Road Scholar : Home
Along the Seine River From Normandy to Paris

Program Number: 21265RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/6/2014 - 9/16/2014; 4/21/2015 - 5/1/2015; 5/17/2015 - 5/27/2015; 9/4/2015 - 9/14/2015; 10/1/2015 - 10/11/2015;
Duration: 10 nights
Location: France
Price starting at: $3,295.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; River Boats
Meals: 25; 9 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 8 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Experience the life and the lands along France’s legendary Seine River. Begin by exploring the architectural, artistic and cultural treasures of Paris, then journey to Normandy to delve into the gripping story of D-Day. Next, embark on a riverboat voyage back to Paris, absorbing the natural beauty that surrounds the Seine and learning about its importance to the French Impressionists.




Activity Particulars

Extensive walking along unpaved lanes and cobblestone streets, averaging about two miles per day. Some stairs without railings. Standing for up to an hour at a time. Use of Paris Metro on some field trips.



The 10/01/15 departures operate Paris to Honfleur.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Paris, 3 nights; aboard vessel, 6 nights.



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


Days 2-4: Arrival Paris (France):

Enjoy an expert-led introduction to the historic heart of Paris, the Île de la Cité. Discover the masterpieces of the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay. Enjoy a stroll through the Tuileries Garden and the Place de la Concorde. Lodging: Centrally located hotel.



Day 5: Coach to Normandy / continue to Honfleur to embark vessel:

Before boarding the ship, learn about the Invasion of Normandy as you explore Omaha Beach. Pay your respects at the American Cemetery and Memorial.



Day 6: Honfleur:

On an expert-led excursion, walk through the picturesque old port and learn about its unique architecture. Discuss Honfleur’s place in the Impressionist movement.



Days 7-8: Caudebec-en-Caux & Rouen:

Visit the Abbey of Saint Wandrille, a Benedictine monastery founded in the seventh century — your host is one of the monks. Sail on to Rouen, where you step into the Gothic cathedral made famous by Monet’s paintings, walk around the historic square where Joan of Arc was martyred and enjoy free time for independent exploration.



Day 9: Giverny:

Experience the splendor of Monet’s gardens including the famous water lily pond. You may wish to visit the Giverny Museum of Impressionisms.



Days 10-11: Paris / disembark / departure:

Explore the iconic symbol of modern Paris, the Eiffel Tower. Enjoy a free afternoon or a discovery of Montmartre, the center of Paris’s Bohemian life. Complete your voyage by navigating the Seine River at night to see the City of Light after dark.



MS Botticelli

The MS Botticelli is a deluxe two-deck river ship that was built in 2004. It is 110 meters long and can accommodate 154 passengers in its 75 cabins, all of which have windows. The restaurant, lounge-bar and sun deck can be accessed by stairs.


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
   Villa Pantheon
  Paris, France 3 nights
   MS Botticelli
  Honfleur, France
Rouen, France
Vernon, France
Paris, France
6 nights
 Villa Pantheon
Type: Hotel
  Description: The hotel is located in the Latin Quarter in the heart of Paris, close to Saint-Germain des Près, Notre-Dame, Panthéon, La Sorbonne, Ile Saint-Louis, Thermes de Cluny, Arènes de Lutèce, and the Institut du Monde Arabe, making it an ideal base for exploring the city.
  Contact info: 41, Rue des Ecoles
Paris,  75005 France
phone: +33 (0)1 53 10 95 95
web: www.villa-pantheon.com
  Room amenities: Private en-suite bathroom with hair dryer, individually controlled air conditioning, TV with international channels and Pay TV, in-room safe, direct dialing telephone, small refrigerator with bar, in-room modem plug for Internet access. Please note that hotel rooms in France are often considerably smaller than hotel rooms in the US.
  Facility amenities: The Villa Pantheon offers a traditional English feel with leather easy chairs and relaxed atmosphere.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBD Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services for availability and rates.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 MS Botticelli
Type: Luxury Barge
  Ship Information: The MS Botticelli is a deluxe two-deck river ship that was built in 2004. It is 110 meters long and can accommodate 154 passengers in its 75 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
web: www.croisieuroperivercruises.com/ships/ms-botticelli-2013
  Room amenities: All cabins are equipped with shower and toilet, hairdryer, satellite TV, radio, safe.
  Facility amenities: Lounge-bar with a dance floor - bar - dining room - large sundeck with deckchairs - gift shop. Central heating, 220V electricity, air-conditioning, radar, radiophone.
  Smoking allowed: No


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
The program begins with an orientation meeting in the early evening at your Paris hotel. You will be staying at Villa Pantheon that night.
  End of Program:
The program ends after breakfast on board the ship. You will be staying at MS Botticelli the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety 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. www.parishuttle.com/index.php?partner=P60WEN
  From End of Program
  Location: Paris
  Transportation from site: A group departure transfer is organized for all participants to travel from Paris to the Charles de Gaulle airport. Independent travelers may also take a taxi directly to the airport or book a Parishuttle transfer.
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
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: Departures from the U.S.A.
(Saturday, September 6)
   
 In Transit Overnight: International flight to France.

