Cruise
Sapphire
Tauck
Sapphire, The Seine plus Versailles Paris London ex Paris to London
Ship: Sapphire
Cruise Line: Tauck
Selected Sailing Date: 19 May 2018

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Prices displayed are retail per person, twin share, to the Australian Travel Trade. Consumers please contact your local cruise agent to request this Cruise Abroad package. At time of booking please check current cruise fare and any inclusions. Prices are indicative only, subject to currency fluctuations and may change at any time without notice.

Itinerary
Cruise Itinerary
Itinerary may vary by sailing date and itineraries may be changed at the cruise lines discretion. Please check itinerary details at time of booking and before booking other travel services such as airline tickets.
Cruise Description

9 Night Cruise sailing from Paris roundtrip aboard Sapphire. 2 night hotel stay pre-cruise in Paris and 2 night hotel stay post-cruise in London.

Riverboating on ms Sapphire from Paris to London by way of a round-trip Paris Seine river cruise filled with Tauck exclusive experiences... winding 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... Conclude in London, and you’ll have a tale of two cities you’ll want to tell over and over again...

Day 1 Arrive Paris
Tour begins: 6:30 PM, Versailles. Your luxury hotel is a palace itself in Belle Époque style, in easy reach of Versailles’ main attractions. Settle in and join us this evening for a welcome reception and dinner.

Lodging : Trianon Palace Versailles – A Waldorf Astoria Hotel

Day 2 Early-opening visit to Versailles
Today begins with a Tauck Exclusive – an early-opening visit to Château de Versailles. Explore the stunning palace of the Sun King, Louis XIV without crowds – view its sumptuous salons, halls, and mirrors, and legendary gardens including the Hall of Mirrors, the private Opera House and the Chapel. Then enjoy lunch at Ore, the acclaimed Alain Ducasse restaurant set within the Château de Versailles. After lunch, if you wish, join your Tauck Director for a stroll through the Château's magnificent gardens. The evening is free to spend as you please; Versailles is renowned for its fine restaurants.

Lodging : Trianon Palace Versailles – A Waldorf Astoria Hotel

Day 3 Château Vaux le Vicomte & embark
Travel into the hauntingly beautiful countryside for a visit to Château Vaux le Vicomte, the largest privately owned castle in France. Built by Nicolas Fouquet in the 17th century, the château was the inspiration for the Palace of Versailles, and a pioneer of French formal gardens; a private guided tour reveals stories of intrigue intertwined with some of history’s most colorful figures, art masterpieces, and architectural triumphs. After lunch at the Château, continue to Paris and board the riverboat on the Seine this afternoon; join the Captain this evening for a welcome reception.

Lodging : ms Sapphire

Day 4 C'est Paris... museum choices & Paris by night
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, near the Tuilleries, designed by Monet specifically to display his giant water lily canvases; 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 for dinner aboard ship followed by entertainment.

Day 5 In Paris – military museum & Marais District
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 a tour of the exclusive Marais District, with its fashionable shops and classic sidewalk cafés. Tonight your ship leaves Paris for Conflans-Sainte-Honorine.

Day 6 Auvers-sur-Oise and Vincent van Gogh
Dock in Conflans, 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 van Gogh’s 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 visit to the Absinthe Museum, dedicated to the legendary green drink (banned since 1915, until recently), which was said to be the muse (and downfall) of so many turn-of-the century poets, painters, and writers. Return to the ship for lunch and free time before sailing to Vernon, a charming town of winding lanes, half-timbered houses and medieval chateaux; enjoy a stroll after dinner.

Day 7 Explore Giverny and a special evening at a castle
Leave your riverboat 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. Return to the ship for lunch, then the afternoon is free to explore 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... the neo-classical architecture charming! 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.

Day 8 Medieval Rouen
This morning, sail 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 within the town, in churches, and even in chocolate-almond confections called “Joan of Arc’s tears.” A walking tour of Rouen reveals the heart of the town including the Notre Dame Cathedral that inspired artists and writers, the Astronomical Clock, 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 for dinner; tonight you sail for the Normandy Coast.

Day 9 Explore Étretat and Honfleur
This morning, visit 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; an orientation tour of the town, once a magnet for artists like Boudin and Monet, is fascinating. Continue on to Honfleur, an old picturesque trading port where 17th-century houses line the harbor and cobblestone backstreets beckon… a favorite haunt of Impressionist painters. (In fact, the painters drawn to the town, like Boudin, Courbet, Monet and Jongkind, were the center of the école de Honfleur, which gave rise to the Impressionist movement.) Following lunch and free time on your own, return to the riverboat. This afternoon, a lecture on the D-Day invasion offers insights into the historic locations you’ll visit tomorrow.

Day 10 A poignant visit to the beaches of Normandy
Leave the ship in Le Havre for a tour of the beaches where the 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. Lunch at the Omaha Beach Club; visit the museum at Arromanches, where the remains of an artificial harbor used in the invasion still lie offshore, or spend free time on your own. Then depart for the town of Caudebec-en Caux, where your riverboat awaits you.

Day 11 Les Andelys & the secrets of cider and calvados
Arrive in Les Andelys, 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 Lionhearted, Duke of Normandy, to defend against an invasion from the King of France; it 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. 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. Ramble in the classic French village, known for its medieval lanes, before returning to the riverboat to cruies to Paris. Tonight, join the Captain for a farewell reception and dinner.

Day 12 Under the Channel to London by TGV
Depart the ship in Paris this morning and board a TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse / “high-speed train”) that will whisk you to England by way of the tunnel under the Channel. Arrive this afternoon in London, where you’ll stay two nights at The Savoy hotel on the Thames, a luxury landmark since 1889; as the hotel 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.” You’ll get a good introduction to some of the major sights, after which you’ll have free time to explore on your own.

Lodging : The Savoy

Day 13 A day in London, as you please
A morning guided visit to the British Galleries at the Victoria & Albert Museum is followed by free time to discover what interests you most. Your hotel’s central location puts you in easy reach of all the landmarks of this legendary city, including the Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, the British Museum, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and Trafalgar Square... and if you want to see it all in one go, you might consider a ride on the London Eye, the giant ferris wheel (or as they call it in London, “cantilevered observation wheel”) where spectacular 360-degree views afford you an opportunity to see everything as far as Windsor Castle if the weather is right. Join us for a Tauck Exclusive at our special farewell reception and dinner this evening – a presentation by acclaimed author and television presenter Celia Sandys, granddaughter of Sir Winston Churchill. The perfect ending to our unique Paris to London journey!

Lodging : The Savoy

Day 14 Journey home
Tour ends: London. Fly home anytime.

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