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Paris & Normandy

8 Days | Paris to Paris

4.7/5  821 reviews

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$3,899

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Paris & Normandy
  • 8 days
  • 1 country
  • UNESCO

A journey steeped in wonder.

Cruise from Paris through Normandy’s countryside, uncovering its many charms: Château de La Roche-Guyon, the medieval capital of Rouen, Monet’s beloved home in Giverny and the famed Normandy beaches.

Experience a different side of Northern France’s history with a tour of the majestic palace of Versailles, once home to Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

See the best of Paris in one of three ways: via panoramic tour, a bicycle ride along the Seine, or a walk through the Latin Quarter with a local guide. There are plenty of opportunities to take part in more active experiences, such as golfing atop the cliffs of Étretat, perched on the cliff high above the sea, making playing golf here a memorable experience and visual feast.

Paris & Normandy Map
LEGEND
  • UNESCO
  • Motorcoach
  • Embark/Disembark
Note: The itineraries presented are subject to modification due to water levels, closures because of public holidays or other uncontrollable factors. Every effort will be made to operate programs as planned, but changes may still be necessary throughout the cruise. This day-to-day schedule is subject to change. Your final day-to-day schedule will be provided onboard on the first day of your cruise.
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Day 1

Paris (Embark)

Paris

Arrive at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.

Note: For Arrival, Departure and Transfer details, please visit Uniworld.com/transfers. For Port Location details, please visit Uniworld.com/ports.
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Day 2

La Roche-Guyon, Vernon, Giverny

Vernon

Today is a celebration of northern France’s natural beauty, with an excursion to a splendid château and gardens situated in an equally grand setting, plus a chance to immerse yourself in the very landscapes that inspired Impressionist master Claude Monet. In the morning, choose between a scenic hike or a visit to the hilltop Château de La Roche-Guyon, which is surrounded by beautiful gardens and offers sweeping views over the Seine. Later, explore the beautiful gardens of Monet. You'll have the opportunity to take in the French countryside on your way there with an invigorating bike ride, or opt to arrive by coach instead.

Note: Giverny will be closed during the March and November cruise departure dates.

This evening, a special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.

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Château de La Roche-Guyon

The limestone outcropping that eventually became known as Château de La Roche-Guyon began its history as a cave dwelling. It later transformed into a fortress, where medieval knights stood guard against marauding Vikings. Over the centuries it grew into a proper palace, housing a string...

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Château de La Roche-Guyon

The limestone outcropping that eventually became known as Château de La Roche-Guyon began its history as a cave dwelling. It later transformed into a fortress, where medieval knights stood guard against marauding Vikings. Over the centuries it grew into a proper palace, housing a string of lords who gave the château its name—"La Roche-Guyon" translates to "the Rock of Guy," Guy being a typical name for these noblemen. You might think, as you walk through the elegantly designed garden and beautifully paneled rooms, that the residence’s military function was in the far distant past, but Rommel made his headquarters here during WWII, precisely because the ancient fortifications and caves were so secure.

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Let's Go: Hike on the Crests Trail

The village of Château de La Roche-Guyon, which sprawls out across the hillsides of the estate that shares its name, is popularly considered one of the most beautiful in all of France. Begin your hike here today, passing along a restored 17th century garden, the Saint-Samson church, the old...

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Let's Go: Hike on the Crests Trail

The village of Château de La Roche-Guyon, which sprawls out across the hillsides of the estate that shares its name, is popularly considered one of the most beautiful in all of France. Begin your hike here today, passing along a restored 17th century garden, the Saint-Samson church, the old dungeon, and more. Please note that this hike may need to be cancelled in the event of rain.

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Monet’s Gardens at Giverny

Note: Giverny is not open year-round; this excursion will be available for April through October cruise departure dates only.

Monet often painted the little riverside town of Vernon, so you are likely to recognize scenes the master rendered in oils on your way to his home in the village of...

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Monet’s Gardens at Giverny

Note: Giverny is not open year-round; this excursion will be available for April through October cruise departure dates only.