Day 2: Arrival and Orientation in Paris
(Sunday, September 7)
   
 Arrive To: Arrivals at Charles de Gaulle Airport and transfers to the program hotel in Paris.
 Afternoon: Check in at your hotel and take the afternoon to unpack and relax. We will gather in our private meeting room in the early evening where the Group Leader will greet you with a warm welcome and introduce everyone. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at a restaurant near the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Villa Pantheon
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Introduction to the Origins of Paris and Masterpieces of the Louvre
(Monday, September 8)

Note: Today's activities include extensive walking on both cobblestone and paved streets. In addition, there will be use of the Paris Metro which may involve unavoidable stairs.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Trace the foundations of Paris by exploration on foot through the Latin Quarter to the island where Paris was founded, L'Île de la Cité. Discover the world's most famous cathedral, Notre Dame, as well as the Sainte Chapelle, with its stunning stained glass windows.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We will take the Paris Metro for a field trip to the Louvre. Road Scholar's exclusively created MP3 personal audio guide allows you to explore at your own pace. We will then return to the hotel by Metro.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Villa Pantheon
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Impressionist Masterpieces at the Musée D'Orsay
(Tuesday, September 9)

Note: Today's activities include extensive walking on both cobblestone and paved streets. In addition, there will be use of the Paris Metro which may involve unavoidable stairs, as well as walking and standing in the museum.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Enjoy a field trip to the Musée d’Orsay with your Study Leader. The museum houses French Art dating from 1848 to 1915, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography and the masterpieces of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism.
 Lunch: At the Musée d’Orsay.
 Afternoon: Using listening devices, experience Paris as the Parisians do on a walking lecture with your Study Leader during a leisurely stroll through the Tuileries Gardens to the Concorde Square. Sample a sweet specialty, macaroons, at the famous pastry shop on the Rue Royale. You will then return to the hotel by Metro.
 Dinner: On your own to discover local cuisine.
   
Accommodations: Villa Pantheon
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: D-Day and the Invasion of Normandy
(Wednesday, September 10)

Note: Today's activities include travel by coach with stops as well as walking and standing on field trips.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will depart early by coach from Paris to Normandy to board the ship. Before boarding, we will stop to explore Omaha Beach and retrace the movements of the WWII Normandy invasion on D-Day.
 Lunch: At a restaurant at Omaha Beach.
 Afternoon: We will take a field trip and have a lecture titled, "The Landing at Omaha." Recall the American landing on Omaha Beach and learn about the ferocity of this battle, while looking at the landing from a number of perspectives. We will then continue on to the Pointe du Hoc to learn about the Ranger Assault. At the U.S. Normandy American Military Cemetery, reflect upon the sacrifices of fallen heroes. Next, we will head to Honfleur to embark the riverboat.
 Dinner: Welcome Dinner on board the MS Botticelli.
   
Accommodations: MS Botticelli
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Historic Honfleur / Boudin
(Thursday, September 11)

Note: Today's activities include walking on both cobblestone and paved streets.



   
 Breakfast: On board the MS Botticelli.
 Morning: Enjoy the unique architecture of historic Honfleur during a walking tour. You will learn why this city has one of the few remaining all-wooden churches and the important role of Honfleur in the settlement of New France as well as the establishment of a new art movement – impressionism.
 Lunch: On board the MS Botticelli.
 Afternoon: Discover the Musée Eugène Boudin. Located in a 19th century chapel and two modern extensions, with views over Honfleur and the sea, the Eugène Boudin Museum houses some 1,200 square meters of permanent exhibitions in nine rooms. Named after Honfleur's most famous painter, the museum has on display works by not only Eugène Boudin, but other great impressionists such as: Dobourg, Monet, and Jongkind.
 Dinner: On board the MS Botticelli.
   
Accommodations: MS Botticelli
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: The Abbey of Saint Wandrille / Historic Rouen
(Friday, September 12)

Note: Today's activities include limited travel by coach and extensive walking on both cobblestone and paved street.



