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An Impression of the Seine by Rail

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Gaze upon the landscapes that inspired the greatest French Impressionists in history from the decks of the MS Renoir on this Seine river cruise holiday.

7 days From $2,795 per person
Travel among a group of like-minded travelers led by a professional tour manager

2023 Tour code: GR-SERA-23

About the tour

The Seine River courses nearly 500 miles through northwestern France, providing a gateway to some of the country's most scenic and inspiring landscapes. But don't take our word for it; look to the great French Impressionist artists of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Their artworks, including those of Claude Monet, showcase this region in all its glory. Follow a similar route on this 7-day rail and river cruise vacation.

Aboard the stylish MS Renoir, cruise from Paris to Honfleur. Delve into the region's romance with guided tours in the City of Love and Rouen, home to the Museum of Fine Arts and its incredible collection of Impressionist paintings. Flexible sightseeing excursions in Giverny and Honfleur, allow you to fulfill your travel goals one at a time. Enjoy the chance to visit an iconic palace, tour a historic town, or visit the beaches made infamous by WWII. A true highlight comes as the ship moors in Duclair, where a motorcoach guides you along the Route des Abbayes. As you bask in the scenery and enjoy the region's ambiance, delight in the comforts onboard your river cruise ship. Onboard presentations, excellent cuisine, and beautifully designed accommodations are just some shipboard amenities you can look forward to as you explore France.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Board the MS Renoir in Paris

After our journey to Paris on the Eurostar, we transfer to our ship, the MS Renoir, where we are welcomed with a relaxing drink before dinner. Overnight ship.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 - Paris

This morning we enjoy a guided tour of the splendid French capital. After lunch aboard you have some free time before we set sail for a cruise along the Seine, admiring the illuminated attractions along the way (weather permitting). Overnight ship.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 - Giverny or Versailles

We start the day cruising to Giverny, during which time we are treated to an expert talk on board; 'A Definition of Impressionism'. Now synonymous with Monet, Giverny very nearly missed out on getting its name on the map. It was during a train journey in 1883 when the artist saw the area and decided that this was the spot he wanted to live and work in.  

Join a tour to Monet's gardens; with its instantly recognisable lily ponds, the gardens are the image of how they were when Monet first painted them, almost like stepping into one of his artworks, and the house still has the atmosphere of a creative retreat. 

Alternatively, you may prefer to visit the slightly more opulent Palace of Versailles. We rejoin the boat where tonight there's a traditional French 'guinguette' evening held on board. Overnight ship.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 - Rouen

Our destination today is Rouen, former capital of Normandy, where we enjoy a guided tour that follows in the footsteps of the Impressionists themselves. This medieval city is the proud home of The Museum of Fine Arts and its impressive collection of Impressionist compositions. We make a visit to the gallery as well as taking in Rouen Cathedral, which was depicted in oil paint by Claude Monet. His series of over 30 paintings show the building at all different times of day. Following an insightful few hours, we return to our ship for tonight's dinner. Overnight ship.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 - The Route des Abbayes

We make our way to Duclair today, sailing through a landscape of steep cliffs and timeless villages, fleeting views of which helped inspire the Impressionist style itself. On arrival in Duclair we embark on an excursion along the Route des Abbayes, exploring the abbeys that line the route of the river by coach. Stretching between Rouen and Mont-Saint-Michel, this historic trail has seen religious orders being built here from the 5th century onwards, and at one point there were up to 120 sites of worship. Later we continue upriver to Honfleur, where we moor for the night. Overnight ship.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 - Tour Honfleur or discover the beaches of WWII

The charming port town of Honfleur is located on the southern bank of the Seine Estuary in the Calvados region of France famous for its apple brandy. Centred on its adorable historic port and marina - the 'Vieux Bassin' - Honfleur boasts a number of preserved traditional buildings and today you can choose to take a tour of this quaint destination, famous as being an important influence in the work of many artists, including Monet, Courbet and Boudin, who set up the Ecole de Honfleur, an artists' colony and melting pot for the whole Impressionist movement.

Otherwise you might select our excursion to the nearby beaches of Gold and Juno, two of five landing sites utilised for the D-Day landings on June 6th 1944, a pivotal event in the eventual Allied triumph over the Axis powers. Following some free time this afternoon, tonight we celebrate the end of our cruise at the captain's special gala dinner. Overnight ship.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 - Return to London by rail

We transfer to Paris after a final breakfast together. From here we catch the return Eurostar service back to London.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Train

Eurostar

Ship

MS Renoir
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