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CHANTILLY, REIMS & PARIS – PRE CRUISE TOUR OPTION*
PARIS Arrival Date: Monday, July 16, 2018
*Note: For Pre and/or Post Land program, a minimum of 20 paying travelers is required to operate pre and/or post cruise land program(s). In the unlikely event that the number of participants for the selected pre and/or post cruise land program falls below 20 paying persons, Expanding Horizons reserves the right to amend the program and/or provide alternative arrangements.
Day 1: Monday, July 16th
Paris to Chantilly
Arrive Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (code CDG). You will be met and transferred to the village of Chantilly, renowned for its great chateau and adjacent thoroughbred racecourse. The afternoon is at leisure. Tonight, enjoy a group welcome dinner.
Overnight: Hotel Auberge du Jeu de Paume (D)
Day 2: Tuesday, July 17th
Chantilly Chateau to Reims / Pommery Tasting
This morning enjoy a tour of massive Chateau de Chantilly and its incredible art collection. The château is an icon of France’s cultural heritage, the work of Henri d’Orléans – Duke of Aumale, son of the last King of France, Louis-Philippe. Henri was one of the greatest collectors of his time, who made Chantilly the showcase for countless masterpieces and precious manuscripts. The Chateau’s Great Stables is literally a palace for horses. This afternoon, journey by coach two hours to Reims, the epicenter of Champagne production. Enjoy a tasting and cellar tour at Maison Moët et Chandon before arriving to our hotel.
Overnight: Hotel de la Paix or similar (B)
Day 3: Wednesday, July18th
Reims / Pommery
On this morning’s guided tour of Reims, visit the magnificent 13th century Notre Dame de Reims Cathedral, where the Kings of France were crowned prior to the French Revolution of 1788. This afternoon, arrive at the amazing Domaine Pommery for a cellar tour and tasting. In 1868, Madam Pommery transformed the chalk quarries here into a massive network of caves and vaults; virtually a subterranean town. In the evening, enjoy a farewell dinner.
Overnight: Hotel de la Paix or similar (B,D)
Day 4: Thursday, July 19th
Chateau Thierry Monument to Seine Docks / AmaLyra
Depart Reims late morning for Paris. En route tour the solemn and striking monument at Chateau Thierry. In May of 1918 German advances were blocked by the U.S. Third Army, a division the French call “The Rock of Marne”. Nearby Belleau Wood, is the site of an historic battle, forever in the lore of the United States Marine Corps. Arrive in Paris approximately 4pm at the Seine River dock of the M/S AmaLyra to board our Seine River cruise. (B)
Paris & Normandy River Cruise
Embarkation Date: Thursday, July 19th,2018
Day 1: Thursday, July 19th
Arrive in Paris, France - Embarkation
Arrive in Paris, one of Europe’s most romantic cities, and board your luxurious ship. Meet your fellow travelers at the Captain’s Welcome Reception followed by a Welcome Dinner. (D)
Day 2: Friday, July 20th
Spend the morning enjoying the scenery along the Seine as you cruise to the provincial town of Vernon. Upon arrival, you will have free time to explore the town at your leisure. Later, you will visit Giverny and the home and gardens of Impressionist master Claude Monet. The artist lived here for more than four decades and immortalized his ponds and flower gardens in some of his most iconic paintings. The ship moors overnight in Vernon. (B,L,D)
Day 3: Saturday, July 21st
Vernon - Caudebec-En-Caux
After a scenic morning cruise on the Seine, arrive in the old fishing village of Caudebec. You will have a choice of two different tours. The first option is to visit Honfleur, a historic and picturesque port with pastel-colored houses that was a favorite subject of artists such as Courbet, Boudin and Monet. The town’s medieval Sainte-Catherine church, with its separate bell tower, is the largest wooden church in France. As an alternative, choose the “Routes des Abbayes” excursion spotlighting Normandy’s famous abbeys, more than 100 of which once covered this region. You will visit the ruined abbey in Jumièges as well as St. Wandrille, still a working monastery. (B,L,D)
Day 4: Sunday, July 22nd
Caudebec-En-Caux - Normandy Beaches
