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A Portrait of Majestic France

15 Days | Bordeaux to Paris

4.6/5  82 reviews

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£6,699 £6,029

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A Portrait of Majestic France
  • 15 days
  • 1 country
  • UNESCO

The quintessential voyage for gourmets, oenophiles and lovers of all things French.

This picture-perfect journey blends your passion for the good life—art, culture and gastronomy—with a broad sweep of lovely French landscapes. Travel from beautiful Bordeaux and delight in the countryside of southwest France. Explore Saint-Émilion, with its astonishing Monolithic Church, and ancient Blaye, with its famous citadel. Journey through a land of noble wines, tasting the flavors of the regions as you go.

Sail the Seine to marvel at magnificent Rouen Cathedral, tour the former smugglers’ harbor in Honfleur and follow in the footsteps of Monet at his beloved Giverny. And, of course, your majestic France experience ends with an exploration of the romance and magnificence of Paris.

Enjoy the best France has to offer with Uniworld’s plethora of private excursions (including a private wine tasting of famous Médoc wines) as you visit charming locales and sample myriad culinary delights.

A Portrait of Majestic France is a combination of Brilliant Bordeaux and Paris & Normandy.

A Portrait of Majestic France 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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Day 1

Bordeaux (Embark)

Bordeaux

Arrive at Bordeaux-Mérignac International Airport. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival 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

Cadillac

The French phrase “la douceur de vivre” is an accurate description for your time in Cadillac, known for its deliciously flavored dessert wines. Visit Château Royal de Cazeneuve, site of Henry IV’s and Queen Margot’s tempestuous love. Meet the owner around a glass of Sauternes in the reception hall.

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

Note: Sailing this stretch of the Garonne depends on the tides. If it is not possible to sail to Cadillac, you will be transferred to your destination via motorcoach.

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Private Owner's Tour of Royal Château with Sauternes Toast

You’ll journey through the vineyards to Château Royal de Cazeneuve, a polygonal 14th-century fortress with a royal pedigree. A favored residence of Henry IV, who inherited it from his mother, Jeanne d’Albret. The beautifully restored château still belongs to descendants of...

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Private Owner's Tour of Royal Château with Sauternes Toast

You’ll journey through the vineyards to Château Royal de Cazeneuve, a polygonal 14th-century fortress with a royal pedigree. A favored residence of Henry IV, who inherited it from his mother, Jeanne d’Albret. The beautifully restored château still belongs to descendants of the Albret family. After your intimate visit you will meet Louis and Caroline de Sabran-Pontevès, the owner and his wife for a Sauternes toast, sampling the unique perfume and flavor of the area.

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The Colorful Life of Toulouse Lautrec at Château de Malromé

Uncover the history of artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec with a visit to Château Malromé. Originally the home of his mother, Adèle, Malromé would soon inspire much of his artwork. As one of the best painters of the post-impressionist period, Toulouse-Lautrec is known for...

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The Colorful Life of Toulouse Lautrec at Château de Malromé

Uncover the history of artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec with a visit to Château Malromé. Originally the home of his mother, Adèle, Malromé would soon inspire much of his artwork. As one of the best painters of the post-impressionist period, Toulouse-Lautrec is known for his distinctive and colorful take on Paris in the late 1800s as well as his fascination with Moulin Rouge dancers and famous singers, who were prominent in much of his work. Venture to the nearby town of Verdelais, where you’ll notice two beautiful central walkways lined with trees and 19th-century façades. It is in Verdelais’ cemetery that Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec is buried.

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Day 3

Cussac Fort Médoc

The legendary Médoc region abounds with prestigious wine châteaux in a dizzying array of architectural styles, as well as miles of grapevines stretching to infinity. Take a scenic drive through the storied Médoc wine route, followed by a wine tasting at a beautiful wine estate.

Featured Excursion

Fresh Médoc Oysters Tasting

Oysters have long been a beloved product of the Médoc—and for good reason. Discover why today as you join an oyster farmer at the Guards’ House terrace for a tasting of this delicacy, accompanied by a glass of local white wine.

