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 Ile-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 Ile-de-France and Normandy.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

brochure iconbrochure

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

See All Journeys Dispatches ››

Overview

Paris Pre-Tour Extension  3 Days, 2 Nights

Experience Parisian opulence at the newly refurbished Hilton Paris Opera hotel. Situated in the bustling Opéra district of the city, this classic landmark hotel is close to Paris’ famous Galleries Lafayette and Au Printemps, iconic points of interest like the Opera Garnier and the Louvre. The hotel offers stylish rooms and suites and superb dining options as well as first-class amenities including complimentary Wi-Fi. It’s the perfect hotel for your exciting stay in the French capital.

Day 1 & Day 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. This evening enjoy a welcome reception at the hotel. (R)

Hilton Paris Opera

Day 3 - Paris

After breakfast, depart the hotel for a panoramic tour of Paris. View some of the city’s most iconic historic and cultural highlights. You’ll then depart the motorcoach for a walking tour of the Marais district. Your expert guide will take you through the heart of this intimate artistic and cultural mecca. Marais means “marsh,” but the neighborhood is much more elegant than its name suggests. After a leisurely lunch, linger longer and explore more of Paris on your own. (B)

Hilton Paris Opera

Day 4 - Paris

Enjoy a leisurely morning and time free of planned activities with lunch independently. Then transfer to MS Renoir docked on the River Seine. Join the main Smithsonian Journeys program this afternoon. (B)

Hilton Paris Opera

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. (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.

Stroll the Left Bank and the famed 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, visit the Musee de l’Orangerie the famous showcase for Claude Monet’s stunning Water Lilies and other remarkable Impressionist paintings. Return to the ship for dinner. This evening gather on deck and marvel at the beautifully illuminated landmarks and bridges of Paris. (B,L,D)

Day 4 – Paris

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.

The afternoon is free of planned activities for you to explore on your own. This evening, join fellow travelers for a lively discussion in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner. (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 Water Lilies, viewed earlier in Paris. 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, with 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 exhibits 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

After the ship’s arrival at Honfleur, travel to Caen where you’ll explore the Memorial Peace Museum. The museum provides an important prelude to your visit to the Normandy Beaches and is the largest and most important museum dedicated to WWII.

After lunch at the museum, continue to Omaha Beach, Pointe du Hoc and the American Military Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer. The cemetery covers 172 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.

Return to the ship at Honfleur in the late afternoon. Join fellow travelers in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner this evening for an informal conversation about the day’s discoveries. (B,L,D)

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)