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Gardens of the Loire Valley and Seine Cruise

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You are viewing the 2024 itinerary. Select your departure year
20242025
10 days From £3,195 per person
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Tour & Cruise

Discover the châteaux of the Loire Valley and the gems along the Seine

2024 Tour code: SIR24

About the tour

Explore some of the best-loved châteaux of the verdant Loire Valley, and the manor house where Leonardo da Vinci lived, then cruise the Seine, discovering the gems of Paris, Rouen and Honfleur.

Unforgettable Experiences

Château de Chenonceau
Château de Chenonceau
Visit two exceptional castles, the Château de Chenonceau and the Château de Chaumont.
Paris
Paris
Discover the celebrated monuments, museums, and architecture of Paris on a guided tour.
Giverny
Giverny
Visit Monet’s village of Giverny and enjoy an onboard talk; 'A Definition of Impressionis
Rouen
Rouen
Explore the medieval city of Rouen on a guided tour.
Route des Abbayes
Route des Abbayes
Tour the historic Route des Abbayes.
Honfleur
Honfleur
Visit the charming port town of Honfleur, which influenced Monet.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - London to Blois

We meet at St Pancras then leave for Paris on the Eurostar. Next we change for the rail service to Blois, a fabulous medieval town on the banks of the River Loire, perfectly situated for exploring the castles of the Loire Valley. We check in to our hotel for three nights.

Please Note - For departure 09/05/2024 you will stay at the Hampton by Hilton Tours Centre in Tours.

For departures 15/09/2024 and 27/09/2024 you will stay at the Hilton Garden Inn Tours Centre in Tours.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 - Château de Chenonceau and Clos Lucé

Today begins with an excursion to the iconic Château de Chenonceau. The Château elegantly spans the River Cher and is a fine example of Gothic and Renaissance architecture. After exploring the château and its picturesque fountain gardens, we travel by coach to the town of Amboise, former home of Leonardo da Vinci, who died here in 1519. We visit his former manor house, Clos Lucé, which is filled with some of his fascinating inventions. You are free to explore this delightful manor house and walk in the footsteps of the master himself, who was so in-spired by his scenic surroundings.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 3 - Château de Chaumont

From our hotel in Blois, we make our way by coach to nearby Château de Chaumont. First constructed in 1000 AD, the original castle was razed to the ground by Louis XI and rebuilt in the 15th century with the turrets and gateways we see today. Set on the banks of the Loire River, the grounds were transformed into an ornamental garden with extensive landscaping and rustic features in the late 1800s. On arrival, we enjoy a guided tour of the gardens, followed by free time to look around.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 - Return to Paris and the MS Renoir

Following breakfast we check out of our hotel in Blois and transfer to the station for the rail journey to Paris. We then join our cruise ship, the MS Renoir, and are welcomed aboard with drinks, followed by the first 3-course dinner of our cruise.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Paris

This morning, we enjoy a guided tour of the splendid French capital. We see many of the major attractions such as Place de la République, the Grand Boulevards, Opera House, Place de la Madeleine, Place Vendôme, and the Louvre. After lunch on board there's free time to sightsee independently. This evening we cruise along the Seine, seeing the thrilling landmarks of Paris all lit up along the way (weather permitting).

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 - Giverny or Versailles

We start the day cruising to Poissy, and are treated to an expert talk on board - 'A Definition of Impressionism' before we transfer to Giverny. Now synonymous with Monet, the town of Giverny almost missed out on getting its name on the map. It was during a train journey in 1883 when the artist saw the area and decided this was where he wanted to live and work. With its instantly recognisable lily ponds, the gardens are the image of how they were when Monet first painted them, almost like stepping into one of his artworks, and the house still has the atmosphere of a creative retreat. Alternatively, you may prefer to visit the opulent Palace of Versailles today. We rejoin our cruise ship and tonight there's a traditional French 'guinguette' evening onboard.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 - Rouen

Today we arrive in fascinating Rouen, former capital of Normandy, and take a guided tour which follows the footsteps of the Impressionists. This medieval city is home to the Museum of Fine Arts and a vast collection of Impressionist works. We visit the gallery and also take in Rouen Cathedral which was a favourite subject for Claude Monet. His series of over 30 paintings show the building at different times of day. After an insightful few hours, we return to our ship for tonight's dinner.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8 - The Route des Abbayes

We make our way to Caudebec-en-Caux today, sailing through a landscape of steep cliffs and timeless villages, fleeting views of which influenced the Impressionist style itself. On arrival in Caudebec we embark on an excursion along the Route des Abbayes, exploring the abbeys that line the route of the river by coach. Stretching between Rouen and Mont-Saint-Michel, this historic trail has seen religious orders being built here from the 5th century onwards, and at one point there were up to 120 sites of worship. Later we continue upriver to Honfleur, where we moor for the night.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9 - Tour Honfleur or discover the beaches of WWII

The charming port town of Honfleur, on the southern bank of the Seine Estuary, is in the Calvados region of France known for its apple brandy. Today you have a choice of excursions. You could visit the historic port and marina - the 'Vieux Bassin' - on a tour of Honfleur. The town influenced the work of many artists, including Monet, Courbet and Boudin, who set up the École de Honfleur, an artists' colony and melting pot for the whole Impressionist movement. Otherwise you might prefer to join our excursion to the nearby beaches of Gold and Juno, two of five D-Day landing sites. There's some free time this afternoon, then tonight we celebrate the end of our cruise at the Captain's special Gala dinner.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10 - Return to London by rail

After breakfast we transfer by coach to Paris this morning. From here we catch the return Eurostar service back to London.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotel

Hotel Mercure Blois Centre, Blois

Hotel Mercure Blois Centre, Blois

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Train

Eurostar

Ship

MS Renoir

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Cruise in Europe 2024

Cruise in Europe 2024

A fantastic collection of our exclusive river cruise holidays to some magnificent European locations in 2024.

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