Fresh Médoc Oysters Tasting

Oysters have long been a beloved product of the Médoc—and for good reason. Discover why today as you join an oyster farmer at the Guards’ House terrace for a tasting of this delicacy, accompanied by a glass of local white wine.

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Let’s Go: Bike in the Médoc Vineyards

Combine fresh air, gorgeous scenery and fine wine with a bicycle ride among the prestigious Médoc vineyards. Meet your guide and mount your bicycle to pedal through the lush landscapes of historic estates that have seemingly remained unchanged for centuries. Truly experience the...

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Let’s Go: Bike in the Médoc Vineyards

Combine fresh air, gorgeous scenery and fine wine with a bicycle ride among the prestigious Médoc vineyards. Meet your guide and mount your bicycle to pedal through the lush landscapes of historic estates that have seemingly remained unchanged for centuries. Truly experience the atmosphere—the earth, the sunshine—of this famous wine-growing region.

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Médoc Châteaux Route with Private Wine Tasting

In 1855, when Napoleon III asked for a classification of the best wines in France to give visitors, some 60 Médoc wines were awarded Grand Cru status—out of 61 total. A panoramic tour of this legendary landscape takes you from Pauillac to the tip of the Médoc peninsula, past...

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Médoc Châteaux Route with Private Wine Tasting

In 1855, when Napoleon III asked for a classification of the best wines in France to give visitors, some 60 Médoc wines were awarded Grand Cru status—out of 61 total. A panoramic tour of this legendary landscape takes you from Pauillac to the tip of the Médoc peninsula, past storied vineyards of the region, including Château Latour, Mouton Rothschild and Pichon Longueville Baron, and through the villages of Margaux, Saint-Julien and Saint-Estèphe. You might be surprised to discover that the peninsula is only three miles wide, though it is 50 miles long, and the road carries you past a dizzying array of architectural styles— Renaissance, Greek Revival and medieval—as well as miles of grapevines. You’ll turn off the road and enter one of these châteaux for a private tour and a tasting of superior wines.

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Day 4

Blaye, Bourg sur Gironde

Blaye

The Route de la Corniche Fleurie…could this be the most beautiful road you’ve ever traveled? Find out today on the drive to Blaye Fortress, passing through one impossibly picturesque hamlet after another. Once you arrive, you’ll discover the wonders of this historic fortress, a UNESCO-designated citadel that once protected Bordeaux from attacks by sea.

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Intimate Experience with Local Wine & Art Connoisseurs

Today you are invited to join an informal wine tasting hosted by the owner of La Petite Cave, a charming wine bar in Blaye. The owner here will give you a personal look into the life of a local wine lover, take you into his art studio, and show you his collections of wine and antique cars. From...

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Intimate Experience with Local Wine & Art Connoisseurs

Today you are invited to join an informal wine tasting hosted by the owner of La Petite Cave, a charming wine bar in Blaye. The owner here will give you a personal look into the life of a local wine lover, take you into his art studio, and show you his collections of wine and antique cars. From here, you’re welcome to explore Blaye at your leisure before returning to the ship.

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Panoramas of Route de la Corniche Fleurie with Blaye Fortress

This little road between Blaye and Bourg-sur-Gironde winds through picturesque hamlets with equally picturesque names—Pain de Sucre, Marmisson and Roque de Thau among them—limestone cliffs on one side, the Gironde on the other. Fishing huts on stilts stand above the waters of the...

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Panoramas of Route de la Corniche Fleurie with Blaye Fortress

This little road between Blaye and Bourg-sur-Gironde winds through picturesque hamlets with equally picturesque names—Pain de Sucre, Marmisson and Roque de Thau among them—limestone cliffs on one side, the Gironde on the other. Fishing huts on stilts stand above the waters of the estuary; charming 19th-century stone houses built by sea captains sit tidily along the road. Many of these captains traveled to far-off places and returned with exotic plants, which they planted in their gardens and along the road (hence the route’s name). But the history of these cliffs extends far beyond the 19th century—people have inhabited the area for thousands of years.

