Ah, Paris! The astoundingly beautiful City of Lights has enchanted visitors for centuries. Get outdoors and up close and personal with historic Paris during active biking, foot, and canoe tours that will take you to architectural marvels like the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and Notre Dame cathedral, and across some of the Seine’s 37 picturesque bridges in Paris alone. And that’s just the start of this incredible voyage from Avalon Waterways, headed northbound along the picturesque River Seine. You’ll wind your way along the Seine, cruising on to Normandy’s landing beaches and ending at the UNESCO World Heritage site of the city of Le Havre, at the very foot of the Seine.
All along the way, you’ll enjoy the boutique experience of only up to 150 guests aboard Avalon Waterways’ cruises, making for personalized hospitality that larger operators aren’t able to provide. Avalon’s intimate setting effectively reimagines what a cruise experience can be, with excursions customized to your interests and style. Add to that today’s top amenities and sustainability as a core value, from energy conservation and saving water to reducing, recycling, and repurposing at every turn, and you’ll feel good about your trip in more ways than one.
ItineraryPLAN YOUR TRIP
Days 1-2 Paris
Today, you’ll delight in a guided bike tour in Bois de Boulogne, the second largest public park in Paris—more than double the size of New York City’s Central Park—situated along the western edge of the 16th arrondissement, near the suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt. This former hunting ground for the Kings of France covers more than 2,000 acres, and features two man-made lakes, eight smaller ponds, thousands of trees, and mile upon mile of walking and biking paths (nine miles are devoted to bike paths alone), not to mention the racetracks of Longchamp and Auteuil.
This magnificent park has inspired writers and painters throughout history, including Proust, Flaubert, and Manet who memorialized it in his painting The Races in the Bois de Boulogne. Gourmands, take note: the park houses a three-star Michelin eatery, Le Pré Catalan, and the one-Michelin-starred Le Grande Cascade. Or a classic Parisian picnic of baguette and camembert couldn’t ask for a more picturesque setting.
Day 4 Vernon–Les Andelys
Afterward, reward yourself with an onboard crêpes and pastry demonstration, and savor the landscapes outside as you dig in. Later that afternoon, in Les Andelys, take an incredible hike to Château Gaillard. The magnificent ruins of this 12th century medieval castle built by Richard the Lionheart (who was simultaneously both King of England and feudal Duke of Normandy) on the Andelys cliff overlooks the Seine, offering sweeping views and a prime photo op of the Seine Valley.
Day 6Excursions to Normandy
Day 7 Le Havre
One of the greenest cities in all of France, Le Havre boasts 96 parks and gardens, over some 2,000 acres of land. Don’t miss the city’s Hanging Gardens, built on a 19th-century Napoleonic fort overlooking the Seine estuary, which offers panoramic views of the sea and the city’s port. After a day touring the many marvelous sites of Le Havre, stop for some fabulous French wine and toast to new friends and memories that will last a lifetime. Santé!