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The Seine, Paris & Normandy

Riviera Travel MS Jane Austen
Date 24th Oct 24
Nights 7 Nights
1
Paris, France
Fly or join the Eurostar for your journey and board MS Jane Austen for your 7-night cruise
2
Les Andelys, France
During the night our ship slips her mooring and, as you enjoy breakfast, the landscape passes by serenely and you quickly get used to this luxurious sightseeing experience. Rounding a sweeping bend so typical of the Seine, we reach the town of Mantes-la-Jolie with its imposing church – so large and architecturally impressive it could be a cathedral – while straight ahead is a medieval stone bridge. The central section of the bridge was destroyed during the Second World War and never repaired – it’s the first of many poignant reminders that this region of France has been a battleground for centuries. Beyond Mantes we encounter another typical feature of the Seine as it flows seaward – picturesque chalk cliffs, almost resembling a giant’s teeth. Beautiful villages like La Roche Guyon slide by, surrounded by bocage countryside of lush pastures and high hedgerows, countless cider orchards, half-timbered barns and ancient wooden farmhouses. We’re truly in the heart of one of France’s historic and stunningly attractive dukedoms – Normandy. While you’re enjoying your first delicious lunch, the captain has skilfully berthed at Les Andelys, a small town dominated by one of the most spectacular sights along the entire valley – Château Gaillard. This afternoon we discover the story behind this remarkable castle, with entrance fee included. The remarkable Château Gaillard guards the apex of the river bend and was built by Richard the Lionheart in the 12th-century to defend Rouen from the French. Besieged many times during the turbulent history of northern France, Château Gaillard is now one of the most dramatic ruins in the region. Should you wish, why not arrange to visit the wheelhouse, the Captain is always delighted to explain to those interested how the highly sophisticated navigation and safety systems operate.
3
Rouen, France
We awake in Rouen, Normandy’s capital, one of Europe’s finest medieval cities and scene of many momentous events over the centuries. Pride of place on our guided tour of the city belongs to its stunning Gothic cathedral, which was immortalised by the great Impressionist Claude Monet in a series of 28 paintings showing the facade at varying times of day and in different weather conditions. Briefly becoming the world’s tallest building when the soaring spire was added in the 19th century, the cathedral is also notable for the recumbent statue reputedly containing the heart of Richard the Lionheart. Rouen’s beautifully tangled alleyways are a revelation, lined with antique shops, tasteful boutiques and, of course, countless restaurants serving exceptional local cuisine emphasising the country’s outstanding gastronomic heritage. The Place du Vieux-Marché is one of the city’s most poignant spots; a large cross marks the point where the ‘Maid of Orléans’ Joan of Arc was burned at the stake for her beliefs. During another superb lunch we cast off to navigate through yet more twists and turns, chalk cliffs and a landscape of forest-covered hills that are designated as areas of outstanding natural beauty and sanctuaries for diverse wildlife, including deer and wild boar. Another highlight of the valley soon greets us – the ethereal ruins of Jumièges Abbey. Founded in the 7th century, it was consecrated in the presence of William the Conqueror and was an important political and religious centre until it was sacked in the 16th century. In the late afternoon we moor in the pretty town of Caudebec-en-Caux, so after dinner why not take a stroll to explore this lovely spot, with its typical market square, richly decorated church and the Maison des Templiers, one of the oldest houses in Normandy.
4
Bayeux & Arromanches, France
After breakfast you’ll be ready for a full-day tour exploring two of the most important aspects of European history – the Bayeux Tapestry and the D-Day landings. (Please note lunch is not provided today.) Bayeux itself is a delightful town with a historic core that escaped the ravages of war, so you can marvel at its many splendid buildings including the grand Gothic cathedral. But, of course, Bayeux is most famous as the home of the tapestry telling the story of the Norman invasion of Britain in 1066 in glorious detail. Among its 75 scenes are the coronation of Harold following the death of Edward the Confessor and his subsequent demise at the Battle of Hastings, which led to William of Normandy invading England and becoming king. The 230-foot-long tapestry is made up of nine panels of extremely delicate embroidery – gazing at its wonderful depictions of the battle and the period’s architecture, weapons and everyday life, you’ll appreciate why the Bayeux Tapestry is arguably the finest relic of the Middle Ages. This afternoon we drive to Arromanches, where you will have free time for lunch. Then enjoy a visit to a museum dedicated to the ‘longest day’ where you can still see remnants of the two Mulberry harbours constructed for the landing craft. Leaving Arromanche, we continue to the British Normandy Memorial – unveiled in 2021, the 77th anniversary of the D-Day landings. From here you have best point of view to Gold Beach, one of the five main landing sites on D-Day, when Allied forces surged into Normandy to begin the liberation of occupied Europe. Casting your eyes across the sand to the water’s edge, it’s sobering to consider that on 6 June 1944 around 25,000 British troops came ashore on this one beach with 400 killed by the defenders. We will then drive back to the ship moored in Caudebec. After a day recalling such momentous events and the stories surrounding them, thoughts turn again to the culinary delights awaiting you in the refined comfort of the ship’s restaurant.
