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Take a Journey Down a River of Dreams

The Seine isn’t the largest river in Europe, or even France, but it may be the most renowned – and for good reason. This splendid waterway cuts through the heart of Paris, before winding its way along some of the most celebrated sites in northern France. There are few superlatives that do justice to beautiful Paris, as you’ll have ample opportunity to discover. Beyond Paris, you can look

forward to a serene cruise to Honfleur, by the open waters of the English Channel, pausing at the most beautiful landmarks along the way. Les Andelys, Rouen, Caudebec-en-Caux – all the key points in this itinerary are steeped in history and brimming with charm. However, we’ve saved some highlights – evocative Vernon and medieval Conflans – for the return trip to Paris.

Here is a map of our route with some highlights. See below for an overview of the itinerary.

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Overview of Itinerary

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Day 1 | July 1
Paris
Our journey begins in the city of lights, Paris. Upon arrival, settle in on the luxurious Scenic Gem, enjoy some free time, relax and rest up before we move on to a private dinner at Alain Ducasse’s bustling, contemporary brasserie, Champeaux.


Day 2 | July 2
Paris
After our first Globe Insider breakfast, choose between uncommon opportunities tailored to specific interests; a shopping tour within the world’s fashion capital, marvel at the history of the city’s streets with a local expert, or visit Château Vaux-le-Vicomte to see firsthand Louis XIV’s inspiration for his palace at Versailles. The afternoon is free to spend as you wish, relaxing on board or continuing your exploration of the City of Light. The leisurely hours lead into an exclusive evening, as we have privatized Alléno at Le Pavillon LeDoyen. The storied, three-star restaurant from Yannik Alléno is ranked as one of the World’s 50 Best, and the neo-classical mansion is well-situated in gardens overlooking the Champs-Élysées.


Day 3 | July 2
Les Andelys
On our first sailing day, take in our second Globe Insider Breakfast then experience the exceptional comfort the Scenic Gem has on offer. Once we have made our way through Île-de-France we will dock in Les Andelys. Options abound for the day. Hike to Richard the Lionheart’s Château Gaillard, or travel to the verdant Lyons La Fôret and tour Château Fleury-la-Fôret, a majestic flint and brick mansion from the 17th century, including a tasting of the region’s famed cider. Alternatively, walk with a local guide through Les Andelys, the quaint village perched on the banks of the Seine. The program caps off with the first Globe Forum, led by one of our esteemed journalists.


Day 4 | July 4
Rouen
Once again we begin our day with a Globe Insider Breakfast, and then the morning is again packed with unforgettable experiences. In Rouen, discover the story of Joan of Arc and the historic Rouen Cathedral; traverse Medieval laneways and winding alleys to uncover the city’s finest antiques; or, take a pastry making class at an atelier de patisserie with Globe Food columnist and food writer,Tara O’Brady. The Globe and Mail Book Club will gather to discuss a work related to the First World War. For dinner, we follow the footsteps of Julia Child with dinner at La Couronne, the oldest auberge in France and the setting for Child’s first dinner on her honeymoon, 70 years ago.


Day 5 | July 5
Rouen
With Rouen as our base, we have an early start and a full-day excursion in honour of Canadian sacrifices and triumphs of World War I. Join Globe Columnist Roy MacGregor, as our tour host, as we pay our respects at the national memorial at Vimy Ridge, the Newfoundland Memorial and Hill 70 — the often-forgotten, Canadian-led diversionary attack mounted by some 100,000 of our soldiers. Alternatively, attend a French cooking class with Tara O’Brady at Rouen’s Institut National de la Boulangerie Pâtisserie.


Day 6 | July 6
Rouen & Honfleur
As we sail towards the open water of the English Channel, the passing landscapes provide backdrop to a Globe Insider Breakfast. Later, choose between an architecture tour of quaint Honfleur, with its laid-back coastal atmosphere, multicoloured boats and buildings, and the specific quality of light so inspiring to Impressionist painters. Or instead, be beguiled by the charms of Deauville, the glittering seaside holiday destination and the home of upscale boutiques, an iconic beach and boardwalk, and its own film festival. The evening is another exceptional one; starting at the bucolic Manoir d’Appreval and a reception featuring their superlative Calvados, the renowned cider brandy of Normandy. From there, choose between three hand-picked Deauville venues for dinner — Le 1912, Maximin Hellio, and L’Essentiel.


