You are here » Home > CroisiEurope & CroisiVoyages River & Coastal Cruising > PNB - 16 day France Encompassed Combo Cruise

 
France Encompassed

PARIS - VERNON - ROUEN - DUCLAIR - HONFLEUR - MT. SAINT MICHEL - NANTES - ST. NAZAIRE - ANCENIS - ANGERS - ANCENIS - NANTES - COGNAC - BORDEAUX - BLAYE - LIBOURNE - CADILLAC - BORDEAUX

 

     

 

A chance to see three quite diverse areas of France as part of one package.  Start on your Paris to Honfleur cruise on the Seine River.  After time in Mont Saint Michael, rejoin on the Loire River travelling from Nantes.  After an excursion to Saint Nazaire rejoin in Bordeaux (South of France), cruising on  the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers.  This package truly has it all - but will never seem rushed!  Relax and enjoy the diverse scenery and history of these three areas.

 
Days: 15 Days
Code -  PNB - Combination Cruise
NOTE: 2017 CRUISES INCLUDE THE "CLASSIC" SIGHTSEEING PACKAGE
Itinerary

Day 1   PARIS
    Boarding from 6pm.  Crew presentation and welcome drink followed by dinner on board.  Depending on the water level cruise on the Seine for a magical tour of 'Paris by Night'.  You'll have views of the Eiffel Tower, the Grand Palais, the Orangerie, the Louvre Museum and Notre Dame Cathedra.  Overnight in port.
     
Day 2   PARIS - VERNON
 

Early morning cruise on the Seine, passing the futuristic quarter of La Défense with its striking combination of glass and concrete architecture to Poissy. Guided tour of the Versailles Château  The Versailles Château is closed on Mondays, so if the stop falls on a Monday, the guided tour will be at Malmaison Château, a famous world heritage monument. Return on board in Mantes-la-Jolie and cruise to Vernon. Overnight in port.

     
Day 3   VERNON - ROUEN - HONFLEUR
    Spend the morning cruising past Les Andelys and Amfreville. Arriving in Rouen, the former capital of Normandy and join a guided walking tour, discovering along the way the splendid cathedral, delightful old quarter and the historic market square where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. Cruise to Honfleur (depending on the tides). Gala evening.
     
Day 4   HONFLEUR
   

Guided tour of Honfleur, situated at the mouth of the Seine where it flows into the English Channel. Tour the old port, Church of Sainte Catherine and a visit to the salt stores (buildings from the 17th century) and Saint Leonard church. Return on board in the afternoon join a guided tour of the "Côte Fleurie" (Flowered Coast). During the second half of the 19th century, it became the hot spot for well-to-do Parisians and film stars from all over the world.
--Or--
Full day guided tour including lunch to the beaches of the Normandy landings (only as a pre-booked tour with a minimum of 30 participants.  One of the big turning points of the twentieth century occurred here in France during the landing of the Allies in Normandy.

     
Day 5   HONFLEUR - MT SAINT MICHEL - NANTES
 

Leave by coach for Mont Saint-Michel and a guided visit of the abbey. The Mont was dedicated to Saint Michael in 708 when, according to legend, Saint Aubert was visited by the Archangel himself and instructed to build the monastery. After the tour depart by coach for Nantes.  Passengers are welcome to board the ship between 6 - 7 pm. After a welcome cocktail and dinner, join a cruise on what King Francis I called the "most beautiful river in France": The Erdre.

