23291
France

Great Global Get-Together in Paris

Experience the magic of Paris and learn about its local history, explore exquisite architecture and study famous artwork with an enthusiastic group of Road Scholars and instructors.
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Program No. 23291RJ
Length
9 days
Starts at
3,199
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Flights start at
FREE
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9 days
8 nights
16 meals
7 B 4 L 5 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
DAY
2
Arrive Paris, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Paris
D
Les Jardins du Marais

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 2:00 p.m.

Afternoon: After checking in at the hotel and getting your room, take some time to freshen up and relax before our early evening Orientation session. Orientation: 5:30 p.m. In the hotel meeting room, 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 program has a maximum of 120 participants. Lectures will generally be for everyone. For field trips and other activities including some meals, we will divide into smaller groups identified by color, each with a maximum of 24 Road Scholars and its own Group Leader. You will explore with the same color group and Road Scholar Group Leader throughout the program. The order of activities will vary by group but all participants will have an opportunity to attend all field trips. A Local Expert (who is a certified guide) will accompany us on this program and provide educational lectures and commentary throughout the program. The Group Leader will deal primarily with logistics and is a great source for advice about getting around and visiting Paris. 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. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: We will walk to a local restaurant for a plated meal with beverage choices of coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow participants, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
3
Ile de la Cité, Ste Chapelle
Paris
B,D
Les Jardins du Marais

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking up to 3 miles throughout the day; uneven terrain/cobblestones; standing up to an hour at a time; getting on/off a large river boat; expect crowded conditions. Please note that the time of the Seine cruise is subject to change.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet offers cold and hot choices including eggs, breads and pastries, milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We will begin with a lecture with our Local Expert on the origins of Paris from Roman development through the Middle Ages. Archaeologists estimate that the area has been inhabited for about 9,000 years. What eventually became Paris began in the 3rd century BCE when members of the Parisii tribe settled on an island in the Seine River. We will board a motorcoach for a panoramic view of some of the most famous monuments and sites as our Local Expert continues to present aspects of the city's history and architecture through the ages. We will also stop for photos in approved areas as permitted and end our field trip in the Latin Quarter.

Lunch: 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.

Afternoon: We will explore medieval art and architecture on the Île de la Cité, featuring Notre Dame and the Sainte-Chapelle. Begun in 1239, the Sainte-Chapelle is one of the glories of Gothic architecture. Construction on the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris began in 1163 and was not fully completed until 1345. Damaged and restored a number of times, it remains one of the largest and finest examples of Gothic architecture anywhere. We will walk to and board a Bateaux-Mouches for a cruise along the Seine to view the magnificent monuments lining the river.

Dinner: We will walk to a local restaurant for a plated meal with beverage choices of coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Louvre Museum, Opera Garnier
Paris
B,L
Les Jardins du Marais

Activity note: Use of Paris Métro, stairs with railings are unavoidable as there aren't elevators/escalators in each station; expect crowded conditions in métro and at historic sites; standing on the train if no seats are available; walking up to 2 miles in the Louvre; according to personal preference during free time.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will be joined by our Local Expert who will give us a presentation on the interwoven history of Paris and French royalty. The development of Paris and its growth as a major city is inseparable from the history of French royalty and the consolidation of power by the kings of France. We will then walk several blocks from the hotel and take the Métro to the Louvre Museum for an expert-led exploration. The origins of the Louvre date back to 1190 when King Philippe II — preparing to go on a Crusade to the Holy Land — ordered the erection of a fortress at a weak point in the city’s defenses. As the city grew and expanded, so did the Louvre, eventually becoming a royal residence. Part of the palace became a public museum in 1793. The Louvre today is recognized as the greatest museum in the world.

Lunch: You will be provided with meal vouchers, 'Tickets Restaurants', to use at a restaurant of your choice. The majority of restaurants in Paris accept these meal vouchers and will have a 'TR' sticker on the store front. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: We will board the motorcoach for a field trip to immerse ourselves in the talent of architect Charles Garnier as we explore his most famous creation, the opulent Paris Opera House, now known as the Opera Garnier. Ironically, some of its fame derives from a lurid work of fiction by detective writer Gaston Leroux, “The Phantom of the Opera”, that was allegedly based on real events. The reality is that Garnier’s palace is one of the grandest opera houses in the world and one of the city’s most iconic monuments. It was commissioned by Napoleon III as part of his radical reshaping of the capital during the Second Empire.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
The Marais, Vosges Royal Square, Guinguette Dinner
Paris
B,L,D
Les Jardins du Marais

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; walking up to 3 miles throughout the day; dancing at the Guinguette dinner (if you like!).