5
Honfleur, France
Honfleur is often regarded as the most picturesque spot on the northern French coast, and after breakfast we make the short journey to this delightful town and enjoy a guided tour. Its old harbour, sheltering both fishing boats and luxurious pleasure craft, is beautifully preserved and surrounded by a perfect waterfront of pastel-coloured 16th- to 18th-century houses, many converted to seafood restaurants. Watch the talented artists capturing the captivating views along the waterfront, while the intricate maze of streets behind is also well worth discovering. The eaves of the tall half-timbered buildings almost touch, and on the streets below is an abundance of traditional shops selling antiques, books and fine foods. Honfleur’s most famous son is Eugene Boudin, one of the forerunners of Impressionism and a friend of Claude Monet, who also painted the harbour many times. After returning to the ship for lunch, we slip our mooring and begin our passage back upstream, retracing the river’s winding course, its huge variety of wildlife, enchanting scenery and forests, all reflected in differing colours in the sparkling waters. Villages slip by, birds glide on thermals rising from the surrounding cliffs and, as this ever-changing kaleidoscope slips by, it’s an ideal opportunity to join new friends for a chat. Squeeze in a spot of reading on the Sun Deck or simply recline, letting the gentle breezes lull you into a relaxing doze. By this stage of your cruise you’ll be totally unwound and modern life will seem very distant.
6
Giverny & Vernon, France
One of the great delights of river cruising is the magical sensation of waking up in a different place from where you were the night before. This morning the ship has moored in delightful Vernon, and we take the short drive to Giverny to visit Monet’s garden and house. The artist himself called his garden his ‘most beautiful masterpiece’, and it’s certainly one of the world’s most photographed and painted, ideally viewed in the delicate morning light. In the Japanese-inspired water garden, shaded by great weeping willows and surrounded by bamboo, rhododendrons and azaleas, is the lily pond where he painted his extraordinary Les Nymphéas (Water Lilies) series. There’s ample time to wander here, absorbing the tranquil atmosphere while marvelling at the light bouncing off foliage of every hue and the magical reflections dancing off the water. After another leisurely lunch on board, you can explore Vernon’s quaint buildings before embarking on our cruise to Paris. As the sun sets on the shimmering Seine and the Norman countryside recedes into dusk, it’s a perfect time to reflect on your few days cruising among the creamy chalk cliffs and charming villages of this splendid river.
7
Paris, France
We have arrived in Paris and this morning we take a sightseeing tour of this amazing capital, one of the world’s most iconic cities. The Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Champs Élysées, Sacré-Coeur – you’ll see all these and much more. The grand Place de la Concorde, the largest square in the city, shows off 18th-century French architecture at its best, and just over the Seine on the Left Bank you’ll find the Musée d’Orsay, home of the world’s finest Impressionist art collection. Then there’s the eccentrically modern and yet stylish Pompidou Centre, famous not only for its exhibits but also for street entertainment. Notre-Dame Cathedral and the delicate spire of the sublime Saint-Chapelle dominate the Ile de la Cité, while the exquisite Tuileries Gardens are perfect for a stroll. After lunch on board you could visit fine shops such as the Galeries Lafayette or those in the smart arcaded Rue de Rivoli, or perhaps wander around the café-lined streets of bohemian Montmartre. Paris is everything you imagine it to be – romantic, inspiring, vibrant – even outrageous – but best of all Paris is unique, and a fitting finale to a wonderful cruise. This evening is the Captain’s Dinner, hosted of course by the Captain himself. Featuring specialities of the regions through which we have travelled, it’s a truly memorable experience.
8
Paris, France
Disembark the cruise ship and transfer to the airport or the Eurostar for your return flight home.
Hays Extras
Hays Extras
  • 7 nights on board in your choice of luxury cabin or suite 
  • Upgrade to a deluxe or superior suite, or an upper deck cabin and benefit from the luxury of RIVIERAPLUS 
  • All meals on board (except one lunch), including welcome cocktails and the Captain’s Dinner 
  • Complimentary on-board tea and coffee 
  • Complimentary on-board Wi-Fi (connection speeds may vary)Return scheduled flights from a selection of regional airports or Eurostar seat from London St Pancras International with regional rail connections available* 
  • Five-star service from an English-speaking crew and knowledgeable local guides 
  • Services of a Riviera Travel Cruise Director and Concierge 
  • *A supplement may apply. 
  • 8 Included Experiences 
  • 4 guided tours of picturesque Honfleur, Rouen, Paris and to the Bayeux Tapestry and the D-Day Normandy Beaches 
  • 4 visits including Les Andelys, charming Caudebec-en-Caux, Claude Monet’s house and garden, and quaint Vernon





