Cruising the Seine, plus Paris & London - 12 Days

Cruising the Seine, plus Paris & London

Wind through fishing ports and medieval towns, tasting Normandy cuisine, visiting the D-Day invasion beaches of Normandy, finding the deep essence of calvados, pausing in ancient abbeys and the picturesque haunts of Impressionist painters, dining at a chateau in Rouen, exploring cobblestone lanes, walking in Monet’s garden at Giverny, visiting Van Gogh’s muse in Aubers-sur- Oise, a visit to a private castle, and incomparable Paris… well, riverboating seems like the only way to go! Private tasting tours, from wine to cheese to chocolate… a presentation by Sir Winston Churchill’s granddaughter, Celia Sandys… stop in London, and you’ll have a tale of two cities you’ll want to tell over and over again…

Only With Tauck

  • Presentation by Celia Sandys, granddaughter of Sir Winston Churchill
  • Private dinner (with music) at Château Bizy
  • Private visit to the Churchill War Rooms in London

Cruise prices are per person in U.S. dollars. All riverboat and hotel accommodations, motor coach transportation, port charges, land excursions, admissions, entertainment, special dinners, beverages while on the riverboat (including unlimited soft drinks, regional wine, beer and premium spirits), sightseeing, porterage, and the services of the Tauck Directors, the Tauck Cruise Director, hotel and ship staff, and local guides and drivers are included. Transportation from London Heathrow or Gatwick Airport or St. Pancras or Waterloo Train Stations to The Savoy is included, regardless of the time you check into the hotel, provided you have furnished us with accurate flight arrival information at least three weeks prior to the start of your tour. We will also provide you with transportation from your riverboat to Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport or Paris-Orly Airport or Gare du Nord, Charles de Gaulle, or Gare de Lyon Train Stations at the end of the cruise. Transportation to and from airports and train stations may be shared with other Tauck guests. If you are staying at a hotel other than the Tauck-designated hotel before or after your tour, contact Tauck regarding your various transfer options.

We pledge to make every effort to operate all tours as advertised. We reserve the right to alter or curtail the itinerary, or substitute sightseeing, hotels, and/or conveyances as deemed necessary. Any savings realized by these changes will be refunded to you. Any resultant added expense will be covered by us. Although not expected, prices on this website may be modified due to unexpected significant external factors not forecast at the time of publication.

Rates and schedules are not guaranteed until booked and will vary based on departure date.

Day 1
Arrive London

Tour begins: 6:00 PM, The Savoy. 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 for a Tauck Exclusive at our special welcome reception and dinner this evening – a presentation by acclaimed author and television presenter Celia Sandys, granddaughter of Sir Winston Churchill – at the hotel’s renowned Simpson’s in the Strand.
Meals – Dinner
Lodging – The Savoy

Day 2
Private visit to the Churchill War Rooms

Morning sightseeing gives you a good introduction to the major landmarks (such as Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and more) followed by a visit to one of London’s most iconic sites, St. Paul’s Cathedral. The afternoon is free to spend as you explore your as you please before a truly special experience – a private visit to the Churchill War Rooms – the underground “nerve center” where Winston Churchill strategized World War II campaigns and the Allied route to victory.
Meals – Breakfast
Lodging – The Savoy
Excursion Choices – A Guided Tour of The VA Museum

Day 3
Under the Channel to France & embark cruise

Depart London this morning for passage to France, by way of high-speed train under the English Channel. Within a couple of hours you’ll arrive at the Paris Nord station, and from there a transfer takes you to the Seine, where your riverboat awaits. Settle in, then join us for dinner aboard ship. Please note: Departure of October 8 will feature a private, after-hours guided visit to the Musée du Louvre in Paris on night 3; on this departure, the choice of morning museum visits on Day 4 will not be offered. Ask at booking for details.
Meals – Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4
C'est Paris... an overview & a choice of museums

Begin your day in the city that Ernest Hemingway aptly called a “moveable feast” with an orientation tour revealing Paris icons like the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs Élysées, Place de la Concorde, the Grand Palais, the Opera Garnier and the Eiffel Tower. Then you’ll have your choice of an included visit to one of Paris’ legendary museums, choosing from some of the city’s best (subject to opening times and days): Musée du Louvre, the historic landmark and world’s largest art museum that’s home to some of the greatest masterpieces on Earth; Musée d’Orsay, a former 19th-century Beaux-Arts railway station that today features a superb collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works; or Les Invalides, home to Napoleon’s Tomb and the Musée de l’Armée (France’s national war museum), for a look at events surrounding World Wars I and II. The afternoon is free to spend as you please in Paris or aboard the riverboat (which stays docked in Paris all evening), offering a chocolate demonstration and tasting prior to cocktails and dinner. Please note: Departures of May 13 and September 13 will feature a private, after-hours guided visit to the Musée du Louvre in Paris on night 4; on these departures, the choice of morning museum visits will not be offered. Ask at booking for details.
Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5
Château de Versailles or Montmartre

