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The Seine, Paris & Normandy

Itinerary, Prices and Dates


Round trip from Paris 8 Days

Honfleur

From Paris we slip our moorings and commence our wonderfully scenic cruise along the beautiful and majestic Seine into the heart of one of France's most historic and picturesque regions, Normandy. With time to enjoy the historic little town of Les Andelys en route, we continue our journey along the Seine's sweeping meanders, before exploring the delights of Rouen, one of Europe's finest medieval cities with its stunning cathedral and tangle of atmospheric winding streets. Passing the legendary Jumiege Abbey, we moor in the pretty village of Caudebec with time after dinner for an evening stroll in this most typical of French villages. Then to Bayeux, spared significant war damage, it retains its wealth of splendid buildings as well as the legendary and stunning tapestry for which it is so famed. We also see some of the many thought-provoking monuments and places along the Normandy coast and reflect on the remarkable story of the D-Day landings on our visit to Gold Beach and the remnants of Mulberry Harbour. Our cruise would not be complete without a visit to charming Honfleur - its near perfect waterfront of tall pastel-coloured 18th century houses, traditional shops and maze of streets providing the inspiration for the Impressionist painter Claude Monet to paint here many times.

Countless sleepy villages silently drift by as we arrive in delightful Vernon, from where we take the short drive to Giverny visiting Claude Monet's home and one of the world's most famous and most painted gardens. Enjoy the quintessentially half-timbered streets of Vernon before we continue on to our final destination, one of the world's most iconic and romantic cities, Paris. From the Notre Dame to the Arc de Triomphe, the Sacre-Coeur to the Eiffel Tour, the Louvre to the Pompidou Centre, the smart shopping of the Galeries Lafayette to bohemian Montmatre, the list is endless and the variety arguably unmatchable; this breathtaking city never fails to inspire no matter how many times you get the chance to visit.

What's Included

  • 7 nights 5★ cruise accommodation in an outside stateroom
  • Most staterooms have floor to ceiling sliding glass doors opening to a French Balcony
  • Tour highlights include
  • Guided tour of historic Rouen
  • Visit to Claude Monet's house and beautiful garden
  • Explore Vernon, one of Normandy's most picturesque towns
  • Guided tour of Paris
  • See the Bayeux Tapestry
  • Tour the D-Day Normandy Beaches
  • Stop in Les Andelys, village of half-timbered houses and twisted alleys
  • Visit to delightful Honfleur, one of Normandy's most alluring fishing ports
  • Cruise through the delightful Seine Valley
  • Visit Chateau Gaillard, Richard the Lionheart's huge castle
  • Gourmet dining with all meals included during your cruise
  • Welcome & Captain's Gala Dinners
  • Services of professional Cruise Manager
  • Return Eurostar & TGV standard class or flights from various UK airports
  • All port charges, airport taxes and transfers from airport or station to ship

Day 1: Arrive in Paris

Map of the Seine River
Map of the Seine River

You can either take a late morning Eurostar from London, St Pancras International to Paris (connecting rail fares are available, see departures details) from where a coach will take you to the nearby ship, or you fly to Paris, Charles de Gaulle. Moored on the River Seine, the dedicated crew welcome you aboard your first-class floating hotel, ensuring you settle into you comfortable and extremely well equipped cabin and familiarise yourself with the ship.
Included Meals D