Monet often painted the little riverside town of Vernon, so you are likely to recognize scenes the master rendered in oils on your way to his home in the village of Giverny, where he lived and worked for more than 40 years. When Monet bought the property, most of it was an orchard; he transformed it over the years into the enchanting visions immortalized in his paintings, essentially creating each work of art twice: once as a living garden and again as a painting. As you stroll through the grounds, you’ll see the famed Japanese bridge and water garden shaded by weeping willows. Monet’s house, which you will also visit, remains furnished as it was when the leader of the impressionist school lived here, complete with his precious collection of Japanese engravings.

Note: Giverny will be closed during the March and November cruise departure dates.

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Let's Go: Bike Ride from Vernon to Giverny

The country roads between Vernon and Giverny offer easy—and pretty—biking. Hop aboard your bike and pedal about three miles to the village where the artist lived for decades. You’ll pass the church and cemetery where Monet is buried and the Hotel Baudy, where his painter friends...

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Let's Go: Bike Ride from Vernon to Giverny

The country roads between Vernon and Giverny offer easy—and pretty—biking. Hop aboard your bike and pedal about three miles to the village where the artist lived for decades. You’ll pass the church and cemetery where Monet is buried and the Hotel Baudy, where his painter friends often stayed, and arrive at the artist’s home and garden for a tour.

Note: Giverny will be closed during the March and November cruise departure dates.

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Day 3

Rouen

Walk in the footsteps of greatness in Normandy’s medieval capital, a city with a historic quarter that remains amazingly intact. From the cathedral Monet painted dozens of times to the cross marking the spot where Joan of Arc was martyred, Rouen is a treasure trove for the culturally curious. The roll call of famous people who lived or died in Rouen is long and varied—Richard the Lionheart, Joan of Arc, Gustave Flaubert, and Claude Monet are among them.

Featured Excursion

Nights Out: Private Concert at the Rouen Cathedral

Tonight, walk through the streets of Rouen with your Cruise Manager to see this charming medieval city in a different light. You’ll arrive at the famous cathedral to enjoy a private concert. This is a wonderful way to appreciate the long musical heritage of the cathedral, whose choir and...

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Nights Out: Private Concert at the Rouen Cathedral

Tonight, walk through the streets of Rouen with your Cruise Manager to see this charming medieval city in a different light. You’ll arrive at the famous cathedral to enjoy a private concert. This is a wonderful way to appreciate the long musical heritage of the cathedral, whose choir and grand organ date back several hundred years. As you take in the sounds of traditional European music, look around to appreciate the mix of Gothic, Renaissance, and other architectural styles that comprise this building.

Please note: we advise that you layer, as there is no heating in this historic cathedral.

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Rouen Walking Tour, the Dukes of Normandy’s Capital

Victor Hugo called Rouen the city with a hundred bell towers. Easily the most famous of those towers is the one rising above Notre Dame Cathedral, which briefly made it the tallest building in the world. Begun some 800 years ago, the cathedral acquired a multitude of spires and styles as it was...

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Rouen Walking Tour, the Dukes of Normandy’s Capital

Victor Hugo called Rouen the city with a hundred bell towers. Easily the most famous of those towers is the one rising above Notre Dame Cathedral, which briefly made it the tallest building in the world. Begun some 800 years ago, the cathedral acquired a multitude of spires and styles as it was expanded and renovated in different eras. Stand on the opposite side of the square, under the apartment Monet used as a studio, for a view of the cathedral as the impressionist master saw it. On this tour, you'll also explore the cobblestone alleyways and half-timbered houses of the Old Town, Saint-Maclou (a spectacular late-Flamboyant Gothic church), and the adjacent Aître Saint-Maclou, once a cemetery for plague victims and now a garden. And of course, your guide will make sure to point out the bronze cross marking the most famous death in the city—the place where the English burned Joan of Arc at the stake.

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Camembert Cheese Farm

Cheese is a product integral to French heritage and culture, with hundreds of beloved varieties distinct to the regions and towns they hail from. Amongst the most famous is Camembert, an AOC-designated product from an eponymous town in the Normandy region. Visit a sustainably-minded, family farm...

