Your journey into wonder begins in Paris. Relax and raise your glass to the days ahead at this evening’s welcome reception.
Today you have the thrilling choice of either spending time exploring France’s most celebrated city, or a discovery beyond the city limits.Freechoice: Walk the city with a resident expert and hear tales that only the locals know, or Shop with a Chef where you will visit one of Paris’s local food markets, and enjoy exquisite tastings. Alternatively, you may wish to explore beyond Paris and tour the 17th century estate of Vaux-le-Vicomte, Louis XIV’s inspiration for Versailles Palace. Featured in the James Bond movie Moonraker, the Château Vaux-le-Vicomte has been leaving visitors in awe of its magnificence for centuries.With remarkable attractions at every turn, you’ll have a chance to explore Paris at leisure this afternoon and create your own unique memories.
Enjoy the opulent amenities of your floating hotel as she glides her way peacefully through the Île-de-France region to Les Andelys.Freechoice: Hike to King Richard the Lionheart’s Château Gaillard, or journey to Lyons la Forêt, one of the most beautiful villages of France, and visit Fleury-la-Forêt Castle. Sample cider, the region’s specialty, after touring this exquisite example of 17th century architecture. Alternatively join your local guide for a walking tour of Les Andelys, the quaint village set on the banks of the Seine River.
This morning experience what the Somme battlefields might have been like for those caught up in this terrible World War I battle, which claimed the lives of more than 150,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers. This excursion commemorates the 101 years since, and includes a visit to the Australian National Memorial and the Franco-Australian Museum. After lunch back on board the Scenic Gem, enjoy a walking tour of Rouen that takes in the famous sites of Joan of Arc and the historic Rouen Cathedral.
Today your exploration of the Somme region continues, starting with a visit to Le Hamel and the Peronne Museum before lunch in a local restaurant. This afternoon visit the Newfoundland memorial, here you will get to walk through a number of preserved trench lines used by soldiers during World War 1 and Lochangar crater and witness the sheer scale of the destruction caused by war.
Rouen > Honfleur
Freechoice: Take the opportunity to explore Honfleur, with its quaint architecture, its relaxed coastal atmosphere and the many colourful fishing boats bobbing up and down on its waters. Alternatively, immerse yourself in the beautiful la Cote Fleurie region on France’s northern beaches, and discover dashing Deauville, playground of the rich and famous.SundownersThe estate of Manoir d’Appreval exclusively welcomes Scenic guests for a unique cocktail event showcasing their prestigious apple spirits in a setting you’ll remember fondly for many years to come. Celebrate your visit to the picturesque Calvados region with a beverage of the same name, and let your eyes drink in the surrounding beauty, from the many flowering apple trees to the blue waters of the English Channel in the distance.Later, back on board, kick up your heels on the dance-floor as a fabulous local swing band performs the best of the 1920s in the Panorama Lounge. What a wonderful day.
Freechoice: Walk the historic Normandy beaches, the site of the D-Day landings, before visiting the Landing Museum at Arromanches. You’ll be struck by the sombre ambience surrounding the 9,387 graves of the Normandy Cemetery and whilst there, take a moment to reflect on the momentous impact of that day, as you look out from your hilltop position above Omaha Beach. Alternatively, with steep limestone cliffs that plunge dramatically towards the emerald waters of the English Channel below, the beauty of the Alabaster Coast will leave you breathless. Sitting proudly atop this dramatic seascape is the town of Etretat, where you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a guided tour and time at leisure.
Freechoice: Visit Fecamp and its mighty palace. Situated in spectacular surrounds the city’s natural setting contrasts perfectly with its architectural centrepiece, the Benedictine Palace. Alternatively, travel to the hilltop village of Bolbec and view fabrics at the fascinating Textile Museum before visiting the Normand Traditions Museum nearby. For the more adventurous, join a guided cycling tour to the charming village of Villequier and visit the Victor Hugo Museum.
In a region rich in visual treasures, enjoy a morning of relaxation and take in the incredible scenery as you cruise into Vernon. It’s easy to understand why this region of France inspired beautiful paintings by many of history’s most famous artists.Freechoice: Visit Giverny and Monet’s former residence and gardens. If you’re feeling more adventurous you can explore by bike, with a self-guided cycling tour that starts at Vernon. You can also discover Vernon with Scenic Tailormade at your own pace.EnrichBuilt into a steep rock face, overlooking the mighty Seine River and the small village bearing the same name, Château de La Roche Guyon is a sight to behold. Experience the opulence and grandeur of yesteryear as you enjoy a live classical concert performed by the region’s most reputable musicians. The Château dates back to medieval times and is so special that you’ll be sure to have fond memories of the experience for a very long time.
This morning we cruise to the charming medieval town of Conflans, with its distinctive barge houses docked within easy reach of the quaint main square.Freechoice: Discover the charms of Auvers-sur-Oise and get to see Vincent van Gogh’s room, or step inside the magnificent Chantilly Castle for a guided tour of this remarkable château, set amidst beautiful parklands.After a leisurely afternoon of cruising, the evening will see us returning to Paris, the ‘city of light’, and you’ll have the chance to view the beautiful illuminated skyline, and the soaring Eiffel Tower. Make sure you have your cameras ready.
Your trip concludes this morning after breakfast. You’ll disembark and transfer to Paris Airport. Make sure you remember to pack up all those wonderful memories before you leave.