   
 Breakfast: On board the MS Botticelli.
 Morning: A field trip will take us a short distance from Caudebec, where we will find Fontenelle Abbey, or the Abbey of St 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 in existence. You will also have the option to attend mass with the Benedictine monks and experience the Gregorian chanting. Alternatively, you may choose to take some free time to explore Caudebec.
 Lunch: On board the MS Botticelli.
 Afternoon: The ship will sail for Rouen. We will then explore Historic Rouen, its magnificent cathedral where Monet studied and painted the effects of changing light, and its famous half-timbered houses. Your expert guide will walk you through this unique city's history, while also taking time to pause at the site where Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake.
 Dinner: On board the MS Botticelli.
 Evening: After dinner, enjoy an evening walk to see the illuminated monuments in Rouen.
   
Accommodations: MS Botticelli
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Rouen and Painting the Seine
(Saturday, September 13)

Note: Please note that this is a charter program and there will be two other Road Scholar programs onboard the vessel. Your group leader will not be giving lectures, but you are welcome to attend lectures given by one of the other two group leaders.



   
 Breakfast: On board the MS Botticelli.
 Morning: Take some time to explore Rouen at your own pace. You may also choose to join your study leader for a guided exploration of the Musée des Beaux Art in Rouen.
 Lunch: On board the MS Botticelli.
 Afternoon: There will be an onboard lecture titled, "The Seine River, an Inspiration to Paint Outdoors."
 Dinner: On board the MS Botticelli.
   
Accommodations: MS Botticelli
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Monet’s House and Gardens at Giverny
(Sunday, September 14)

Note: Today's activities include travel by coach and walking and standing on gravel paths and paved streets. Please note that this is a charter program and there will be two other Road Scholar programs onboard the vessel. Your group leader will not be giving lectures, but you are welcome to attend lectures given by one of the other two group leaders.



   
 Breakfast: On board the MS Botticelli.
 Morning: We will depart by coach for Giverny (30 mins drive), to see Monet’s house and gardens with its famous water lily pond. Take some free time to explore the gardens at your leisure or walk over to the Musée des Impressionnismes (formerly the Giverny Museum of American Art). The coach will then depart to reboard the ship.
 Lunch: On board the MS Botticelli.
 Afternoon: Enjoy an onboard lecture that will further study the topic of Impressionism in Paris.
 Dinner: On board the MS Botticelli.
   
Accommodations: MS Botticelli
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: The Eiffel Tower and Paris Illuminations Cruise
(Monday, September 15)

Note: Today's activities include walking and standing, as well as optional travel by Paris Metro.



   
 Breakfast: On board the MS Botticelli.
 Morning: The coach will depart for Paris where we will explore the iconic symbol of modern Paris, the famous Eiffel Tower. Learn the history from its construction by Gustave Eiffel in 1889 to its present day use in telecommunications.
 Lunch: On board the MS Botticelli.
 Afternoon: You may choose to spend free time in Paris independently or to take the Metro with your Study Leader to Montmartre to step inside the Sacred Heart Basilica, where the murals covering the walls and ceiling are made up of millions of tiny mosaic tiles and walk the winding streets of this hilltop “village”, the center of Paris’ Bohemian life.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner onboard the MS Botticelli.
   
Accommodations: MS Botticelli
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Departures
(Tuesday, September 16)
   
 Breakfast: On board the MS Botticelli.
 Morning: Transfer via coach to Charles de Gaulle Airport for departures. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on 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.

Suggested Reading List


1066, The Year of the Conquest


Author: David Howarth


Description: A crack medievalist and storyteller, Howarth brings to life the momentous events of 1066 in rich, anecdotal history -- a classic portrait of the Norman invasion and conquest of England.



A Day in the Country and Other Stories


Author: Guy de Maupassant


Description: A collection of 28 of de Maupassant's short stories, set mostly in the writer's native Normandy.



A Moveable Feast


Author: Ernest Hemingway


Description: A treasure for anyone interested in Parisian cafe society and its luminaries circa 1925. Hemingway includes sharp portraits of Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ford Maddox Ford and others who idled on their way to greatness.



A Parisian Affair and Other Stories


Author: Guy de Maupassant


Description: Set in in the nouveau riche Paris of society women, prostitutes and playboys, in Normandy at sea and in the South of France, the 34 gems in this Penguin Classics collection are vintage Maupassant: economical, darkly humorous and brilliant.