Day 7 | July 7
Honfleur
Globe Ottawa Bureau Chief, Robert Fife, hosts our tour where the day focuses on the significant sites of the Second World War. Some may choose a pilgrimage to beaches of Normandy, the site of history’s largest seaborne invasion on D-Day, June 6, 1944. You’ll step onto the sand and rocks of both Juno and Arromanches, with the remnants of the floating Mulberry Harbour, an Allied Forces’ engineering marvel at the latter. Experience an immersive 360-degree film featuring previously-unseen footage from the effort to liberate western Europe. With the undeniable impact of those 100 days, pay solemn tribute at the Normandy Cemetery. Others might be called by the dramatic and wild cliffs of Étretat. The sheer verticality of the Alabaster Coast is astounding in its scale, the luminous chalk faces made all the more stunning by the emerald waters of the English Channel. Marvel at the two natural stone arches—Falaise Aval and Aiguille—and the 77-metre limestone needle. A local will be your guide, with ample free time, and a chance to scale the cliffs on foot for those athletically-minded. Or enjoy a cooking class focusing on Normand cuisine with Cruise culinary host, Tara O’Brady. Back on board, end the day with an evening Globe Forum.


Day 8 | July 8
Honfleur & Caudebec-en-Caux
Once the daily Globe Insider Breakfast has finished, choose between three unique outings. Tracing back to the Dark Ages, Fécamp is rich in religious significance , as a centre of the fishing industry, and home to the herbal liqueur known as Benedictine. At the extravagant Palais Benedictine, both a museum and distillery for the drink, savour samples of your choosing, including a blend only available on-site. Or, travel to the Bolbec, a hilltop village with a fascinating Textile museum, before visiting the nearby Museum of Norman Traditions and Arts at Château de Martainville. The adventurous might be inclined to join the guided cycling tour to the birthplace of Victor Hugo, Villequier. There, tour the museum in his honour. This evening, The Globe and Mail is proud to welcome Chef David Goerne on board; the chef-owner of the Michelin-starred Restaurant G.A. brings his talents to our table with a bespoke dinner.


Day 9 | July 9
Vernon
Begin the day with a Globe Insider Breakfast, then appreciate the phenomenal scenery of the region as we cruise into Vernon. This morning there is the chance to stroll the gardens created by Claude Monet’s residence in Giverny, including the Japanese footbridge and water lily pond made famous by their depiction in his 12 works painted from one vantage point in 1889. Those inclined may choose to take a self-guided ride from Vernon to Giverny on one of the ship’s e-bikes. During the afternoon we host an onboard Globe Forum and as dusk falls, enjoy an evening event at a unique French castle. Built into an imposing rock face overlooking the Seine, the semi-troglodyte Château de La Roche Guyon welcomes us for a cocktail reception and private concert.


Day 10 | July 10
Conflans
The last Globe Insider Breakfast informs and entertains as we cruise to Conflans — be sure to look out for its distinctive barge homes docked within close proximity to the convivial town square. Once we dock, continue the focus on fine arts and visit Vincent Van Gogh’s room and grave in Auvers-sur-Oise. Or, choose to travel to the astounding Château de Chantilly, with its pastoral setting and the acclaimed Musée Condé, with its collection considered second only to that of the Louvre. In the afternoon set out on the last leg of our tour. The final Globe Forum in the afternoon offers another engaging conversation. Then, before dinner, we invite you to a custom champagne tasting with Veuve Cliquot. After dinner, we return to Paris. Take in the illuminated skyline and soaring Eiffel tour from the the unrivalled position of the Seine itself as we glide through the night.


Day 11 | July 11
Paris
Our wonderful journey comes to an end with a final breakfast on board the Scenic Gem and we prepare for disembarkation and transfers to Charles de Gaulle.