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Bike and Barge Paris and the Ile-de-France

Program Number: 20229RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/26/2014 - 10/4/2014;
Duration: 8 nights
Location: France
Price starting at: $3,199.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Bicycling Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 15; 7 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 7 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Experience the remarkable Île-de-France region, made up of Greater Paris and its surroundings, from the deck of a passenger barge and the seat of a bicycle. Begin with two days in the City of Light then barge along the Seine and Loing rivers, disembarking each day to bike through breezy fields and colorful forests, into charming towns and up to the front doors of châteaux.




Highlights

• Bicycle through bucolic fields and charming medieval villages, stopping to explore grandiose châteaux and intriguing museums.
• In Paris’ famed Père Lachaise Cemetery, scan the elaborate tombs for names like Balzac, Chopin, Proust, Wilde and even (Jim) Morrison.
• Discover the Château of Fontainebleau, a UNESCO World Heritage Site remodeled for Napoléon as a symbol of his grandeur.



Activity Particulars

Biking 15-25 miles per day over flat and rolling bike paths and secondary roads. Walking and standing for up to two hours during field trips, some uneven terrain. Personal bike helmet required.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Paris; embark Fleur, 7 nights (Melun, Moret-sur-Loing, Nemours, Néronville, Montargis); disembark / coach to Paris for departure.



Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Paris
Embark Fleur
7 nights
(Melun, Moret-sur-Loing, Nemours, Néronville, Montargis)
Disembark / coach to Paris for departure

Take a field trip to Paris’s Père Lachaise Cemetery and marvel at the city’s elegant avenues, cafés and parks. Barge to Melun, where you ride to the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, a grand baroque manor house with gardens by André Le Nôtre, landscape architect of Versailles. Enjoy a pleasant ride into charming Moret-sur-Loing and trace the footsteps of British Impressionist Alfred Sisley, who lived and painted in the village. Bike through the scenic forest of Fontainebleau, a favored country getaway since the days when French kings hunted here. Ride to the museum-garden of Antoine Bourdelle, a sculptor known for his larger-than-life figures (and who assisted the great Rodin). Relish the voyage’s last ride into the city of Montargis, known for its many old canals and bridges.
Lodging: Double-occupancy cabins on passenger barge, each with basin, toilet, heat. Ship features day room, small bar, outdoor seating on upper deck.






France

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.



Accommodations
Lodging: Double-occupancy cabins on passenger barge, each with basin, toilet, heat.
Meals and Lodgings
   Fleur
  Paris, France
Melun, France
Moret-sur-Loing, France
Nemours, France
Neronville, France
Montargis, France
7 nights
 Fleur
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  Belgium
phone: +31 (0) 651552268
  Room amenities: Closet/storage, shampoo, shower gel/soap, hairdryer, mirror.
  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 AM - group meets at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. You will be staying at Fleur that night.
  End of Program:
Early morning group transfer from Montargis to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport based on flight departure times. You will be staying at Fleur the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. International Bicycle Tours, Inc., the entity that will provide the bicycling and barging activity during this program requires signed liability release waivers from all customers. Participants will be required to sign IBT's liability release waiver to participate in the program's bicycling and barging activity. That waiver will be included in the preparatory material participants will receive after enrolling in the program and must be returned prior to the program's commencement.
  Parking availability:
Parking is not available.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Taxi, bus, métro and train available. Refer to the RATP website for specifics and to review schedules & fares: http://www.ratp.fr/.
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. If you are departing the U.S. prior to the group departure and plan to connect with the group at the airport on the day the program commences, be sure to be at the meeting point at the time indicated. If you plan to meet the group at the barge in Paris, please notify our office prior to your departure: (860) 767-7005 or info@internationalbicycletours.com.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Montargis
  Transportation from site: Direct trains run from Montargis to Paris Gare de Bercy between two and three times a day; approximate travel time is one hour. Train fare will cost about €20. From Paris Gare de Bercy, take the no.14 métro (€1.70) to Châtelet/Les Halles and transfer to the RER B3 Line (blue) heading towards Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (€9.50); approximate travel time is 65 minutes. Review schedules and fares online: http://www.ratp.fr/.
Equipment Requirements: Participants are required to bring and wear a bicycle helmet while biking each day.
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, September 26)
   
 Depart From: Overnight flight from U.S.

Day 2: Arrive in Paris / Transfer to the Fleur in Paris / Paris Independent Exploration / Orientation / Welcome Dinner
(Saturday, September 27)

Note: Please note that the barge does not move at night and only motors during the day.



   
 Arrive To: Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport.
 Morning: We proceed by motorcoach to our barge moored in Paris. Participants drop off their luggage as the barge cannot be boarded before 3 pm.

Please be aware that indicated times are approximate and that program activities and schedules could change due to local circumstances such as weather, traffic conditions, etc. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
 Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food of your choice in Paris.
 Afternoon: Free Afternoon. Take this opportunity for independent exploration in Paris to do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. If you haven’t already been there, venture to the Musée d'Orsay, Luxembourg Gardens or the Louvre. If you want to relax, seek out one of the popular local cafés to sip a glass of wine or cup of coffee while watching the locals.

Orientation: The Group Leader will greet you with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date daily program schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have.


During free time, the Group Leader will often be available to guide informal excursions, activities, or meals not included in the program. You are welcome to join if you wish, with associated costs (if any) on your own, or explore independently.
 Dinner: For our welcome dinner board the Fleur, and for other dinners aboard the barge, we will have plated three-course meals featuring tasty local cuisine: appetizer, entrée, and dessert plus water; other beverages available for purchase (that can be charged to your tab and settled prior to departure with cash payment in Euros on the last night aboard).
 Evening: At leisure. The evening is free to continue becoming acquainted with your fellow participants or set out exploring Paris on your own. Get a good night's sleep for the full day tomorrow.
   
