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TAUCK RIVER CRUISES
14 Days | Seine River Cruise Plus Versailles, Paris and London
Northbound


VERSAILLES TO LONDON

Day 1 | Paris, France. Versailles. A transfer is included from Charles DeGaulle International Airport, Gare de Lyon Station, Charles de Gaulle Station or Gare du Nord to the Waldorf Astoria Trianon Palace in Versailles; check-in begins anytime after 4:00 PM. Early arrivals will be offered suggestions for independent sightseeing or lunch. Your luxury hotel is a palace itself in Belle Époque style, in easy reach of Versailles’ main attractions. Settle in and join us this evening for a welcome reception and dinner. (D)

Day 2 | Versailles. Begin the day with a sojourn to the scenic Chevreuse Valley, a protected area of woodlands, farmlands, villages and castles, for an opportunity to immerse in daily life. Lunch at 12th-century Abbaye les Vaux de Cernay, a restored Gothic monastery in a tranquil forest setting. You’ll also visit the medieval town of Dreux, whose magnificent Royal Chapel is the burial site for the House of Orleans. Wind your way back to Versailles, an historic town of Baroque architecture, parks, monuments and boulevards that surrounds the royal Chateau. Dine on your own this evening; the area is renowned for its fine restaurants. (B,L)

Day 3 | Versailles. Embark. This morning it’s your choice – a day at the Palace of Versailles, or a day in Montmartre. Explore Chateau Versailles, the stunning palace of the Sun King, Louis XIV, with its sumptuous salons, halls, and mirrors, and legendary gardens. Alternatively, explore one of the most fascinating districts in Paris – colorful Montmartre, beloved by artists and writers, home to bohemian cafes and cabarets like the Moulin Rouge. Your visit includes sightseeing aboard the famed petite “miniature train”. Enjoy lunch on your own and free time to spend as you please, then board the riverboat on the Seine this afternoon; join the Captain this evening for a welcome reception. (B,D)

Day 4 | Paris. Take a guided orientation tour of Paris this morning, then have your choice of three museum visits (subject to opening times and days): Musée National de l’Orangerie, near the Tuilleries, designed by Monet specifically to display his giant water lily canvases; Musée Rodin, dedicated to the works of the French sculptor; or the Musée d’Orsay, Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works housed in a former railway terminal. Spend time on your own, then join us tonight for dinner aboard ship, followed by a tour of “Paris by Night.” (B,L,D)

Day 5 | Paris. Conflans-Sainte-Honorine. Visit the palatial War Museum, Musée de l’Armé, with its astonishing collection of military weapons from different time periods; aptly, Napoleon’s tomb is here, at the Church of the Invalides. Or you can choose a tour of the exclusive Marais District, with its fashionable shops and classic sidewalk cafes – and a chocolate tasting. Tonight your ship leaves Paris for Conflans-Sainte-Honorine. (B,L,D)

Day 6 | Conflans. Auvers-sur-Oise. Vernon. Dock in Conflans, then drive to the town of Auvers-sur-Oise, where Vincent van Gogh spent his last days. The town has hardly changed since, so you’ll be able to recognize scenes from his paintings, including the view of the town hall, seen from the upper window of his room at the inn. You can also visit van Gogh’s room, No. 5 at the Auberge Ravoux, which has never been rented since he died in 1890. While you’re in town, you’ll also have a Tauck Exclusive visit the Absinthe Museum, dedicated to the legendary green drink (banned since 1915, until recently), which was said to be the muse (and downfall) of so many turn-of-the century poets, painters, and writers. Return to the ship for lunch and free time before sailing to Vernon, a charming town of winding lanes, half-timbered houses and medieval chateaux; enjoy a stroll after dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 7 | Giverny. Les Andelys. First up today is a visit to Giverny and Claude Monet’s house, studio, and exquisite gardens. The gardens were personally designed by the artist as subjects for his paintings, where he could rearrange the composition at will, and they’ve been maintained as he intended – the Japanese bridge, the pond of water lilies, and exotic flora – so that you’ll feel like you’ve entered a Monet landscape. After lunch, take a private, Tauck Exclusive ride on a vintage steam train through the River Ouche Valley (Valle de L’Ouche), as it winds through scenes of farmhouses, old stone bridges and vineyards in an area renowned for its pastoral beauty. Return to the ship for dinner; this evening you sail to Les Andelys. (B,L,D)