You have a choice today of an excursion outside Paris to Versailles, or a visit to Montmartre. Explore the Château de Versailles, the stunning palace of the Sun King, Louis XIV on a guided visit, viewing its sumptuous salons, halls, and apartments, including the Hall of Mirrors, the private Opera House and the Chapel; if you wish, join your Tauck Director for a stroll through the Château’s magnificent gardens. Alternatively, a local guide leads you on a walking tour of Montmartre, Paris’ historic hilltop district – a 19th- and early 20th-century Belle Époque haven for many of the world’s famed artists, home to the Basilica of the Sacré-Coeur and a still-thriving arts scene today.
Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Excursion Choices – Walking Tour of Montmartre

Day 6
Auvers-sur-Oise & Vincent van Gogh

With your riverboat docked in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, 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. This afternoon, sail for Vernon, enjoying a Tauck Director lecture in the lounge en route; arrive in Vernon after dinner.
Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7
Monet's Giverny & an evening at a château

Leave your riverboat for a visit to Giverny and Impressionist painter Claude Monet’s house and exquisite gardens. Personally designed by the artist as subjects for his paintings, Monet’s gardens have been restored and maintained as he originally intended – complete with the Japanese bridge, the pond of water lilies, and exotic flora – so that you’ll feel like you’ve entered a Monet landscape. While in Giverny, you can also explore the Impressionist Museum at your leisure, and, if you choose, set off on a bicycle trip from Giverny to Vernon. After lunch aboard ship, spend the afternoon exploring Vernon as you please – it’s a fabulous place for walks. Smaller towns and villages are home to a wealth of cultural treasures, and offer you the chance to immerse in daily life; half-timbered houses, and wrought-iron shop signs line cobblestone streets that retain their Middle Ages character. This evening, you’ll visit Château Bizy, “the Versailles of Normandy” that was once home to Louis XV, for a Tauck Exclusive reception and dinner with music in a setting of Baroque splendor.
Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8
Medieval Rouen

This morning, cruise to Rouen, which Victor Hugo called “the city of a hundred bell towers”. Once the prosperous medieval capital of Normandy, Rouen still bristles with spires and entices with Gothic churches, impeccably restored half-timbered houses, and picturesque cobblestone lanes. Joan of Arc was tried and burned at the stake here in 1431 and her presence is immortalized everywhere in monuments, churches, and even in chocolate-almond confections called “Joan of Arc’s tears.” On a walking tour you’ll see the Notre Dame Cathedral that inspired artists and writers, the Astronomical Clock, the Château Rouen, and the Saint Joan Tower. Enjoy free time to explore the city’s historic center on your own before returning to the riverboat to enjoy the chef’s Signature Dinner tonight, followed by onboard entertainment, as you sail for Le Havre.
Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9
Étretat & Honfleur or Caen & Bayeux

You have a choice of sightseeing today on France’s Normandy coast – between excursions to Étretat and Honfleur, or Caen and Bayeux. On the first choice, head to Étretat on the Alabaster Coast, where sheer white cliffs plunge to the blue sea, and the elements have carved astonishing giant arches from the cliffside rock; take an orientation tour of the town, a magnet for artists in the 19th century, and visit the beach and the cliffs. Continue on to Honfleur, an old picturesque trading port where 17th-century houses line the harbor and cobblestone backstreets beckon – a favorite haunt of painters past (like Boudin, Courbet, Monet and Jongkind of the école de Honfleur, which gave rise to the Impressionist movement) and present – to explore as you please and have lunch. Or, in the port city of Caen – renowned for historic buildings from the reign of William the Conqueror, and for the heavy fighting that took place there after the WWII D-Day invasion – visit the Mémorial de Caen, with its Peace Museum and memorial gardens. Then it’s on to medieval Bayeux on the Aure River, where you’ll view the famous Tapisserie de Bayeux (Bayeux Tapestry), an 11th-century tapestry depicting the 1066 Norman invasion, and stop for lunch. Back aboard the riverboat, enjoy a lecture on D-Day by a local expert.
Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Excursion Choices – Mémorial de Caen & Bayeux

