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Gain a deeper understanding of the significant events of WWII, learning about the beaches of Normandy and historic sites of occupied Paris on expert-led excursions.
Rating (4.95)
Program No. 12416RJ
Length
15 days
Starts at
4,499
Flights start at
825
France

The Seine: D-Day Beaches to Paris

Gain a deeper understanding of the significant events of WWII, learning about the beaches of Normandy and historic sites of occupied Paris on expert-led excursions.
Length
15 days
Starts at
4,499
Flights start at
825
Program No. 12416 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
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Please Note:
The itinerary for this program is different on certain dates.
Select your type of room
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Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.

DATES & PRICES

Ship Outside
Details
Accommodation Details
A cabin with a window or porthole to view the outside.
May 20 - Jun 3, 2021
Ship Outside 4,499
Itinerary Note

This departure is exclusive to Road Scholar.

Sep 3 - Sep 17, 2021
Ship Outside 4,499
Itinerary Note

This departure is exclusive to Road Scholar.

Sep 22 - Oct 6, 2021
Ship Outside 4,499
Itinerary Note

This departure is exclusive to Road Scholar.

DATES & PRICES

Ship Outside
Details
Accommodation Details
A cabin with a window or porthole to view the outside.
May 20 - Jun 3, 2021
Ship Outside 6,299
Itinerary Note

This departure is exclusive to Road Scholar.

Sep 3 - Sep 17, 2021
Ship Outside 6,299
Itinerary Note

This departure is exclusive to Road Scholar.

Sep 22 - Oct 6, 2021
Ship Outside 6,299
Itinerary Note

This departure is exclusive to Road Scholar.

At a Glance

Trace the events of history’s largest invasion on June 6, 1944, from Normandy’s beaches to the liberation of Paris. At charming ports of call local experts discuss life along the Seine River, ranging from medieval history to Impressionist art.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Extensive walking along unpaved lanes and cobblestone streets; some stairs without railings and/or uneven ground. Participants should be able to stand for at least one hour.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Enjoy incredible views of the Seine and the surrounding countryside aboard your comfortable riverboat.
  • Delve into the events of D-Day with experts at Sainte-Mère-Église and at Utah and Omaha Beaches.
  • Explore the historic sites of Paris’ World War II occupation and learn about its final liberation in August 1944.