Day 8 | Les Andelys. Rouen. Les Andelys are two fishing villages at a scenic bend in the river where the imposing ruins of Chateau Gaillard rise on a cliff. The castle was built in 1198 by Richard the Lionhearted, Duke of Normandy, to defend against an invasion from the King of France. A marvel of engineering, the massive fortress was constructed in only a year, using thousands of workers; Richard’s “one-year daughter” and its rounded towers and ramparts were thought to be impervious, but the king attacked anyway, and the castle fell after a seige in 1204. The ruins in their picturesque setting overlooking the Seine are still there to inspire, as they have generations of painters like Nicolas Poussin, as you explore the grounds on a guided visit. Next, ramble in the classic French village below, with its medieval lanes, colorful houses and gardens; enjoy a Tauck Exclusive visit to a ciderhouse to learn how the many variations of apple cider (Normandy’s “wine”) are made, blended, distilled and aged in oaken casks... and of course enjoy a tasting. Following lunch, you sail to Rouen and arrive by late afternoon. Then enjoy a festive evening at a medieval chateau, featuring dinner and music. (B,L,D)

Bay 9 | Rouen. Normandy Beaches. Caudebec-en-Caux Your choice today: commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day with a tour of the beaches where the D-Day landings occurred on June 6, 1944. Discover the museum at Arromanches, where the remains of an artificial harbor used in the invasion still lies offshore; see Omaha Beach and Point-du-Hoc, where American troops scaled sheer cliffs with ropes and fire ladders to reach enemy artillery batteries, and visit the American Cemetery and Memorial at Colleville-sur-mer, on a bluff overlooking the beach; the tranquil setting and its history will not fail to move you. Alternatively, you can choose to embark on a guided walking tour of Rouen, where Joan of Arc was tried and burned at the stake in 1431 (and her ashes consigned to the Seine). Once the prosperous medieval capital of Normandy, Rouen still bristles with spires and entices with Gothic churches, half-timbered houses, and picturesque cobblestone lanes made for strolling. Here you’ll see firsthand the Notre Dame cathedral that Monet never tired of painting, the Astronomical Clock, the Chateau Rouen, the Saint Joan Tower, and the Musée des Beaux Arts, featuring painters who once populated the local cafes. This afternoon, cruise to Caudebec-en-Caux, with river commentary en route. (B,L,D)

Day 10 | Caudebec. Visit the Gothic abbeys on the “Abbey Road,” with a stop at Chateau du Breuil, a distiller of calvados since the 16th century; the chateau is officially a national monument in a region of France that is passionate about its cider and apple brandy, and you’ll learn why at a private calvados tasting. Return to the ship at Caudebec-en-Caux for leisure time and tea. (B,L,D)

Day 11 | Honfleur or Normandy Coast. This morning, have your choice of a visit to Étretat on Normandy’s Alabaster Coast, where sheer white cliffs plunge to the blue sea, and the elements have carved astonishing giant arches from the cliffside rock; take a guided walking tour of the town, a longtime magnet for artists like Monet, and a Tauck Exclusive visit to a chèvrerie, a farm that produces goat cheese and exquisite chocolate. Or take a day trip to Honfleur, an old picturesque trading port where tall 17th-century houses line the harbor and cobblestone backstreets beckon… a favorite haunt of Impressionist painters. This is your last night aboard ship; join the Captain for a farewell reception and dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 12 | Calais. Disembark. High-speed train to London, UK. Board a high-speed train in Calais this morning for passage to England, by way of the tunnel under the English Channel. Within a couple of hours you’ll arrive in London with a transfer to The Savoy, one of the world’s most prestigious hotels, situated on the banks of the Thames in the heart of the city; check-in begins after 4:00. Settle in at The Savoy, a luxury landmark since 1889; as the hotels boasts, “you’ll follow in the footsteps of Sir Winston Churchill, Frank Sinatra, Claude Monet and Katharine Hepburn at this iconic hotel reinvented for the 21st century where an unashamedly old fashioned glamour sparkles with a new lustre.” Dine on your own this evening in a city where virtually every world cuisine is well represented! (B)

Day 13 | London. You’ll get a good introduction to some of the major sights, after which you’ll have free time to explore on your own. What to do? Your hotel’s central location puts you in easy reach of all the landmarks of this legendary city, including the Tower Bridge, Tower of London, British Museum, Westminster Abbey, and Trafalgar Square... and if you feel that want to see it all in one go, you might consider a ride on the London Eye, the giant ferris wheel (or as they say in London, “cantilevered observation wheel”) which will take you aloft 443 feet for an aerial view – you can see everything as far as Windsor Castle if the weather is right. Tonight, join us for the piece de resistance of your two-week Paris to London journey, a farewell dinner and reception. (B,D)

Day 14 | London. A transfer is included from The Savoy to Heathrow Airport. You should allow at least 3 hours for flight check-in. (B)

NOTE: Itinerary is subject to change without notice. For the most up-to-date information, please refer to the itinerary schedule you receive with your final documents.

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NORTHBOUND ITINERARY
14 DAYS | VERSAILLES TO LONDON
Click here to view 14-day SOUTHBOUND itinerary. Click ship name to view deck plan.
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