     
Day 6
  NANTES - SAINT NAZAIRE
    After a buffet breakfast on board set off on a guided tour of Nantes. Walk along the little streets in Bouffay (the medieval quarter), through to the beautiful and flamboyant Gothic Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul. Next Feydeau Island, a former island now joined to the rest of the town, and a superb example of 18th century architecture, before heading for the quays in Nantes. Then you will have a discovery tour of the new shopping areas which began to appear in the 19th century around the Graslin Theatre and the famous "Passage Pommeraye" shopping mall. The tour then continues to the Castle of the Dukes of Brittany. The last castle along the banks of the Loire before the river reaches the ocean, this Breton monument, with its remarkable buildings from the 15th and 17th centuries, is a magical and compelling part of Nantes' history and heritage.
Return on board for lunch and then set off by coach on a tour of Saint Nazaire, a seaside shipyard town. The tour begins with a visit of Escal'Atlantic, which retraces the story of the two great liners (the Normandie and the France) in a quite ingenious way, using real film footage and actual artefacts, mixed with some special effects.  Continue on to the Saint Nazaire shipyard, one of the largest shipyards in Europe. It is recognised the world over for its shipbuilding know-how, both in the past with the construction of the great ocean liners and currently with the giant ocean-going cruise liners. Thanks to a specially arranged tour, you will be able to see the vastness of the industrial site (covering some 108 hectares), the astonishing logistics and how present day high tech ships are assembled. The tour gives you an understanding on the various stages of construction of these modern floating palaces – very impressive! (Each passenger will be asked to produce a valid passport or identity card in order to gain access to the shipyard). Rejoin the ship in Saint Nazaire for dinner, followed by an evening of music and dancing. Overnight stop.

Day 7
  SAINT NAZAIRE - ANCENIS
   
Enjoy breakfast on board while cruising to Ancenis, arriving  in the early afternoon. Set off on an excursion along the Muscadet Wine Route, passing through several villages where there is much evidence of the importance of wine production in this region. Continue the tour to La Chapelle Heulin and stop at the Chateau Cassemichère (or similar). In this exceptional location, you will have the opportunity to learn about its historic vineyard, visit the cellars and taste the lovely white wine: dry, light, fruity and floral. Next, head for Clisson, a charming medieval town where there are fine relics from the 15th century and a real flavour of Italy. Return on board for dinner and an evening of entertainment. Overnight stop.
     
Day 8
  ANCENIS - ANGERS - ANCENIS
    Today enjoy a tour of Angers.  Angers was the capital of the historic Anjou province and is distinguished not only by this legacy, but also by its modern nature.  This thriving Renaissance town, seat of the Plantagenet, invites us to visit King Rene's fortress from the 13th century where the majestic Apocalypse Tapestry is stored - one of the most important collections of medieval tapestries in the world.  Later visit La Doutre, a village-like neighbourhood in the heart of the city.  Tonight's on board entertainment will be provided by the crew.  Remain in Ancenis overnight.

   
Day 9
  ANGERS - CHATEAUX OF THE LOIRE VALLEY - ANCENIS
   
After buffet breakfast on board, the day is spent on an excursion to visit the Castles of the Loire Valley. Set off by coach and head for the castle at Azay-le-Rideau. Built on an island in the middle of the Indre, the building that you can see today was created by a wealthy financier of Francis I, Gilles de Berthelot, who wanted to reconcile innovative ideas from Italy with the French style of construction. Listed as a historic monument by UNESCO, the castle at Azay-le-Rideau has preserved, with the passing years, all the refinement, elegance and grace of an exceptional Renaissance chateau. Continue on to Villandry, for lunch. After lunch, there's time to enjoy a stroll through the famous gardens of the castle at Villandry: laid out on three levels in a happy mix of beauty, diversity and harmony. Continue on to Rigny-Ussé to visit Ussé Castle. Built in the 15th and 16th centuries, this quite magnificent castle looks just like a fairy tale castle with its fortified towers, turrets and steeples. Nowadays, the castle is still inhabited and offers the visitor a trip back in time. It is believed that the castle inspired Charles Perrault to write "Sleeping Beauty". Return on board at Ancenis. Gala dinner on board followed by an evening of music and dancing. The ship sets sail during the evening for Nantes and continues through the night. 
Day 10
  NANTES - COGNAC - BORDEAUX
   

Depart Nantes for Cognac, arriving in the morning and joining a guided tour by tourist train.  Stop at a cognac merchant's and enjoy a tasting of what Victor Hugo called the 'liquor of the Gods'.  After lunch visit the Musée des Arts du Cognac (The Art of Cognac Museum) where you will have the opportunity to discover the liquor's life through recollection of its viticulture, oenology, distillation, cooperage, commerce and glasswork - as well as its modern packaging designs.  Continue to Bordeaux to board the next cruise ship.  After settling into cabins, join your shipmates for a welcome cocktail and crew introduction, followed by dinner.  Remain in port overnight.