General Notes

Current Events in Paris: Due to the fire at Notre Dame, the cathedral is closed to visitors. Road Scholar programs that visit île de la Cité will be able to see the outside of the cathedral, but we will not be able to go inside.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The Food & Wine of France: Eating & Drinking from Champagne to Provence
by Edward Behr
Behr seeks out the best of French food, in encounters from Champagne to Provence, to tell the stories of French artisans and chefs who work at the highest level. He shares what he learns from these experts on French traditions and how to best enjoy this food.
Murder in the Marais
by Cara Black
Literate and thrilling, with a strong sense of the geography and flavor of Paris, the first in a series of mysteries starring Aimee Ledoc shows off the French-American detective's wit and wile. The series continues with Murder in Belleville (FRN562), Murder in the Sentier (FRN563) and many more.
Paris Noir: African Americans in the City of Light
by Tyler Stovall
A history of black Americans who settled in Paris, France, from 1900 to the present.
A Moveable Feast
by Ernest Hemingway
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.
Markets of Paris
by Dixon Long & Marjorie Williams
An in-depth guide to the best markets in Paris. Dive into the heart of French culture and navigate the markets like a local with maps, tips, and handy phrases.
From Beachhead to Brittany: The 29th Infantry Division at Brest, August-September 1944
by Joseph Balkoski
Historian Joseph Balkoski follows the U.S. 29th Infantry Division out of Normandy and into Brittany in the northwest corner of France, where the division was tasked with seizing the port of Brest.
A Traveller's History of Paris
by Robert Coles
A fast-moving, short survey of French history with a focus on Paris from its foundation, through the heady days of revolution and up to modern times.
F is for France: A Curious Cabinet of French Wonders
by Piu Eatwell
An alphabetized catalogue of quirky French culture and history tidbits.
The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris
by John Baxter
Australian critic and writer Baxter draws on his second career as a literary tour guide in his adopted city for this witty memoir, laced with terrific tales.
How Paris Became Paris: The Invention of the Modern City
by Joan DeJean
A captivating history of the growth, design, and planning of Paris, telling the story of how the modern city came to be.
The Hotel Majestic
by Georges Simenon
The most famous fictional detective in France, Maigret, tackles a case in the heart of Paris.
The Secret Life of the Seine
by Mort Rosenblum
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.
Lonely Planet French Phrasebook
by Marie-Helene Girard, Anny Monet
This handy phrasebook focuses on pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.
The New Paris
by Lindsey Tramuta
Move past the clichés and learn about what makes up Paris today. Explore the open-minded sensibility, diverse populations, and hidden corners of The New Paris.
1066, The Year of the Conquest
by David Howarth
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.
My Life in France
by Julia Child
The touching and famous story of Julia Child in France, where she learned to cook and fell in love with French cuisine, all in her own words.
The Flaneur: A Stroll through the Paradoxes of Paris
by Edmund White
A 'flaneur' is a stroller, a loiterer, someone who ambles through city streets in search of adventure and fulfillment. Edmund White, who lived in Paris for sixteen years, wanders through the streets and avenues and along the quays, into parts of Paris virtually unknown to visitors and indeed to many Parisians.
Paris Pratique Par Arrondissement
by Atlas Indispensable
This pocket atlas contains detailed maps of every neighborhood in Paris, as well as details about bus and metro stops.
Omaha Beach: D-Day, June 6, 1944
by Joseph Balkoski
In this unforgettable narrative of D-Day, Joseph Balkoski describes the minute-by-minute combat as it unfolded on Omaha Beach, allowing soldiers to speak for themselves as they recall their attempts to maneuver bombers through heavy cloud cover, the claustrophobic terror aboard transports, and the relentless fire that greeted them on the beach
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15 days
14 nights
35 meals
13 B 11 L 11 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrival Paris, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Paris
D
Hotel Oceania Paris Roissy CDG

Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. This is a Road Scholar Adventures Afloat program. In addition to lectures and field trips exclusively for our Road Scholar group, you are invited to take advantage of activities and events aboard ship that are separate from the Road Scholar program. The time available in each port is set by the cruise line. Whenever possible, the Road Scholar daily schedule indicates port arrival and departure times (subject to change by the cruise line). This may mean that free time in port is limited. Regardless of the time in port, Road Scholar delivers a robust educational program. All routes, field trips, and excursions are subject to change as weather and sea conditions may affect the itinerary. Sea conditions could affect the progress of the ship, making it run late and sometimes miss ports because it is not safe to dock. Because of this, the cruise itinerary should always be regarded as provisional. The operators reserve the right to change the content of field trips and excursions without prior notice. On 'Chartered Exclusively for Road Scholar' programs there will be other Road Scholar program(s) on board the vessel. If another group's Group Leader is giving a lecture during the cruise when your group does not have planned activities, please feel free to attend the lecture. When a program is not "Chartered Exclusively", you are invited to take advantage of activities and events aboard ship that are separate from the Road Scholar program. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: At a local restaurant near the hotel we'll enjoy a plated meal plus wine or soft drink; other beverages available for purchase. French restaurants take pride in creating a relaxed atmosphere where patrons expect to take their time, savor every bite, and set the pace of the meal, requesting “l’addition” — the check — only when they are ready. Meals are accompanied by complimentary “pain” (bread) and “eau” or “l’eau” (water), so you need not ask for them. When wine is offered, it is customary to fill your glass only half way so the wine can breathe and to be sure everyone has a share. Servers wait until everyone at the table has finished their dish before clearing and bringing the next course. To indicate that you have finished your meal, place your utensils together on the right hand side of your plate.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Transfer to Port en Bessin, Discover Caen
Port en Bessin
B,L,D
Mercure Omaha Beach

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving for approximately 3 hours (about 172 miles, 277 km). Due to ecological regulations in France, new motorcoaches do not have restrooms on board, and older models have restrooms, but they are not available for use; rest stops will be made along the way for rides that are over 90 minutes. Walking up to 2 miles on cobblestone streets and uneven terrain in Caen; standing for up to 1 hour at a time.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we will enjoy a buffet with eggs, breakfast meat, breads, cereals, jam, butter, yogurt, and fruit. Coffee, tea, milk, juices, water included.