A Traveller's History of France


Author: Robert Cole


Description: This fast-moving survey covers the conquests of ancient Gaul through the heady days of revolution to modern times.



Artists in Residence


Author: Dana Micucci


Description: An attractively illustrated guide to exploring the homes of 19th-century artists in and around Paris, including Giverny, Auvers and Ornans. An excellent guide for day-long excursions outside Paris with a focus on nature and art.



Cezanne


Author: Mary Tompkins Lewis


Description: A well-illustrated introduction to Cezanne's life and works in the stimulating Art and Ideas series by Phaidon, featuring 193 color and 13 black and white illustrations.



Claude & Camille, A Novel of Monet


Author: Stephanie Cowell


Description: You can practically smell the paint in Stephanie Cowell's lyrical new novel -- peopled by not just Claude Monet and the love of his life Camille, but also by his best friend Bazille, Renoir, Pissaro and Manet. This would be just the thing to read before a visit to Giverny -- or taking in the streetscapes of the Left Bank, where Impressionism burst upon the scene.



Fodor's Paris' 25 Best


Author: Fodor's


Description: This shirt-pocket map and guide includes essential information on the city's history, highlights and sightseeing, ideal for a short visit to the City of Light.



Impressionism


Author: Belinda Thomson


Description: A readable account of the French Impressionist movement and its most notable artists, illustrated with color reproductions. This book's thoughtful analyses of individual works are illuminated by solid historical and cultural background.



Impressionism, Art, Leisure, and Parisian Society


Author: Robert L. Herbert


Description: A magnificently illustrated social history, this book shows the cafes, opera houses, dance halls and other places of entertainment and leisure that inspired some of the great Impressionist paintings.



Lonely Planet French Phrasebook


Author: Marie-Helene Girard, Anny Monet


Description: This handy phrasebook focuses on pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.



Made in France, A Shopper's Guide


Author: Laura Morelli


Description: Both a fascinating history of France's artisanal legacy and an insider's shopping guide, the book includes illustrations, maps, a primer on French shopping culture and craft festivals.



Michelin Green Guide Normandy


Author: Michelin Travel Publications


Description: A thorough introduction to Normandy and the Channel islands in the classic Michelin style, featuring brief descriptions of all the major attractions. Organized alphabetically, we like it for its broad coverage, and especially for its excellent local maps.



Monet's Garden in Giverny, Inventing the Landscape


Author: Marina Ferretti Bocquillon


Description: Published in conjunction with the new Musee des Impressionnismes in Giverny, this luminous collection captures Monte's beloved works and the landscapes that inspired them.



Normandy Map 513


Author: Michelin


Description: A colorful, detailed map of Normandy at a scale of 1:200,000, featuring Rouen, Le Havre and the route of the Seine from west of Paris to the Atlantic.



On Rue Tatin, Living and Cooking in a French Town


Author: Susan Herrmann Loomis


Description: A refreshingly direct, affectionate memoir of making a home -- and cooking -- in Louviers.



Paris to the Moon


Author: Adam Gopnik


Description: Gopnik writes with candor and humor about Paris and Parisian ways in these charming reflections on adapting to life in glorious exile.



The Food of France


Author: Waverly Root


Description: An evocative and beautifully written survey of French food. First published in 1958 and revised in the mid-1970s, the book covers the important regions of French cuisine by dividing them into domains of Butter (northern France), Fat (Alsace) and Oil (the south).



The Impressionists at Home


Author: Pamela Todd


Description: An illustrated, authoritative social history of the French impressionists and their homes. With biographies, 175 photographs and information on homes and gardens open to the public.



The Judgment of Paris, The Revolutionary Decade that Gave the World Impressionism


Author: Ross King


Description: King's lovingly researched and lucid cultural history of French art and society in the 1860s places the impressionists at the center of a revolution in philosophy and taste.



The Letters of Abelard and Heloise


Author: Peter Abelard, Betty Radice (Translator)


Description: The correspondence of the famous 12th-century lovers, translated from the medieval French. This Penguin Classic edition translated by Betty Radice. Peter Abelard's "Historia Calamitatum" is a classic.



The Most Beautiful Villages of Normandy


Author: Hugh Palmer


Description: An oversized, full color photographic celebration of the villages, churches, chateaux, harbors, and coastlines of Normandy.



The Road from the Past, Traveling through History in France


Author: Ina Caro


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


Author: Mort Rosenblum


Description: After losing his Paris apartment, Rosenblum, a born storyteller, takes to a houseboat moored on the Seine. The result is this entertaining tour of the places and people he encounters during his explorations along the river.





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