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Paris & Normandy

8 Days | Paris to Paris

4.7/5  686 reviews

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€2,499

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Paris & Normandy
  • 8 days
  • 1 country
  • UNESCO

A journey steeped in wonder.

Cruise from Paris through Normandy’s countryside, uncovering its many charms: Richard the Lionheart’s Chateau Gaillard, the medieval capital of Rouen, Monet’s beloved home in Giverny and the famed Normandy beaches.

Experience a different side of Northern France’s history with a tour of the majestic palace of Versailles, once home to Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

See the best of Paris in one of three ways via the “Heart of Paris” cruise and city tour, an exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” tour or an exclusive guided “Let's Go” bike tour. There are plenty of opportunities to take part in more active experiences, such as golfing at Sainte-Mère-Église in Étretat, perched on the cliff high above the sea, making playing golf here a memorable experience and visual feast.

Paris & Normandy Map
LEGEND
  • UNESCO
  • Motorcoach
  • Embark/Disembark
Note: The itineraries presented are subject to modification due to water levels, closures because of public holidays or other uncontrollable factors. Every effort will be made to operate programs as planned, but changes may still be necessary throughout the cruise. This day-to-day schedule is subject to change. Your final day-to-day schedule will be provided onboard on the first day of your cruise.
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Paris

Paris

No visit to France would be complete without seeing the city that is widely regarded as the most beautiful in the world—Paris. Nothing compares to the charm of its neighborhoods, the grandeur of its awe-inspiring architecture and monuments, or the cosmopolitan elegance of its boulevards. Delve into the delights this magnificent city has to offer, from the Eiffel Tower and the Champs-Élysées to the quaint neighborhood cafés beloved by locals.

  • 2 nights at the Hôtel du Louvre (or similar)
  • Breakfast daily and all service charges, taxes and porterage
  • Opera Garnier Discovery Walk (or similar)
  • English-speaking expert
  • All transfers

Click here for full details.

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Day 1

Paris (Embark)

Arrive at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.

Note: For Arrival, Departure and Transfer details, please visit Uniworld.com/transfers. For Port Location details, please visit Uniworld.com/ports.
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Day 2

La Roche-Guyon, Vernon, Giverny

Vernon

Today is a celebration of northern France’s natural beauty, with an excursion to a splendid château and gardens situated in an equally grand setting, plus a chance to immerse yourself in the very landscapes that inspired Impressionist master Claude Monet. Visit the hilltop Château de La Roche-Guyon, surrounded by beautiful gardens and offering sweeping views over the Seine. Later, you can visit the home and gardens of Claude Monet. Or take in the beautiful French countryside in a more invigorating way, with a guided bike ride from Vernon to Giverny.

This evening, a special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.

Choose between...

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"Let's Go" hike on the Crests trail

"Let's Go" hike on the Crests trail

"Let's Go" hike on the Crests trail

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Monet’s gardens at Giverny

Monet often painted the little riverside town of Vernon, so you are likely to recognize scenes the master rendered in oils on your way to his home in the village of Giverny, where he lived and worked for more than 40 years. When Monet bought the property, most of it was an orchard; he transformed...

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Monet’s gardens at Giverny

Monet often painted the little riverside town of Vernon, so you are likely to recognize scenes the master rendered in oils on your way to his home in the village of Giverny, where he lived and worked for more than 40 years. When Monet bought the property, most of it was an orchard; he transformed it over the years into the enchanting visions immortalized in his paintings, essentially creating each work of art twice: once as a living garden and again as a painting. As you stroll through the grounds, you’ll see the famed Japanese bridge and water garden shaded by weeping willows. Monet’s house, which you will also visit, remains furnished as it was when the leader of the impressionist school lived here, complete with his precious collection of Japanese engravings.

Note: Giverny will be closed during the March and November cruise departure dates.

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Château La Roche-Guyon

From cave dwelling to fortress to castle to palace: This is the history of Château La Roche-Guyon (the Rock of Guy), which takes its name from its medieval lords (traditionally named Guy) and its location, a limestone outcropping—a rock—above the Seine. Medieval knights kept watch ...

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Château La Roche-Guyon

From cave dwelling to fortress to castle to palace: This is the history of Château La Roche-Guyon (the Rock of Guy), which takes its name from its medieval lords (traditionally named Guy) and its location, a limestone outcropping—a rock—above the Seine. Medieval knights kept watch for marauding Vikings from the tower high atop the hill and later defended the double wall around a 13th-century manor house; successive lords added to the buildings over the centuries, so you can see not just troglodyte chapels but Renaissance rooms where kings Francis I and Henry II were entertained (and, legend says, Henry IV pursued a lovely chatelaine without success) and handsome 18th-century state apartments. Enlightenment thinkers met with the Duchess d’Enville, who owned the château before the revolution and who had the huge kitchen garden laid out according to Enlightenment principles. You might think, as you walk through the elegantly designed garden and beautifully paneled rooms (mostly without furniture these days, so you can appreciate the Gobelins tapestries without distraction) that the residence’s military function was in the far distant past, but Rommel made his headquarters here during WWII, precisely because the ancient fortifications and caves were so secure.