Day 2: Les Andelys

During the night the Swiss Sapphire has slipped her moorings and as you enjoy your first sumptuous breakfast, you rapidly get used to the fascinating sensation of enjoying the most luxurious floating sightseeing experience as the landscape passes serenely before you. Rounding a sweeping bend, so typical of the River Seine, at Mantes la Jolie a huge Cathedral dominates the left bank and then straight ahead is an imposing medieval stone bridge, destroyed during the Second World War, never repaired and the first poignant reminder this region of France has been a battleground for centuries. Beyond Mantes, again typical of the Seine, almost resembling giant's teeth, the first of the picturesque chalk cliffs appear as the river meanders seawards. Stunningly beautiful villages like La Roche Guyon slide by, interspaced by verdant green countryside studded by countless cider orchards, half-timbered barns and contorted wooden farmhouses. We are truly in the heart of one of France's historic and stunningly attractive dukedoms - Normandy. The lower Seine Valley is characterised by a huge series of sweeping meanders and as you cruise through the almost tortuous chalk cliff lined valley you'll find it hard to work out if you've seen that hilltop before from another side - all part of the charm of a scenic river cruise. Whilst you are enjoying your first delicious lunch, the captain has skilfully berthed at Les Andelys, dominated by one of the most spectacular sights along the entire valley. The fascinating Chateau Gaillard, a huge medieval castle guarding the apex of this particular river bend was ironically built by Richard the Lionheart to defend Rouen from the French! A much appreciated feature of our holidays is that cruises are well-paced allowing time to really absorb your ephemeral surroundings, so this afternoon you are free to explore the historic little town of Les Andelys as you wish. There's also the opportunity to join the tour visiting Chateau Gaillard itself, learning about its tumultuous history and enjoy the stupendous views across the river's bends and over the delightful Normandy countryside, probably the finest of the entire cruise.

During your second lovely dinner we unobtrusively slip our moorings, and what could be better than heading for the lounge and a chance to discuss first impressions of the Seine with your fellow guests over a digestif! The evening cruise is delightful, past yet more bucolic scenery, some of the finest France can offer. Should you wish why not visit the wheelhouse, the Captain is always delighted to explain to those interested, how the highly sophisticated navigation and safety systems operate - boys and their toys!
Included Meals B L D

Day 3: Rouen & Caudebec

We awake in Rouen, Normandy's historic capital, one of Europe's finest medieval cities and scene of many momentous events over the centuries. Pride of place belongs to its stunning cathedral immortalised by Claude Monet over 30 times! An eclectic mix of architectural styles with its soaring spire briefly make it once Europe's tallest building and is the final resting place of Richard the Lionheart and Rollo, William the Conqueror's grandfather. Rouen's beautiful tangle of medieval alleys are a revelation, wonderfully lined with antique shops, tasteful boutiques -as only the French know how, plus of course countless establishments offering culinary delicacies emphasising the country's outstanding gastronomic heritage. In the Place Vieux Marche is one of the city's most poignant spots; a simple garden of wild flowers marks where the legendary Joan of Arc was burned for her beliefs. Our tour sees all this and more.

During another superb lunch we cast off navigating yes more amazing meandering bends through chalk cliffs bisecting steep forest-covered hills designated areas of outstanding natural beauty and the sanctuary of deer and wild boar. Another spectacular sight soon greets us, the magnificent 11th century Jumiège Abbey, one of the highlights of the entire valley and whose consecration was attended by William the Conqueror himself. It's an amazing sight! Late afternoon, we moor in the pretty village of Caudebec, so after dinner perhaps take a stroll exploring this lovely spot with its typical market square and richly decorated church adorned with stone carvings so fine they are more resplendent of a cathedral.
Included Meals B L D

Day 4: Bayeux & Gold Beach

After breakfast you'll be ready for today's full day tour to learn about two of the most important aspects of European history, the D-Day landings in 1944 and the Bayeux Tapestry. (Please note lunch is not provided today). Bayeux itself is a delightful town, thankfully spared the ravages of war, so you can marvel at the many splendid buildings including the grandiose cathedral in addition to the wonders of the tapestry itself. Telling the tale of William of Normandy's expedition to invade England in 1066, this remarkable survivor which is actually embroidery rather than a true tapestry surely needs no further introduction and will bring back "fond" memories of many a school history lesson! The detail of embroidery is stunning and despite its age, the colours have hardly faded and it's easy to agree this is the finest relic there is from the European Middle Ages.

