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In the Footsteps of the Great Masters: Impressionism Along the Seine

Program Number: 14662RJ
Start and End Dates:
8/26/2013 - 9/6/2013; 3/31/2016 - 4/11/2016; 5/9/2016 - 5/20/2016; 5/23/2016 - 6/3/2016; 9/8/2016 - 9/19/2016; 10/8/2016 - 10/19/2016;
Duration: 11 nights
Location: France
Price starting at: $3,320.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; River Boats; Art History/Criticism
Meals: 28; 10 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 9 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

The art world was forever changed in the 19th century when a group of young artists broke with tradition to embrace a radical new approach to painting, conveying the impression of an experience. Step into the vivid, colorful scenes of a Monet or Pissarro as you start in Paris, Impressionism’s birthplace, and sail along the Seine from Honfleur to the sites that most inspired these legendary artists.

Activity Particulars

Extensive walking along unpaved lanes and cobblestoned streets; some stairs without railings and/or uneven. Participants should be able to stand for at least one hour.

Please note that the 10/8/2016 date is designed with a Moderate activity level and is meant for participants who feel that an Active program would be too strenuous. Field trips on this date will be slower paced and will follow less strenuous routings wherever possible.

Itinerary At-a-Glance

Paris, 4 nights; aboard vessel, 6 nights.

Day 1: Overnight flight from the U.S.A.:

Days 2-5: Artistic Paris / Auvers-sur-Oise:

Enjoy an expert-led introduction to Impressionism at the Musee d’Orsay and the Rodin museum. Travel to Auvers-sur-Oise and visit some of the sites painted by Vincent van Gogh, as well as the artist’s home and final resting place. Back in Paris explore Montmartre, the heart of the city’s artistic life, as well as the Sacre Coeur Basilica.
Lodging: Centrally located hotel.

Days 6-7: Étretat and Honfleur / embark vessel:

See the beautiful white cliffs of Étretat which were painted by Courbet, Monet and others. Visit the Musee Malraux, Musee Eugene Boudin, and historic Honfleur.

Days 8-10: Saint Wandrille, Rouen and Giverny:

Visit the Abbey of Saint Wandrille, a Benedictine monastery founded in the 7th century. In Rouen view the cathedral where Claude Monet painted the effects of changing light and walk around the historic market square where Joan of Arc was martyred. Travel to Giverny to experience the splendor of Monet’s gardens.

Days 11-12: Paris / disembark / departure:

Explore Medieval Paris and the "Ile de la Cite" on a walking tour. Enjoy free time in Paris or join your Study Leader for an optional guided tour of the Marmottan Museum. Take the coach to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport for flights the next morning.

MS Seine Princess

The MS Seine Princeses features two decks with a dining room, lounge-bar with a dance floor, library and gift shop. The ship's one-sitting restaurant serves artfully prepared traditional French cuisine, and the sundeck offers an incredible view of the Seine as it meanders through Normandy and into Paris.


The epicurious and the curious find much to admire in Western Europe’s largest nation, whose agricultural riches and terrain of beaches, mountains and fertile fields have drawn residents for thousands of years. The northern region hosts the nation’s Parisian capital, as well as unique Breton culture, while the sun-drenched Mediterranean coast sports the chic beach-goers and the terraced vineyards of the interior.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Jennifer Burdon

Born and raised in York, England, Jennifer Burdon has been living in Paris for many years. She holds a master’s degree from Durham University where she specialized in 19th century French literature and art history. Jennifer leads educational excursions all over Paris, specializing in Impressionism, the French Revolution, the experiences of African Americans in Paris, Ernest Hemingway and private museums. She has also written for a small British paper focused on the Parisian art scene. Jennifer is the group leader and lecturer for Road Scholar, and enjoys sharing her knowledge of the city with charm and a subtle British wit.
Meals and Lodgings
   Villa Beaumarchais
  Paris, France 4 nights
   MS Seine Princess
  Paris, France
Vernon, France
Rouen, France
Honfleur, France
6 nights
 Villa Beaumarchais
Type: Hotel
  Description: Nestled at the corner of the Passage du Grand Veneur, the Villa Beaumarchais echoes the charm of typical lanes of the Place des Vosges.
  Contact info: 5 rue des Arquebusiers
Paris,  75003 France
phone: +33 (0)1 40 29 14 00
  Room amenities: Cable television, complimentary newspaper, air conditioning, phone, internet access, minibar, wake-up calls, private bathroom, bathrobes, hair dryer, pay movies, in-room safe
  Facility amenities: Buffet breakfasts, room service, air conditioning, mini bar, WiFi, safe.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBA Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services for rates and availability.