Accommodations: Fleur
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Métro Ride to Père-Lachaise / Paris Independent Exploration
(Sunday, September 28)

Note: Biking Distance: No Biking



   
 Breakfast: Aboard the barge, the breakfast buffet will offer a changing hot item each day as well as meats, cheeses, eggs, yogurts, cereals, breads, juices, and hot beverages.
 Morning: We travel by Métro for a field trip to the Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, the much sought-after cemetery for celebrities. In its early years Père-Lachaise was a poor district with many outlaws, winding streets and shady avenues, but today it is a popular stop for visitors. The cemetery is located on a hill where a wealthy merchant had built his home in 1430. Named for Louis the XIV's confessor, Father François de la Chaise (or Père-Lachaise) as he was affectionately known, the cemetery opened in 1804. After the opening, many famous individuals were buried (and others reburied) here, with the oldest identifiable remains dating back to 1141.
 Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food of your choice in Paris.
 Afternoon: Free Afternoon. Take this opportunity for independent exploration in Paris to do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. Spend the remainder of the day exploring Paris: its wonderful museums, parks, avenues, majestic buildings, beautiful bridges crossing the Seine and, of course, the many terraces from which one can watch the locals go about their business.
 Dinner: Aboard the barge.
 Evening: At leisure. Your evenings are free to spend time with new Road Scholar friends, relax, or go exploring on your own.
   
Accommodations: Fleur
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Barge to Évry / Bike to Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte / Bike to Melun
(Monday, September 29)

Note: Biking distance: 25 miles



   
 Breakfast: Aboard the barge.
 Morning: We leave Paris by barge via the Seine where we disembark at Évry. En route, attend a lecture on safety, rules of the road and the IBT Corner System. Upon arrival in Évry, we start bicycle fittings and conduct a road test to make sure you are safe and comfortable for your bicycling adventure.
 Lunch: Aboard the barge, light lunches will typically be soup and salad or sandwich.
 Afternoon: We mount our bicycles and our first stop is Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte for a lecture and field trip. This stunning French Baroque château was constructed in the mid-17th century. 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. After our visit, we bike to our barge moored in Melun.
 Dinner: Aboard the barge.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Fleur
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Moret-sur-Loing Field Trip & Lecture / Conservatoire du Vélo Field Trip / Moret-sur-Loing Independent Exploration
(Tuesday, September 30)

Note: Biking distance: 24 miles



   
 Breakfast: Aboard the barge.
 Morning: A pleasant morning ride takes us to Moret-sur-Loing. Here, the British Impressionist Alfred Sisley lived and worked in the village. With a lecture and field trip, you will discover where and how he got his inspiration in this picturesque town.
 Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food of your choice in Moret-sur-Loing.
 Afternoon: Of particular interest to this group is a field trip to a local bicycle museum to admire a fantastic collection of old two-wheelers.

Free Afternoon. Take this opportunity for independent exploration in Moret-sur-Loing to do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.
 Dinner: Dinner on the barge.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Fleur
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Bike to Château de Fontainebleau / Bike to Nemours
(Wednesday, October 1)

Note: Biking distance: 16 miles



   
 Breakfast: Aboard the barge.
 Morning: Our morning ride takes us through the forest of Fontainebleau. This region was a favorite of French kings because of the extensive possibilities to hunt in the surrounding forests. The Château de Fontainebleau is the largest of the French royal châteaux and its structure introduced Italian Mannerism to France, which later became known as the Fontainebleau style. A lecture and field trip will acquaint us with this impressive building and its history.
 Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food of your choice in Fontainebleau.
 Afternoon: After lunch and wandering through Fontainebleau's gardens, our journey by bike continues to Nemours where we are reunited with the Fleur.
 Dinner: Aboard the barge.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Fleur
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7: Bike to Museum-Garden Antoine Bourdelle / Bike to Néronville
(Thursday, October 2)

Note: Biking distance: 25 miles



   
 Breakfast: Aboard the barge.
 Morning: Our after-breakfast destination is Égreville, where we explore a marvelous sculpture garden by Antoine Bourdelle, assistant to the great Auguste Rodin. Its many trees and shrubs create a pleasing balance between the sculptor's works and the plantings that serve as a showcase.
 Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food of your choice.
 Afternoon: We continue biking on quiet roads to Néronville where our floating hotel awaits our arrival.
 Dinner: Aboard the barge.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Fleur
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: Bike to Musée du verre / Montargis Independent Exploration / Farewell Dinner
(Friday, October 3)

Note: Biking distance: 20 miles



   
 Breakfast: Aboard the barge.
 Morning: By bike we travel to Dordives, the first stop of the day in order to learn about the traditional handicraft of glassblowing, dating back to the Mesopotamian era. Included in your visit is a demonstration of this careful art.

After our visit, we leisurely bike to Montargis, our home for the night. Montargis is a lively town known as the "Venice of the Gâtinais" because of its numerous bridges and canals.
 Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food of your choice in Dordives.
 Afternoon: Free Afternoon. Take this opportunity for independent exploration in Montargis to do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.
 Dinner: Recap your adventures and share your favorite memories with your fellow participants tonight at our farewell dinner aboard the barge. Get a good night's sleep and prepare for departure in the morning.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Fleur
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: Program Concludes / Departures
(Saturday, October 4)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the barge. This concludes our program.
 Morning: Transfers to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport for onward travel.

We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you return on more rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys!
   
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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