The Loire Valley & Five-Star Seine Cruise
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before 15th October 2019.
Explore some of the most famous châteaux that stud the Loire Valley and relax in the charming town of Blois, before joining a scenic cruise along the Seine which includes explorations of Monet's garden at Giverny and Rouen. This tour is operated by our sister company Great Rail Journeys.
Meet at our dedicated Departure Office at St Pancras then leave for Paris on the Eurostar. Next, change for the rail service to Blois, situated on the banks of the River Loire, and check into the Mercure Blois.
Today begins with an excursion to Château de Chenonceau, arguably the most iconic of its kind in the Loire Valley. The Château elegantly spans the River Cher and is a fine example of Gothic and Renaissance architecture. After exploring the château and its picturesque fountain gardens, travel by coach to the town of Amboise, former home of Leonardo da Vinci, who died here in 1519. Visit his former manor house, Clos Lucé, which is filled with some of his fascinating inventions. You are free to explore this delightful manor house.
You are free today to continue sightseeing independently. Perhaps take a relaxed stroll through Blois and discover Château de Blois. Located in the centre of the city, it was once the residence of King Louis XII. The 18th century bridge that spans the Loire is also a prime example of Renaissance architecture. Or why not head further afield? Nearby Château de Villandry is celebrated for its rich Renaissance style gardens. The castle-palace was constructed in the 16th century on the sight of the old fort, which had at one time been the location for peace talks during the Hundred Years' War between the English and the French. The castle gardens are some of the most beautiful in the world and include a variety of water gardens, ornamental flower beds and vegetable patches, all set within a puzzle pattern of low-box hedges.
Following breakfast, check out of your hotel and transfer to the train station for the return rail journey to Paris. Then it's time to meet your floating hotel for the next six nights, the MS Renoir.
On the morning of Day 5, enjoy a guided tour of the splendid French capital and see major attractions such as the Louvre, Champs Elysées, Arc de Triomphe, Bastille and of course, the Eiffel Tower. After lunch you have some free time before setting sail in the evening for a cruise along the Seine, admiring the illuminated attractions along the way (weather permitting).
Start the day cruising to Giverny, during which time there's an expert talk on board; 'A Definition of Impressionism', the perfect warm up for a visit to the delightful village of Giverny. With its instantly recognisable lily ponds, visit the Monet's garden and house. Alternatively, you may prefer to visit the opulent Palace of Versailles. Rejoin the boat where tonight there's a traditional French 'guinguette' evening held on board, an 18th century take on cabaret.
Your destination today is Rouen, former capital of Normandy, where you enjoy a guided tour that follows in the footsteps of the Impressionists themselves. This medieval city is the proud home of The Museum of Fine Arts and entrance is included to the gallery as well as Rouen Cathedral. Make your way to Duclair on Day 8 and embark on an excursion along the Route des Abbayes, exploring the abbeys that line the route of the river by coach. Later, continue upriver to Honfleur, where you moor for the night.
The charming port town of Honfleur is located on the southern bank of the Seine Estuary. Here you can choose to take a tour of this quaint destination, Otherwise you might select our excursion to the nearby beaches of Gold and Juno, two of five landing sites utilised for the D-Day landings. Tonight, celebrate at the captain's special gala dinner. Transfer to Paris on Day 10 for the return journey to London.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We will write to you around 10 weeks before your departure date with the precise meeting times for your tour group.
Please note: This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.
Explore some of the most famous châteaux that stud the Loire Valley