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Camembert Cheese Farm

Cheese is a product integral to French heritage and culture, with hundreds of beloved varieties distinct to the regions and towns they hail from. Amongst the most famous is Camembert, an AOC-designated product from an eponymous town in the Normandy region. Visit a sustainably-minded, family farm today to see how it's made and taste a variety of their delicious Camemberts. To wash it down, sip on another classic product from Normandy, apple cider.

This MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience supports Global Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production.

Our MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experiences support sustainable tourism, offering our guests opportunities to directly impact the communities we explore in a positive way.

mtm-logo

MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experiences Our MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experiences support sustainable tourism, offering our guests opportunities to directly impact the communities we explore in a positive way.

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Day 4

Caudebec-en-Caux (Honfleur or Étretat)

Caudebec-en-Caux, a lovely little town on the right bank of the Seine Estuary, is your base for one of two very different excursions. You could drive through the beautiful Calvados countryside to Honfleur, a delightful seaside harbor and city of painters, or head to the windy cliffs of Étretat for a game of golf.

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Honfleur Walking Tour

Transfer to Honfleur, where our walking tour of the fishing village begins at the former smugglers’ harbor of Vieux Bassin—the most frequently painted scene in Honfleur—which looks much as it did a century ago, though now the boats in the harbor are more likely to be pleasure...

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Honfleur Walking Tour

Transfer to Honfleur, where our walking tour of the fishing village begins at the former smugglers’ harbor of Vieux Bassin—the most frequently painted scene in Honfleur—which looks much as it did a century ago, though now the boats in the harbor are more likely to be pleasure craft than fishing vessels. Your local guide will take you down tiny lanes, where houses stand shoulder to shoulder in a jumble of styles: narrow 19th-century slate-roofed townhouses, 15th-century fishermen’s cottages, and tall and elegant mansions— many adorned with figures of chimeras or saints. You’ll also see St. Catherine’s Church, built in the 15th century by shipwrights who gave it an oak ceiling that looks like the hull of a boat.

Note: shuttles to and from the ship will be offered in the afternoon for guests who would like additional time in town after their tour.

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Let's Go: Golfing in Étretat

It would be hard to find a more spectacular location than Étretat’s clifftop course, which is ranked as one of the best in France. Originally laid out in 1908 and substantially redesigned in the 1990s, it offers a multitude of challenges: Two nine-hole loops take players right to the...

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Let's Go: Golfing in Étretat

It would be hard to find a more spectacular location than Étretat’s clifftop course, which is ranked as one of the best in France. Originally laid out in 1908 and substantially redesigned in the 1990s, it offers a multitude of challenges: Two nine-hole loops take players right to the cliff’s edge, the wind can be a serious challenge in and of itself, and the 10th through 14th holes offer formidable tests of a golfer’s skill. Spend the morning on the course, lunch on your own in charming Étretat and explore the seaside village that so many artists, including Monet, rendered in paint, or return to the ship for lunch and a leisurely afternoon onboard.

Note: Golf excursion is open to a limited number of golfers. Club entrance and use of golf clubs are provided for usage during your excursion.

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Day 5

Rouen (Normandy Beaches)

There are moments when we travel that move us on an otherworldly level—experiences that stir a profound emotional connection. The Normandy beaches certainly have that effect. On your full-day outing, you’ll visit Normandy’s beaches, with a choice to venture to either the American, British and Commonwealth, or Canadian beaches. After, you’ll partake in a private ceremony at the Omaha Beach Memorial—a sentimental remembrance of Operation Overlord.

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Normandy Beaches: Highlights of American Sites

Travel back in time to June 6, 1944, when the Allied forces launched their D-Day invasion of Normandy. You'll visit historic beaches and get an up-close view of the Airborne museum. Later stop at the American Cemetery followed by a special memorial ceremony at the Omaha beach.

Note: Lunch on own if ...

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Normandy Beaches: Highlights of American Sites

Travel back in time to June 6, 1944, when the Allied forces launched their D-Day invasion of Normandy. You'll visit historic beaches and get an up-close view of the Airborne museum. Later stop at the American Cemetery followed by a special memorial ceremony at the Omaha beach.

Note: Lunch on own if participating in this excursion.