Mercifully peaceful today, this afternoon we visit some of the many thought-provoking monuments and places, part of the remarkable story of the D-Day landings of June 6th 1944, and the tumult that once rent asunder the now peaceful Normandy coast. We visit Gold Beach where the remnants of the extraordinary Mulberry Harbour are visible and a timely reminder of the ingenuity that was critical to this extraordinary enterprise. After a day recalling such momentous events and the truly remarkable stories that surround them, thoughts turn again to the culinary delights awaiting you in the elegance and refined comfort of the Swiss Sapphire's restaurant.
Included Meals B L D

Day 5: Honfleur

Today we take the drive to perhaps the most picturesque spot on the northern French coast - delightful Honfleur. Beautifully preserved, its old harbour, complete with both fishing boats and luxurious pleasure craft, is surrounded by a perfect waterfront of tall, pastel-coloured 18th century houses, many converted to seafood restaurants. Along the waterfront, watch the talented artists at work, capturing the delightful view for eternity whilst the intricate maze of streets behind are worthy of some exploration. The eaves of the tall, half-timbered buildings almost touch and on the streets below is an abundance of traditional shops selling all sorts of items such as antiques, books and fine foods. The locals stop, exchange a few words, kiss on both cheeks and continue on their way - archetypical provincial France. Honfleur's most famous son is Eugene Boudin, the forerunner of Impressionism whose most famous pupil was a certain Claude Monet who painted here many times.

Returning for lunch, the ship retraces the river's enchanting scenery, its meanders, ever-changing wildlife, country estates and forests all reflecting differing colours in the sparkling waters as the Swiss Sapphire cruises upstream. Villages slip by, birds glide on numerous thermals soaring from the surrounding cliffs and it's an ideal opportunity to join new friends for a chat as this ever-changing kaleidoscope slips by. Squeeze in a spot of reading on the Sun Deck or simply recline, let the gentle breezes so characteristic of the stately progress of a luxury river cruise vessel lull you into a relaxing doze. By this stage of your cruise you will be totally unwound and modern life will seem very distant.
Included Meals B L D

Day 6: Vernon & Giverny

A great delight of river cruising is the magical sensation of waking up in a different place to where you retired. Awaking this morning, the ship has moored in delightful Vernon, taking the short drive to Giverny visiting one of the world's most famous, probably its most photographed and almost certainly its most painted garden and the home of the great Impressionist artist Claude Monet, and it's ideally viewed in the delicate morning light. This is where the famous 'Nympheas' or 'Water Lilies' were painted. You can also see the renowned Japanese bridge too, still there after all these years with the flower garden preserved exactly how it was nearly a century ago. Absorb the tranquil atmosphere and wander entranced, as each image from that legendary portfolio of impressionism comes into frame, marvel at the light bouncing off the foliage of every hue and wonder at the dynamism in the reflections dancing off the water just as the great master himself once did.

After another leisurely lunch you can explore sleepy Vernon's quintessentially half-timbered Norman streets before our cruise to Paris. As the sun sets on the shimmering Seine and the Norman countryside recedes into dusk, it's a perfect time to reflect on your few days cruising amongst the creamy chalk cliffs and villages of this splendidly tortuous river, perhaps take in the cool of the evening air enjoying the unrivalled beauty of twinkling riverside lights reflected along the water's edge.
Included Meals B L D

Day 7: Paris

We have arrived in Paris and this morning we take a sightseeing tour of probably the world's most iconic city. Notre Dame, the Arc de Triomphe, Champs Élysées, Sacré-Coeur, the Eiffel Tower you see these and much, much more. The grandiose Place de la Concorde, largest square in the city, shows off 18th Century French architecture at its best and just over on the left bank you'll find the Musée d'Orsay, home of the world's finest Impressionist art collection. The world famous Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo, plus countless other stunning exhibits grace the Louvre. There is the eccentric and yet stylish Pompidou Centre famous for modern art and street entertainment. The Ile de la Cite is dominated by Notre Dame and the delicate spire of the sublime Ste. Chapelle. The variety is arguably unmatched.

