Paris, Normandy and the River Seine Cruise
Prices from £1,895 per person
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This fascinating cruise, beginning and ending in timeless Paris, journeys through the charming Normandy countryside which was loved by the Impressionists, yet also played an important role in World War II.
This 7 night / 8 day cruise holiday by First Class rail includes Standard Premier Class return rail from London to Paris aboard Eurostar, and full board accommodation on board the Amadeus Diamond, plus private taxi transfers in Paris.
Special offer price
June to September from £1,895 for a category C4 cabin with panoramic window or from £2,395 for a category B4 cabin with full length French window.
Day 1 – London to Paris
Your holiday begins as you enter beautifully restored London St. Pancras International Station; take the time to admire the stunning glass roof. Then sit back, relax and watch the Kent and Northern French countryside glide past as you travel by Eurostar to Paris – France’s romantic capital – at speeds of up to 186mph. Enjoy your at seat meal and drinks as the landscape changes before you. On arrival at Paris Gare du Nord station your private taxi transfer will be waiting to take you across Paris to join your floating hotel for the next 7 nights, the comfortable and highly-rated Amadeus Diamond. You will have time to settle in to your cabin before you meet the crew and other guests over a welcome cocktail before dinner.
Day 2 – Conflans
Today you arrive in Conflans, the confluence of the Seine and Oise Rivers and known as the French capital of shipping. This afternoon you may choose to explore Conflans at leisure. The town is home to the Museum of Shipping and a 17th century castle. Alternatively you may choose to join in the footsteps of the Impressionist artists such as Cézanne and Daubigny and on an excursion to Auvers-sur-Oise. The paintings of Van Gogh, whose final resting place is found here, come alive in the winding streets of this village and. Visit the Auberge Ravoux, where Van Gogh made his home.
Day 3 – Rouen
This morning the Amadeus Diamond arrives in Rouen, often known as the “Ville Musée” due to its excellent museums. You may wish to visit one of these your leisure, such as the Musée des Beaux Arts (Fine Arts) or the Historial Jeanne d’Arc, which depicts the life of Joan of Arc. It was in Rouen, at the Place du Vieux Marché, where she was burned at the stake. Rouen is also famed for its magnificent Cathedral, which inspired perhaps the most well-known of the Impressionists, Claude Monet. If you prefer, you can join an optional walking tour of the city. This afternoon you have the option of visiting the “Routes des Abbayes”, where the meandering River Seine is lined with churches, castles and abbeys. This excursion which includes a visit to St Wandrille, a living and working community and Jumièges, described by Victor Hugh as one of the most beautiful ruins in France, is accompanied by a local expert so that you get the most out of your visit.
Day 4 – Le Havre
During World War II much of Le Havre’s harbour was destroyed. It was rebuilt, however, and it continues to be an important port. This morning you can choose to explore at leisure or take an optional excursion to Etretat. Étretat became a popular seaside resort during the 19th century, not least due to the number of famous authors who were inspired by its dramatic setting – Maupassant, Victor Hugo and Flaubert. Monet painted several pictures of the coast and white cliffs around Étretat and a guided walking tour of the clifftop path will allow to see for yourself the natural beauty of this coastline. This afternoon you have the opportunity to visit one of Normandy’s gems –Honfleur. On a guided walking tour you will see the narrow streets of this charming port and the colourful houses which line the quayside and are reflected in the Seine itself. It is a delight to stroll around Honfleur and you may enjoy visiting one of the many artists’ studios and galleries.
Day 5 – Le Havre – Caudebec-en-Caux
From your mooring in Le Havre, you can join an insightful excursion to discover some of the most important sites of recent history, the Normandy Beaches, the landing place of more than 170,000 Allied Soldiers in World War II. A local guide will walk you through these turbulent times as you visit the Pointe du Hoc, Omaha Beach, Colleville American Cemetery on what will be a poignant and compelling day of discovery. Alternatively, you may prefer to join a journey through the Normandy of picturesque half-timbered houses, rolling hills and apple orchards. Normandy also boasts many historic landmarks, such as the city of Bayeux, where a stop will be made at the Bayeux Tapestry that chronicles, in visual form, the conquest of England by William the Conqueror in 1066. Discover one of the most important events of Norman history with this extraordinary tapestry. You will continue to Pont l’Evêque, famous for its cheese and beautiful half-timbered houses. Enjoy an authentic Normandy lunch break and continue your afternoon with a visit to a traditional distillery for a tasting of cider and Calvados. Your Norman journey will end with some free time in the elegant city of Deauville, known as the “queen of the Norman beaches” and is one of the most prestigious seaside resorts in all of France.
Day 6 – Les Andelys – Vernon-Poissy
Today, your ship anchors in Les Andelys, in the shadow of Château Gaillard, the one time home to Richard the Lionheart. You may explore this town at your own pace or join an excursion to the Château Gaillard for fabulous views of the Seine and surrounding countryside. After visiting the Château you will travel to nearby Giverny, home to Impressionist Claude Monet. The beautiful surroundings, vivid flora and lily ponds were inspiration for some of his most famous works. You will also have the opportunity to see inside the house. This afternoon you can join a visit to the spectacular Palace of Versailles. Originally a small hunting lodge, the palace was extended to its current size by the “Sun King” Louis XIV and is now one of Europe’s largest palaces. During your visit you will see the grand private apartments of the king and queen and the spectacular Hall of Mirrors. Back on board, the Captain’s Gala Dinner is a wonderful finish to a fantastic day.
Day 7 – Timeless Paris
When you wake up this morning, you will find yourself in the romantic French capital. You can, of course, explore this timeless city at your leisure, although two sightseeing options are available to you. You can join a city tour of Paris by coach, on which you will see the most important monuments including the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and the Champs-Elysées. A walking tour of the artists’ quarter Montmartre, with its panoramic view of Paris is also offered. With its narrow, winding streets its charming, cobbled squares filled with watercolour painters and sketch artists, Montmartre is the picture-postcard idea of Paris. Paris by night, when all her landmarks are beautifully illuminated, is truly unforgettable. This evening, in the City of Lights, you can join an illuminated cruise of the River Seine, a perfect end to your cruise.
Day 8 – Homeward bound
After breakfast this morning, you disembark from the ship and your private taxi transfers you to the Gare du Nord station where you board your direct Eurostar service back to London. Sit back and relax as your high-speed train whisks you northwards through the changing scenery of France. Take time to reflect on the magnificent sights, sounds and tastes which you have enjoyed on your holiday as you enjoy a light meal and drinks before your arrival into London St Pancras, and your onward journey home.
About your ship – Amadeus Diamond
The Amadeus Diamond combines stylish design and the highest levels of comfort to make guests feel at home.
Most staterooms feature French balconies and all have en-suite facilities with amenities such as flat screen television, individual climate control, hairdryer, telephone, safe and bottled water. This cruise ship features 62 staterooms and 12 suites with a maximum of 146 passengers. Enjoy entertainment in the Panorama Lounge and Bar, deck games on the sun deck or relax and unwind in the Amadeus Club. Amadeus Provence features a fitness room, hair salon and massage room. There is a small gift ship and the ship benefits from a lift between some decks. There are 20 bicycles on board giving you the opportunity to explore the riverside paths or meander through the streets of the riverside towns you visit. Wi-Fi is available on board ship. All meals are included on board: buffet breakfast and multi-course lunch and dinner with menu choices, plus afternoon tea and midnight snack. Lunch and dinner are accompanied by wine, beer and soft drinks. A 24 hour tea and coffee station is available in the Panorama Lounge.