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Cruising the Seine, plus Paris & London - Southbound 2021

Cruising the Seine, plus Paris & London - Southbound 2021

Operator: Tauck
Ship: MS Swiss Sapphire
Starts: London, England on Wed, May 12, 2021
Ends: Paris, France on Sun, May 23, 2021

Overview

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Itinerary

Countries Visited

England, France

Rivers Visited

Seine

River Cruise Itinerary

Journey from London to Paris by way of a River Seine cruise aboard ms Sapphire filled with Tauck exclusive experiences... Private tasting tours, from wine to cheese to chocolate... discover treasured Parisian landmarks, steeped in history, culture and art... and return home with tales of adventures that become more exciting with each retelling. Wind 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... stop in London, and you’ll have a tale of two cities you’ll want to tell over and over again...

Day 1 (Wed, May 12, 2021): London, England

Tour begins: 6:00 PM, The Savoy. A transfer is included from London’s Heathrow Airport to The Savoy, one of the world’s most prestigious hotels, situated on the banks of the Thames in the heart of the city; check-in begins after 4:00. 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 – at the hotel's renowned Simpson's in the Strand.


Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2 (Thu, May 13, 2021): London, England

Morning sightseeing gives you a good introduction to the major landmarks (such as Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and more) followed by a visit to one of London's most iconic sites, St. Paul's Cathedral. The afternoon is free to spend as you explore your as you please before a truly special experience – an after-hours visit to the Churchill War Rooms – the underground "nerve center" where Winston Churchill strategized World War II campaigns and the Allied route to victory.


Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 3 (Fri, May 14, 2021): London, England

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 a welcome reception and Captain's toast followed by dinner aboard ship.


Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 4 (Sat, May 15, 2021): Paris, France

Begin your day in the city that Ernest Hemingway aptly called a “moveable feast” with a private, guided visit to the Musée du Louvre, the historic landmark and world's largest art museum that's home to some of the greatest masterpieces on Earth followed by an orientation tour revealing Paris icons like the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs Élysées, Place de la Concorde, the Grand Palais, the Opera Garnier and the Eiffel Tower. The rest of the afternoon is free to spend as you please in Paris or aboard the riverboat. A chocolate demonstration and tasting precedes cocktails and dinner this evening. Please note: Departures of June 6, August 16 and September 12 will feature a private, after-hours guided visit to Musée du Louvre night 4; on these departures, the choice of morning museum visit will not be offered. Ask at booking for details.


Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 5 (Sun, May 16, 2021): Paris, France

You have a choice today of an excursion outside Paris to Versailles, or a visit to Montmartre. Explore the Château de Versailles, the stunning palace of the Sun King, Louis XIV on a guided visit, viewing its sumptuous salons, halls, and apartments, including the Hall of Mirrors, the private Opera House and the Chapel; if you wish, join your Tauck Director for a stroll through the Château's magnificent gardens. Alternatively, a local guide leads you on a walking tour of Montmartre, Paris’ historic hilltop district – a 19th- and early 20th-century Belle Époque haven for many of the world's famed artists, home to the Basilica of the Sacré-Coeur and a still-thriving arts scene today.


Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 6 (Mon, May 17, 2021): Auvers-sur-Oise, France

With your riverboat docked in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, 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. This afternoon, sail for Vernon, enjoying a Tauck Director lecture in the lounge en route; arrive in Vernon after dinner.


Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 7 (Tue, May 18, 2021): Vernon, France

Leave your riverboat for a visit to Giverny and Impressionist painter Claude Monet’s house and exquisite gardens. Personally designed by the artist as subjects for his paintings, Monet's gardens have been restored and maintained as he originally intended – complete with the Japanese bridge, the pond of water lilies, and exotic flora – so that you’ll feel like you’ve entered a Monet landscape. While in Giverny, you can also explore the Impressionist Museum at your leisure. After lunch aboard ship, spend the afternoon exploring 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. If you choose, set off on a bicycle trip from Vernon to Giverny before returning to your riverboat for an art lecture discussing the work of impressionist artists! 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.


Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 8 (Wed, May 19, 2021): Rouen, France

This morning, cruise 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 to enjoy the chef's Signature Dinner tonight, followed by onboard entertainment, as you sail for Le Havre.


Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 9 (Thu, May 20, 2021): √Čtretat, France, Honfleur, France

You have a choice of sightseeing today on France's Normandy coast – between excursions to Étretat and Honfleur, or Caen and Bayeux. On the first choice, head to Étretat on the 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, a magnet for artists in the 19th century, and visit the beach and the cliffs. Continue on to Honfleur, an old picturesque trading port where 17th-century houses line the harbor and cobblestone backstreets beckon – a favorite haunt of painters past (like Boudin, Courbet, Monet and Jongkind of the école de Honfleur, which gave rise to the Impressionist movement) and present – to explore as you please and have lunch. Or, in the port city of Caen – renowned for historic buildings from the reign of William the Conqueror, and for the heavy fighting that took place there after the WWII D-Day invasion – visit the Mémorial de Caen, with its Peace Museum and memorial gardens. Then it’s on to medieval Bayeux on the Aure River, where you’ll view the famous Tapisserie de Bayeux (Bayeux Tapestry), an 11th-century tapestry depicting the 1066 Norman invasion, and stop for lunch. Back aboard the riverboat, enjoy a lecture on D-Day by a local expert.


Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 10 (Fri, May 21, 2021):

Leave the ship in Le Havre for a tour of the beaches where World War II's pivotal 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. Reboard your riverboat in Caudebec-en-Caux to continue your cruise; enjoy evening cocktails before dining onboard as you wish.


Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 11 (Sat, May 22, 2021): Les Andelys, France

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 twin French villages below, with their 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.


Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 12 (Sun, May 23, 2021): Paris, France

Tour ends: Paris, France. Fly home anytime. Transfers are included directly from the riverboat to Charles de Gaulle Airport, Gare de Lyon Station, Charles de Gaulle Station and Gare du Nord. You should allow 3 hours for flight check-in at the airport.


Meals Included: Breakfast

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-342-0019

Inclusions

Journey from London to Paris by way of a River Seine cruise aboard ms Sapphire filled with Tauck exclusive experiences... Private tasting tours, from wine to cheese to chocolate... discover treasured Parisian landmarks, steeped in history, culture and art... and return home with tales of adventures that become more exciting with each retelling.

Wind 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... stop in London, and you’ll have a tale of two cities you’ll want to tell over and over again...

  • TAUCK EXCLUSIVE - Presentation by Celia Sandys, granddaughter of Sir Winston Churchill 
  • TAUCK EXCLUSIVE - Private dinner (with music) at Château Bizy 
  • TAUCK EXCLUSIVE - Private, guided visit to the Musée du Louvre
  • After-hours visit to the Churchill War Rooms in London
  • All gratuities to ship staff, drivers, local guides, Tauck Directors and Tauck Cruise Director
  • All private Tauck shore excursions and distinctive inclusions - $3,188 Value! 
  • Two nights in London at The Savoy, one of the world's most prestigious hotels

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-342-0019

Ship Information

MS Swiss Sapphire


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Cabins

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Life on Board

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Questions & Answers

Question: Will the day-by-day itinerary change?

Yes, the river cruise itineraries may change due to reasons such as inclement weather or unforeseen events. Your safety is the number one concern aboard and all precautions necessary will be taken in order to ensure passenger safety, including changing itineraries. Please note that when itineraries do change, the ship staff will do their best to substitute any missed port with an alternative destination.

Question: In what language is the river cruise conducted?

The river cruise will be conducted in English only.

Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4.2
Accommodations
3.7
Itinerary
4.3
Professional Staff
4.6
Repeat with Operator
4.6
Value for Money
4.1

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Sail Date Operator Ship Length Price
May 12, 2021 Tauck MS Swiss Sapphire 12 $7,590

Ratings based off 18 reviews - currently showing 4 reviews with comments only

It was the first of - I hope- many. Excellent organization and staff.

The Tauck riverboat was fabulous! We were three in the room and it was large with a beautiful walk-in closet and new lovely bathroom. The Pullman Hotel near the Eiffel Tower was disappointing. The room for three was minuscule and the staff at the front desk were not helpful. If there was a knowledgable concierge, we never found him. The location was poor for metro to get to main sights around the city. We put that on our Tauck survey as well. Cruise director and all tour guides were exceptional. Highly recommend Tauck Bridges and we're looking forward to the Bridges trip we booked for next April. Thanks Affordable Tours!

Wonderful itinerary with excellent local tour guides and tour directors. They went above and beyond to make the trip a memorable one for us. Lots of little extra "touches" made this Tauck tour an outstanding experience. I am hoping to take another Tauck tour very soon!

The Danube river cruise trip from Prague to Budapest was excellent; superior service and itinerary. This is our 2nd trip booked through Affordable Tours and would not hesitate to use your organization again.


AffordableTours.com is a travel agent for Tauck. Brochure Price is based on the itinerary's highest brochure price. Our price reflects our base price for the same departure as Brochure Price. All prices, itineraries, accommodations and dates are subject to change without notice and at any time. All prices are USD per person and based on double occupancy. Availability is limited and must be reconfirmed at time of booking. All prices change frequently and our website prices are not guaranteed until a deposit has been received by us. The prices on our website are intended to serve as a guide only and may not accurately reflect current prices. We are not responsible for errors, omissions, or changes in these prices until a booking has been confirmed by one of our agents. Please call us toll free at 1-800-342-0019 to confirm current prices and availability. Prices listed are per person, cruise only, and based on double occupancy.

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