Cruise
Swiss Sapphire
Tauck
Swiss Sapphire, The Seine plus Versailles Paris & London ex London to Paris
Cruise Line: Tauck
Selected Sailing Date: 19 Apr 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 Swiss Sapphire. 2 night hotel stay pre-cruise in London and 2 night hotel stay post-cruise in Paris.

Riverboating on ms Swiss Sapphire from London to Paris by way of a River Seine 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, and finally, Paris... well, riverboating seems like the only way to get there. Private tasting tours, from wine to cheese to chocolate... a presentation by Sir Winston Churchill's granddaughter, Celia Sandys... a private evening at a château... Begin in London, and you’ll have a tale of two cities you’ll want to tell over and over again...

Day 1 Arrive London
Tour begins: 7:00 PM, The Savoy. 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.

Lodging : The Savoy

Day 2 A day in London... well spent
Morning sightseeing gives you a good introduction to the major landmarks, after which you’re free to explore on your own. What to do? Your hotel’s wonderful central location puts you in easy reach of most of famed sites such as the Tower of London, the British Museum, Westminster Abbey, and Trafalgar Square... but if you’d like to see it all in one go, consider a ride on the London Eye, the giant ferris wheel (or as they say in London, “cantilevered observation wheel”) which will take you aloft for an aerial view where you can see everything as far as Windsor Castle if the weather is right. Dine on your own this evening in a city where virtually every world cuisine is well represented!

Lodging : The Savoy

Day 3 Under the Channel to France by high-speed train and embark ms Swiss Sapphire
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.

Day 4 C'est Paris... a choice of museum visit or walking tour of Montmartre
You have sightseeing this morning for your first morning in Paris. First – it's your choice of museum visit (subject to opening times and days): Musée du Louvre, the historic landmark and world's largest museum that's home to some of the world's great masterpieces; Musée National de l’Orangerie, housing Claude Monet's Water Lilies and other Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works; or Musée d’Orsay, a former 19th-century Beaux-Arts railway station that today features a superb collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works. Or alternatively, a local guide leads a walking tour of Montmartre, the historic district that is home to Basllica of the Sacré-Couer and was the 19th- and early 20th-century Belle Époque haven for many of the world's famed artists. The afternoon is free to spend as you please in Paris (or you can join us for a cultural presentation onboard the riverboat, which stays docked in Paris all evening).

Day 5 In Paris – a military museum and a visit to the Marais District
Visit the palatial War Museum, Musée de l’Armée, 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 wealth of medieval and Renaissance architecture, fashionable shops and classic sidewalk cafés. Return to the ship for a chocolate tasting; this evening your riverboat sails to Conflans-Sainte-Honorine.

Day 6 Auvers-sur-Oise, Vincent van Gogh – and absinthe
Dock in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, 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 his 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 visit the Absinthe Museum, dedicated to the legendary green drink which was said to be the muse (and downfall) of so many turn-of-the century poets, painters, and writers; your visit includes an exclusive tasting, of course. This evening, sail for Vernon; arrive after dinner, with time for a guided walk in the city.

Day 7 Explore Giverny, where it's all about Claude Monet, 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, 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 for dinner; tonight you sail for Le Havre.

Day 9 Explorie 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; take an orientation tour of the town, once a magnet for artists like Boudin and Monet. 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 artists 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, enjoy free time to explore the town’s streets, shops and harbor on your own, before returning to the riverboat.

Day 10 World II history and 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
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 French village below, with its 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.

Day 12 A day at a private château
Travel into the 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, followed by a rustic country luncheon served in one of the historic buildings on the grounds. Enjoy free time to peruse the gardens and estate on your own before returning to Versailles. 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 13 Early-opening visit to Château de 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. Return to the hotel in Versailles and join us this evening for the pièce de résistance, a farewell reception and dinner.


Lodging : Trianon Palace Versailles – A Waldorf Astoria Hotel

Day 14 Journey home
Tour ends: Paris, France. Fly home anytime.

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