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

Program Number: 14662RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/10/2014 - 10/21/2014; 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: $3,195.00 - 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; Gluten Free    

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: Barbizon / Fontainebleau / Paris / embark vessel:

See the village where artist Jean-Francois Millet and others started the art movement of the Barbizon School. Explore the lovely royal palace of Fontainebleau. In the City of Light learn about medieval times on a walk around the Île de la Cité.

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

Travel to Giverny to experience the splendor of Monet’s gardens. 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. Visit the Abbey of Saint Wandrille, a Benedictine monastery founded in the 7th century.

Days 11-12: Honfleur / disembark / departure:

Take time to explore the picturesque fishing village of Honfleur and the view the impressionist paintings in the Eugene Boudin museum. On the final day of the program, disembark early and transfer by coach to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport for flights.

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.

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 in the early evening at your 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.
  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: Departures from the USA
(Friday, October 10)
 Depart From: International flight to France.

Day 2: Arrival and Orientation in Paris
(Saturday, October 11)
 Morning: Arrive in Paris and transfer to the hotel.
 Afternoon: Check-in at the hotel and take some time to freshen up and relax before meeting for a welcome orientation and program briefing. We will gather in our private meeting room where the Study 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 Beaumarchais
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Impressionist Masterpieces at the Musée d'Orsay / Musée Rodin
(Sunday, October 12)
 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: At the Musée d'Orsay.
 Afternoon: We will depart by coach for the Musée Rodin where you will explore the Rodin Institute's Gardens featuring such famous sculptures as the Thinker, the Gates of Hell, The Burghers of Calais among others. Your study leader will present an on-site lecture titled, "Pierre August Rodin: The Impressionist Influence on Sculpture." Afterwards, we will return by coach to the hotel. Take some time to relax before dinner.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Villa Beaumarchais
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Vincent Van Gogh in Auvers-sur-Oise
(Monday, October 13)
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: We will depart by coach to 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: At a restaurant in Auvers-sur-Oise.
 Afternoon: We will return to Paris by coach. Upon arrival, you may join your Study Leader for an optional guided tour of the Orangerie Museum, where you will view Monet's stunning water lily paintings, along with paintings by Picasso, Matisse, Renoir, Modigliani, and many others. Alternatively, you may enjoy free time in Paris to relax or perhaps visit one of the many museums and historic sites.
 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 / The Louvre's Treasures
(Tuesday, October 14)
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: We will depart by coach to explore Montmartre, the heart of the Parisian artistic movement, featuring the Sacré Coeur Basilica and Place du Tertre.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant in Montmartre.
 Afternoon: Take some 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: At a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Villa Beaumarchais
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: The School of Barbizon / The Château de Fontainebleau
(Wednesday, October 15)
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 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 Musée de l'Ecole de Barbizon.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant in Barbizon.
 Afternoon: We will travel a short distance to the Château 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. We will return to Paris in the late afternoon to board the ship.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner aboard the MS Seine Princess.
Accommodations: MS Seine Princess
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: L'île de la Cité / Musée Marmottan
(Thursday, October 16)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the MS Seine Princess.
 Morning: Enjoy a guided tour of the medieval center of Paris, L'île de la Cité, where the famous Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris is located.
 Lunch: On board the MS Seine Princess.
 Afternoon: Enjoy free time in Paris or join your Study Leader for an optional guided tour 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 located 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: On board the MS Seine Princess.
Accommodations: MS Seine Princess
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Giverny
(Friday, October 17)
 Breakfast: On board the MS Seine Princess.
 Morning: Enjoy an onboard lecture titled, "The Impressionist Love Affair with Normandy."
 Lunch: On board the MS Seine Princess.
 Afternoon: Discover Monet's gardens in Giverny and the stunning foliage that inspired the great artist.
 Dinner: On board the MS Seine Princess.
Accommodations: MS Seine Princess
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Exploring Rouen / Cruising the Seine
(Saturday, October 18)
 Breakfast: On board the MS Seine Princess.
 Morning: As the boat cruises toward Rouen, enjoy a lecture led by your Study Leader titled, "The Seine River: An Inspiration to Paint Outdoors."
 Lunch: On board the MS Seine Princess.
 Afternoon: We will 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: On board the MS Seine Princess.
Accommodations: MS Seine Princess
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: The Abbey of Saint Wandrille
(Sunday, October 19)
 Breakfast: On board the MS Seine Princess.
 Morning: Enjoy an onboard lecture on further study of impressionism.
 Lunch: On board the MS Seine Princess.
 Afternoon: We will arrive in Caudebec around midday and 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: On board the MS Seine Princess.
Accommodations: MS Seine Princess
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Honfleur / Eugène Boudin
(Monday, October 20)
 Breakfast: On board the MS Seine Princess.
 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 it had in the settlement of new France.
 Lunch: On board the MS Seine Princess.
 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, named after Honfleur's most famous painter, houses some 1,200 square meters of permanent exhibitions in nine rooms. On display are works by Eugène Boudin and other great impressionists: Dubourg, Monet, and Jongkind, many of whom stayed and worked at the Saint-Simeon farmhouse on the outskirts of Honfleur.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner onboard.
Accommodations: MS Seine Princess
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Departures
(Tuesday, October 21)
 Breakfast: Early breakfast onboard the MS Seine Princess.
 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.

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