Morning: We will head out via motorcoach for Caen.

Lunch: En route to Caen, we will stop at a local restaurant for a plated well plus a glass of wine or soft drink; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We will visit Caen on foot with our Group Leader. We'll learn about the history of this city. We will then continue on by motorcoach to check-in at the hotel. We'll have some time to settle in before dinner.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we’ll enjoy a plated meal. Water and one soft drink included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Free Time, Normandy Country Cuisine, Mont Saint Michel
Port en Bessin
B,L
Mercure Omaha Beach

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving 170 miles, about 3.5 hours total. Walking for up to 3 miles throughout the day, including from Mont Saint Michel parking lot to shuttle; standing for up to 2 hours during visits; cobblestone and paved streets, unavoidable steep steps, inclined terrain; dark and narrow passages in the Abbey, bring a small flashlight if needed; a collapsible, rubber-tipped walking stick or cane may be useful for Mont Saint Michel.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Free time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Lunch: At a farm-based restaurant en route to Mont Saint Michel, we will enjoy a farm-to-table meal made from locally sourced ingredients.

Afternoon: We will go by motorcoach to the place the locals call this “le Mont.” With its legendary origin — which its founder said was at the request of the Archangel Michael! — Mont-Saint-Michel is one of France’s best known and most strikingly beautiful landmarks. It is also a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site. From the UNESCO inscription: “Perched on a rocky islet in the midst of vast sandbanks exposed to powerful tides between Normandy and Brittany stand the ‘Wonder of the West,’ a Gothic-style Benedictine abbey dedicated to the archangel St Michael, and the village that grew up in the shadow of its great walls. Built between the 11th and 16th centuries, the abbey is a technical and artistic tour de force, having had to adapt to the problems posed by this unique natural site.” We will visit this historic landmark at our own pace, using a museum audio guide. We will then return to the hotel by motorcoach.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Pegasus Bridge, British Sector, Bayeux Tapestry
Port en Bessin
B,L,D
Mercure Omaha Beach

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving 136 miles, about 4 hours with stops along the way for field trips. Walking up to 2 miles; even and uneven terrain; standing for up to 2 hours throughout the day.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: A World War II expert will lead us to Pegasus Bridge and from here, along the British and Canadian sectors of the beaches involved in D-Day, the Allied invasion of Europe through Normandy. The expert will teach us about the importance and creation of the Mulberry Harbors and the stubborn German battery at Longues sur Mer.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal with one soft drink and water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We will set out with our Group Leader on a self-led discovery of the legendary Bayeux tapestry that is part of UNESCO’s Memory of the World registry using museum-provided audio-guides. This work of art and history depicts in 58 detailed scenes the Norman invasion of England in 1066. We’ll then return to the hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll enjoy a plated 3-course meal with a glass of wine and water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Omaha Beach, the American Cemetery, Pointe du Hoc
Port en Bessin
B,L
Mercure Omaha Beach

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving 170 miles, about 4 hours. Walking up to 3 miles over the course of the day; inclined, uneven, and even ground; standing for up to 2 hours at a time.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will set out for the landing beach of Omaha and learn about how the beachhead was taken, with great sacrifices from American troops. We will see and discuss many of the remaining gun positions that survive still today. The expert will speak to us about the American landing here from multiple perspectives. We will pay our respects to fallen soldiers at the Normandy American Military Cemetery.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll enjoy a plated meal, with one soft drink and water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We will continue the afternoon at Pointe du Hoc with our expert, who will explain how American Army Rangers took the heights under a hail of enemy fire. We will have an opportunity to sample the region's renowned calvados apple brandy and regional cheeses at the Château d'Englesqueville, where the first monument to honor American soldiers who fought here during World War II was built. Our Group Leader will lead us this afternoon.

