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Art and Artisans of France: A Voyage along the Loing and Seine Rivers

Program Number: 20200RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/31/2013 - 6/8/2013; 8/12/2016 - 8/20/2016; 9/9/2016 - 9/17/2016; 10/7/2016 - 10/15/2016;
Duration: 8 nights
Location: France
Price starting at: $2,633.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Holidays, Festivals & Events Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 15; 7 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 7 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    


The Fleur was built as a cargo ship in 1964 and converted into a passenger ship in 2002. It features 10 cabins with private facilities, a sitting area, bar, day salon and sundeck.


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.

Meals and Lodgings
  Paris, France
Melun, France
Moret-sur-Loing, France
Nemours, France
Néronville, France
Montargis, France
7 nights
Type: Barge
  Ship Information: Fleur: Classic deluxe river barge, she measures 127’ long and 17’ wide, the Fleur was put into service in 2002. She offers 10 cabins for a total of 20 participants.
  Contact info: No street address available as
the barge continually moves, NA  France
phone: +31 6-51552268
  Facility amenities: There are two decks: the upper deck has a saloon where meals are taken, a spacious sitting area, and a bar. There is also a sundeck. All cabins are on the lower deck with air-conditioning and private bathrooms.
  Smoking allowed: No

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
11:00 Group transferred on arrival to barge. You will be staying at Fleur that night.
  End of Program:
8:00 - Early morning group transfer from Montargis to CDG Airport based on flight departure times. You will be staying at Fleur the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Parking is not available.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Public transportation available.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Paris
  Nearest airport:  Charles de Gaulle
  Transportation to site: Take a taxi to 11, boulevard de la Bastille, Port de Plaisance/Paris Arsenal, where the barge, Fleur, is moored. If you arrive before 3:00 PM, you may leave your luggage aboard the barge and return later.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Montargis
  Transportation from site: Train and taxi to Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) from Montargis.
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: International Flight
(Friday, May 31)
 Evening: Board an international overnight flight to Paris.

