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Barging on the Seine: From Paris to Barbizon

Program Number: 20200RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/3/2014 - 10/11/2014; 5/8/2015 - 5/16/2015; 6/5/2015 - 6/13/2015; 10/9/2015 - 10/17/2015;
Duration: 8 nights
Location: France
Price starting at: $2,933.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; River Boats
Meals: 16; 7 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 7 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Barge through northern France on the Seine and Loing Rivers to experience the bucolic fields, charming medieval villages and grandiose châteaux that inspired the Impressionists and the Barbizon School. The masterpieces don’t end with paintings and sculptures: learn about gardens by André Le Nôtre, bridges by Gustave Eiffel and sumptuous furnishings fit for Napoléon.




Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day and standing for up to two hours a day; some uneven terrain and stairs without railings.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Aboard Fleur, 7 nights.



Day 1: Overnight flight from the USA.


Day 2: Arrival Paris (France) / Motorcoach to Montargis / Embark Fleur:

Take the afternoon to explore Montargis, the "Venice of the Gâtinais." Meet the crew and become acquainted with the safety rules on-board.



Day 3: Néronville:

Visit the Maritime Museum in Briare for a lecture about the nearby canal-bridge designed by celebrated 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. Enjoy lunch aboard the Fleur as you barge to Néronville.



Day 4: Nemours:

Visit the museum-garden of Antoine Bourdelle, a sculptor known for his larger-than-life figures. Bourdelle was a student of the great Auguste Rodin. Continue to the medieval town of Château-Landon for a walking excursion. In the afternoon you will enjoy a lecture at a sculptor’s studio.



Day 5: Moret-sur-Loing:

Enjoy an excursion to two smaller artist communities with strong ties to the Barbizon School: Grez-sur-Loing and Bourron-Marlotte. In the beautiful studio of a local artist, have a coffee break surrounded by the painter’s artwork.



Day 6: Melun:

In the charming commune of Moret-sur-Loing, take a walking field trip in the footsteps of British Impressionist Alfred Sisley, who lived and worked in the village. Monet and Renoir also found inspiration here. Venture to the Château de Fontainebleau, a UNESCO World Heritage Site remodeled for Napoleon as a symbol of his grandeur. Continue to the atelier of Rosa Bonheur, a Barbizon painter and sculptor inspired by Fontainebleau.



Day 7-9: Paris / disembark / departure:

In the village of Barbizon, attend a lecture on the Barbizon School at the Auberge Ganne museum and the home of Millet. Travel by motorcoach to Évry where you board the Fleur then barge into Paris. Take the Métro to Père-Lachaise to visit Paris’s most famous cemetery. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore the city. Savor a farewell dinner aboard the Fleur.





Fleur

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.


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.



Meals and Lodgings
   Fleur
  Montargis, France
Néronville, France
Nemours, France
Moret-sur-Loing, France
Melun, France
Paris, 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 to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. You will be staying at Fleur the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. International Barging Tours, the entity that will provide the barging trip during this program, is required by its insurance carrier to obtain signed liability release waivers from all customers. Participants will be required to sign IBT's liability release waiver to participate in the program's 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:  Montargis
  Transportation to site: If you cannot make the 11:00 AM meeting time, take a train to Montargis. Direct trains run from Paris Gare de Bercy to Montargis between three and four times a day; approximate travel time is one hour. Train fare will cost about €20. Upon arrival in Montargis take a taxi to the barge (the Fleur), which is moored in front of the Police Office on rue du Port. The barge can only be boarded after 3:00 PM. If you arrive in town before this time, you are welcome to leave your luggage on board and then return to the barge after 3:00 PM. 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, please notify our office prior to your departure: (860) 767-7005 or info@internationalbicycletours.com.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Paris
  Nearest airport:  Charles de Gaulle
  Transportation from site: Take a taxi from the barge in Paris to Charles de Gaulle Airport; approximate travel time is 35 minutes. Taxi will cost about €60. You may also take the Métro and RER to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (€1.70). Take the Métro to Châtelet/Les Halles and transfer to the RER B3 Line (blue) heading towards Charles de Gaulle Airport (€9.75); approximate travel time is 65 minutes. Review schedules and fares online: http://www.ratp.fr/.
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, October 3)
   
 Depart From: Overnight flight from U.S.