After lunch you could visit fine shops such as the Galeries Lafayette and the smart arcaded Rue de Rivoli or perhaps just wander round bohemian Montmartre. Paris is everything you imagine it to be, romantic, inspiring, vibrant even outrageous, but best of all Paris is unique and a fitting finale to a wonderful cruise.!

This evening is the Captain's Dinner, hosted of course by the Captain himself, a delightful experience featuring specialites of the regions through which we have travelled but probably tinged too with a little sadness in the knowledge that it is the last evening of our wonderful adventure.
Included Meals B L D

Day 8: Depart Paris

This morning, at the appropriate time you will be transferred to either the station or the airport for your return journey.
Included Meals B


  • Included Meals  Included Meals - B: breakfast, L: lunch, D: dinner.

Departure dates in blue operate the itinerary in reverse

MS Swiss Ruby



Overview

The high quality brass and wrought-iron fittings sparkle and reflect in the warm-coloured, highly polished marble floors - this is classic cruising of a very high standard. Featuring the very latest equipment the Swiss Ruby is much loved by her regular passengers for the warm friendly atmosphere, excellent design and exquisite public areas, superbly appointed cabins, high-class fittings and outstanding cuisine. With less than 4 guests to every crew member - a very high ratio for a river cruise vessel - care and personal attention is assured. Plus with a passenger complement of just 88, you never feel crowded.

Onboard Features & Facilities

  • 44 comfortable outside staterooms, half with French Balconies
  • Sun deck with sun-shades, deck chairs & loungers
  • Classically styled restaurant with open seating
  • Main lounge with bar, piano & dance floor
  • Complimentary coffee and tea throughout the day with speciality patisseries in the afternoon
  • Onboard souvenir shop*
  • Laundry service*

* Payable locally.


Riviera Travel, MS Swiss Ruby - deck plan
Click image to zoom


Elegant Cabins

This lovely river cruise vessel, specially designed for the Elbe, features beautifully furnished double cabins with hotel style beds. Cabins on the upper deck feature floor to ceiling sliding glass doors opening to a French balcony, with those on the lower deck having twin windows.

All Cabins Feature

  • Private tiled bathroom with WC, marble wash basin & glass shower enclosure with quality bath products
  • Hotel style beds with fine cotton bed linen
  • A bed turn down service operates during dinner
  • In room safe, mini-bar, hair dryer, full-length mirror, plenty of storage space & telephone
  • Flat-screen satellite televisions.
  • Individually controlled air-conditioning

Ruby Deck French Balcony Cabin (Upper Deck)

Additional Features

  • Cabin size: 129 sq. ft.
  • Floor to ceiling opening glass doors (French Balcony)
  • Double bed with separate matresses (cannot be separated)

Emerald Deck Cabin (Lower Deck)

Additional Features

  • Cabin size: 129 sq. ft.
  • Twin Fixed Window
  • Twin beds with separate matresses

MS Swiss Sapphire



Overview

One of Europe's finest vessels the five-star Swiss Sapphire is another of Riviera's Swiss-managed ships, a true embodiment of luxurious river cruising of the highest standards as befits its flag. Accommodating just 120 guests in stylish surroundings befitting a top quality hotel, you are assured the personal touch and a very spacious atmosphere in cabins and public areas alike. The ship's talented designers have brought to bear their decades of experience, incorporating a range of outstanding design features in superbly appointed cabins, gracious lounges and restaurants so your river cruise is one to treasure for years to come.

Onboard Features & Facilities

  • 62 comfortable outside staterooms and suites, most with French Balconies
  • For and aft sundecks with sun-shades, deck chairs & loungers
  • 'Whirlpool' splash pool
  • Stylish restaurant with open seating
  • Main lounge with bar & piano
  • Stern Lido lounge & Library
  • Complimentary coffee and tea throughout the day with speciality patisseries in the afternoon
  • Elevator to Diamond and Ruby decks
  • Well appointed fitness area
  • Massage room*
  • Onboard souvenir shop*
  • Laundry service*

* Payable locally.


