Impressions of the Seine & Paris - Hosted by Anne McAlpin
October 12 - October 25, 2023 | From: $6,179 pp*
Roundtrip: Paris, France
Discover both the popular sites and hidden gems of Paris as well as sites memorialized by famous Impressionist painters along France’s Seine River. Meander through the renowned gardens of Monet’s home and gardens in Giverny. Indulge in Norman chocolate, cheese and cider and enhance your best self on guided bike tours through charming cities like Vernon. Plus, revel in the opportunities to explore the walled city of St. Malo and the magical island monastery of Mont St. Michel. With fairytale castles, cathedrals and idyllic scenery at every turn, this all-encompassing cruise and land adventure is sure to inspire your own art – or at least conjure beautiful memories and dreams for years to come!
About Your Host: Anne McAlpin
Travel Expert, author, and AAA Oregon/Idaho employee Anne McAlpin has been a featured guest on Oprah, The View & CNN sharing up-to-the-minute travel tips. She has traveled in over 78 countries, flown more than 2 million miles & traveled 21 days around the world – solo – with just a carry-on bag.
Day 1, PARIS.
Check into your Paris hotel and prepare for your pre-cruise land extension.
Day 2, PARIS.
Discover some of the lesser known treasures of Paris on your guided tour. A world stage for art, fashion, gastronomy, culture and much more, the “City of Light” has a story to tell at every corner. Legendary Montmartre – the Bohemian heart and soul of Parisian chic – has long been a siren call to artists and revolutionary thinkers. Enjoy learning more about the premier artists’ enclave that once was home to Pissarro and Jongkind. (B)
Day 3, PARIS EMBARKATION.
Today, explore the Atelier-Lumieres, Paris’s “Workshop of Lights,” a uniquely immersive digital art experience. Utilizing 140
video projectors and a state-of-the-art sound system, guests are treated to an unforgettable colorful multimedia exhibition of famed artists’ works that will give you a new appreciation for their talent. Past exhibitions have celebrated the art of Klimt and Van Gogh. Afterward, board your ship in Paris for your Impressions of the Seine & Paris cruise. (B, D)
Day 4, PARIS.
Enjoy some of Paris’ most famous sights during your panoramic tour. You will be guided through the charming Latin Quarter, home to the world-famous Sorbonne University, and through the stunning 400-year-old Luxembourg Gardens, created by King Henry IV’s widow, Marie de’ Medici. Afterward, travel through Paris and see such sights as the Champs-Élysées with its cinemas, sidewalk cafes and luxury specialty shops; the Arc de Triomphe; and the Eiffel Tower. (B,L,D)
Day 5, MANTES-LA-JOLIE – LA ROCHE-GUYON.
The French commune of Mantes-La-Jolie was founded in the early Middle Ages and served as a port between Paris and Rouen. You’ll have three different ways to explore this port, each with a knowledgeable local guide. The first is a city tour during which you may see some of Mantes-La-Jolie’s beautiful religious structures, like the Gothic Notre Dame de Mantes, followed by a unique visit to a bee farm. Or, visit the distinctive Château d’Anet, an elegant Renaissance château built in the 16th century by King Henri II for his mistress, Diane de Poiters. In the afternoon, you may choose to enhance your best self with a bike tour and venture further through the city to take in more of its history and charm. Or enjoy scenic cruising through Vexin Français Regional Nature Park to La Roche-Guyon. Alternately, you can visit a local farm in La Roche Guyon where you can tempt your palate with a calvados, cider and cheese tasting. (B,L,D)
Day 6, VERNON.
Experience the colorful splendor of Claude Monet’s magnificent gardens at his former home in Giverny, taking in the water lilies, Japanese bridges and graceful willow trees immortalized in his paintings. For a more active adventure, pedal through Vernon on a guided bike tour. Or journey to Château de Gaillon, a picturesque Renaissance-style castle, as well as the beautiful Gardens d’Acquigny, boasting waterfalls, bridges, canals and a wide variety of trees and plant life. (B,L,D)
Day 7, ROUEN CAUDEBECENCAUX.
