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

Program Number: 14662RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/5/2014 - 9/16/2014; 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: $3,695.00 - 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 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.


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 Botticelli
  Honfleur, France
Caudebec, France
Rouen, France
Vernon, France
Paris, 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.
  Ship Information: N/A
  Contact info: 5 rue des Arquebusiers
Paris,  75003 France
phone: +33 (0)1 40 29 14 00
  Room amenities: The bedrooms include cable television, a complimentary newspaper, air-conditioning, a phone, internet access, a minibar, wake-up calls, a private bathroom, bathrobes, a hair dryer, pay-per-view movies, and an in-room safe.
  Facility amenities: The hotel includes buffet breakfasts, room service, air-conditioning, and WiFi.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBA Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services for rates and availability.

 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
  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 Beaumarchais 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 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: Paris
  Transportation from site: A group departure transfer is organized for all participants to travel from Paris to the Charles de Gaulle airport.
    (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: U.S.A. Bound for Paris
(Friday, September 5)
 Depart From: International flight to France.

Day 2: Arrival and Orientation in Paris
(Saturday, September 6)
 Arrive To: Arrive in Paris and transfer to the hotel.
 Afternoon: Check-in at the hotel and take 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 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 local restaurant.
Accommodations: Villa Beaumarchais
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Impressionist Masterpieces at the Musée d'Orsay and Rodin Museum
(Sunday, September 7)

Note: Today's activities include standing and walking in museums.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: We will depart the hotel for Musée d'Orsay. There will be an on-site lecture titled, "An Introduction to Impressionism at the Musée d'Orsay." Your study leader will take you on a tour focusing on the art created in Montmartre, Auvers, Giverny, Rouen, Honfleur, and Etretat- all sites that we will visit on the program. There will also be time for individual exploration.
 Lunch: At the Musée d'Orsay.
 Afternoon: We will take a field trip to explore the sculptures in the Rodin Institute Gardens including The Thinker, The Gates of Hell, The Burghers of Calais, and other masterpieces. There will also be an on-site lecture titled, "Pierre August Rodin and the Impressionist Influence on Sculpture." Your study leader will guide your exploration of the museum's collections and discuss the significance of Rodin's work. You will then return by coach to the hotel where you will have time to relax before dinner.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
 Evening: The coach will depart the restaurant for a drive around Paris to see monuments and lights before returning to the hotel.
Accommodations: Villa Beaumarchais
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Vincent Van Gogh in Auvers-sur-Oise
(Monday, September 8)

Note: Today's activities include travel by coach.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: The coach will depart for Auvers-sur-Oise where we will discover 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 local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We will return to Paris where you will be free to relax or to explore the city at your leisure. Perhaps you may want to visit the Orangerie or one of the many other museums and historic sites.
 Dinner: On your own to discover the many culinary delights of Paris.
Accommodations: Villa Beaumarchais
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Artistic Life in Montmartre / The Louvre's Treasures
(Tuesday, September 9)

Note: Today's activities include significant walking. Please wear comfy shoes.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: There will be a field trip and a lecture titled, "Montmartre at the Heart of the Parisian Artist Movement," which will take you to the Sacré Coeur Basilica and Place du Tertre.
 Lunch: At a restaurant in Montmartre.
 Afternoon: Take some time to linger in Montmartre before a field trip to the Louvre. There will be a lecture titled, "The Louvre Royal Splendor and Treasure Cove." Your study leader will lead you through an introduction of the Louvre, which will then be followed by time for individual exploration. Afterward, the coach will bring you back to the hotel.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Villa Beaumarchais
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: En Plein Air: Painting at Etretat and Honfleur
(Wednesday, September 10)

Note: Today's activities include three hours of travel by coach.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: We will depart by coach for Normandy where we will board the ship (Approx. 3 hour drive) stopping en route to discover the beautiful white cliffs of Etretat, which were painted by Courbet and Monet among others.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We will visit the Musée Malraux, which houses France's greatest collection of Impressionist works outside of Paris. We will then depart by coach for the ship in Honfleur.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner and orientation onboard.
Accommodations: MS Botticelli
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Boudin / Historic Honfleur
(Thursday, September 11)

Note: Today's activities include periods of walking and standing.

 Breakfast: On board the MS Botticelli.
 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 this city had in the settlement of new France.
 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 works on display by not only Boudin himself, but other great impressionists such as: Dubourg, Monet, and Jongkind.
 Dinner: On board the MS Botticelli.
Accommodations: MS Botticelli
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: The Abbey of Saint Wandrille / Historic Rouen
(Friday, September 12)

Note: Today's activities include periods of walking and standing. Please wear comfy shoes.

 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 Saint 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 Saint Saturnin remains standing on the hillside overlooking the abbey and is one of the oldest ecclesiastical structures still in existence. You will also have the option to attend mass with the Benedictine monks and experience the Gregorian chanting or you may choose to board the coach to enjoy some free time in Caudebec.
 Lunch: On board the MS Botticelli.
 Afternoon: There will be an onboard lecture titled, "The Impressionist Love Affair with Normandy" led by your study leader. Next, we will take a field trip to 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 Joan of Arc burning site.
 Dinner: On board the MS Botticelli.
 Evening: After dinner, enjoy an evening walk through the illuminated monuments in Rouen.
Accommodations: MS Botticelli
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Rouen / Painting the Seine
(Saturday, September 13)
 Breakfast: On board the MS Botticelli.
 Morning: Take some free time to explore Rouen at your own pace. You will also have the option this morning to join your study leader on a guided exploration of the Musée des Beaux Arts in Rouen.
 Lunch: On board the MS Botticelli.
 Afternoon: There will be an onboard lecture titled, "The Seine River: An Inspiration to Paint Outdoors" led by your study leader.
 Dinner: On board the MS Botticelli.
Accommodations: MS Botticelli
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Monet's Gardens at Giverny
(Sunday, September 14)

Note: Today's activities include travel by coach.

 Breakfast: On board the MS Botticelli.
 Morning: The coach will depart for Giverny where you will discover Monet's gardens and admire the stunning foiliage that inspired the great artist.
 Lunch: On board the MS Botticelli.
 Afternoon: There will be an onboard lecture led by your study leader where you will further study the topic of Impressionism in Paris.
 Dinner: On board the MS Botticelli.
Accommodations: MS Botticelli
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: The Heart of Paris: L'île de la Cité
(Monday, September 15)
 Breakfast: On board the MS Botticelli.
 Morning: The coach will depart for a walking tour discovery of Medieval Paris and L'île de la Cité. The coach will then return to the ship.
 Lunch: On board the MS Botticelli.
 Afternoon: Take the afternoon to explore Paris at your own pace or join your Study Leader for a 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 here, as well as paintings of Rouen Cathedral, Gare St. Lazare, scenes from Giverny, the London Houses of Parliament and, of course, water lilies. The coach will then return to the ship.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner on board the MS Botticelli.
Accommodations: MS Botticelli
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Departures
(Tuesday, September 16)
 Breakfast: On board the MS Botticelli.
 Morning: Coach transfers to the airport for individual 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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