Riviera Travel, MS Swiss Sapphire - deck plan
Click image to zoom


Luxury Staterooms

This lovely river cruise vessel features beautifully furnished staterooms and suites, the majority featuring floor to ceiling sliding glass doors opening to a French Balcony.

All Staterooms & Suites Feature

  • Private tiled bathroom with WC, wash basin & glass shower enclosure with quality bath products, bathrobes & slippers
  • Hotel style beds, the best mattresses and fine cotton bed linen
  • A bed turn down service operates during dinner
  • Seating area with 2 chairs and a table
  • In room safe, mini-bar, hair dryer, full-length mirror, plenty of storage space & telephone
  • Coffee making facilities
  • Flat-screen televisions with satellite TV channels, GPS and for & aft camera views.
  • Individually controlled air-conditioning

Deluxe Suite (Diamond Deck)

Additional Features

  • Suite size: 322 sq. ft.
  • 2 sets of floor to ceiling opening glass doors (French Balcony)
  • Enhanced sitting area with settee & coffee table
  • Large marble bathroom with separate bath & shower

Suite (Diamond & Ruby Decks)

Additional Features

  • Suite size: 204 sq. ft.
  • Floor to ceiling opening glass doors (French Balcony)
  • Enhanced sitting area

French Balcony Stateroom (Diamond & Ruby Decks)

Additional Features

  • Stateroom size: 161 sq. ft.
  • Floor to ceiling opening glass doors (French Balcony)

Suite (Emerald Deck)

Additional Features

  • Suite size: 204 sq. ft.
  • Smaller Fixed Window
  • Enhanced sitting area

Stateroom (Emerald Deck)

Additional Features

  • Stateroom size: 161 sq. ft.
  • Smaller Fixed Window
  • No Single Supplement


Fine dining

As you enter the restaurant the mouth-watering aroma of roasting Provençal Lamb drifts tantalisingly from the galley. Smartly uniformed, friendly and intuitive waiting staff professionally guide you to your classically set table with its crisp white linen, premium quality European china, polished fine glassware and gleaming cutlery whilst freshly baked bread is immediately placed before you with effortless style.Welcome - you're at home. Quality dining is an integral part of your river cruise experience - and our ships take this to the highest five-star levels with superb cuisine prepared by a dedicated and highly professional brigade of chefs.

Take a stroll on the Sun Deck as the river gradually awakes, and enjoy Early Risers' tea or coffee and freshly baked pastries. The full breakfast buffet is a sumptuous affair with innumerable hot and cold options, plus a popular omelette station prepares dishes to order. Or if you prefer, why not enjoy continental breakfast in your cabin: breakfast in bed as enchanting scenery and riverside life drift gently by - priceless! Naturally complimentary tea and coffee are available throughout the day and a very comprehensive lunch buffet allows selection of as little or as much as you wish from an extensive and tempting selection. Don't forget to leave some room for afternoon tea and the chef's special patisserie - it's just too tempting to ignore!

The day's culinary highlight is the splendid four-course dinner: entrée, soup, main course and dessert plus a salad buffet is always available - all within the ambience of a high quality restaurant. The carefully designed menus include international classics together with dishes reflecting the regions we pass through, with careful selections from local markets. In addition, the 'Welcome Dinner' enjoys an extended menu and towards the end of your cruise, the Captain proudly hosts his excellent 'Gala Dinner' featuring specialities of the countries and regions through which you've travelled.

Open Seating

Our clients constantly tell us they love our informal free seating and smaller tables policy, quite unlike the inevitable regimentation of many cruise ships which is exactly the atmosphere we are trying to achieve. Then there's the wine list. We take great pride in its excellent quality and style, including not only the classic choices but also an extensive range of local wines. Many of these are extremely well-priced, delightful hidden gems and rarely marketed outside their production area.

