The Seine River led to the development of Paris as the center for French trade, politics, religion, and culture. Like travelers of old, cruise the legendary Seine and discover the significant historic, artistic, and cultural highlights of Île-de-France and Normandy.

Starting at: $4,390 * 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 $4,390

The Seine River led to the development of Paris as the center for French trade, politics, religion, and culture. Like travelers of old, cruise the legendary Seine and discover the significant historic, artistic, and cultural highlights of Île-de-France and Normandy.

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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Overview

FlexAir is designed to provide you with the flexibility and choice you need to personalize your air travel experience. Explore a wide range of flight options in consultation with our experienced travel professionals to select the flights, routing, class of service, and dates of travel that most fit your needs. Our partner tour operator has negotiated contracts with a wide variety of carriers that allow them to hold flight reservations and then issue your ticket close to departure without additional fees. This protects you from the need to purchase published-fare tickets, which must be ticketed within 24 hours of purchase. FlexAir reservations provide the flexibility to adjust reservations without penalty and to accommodate extensions and upgrades right up until ticketing time, usually around 45 days before departure. We look forward to providing you with more choice and the best possible itinerary for your air travel plans.

Program Includes:

  • Guaranteed transfers between the airport and your overseas accommodations upon arrival and departure (in most cases). We will provide you with all of the details you need to guarantee your transfer.
  • Air schedule change and delay assistance. Book FlexAir to ensure assistance should schedule changes or delays impact your air travel plans.
  • Flight insurance worth up to $250,000, subject to policy terms, is automatically included.
  • Confirmed airline seat assignments at the time of booking (in most cases).

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 & 2 – Depart the U.S. for Paris, France

Depart the U.S. for Paris via overnight transatlantic flights.

After a morning arrival at Charles de Gaulle International Airport, transfer to the Hilton Paris Opera where a hospitality room has been reserved. Enjoy refreshments and have time to explore Paris on your own. Your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director will be available with suggestions regarding city sights, restaurants, and independent activities.

In the afternoon, transfer to the MS Renoir docked on the Seine. This evening, join fellow travelers at a welcome reception and dinner aboard ship. The Renoir will dock overnight in Paris. (R,D)

Day 3 – Paris

A local expert joins the group for a discussion on The History of Paris. Afterward, depart the ship on a walking tour of the city's architectural highlights.

Travel to the Île de la Cité, the historic center of Paris, and the great cathedral of Notre Dame (exterior only). An expert in the history and architecture of this magnificent cathedral is your guide. Cross the Archbishop’s Bridge to the Left Bank and the Latin Quarter. Amble through the narrow streets where for centuries artists, writers, philosophers and the students of the Sorbonne have lived and worked. After lunch at a popular Parisian restaurant, the balance of the afternoon is free so you can explore on your own.

Prior to dinner, get together in the Smithsonian Travelers Corner for an informal discussion about today’s discoveries. Dinner is served on board. This evening gather on deck and marvel at the beautifully illuminated landmarks and bridges of Paris. (B,L,D)

Day 4 – Paris / La Roche Guyon / La Roche Guyon

This morning is your choice between two included excursions ashore.

Choice #1 – Palace of Versailles: Explore one of the finest French architectural achievements of the 17th century. Discover this magnificent palace with an expert guide who will take you through the Royal Apartments and the renowned Hall of Mirrors where the Treaty of Versailles was signed at the end of WWI. After visiting the Palace, there’s time to walk through the magnificent formal gardens created for Louis XIV by Andre Le Notre.

Choice #2 –Garnier Opéra House: Step into the stillness of this exceptional space commissioned by Napoleon III and built between 1861 and 1875. See the grand foyer, marble staircases, and ceiling painted by Marc Chagall, then go behind the scenes to learn how this opera house inspired The Phantom of the Opera and Edgar Degas’ paintings of dancers of the Opera’s Corps de Ballet. 

In the early afternoon, the ship will depart Paris for a leisurely sail on the Seine. Dinner will be served on board. (B,L,D)

Day 5 – Giverny and Les Andeleys

This morning, depart the ship on an excursion to Claude Monet’s home and gardens at Giverny. See the gardens that inspired Monet’s renowned painting of his famed Water Lilies. Monet’s passion for gardening led him to create flower gardens that are an expression of his artistic genius.

Return to the ship for lunch. In the afternoon tour the ruins of King Richard the Lionheart’s Chateau Gaillard, offering stunning views overlooking the town of Les Andeleys and the meandering Seine. Continue through rural villages to visit the Chateau de Martainville built in the 15th century and currently a fascinating museum that showcases a collection related to the history and traditions of Normandy. (B,L,D)

Day 6 – The Abbeys of Jumieges, Wandrille and Rouen

This morning depart the ship by motor coach for an excursion to the ancient abbeys of Jumieges and Wandrille. Jumieges was originally built during the dawn of Christianity in the region and was made famous by the author Victor Hugo who described it as the “most beautiful ruin in all of France”. While exploring, you’ll see the Cloisters and the ruins of the Church of St. Peter.

Continue on to the Abbey of St. Wandrille founded by Benedictine monks who settled the abbey in 1931 and remain in residence to this day. In mid-afternoon join a walking tour of Rouen, the capital of Normandy. Visit the magnificent Cathedral of Notre Dame and see the landmark Gros Horloge a 14th-century astronomical clock. The Cathedral was made famous by the paintings of Claude Monet. (B,L,D)

Day 7 – Caen and the D-Day Beaches

Travel to solemn Omaha Beach, the scene of a bloody battle where American forces suffered nearly 10,000 casualties. The Omaha Beach War Memorial stands as a protected historic landmark, in silent homage to the fallen. A short distance away in Colleville-sur-Mer, the American Military Cemetery is situated on a cliff overlooking Omaha Beach and the English Channel. The cemetery covers one hundred and seventy-two acres and contains the graves of 9,386 American soldiers, most of whom gave their lives during the landings and ensuing operations of World War II Continue to see the German defensive gun emplacements at Pointe du Hoc.

Travel to Caen, the capital of Lower Normandy, where we visit the Memorial Peace Museum. The museum is one of more than a dozen museums in Normandy dedicated to the war and the world’s largest World War II museum. Lunch is served at the Peace Museum. After returning to the ship, join fellow travelers in the Smithsonian Travelers Corner for an informal conversation about the day’s experiences.

Day 8 – Honfleur

Explore the charming 17th-century harbor town of Honfleur on a walking tour. Honfleur has been the inspiration for artists, poets, and composers throughout history. A group of French and foreign painters congregated here in the 19th century and were known collectively as the Impressionists. See the old port and the attractive half-timbered houses, cobblestone streets and the Church of St. Catherine, the largest wooden church in France. This evening, gather with fellow travelers for a farewell reception and dinner on board. (B,L,D)

Day 9 – Depart Honfleur for Paris and the U.S.

After an early breakfast, 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)