The City of Light shines bright in the reflection of the Seine. Views of Paris from the river include Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre Museum and the Eiffel Tower. Travelers can enjoy a candlelit dinner at a Parisian café or take in a world-class cabaret show.
Float gently down the River Seine, passing through suburban Paris to discover the town of Conflans.
Nearby, quaint Auvers-Sur-Oise is the inspirational town that Vincent Van Gogh called home. Those with an affinity for French history may want to visit nearby Château de Malmaison, the elaborately decorated estate of Napoleon and Josephine Bonaparte.
Further downstream, the riverside town of Vernon features the magnificent Bizy Castle and the immaculate gardens at Claude Monet’s country house.
Rouen, the jewel of medieval France, is next. On the right bank, half-timbered, glazed-tiled houses and ancient architecture line the streets, prompting many to refer to Rouen as ville-musee, or museum town. Make time to admire the city’s Astronomical Clock and the Rouen Cathedral. The Cathedral was once the tallest building in the world and inspired an impressive series of Claude Monet’s paintings.
- Normandy Beaches
A short jaunt from the river, the historic Normandy Beaches pay reverent homage to the soldiers who fought so valiantly on these shores during World War II. The surrounding countryside is ripe with fragrant fruit and flowers. Travelers can delight in the region’s delectable French cuisine and meal-capping apple brandy.
- Les Andelys
Continuing down the Seine, Les Andelys presents the dramatic visage of Château Gaillard. Built by England’s King Richard the Lionheart in 1196, the château is truly a masterpiece of medieval military architecture.
Flowing away from its Alpine origins, the Rhône rolls through Lyon, France. Located in the heart of the country, Lyon is central to the history of French cuisine, cinema and industry. With a history spanning more than 2,000 years, the city features magnificent Roman ruins, winding medieval alleyways, and exquisite examples of Renaissance architecture. Beaujolais is the wine of choice in the region, the grapes for which must be picked by hand.
- Tournon and Tain L’Hermitage
Sail by fields of lavender downstream from Lyon to visit the twin cities of Tournon and Tain L’Hermitage, nestled between the river and the vineyard-covered slopes of The Hermitage. Tournon, one of France’s oldest medieval cities, impresses visitors with its imposing 16th-century castle.
- Vienne and Viviers
Vienne and Viviers, quaint villages that line the shores of the Rhône, are surrounded by breathtaking beauty and bathed in history.
Further south, the white-stoned city of Avignon is located in the scenic Provençe. Known as the “City of Popes,” it was the center of the Catholic Church in the 14th century and its immense papal palace overlooks the river. Nearby, visit the vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape for a taste of more than six centuries of wine-making tradition.
As the Rhône rolls toward the Mediterranean, Arles is a sparkling city full of inspiration. In fact, Vincent Van Gogh spent one very prolific year along these banks, painting more than a dozen masterpieces. The city also boasts a pristinely-preserved coliseum from Roman times, the church of St. Trophime, and an ancient Gallo-Roman burial road–earning it the nickname “Little Rome of Gaul.”
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For more information on a Rhone-Seine River Cruise or other great Avalon Waterways vacations, contact your local Boscov’s Travel Specialist, email email@example.com or call 800-755-8020.