Day 10
WWII history on the beaches of Normandy

Leave the ship in Le Havre for a tour of the beaches where World War II’s pivotal D-Day landings occurred on June 6, 1944. See Omaha Beach and Pointe-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. Reboard your riverboat in Caudebec-en-Caux to continue your cruise; enjoy evening cocktails before dining onboard as you wish.
Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11
Les Andelys, cider & Calvados

Your riverboat arrives at Les Andelys, named for two fishing villages at a scenic bend in the river where the imposing ruins of Château Gaillard rise on a cliff. The castle was built in 1198 by Richard the Lionheart, 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 fell after a siege 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 twin French villages below, with their medieval lanes, colorful half-timbered houses and gardens. Travel a short distance from town to visit a ciderhouse (another Tauck Exclusive) to learn how the many variations of Norman apple cider – and Calvados, an apple brandy renowned in this region – are made… and of course enjoy a tasting of both. Return to the riverboat and cruise to Paris; tonight, join the Captain for a farewell reception followed by dinner.
Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12
Journey home

Tour ends: Paris, France. Fly home anytime. Transfers are included directly from the riverboat 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.
Meals – Breakfast

What's Included

  • All gratuities to ship staff, drivers, local guides, Tauck Directors and Tauck Cruise Director All private Tauck shore excursions and distinctive inclusions – $3,188 Value!
  • Two nights in London at The Savoy, one of the world’s most prestigious hotels
  • Choice of visit to Château de Versailles or walking tour of Montmartre
  • Cider, chocolate, wine and calvados tastings
  • Guided visits to D-Day Invasion Beaches & related sites in Normandy
  • Choice of museum visits in Paris
  • Visit to artist Claude Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny
  • Choice of visits to Étretat & Honfleur, or Caen & Bayeux
  • Unlimited complimentary beverages aboard ship include regional wine, beer and premium spirits in addition to specialty coffee, water and soft drinks
  • Airport and train station transfers upon arrival and departure as noted
  • 28 meals; service charges, taxes, porterage, and applicable fuel surcharge

Nights 1-2

London, England

The Savoy

While the likes of Sir Winston Churchill, Katherine Hepburn, Claude Monet, Maria Callas and Frank Sinatra may have gotten here first, now it’s your turn to live large at one of the world’s most prestigious hotels, The Savoy. Located in the banks of the Thames in the heart of the city, this legendary hotel has undergone the most ambitious restoration in British history, which has achieved a rare blend of unabashedly old-fashioned glamour and 21st-century amenities and style. Everywhere you look, you’ll see the gracious ambiance so appreciated by her illustrious past and present guests. Guest rooms, which retain much of their original character, welcome with just about everything you could want to ensure a comfortable stay, such as a Loewe flat-screen TV, Vita Audio iPod docking station, bespoke furnishing, well-appointed marble bathroom with giant showerheads, large chrome fittings and Le Labo amenities and more. As comfortable as your room is, when you leave it, you’ll find an indoor swimming pool and a fully equipped Health Club the beautifully designed Beauty & Fitness at The Savoy facility situated above the historic Savoy Theatre. When it’s time for a little refreshment, classic venues such as the American Bar, Simpson’s-in-the- Strand, the Thames Foyer with its afternoon tea and the Savoy Grill are beloved London institutions. Although you may not be able to dance on The Savoy roof as Fred Astaire and his sister once did, after your stay here you’ll understand why The Wall Street Journal has said, “The Savoy is in a class of its own, and so it should be.”

Tauck Guests enjoy complimentary Internet access in guest rooms!

Nights 3 – 11

ms Sapphire

One of the 361-foot (110-meter) riverboats in Tauck’s Destination Fleet, this newly redesigned riverboat debuts in 2017 with a new deck plan optimized for the utmost in spaciousness – with 70% of her cabins measuring 225 square feet or larger – and accommodating no more than 98 guests, while similar-sized riverboats average about 160. Guest amenities inside her 14 lush 300-square-foot Tauck Suites include brocade upholstery, roomy walk-in closets with built-in drawers, spacious bathrooms with separate showers, and two French balconies with floor-to-ceiling windows that open to idyllic riverscapes. She also sports twenty roomy 225-square-foot cabins, four 183-square-foot cabins and one 182 square-foot cabin, similarly furnished. Eight 150-square-foot cabins are cozy and comfortable, and are similar in décor and style to our larger suites. 85% have floor-to- ceiling windows with real French balconies that open on to a balcony in the fresh air; all have in-room movies, minibar, adjustable heating and cooling, private bathroom and shower with pampering toiletries. In addition to our main dining room, The Compass Rose, the ship also features Arthur’s, a second dining venue offering casual fare.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Cruising the Seine, plus Paris & London

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