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CruiseDirection - Magazine May 2019

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Cruise the Seine

A river cruise along the Seine has something to delight sightseers, art and history lovers, shoppers and foodies alike. The cruise will either start or end in France’s capital, Paris, one of the world’s most romantic cities, and take you along a stretch of the nation’s second-longest river, which flows into the English Channel in Normandy.  

It is possible to enjoy a river cruise all year round along the Seine, with the spring and autumn proving particularly popular. It can also be an ideal way to visit France in the hot months of the summer, when river breezes provide some respite from the heat. Although you are more likely to see rain, the festive atmosphere of the cities of Paris and Rouen can be hard to beat at Christmas.

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Why Visit Seine?


Seine scenery image by cruisedirection

The cruise will either start or end in Paris

Something to delight sightseers, art and history lovers, shoppers and foodies alike

Paris will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of the trip. It is packed with sights, including the Louvre, the Pompidou Centre, the cathedral of Notre Dame and the most iconic landmark – the Eiffel Tower. If you only have a day, then it is worth taking a coach trip around the major sights of the city. However, one day is not enough to truly explore Paris. Many cruise operators will give you the option of spending some more days in the city before or after your cruise, and if you have the time, it is well worth taking it to fully enjoy the sights, shops and the restaurants of the City of Light.  

A cruise on the Seine takes you to many historic sites beyond Paris. Enjoy the royal Palace of Versailles, the 12th-century Chateau Gaillard of Richard the Lionheart and Napoleon and Josephine’s castle, Chateau de Malmaison. Cruising to Normandy, you can take in the ancient city of Rouen with its medieval quarter of half-timbered houses, and a visit to the Normandy beaches can provide a period of reflection on the more recent war.  

One of the ports close to the Paris end of the cruise is Vernon, where you can make an excursion to Giverny to see Monet’s famous gardens and enjoy the cafés on the narrow streets. From Vernon, you can also visit Bizy Castle, which features an attractive water garden and dramatic courtyard.  

As well as passing through some scenic countryside, you will also be able to enjoy many pretty towns and villages that have inspired generations of artists. Enjoy a stroll on the riverbanks at Les Andelys to spot some of the diverse plant and animal life and lovely scenery that has made this a protected area.  

The Normandy end of a Seine cruise is usually at Honfleur, whose quirky houses around the ancient harbour inspired the work of Claude Monet. The Eugene Boudin Museum in the town displays works by this local artist as well as famous visitors such as Monet, Peruse and Genres.  

If the river is swollen, then passing under the many bridges can be awkward, sometimes requiring the wheel house to be retracted. However, these bridges are an attractive feature of the river, helping make a Seine cruise scenic.

Seine destination image by cruisedirection

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