Upon returning to Blaye, your guide will take you through the 17th-century demilune-shaped citadel built by famed military engineer Vauban. This fortress design was the one Vauban, Louis XIV’s favorite military engineer, found most satisfactory, and he built some 300 of them in the Sun King’s realm. The citadel contains the ruins of a medieval castle, houses, squares, streets, even a convent, all enclosed within stark walls. If you stand on top of those walls, you will have a terrific view of the estuary— this view was the field of fire, giving the citadel command of the river.

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Day 5

Libourne (Saint-Émilion)

Libourne

With Libourne as your base, travel to nearby breathtaking Saint-Émilion and immerse yourself more deeply in the region’s history and wine culture. The medieval town of Saint-Émilion is an ideal place to linger. Wander its cobblestone lanes lined with wine shops and bakeries, and stop to admire the amazing rock-hewn church that extends beneath the city’s streets.

Note: Today's lunch will be on your own; ask your Cruise Manager for recommendations on the best nearby restaurants.

Featured Excursion

Saint-Émilion Walking Tour with Wine Tasting

Hilltop Saint-Émilion offers both exceptional architecture and historic vineyards. The Romans were the first to plant grapes here, and this was the first vineyard region to be protected by UNESCO because of its history. Shops brimming with wine and wine tools line the steep cobblestone...

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Saint-Émilion Walking Tour with Wine Tasting

Hilltop Saint-Émilion offers both exceptional architecture and historic vineyards. The Romans were the first to plant grapes here, and this was the first vineyard region to be protected by UNESCO because of its history. Shops brimming with wine and wine tools line the steep cobblestone streets; medieval ramparts that bore witness to battles for control between French and English monarchs still stand; and vineyards encroach upon the village. Of all the sights, however, perhaps the most extraordinary is the 12th-century church carved into a cliff. Only the tower is above ground; the rest of the church is subterranean. Its numerous underground galleries provided refuge during periods of strife, and include the grotto where St. Émilion, for whom the town is named, lived out his life in the ninth century. You have to see it for yourself—you’ll be amazed by its almost unfathomable construction. After touring Saint-Émilion, you’ll visit the cellars of a fantastic estate where you’ll taste some of the world’s most highly rated wines.

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Day 6

Libourne, Bordeaux

France’s rich agricultural tradition is the heart and soul of the region’s exquisite cuisine—and what better way to get a taste for the freshest vegetables, cheeses, breads and fruits than with a visit to Libourne’s lively farmers’ market?

In the evening, a special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.

Featured Excursions

Village Day: Libourne with Farmer's Market

How could you visit this rich agricultural land without delving into a farmer's market? Libourne’s market is the heart and soul of the town; everyone comes here to choose the freshest vegetables, the ripest cheeses, the most luscious fruits, the loveliest flowers, and to chat with the...

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Village Day: Libourne with Farmer's Market

How could you visit this rich agricultural land without delving into a farmer's market? Libourne’s market is the heart and soul of the town; everyone comes here to choose the freshest vegetables, the ripest cheeses, the most luscious fruits, the loveliest flowers, and to chat with the producers and growers. Check out the stalls brimming with produce in the market square, then duck into the covered market and savor the enticing aromas of bread and cheese, fish and meat. After exploring the market, you and a small group of other travelers will be invited to push open the doors of ateliers, homes and shops, meeting the artisans who make some of the goods arrayed so enticingly in the market.

Nights Out: After Hours at the Bassins des Lumières

Bordeaux’s Port de la Lune is home to a submarine base with a checkered past. Originally built during the German occupation of France in WWII, and later the target of allied bombings, this building has since attracted artists who wish to reclaim the site for beauty and culture. Its stark...

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Nights Out: After Hours at the Bassins des Lumières

Bordeaux’s Port de la Lune is home to a submarine base with a checkered past. Originally built during the German occupation of France in WWII, and later the target of allied bombings, this building has since attracted artists who wish to reclaim the site for beauty and culture. Its stark walls and history have served as a poignant backdrop to artistic installations for decades. Tonight, you’ll experience this for yourself at the Bassins des Lumières, a stunning and immersive light show projected against the walls of the base.

