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  • Sacre Coeur, Paris
  • Paris, France
  • River Seine, Paris, France

Northern France: Paris to Paris

8-day River cruise

Summary

Highlights

  • The world of French royalty will unfold before your eyes with four exclusive châteaux visits
  • Enjoy a private chamber music concert at Château de Bizy, nicknamed the “Versailles of Normandy”
  • Sample a “Taste of Christmas” in the medieval city of Rouen and indulge in delicious holiday treats at La Couronne

In Brief

  • 1 Night Paris
  • 1 Night Vernon
  • 1 Night Rouen
  • 1 Night Versailles
  • 4 Nights Paris

Cruise

Recommended for:
All-inclusive | Christmas | Food & wine | History & culture | River cruise

Northern France and its “City of Light” sparkle even more during the holidays. The grand Christmas tree at Notre Dame, enchanting animated window displays on Boulevard Haussmann and the gloriously lit trees lining the Champs-Élysées infuse the city with magic. Combine the festivities of the holidays in Paris and surrounding towns with the world of royalty, and you’ll be treated to a once-in-a-lifetime festive royal journey.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
Paris

Arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, where you will be transferred to the ship.

Stay: S.S. Joie de Vivre

Meals: D

Day 2
Vernon

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Château La Roche Guyon OR exclusive guided “Go Active” Château La Roche Guyon fortress tower climb and Château de Bizy concert

Château La Roche Guyon, located in one of the most beautiful villages of France, has stood against the chalk cliff since the Middle Ages. While here, you’ll listen to the many stories from the Middle Ages as you enjoy a wine tasting. If you prefer a more active adventure at the château, climb the 276 steps up to the fortress, where you’ll see the beautiful village built on the gently rolling Seine curve. You’ll then travel to Château de Bizy, once home to the duke of Penthièvre. Discover its many charms both inside and out, including the park with sculpted fountains. While here, be treated to a concert. End your day at the festive Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner.

Stay: S.S. Joie de Vivre

Meals: B L D

Day 3
Rouen

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Rouen walking discovery tour, Christmas Market, cathedral choir recital and “Julia Childs” tea time at La Couronne

One of France’s best-preserved medieval cities, Rouen is an ideal setting for an old world Christmas Market. On your walking tour, you’ll see the historic quarter and the bronze cross marking the spot where Joan of Arc was martyred. Delve into the festivities of the city’s Marché de Noël, sipping warm cider as you shop for handmade toys and crafts. Be sure to step inside Notre Dame Cathedral to see the crèche and listen to a choral performance. You can also discover some traditional and delicious Norman treats at La Couronne, the restaurant where Julia Child had her first French meal, which was the meal that changed her life.

Stay: S.S. Joie de Vivre

Meals: B L D

Day 4
Versailles

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Exclusive “Secret Versailles” palace tour

Enter the famous Hall of Mirrors and you’ll immediately see why Versailles set the standard for over-the-top opulence. Spend the day exploring the decadent world of Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI with a specialist. From the Grands Appartements to the Queen’s Bedchamber, this once-in-a-lifetime exclusive tour behind the palace’s secret doors is one you’ll never forget. Note: A Holiday Gala Dinner will be served on this day on December 6 and 13 departures. The December 20 departure will feature a Christmas Dinner, while the December 27 departure will feature a New Year’s Dinner.

Stay: S.S. Joie de Vivre

Meals: B L D

Day 5
Paris

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” walking tour of the Île de la Cité and Latin Quarter

Experience Paris as a true Parisian. Take the Métro to the Île de la Cité, the historic centre of Paris, and the great cathedral of Notre Dame. An expert in the history and architecture of this magnificent cathedral is your guide as you explore both inside and out. 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, seeing the famous Sorbonne University, the Pantheon and Luxembourg Garden. Throughout the day, you can also take the shuttle from the ship to the Champs-Élysées Christmas markets.

Stay: S.S. Joie de Vivre

Meals: B L D

Day 6
Paris

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Exclusive reception at Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte and Paris “Illuminations” tour

The 17th-century Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte is a combination of three exceptional features: magnificent architecture, luxurious decorations and a breathtaking garden. You’ll have a rare opportunity to enter the lavishly decorated palace for a private cocktail reception hosted by the owner. Afterwards, join a special “Illuminations” tour to discover why Paris has earned the nickname “The City of Light,” and how it sparkles even more at Christmastime.

Stay: S.S. Joie de Vivre

Meals: B L D

Day 7
Paris

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of walking discovery tour to the Paris Opera and Boulevard Haussmann OR exclusive guided “Go Active” Left Bank bicycle ride

Take a step back in time to admire the decadence of the late 1800s at the stunning Palais Garnier Opéra House, inspiration for the play Phantom of the Opera. This 19th-century opera house is one of the most opulent buildings in Paris and one of the most recognized opera houses in the world. Commissioned by Napoleon III, it was created in the popular Beaux Arts style of the time with heavy glass chandeliers, sweeping marble staircases and gilt decorations, and today it is home to the famous Paris Ballet. After visiting it, you’ll do as the Parisians do and make your way to two of the city’s most celebrated department stores on the Boulevard Haussmann. Christmas shopping is one of the many true pleasures of a Parisian Christmas, which is primarily due to the fabulous festive ambience that the city creates with decorations and illuminations. Each year, for the past 50 years, these world-famous department stores, Le Printemps and Galeries Lafayette, vie with each other to create the most amazing Christmas window displays with 3-D animation and festive store interior decorations. Should you wish to explore a different side of the city, hop on a bicycle and peddle to the Left Bank. Cap your festive day off at the Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner.

Stay: S.S. Joie de Vivre

Meals: B L D

Day 8
Paris

Disembark the ship and transfer to Charles de Gaulle Airport

Meals: B

Map

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