Day 2: Arrive in Paris / Transfer to Montargis / Orientation / Welcome Dinner
(Saturday, October 4)

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



   
 Arrive To: Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport.
 Afternoon: We proceed to the picturesque village of Montargis by motorcoach and board our barge. Montargis is south of Paris and located on the Loing River.

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.

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.

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.

The remainder of the afternoon is free for you to settle into and relax 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 Montargis on your own. Get a good night's sleep for the full day tomorrow.
   
Accommodations: Fleur
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Transfer to Briare / Maritime Museum & Pont-Canal Lecture / Transfer to Montargis / Barge to Néronville
(Sunday, October 5)
   
 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: Begin the day with a motorcoach 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 by motorcoach.
 Lunch: Aboard the barge, light lunches will typically be soup and salad or sandwich.
 Afternoon: Relax aboard the Fleur as we barge along the Loing River from Montargis to Néronville.
 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, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Transfer to Égreville / Antoine Bourdelle Museum-Garden / Chateau-Landon Field Trip & Lecture / Atelier Visit / Transfer to Nemours
(Monday, October 6)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the barge.
 Morning: The day's journey begins with a motorcoach transfer 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 to learn about the famed 19th-century artist. After visiting this unique garden, continue to the medieval town of Château-Landon for a field trip and lecture.
 Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food of your choice in Château-Landon.
 Afternoon: In the afternoon you will have a lecture and field trip to a local artist's atelier where molds for reproductions of sculptures are made - a fascinating process! We then board our motorcoach and head to Nemours to meet our barge.
 Dinner: Aboard the barge.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Fleur
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Transfer to Grez-sur-Loing / Grez-sur-Loing Town Hall / Transfer to Fontainebleau Forest / Transfer to Bourron-Marlotte / Bourron-Marlotte Town Hall / Transfer to Moret-sur-Loing
(Tuesday, October 7)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the barge.
 Morning: After a delicious breakfast, we board our motorcoach for a transfer to Grez-sur-Loing for a field trip to this former artist enclave, to visit a bridge that became the subject of many Barbizon painters' artworks. After admiring the bridge over the Loing River, 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, specifically the murals done by local artists that adorn the walls.
 Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food of your choice in Grez-sur-Loing.
 Afternoon: We board our motorcoach which takes us to Bourron-Marlotte for a field trip and lecture at a beautiful studio of a local artist for a coffee break in true artistic fashion: surrounded by the painter's artwork.

We then motorcoach to the nearby Fontainebleau Forest, a green space of about 110 square miles of oak, pine and beech trees. This scenic pleine verte is 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 before taking the motorcoach to our barge in Moret-sur-Loing.
 Dinner: Aboard the barge.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Fleur
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Moret-sur-Loing Field Trip & Lecture / Transfer to Château de Fontainebleau / Transfer to Thomery / Musée Rosa Bonheur / Transfer to Melun
(Wednesday, October 8)
   
 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.

We disembark the Fleur to board our motorcoach to take us for a visit of the famous Château de Fontainebleau for a lecture and field trip. This château 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 André Le Nôtre, are well worth a visit.
 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, travel by motorcoach 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 the nearby Château de Fontainebleau and became known for her realistic and accurate paintings of animals, the subject she loved most. We board our motorcoach after our visit to Melun where our barge is waiting.
 Dinner: Aboard the barge.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Fleur
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7: Transfer to Barbizon / Auberge Ganne / Atelier Millet / Transfer to Évry / Barge to Paris
(Thursday, October 9)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the barge.
 Morning: After breakfast, travel by coach to the village of Barbizon, where the first stop is Auberge Ganne for a fascinating lecture and field trip 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 in the 19th century.
 Lunch: Aboard the barge, light lunches will typically be soup and salad or sandwich.
 Afternoon: We travel by barge from Évry to Paris along the Seine River, arriving late in the afternoon before dinner.
 Dinner: Aboard the barge.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Fleur
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Métro to Cimetière du Père-Lachaise / Paris Independent Exploration / Farewell Dinner
(Friday, October 10)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the barge.
 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 and cuisine 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.
 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 11)
   
 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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