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Day 7

Bordeaux

Discover Bordeaux’s many charms today, either on foot with a local expert or on two wheels—the locals’ preferred way to navigate the city’s charming backstreets. You have a wonderful selection of active opportunities to see this magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Let’s Go: Bike Bordeaux Backstreets

Hop on a bike and wheel with your expert guide along the Quai des Chartrons, a riverfront neighborhood that was the purview of British wine merchants back when they dominated the wine trade. It fell on hard times in the 20th century, but the tall merchant houses have since been reclaimed; now they...

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Let’s Go: Bike Bordeaux Backstreets

Hop on a bike and wheel with your expert guide along the Quai des Chartrons, a riverfront neighborhood that was the purview of British wine merchants back when they dominated the wine trade. It fell on hard times in the 20th century, but the tall merchant houses have since been reclaimed; now they house welcoming shops and cafés. Pedal past the antiques shops of Rue Notre Dame and the Church of St. Louis on your way to major city squares such as the Bourse and Parliament before heading back to the ship along the banks of the Garonne. Of course your outing will include a stop for refreshments at one of the delightful cafés you pass.

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Do as the Locals Do: Bordeaux Walking Tour

Catch a tram at the Quai des Chartrons to the Place de la Comédie, the heart of Bordeaux’ Golden Triangle. Though Bordeaux was the capital of Aquitaine in the Middle Ages and has its share of Gothic churches, it reached its apex in the 18th century. The splendid honey-colored stone...

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Do as the Locals Do: Bordeaux Walking Tour

Catch a tram at the Quai des Chartrons to the Place de la Comédie, the heart of Bordeaux’ Golden Triangle. Though Bordeaux was the capital of Aquitaine in the Middle Ages and has its share of Gothic churches, it reached its apex in the 18th century. The splendid honey-colored stone buildings from this era make up a city core that UNESCO has designated a World Heritage Site (this is the district that inspired Baron Haussmann when he redesigned Paris at the behest of Napoleon III). Trade with the French colonies built this handsome district, furnishing vanilla, sugar, spices and cocoa to inventive chocolatiers and bakers, who used these goods to create iconic desserts. Chocolate, once a Spanish monopoly, became part of Bordeaux’ culinary heritage when banished Spanish Jews brought the art of chocolate-making to France. What are Bordeaux’ present-day residents enjoying when they step inside the luxurious food halls and elegant shops in this neighborhood? Find out as you sample the delicious handiwork of Bordeaux's bakers, and learn a few recipes too!

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Day 8

Bordeaux (Disembark), Transfer to Paris via High-Speed TGV Train (Embark)

Disembark the breathtaking S.S. Bon Voyage and transfer to Paris via high-speed TGV train. Your next ship, the magical S.S. Joie de Vivre, waits to carry you along the Seine on the next leg of your adventure. 

Note: Ship schedule and order of sightseeing may change throughout the itinerary. Tour to port of destination by motorcoach and substitute visits to other sites may occur during your trip due to the impact of water levels, closures because of public holidays or other uncontrollable factors.

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Day 9

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. In the morning, choose between a scenic hike or a visit to the hilltop Château de La Roche-Guyon, which is surrounded by beautiful gardens and offers sweeping views over the Seine. Later, explore the beautiful gardens of Monet. You'll have the opportunity to take in the French countryside on your way there with an invigorating bike ride, or opt to arrive by coach instead.

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

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Let's Go: Hike on the Crests Trail

The village of Château de La Roche-Guyon, which sprawls out across the hillsides of the estate that shares its name, is popularly considered one of the most beautiful in all of France. Begin your hike here today, passing along a restored 17th century garden, the Saint-Samson church, the old...

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Let's Go: Hike on the Crests Trail

The village of Château de La Roche-Guyon, which sprawls out across the hillsides of the estate that shares its name, is popularly considered one of the most beautiful in all of France. Begin your hike here today, passing along a restored 17th century garden, the Saint-Samson church, the old dungeon and more. Please note that this hike may need to be cancelled in the event of rain.

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Château de La Roche-Guyon

The limestone outcropping that eventually became known as Château de La Roche-Guyon began its history as a cave dwelling. It later transformed into a fortress, where medieval knights stood guard against marauding Vikings. Over the centuries it grew into a proper palace, housing a string...

