Join us on our delightful cruise plying the River Seine from glittering Paris through the picturesque Norman countryside.  

Starting at: $4,990 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Cityscape of Paris  Entrance to the Louvre, Paris  Seine River, Paris  The Palace of Versailles  Monet's gardens at Giverny  Monet's gardens at Giverny  The famous lily pads and green bridge at Giverny used as inspiration for Monet   The famous Gros Horloge in Rouen  The cathedral in Rouen  View of Pointe du Hoc   American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer  The American Cemetery  The charming port of Honfleur

A Seine River Cruise

9 days from $4,990

Join us on our delightful cruise plying the River Seine from glittering Paris through the picturesque Norman countryside.  

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

We looked at several river cruise vendors. But when the Smithsonian Journeys catalog arrived, there was no question this was the one! Competitive pricing PLUS Smithsonian expertise, plus I just knew we would be comfortable with fellow lovers of the Smithsonian.

- Mary S.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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SPECIAL OFFER

Save $250 per person when you book by August 6, 2021!

No single supplement for solo travelers! (Limited availability. Book early to ensure your place.)

Special Air Rates & Services: As part of our special air program, FlexAir, available with this tour, you can choose from a wide variety of flight options. Visit the Tour Details tab and click on "Special Air Rates/Services" drop down. 

Overview

Honor World War II heroes at Normandy, explore the spectacular gothic cathedral at Rouen, delve into Claude Monet’s life at Giverny, explore the 6th century Abbey de Jumieges and enjoy a private tour and special luncheon at an ancient chateau in Saint-Martin-du-Bec, plus so much more. The River Seine, an important trade route from earliest times led to the historic growth of Paris as the center for French trade, politics, religion, and culture. Like travelers of old, cruise the legendary Seine and explore the significant historic and cultural highlights of the regions of Ile-de-France and Normandy. 

Highlights Include

  • Conflans-Sainte-Honorine and Versailles: See the charming town of Conflans-Sainte Honorine on a walking tour that highlights its cultural and historic points of interest. Discover the iconic Palace of Versailles. 
  • Rouen: Explore the abbeys of Jumieges and Wandrille, then visit the famed Rouen Cathedral. 
  • Normandy Coastline and Castles: Stroll cliff-top paths overlooking the English and view impressive chalk formations. Tour Chateau du Bec, a privately owned 10th-century castle, and learn more about the cuisine of Normandy during a special chef-prepared luncheon. 
  • Honfleur: Explore the charming Old Port, which dates to the 17th century and served as a favorite subject of the Impressionist painters. 
  • Caen and D-Day Beaches: Focus on modern history at the Memorial Peace Museum in Caen and visits to Omaha Beach, Pointe du Hoc, and the American Military cemetery. 
  • Giverny: Trace Monet’s passion for gardening to his artistic genius while touring his house and gardens. 
  • Paris: Return to the “City of Light” for a scenic cruise, followed by a walking tour focused on the city’s history and architecture. 
  • Small Ship Experience:  This upscale small river ship features sophisticated staterooms and public spaces, superb amenities, excellent cuisine, and an informal ambiance. See more information about the ship on the Tour Details page. Each voyage will also host other leading cultural and educational institutions, which will add to the excitement and energy of the experience. 

We looked at several river cruise vendors. But when the Smithsonian Journeys catalog arrived, there was no question this was the one! Competitive pricing PLUS Smithsonian expertise, plus I just knew we would be comfortable with fellow lovers of the Smithsonian.

- Mary S.

Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart the U.S. for Paris, France

Depart the U.S. on your transatlantic flight to Paris.

Day 2 — Paris

Upon arrival at Charles de Gaulle International Airport, you will be met by your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director. Transfer to the MS Amadeus Diamond docked along the Seine. Early arrivals in Paris will be transferred to a centrally-located Paris hotel. Refreshments and a secure area will be arranged for guests to relax, leave their hand luggage and begin exploring the city prior to transferring to the ship. This evening, gather for a welcome reception followed by dinner on board. (R,D)

Day 3 — Conflans-Sainte-Honorine / Auvers-sur-Oise / Versailles

Start each day with a full breakfast during your cruise. Depart the ship on a guided walk through the narrow streets and lanes of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine. The name of the village derives from its strategic position at the confluence of the Seine and Oise rivers. Return to the ship for lunch. This afternoon, depart by motor coach for the Palace of Versailles, a World Heritage site and principal royal residence of France from 1682 until 1789. The palace is one of the finest achievements of art and architecture in the world. A guided visit will take you through the King’s Grand Apartment, the Hall of Mirrors, more than 230 feet long, and the Queen’s Apartments. After your tour, there’s time to stroll through the formal French gardens created by André Le Notre for Louis XIV. Return to the ship later in the day and enjoy dinner and a relaxing evening onboard. (B,L,D)