 MS Seine Princess
Type: Riverboat
  Ship Information: The MS Seine Princess is a deluxe two-deck river ship that was built in 2002. It is 110 meters long and can accommodate 138 passengers in its 67 cabins, all of which have windows.
  Contact info: 12, rue de la Division Leclerc
Strasbourg,  67080 France
phone: +33 (0)3 88 76 44 44
  Room amenities: Each cabin is equipped with a window, TV, radio, safe, and private bathroom with shower and hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: Dining room, lounge, bar and dance floor, TV and video in the lounge, central heating, shop, radiophone, radar, large sun deck, library, fully air-conditioned.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights after:  Not applicable.

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
The program begins with an orientation meeting at 5:00 p.m. at the Paris hotel. You will be staying at Villa Beaumarchais that night.
  End of Program:
The program ends after breakfast on board the ship. You will be staying at MS Seine Princess the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Not applicable
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Air France buses leave approximately every 30 minutes and take about 45 minutes to reach Gare de Lyon, a train and metro terminal.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Paris
  Nearest city or town:  Gonesse
  Nearest highway: A1
  Nearest airport:  Charles de Gaulle Airport
  Transportation to site: A group arrival transfer is organized for all participants who purchased an air inclusive program and arrive on the group date. Independent travelers may take a taxi directly to the hotel or take one of the Air France buses. Tickets can be purchased by anyone regardless of airline. Paris Shuttle, a third party service, offers discounted shared shuttle and private transfer rates to Road Scholar participants. The rate they offer is about 10% discount off their published rate. By using the web link below, you can take advantage of these rates and book your transfer for arrival in or departure from Paris. You will need to pay in advance with a credit card to confirm reservations and print your own voucher. Please note that the website does not indicate that the prices are at the Road Scholar discount price. To give you a price idea, a shared transfer for one person is 18 euros one way.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Honfleur
  Nearest city or town:  Le Havre
  Nearest highway: E 44
  Nearest airport:  Charles de Gaulle
  Transportation from site: A group departure transfer is organized for all participants to travel from Honfleur to the Charles de Gaulle airport.
Elevation Note: 500 feet is the highest elevation.

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: US bound for Paris
(Monday, August 26)
 Depart From: International flight to France