Day 11
  BORDEAUX - PAUILLAC
   
Cruise down the Garonne and then join the Gironde River, passing Cazeau island and Patiras island before arriving Pauillac in time for lunch on board. Our excursion this afternoon is to visit the Médoc  – a renowned region and an "away-from-it-all" spot where the most famous of all red wines in the world are cultivated. We also have the opportunity to see the "must see" châteaux Lafite-Rothschild, Latour and Mouton Rothschild. Return on board for dinner and an evening of entertainment. Moor for the night in Pauillac.
     
Day 12
  PAUILLAC - GIRONDE ESTUARY - BLAYE
   
Morning cruise along the Gironde to the estuary, passing marshes, Meschers-sur-Gironde with its steep cliffs, Troglodyte houses and fishermen's huts, before arriving in Blaye around 2.00pm. In days gone by, this superb town was an ideal look-out post to watch for invaders. Vauban had a citadel built here and this fortress is without doubt the biggest attraction in Blaye. Set off on an excursion along the Corniche, or cliff route. Narrow and picturesque, the road snakes alongside the Dordogne River before reaching the Gironde estuary. Stop in the village of Bourg, a charming city built on a rocky outcrop enclosed by medieval ramparts. Return to Blaye to visit the citadel. Majestic and imposing, and listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site it overhangs the Gironde estuary and affords magnificent panoramic views over the Gironde. Return on board for dinner, followed by an evening of dancing. The ship will moor for the night in Blaye.
     
Day 13
  BLAYE - LIBOURNE or BOURG - SAINT EMILION
   
Morning cruise with breakfast and lunch onboard  enroute for Libourne on the Dordogne River, arriving early afternoon. Set off by coach on a guided tour of Saint-Emilion. Visit the underground monuments of Saint-Emilion village as our guide introduces us to the history of the medieval city. Next visit an exceptional Troglodyte settlement – the cave of Emilion, the monk who founded the city, the chapel of the Holy Trinity built in his honour and the catacombs. Finally we see what is undoubtedly the most original of all the monuments – the monolithic church. Carved entirely out of the limestone rocks, it is the largest church in Europe. We next head off to visit a family-run vineyard and wine-producer where we are welcomed by the owner who explains the steps involved in producing the great wines of Saint-Emilion. A tasting concludes the visit. Rejoin our floating hotel in Libourne at the end of the afternoon. After dinner on board there is an evening of crew entertainment before mooring for the night.
     
Day 14
  LIBOURNE or BOURG - BORDEAUX
   
Breakfast while cruising to Bordeaux.  After arrival join a guided tour of Bordeaux, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Leave by coach for a panoramic tour of the city, to discover the main monuments, followed by a walking tour of the old quarter.  Tonight is a festive gala evening, remaining in port overnight.
     
Day 15
  BORDEAUX
   
After breakfast on board, disembark around 9.00am. End of your epic journey through France.
     
   

This itinerary is a guide only. For reasons of navigational safety, the captain and crew of the boat alone may decide to modify the itinerary.

Please note Croisi cruises are bilingual with on board commentaries in both French & English. Sightseeing tours are guaranteed in English with either bilingual guides or audiphones.


INCLUSIONS:




 

This offer includes: all meals from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on the final day; drinks - including water, wine, beer, fruit juices and coffee served by staff during meals on board, drinks served during bar hours (excluding champagne and premium wines) - a share twin cabin with shower and private bathroom; onboard entertainment; assistance from our onboard multi-lingual host/hostess; welcome cocktail; gala dinner and evening; port fees;

     
EXCLUSIONS:

 

This offer does not include:  insurance, personal expenses, Drinks - wine selected from the premium drinks list and those purchased on shore excursions, shore excursions.

     
NOTE:
  Your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond the last day of your travel.
     
    Return to the Rhine & Tributaries Cruise Index

Web design New Zealand by Wolters Kluwer

Copyright - The Innovative Travel Company Limited ©