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Why You Should Take a French River Cruise

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Why You Should Take a French River Cruise
I’m so excited for my first trip to Normandy and the chance to sample its bounty, delights like Camembert, apple brandy, and fresh oysters. I’ll be exploring the region on a special Seine River cruise aboard Uniworld’s 128-passenger Joie de Vivre. It features exclusive activities such a lesson in the art of French cheesemaking; tastings at a calvados distillery; and a gourmet lunch at Michelin-starred La Ferme Saint-Simeon. Of course, I’m also excited to experience Normandy’s historic sites, from the D-Day beaches to scenic countryside that inspired the Impressionists. Click through this slideshow to appreciate how picture-perfect this cruise itinerary really is. To learn more about how to experience this for yourself, contact Judy Perl, AFAR Travel Advisory Council member, at 1-844-390-1799 or afarcruise@judyperltravel.com.
By Greg Sullivan, AFAR Founder
Marie-Eve Vallieres
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    Monet’s Giverny
    You’ve seen them on calendars and museum walls. Now admire Claude Monet’s water lilies and gardens in person at Giverny, where the Impressionist lived and painted for 40 years. You can opt to bike or take a short bus ride here from the nearby port town of Vernon, which also inspired Monet. Check cruise availability.
    Marie-Eve Vallieres
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    La Ferme Saint-Simeon
    One of the exclusive treats of this August Uniworld sailing is a locavore meal at the Michelin-starred restaurant of La Ferme Saint-Simeon, a 17th-century Norman farmhouse with traditional half-timbered walls. Check cruise availability.
    Hotel La Ferme Saint-Simeon
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    Spend a day eating your way through Rouen’s signature items like Camembert cheese and white cider—and walking it off on a tour including Notre Dame Cathedral and the site where Joan of Arc was burned at the state. Check cruise availability.
    Sara Tucker
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    See how the French royals lived by touring the palace of your choice, either Château de Malmaison—once home to Napoleon’s first empress, Josephine—or Versailles, made infamous by Marie Antoinette. Of the 700 rooms at Versailles, the most dazzling is the Hall of Mirrors. Check cruise availability.
    Jorge Garcia
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    Historic Beaches of Normandy
    The American Cemetery’s marble crosses overlook Omaha Beach, one of the Normandy settings where decisive World War II battles took place. You’ll gather here for a special remembrance ceremony after visiting your choice of either the American or Canadian landing beaches. Check cruise availability.
    Sara Tucker
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    The Joie de Vivre will transport you along the Seine and through the Calvados countryside to the riverside city of Honfleur. Its Old Harbor charms with restaurants and shops while the Musée Eugène Boudin houses Impressionist works. Check cruise availability.
    Sara Tucker
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    Luxembourg Gardens
    Your river cruise begins and ends in Paris, giving you time to explore iconic attractions like the Luxembourg Gardens, lose yourself in the bohemian Montmartre quarter, or take a guided bike ride along the Seine. Check cruise availability.
    Sara Tucker