Return Standard Class Eurostar & TGV

Depart Lower Deck
Cabin
Upper Deck
Cabin
Jun 10£1399£1599
Jun 17£1399£1599
Jun 24£1399£1599
Jul 1£1299£1499
Sep 2£1399£1599
Sep 9£1399£1599
Sep 16£1399£1599
Sep 23£1399£1599

Eurostar Upgrade

Upgrade to Standard Premier class for £139pp return.


Flight Availability & Supplements

Depart BHXBRSDUBEDIGLALGWLHRMANNCL
Jun 10Green Tick IconGreen Tick IconGreen Tick IconGreen Tick Icon
Jun 17Green Tick IconGreen Tick IconGreen Tick Icon
Jun 24Green Tick IconGreen Tick IconGreen Tick IconGreen Tick Icon
Jul 1Green Tick IconGreen Tick IconGreen Tick Icon
Sep 2Green Tick IconGreen Tick IconGreen Tick IconGreen Tick Icon
Sep 9Green Tick IconGreen Tick IconGreen Tick IconGreen Tick Icon
Sep 16Green Tick IconGreen Tick IconGreen Tick Icon
Sep 23Green Tick IconGreen Tick IconGreen Tick IconGreen Tick Icon
Supplement From£139£79£139£99£139£99£139£139£139

Return Standard Class Rail Travel


DepartShipEmbarkFrom
Jun 2Swiss RubyParis£1499Cabin Upgrades 
Lower DeckCabin129 ft², fixed windows£1499
Upper DeckCabin129 ft², French balcony£1599
Jun 9Swiss RubyParis£1549Cabin Upgrades 
Lower DeckCabin129 ft², fixed windows£1549
Upper DeckCabin129 ft², French balcony£1649
Jun 16Swiss RubyParis£1399Cabin Upgrades 
Lower DeckCabin129 ft², fixed windows£1399
Upper DeckCabin129 ft², French balcony£1499
Jun 23Swiss RubyParis£1299Cabin Upgrades 
Lower DeckCabin129 ft², fixed windows£1299
Upper DeckCabin129 ft², French balcony£1399
Jun 30Swiss RubyParis£1399Cabin Upgrades 
Lower DeckCabin129 ft², fixed windows£1399
Upper DeckCabin129 ft², French balcony£1499
Sep 1Swiss RubyParis£1399Cabin Upgrades 
Lower DeckCabin129 ft², fixed windows£1399
Upper DeckCabin129 ft², French balcony£1499
Sep 8Swiss RubyParis£1399Cabin Upgrades 
Lower DeckCabin129 ft², fixed windows£1399
Upper DeckCabin129 ft², French balcony£1499
Sep 15Swiss RubyParis£1399Cabin Upgrades 
Lower DeckCabin129 ft², fixed windows£1399
Upper DeckCabin129 ft², French balcony£1499
Sep 22Swiss RubyParis£1499Cabin Upgrades 
Lower DeckCabin129 ft², fixed windows£1499
Upper DeckCabin129 ft², French balcony£1599
Sep 29Swiss RubyParis£1399Cabin Upgrades 
Lower DeckCabin129 ft², fixed windows£1399
Upper DeckCabin129 ft², French balcony£1499

Eurostar Upgrade

Upgrade to Standard Premier class for £139pp return.

This price includes a complimentary light meal, offered from a selection of sweet and savoury cold snacks and includes a drink appropriate to the time of day, served at your seat while you relax in the spacious comfort of Standard Premier Class.


Departure Point & Supplements

Departure PointCarrierSupplement
St PancrasEurostar£0
BirminghamAir France£90
BristolEasyjet£90
DublinAer Lingus£130
EdinburghEasyjet£130
GlasgowEasyjet£130
GatwickEasyjet£80
HeathrowBritish Airways£80
ManchesterAir France£90
NewcastleAir France£130

Not all airports are available for each departure. Please call for details.


Please call for latest prices and availability or Request a Callback ...

Prices are per person based on two sharing and are subject to availability at time of booking. Operators reserve the right to amend published prices prior to a confirmed booking being made.

Single Occupancy Supplements: No single supplement for selected lower deck cabins, subject to availability.


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