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“Let's Go” bike ride from Vernon to Giverny

The country roads between Vernon and Giverny offer easy—and pretty—biking. Hop aboard your bike and pedal about three miles to the village where the artist lived for decades. You’ll pass the church and cemetery where Monet is buried and the Hotel Baudy, where his painter friends...

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“Let's Go” bike ride from Vernon to Giverny

The country roads between Vernon and Giverny offer easy—and pretty—biking. Hop aboard your bike and pedal about three miles to the village where the artist lived for decades. You’ll pass the church and cemetery where Monet is buried and the Hotel Baudy, where his painter friends often stayed, and arrive at the artist’s home and garden for a tour.

Note: Giverny will be closed during the March and November cruise departure dates.

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Day 3

Rouen

Walk in the footsteps of greatness in Normandy’s medieval capital, a city with a historic quarter that remains amazingly intact. From the cathedral Monet painted dozens of times to the cross marking the spot where Joan of Arc was martyred, Rouen is a treasure trove for the culturally curious. The roll call of famous people who lived or died in Rouen is long and varied—Richard the Lionheart, Joan of Arc, Gustave Flaubert and Claude Monet are among them.

Featured Excursions

Rouen walking tour, the Dukes of Normandy’s capital

Rouen walking tour, the Dukes of Normandy’s capital

Rouen walking tour, the Dukes of Normandy’s capital

Nights Out: Private Concert at the Rouen Cathedral

Tonight, walk through the streets of Rouen with your Cruise Manager to see this charming medieval city in a different light. You’ll arrive at the famous cathedral to enjoy a private concert. This is a wonderful way to appreciate the long musical heritage of the cathedral, whose choir and...

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Nights Out: Private Concert at the Rouen Cathedral

Tonight, walk through the streets of Rouen with your Cruise Manager to see this charming medieval city in a different light. You’ll arrive at the famous cathedral to enjoy a private concert. This is a wonderful way to appreciate the long musical heritage of the cathedral, whose choir and grand organ date back several hundred years. As you take in the sounds of traditional European music, look around to appreciate the mix of Gothic, Renaissance and other architectural styles that comprise this building.

Please note: we advise that you layer, as there is no heating in this historic cathedral.

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Day 4

Caudebec-en-Caux (Honfleur or Étretat)

Caudebec-en-Caux, a lovely little town on the right bank of the Seine Estuary, is your base for one of two very different excursions. You could drive through the beautiful Calvados countryside to Honfleur, a delightful seaside harbor and city of painters, or head to the windy cliffs of Étretat for a game of golf.

Choose between...

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Honfleur walking tour

A walking tour of the fishing village begins at the former smugglers’ harbor of Vieux Bassin—the most frequently painted scene in Honfleur—which looks much as it did a century ago, though now the boats in the harbor are more likely to be pleasure craft than fishing vessels. Your...

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Honfleur walking tour

A walking tour of the fishing village begins at the former smugglers’ harbor of Vieux Bassin—the most frequently painted scene in Honfleur—which looks much as it did a century ago, though now the boats in the harbor are more likely to be pleasure craft than fishing vessels. Your local guide will take you down tiny lanes, where houses stand shoulder to shoulder in a jumble of styles: narrow 19th-century slate-roofed townhouses, 15th-century fishermen’s cottages, and tall and elegant mansions— many adorned with figures of chimeras or saints. You’ll also see St. Catherine’s Church, built in the 15th century by shipwrights who gave it an oak ceiling that looks like the hull of a boat.

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“Let's Go” golfing in Étretat

It would be hard to find a more spectacular location than Étretat’s clifftop course, which is ranked as one of the best in France. Originally laid out in 1908 and substantially redesigned in the 1990s, it offers a multitude of challenges: Two nine-hole loops take players right to the...

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“Let's Go” golfing in Étretat

It would be hard to find a more spectacular location than Étretat’s clifftop course, which is ranked as one of the best in France. Originally laid out in 1908 and substantially redesigned in the 1990s, it offers a multitude of challenges: Two nine-hole loops take players right to the cliff’s edge, the wind can be a serious challenge in and of itself, and the 10th through 14th holes offer formidable tests of a golfer’s skill. Spend the morning on the course, lunch on your own in charming Étretat and explore the seaside village that so many artists, including Monet, rendered in paint, or return to the ship for lunch and a leisurely afternoon onboard.

Note: Golf excursion is open to a limited number of golfers. Club entrance and use of golf clubs are provided for usage during your excursion.