Day 2: Arrive in Paris/Welcome Dinner
(Saturday, June 1)
 Morning: Arrival at Charles de Gaulle Airport. Coach to barge.
 Lunch: Independent opportunity to sample local fare.
 Afternoon: Board barge. Program orientation. Safety orientation by the ship's crew.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner aboard the barge.
 Evening: All evenings are free to explore on your own or relax.
Accommodations: Fleur
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte and Barbizon
(Sunday, June 2)
 Breakfast: Aboard the barge.
 Morning: After breakfast, travel by coach to Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte for a lecture and field trip. In addition to the beautiful furnishings, you will see an exciting exhibition about the famous garden designer, André Le Nôtre, best known for his work on the gardens of Versailles.
 Lunch: Independent opportunity to sample local fare.
 Afternoon: The group continues to the village of Barbizon, where the first stop is Auberge Ganne for a fascinating lecture about the Barbizon School of painting. Your field trip continues next door at the atelier of Jean-François Millet, who played a very important role in the evolution of French drawing.
 Dinner: Aboard the barge.
Accommodations: Fleur
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Château de Fontainebleau and Musée Rosa Bonheur
(Monday, June 3)
 Breakfast: Aboard the barge.
 Morning: Today, you will visit the famous Château de Fontainebleau for a lecture and field trip. This chateau was redesigned, modified and furnished for Napoleon I as a symbol of his wealth and grandeur. It was here that he abdicated the throne in 1814. The gardens, designed by Le Nôtre, are well worth a visit.
 Lunch: Independent opportunity to sample local fare.
 Afternoon: After lunch, travel to nearby Thomery where you will attend a lecture and field trip at the atelier of Rosa Bonheur, a Barbizon painter and sculptor who found much of her inspiration at Château de Fontainebleau and became known for her realistic and accurate paintings of animals, the subject she loved most.
 Dinner: Aboard the barge.
Accommodations: Fleur
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Walking tour in Moret-sur-Loing
(Tuesday, June 4)
 Breakfast: Aboard the barge.
 Morning: This morning, a local guide will come aboard the barge and introduce you to the charming town of Moret-sur-Loing with a brief lecture, followed by a walking field trip “in the footsteps” of British Impressionist Alfred Sisley, who lived and worked in the village.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard the barge.
 Afternoon: In the afternoon you will enjoy barging along the River Loing.
 Dinner: Aboard the barge.
Accommodations: Fleur
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Museum-garden of Antoine Bourdelle and the town of Château-Landon
(Wednesday, June 5)
 Breakfast: Aboard the barge.
 Morning: Today’s journey takes you to Égreville and the museum-garden of Antoine Bourdelle, a sculptor known for his detailed, larger-than-life-size figures, and who was also an assistant to the great Auguste Rodin. Here, you will enjoy a lecture and field trip. After visiting this unique garden, continue to the medieval town of Château-Landon for a field trip and walking tour.
 Lunch: Independent opportunity to sample local fare.
 Afternoon: In the afternoon you will have a lecture and field trip to an atelier where molds for reproductions of sculptures are made - a fascinating process!
 Dinner: Aboard the barge.
Accommodations: Fleur
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7: Excursion to two smaller artist communities with strong ties to the Barbizon School of painting: Grez-sur-Loing and Bourron-Marlotte
(Thursday, June 6)
 Breakfast: Aboard the barge.
 Morning: The day kicks off with a field trip to the town of Grez-sur-Loing, to visit a bridge that became the subject of many Barbizon painters' works of art. After admiring the bridge over the River Loing, we meet our local guide and attend a lecture on the artists who lived and worked nearby. We then visit the town hall's collection of fine art.
 Lunch: Independent opportunity to sample local fare.
 Afternoon: Join your local expert for a field trip to Bourron-Marlotte to the beautiful studio of a local artist for a coffee break in true artistic fashion: surrounded by the painter's artwork. We then take a coach ride to the scenic pleine verte where many famous Frenchmen had homes, including Paul Cézanne, and many others came to enjoy "Bohemian weekends." The day is capped off by a stop at the town hall's unique painting collection.
 Dinner: Aboard the barge.
Accommodations: Fleur
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: Briare: Maritime Museum and the Pont-Canal
(Friday, June 7)
 Breakfast: Aboard the barge.
 Morning: Begin the day with a coach excursion to the Maritime Museum in Briare for a lecture about the nearby canal-bridge designed by celebrated artist and engineer, Gustave Eiffel (of Tower fame). The lecture is followed by a field trip to the canal-bridge, one of the longest and most impressive of its kind. Afterwards you will return to Montargis.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own in Montargis to sample the local cuisine.
 Afternoon: Take the rest of the afternoon to explore the town of Montargis, known as the "Venice of the Gâtinais" because of its numerous bridges and canals.
 Dinner: Aboard the barge.
Accommodations: Fleur
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: Departure
(Saturday, June 8)
 Breakfast: Aboard the barge.
 Morning: Early morning group departure by coach to Charles de Gaulle Airport.
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.

Suggested Reading List

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A Traveller's History of France

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Between Meals, An Appetite for Paris

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Eiffel's Tower

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Fodor's Paris' 25 Best

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Ile de France 514

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Lonely Planet French Phrasebook

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Made in France, A Shopper's Guide

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Michelin Green Guide Paris

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Paris in Mind

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Paris to the Moon

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Paris, Paris: Journey into the City of Light

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Paris, The Collected Traveler

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The Food of France

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The Gothic Cathedral, Origins of Gothic Architecture and the Medieval Concept of Order

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The Most Beautiful Walk in the World, A Pedestrian in Paris

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The Private Lives of the Impressionists

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The Road from the Past, Traveling through History in France

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Description: Time travel through France by way of its finest castles, chateaux, cathedrals and monasteries. This unusual travelogue is an invaluable companion for traveling in Paris, southern France, the Dordogne and the Loire Valley, combining personal observation with large doses of well-presented history.

The Secret Life of the Seine

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Walks Through Lost Paris, A Journey into the Heart of Historic Paris

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