Paris is a dazzling package just waiting to be unwrapped.
The “City of Light” glows with extra magic during the holidays. Every town in France boasts a marché de Noël in December, but Paris—naturally—boasts many, each one emblematic of its neighborhood. Stroll down the Champs Élysées for your Christmas shopping this year, or visit one of the boutiques on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Walk through the Tuileries Gardens and marvel at the spectacular holiday décor of the great department stores in the city where they were invented.
Experience winter in the majestic countryside, too, with a visit to Rouen, where you can experience a “Taste of Christmas,” Normandy style. Sample the seasonal delights with a visit to a historic café for tarte tatin and then peruse the artisan ceramics on display at the Rouen marché de Noël, which takes place directly in front of the famous cathedral. Medieval cobblestoned squares, the Sun King’s Versailles, sacred music sung in a legendary cathedral—it all adds up to a special gift that’s just for you.
And those sailing over New Year’s will be in for an extra- special treat with a wonderful New Year’s Eve celebration. Plan now to welcome in 2017 in Parisian style as the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower brighten up the sky.
Who will enjoy this cruise
Romantics will relish this chance to see Paris dressed up in all her holiday splendor. Art lovers, history buffs, and shoppers will all find special gifts on this winter holiday.
You will visit the following 3 places:
Rouen is a city on the River Seine in the north of France. It is the capital of the region of Normandy. Formerly one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe, Rouen was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy during the Middle Ages. It was one of the capitals of the Anglo-Norman dynasties, which ruled both England and large parts of modern France from the 11th to the 15th centuries. An important city in the Roman era and Middle Ages, it has Gothic churches and a cobblestoned pedestrian center with hundreds of medieval half-timbered houses.
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region. The city of Paris, within its administrative limits largely unchanged since 1860, has an estimated population of 2,193,031, but the Paris metropolitan area has a population of 11,836,970, and is one of the most populated metropolitan areas in Europe. In 2009 and 2010, the city has been ranked among the three most important and influential cities in the world, among the first three "European cities of the future" according to a research published by Financial Times and among the top ten cities in the world in which to live according to the British review Monocle. The city is the home of the most visited art museum in the world; ''the Louvre'' as well as the ''Musée d'Orsay'' noted for its collection of French Impressionist art, and the ''Musée National d'Art Moderne'' a museum of modern and contemporary art. The notable architectural landmarks of Paris include Notre Dame Cathedral (12th century); the Sainte-Chapelle (13th century); the Eiffel Tower (1889); and the Basilica of Sacré-Cœur on Montmartre (1914). In 2014 Paris received 22.4 million visitors, making it one of the world's top tourist destinations. It is also known for its fashion, particularly the twice-yearly Paris Fashion Week, and for its haute cuisine, and three-star restaurants. Most of France's major universities and grandes écoles are located in Paris, as are France's major newspapers, including Le Monde, Le Figaro, and Libération.
Arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, where you will be transferred to the ship.
Les Andelys, Rouen
FEATURED EXCURSION: Vernon walking discovery tour with organ concert, and hike to Château Gaillard
Take a guided walk through Vernon and attend an organ concert in a spectacular Gothic cathedral. You’ll also explore the well-preserved town of Les Andelys, where you can hike up to the ruins of Richard the Lionheart’s 12th century stronghold, Château Gaillard. In the evening, enjoy a Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner.
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Rouen walking tour with Rouen Cathedral choir recital and Christmas Market, and exclusive “Taste of Christmas, Normandy style” tour
One of France’s best-preserved medieval cities, Rouen is an ideal setting for an old-world Christmas
Market. On your walking discovery tour, you’ll see the historic quarter and bronze cross marking the
spot where Joan of Arc was martyred. Delve into the festivities of the city’s marché de Nöel, sipping
warm cider as you shop for handmade toys and crafts. Be sure to step inside Notre-Dame Cathedral
to see the Christmas crèche and listen to choir music. If you wish, you can also take a Normandystyle
“Taste of Christmas” walking discovery tour of the city, which includes a visit to a historic café for
tarte tatin served with coffee or chocolat au lait.
Mantes la Jolie (Versailles), Conflans Sainte Honorine
FEATURED EXCURSION: Exclusive “Secret Versailles” palace tour
Enter the famous Hall of Mirrors and you’ll immediately see why Versailles set the standard for over-the-top opulence. Spend the day exploring the decadent world of Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI with your specialist guide. From the Grands Appartements to the Queen’s Bedchamber, this once-in-a-lifetime tour behind the palace’s secret doors is one you’ll never forget.
Note: A Holiday Gala Dinner will be served on this day on December 7 and 14 departures. The December 21 departure will feature a Christmas Dinner, while the December 28 departure will feature a New Year’s Dinner.
FEATURED EXCURSIONS:Exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” walking tour of the Île de la Cité and Latin Quarter, and Paris “Illuminations” tour
“Do as the Locals Do” with a walking tour of the Île de la Cité, the center of Paris and home to the
Gothic Notre Dame Cathedral, with its famous gargoyles and impressive façade. Cross over the Seine to browse the Latin Quarter’s wonderful gourmet shops and savor delicious seasonal treats. This evening, see the city aglow for the holidays on a special “Illuminations” tour.
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Orsay Museum “Winter with the Impressionists” tour and Christmas Market, and exclusive reception at Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte
Venture inside the extraordinary Orsay Museum to see its famous collection of impressionist and postimpressionist masterpieces. Your expert guide will show you the impressionists’ winter landscapes and provide some fascinating insights—including a discussion about the unique challenges of painting snow. After exploring the city’s grand Christmas Market, you’ll have a rare opportunity to enter the lavishly decorated 17th-century Château de Vauxle-Vicomte for a cocktail reception hosted by the owner. In the evening, a Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner awaits onboard your ship.
FEATURED EXCURSION:Walking discovery tour to the Paris Opera and department stores
Experience the opulent Opéra de Paris Garnier, a glorious venue adorned with red velvet, gold leaf and marble. Then make your way to two of the city’s most celebrated department stores, Le Printemps and Les Galeries Lafayette, ideal places to do some last-minute holiday shopping.
Paris (disembark), transfer to the airport
Disembark the ship and transfer to Charles de Gaulle Airport for your flight home.
Note: Order of sightseeing may change throughout the itinerary. Substitute visits to other sites may occur during your trip due to water levels or other uncontrollable factors.