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A Portrait of the Impressionists' Seine

4.6 stars(8 reviews)

Explore the world of the Impressionist artists

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2020 Tour code: PIR20

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Day 1 - London and Paris

We meet at London St Pancras and board the Eurostar service to Paris. On arrival in the French capital, we transfer to our ship, MS Renoir, for six nights. After our first dinner on board, we enjoy a specialist talk introducing us to the Impressionist painters, their work and their world.

  • Dinner
Day 2 - Discovering Paris

Our day begins with a guided morning tour of Ch√Ęteau d'Auvers sur Oise. Situated in the village where Vincent Van Gogh spent his final months, we journey back in time as we wander through the ch√Ęteau, recreated to look how it would have in the time of Monet, Renoir and Degas. There are also multimedia displays of their art as well as landscaped gardens, laid out in typical Parisian style.

We continue into the French capital proper this afternoon, visiting the Marmottan Museum, boasting an art collection that features more than three hundred original works by Claude Monet, Paul Gauguin and Henri Matisse, to name but a few. After time to look around the displays, we return to the ship for an illuminated city cruise.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 - Giverny

We cruise to Poissy as we enjoy an expert talk about Claude Monet and his role as a leading light of the Impressionist movement.

Disembarking in the afternoon, we visit the Museum of Impressionism in the delightful village of Giverny. Passing through the area by train in 1883, Monet decided Giverny was the perfect place for him to live and work, and it's now home to this celebration of his, and other painter's, works, which focusses on the history of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. We re-join the boat in Mantes-la-Jolie, and tonight we celebrate with a traditional 'guinguette' evening on board, an 18th-century take on cabaret.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 - Rouen

Sailing to Rouen, the former capital of Normandy, we set out on a guided tour that follows in the footsteps of the Impressionists themselves. Our first stop is the Museum of Fine Arts, home to an extensive collection of Impressionist compositions, before we visit Rouen cathedral. Monet created over 30 paintings of this building, depicting how light could alter the way it looked at different times of the day. Back on board this evening, we set down to a special gala dinner.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 - The Route des Abbayes

Making our way to Duclair, we cruise through a landscape of steep cliffs and timeless villages, soaking up views that helped inspire the Impressionist style. The setting makes it perfect for our third and final lecture, covering the topic of the geography of Impressionism in Northern France. On arrival in Duclair we explore the Route des Abbayes by coach, admiring the abbeys that line the route of the river. Stretching between Rouen and Mont-Saint-Michel, this historic trail dates back to the 5th century. Back on MS Renoir, we set sail for Honfleur, a spot most river cruisers can't reach, where we moor for the night.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Jumieges Abbey
Day 6 - Honfleur and the Alabaster Coast

We tour the historic fishing port of Honfleur this morning. Its 'Vieux Bassin' area boasts plenty of traditional buildings, and the town is well-known for being an important Impressionist influence. Monet, Courbet and Boudin all spent time here, helping set up the Ecole de Honfleur artists' colony. After lunch, we take a guided trip along the Alabaster Coast, part of a plateau known as the Pays de Caux. These striking, sheer chalk cliffs feature in many Impressionist artworks thanks to the interplay of light and shadow reflecting from the water.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 - Paris and London

Disembarking for the final time, we're driven to Paris where we take the Eurostar back to London St Pancras.

  • Breakfast