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The Oise Valley


Enjoy our exclusive new cruise itinerary through an incontestably captivating region of France, the Oise Valley.

7 days Sold out

2023 Tour code: CLR23

About the tour

The Oise River meanders through the wooded countryside it has carved meticulously throughout history. This cruise includes a multitude of historic sites and guarantees an in-depth look into our colorful culture. Discover the 17th century Chateau de Malmaison. Experience the works of pre- and post-Impressionists at the Pissaro Museum in Pontoise. In Auvers-sur-Oise, follow the footsteps of Van Gogh to the Musée de l'Absinthe and learn about the café atmosphere influencing the artists at the time. Further along, the Château de Chantilly gives you a good idea of what the French consider their art de vivre. To wrap it all up, pay your respects to those who sacrificed their lives over a hundred years ago at the Armistice Memorial in Compiègne. Of course, our cruise will be filled with French cuisine delights, including a masterclass on making crème chantilly by a member of the Confrérie des Chevaliers Fouetteurs.


What’s included


Day 1 – Paris

We board the Eurostar service to Paris and transfer to the MS Raymonde. We'll introduce our crew at a welcome cocktail before dinner on board. This evening, we'll enjoy a cruise through Paris at night.

  • Dinner
Day 2 – Paris - Bougival

We'll spend the morning cruising to Bougival. In the afternoon, join us for an included excursion: Guided tour of the Château de Malmaison.

Built in the 17th century, Joséphine de Beauharnais acquired this castle in 1779. In 1800, it became the headquarters of the government and a conference room. The library restores the industrious atmosphere by which Bonaparte enjoyed to be surrounded. The council room is shaped like a military tent where receptions, dances and country-style games took place. The musical lounge offers Josephine's "troubadour" paintings and her well known harp for visitors to admire. Here, many paintings from these times are on display. After her divorce in 1809, Joséphine continued to live in her house, where she died in 1814. The Napoleonic museum was inaugurated in 1906; it is furnished, decorated and adorned with the paintings that Joséphine bought and loved. The charm and authenticity that have been preserved in this castle will certainly delight you. We'll return on board the ship, which will remain in port overnight.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 – Bougival - Pontoise

We'll spend the morning cruising to Pontoise. This afternoon, join us for an included excursion: Pontoise and the Pissarro Museum. Learn about Pontoise's monuments and celebrities as you stroll along its picturesque streets at your own pace. The city's superb cathedral dates as far back as the 12th century and includes a Flamboyant-style tower and central portal, as well as Renaissance additions added a few centuries later.

Afterwards, we'll visit the Pissaro Museum, containing works not only by the museum's namesake, but also by his sons (Lucien, Ludovic-Rodo, Georges, and Félix) and contemporaries such as Paul Signac, Ludovic Piette, Federico Zandomeneghi, Edouard Béliard, and Louis Hayet. The collection is rounded out by canvases from pre- and post Impressionists who worked in the Oise Valley, most notably Charles-François Daubigny, Luis Jimenez, and Octave Linet. We'll finish up our excursion with a taste of goat cheese and honey at the Tourist Information Office. We'll return on board the ship. We'll remain in port overnight. Enjoy a free evening.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 – Pontoise - Auvers-Sur-Oise - Saint-Leu-D’esserent

Included excursion: Auvers-sur-Oise and the Musée de l'Absinthe. We'll head towards Auvers-sur-Oise. Stretching almost four miles (seven kilometers) of the Oise River bank, Auvers-sur-Oise was Vincent Van Gogh's last home and final resting place. We'll stroll through the picturesque village streets and along the Artists' Pathway, where works by famous Impressionists compare the current landscapes and architecture.

Our next stop will be the Musée de l'Absinthe and its reproduction of the ambiance found in cafés during the Belle Époque, when the "green fairy" was the preferred drink of poets and artists. The museum collection gives us great insight into 19th-century culture in France. We'll finish up our tour with a demonstration of the absinthe ritual and a tasting, of course. We'll return to the ship in Auvers-sur-Oise for lunch. We'll then spend the afternoon cruising to Saint-Leu-d'Esserent.

Calling all dessert lovers! If you would like to learn how to prepare France's legendary crème chantilly, a member of the Confrérie des Chevaliers Fouetteurs will join us on board this afternoon to talk about this traditional culinary delight. Learn how to whip up delicious, authentic whipped cream by hand!

After dinner, take some time on your own to explore Saint-Leu-d'Esserent. The more adventurous can head to the impressive abbatial church to catch some great views of the surrounding valley. We'll remain in port overnight.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 – Saint-Leu-D’esserent - Pont-Sainte-Maxence - Compiegne

Included excursion: Château de Chantilly. We'll set off for Chantilly, home to one of the most beautiful castles in France. The château is the work of an exceptional figure, Henri d'Orléans, Duke of Aumale, son of the last French king, Louis-Phillipe. The duke is considered to have owned one of the finest art collections of his time, making Chantilly a showcase for his many masterpieces and priceless manuscripts. The castle has remained at a virtual standstill since the Duke of Aumale bequeathed it to the Institut de France, so take advantage of this moment to jump back in time and relish this princely domain. We'll visit the art galleries, where paintings have hung undisturbed since the 19th century; the large, opulent suites once used as reception rooms; and the reading room, one of the most extensive libraries in the country. We'll return to Pont-Sainte-Maxence for lunch. Our ship will cruise to Compiègne in the afternoon. We'll remain in port overnight. Enjoy a free evening.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 – Compiegne - Pont-L’évêque

Included excursion: Compiègne and the Armistice Memorial. Set off on a guided tour of historic Compiègne. On the picturesque streets of this significant city, you'll see the lovely 16th-century town hall with its intricately sculptured late-Gothic facade containing several historical figures, such as Louis XII on his horse. The town hall tower holds one of the oldest municipal bells in France, dating back to 1303. Further along the route, we'll come across some lovely medieval homes. The oldest, La Vieille Cassine, was built in the 15th century. We'll enjoy a tasting of regional delicacies before we continue on to the Armistice Memorial. Part of the museum's collection includes the emblematic train car used in the signing of the 1918 Armistice, later vindictively recommissioned by Hitler for the 1940 surrender of France during World War II; a Marne Taxi requisitioned by the French government to transport troops during its namesake battle; and 800 stereoscopic images from the time of World War I. The memorial is dedicated to all soldiers who have fought since 1870, including Augustin Trébuchon-the last French soldier killed on the front during World War I. After our excursion, we'll return on board for lunch. Our ship will cruise to Pont-l'Évêque, arriving mid-afternoon.

Included excursion: Noyon and its Cathedral. Discover Noyon and its 2,000 years of history during this exclusive tour. Two thousand years of heritage and funky street art dot this eclectic city's streets. A festival of lights and colors awaits you within the Notre Dame Cathedral, the first example of Gothic architecture in northern France during the second half of the 12th century. We'll return on board the ship. Tonight is our festive gala evening.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 – Pont-L’évêque - Paris

Enjoy breakfast on board this morning before disembarking, then transfer to Paris for Eurostar service to London.

  • 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.


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