Dinner: On your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Hedgerows & Saint-Lo, Sainte Mere Eglise, Utah Beach
Port en Bessin
B,L,D
Mercure Omaha Beach

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving 280 miles, about 5 hours. Walking up to 3 miles on inclined terrain and uneven ground; standing for up to 2 hours.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: By motorcoach, we will travel to Saint-Lo to explore the hedgerows, which proved to be a unique and difficult obstacle for American soldiers. An expert will teach us about the battles that took place among the hedgerows of Normandy after the Allies pushed inland from the beaches.

Lunch: We will provide meal vouchers known as “tickets restaurant” that can be used at restaurants, bakeries, brasseries, and cafés displaying a TR sticker on the window with messages such as this: “Nous acceptons les Tickets Restaurant.” Change is not given back if the meal cost is less than the value of the voucher. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: Our World War II expert will lead an on-site discussion of the operations in Ste. Mere l'Eglise and Utah Beach. Ste. Mere l'Eglise was at the center of the US paratrooper landings and is known for the US soldier whose parachute caught on the church’s steeple, leaving him stranded overnight.

Dinner: Hotel plated meal plus choice of wine or soft drink.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Honfleur, Eugène Boudin Museum
Honfleur
B,L,D
CroisiEurope's Seine Princess

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving approximately 40 miles, 1 hour. Walking up to 2 miles in Honfleur; cobblestone streets and uneven terrain; standing for up to 2 hours at the museum.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will check-out of the hotel and board a motorcoach for Honfleur. When we arrive, we will leave our luggage on the motorcoach and set out on foot to see examples of unique architecture during a visit of historic Honfleur with our Group Leader. We'll learn why this city has one of the few remaining all wooden churches and the important role that this city played in the settlement of New France. We will meet the motorcoach in the late morning and head to port of Honfleur for embarkation on the ship. Once on aboard, we will have an orientation covering all safety regulations and ship rules.

Lunch: On board.

Afternoon: Our Group Leader will accompany us on foot to the Musée Eugène Boudin for a self-led visit. Located in a 19th-century chapel and two modern extensions, with views over Honfleur and the Seine, the Musée Eugène Boudin houses some 1,200 square meters of permanent exhibitions in nine rooms. Named after Honfleur's most famous painter, there are works on display by not only Boudin himself, but also other great impressionists such as Dubourg, Monet, and Jongkind. We will then return to the ship.

Dinner: On board, we will enjoy a welcome drink, and dinner. Lunches and dinners on board are plated and served 3-course meals. Mineral water, fruit juices, tea, coffee, wine, and beer included. Other beverages available for purchase at the bar or off the wine list at meals.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Caen Memorial, Honfleur
Honfleur
B,L,D
CroisiEurope's Seine Princess

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving 47 miles, about 1 hour. Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day; standing for up to 1 hour at a time; even and uneven ground.

Breakfast: On board, we will enjoy a buffet of various hot and cold items. Coffee, tea, juices, milk, water included.

Morning: We will have some time to explore Honfleur at our own pace before we board the motorcoach for the Caen Memorial.

Lunch: At the Caen Memorial, we’ll enjoy a plated meal including a glass or wine of soft drink. Other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: The Caen Memorial is a major museum dedicated to the history of the 20th century. We will enjoy a self- led visit to explore the different galleries focusing on World War II, the Cold War, and peace. We will return by motorcoach to the ship in Honfleur.

Dinner: On board.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
Duclair, Abbey of Saint Wandrille
Rouen
B,L,D
CroisiEurope's Seine Princess

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; minimal driving. Walking up to 2 miles in the morning; some steps at the abbey are unavoidable; uneven terrain; standing for up to 2 hours.

Breakfast: On board.

Morning: We will leave the ship in Caudebec to travel by motorcoach a short distance to the Abbey of St. Wandrille. A local expert will take us through the monastery, founded in the 7th century by 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. After exploring the abbey, we will have an opportunity to attend mass with the Benedictine monks as they sing Gregorian chants. We will then meet the ship in Duclair.

Lunch: On board.

Afternoon: We will enjoy an onboard lecture about World War II presented by our Group Leader. We will learn about the new discoveries that emerged during the war such as penicillin, jet aircraft, and nylon.