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Château de La Roche-Guyon

The limestone outcropping that eventually became known as Château de La Roche-Guyon began its history as a cave dwelling. It later transformed into a fortress, where medieval knights stood guard against marauding Vikings. Over the centuries it grew into a proper palace, housing a string of lords who gave the château its name—"La Roche-Guyon" translates to "the Rock of Guy," Guy being a typical name for these noblemen. You might think, as you walk through the elegantly designed garden and beautifully paneled rooms, 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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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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Day 10

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 Excursion

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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Rouen Walking Tour, the Dukes of Normandy’s Capital

Victor Hugo called Rouen the city with a hundred bell towers. Easily the most famous of those towers is the one rising above Notre Dame Cathedral, which briefly made it the tallest building in the world. Begun some 800 years ago, the cathedral acquired a multitude of spires and styles as it was...

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Rouen Walking Tour, the Dukes of Normandy’s Capital

Victor Hugo called Rouen the city with a hundred bell towers. Easily the most famous of those towers is the one rising above Notre Dame Cathedral, which briefly made it the tallest building in the world. Begun some 800 years ago, the cathedral acquired a multitude of spires and styles as it was expanded and renovated in different eras. Stand on the opposite side of the square, under the apartment Monet used as a studio, for a view of the cathedral as the impressionist master saw it. On this tour, you'll also explore the cobblestone alleyways and half-timbered houses of the Old Town, Saint-Maclou (a spectacular late-Flamboyant Gothic church), and the adjacent Aître Saint-Maclou, once a cemetery for plague victims and now a garden. And of course, your guide will make sure to point out the bronze cross marking the most famous death in the city—the place where the English burned Joan of Arc at the stake.

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Camembert Cheese Farm

Cheese is a product integral to French heritage and culture, with hundreds of beloved varieties distinct to the regions and towns they hail from. Amongst the most famous is Camembert, an AOC-designated product from an eponymous town in the Normandy region. Visit a sustainably-minded, family farm...

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Camembert Cheese Farm

Cheese is a product integral to French heritage and culture, with hundreds of beloved varieties distinct to the regions and towns they hail from. Amongst the most famous is Camembert, an AOC-designated product from an eponymous town in the Normandy region. Visit a sustainably-minded, family farm today to see how it's made and taste a variety of their delicious Camemberts. To wash it down, sip on another classic product from Normandy, apple cider.

Our MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experiences support sustainable tourism, offering our guests opportunities to directly impact the communities we explore in a positive way.

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MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experiences Our MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experiences support sustainable tourism, offering our guests opportunities to directly impact the communities we explore in a positive way.

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Day 11

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.

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Honfleur Walking Tour

Transfer to Honfleur, where our 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...

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Honfleur Walking Tour

Transfer to Honfleur, where our 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.

Note: shuttles to and from the ship will be offered in the afternoon for guests who would like additional time in town after their tour.

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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 12

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 Commonwealth, or Canadian beaches. After, you’ll partake in a private ceremony at the Omaha Beach Memorial—a sentimental remembrance of Operation Overlord.

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Normandy Beaches: Highlights of Canadian Sites

When the Allies prepared to invade Normandy, they assigned a six-mile stretch of beach to the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division under the command of Major-General Rodney Keller. The Canadians trained for their assault in Scotland and were generally regarded as the best-prepared of any of the invading...

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Normandy Beaches: Highlights of Canadian Sites

When the Allies prepared to invade Normandy, they assigned a six-mile stretch of beach to the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division under the command of Major-General Rodney Keller. The Canadians trained for their assault in Scotland and were generally regarded as the best-prepared of any of the invading forces. Unfortunately, preliminary bombing had failed to eliminate German battlements, so Canadian troops encountered stiff resistance, and several companies suffered heavy casualties. Walk the shoreline where so many died, and visit Juno Beach Center, dedicated to the Canadian war effort. One million Canadians served during WWII, and 14,000 participated in the landing. Exhibits describe both life at home during the war and the service of—and sacrifices made by—the men who fought. You'll have time to enjoy lunch on your own in Bayeux before heading off to Omaha Beach.