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Day 5

Rouen (Normandy Beaches)

There are moments when we travel that move us on an otherworldly level—experiences that stir a profound emotional connection. The Normandy beaches certainly have that effect. On your full-day outing, you’ll visit Normandy’s beaches, including Utah Beach and Ste-Mère-Église, with a choice to venture to either the American, British and Australian or Canadian beaches. After, you’ll go to the American cemetery and partake in a private ceremony at the Omaha Beach Memorial—a sentimental remembrance of Operation Overlord.

Choose between...

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Normandy Beaches: highlights of Canadian sites

Join your fellow passengers in a journey to Omaha Beach and the American cemetery, where almost 10,000 US soldiers are buried, most of whom lost their lives during the D-Day invasion. Today's journey also includes highlights of Canadian sites.

Note: Lunch on own if participating in this excursion.

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Normandy Beaches: highlights of Canadian sites

Join your fellow passengers in a journey to Omaha Beach and the American cemetery, where almost 10,000 US soldiers are buried, most of whom lost their lives during the D-Day invasion. Today's journey also includes highlights of Canadian sites.

Note: Lunch on own if participating in this excursion.

or

Normandy Beaches: highlights of American sites

Join your fellow passengers in a journey to Omaha Beach and the American cemetery, where almost 10,000 US soldiers are buried, most of whom lost their lives during the D-Day invasion. Today's journey also includes highlights of American sites.

Note: Lunch on own if participating in this excursion.

Read More >

Normandy Beaches: highlights of American sites

Join your fellow passengers in a journey to Omaha Beach and the American cemetery, where almost 10,000 US soldiers are buried, most of whom lost their lives during the D-Day invasion. Today's journey also includes highlights of American sites.

Note: Lunch on own if participating in this excursion.

or

Normandy Beaches: highlights of British & Commonwealth sites

Join your fellow passengers in a journey to Omaha Beach and the American cemetery, where almost 10,000 US soldiers are buried, most of whom lost their lives during the D-Day invasion. Today's journey also includes highlights of British and Australian sites.

Note: Lunch on own if participating in...

Read More >

Normandy Beaches: highlights of British & Commonwealth sites

Join your fellow passengers in a journey to Omaha Beach and the American cemetery, where almost 10,000 US soldiers are buried, most of whom lost their lives during the D-Day invasion. Today's journey also includes highlights of British and Australian sites.

Note: Lunch on own if participating in this excursion.

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Day 6

Mantes-la-Jolie (Versailles)

How did France’s rulers live over the centuries? Step into the private rooms of the Palace of Versailles, the lavish palace built by the Sun King, to find out.

A special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.

Choose between...

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Versailles Palace secret apartments

It was the official residence of the country’s kings and queens from 1682 until the revolution, and though the monarchy possessed other palaces, Versailles stood alone in magnificence. Tour the royal apartments, which still look much as they did when Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette fled in...

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Versailles Palace secret apartments

It was the official residence of the country’s kings and queens from 1682 until the revolution, and though the monarchy possessed other palaces, Versailles stood alone in magnificence. Tour the royal apartments, which still look much as they did when Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette fled in 1789. In these rooms, you’ll find lush silk draperies, exquisite marquetry tables, gilded beds, Aubusson carpets and porcelain ornaments that reveal the elegance of the 18th-century royalty’s lifestyle, as well as the extravagance that helped fuel the rage leading to the revolution. Climb the great staircase and enter the jaw-dropping Hall of Mirrors, where the absolute ruler of France held court for the ambassadors of Siam, Persia and the Ottoman Empire, along with all the great seigneurs of France. Ladies intrigued behind their fans, plots were hatched, and careers were made and destroyed beneath the sparkling chandeliers here.

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Versailles Secret Apartments with Gardens

Versailles Secret Apartments with Gardens

Versailles Secret Apartments with Gardens

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Versailles Parks and Queens Hamlet

Versailles Parks and Queens Hamlet

Versailles Parks and Queens Hamlet

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Day 7

Paris

Whether you’re a first-time visitor to the “City of Light” or you’ve been here many times before, there’s something for everyone today in Paris. Enjoy a panoramic overview of the city, join a local expert for a walk through two much-loved neighborhoods, or pedal your way along the Left Bank, a fresh and fun way to take in the sights.

Choose between...

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Paris city tour

Hemingway called Paris a moveable feast: Once you’ve experienced it, you will take it with you wherever you go. If you are experiencing Paris for the first time, this tour will introduce you to the City of Light’s most cherished landmarks. You’ll head via motorcoach from the Arc...