Day 2: Arrival and Orientation in Paris
(Tuesday, August 27)
 Arrive To: Arrive in Paris and transfer to the hotel.
 Afternoon: Check in at the hotel and have time to freshen up and relax before meeting for a welcome orientation and program briefing.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at a restaurant near the hotel
Accommodations: Villa Beaumarchais
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Impressionist Masterpieces at the Musee d'Orsay and Rodin Museum
(Wednesday, August 28)
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel
 Morning: Your Study Leader will take you to the Musée d'Orsay for an introduction to Impressionism focusing on the art created in Montmartre, Auvers, Giverny, Rouen and Honfleur.
 Lunch: Lunch at the Musee d'Orsay
 Afternoon: Your study leader will present an on-site lecture: "Pierre August Rodin: The Impressionist Influence on Sculpture" at the Rodin Museum in Paris. Then explore the Rodin Institute's Gardens featuring such famous sculptures as the Thinker, the Gates of Hell, The Burghers of Calais and others.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant
Accommodations: Villa Beaumarchais
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Vincent Van Gogh in Auvers-sur-Oise
(Thursday, August 29)
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel
 Morning: Discover Auvers-sur-Oise and some of the sites that inspired Vincent Van Gogh's genius. Led by your Study Leader, stroll up to the cemetery where Van Gogh and his brother are buried.
 Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant in Auvers-sur-Oise
 Afternoon: Return to Paris and join your Study Leader for an optional guided tour of the Orangerie Museum, viewing Monet's stunning water lily paintings, along with paintings by Picasso, Matisse, Renoir, Modigliani, and many others. Or enjoy free time in Paris to relax or perhaps visit one of the many museums and historic sites.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own to explore some of the many delightful culinary options in Paris.
Accommodations: Villa Beaumarchais
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Artistic Life in Montmartre and the Louvre's Treasures
(Friday, August 30)
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel
 Morning: Explore Montmartre, the heart of the Parisian artistic movement, featuring the Sacré Coeur basilica and Place du Tertre.
 Lunch: Lunch in Montmartre
 Afternoon: Free time to continue your explorations of Paris or join the group for a self-guided visit of the Louvre using an audioguide created exclusively for Road Scholar participants, containing informative commentary by lecturers sharing their passion for highlights of the Louvre.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant
Accommodations: Villa Beaumarchais
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: The School of Barbizon and the Chateau de Fontainebleau
(Saturday, August 31)
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel
 Morning: This morning check out of the hotel and board the coach with your luggage to travel south of Paris to the village of Barbizon. The Barbizon School originally began as a movement among landscape painters, most famous being Rousseau, Millet and Corot, who came to find inspiration in the neighboring forest of Fontainebleau. Enjoy a visit to Millet's studio and the Musee de l'Ecole de Barbizon.
 Lunch: Lunch in Barbizon
 Afternoon: Travel a short distance to the Chateau de Fontainebleau. Started in the 16th century by king Francois I, this was one of the largest royal palaces in France and became one of Napoleon's favorite homes. Return to Paris in the late afternoon and board the ship.
 Dinner: Welcome Dinner onboard
Accommodations: MS Seine Princess
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Ile de la Cite and Musee Marmottan
(Sunday, September 1)
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard
 Morning: Enjoy a guided tour of the medieval center of Paris, Ile de la Cite, where the famous cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris is located.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard
 Afternoon: Enjoy free time in Paris or join your Study Leader for an optional self-guided visit of the Marmottan Museum. Housed in a 19th century townhouse, you will find approximately 65 paintings by the great Impressionist Claude Monet. The piece of work which gave the art movement its name, "Impression, Soleil Levant," is here, as well as paintings of Rouen Cathedral, Gare St. Lazare, scenes from Giverny, the London Houses of Parliament and, of course, water lilies.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard
Accommodations: MS Seine Princess
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Giverny
(Monday, September 2)
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard
 Morning: Enjoy an onboard lecture on "The Impressionist Love Affair with Normandy."
 Lunch: Lunch onboard
 Afternoon: Discover Monet's gardens at Giverny and the stunning foliage that inspired the great artist.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard
Accommodations: MS Seine Princess
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Exploring Rouen and Cruising the Seine
(Tuesday, September 3)
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard
 Morning: As the boat cruises toward Rouen, enjoy a lecture by your Study Leader on "The Seine River: an Inspiration to Paint Outdoors."
 Lunch: Lunch onboard
 Afternoon: This afternoon we explore historic Rouen, its magnificent cathedral where Monet painted the effects of changing light and its famous half-timbered houses. Your expert guide walks you through this unique city's history, taking time to pause at the site of the burning of Joan of Arc.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard
Accommodations: MS Seine Princess
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: The Abbey of Saint Wandrille
(Wednesday, September 4)
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard
 Morning: Enjoy an onboard lecture on further study of the Impressionism.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard
 Afternoon: The boat arrives in Caudebec around midday. A short distance away you will find Fontenelle Abbey, or the Abbey of St Wandrille. Your local guide will take you through the monastery, founded in the first century by Wandregisel or Saint Wandrille. Although much of the abbey has been rebuilt, the chapel of St-Saturnin remains standing on the hillside overlooking the abbey and is one of the oldest ecclesiastical structures still in existence. Following your tour of the abbey grounds you will have the opportunity to attend mass with the Benedictine monks and experience the Gregorian chanting, or enjoy free time in Caudebec.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard
Accommodations: MS Seine Princess
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Honfleur and Eugene Boudin
(Thursday, September 5)
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard
 Morning: Enjoy unique architecture during a tour of historic Honfleur. Learn why this city has one of the few remaining all wooden churches and the important role of this city in the settlement of New France.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard
 Afternoon: Optional Field Trip / Free Time: "Discover the Musee Eugene Boudin" Located in a 19th century chapel and two modern extensions, with views over Honfleur and the sea, the Eugène Boudin Museum named after Honfleur's most famous painter, houses some 1200 square metres of permanent exhibitions in 9 rooms. On display are works by Eugène Boudin and other great impressionists: Dubourg, Monet, Jongkind... many of whom stayed and worked at the Saint-Simeon farmouse on the outskirts of Honfleur.
 Dinner: Farewell Dinner onboard
Accommodations: MS Seine Princess
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Departures
(Friday, September 6)
 Breakfast: Early breakfast onboard
 Morning: Transfer via coach to Charles de Gaulle Airport for departures.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

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