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


LONDON TO VERSAILLES

Day 1 | London, UK. A transfer is included from London’s Heathrow Airport 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.” Join us this evening for a welcome reception and dinner. (D)

Day 2 | London. Morning sightseeing gives you a good introduction to the major landmarks, after which you’re free to explore on your own. What to do? Your hotel’s wonderful central location puts you in easy reach of most of famed sites such as the Tower of London, the British Museum, Westminster Abbey, and Trafalgar Square... but if you’d like to see it all in one go, 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 for an aerial view where you can see everything as far as Windsor Castle if the weather is right. Dine on your own this evening in a city where virtually every world cuisine is well represented! (B)

Day 3 | London. High-speed train to Calais, France. Embark. Board a high-speed train in London this morning for passage to France, by way of the tunnel under the English Channel. Within a couple of hours you’ll arrive at the French port of Calais (only 31 miles from England, on a clear day you can see Dover’s white cliffs); from here you’ll be transferred to Caudubec-en-Caux, a delightful little town on the Seine, where your riverboat awaits. Settle in, then join us for dinner aboard ship. (B,D)

Day 4 | Étretat or Honfleur. This morning, have your choice of sightseeing excursions: drive 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. (B,L,D)

Day 5 | Normandy Beaches or Breuil-en-Auge. Your choice today: Leave the ship for 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, choose a visit to 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 tasting. Return to the ship for leisure time and tea as the riverboat sets sail for Rouen. Arrive after dinner, and go for a nightcap at a local pub. (B,L,D)

Day 6 | Rouen. 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 the Notre Dame cathedral that inspired painters and writers, the Astronomical Clock, the Chateau Rouen, the Saint Joan Tower, and the Musée des Beaux Arts, featuring painters who once populated the local cafes. History, art and fine dining are part of the Rouen experience... so join us this evening for a Tauck Exclusive – dinner with music at a medieval chateau. (B,L,D)

Day 7| Les Andelys. Your riverboat arrives at Les Andelys, named for 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 fortress was constructed in only a year, using thousands of workers; it was thought to be impervious, but the king attacked anyway, and Richard’s “one year daughter” 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 half-timbered houses and gardens; visit 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. (B,L,D)

Day 8 | Vernon. Giverny. Cruise to Vernon, where you’ll depart the ship for a visit to Giverny and Claude Monet’s house 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 originally 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 (Vallé de L’Ouche), winding through scenes of farmhouses, old stone bridges and vineyards in an area renowned for its pastoral beauty. (B,L,D)

Day 9 | Conflans. Auvers-sur-Oise. Dock in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, 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 his 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 private visit to the Absinthe Museum, dedicated to the legendary green drink (banned for many years), which was said to be the muse (and downfall) of so many turn-of-the century poets, painters, and writers. This evening, sail for Paris; arrive after dinner, with time for a walk in the city. (B,L,D)

Day 10 | 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, designed by Monet for display of his large water lily paintings; 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 after an included dinner for a tour of “Paris by Night.” (B,L,D)

Day 11 | Paris. 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 to visit the exclusive Marais District, with its fashionable shops and classic sidewalk cafes – along with a chocolate tasting. Whichever option you choose, enjoy free time to explore on your own before returning to the boat. Tonight is your last night aboard ship; join us for the Captain’s farewell reception and dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 12 | Disembark. Versailles or Montmartre. Disembark this morning, and then 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, tour of 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” that winds through the neighborhood. Whichever excursion you choose, enjoy free time to spend as you please before settling in at your hotel – your luxury hotel in Versailles is a palace itself, in Belle Époque style. (B)

Day 13 | Versailles. Smaller towns and villages are home to a wealth of cultural treasures, and offer you the chance to immerse in daily life. Journey to the Chevreuse Valley for a visit to Abbaye les Vaux de Cernay, a restored Gothic monastery in a tranquil forest setting; the 12th-century abbey with its impressive architecture and long history is an enchanting retreat (and perfect place to enjoy lunch) in a reserve known for its picturesque chateaux, farms, and woodlands. You’ll also visit the medieval town of Dreux, whose magnificent Royal Chapel is the burial site for the House of Orleans. Return to Versailles, and join us tonight for the piece de resistance of your two-week journey, a farewell reception and dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 14 | Versailles. Paris. Transfers are included from Trianon Palace Versailles, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel to Charles de Gaulle Airport, Gare de Lyon Station, Charles de Gaulle Station and Gare du Nord. You should allow 3 hours for flight check-in at the airport. (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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SOUTHBOUND ITINERARY
14 DAYS | LONDON TO VERSAILLES
Click here to view 14-day NORTHBOUND itinerary. Click ship name to view deck plan.
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