Parisian Royal Holiday
8 days with Uniworld Boutique River Cruises Rating:
Day 1 – Paris (embark)
Arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, where you will be transferred to the ship.
Day 2 – La Roche Guyon, Vernon
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Château La Roche Guyon OR exclusive guided “Go Active” Château La Roche Guyon fortress tower climb and Château de Bizy concert
Château La Roche Guyon, located in one of the most beautiful villages of France, has stood against the chalk cliff since the Middle Ages. While here, you’ll listen to the many stories from the Middle Ages as you enjoy a wine tasting. If you prefer a more active adventure at the château, climb the 276 steps up to the fortress, where you’ll see the beautiful village built on the gently rolling Seine curve. You’ll then travel to Château de Bizy, once home to the duke of Penthièvre. Discover its many charms both inside and out, including the park with sculpted fountains. While here, be treated to a concert. End your day at the festive Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner.
Day 3 – Rouen
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Rouen walking discovery tour, Christmas Market, cathedral choir recital and “Julia Childs” tea time at La Couronne
One of France’s best-preserved medieval cities, Rouen is an ideal setting for an old world Christmas Market. On your walking tour, you’ll see the historic quarter and the bronze cross marking the spot where Joan of Arc was martyred. Delve into the festivities of the city’s Marché de Noël, sipping warm cider as you shop for handmade toys and crafts. Be sure to step inside Notre Dame Cathedral to see the crèche and listen to a choral performance. You can also discover some traditional and delicious Norman treats at La Couronne, the restaurant where Julia Child had her first French meal, which was the meal that changed her life.
Day 4 – Mantes la Jolie (Versailles)
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Exclusive “Secret Versailles” palace tour
Enter the famous Hall of Mirrors and you’ll immediately see why Versailles set the standard for over-the-top opulence. Spend the day exploring the decadent world of Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI with a specialist. From the Grands Appartements to the Queen’s Bedchamber, this once-in-a-lifetime exclusive tour behind the palace’s secret doors is one you’ll never forget.
Note: A Holiday Gala Dinner will be served on this day on December 6 and 13 departures. The December 20 departure will feature a Christmas Dinner, while the December 27 departure will feature a New Year’s Dinner.
Day 5 – Paris
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” walking tour of the Île de la Cité and Latin Quarter
Experience Paris as a true Parisian. Take the Métro to the Île de la Cité, the historic center of Paris, and the great cathedral of Notre Dame. An expert in the history and architecture of this magnificent cathedral is your guide as you explore both inside and out. After you’ve admired Notre Dame’s stained glass, flying buttresses and idiosyncratic gargoyles, cross the Archbishop’s Bridge to the Left Bank and the Latin Quarter, seeing the famous Sorbonne University, the Pantheon and Luxembourg Garden. Throughout the day, you can also take the shuttle from the ship to the Champs-Élysées Christmas markets.
Day 6 – Paris
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Exclusive reception at Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte and Paris “Illuminations” tour
The 17th-century Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte is a combination of three exceptional features: magnificent architecture, luxurious decorations and a breathtaking garden. You’ll have a rare opportunity to enter the lavishly decorated palace for a private cocktail reception hosted by the owner. Afterwards, join a special “Illuminations” tour to discover why Paris has earned the nickname “The City of Light,” and how it sparkles even more at Christmastime.
Day 7 – Paris
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of walking discovery tour to the Paris Opera and Boulevard Haussmann OR exclusive guided “Go Active” Left Bank bicycle ride
Take a step back in time to admire the decadence of the late 1800s at the stunning Palais Garnier Opéra House, inspiration for the play Phantom of the Opera. This 19th-century opera house is one of the most opulent buildings in Paris and one of the most recognized opera houses in the world. Commissioned by Napoleon III, it was created in the popular Beaux Arts style of the time with heavy glass chandeliers, sweeping marble staircases and gilt decorations, and today it is home to the famous Paris Ballet. After visiting it, you’ll do as the Parisians do and make your way to two of the city’s most celebrated department stores on the Boulevard Haussmann. Christmas shopping is one of the many true pleasures of a Parisian Christmas, which is primarily due to the fabulous festive ambience that the city creates with decorations and illuminations. Each year, for the past 50 years, these world-famous department stores, Le Printemps and Galeries Lafayette, vie with each other to create the most amazing Christmas window displays with 3-D animation and festive store interior decorations. Should you wish to explore a different side of the city, hop on a bicycle and peddle to the Left Bank. Cap your festive day off at the Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner.
Day 8 – Paris (disembark), transfer to the airport
Disembark the ship and transfer to Charles de Gaulle Airport for your flight home.
All This Included
A celebration of French festivities and royalty.
Northern France and its “City of Light” sparkle even more during the holidays. The grand Christmas tree at Notre Dame, enchanting animated window displays on Boulevard Haussmann and the gloriously lit trees lining the Champs-Élysées infuse the city with magic. Combine the festivities of the holidays in Paris and surrounding towns with the world of royalty, and you’ll be treated to a once-in-a-lifetime festive royal journey.
The world of French royalty will unfold before your eyes with four exclusive châteaux visits. Château La Roche Guyon perched above the Seine is a fascinating place. Here you’ll discover 10 centuries of French history through your renowned hosts while enjoying a wine tasting. Hidden behind trees that are several hundred years old lies Château de Bizy, nicknamed the “Versailles of Normandy.” Walk through the torch-lit gardens and past breathtaking sculptured gardens to the main reception room, where you’ll attend a private chamber music concert.
While at Château de Versailles, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most beautiful achievements of 18th-century French art, you’ll be taken on a private guided tour of the Hall of Mirrors, Queen and King’s chambers and Marie Antoinette’s Le Petit Trianon. And in Paris, you’ll be treated to a rare experience with a private cocktail reception hosted by the owners of the luxurious 17th-century Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte. You’ll also get a “Taste of Christmas” in the medieval city of Rouen and indulge in delicious holiday treats at La Couronne, the restaurant made famous by Julia Child. And for those sailing over New Year’s, ring in 2018 against the stunning backdrop of the twinkling Parisian skyline.
Cruising: Cabin onboard S.S. Joie de Vivre
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.