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River Cruise Description
This fabulous 2019 11 day Avalon river cruise from Paris to London vacation offers you a fascinating time through some of the arguably best parts of Europe. You will get to explore France’s exceptional capital city of romantic Paris and historic London, with picturesque scenic natural beauty as you cruise along the sensational Seine River and the stunning historic Normandy region.
Your first stop will be in charming Vernon, where you’ll have your choice between two expertly guided tours. You can take in world-famous artist Claude Monet’s amazing gardens at quaint Giverny, or a tour of the impressive Bizy Castle, known as “Normandy’s Versailles.” Or, you might opt to join an excursion to the historic Normandy Landing Beaches, where many American soldiers fought and sacrificed their lives for our freedom during World War II. Also including world-renowned Omaha Beach, the impressive Point du Hoc monument, and the solemn visit to the American Cemetery. In the quaint city of Rouen – best known as the home of Joan of Arc – you’ll enjoy a wonderful guided stroll through the historic medieval quarter and visit the stunning gothic Rouen Cathedral. From fascinating Conflans, you’ll enjoy joining an excursion to the quaint and inspiring village of Auvers-Sur-Oise – best known for its world-famous artists, including world-renowned painter, Vincent Van Gogh, or you might choose to tour Napoleon and Josephine’s magnificent Malmaison.
On this fascinating French river cruise, you’ll enjoy fine wine, wonderful cheese, and breathtaking natural scenic beauty along the stunning Seine River, not to mention the stops in many charming towns and villages of historic parts of France. However, your Avalon Waterways river cruise vacation would not be complete without some time in two of the most popular cities – romantic France and impressive London. Paris, known as the fascinating “City of Light” offers stunningly elegant Notre Dame Cathedral, the iconic Eiffel Tower, and the magnificent Louvre Museum. You’ll transfer to London for three wonderful exhilarating nights. Your special Monograms package includes the services of a friendly and knowledgeable Monograms Local Host®. This fantastic “friend in the city” can answer all your questions, offer wise suggestions, and help make your vacation adventure everything you wanted it to be. During your fascinating guided sightseeing tour with a local expert, you’ll marvel at all London’s must-see sights. Make sure you don’t miss seeing stately Parliament, iconic Big Ben, elegant Westminster Abbey, and entertaining Piccadilly Circus, and more! Most of all, you’ll take many amazing memories and photos of your fabulous 2019 11 day Avalon river cruise from Paris to London.
River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive in Paris, France (Embarkation)
Welcome to Paris, France’s capital on the River Seine, the “City of Light,” where romance fills the air. This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. Before dinner, your ship glides smoothly out of Paris. (Dinner) *NOTE: Flights into Paris must arrive by 2:30 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.
Day 2 Vernon–Les Andelys
This morning in Vernon, choose between a guided visit of beautiful Giverny and a visit to remarkable Bizy Castle. World-renowned artist Claude Monet lived at GIVERNY for almost 43 years (1883-1926), and viewed his flower and water gardens as works of art – just like his paintings. See his amazing collection of Japanese prints, his charming house, and his biggest sources of inspiration. Or, visit remarkable BIZY CASTLE, built in 1740 and nicknamed “Normandy’s Versailles.” It is known for its famous stables – inspired by those at Versailles – and its magnificent courtyard and water garden. This afternoon, your ship arrives in Les Andelys, situated on a bend of the Seine and one of the most beautiful places in France. Join a Local Guide for a GUIDED WALK of the town, visiting the elegant PARISH CHURCH OF LE GRAND ANDELY. Imposing Château Gaillard, built by England’s King Richard the Lionheart as a fortress in 1196, is seen high above the town. Constructed in only a year, it is a masterpiece of medieval military architecture. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 3 Caudebec
Today, join either a guided excursion along the captivating Route des Chaumières, “THATCHED COTTAGE ROUTE,” to see some of Normandy’s charming and traditional half-timbered houses with their long, sloping thatched roofs, often featuring beautiful blue wooden doors and window shutters, or along the “NORMANDY ABBEYS ROUTE,” a short drive from Caudebec. More than 100 abbeys once covered this region, which has a microclimate particularly suited to the production of fresh fruit such as apples, pears, plums, and cherries. The afternoon is free for you to explore on your own or to join an optional excursion to the quaint coastal town of Honfleur. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4 Caudebec