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Background
MS Jane Austen
Overview
How can one adequately sum up the wonderfully elegant five-star MS Jane Austen? Launched in 2015 and built to the most exacting standards, how can we describe this extraordinary vessel that’s truly one of the finest ships of its type afloat anywhere in the world? Quite simply, every single aspect and element is designed to the highest possible specification and our own exacting standards to bring you the very best and most enjoyable river cruising experience, in the most luxurious comfort. We have worked tirelessly with our Swiss partner Scylla AG, one of the world’s most experienced luxury rivership builders with a pedigree stretching back over nearly 40 years, to design the perfect vessel, with virtually no expense spared. You’ll feel the unmistakable understated opulence of this extraordinary vessel as you board through the spacious, marble-floored lobby. Stylish furnishings using environmentally friendly materials are beautifully combined with the most advanced safety systems… and the work of a wonderful designer’s eye conjuring up the classic lines and sophistication of a luxurious ocean liner. As always, the finesse is in the detail - beautifully crafted tropical hardwoods, wrought iron, highly polished copper and brass, all beautifully illuminated then added to soft leather furnishings and imaginative colour schemes, promotes a subtle, chic ambience of exceptional taste. Intuitive, unobtrusive service is graceful, efficient yet friendly as you might expect from a Swiss operated ship with 35 staff serving just 140 guests. This outstanding ratio of 4:1 allows a personal touch which makes such a difference to your cruise. Plus unlike other vessels typically carrying up to 200 passengers, you’ll enjoy simply far more space – as well as a smaller, more intimate dining experience.
MS Jane Austen
MS Jane Austen - Main Restaurant MS Jane Austen - Main Restaurant
Food & Drink

The restaurant is on the Diamond Deck serving early bird breakfast, light lunch and dinner (to be reserved on board subject to availability)

Main Restaurant - on the Ruby Deck serving buffet breakfast, buffet lunch and dinner

Entertainment

The Sun Deck is the hub for entertainment onboard. The forward viewing area is perfect for watching the historic riverside villages, steep vine-clad valley sides and other scenic wonders glide serenely by. It’s well equipped with plenty of comfortable outdoor chairs and sun-loungers, deck games including shuffleboard and giant chess, a small splash pool where you can cool off, and a full bar service. Sometimes barbecues are held here too, weather dependent of course – a great way to meet new people over a glass of wine.

MS Jane Austen - Wellness Area MS Jane Austen - Wellness Area
Health & Fitness

Wellness area with sauna and steam room

Kids & Teens

Please note: MS Jane Austen does not provide facilities to accommodate Kids/Teens.

Terms & Conditions
Advertised offers are based on 2 adults sharing the lowest category stateroom/cabin/suite unless otherwise stated. Family offer(s) child ages are based 11 years or younger. Single supplements may apply. Offers are subject to availability and can change without any prior notice and may go up or down in price. Cruise Line campaign(s) and saving messages are strictly controlled by the Cruise Line(s) and are subject to change or be withdrawn without notice. Flight inclusive packages are based on the cheapest UK departure airport so please ask for further details. Advertised hotels are suggested however are changeable at a possible additional cost. All prices and port itineraries are correct at the time of print but are subject to change by the Cruise Line(s) without prior notice. Hays Travel reserves the right to correct any errors or omissions in this brochure. Full board to all-inclusive inclusions vary by the Cruise Line(s) and restrictions may apply. Some onboard facilities and experiences may incur a charge. Select destinations may require travel authorisation for visa-exempt travellers to be completed prior to travelling. Hays Travel LTD excepts no responsibility or compensation for any incomplete forms or declined entries from the respective country or countries that the individual(s) are visiting. Additional T&Cs: Viking - *Prices advertised already includes the early booking discount of £1,000 per person discount. Promotion can be withdrawn without prior notice. Saga - ^Complimentary return UK travel service includes a return chauffeur service from your home to your international airport, return chauffeur service to your local airport for an included domestic flight to your main departure airport, return chauffeur service to your UK departure point (such as a Eurostar or ferry terminal) or complimentary parking at the airport if you’d prefer to drive yourself. Included economy class domestic flights are subject to availability in our designated booking class. Saga return UK travel service is available to anyone in mainland England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Wight and Channel Islands. Service is not currently available to those in the Scottish islands, Isle of Man, Sark or the Isles of Scilly. For more information, please ask your local agent for details. ^^Saga includes a fully comprehensive travel insurance and additional cancellation rights with all river cruises. Inclusive insurance is subject to pre-screening and additional costs may apply. Insurance with Saga is completely optional and can be removed should you already be covered. Further terms and conditions may apply. Please ask for details.
The Seine, Paris & Normandy
MS Jane Austen
24th Oct 24
7 Nights
£1,614
From PP
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