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Normandy Beaches: Highlights of British & Commonwealth Sites

Immerse yourself in the tactics, desperate courage, and horrendous human cost of the 1944 Allied invasion of France, the first step in the ultimately victorious land campaign against the Nazis. It began here, on these Norman beaches, each of which was assigned a code name by the Allies as they...

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Normandy Beaches: Highlights of British & Commonwealth Sites

Immerse yourself in the tactics, desperate courage, and horrendous human cost of the 1944 Allied invasion of France, the first step in the ultimately victorious land campaign against the Nazis. It began here, on these Norman beaches, each of which was assigned a code name by the Allies as they planned their attack. At Arromanches—code-named Gold Beach—you can view the remnants of one of the two Mulberry harbors deployed in the D-Day invasion. These were artificial harbors constructed to ease and speed the process of unloading Allied troops, vehicles, and equipment onto the Normandy beaches.

Note: Lunch on own if participating in this excursion.

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Normandy Beaches: Highlights of Canadian Sites

When the Allies prepared to invade Normandy, they assigned a six-mile stretch of beach to the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division under the command of Major-General Rodney Keller. The Canadians trained for their assault in Scotland and were generally regarded as the best-prepared of any of the invading...

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Normandy Beaches: Highlights of Canadian Sites

When the Allies prepared to invade Normandy, they assigned a six-mile stretch of beach to the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division under the command of Major-General Rodney Keller. The Canadians trained for their assault in Scotland and were generally regarded as the best-prepared of any of the invading forces. Unfortunately, preliminary bombing had failed to eliminate German battlements, so Canadian troops encountered stiff resistance, and several companies suffered heavy casualties. Walk the shoreline where so many died, and visit Juno Beach Center, dedicated to the Canadian war effort. One million Canadians served during WWII, and 14,000 participated in the landing. Exhibits describe both life at home during the war and the service of—and sacrifices made by—the men who fought.

Note: Lunch on own if participating in this excursion.

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Day 6

Mantes-la-Jolie (Versailles)

How did France’s rulers live over the centuries? Step into the private rooms of the Palace of Versailles, the lavish palace built by the Sun King, to find out.

A special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.

Featured Excursion

Versailles Palace Secret Apartments

It was the official residence of the country’s kings and queens from 1682 until the revolution, and though the monarchy possessed other palaces, Versailles stood alone in magnificence. Tour the royal apartments, which still look much as they did when Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette fled in...

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Versailles Palace Secret Apartments

It was the official residence of the country’s kings and queens from 1682 until the revolution, and though the monarchy possessed other palaces, Versailles stood alone in magnificence. Tour the royal apartments, which still look much as they did when Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette fled in 1789. In these rooms, you’ll find lush silk draperies, exquisite marquetry tables, gilded beds, Aubusson carpets, and porcelain ornaments that reveal the elegance of the 18th-century royalty’s lifestyle, as well as the extravagance that helped fuel the rage leading to the revolution. Climb the great staircase and enter the jaw-dropping Hall of Mirrors, where the absolute ruler of France held court for the ambassadors of Siam, Persia, and the Ottoman Empire, along with all the great seigneurs of France. Ladies intrigued behind their fans, plots were hatched, and careers were made and destroyed beneath the sparkling chandeliers here.

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Day 7

Paris

Whether you’re a first-time visitor to the “City of Light” or you’ve been here many times before, there’s something for everyone today in Paris. Enjoy a panoramic overview of the city, join a local expert for a walk through two much-loved neighborhoods, or pedal your way along the Left Bank, a fresh and fun way to take in the sights.

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Let's Go: Seine Riverbanks Bike Ride

The Seine’s quays may be protected by UNESCO for their cultural importance and significance in the development of Paris, but they are also the scene of a host of fun outdoor activities: games for kids and grown-ups, a climbing wall, a running track, yoga classes, even a beach in...