Dinner: On board.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
11
Rouen
Rouen
B,L,D
CroisiEurope's Seine Princess

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles in the morning; cobblestone streets and uneven terrain; standing for up to 2 hours during Rouen field trip.

Breakfast: On board.

Morning: Leaving the ship, we will explore historic Rouen on foot and see its magnificent cathedral where Monet studied and painted the effects of changing light, and its famous half-timbered houses. An expert will lead us through this unique city's history, taking time to pause at the site of the burning of Joan of Arc in 1431. We will then return to the ship.

Lunch: On board.

Afternoon: We will listen to a lecture on board about Robert Capa, a photographer who captured some of the most renowned images of the D-Day invasion and the liberation of Paris.

Dinner: On board.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
12
Giverny
Vernon
B,L,D
CroisiEurope's Seine Princess

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving 62 miles, up to 1.5 hours. Walking up to 2 miles in the morning; even and uneven terrain; standing for up to 2 hours.

Breakfast: On board.

Morning: We will leave the ship and transfer by motorcoach to Giverny, where Claude Monet (1840-1926) created and painted his incredible gardens. Looking at the very gardens that inspired him, we’ll learn about his famous art and the Impressionist movement with commentary by our Instructor. Walking through the water garden and Clos Normand, we may feel as if we have stepped right into one of Monet’s famous water lily paintings! Monet drew pictures as a child, went to a school for the arts, and painted many outdoor scenes during his career. Monet and his artist friends rebelled against the kind of conservative art approved by critics and created their own style. It was called Impressionism because it was an “impression” of a scene, painted outdoors to capture the look of natural light. Today, Impressionism is one of the most popular art forms in the world. We will then return to the ship.

Lunch: On board.

Afternoon: We will hear an expert lecture on board about Claude Monet and his legacy at Giverny.

Dinner: On board.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
13
Paris, L'Île de la Cité, Free Time
Paris
B,L,D
CroisiEurope's Seine Princess

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; minimal driving. Walking up to 2 miles in the morning; cobblestone and uneven terrain; standing for up to 2 hours; expect large crowds at historic sites.

Breakfast: On board.

Morning: After leaving the ship by motorcoach, our Group Leader will lead us on an exploration of medieval Paris and the Île de la Cité on foot. The Île de la Cité is the heart of Paris and the location where the city was founded. It is dominated by the Gothic cathedral, Notre Dame de Paris. Construction on Notre-Dame Cathedral began in 1163 and was not completed until 1345. Damaged and restored a number of times — including the disastrous fire of April 2019 — it remains one of the largest and finest examples of Gothic architecture anywhere. We will be able to admire the exterior. We will then return to the ship.

Lunch: On board.

Afternoon: Free time to explore Paris at your own pace. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: On board.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
14
The Louvre, The Liberation of Paris
Paris
B,D
Les Jardins du Marais

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; minimal driving. Walking up to 3 miles in the morning; cobblestone and uneven terrain; standing for up to 2 hours; expect large crowds at historic sites.

Breakfast: On board.

Morning: We will pack up and disembark the ship. Our luggage will be stored securely in the motorcoach we will be using to get around the city today. We will meet up with a local expert to listen to a lecture about the occupation and liberation of Paris during World War II. After gaining foundational insights, we will go on foot through the areas of Paris that were under German occupation and discuss the resistance and liberation. We will begin at the Hotel Meurice, once the German headquarters, and end at the statue of Charles de Gaulle on the Champs Elysées, with stops in between.

Lunch: On your own in Paris to explore some of the world-famous cuisine offered by the city's sidewalk cafes and renowned restaurants.

Afternoon: We will regroup and join the Group Leader on a ride to the Louvre, where we will have time to explore independently. Investigate the wing or collection of masterpieces that peaks your interest most. Afterwards, we will check-in to our last hotel.

Dinner: We will enjoy a plated farewell meal at a local restaurant near the hotel. One glass of wine, coffee or tea, and water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
15
Program Concludes
Paris
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 Noon.

Breakfast: At the hotel. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on another rewarding program in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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