembark for an included walking tour. Later, use your free time to explore Les Andelys on your own. Or, join us for a watercolor painting class onboard. After dinner onboard this evening, enjoy a presentation about the Impressionist period during another exclusive Discovery Series event.
It remains docked overnight.

Day 9

After breakfast, disembark for an excursion into the countryside to see the lovely landscapes that inspired Claude Monet. He first witnessed the village of Giverny while looking out a train window in 1883, and the unique light of the Seine Valley kept him in residence for 43 years.
He stayed here until his death in 1926, and you’ll find his grave in the family vault at the town’s Romanesque Church. Explore the artist’s home and gardens, left by his son Michel to the Academie des Beaux-Arts in 1966 and now a museum dedicated to the great painter.
The house is furnished as it was when the leader of the Impressionist School lived here, including his precious collection of Japanese engravings. The gardens have been replanted, and as you stroll through them, you’ll see with your own eyes the landscapes that have graced countless Monet paintings.
You’ll spot the familiar Japanese bridge and water garden shaded by weeping willows, its pond still full of the water lilies that so permeated his work. “I want to paint like the birds sing,” Monet said.
Perhaps you’ll agree that the idyllic setting in Giverny would lend itself to his dream. Please note: This tour is available on April through October departures only. On March and November departures, we offer a walking tour of Vernon instead.
Later, enjoy time on your own in Vernon. You can also take part in a Scavenger Hunt-your Program Director will give you a list of three French items, a map of the city, and 15 Euros.
This is a great opportunity to fully immerse yourself in French culture and have authentic local interactions. Dinner will be onboard tonight.

Day 10

During this morning’s cruise to Conflans, you’ll travel through a region beloved by the Impressionists. The Seine, the Epte, and the Oise-three French rivers referred to as the “Rivers of Light”-neighbor each other in this area, and it was here that artists flocked to paint landscapes and scenes that have become so recognizable around the world.
This afternoon, join your Program Director for a walking tour of Conflans. Then enjoy some free time for independent exploration. Or, join us on an optional Path of Van Gogh tour of Auvers-ser-Oise.
You’ll see the final resting place of Vincent van Gogh in the simple and quaint town that inspired much of his work. Dinner is onboard tonight.

Day 11

Early this morning, we cruise to Paris from conflans. Upon arrival spend the morning exploring Paris, being introduced to both the city’s classic highlights and more intimate neighborhoods.
First, set off on a panoramic drive, witnessing the Eiffel Tower from different perspectives as you travel along the famed Champs-Elysees. View the Arc de Triomphe (commissioned by Bapolean in 1806 and complted in 1836). which stands at the end of the Champs-Elysees, at a large central roundabout where twelve elegant, tree-lined avenues converge. Then, get a sense of daily life in paris during a walking tour of one of the city’s residential neighoods. Then you’ll have the afternoon free to make your own discoveries. Dinner is included onboard tonight.

Day 12

This morning, explore Montmartre one of the most famous and lively of the city’s 20 arrondissements (districts) on a walking tour. Spend some free time following your included walking tour exploring the charming streets of this romantic neighborhood, and view the famed Sacre Coeur Basilica, with it’s dramatic perch on the top of the Montmarte hill. Delight in the views of Paris below, and watch the street artists at work
or browse the local shops for a special keepsake to bring home. The afternoon is yours in Paris to spend as you please. This evening, enjoy your Captain’s Farewell Dinner with your fellow travelers.

Day 13

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home. Or further your discoveries with our Loire Valley, France post-trip extension.


Booking

To book call GCT Reservations at 1 800 221 2610
Group Code GO-24889

Tell the Travel Counselor that you want to reserve The Seine: Paris to Normandy departing
April 26, 2020 with the A La Carte Tours group.

The deposit for this Tour is $500 per person.
Travel Insurance can be provided by A La Carte Tours.

Here is a link to this incredible tour: OatTravel