Day 1 UK - Paris
Chose to depart either by rail from London St Pancras International or fly to Paris. On arrival you'll board your ship, where you can meet the crew and enjoy a welcome drink before dinner. As you enjoy your evening meal, you can take in spectacular views of Paris' illuminated landmarks – a truly unforgettable sight.
Day 2 Paris
Delve into Paris' iconic landmarks today on a guided tour of the city, or alternatively you can enjoy a walk along the banks of the River Seine to see its famous bridges.
During a free afternoon you can explore Paris at leisure.
Day 3 Paris - Giverny - Vernon
Today you'll set sail for the historic town of Vernon. This afternoon, we visit the Claude Monet Foundation in Giverny. You will leave the boat by coach to travel to the home of Claude Monet, who lived in Giverny between 1883 and 1926. His passion for gardening and colours led him to conceive his flowers garden as a true art piece, and you can still feel the atmosphere that once reigned in the master of Impressionnism's house. Inside, the artist's particular taste for warm tones will strike you, from the intensity of the blue he chose for his kitchen as well as his small living room, to the yellow walls and furniture in the dining room, where you will also be able to see his private collection of Japanese prints. Enjoy entertainment on board the ship this evening, before cruising to Duclair.
Day 4 Duclair - Honfleur
Today you will arrive in Duclair. We'll set off by coach from Duclair in the company of our guide and our excursion begins with a visit of the Jumièges Abbey. Built in 654 when Christianity arrived in the region, and subsequently destroyed by the Vikings, the abbey was restored in the 11th century by their descendants. With the arrival of the Romantic period, the abbey became extremely well-known thanks to Victor Hugo who described it as the "most beautiful ruins in all of France”. During our visit we'll also discover the cloisters and the ruins of the Church of Saint Peter before visiting the Abbey of Saint Wandrille or Wandregisel (exterior only), a highly spiritual monument founded in the same century. The wonderful classical architecture of this abbey blends with the magnificence of its medieval heritage in perfect harmony. Unlike Jumièges, a congregation of Benedictine monks settled in this abbey in 1931 and has remained to this day, bringing the community to a substantial number. Later, you will cruise to Honfleur.
Day 5 The Cote Fleurie - Honfleur
After breakfast, join our excursion to the Côte Fleurie – the coast of flowers. First stop at Deauville, the most glamourous French coastal city and a symbol of elegance, prestige and sophistication. Enjoy a stroll along the famous walkway that was built along the beach in 1923, allowing women to enjoy the seaside without spoiling their dresses. We then continue by coach to the delightful Breuil Castle. Located in a lush green setting at the centre of the Pays d'Auge, this castle is one of the most beautiful examples of the architectural heritage of this region. Today, Breuil Castle is also home to a prestigious distillery, and we'll get the chance to discover the various steps to making Calvados, before indulging in a tasting.
This afternoon, we'll meet up with our guide and set off on our walking tour. Honfleur, the cradle of Impressionism, is located at the mouth of the Seine as it flows into the English Channel. Untouched by the passage of time, this small port has kept the landmarks of its rich past, making it one of the most visited towns in France. We'll begin our tour at the Vieux Bassin, one of the most charming sites in the city - the narrow houses squeezed against each other are quite a unique sight. Next, we'll see Saint Catherine's Church, the largest wooden church in France. It was listed as a historical monument in 1879 and has been the subject of scrupulous research by many archaeologists and historians. We'll then head for the original 17th century Salt Halls (Greniers à Sel), now used for exhibitions, conferences and concerts. Our tour will finish with a visit to Saint Léonard Church. Destroyed during the Hundred Years War, it was rebuilt at the end of the 15th and beginning of the 16th centuries only to be partially burned down again during the Wars of Religion. We'll return to our ship on foot.
Day 6 Honfleur - Rouen
It's worth being on deck early as we cruise along a superb valley, whose changing light has inspired many painters, and pass under the Normandy Bridge. On arrival in Rouen, we'll leave on foot for a guided tour of the city, whose historic centre and famous cathedral are only a 5-minute walk from the ship. Stretched along the Seine, Rouen is Normandy's cultural, historical, and gastronomical capital. The exceptionally complex Notre-Dame Cathedral is renowned for the juxtaposition of all the Gothic periods - especially on the façade, which Monet painted time and again, reflecting its glory in different lights. Destroyed during the Viking invasions in 841, and partially in 1944 by allied bombardments, the cathedral continues to be a perpetually evolving structure. We'll then head to the market place where Joan of Arc was burned alive for heresy in 1431. The Gros-Horloge, or Great Clock, is one of the most emblematic monuments in the city. The Gothic belfry has housed the communal bells and clock of the city since its construction at the end of the 14th century. Finally, we'll visit the Saint Joan of Arc Church, located on the Old Market Place.
Back on board we'll enjoy an evening of entertainment on board as your ship overnights here.
Day 7 Rouen - Les Andelys
This morning you will cruise through the lock in Amfreville to Les Andelys. Here you can enjoy a guided tour of Martainville Château. Alternatively, you could stroll to the ruins of Château Gaillard. This medieval fortress, built by Richard the Lionheart, is perched on a cliff and offers stunning views over the River Seine.
Back on board the ship this evening, you'll be served a farewell gala dinner as your cruise continues through the night.
Day 8 Paris - UK
Enjoy breakfast on board before arriving in Paris, where you'll disembark. Transfer to the railway station or the airport for your journey back to the UK.
Please note: Itinerary may vary due to changes in water levels.
TAILOR YOUR TRIP
MS Botticelli: Cabin Upgrade
Upper Deck cabins are available at a supplement for the duration of your stay. Please speak to a Holiday Advisor for details.