Make your choice today between an included full-day excursion to the historic NORMANDY LANDING BEACHES – with heartrending sites such as Omaha Beach, the Pointe du Hoc monument, and the American Cemetery – or a “TASTE OF NORMANDY” for an in-depth look at this charming, mainly farming region. The most important products are dairy (milk & Cheese), apples, and grain. Camembert cheese is a specialty, as is popular CALVADOS, a strong apple brandy you’ll have the chance to taste at a quaint local distillery. And for a touch of history, visit the famous BAYEUX TAPESTRY. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner )
Day 5 Rouen
Enjoy a visit to Rouen, the capital of Upper Normandy. This charming town is an important commercial community, but is best known for its connection to Joan of Arc. She lived there, was imprisoned, and in 1431, was burned at the stake in the marketplace of this historic town. Enjoy the included GUIDED WALK through the medieval quarter with its half-timbered, glazed-tile houses, and make your photographs of the sophisticated Gros Horloge astronomical clock, dating back to the 16th century. Visit the elegant gothic CATHEDRAL, which was once the tallest building in the world and the subject of a series of paintings by world-renowned Claude Monet. The afternoon is free for you to explore more of Rouen on your own. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6 Conflans
After a wonderful breakfast you may either join our included guided excursion to AUVERS-SUR-OISE, the quaint little town where world-renowned artist Vincent Van Gogh lived and died, or to Napoleon and Josephine’s extravagant CHÂTEAU DE MALMAISON just outside the “City of Light.” Requiring extensive renovations, this large country estate was purchased by Napoleon’s wife, Josephine, in 1799 while Napoleon was fighting in Egypt. It was her aim to make it “the most beautiful and curious garden in Europe, a model of good cultivation.” (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 7 Paris
Considered one of the world’s most romantic and bustling cities, Paris certainly delights all your senses. Your included CITY SIGHTSEEING features all the must-see sights, such as elegant Notre Dame Cathedral, the awe-inspiring Louvre Museum with its glass pyramid as a contrast to its ancient architecture, the historic Arc de Triomphe, and the stately Eiffel Tower. Or, you may wish to join a GUIDED WALK through historic Île St. Louis with its narrow one-way streets and Île de la Cité, the center of Paris where the medieval city was founded and home to grandiose NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL. During your free time, wander down the Champs-Elysées with its posh cafés, or perhaps visit the world-famous Louvre or Montmartre with its gleaming white Sacré Coeur Basilica and cluster of artists on Place du Tertre. Paris is also well known for its colorful and vibrant nightlife, and an optional outing to one of Paris’ famous cabaret shows might make the perfect finale to your Seine cruise vacation. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 8 Paris-London, England
This morning your included transfer to the train station sees you join the Monograms portion of your fabulous vacation. Travel to historic London by HIGH-SPEED EUROSTAR TRAIN. Your Local Hosts will be on hand to help you make the most of your time in this exciting city. (Breakfast)
Day 9 London
Morning guided sightseeing includes all of London’s most famous landmarks. Drive past the historic Houses of Parliament and iconic Big Ben; elegant Westminster Abbey, where Prince William and Kate Middleton were married; Whitehall’s colorful and fascinating mounted horseguards; the Prime Minister’s Downing Street; and entertaining Piccadilly Circus. Take photographs of the awesome London Eye, the giant Ferris wheel on the riverbank, and the Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe. Then, visit stunningly beautiful ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL (except on Sundays). Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece with its world-famous dome is an iconic feature of London’s skyline, and the awe-inspiring interior holds fascinating stories about its history. The final highlight is the ceremonial pageantry of the Changing of the Guard, something you’d regret missing (if held). (Breakfast)
Day 10 London
Your Local Hosts will help you make the most of your last full day of vacation. You could take a flight on the London Eye for fantastic views over the city, or visit impressive Windsor Castle, one of the official residences of Queen Elizabeth II, for a tour of the extravagant State Apartments. In the evening, see one of the dozens of celebrated West End shows, or enjoy a great dinner at a traditional London pub, followed by a relaxing night-time cruise on the Thames River. There are so many possibilities to choose from that will make your stay unforgettable. (Breakfast)
Day 11 London
While your wonderful vacation ends with a great breakfast this morning, take note of the amazing memories you will carry with you as you return home, not to mention the many wonderful photographs you took during your cruise that will be pleasant reminders of your fabulous vacation. (Breakfast)