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Let's Go: Seine Riverbanks Bike Ride

The Seine’s quays may be protected by UNESCO for their cultural importance and significance in the development of Paris, but they are also the scene of a host of fun outdoor activities: games for kids and grown-ups, a climbing wall, a running track, yoga classes, even a beach in August—and an inviting bike path. Join a guide to pedal along the Left Bank, crossing the bridges that link historic Île de la Cité and Île Saint-Louis and getting a close look at the heart of the city’s origins. Bike to the Esplanade des Invalides (Napoleon’s tomb is one of the monuments here) and along the Quai d’Orsay to the Champs de Mars, one of Paris’s largest green spaces . . . which just happens to have one of the best views of the Eiffel Tower in the city. It’s a fun way to take part in the life of the city while also getting some exercise.

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Paris City Tour

If you are experiencing Paris for the first time, this tour will introduce you to the City of Light’s most cherished landmarks. You’ll drive along the Seine, passing the most stunning single-arch bridge in Paris. Pont Alexandre III displays elegantly sculpted nymphs, winged horses, and...

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Paris City Tour

If you are experiencing Paris for the first time, this tour will introduce you to the City of Light’s most cherished landmarks. You’ll drive along the Seine, passing the most stunning single-arch bridge in Paris. Pont Alexandre III displays elegantly sculpted nymphs, winged horses, and graceful art nouveau lamps. As you continue along riverbanks, you’ll be sure to spot the largest glass ceilings in France, which shelter the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais. From the Arc de Triomphe, commissioned by Napoleon to celebrate his Grand Army’s 128 victories, you'll drive down the Champs-Élysées to the Place de la Concorde. These broad 19th-century avenues and stately buildings were created by Baron Haussmann in a great urban development that eliminated the cramped, crazy-quilt medieval city and gave Paris its modern form. You’ll pass the magnificent Opéra Garnier, the Place Vendôme (home to designer salons), the legendary Louvre and, on the Left Bank, the Sorbonne University and the Panthéon. Stretch your legs at the Luxembourg Gardens, then take in the École Militaire before arriving at the manicured grounds of the Champs de Mars, the perfect vantage point from which to see Paris’s most iconic structure—the Eiffel Tower.

Note: You can opt to leave the tour at any stopping point if you would like to explore on your own. Shuttles between the ship and the Place de la Concorde will be available in the afternoon.

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Paris Walking Tour of the Latin Quarter

As a true Parisian would, take the Métro to the Latin Quarter. Wander through the narrow streets where for centuries artists, writers, philosophers, and the Sorbonne’s students have lived and worked, argued politics, painted, sipped absinthe, and lived the bohemian lifestyle for which...

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Paris Walking Tour of the Latin Quarter

As a true Parisian would, take the Métro to the Latin Quarter. Wander through the narrow streets where for centuries artists, writers, philosophers, and the Sorbonne’s students have lived and worked, argued politics, painted, sipped absinthe, and lived the bohemian lifestyle for which the district is famous. Matisse, Picasso, Rimbaud, and Sartre, as well as American expatriate writers Hemingway and Fitzgerald, are just a few of the notables who made this district home. End with a view of the famous Notre Dame cathedral. Fun fact, Notre Dame is officially the center of France; facing its main entrance is Kilometer Zero, the location from which distances in France (including those of the French national highways) are traditionally measured.

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Day 8

Paris (Disembark)

Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Charles de Gaulle Airport for your flight home.

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What's Included

S.S. Joie de Vivre restaurant

Dining

  • All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
  • 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Captain's Welcome and Farewell Receptions
  • Welcome and Farewell Gala Dinners
  • Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, specialty coffee and tea, soft drinks, and mineral water

Excursions

  • 6 days of excursions, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
  • Guided “Let's Go” programs
  • State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio-headset system on all excursions
  • Use of bicycles and Nordic walking sticks
S.S. Joie de Vivre: Grand Suite

Accommodations

  • 7-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the alluring S.S. Joie de Vivre
  • Lavishly appointed riverview staterooms and suites have handcrafted Savoir® Beds of England, high thread count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, and a menu of pillow options
  • Free Wi-Fi

Experiences

  • 1 country: France
  • 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise Manager
  • Group Transfers are included on arrival and departure days (please see terms and conditions for transfer guidelines)
  • Gratuities for onboard personnel (ship staff, crew, Cruise/Tour Manager) are included during the cruise/tour
  • Cultural enrichment, including captivating onboard local entertainment

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Paris & Normandy

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