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will board a motorcoach and ride to the Marché Aligre, one of the city’s most vibrant neighborhood markets. Here we will encounter an important aspect of Parisian daily life as we experience the sights, sounds, and scents of a traditional open-air market with our Local Expert.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a light lunch of charcuterie and cheese accompanied by a wine tasting.

Afternoon: Our Local Expert will lead us on an exploration the neighborhoods of the Marais district, including what was historically the Jewish quarter. We will head to Montmartre, to examine the lives of artists in Paris and learn about Impressionism and Post-Impressionism in this traditional artists' community.

Dinner: In Montmartre, we’ll enjoy a traditional “guinguette” dinner. Immortalized in paintings by Renoir and Van Gogh, guinguettes were open-air restaurants popular with the working classes of 19th-century Paris and surrounding areas. Often featuring dancing, accordion music, and free-flowing wine, these were places to unwind on weekends and festival days.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Rodin Museum, Musée d'Orsay
Paris
B,L,D
Les Jardins du Marais

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; walking up to 4 miles throughout the day; standing up to 1 hour at a time in the Musée d’Orsay.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll gather in the hotel for a presentation by our Local Expert on life and art in 19th-century Paris. It was the greatest congregation of artists of all kinds since the Renaissance. Via motorcoach, we will head to the Rodin Museum for an expert-lead discovery of the museum and sculpture gardens containing masterpieces of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Lunch: At the Musée d'Orsay restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal with beverage choices of coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase. The setting is splendid, with decorations, frescoes, and chandeliers much as they were in the original Hôtel d'Orsay.

Afternoon: With our Local Expert, we will explore one of the most extensive collections of Impressionist art in the world and other significant artistic movements from 1848-1914. We will learn about the importance of works by Monet, Renoir, Pisarro, and many others as we walk through the galleries of what was once the Gare d’Orsay railway station.

Dinner: At a restaurant near the hotel, we’ll have a light dinner of appetizers and drinks as we mingle with Parisians.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Musée de l'Orangerie, Vaux-le-Vicomte
Paris
B,D
Les Jardins du Marais

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; walking up to 3 miles throughout the day; cobblestones, uneven terrain; late night return to hotel.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Our Local Expert will give us a presentation on Paris in the Colonial era. We’ll learn how France's global empire in the 19th and 20th centuries impacted the development of Paris, and how this colonial legacy continues to affect France today. We will head over to the Musée de l'Orangerie and view Monet's magnificent “Les Nymphéas” — water lilies. We will see eight large paintings that are arranged according to Monet’s own design in two consecutive oval rooms so that visitors can immerse themselves in the beauty of his creations.

Lunch: On your own to have what you like.

Afternoon: Free time. Take this opportunity to see and do what interests you most.

Dinner: We will travel by motorcoach to the Chateau Vaux-le-Vicomte, 34 miles southeast of Paris for a plated meal with beverage choices of coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Vaux-le-Vicomte was a relatively modest manor in 1641 when Nicholas Fouquet, an ambitious member of the local parlement, bought it and began its transformation into the grandest estate in France until Versailles. Fouquet rose to become the Superintendent of France and commissioned the leading architect, painter-decorator, and landscaper of the day to achieve a unified vision of exceptional splendor that set a precedent for French architecture and design. Unfortunately for Fouquet, the magnificence of Vaux-le-Vicomte was his undoing. He fell victim to a plot by his rivals and King Louis XIV ordered his arrest — but not before attending an extravagant fête in his honor at the chateau in 1661. We will return to the hotel in the late evening.

DAY
8
Palais-Royal
Paris
B,L
Les Jardins du Marais

Activity note: Walking up to 3 miles throughout the day; standing up to 1 hour at the Palais Royal; according to personal preference during free time.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Free time. This time has been set aside for your personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal with beverage choices of coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We will explore the Palais-Royal area with our Group Leader and Local Expert, walking through covered passageways, hidden courtyards, as we learn more about Paris through the centuries. The Palais-Royal itself was originally the Palais-Cardinal, built for Cardinal Richelieu in 1633. After his death, it became a royal residence and a center of political power. It was redesigned over the years and beautiful gardens were added, eventually hosting a commercial complex with many bookstores, boutiques, cafés, museums, and theatres. The Palais-Royal also became a gathering place for debate and revolutionary thinking. Today it is one of the city’s most charming areas and the location of the oldest restaurant in Paris.

Dinner: On your own.

Evening: We will reconvene at the hotel for a farewell drink, raise a glass to our time in Paris, and share favorite memories. Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
9
Program Concludes
B

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

Breakfast: At the hotel. This concludes our program. 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 rewarding programs 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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