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Normandy Beaches: Highlights of American Sites

Travel back in time to June 6, 1944, when the Allied forces launched their D-Day invasion of Normandy. You'll visit historic beaches and get an up-close view of the Airborne museum. Later stop at the American Cemetery followed by a special memorial ceremony at the Omaha beach.

Note: Lunch on own if ...

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Normandy Beaches: Highlights of American Sites

Travel back in time to June 6, 1944, when the Allied forces launched their D-Day invasion of Normandy. You'll visit historic beaches and get an up-close view of the Airborne museum. Later stop at the American Cemetery followed by a special memorial ceremony at the Omaha beach.

Note: Lunch on own if participating in this excursion.

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Normandy Beaches: Highlights of British & Commonwealth Sites

Immerse yourself in the tactics, desperate courage and horrendous human cost of the 1944 Allied invasion of France, the first step in the ultimately victorious land campaign against the Nazis. It began here, on these Norman beaches, each of which was assigned a code name by the Allies as they...

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Normandy Beaches: Highlights of British & Commonwealth Sites

Immerse yourself in the tactics, desperate courage and horrendous human cost of the 1944 Allied invasion of France, the first step in the ultimately victorious land campaign against the Nazis. It began here, on these Norman beaches, each of which was assigned a code name by the Allies as they planned their attack. At Arromanches—code-named Gold Beach—you can view the remnants of one of the two Mulberry harbors deployed in the D-Day invasion. These were artificial harbors constructed to ease and speed the process of unloading Allied troops, vehicles, and equipment onto the Normandy beaches. You'll have time to enjoy lunch on your own in Bayeux before heading off to Omaha Beach.

Note: Lunch on own if participating in this excursion.

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Day 13

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.

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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

In addition to a tour through the opulent interiors of Versailles, take some time to admire the vast formal gardens, which the Sun King loved and on which he lavished fortunes. With its Grand Canal, hundreds of fountains, manicured parterres and thousands of trees, it remains one of the world's...

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Versailles Secret Apartments with Gardens

In addition to a tour through the opulent interiors of Versailles, take some time to admire the vast formal gardens, which the Sun King loved and on which he lavished fortunes. With its Grand Canal, hundreds of fountains, manicured parterres and thousands of trees, it remains one of the world's greatest gardens.

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Day 14

Paris

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.

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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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Paris City Tour

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 drive along the Seine, passing the most stunning single-arch bridge in Paris. Pont Alexandre III displays elegantly sculpted nymphs, winged horses and...

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Paris City Tour

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 drive along the Seine, passing the most stunning single-arch bridge in Paris. Pont Alexandre III displays elegantly sculpted nymphs, winged horses and graceful art nouveau lamps. As you continue along riverbanks, you’ll be sure to spot the largest glass ceilings in France, which shelter the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais. From the Arc de Triomphe, commissioned by Napoleon to celebrate his Grand Army’s 128 victories, you'll drive 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.

Note: You can opt to leave the tour at any stopping point if you would like to explore on your own. Shuttles between the ship and the Place de la Concorde will be available in the afternoon.

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Paris Walking Tour of the Latin Quarter

As a true Parisian would, take the Métro to 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...

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Paris Walking Tour of the Latin Quarter

As a true Parisian would, take the Métro to 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. End with a view of the famous Notre Dame cathedral. Fun 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.

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Day 15

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
  • 14 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 14 dinners
  • 2 Captain's Welcome and 2 Captain's Farewell Receptions
  • 2 Welcome and 2 Farewell Gala Dinners
  • Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, specialty coffee and tea, soft drinks and mineral water

Excursions

  • 12 days of excursions, including “Choice Is Yours” options, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
  • Guided “Let's Go,” “Do as the Locals Do” and “Village Day” 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

  • 14-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the magical S.S. Joie de Vivre and the breathtaking S.S. Bon Voyage
  • 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
  • 6 UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise Manager
  • Captivating onboard local entertainment
  • TGV train between Bordeaux and Paris
  • 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

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