Spend the morning enjoying medieval Rouen with a choice of several excursions. Join a walking tour past the imposing Notre Dame Cathedral, painted numerous times by Monet, and see the square where Joan of Arc was martyred, as well as the Medieval Quarter and Great Clock. You also have the choice to explore Lyons-la-Forêt, built on the site of a former fortress and featuring remarkable centuries-old architecture, followed by the idyllic castle Vascoeuil with its octagonal tower, art exhibitions and sculpture park. Or go on the “Tastes of Normandy” tour, where you’ll be treated to the delicious flavors of the region, including chocolate, macaron, Norman cheese and cider. Later in the day, maximize your relaxation with a scenic cruise to Caudebec-en-Caux or instead pedal your way from Rouen to Caudebec-en-Caux, enjoying the fresh air and exercise along the way. As an alternative, experience another local château, the Château d’Etelan – the first Italian Renaissance Château built in France in 1494, where you may see a wonderful chapel with original wall paintings and the guard house dating back to 1350 in an amazing landscape. (B,L,D)
Day 8, CAUDEBEC-EN-CAUX – LE HAVRE.
Caudebec-en-Caux is your gateway to a number of excursions. Visit Bayeux, with a medieval city center and the
world-renowned Bayeux Tapestry, which depicts the 1066 Norman invasion of England, followed by a visit to Caen, where one of the top sites is the Château de Caen, an 11th century castle built by William the Conqueror. Or instead, admire the 30 acre Harcourt Arboretum, with its nearly 3,000 trees, as well as the palatial Château du Champ de Bataille and the commune of Le Bec-Hellouin, known for its 11th century abbey. Or, choose instead to enjoy a scenic cruise from Caudebec-en-Caux to UNESCO designated Le Havre, where you can spend your afternoon on a guided walking tour or bike tour. (B,L,D)
Day 9, LE HAVRE.
You can choose an excursion to the seaside town of Honfleur, renowned for its picturesque harbor, and for being an inspirational site for Impressionist painters. Or you can also choose a full day excursion to see the historic Normandy Beaches, where you may visit such sites as the cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, Omaha Beach, the artillery battery at Longues-sur-Mer and the village of Arromanches, where the remains of the floating harbor used during the WWII landings can be seen. (B,L,D)
Day 10, LE HAVRE DISEMBARKATION.
Disembark your ship in Le Havre and, en route to your St. Malo hotel, visit Fourgères in Brittany, known for its medieval fortress, which boasts 13 towers. Continue on to St. Malo, where you will check into your hotel. (B)
Day 11, ST. MALO.
Explore the walled city of St. Malo, the history of which is steeped in piracy. Gaze at turquoise waters and such sites as the castle and its towers, the Fort National, partially built by famed military architect Vauban, and the cathedral of Saint Vincent. You’ll also venture to Dinard, with its Belle Èpoque villas and beaches, as well as to Dinan, one of Brittany’s most beautiful and best preserved towns, known for its art galleries and crafts. (B)
Day 12, ST. MALO.
Discover the magical island monastery of Mont St. Michel, built by the same Italian architect who designed Fècamp Abbey in Normandy. Appearing as though out of a fairytale, Mont St. Michel served as the artistic inspiration for the Disney movie about Rapunzel, Tangled. (B)
Day 13, ST. MALO.
Depart St. Malo and transfer to Paris, where you will check into the Paris Airport Hotel. En route, visit Chartres Cathedral, an elaborate and beautifully-designed Roman Catholic church that serves as the seat of the Diocese of Chartres. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the cathedral is considered a masterpiece and the high point of French Gothic art. (B)
Day 14, DEPART PARIS.
Bid farewell to Paris as you prepare for your return flight home. (B)