Day 4 — Rouen

Begin your day with an excursion to the ancient Abbey de Jumieges, originally built in 654 when Christianity first arrived in the region. The Abbey was later destroyed by Viking invaders then rebuilt in the 11th century. Victor Hugo once described the Abbey as the most beautiful ruins in all of France. Next, explore the cloisters and ruins of the Church of Saint Peter before stopping to see the Abbey of Saint Wandrille, constructed in 649. After lunch on board, join an escorted walk of Rouen, the capital of Normandy. Stop at the landmark Gros Horloge, the city’s spectacular 14th century astronomical clock. The tour will continue with a visit of the magnificent Cathedral of Notre Dame. In the late 1890s the façade of the cathedral was frequently painted by Claude Monet becoming his famous Rouen Cathedral Series. Return to the ship and join fellow travelers in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner; an opportunity for a more informal discussion about your recent discoveries along the river. (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Normandy Coast

Depart the ship and travel to Etretat, a charming village perched high above the English Channel in Upper Normandy. View the impressive chalk cliffs and needle-like formations that rise from the sea and have inspired many well-known artists. Continue to the Chateau du Bec, a beautiful 10th century, privately owned castle where you will be personally welcomed by the owners.  After your tour of the Chateau, attend a talk about Norman culinary traditions with a local chef, then enjoy a lunch inspired by the recipe books of Claude Monet who lived nearby at Giverny. This afternoon, visit Honfleur, where the Seine meets the English Channel. This harbor town is regarded as a jewel on the Cote Fleurie. Enjoy an escorted walking tour of the 17th-century harbor area. See the Vieux Bassin, or Old Port Harbor, one of the most compelling sites in the city. Take in the attractive half-timbered houses that line the time-worn cobblestone streets. See the church of Sainte Catherine, the largest wooden church in France and built by the local ship builders. Honfleur has been an inspiration for painters during the 19th century when a dynamic group of artists gathered, and were later known as the Impressionists. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Caen / Arromanches / Omaha Beach

This morning travel by motor coach to Caen, the capital of Lower Normandy and visit the Memorial Peace Museum, a compelling preamble to the time you’ll spend visiting the D-Day Landing Beaches, later in the excursion. The museum highlights the origins of World War II, the war itself, and its aftermath, as well as the opportunities and challenges for future generations in achieving peace. Continue to Arromanches where the U.S. and the Allies established a strategic temporary harbor, a critical entry point for the heavy equipment needed in support of Allied troops. After lunch at a local restaurant, continue to Omaha Beach, the scene of fierce battles where American forces suffered nearly 10,000 casualties. Pause at the Omaha Beach War Memorial and pay homage to the fallen. Afterward, visit the U.S. Military Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer. The cemetery covers 172 acres and contains the graves of 9,386 American servicemen, most of whom gave their lives during the landings and subsequent operations of World War II. Return to the ship late in the day. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Les Andelys / Giverny / Vernon

Depart the ship in Les Andelys and travel to Giverny, to explore the home and gardens of Claude Monet. Monet lived and painted at his home and surrounding gardens for 43 years. The home contains his studio-sitting room and his exceptional collection of Japanese prints. Passionate about gardening, he applied his sense of design in creating spectacular perspectives, highlighting the house and intensifying areas of shade. Fascinated by the play of light and reflections on water, in 1893 he acquired additional land and diverted a narrow arm of the River Epte to create his spectacular water garden with its world-famous Japanese bridge, plantings of bamboo, willow, maple trees, beds of peonies and his renowned water lilies that frame the pond. After returning to the ship, begin the cruise back to Paris. Get together this evening for refreshments and dinner and enjoy lively conversation about your time at Giverny. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Paris

After an early morning arrival, you’ll marvel at the beauty of Paris’ most famous landmarks. A scenic cruise along the Seine allows you to take in many of the highlights of the city like the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Musee d’Orsay, and Notre Dame Cathedral, now under re-construction after the fire in April of 2019. Continue to Ile de la Cite, the historic center of the city, for a closer look at the great cathedral. Cross the Archbishop’s Bridge to the Left Bank and the Latin Quarter. Stroll through narrow streets where for centuries artists, writers, philosophers, and students from the Sorbonne have lived a bohemian lifestyle for which the district is famous. Return to the MS Amadeus Diamond and enjoy lunch onboard. The afternoon is at leisure to further explore the great city of Paris. Throughout the afternoon, an exclusive shuttle bus will be available from the ship to pre-determined points in the city. This evening, gather with fellow Smithsonian Journeys travelers for a farewell reception and dinner on board. (B,L,D)

Day 9 – Depart Paris for the U.S.

This morning, disembark the ship and transfer to Charles de Gaulle International Airport for your flight to the U.S.  (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)