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Paris city tour

Hemingway called Paris a moveable feast: Once you’ve experienced it, you will take it with you wherever you go. If you are experiencing Paris for the first time, this tour will introduce you to the City of Light’s most cherished landmarks. You’ll head via motorcoach from the Arc de Triomphe, commissioned by Napoleon to celebrate his Grand Army’s 128 victories, down the Champs-Élysées to the Place de la Concorde. These broad 19th-century avenues and stately buildings were created by Baron Haussmann in a great urban development that eliminated the cramped, crazy-quilt medieval city and gave Paris its modern form. You’ll pass the magnificent Opéra Garnier, the Place Vendôme (home to designer salons), the legendary Louvre and, on the Left Bank, the Sorbonne University and the Panthéon. Stretch your legs at the Luxembourg Gardens, then take in the École Militaire before arriving at the manicured grounds of the Champs de Mars, the perfect vantage point from which to see Paris’s most iconic structure—the Eiffel Tower. Cross the Seine via the most stunning single-arch bridge in Paris, Pont Alexandre III; it displays elegantly sculpted nymphs, winged horses and graceful art nouveau lamps. Once on the other side of the river, you’ll be sure to spot the largest glass ceilings in France, which shelter the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais. As you continue along the Seine’s banks you’ll see many striking contemporary bridges too. Your city tour will finish at your ship’s dock.

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Paris Walking Tour of the Latin Quarter

As a true Parisian would, take the Métro to the Île de la Cité and the great cathedral of Notre Dame. Henry IV said that Paris was worth a Mass when he converted to Catholicism—and he made that conversion official here, in the center of Paris. In fact, Notre Dame is...

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Paris Walking Tour of the Latin Quarter

As a true Parisian would, take the Métro to the Île de la Cité and the great cathedral of Notre Dame. Henry IV said that Paris was worth a Mass when he converted to Catholicism—and he made that conversion official here, in the center of Paris. In fact, Notre Dame is officially the center of France; facing its main entrance is Kilometer Zero, the location from which distances in France (including those of the French national highways) are traditionally measured. An expert in the history and architecture of this magnificent cathedral will be your guide. Begun in the 12th century and finished about 200 years later, Notre Dame is one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture in Europe.

After you’ve admired Notre Dame’s stained glass, flying buttresses and idiosyncratic gargoyles, cross the Archbishop’s Bridge to the Left Bank and the Latin Quarter. Wander through the narrow streets where for centuries artists, writers, philosophers and the Sorbonne’s students have lived and worked, argued politics, painted, sipped absinthe and lived the bohemian lifestyle for which the district is famous. Matisse, Picasso, Rimbaud and Sartre, as well as American expatriate writers Hemingway and Fitzgerald, are just a few of the notables who made this district home. Take some time to meander through the area’s little squares, perusing the shop windows and perhaps relaxing with a drink at a classic café.

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“Let's Go” Seine riverbanks bike ride

The Seine’s quays may be protected by UNESCO for their cultural importance and significance in the development of Paris, but they are also the scene of a host of fun outdoor activities: games for kids and grown-ups, a climbing wall, a running track, yoga classes, even a beach in...

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“Let's Go” Seine riverbanks bike ride

The Seine’s quays may be protected by UNESCO for their cultural importance and significance in the development of Paris, but they are also the scene of a host of fun outdoor activities: games for kids and grown-ups, a climbing wall, a running track, yoga classes, even a beach in August—and an inviting bike path. Join a guide to pedal along the Left Bank, crossing the bridges that link historic Île de la Cité and Île Saint-Louis and getting a close look at the heart of the city’s origins. Bike to the Esplanade des Invalides (Napoleon’s tomb is one of the monuments here) and along the Quai d’Orsay to the Champs de Mars, one of Paris’s largest green spaces . . . which just happens to have one of the best views of the Eiffel Tower in the city. It’s a fun way to take part in the life of the city while also getting some exercise.

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Day 8

Paris (Disembark)

Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Charles de Gaulle Airport for your flight home.

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What's Included

Dining

  • All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
  • 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Captain's Welcome and Farewell Receptions
  • Welcome and Farewell Gala Dinners
  • Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, specialty coffee and tea, soft drinks and mineral water

Excursions

  • 6 days of excursions, including “Choice Is Yours” options, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
  • Guided “Let's Go” and “Do as the Locals Do” programs
  • State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio-headset system on all excursions
  • Use of bicycles and Nordic walking sticks
S.S. Joie de Vivre: Grand Suite

Accommodations

  • 7-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the alluring S.S. Joie de Vivre
  • Lavishly appointed riverview staterooms and suites have handcrafted Savoir® Beds of England, high thread count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, and a menu of pillow options
  • Free Internet and Wi-Fi access

Experiences

  • 1 country: France
  • 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise Manager
  • Group Transfers are included on arrival and departure days (please see terms and conditions for transfer guidelines)
  • Gratuities for onboard personnel (ship staff, crew, Cruise/Tour Manager) are included during the cruise/tour
  • Captivating onboard local entertainment

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Paris & Normandy

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