Once again we join CroisiEurope aboard the MS Botticelli for a delightful seven day cruise from Paris to Honfleur. We travel in comfort along the Seine through beautiful Normandy countryside, visiting picturesque villages along the way. Enjoy full board while on the Botticelli with house wine, beer, spirits and soft drinks included throughout the cruise.*
Day 1 After an early morning pick up by taxi we meet our coach and travel to Dover for the short sea crossing to Calais. From here we travel down through France and into Paris where we board the MS Botticelli late afternoon. After settling into our cabins there will be an introduction to the crew in the lounge and a welcome cocktail before this evening’s dinner. This evening we see the city illuminated as we enjoy a cruise through Paris by night (depending on water level).
Day 2 Relax and spend the morning cruising south to Melun. This afternoon you could join an optional excursion to the Palace in Fontainebleau. This magnificent Renaissance-style chateau was the residence of 34 kings and 2 emperors over eight centuries. The chateau is the most furnished in the country and the gardens are a magnificent mixture of French and English styles. Dinner is followed by entertainment.
Day 3 This morning we cruise back to Paris and after lunch we enjoy an included coach tour of Paris taking in the Place de la Concorde, Notre Dame, Champs-Elysees, Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower. We reboard in time for dinner and our ship begins the cruise toward Mantes la Jolie.
Day 4 An optional excursion this morning to Giverny, where Claude Monet made his home and his art for 43 years. In the garden surrounding the house, Monet created studies of volume, perspective and colour with his flower beds, and his work here made his name as the father of French Impressionism. Visit his studio and the magical water garden. The afternoon is spent cruising through a landscape of broad limestone cliffs to Rouen.
Day 5 Rouen, the former capital of Normandy, is a delight to visit with an impressive cathedral, quaint historic neighbourhoods, a wealth of shops and cafés and the site of the last days of Joan of Arc. Explore at leisure or join an optional walking tour. After lunch we travel by coach to explore the Abbey Trail – the church at Caudebec en Caux, which dates from the 15th Century, to Jumièges to see the ruin of one of the most beautiful abbeys in France, and the Church of St Peter, a wonderful example of 10th-century Norman architecture. We return on board for a Gala Dinner and departure toward Honfleur.
Day 6 This morning we reach Honfleur and the morning is free to explore this picturesque fishing town. Stroll along the narrow streets lined with quaint houses, sip coffee in the many cafés, or visit the Church of St Catherine, the largest wooden church in France. Alternatively, join an optional walking tour. After lunch on board we take the coach along the Cote Fleuri to visit Trouville, where you can explore the pretty harbour sides. Return on board for our final evening’s dinner.
Day 7 We disembark after breakfast and make our way to Calais for the short sea crossing to Dover. We return to the local area and our taxis in the evening.
Our ship is a member of the wonderful CroisiEurope fleet. The 75 cabins all have private facilities with showers, and are equipped with TV, safe, hairdryer and air-conditioning. There is a delightful panoramic lounge with a dance floor and a bar, a comfortable restaurant (set menu), a gift shop and a sundeck. There is no lift, and main deck cabins are accessed down stairs.