Today, you have the choice of three different excursions. “D- Day Remembered” is a full day excursion to the US sector. Your first stop will be the village of Arromanches, where the remains of the floating harbor used during the WWII landings can be seen. You will have free time to see the museums before visiting the US Cemetery and Omaha Beach at St. Laurent-sur- Mer. Your last stop is the artillery battery at Longues-sur- Mer before returning to the ship in Caudebec. As an alternative, you can tour the Gold and Juno beaches in the British and Canadian sectors. Your first stop will be the Pegasus Monument in Ranville followed by Canadian cemetery at Beny-sur- Mer. You will also have the chance to visit the Juno Beach Centre, Canada’s WWII museum, with a final stop at Arromanches. A third option is an excursion to rural Normandy, which includes a visit to the Pays d’Auge and “Routes du Cidre” (the Cider Road). You will visit beautiful Norman towns and villages, such as Beuvron-en- Auge, Crevecoeur-en- Auge and Cambremer, and tour a Calvados distillery where you may sample apple cider and apple brandy. (B,L,D)
Day 5: Monday, July 23rd
Enjoy a morning walk through the medieval city of Rouen and see the imposing Notre Dame Cathedral, painted numerous times by Monet, and the square where Joan of Arc was martyred. Afterwards, you will have free time to explore Rouen on your own. (B,L,D)
Day 6: Tuesday, July 24th
Depart Rouen early this morning and enjoy scenic cruising on the Seine to Les Andelys. An mid-day stroll along the river offers beautiful views of the Seine Valley’s dramatic white cliffs, centuries-old half-timbered houses, and the hilltop ruins of Château Gaillard. This former stronghold of Richard the Lionheart changed hands a number of times during the Hundred Years’ War. Athletically-inclined guests may enjoy hiking up to visit the ruins of this historic castle before we continue our cruise along the Seine. The ship arrives tonight in Conflans. (B,L,D)
Day 7: Wednesday, July 25th
Today, you have a choice of two excursions. The first option is to visit Château Malmaison, former home of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and his wife Josephine. Your tour includes the Château’s interior, gardens and museum. Alternatively, travel to Auvers-sur- Oise, a town famous for the Impressionist painters who lived there in the 19th century, such as Paul Cézanne and Camille Pissarro. Your “Artists’ Walk” tour will include many sites associated with their work, including the Auberge Ravoux, former home of Vincent van Gogh. The upstairs room where Van Gogh died has been meticulously preserved. He and his brother Theo are both buried in the nearby town cemetery. The ship departs this afternoon for Paris, arriving in the evening. (B,L,D)
Day 8: Thursday, July 26th
Paris - Disembarkation
Your cruise concludes with disembarkation in Paris. (B)
A reasonable degree of mobility is required for all passengers on this program. Many of the guided tours provided on your cruise are walking tours. Guests join an expert guide walking through a village or to (and through) an attraction, like a local winery with a centuries-old wine cellar. Additionally, many historic villages in Europe are located on hilltops, where it is necessary to walk up and down hilly, cobblestone streets that may have narrow passageways. Ships docked in port are often rafted side-by-side to another river ship. Passengers are then required to ascend and descend flights of 12 or more stairs to walk up to observation deck, down to gang planks to enter or exit the rafted ships. To participate in tours and get on and off the ship, travelers must be able to walk unaccompanied.
Disabilities and Wheelchairs
Persons with a walking disability or an injury, or who require a wheelchair, must have another dedicated person traveling with them to assist/push etc. The ship’s crew and other cruise guests cannot be expected to assist persons with limited mobility. On customized pre or post cruise land programs, the Expanding Horizons tour manager is authorized to remove, or ask to leave from the tour, any traveler incapable of, unwilling to, or impeding the overall movement and progress of the tour group.