Grand Seine River & Normandy Passage

Trip Highlights

Float down the Seine River on a seven-night passage from Paris, the City of Light, to Honfleur.

Your visit to Paris will include visits to the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Latin Quarter, followed by a romantic evening cruise.

In Giverny, see the ruins of two French estates, visit the home of Claude Monet and delve into his fascinating life. Take a walk through Normandy’s Rouen, then delight in Honfleur and the scenery that has charmed writers and artists for centuries. Explore WWII history at the D-Day beaches, Pointe du Hoc and the Caen Memorial Museum. A series of informative lectures add historical and cultural context to your experience.

Shared departure: This departure is shared with other universities.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Depart gateway city

AHI FlexAir passengers depart for Paris, France. Please check your luggage from your gateway city to your arrival city. Your claim checks should have the following airport code: CDG.

Day 2 – Paris, France

MS Renoir

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Arrive at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. Proceed through immigration to the baggage claim area and retrieve your luggage. After completing customs, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for the group arrival transfer and Cruise Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer should exit the baggage claim area and proceed to the Arrivals Hall, where an AHI Travel representative will meet you.

Transfer to the pier and embark the MS Renoir.

For AHI FlexAir passengers or Cruise Program passengers who purchased seats on the group transfer: Passengers arriving early in the morning and transferring with the group will have their luggage stored and will have free time to explore at leisure before transferring to the ship.

For passengers arriving independently: You may drop your luggage at the ship from 10 a.m. and explore Paris at your leisure. The docking location of the ship will be provided in your final documents.

Please note, embarkation begins from 3 p.m. Your cabins will be available from 4 p.m.

Free Time: After settling in your cabin, you may wish to become acquainted with the ship or explore Paris at leisure.

Tonight, meet your fellow travelers at a Welcome Reception and Dinner.

The ship overnights in Paris.

Day 3 – Paris

MS Renoir

B | L | D

Enrichment: History of Paris. From its roots to today, discover the pivotal events and people that have shaped the city.

Discovery: The Latin Quarter. Start a walking tour of Paris’ storied Latin Quarter on the Île de la Cité, the historic heart of the city. Se the restoration process of Notre-Dame, the city’s most famous cathedral, and cross the Pont de l’Achevêché, the Archbishop’s Bridge, for a fascinating look at the Latin Quarter, one of the most famous neighborhoods on the Left Bank. Learn about the quarter’s history, the architecture and the famous residents. (Moderate)

Return to the ship for lunch.

Free Time: The afternoon is free to explore Paris on your own. Admire the artwork in Paris’ many world-class museums or ride the elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Shop at the city’s legendary department stores or people watch from a front-row seat at a sidewalk café.

Dinner is served on board.

Discovery: Seine at Night. Tonight, see the City of Light during an evening illumination cruise on the Seine. Admire Paris’ iconic landmarks, such as the Louvre, and float under the graceful arches of charming bridges, including Pont-Neuf. (Moderate)

The ship overnights in Paris.

Day 4 – Paris | La Roche-Guyon

MS Renoir

B | L | D

Personalize Your Journey | Choose one of the following excursions. See the Excursion Choices sheet for full descriptions.

  • Versailles. (Moderate)
  • Palais Garnier. (Moderate)

Return to the ship for lunch and enjoy an afternoon and evening at leisure in Paris.

Day 5 – Giverny | Les Andelys | Martainville-Éperville | Rouen

MS Renoir

B | L | D

Discovery: Monet, His Life in Giverny. Delve into the life and work of impressionist painter Claude Monet at his colorful home in Giverny, where he lived from 1883-1926. Wander through the lush, tranquil garden that inspired many of his paintings, and visit the studio where he painted his “Water Lilies” series. His home — the kitchen decorated in brilliant blues, the cheerful yellow dining room, the green shutters and more — are just as vibrant as his garden. (Moderate)

Lunch is served on board.

Discovery: Chateaux of Normandy. Spend the afternoon delving into Norman history and culture at two of the regions’ castles. In Les Andelys, see the ruins of the once-grand Château Gaillard. Some 3,000 stone masons, quarry workers, carpenters, blacksmiths and other tradesmen built this castle in just two years at the end of the 12th-century. Richard the Lionheart, who was Duke of Normandy as well as King of England, built the castle to defend Rouen from King Phillip II of France, who was on a mission to reclaim French land under English control. Ownership changed hands several times in the following centuries. By the late 15th century, the castle was in disrepair and King Henry IV of France ordered its destruction and allowed monks to reuse the stones in their monasteries. Continue to Le Petit Andelys and see St. Sauveur Church, built shortly after the completion of Château Gaillard. The beautiful church was constructed at the request of local residents who didn’t want to embark on the long walk to Notre-Dame for daily prayer.

Travel along the Andelle River, passing through picture-perfect villages on your way to the Château de Martainville, a 15th-century castle and one of the first French fortifications built in the Renaissance style. Today, the castle is a state-owned museum with exhibits focusing on the arts and traditions of Normandy. The largest collection of furniture from Haute Normandie, Upper Normandy, is on display. Through its exhibits of furniture, clothing, housewares and farm implements, get a glimpse of life in Normandy between the 16th and 19th centuries. (Moderate)

Enjoy a delicious dinner on the ship and sail on to Rouen this evening.

Day 6 – Rouen

MS Renoir

B | L | D

Discovery: Ancient Abbeys. Visit the ruins of the Benedictine Abbey of Jumièges, one of the most powerful abbeys in medieval France. Known for its charity toward the poor, it was one of several monasteries built along the Seine. The ruins of the current building are from the 11th century, but the original monastery was built 300 years earlier. William the Conqueror was present for the consecration of the second monastery. Continue to Abbey Saint-Wandrille. The abbey’s buildings, which flaunt rococo-style and Gothic decorations, still house a thriving monastic community. (Moderate)

Enjoy lunch aboard the ship.

Discovery: Rouen. Embark on a walking tour of Rouen’s historic city center. Once described in a Victor Hugo poem as “the city with a hundred bell towers chiming in the air,” Rouen’s medieval quarter is filled with ornate Gothic churches and half-timbered houses. See Notre-Dame de Rouen, the city’s grand cathedral so brilliantly in painting by Claude Monet, and listen to tales of Joan of Arc. (Moderate)

Gather with your shipmates for another dinner of delightful regional cuisine.

Day 7 – D-Day beaches | Caen | Honfleur

MS Renoir

B | L | D

After breakfast, disembark for a day of exploring Normandy’s historic D-Day sites.

Discovery: Normandy and D-Day. Begin a memorable journey into World War II history at the Caen Memorial Museum, a premier World War II museum. The site features engrossing exhibits, photos and videos that explore the impact of the war. Following lunch, step foot on Omaha Beach, where U.S. forces valiantly advanced across the heavily fortified shoreline under devastating fire to overcome German troops. Throughout your excursion, your guide shares details about this treacherous mission. Continue to Colleville-sur-Mer to pay a poignant visit to the Normandy American Cemetery. The cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach contains 9,385 graves of Americans who died in the invasion and subsequent battles, as well as a memorial garden honoring those missing in action. Then, visit Pointe du Hoc, where U.S. Rangers courageously scaled 100-foot cliffs to destroy German artillery that posed a threat to troops coming ashore. (Moderate)

Day 8 – Honfleur

MS Renoir

B | L | D

Discovery: Honfleur. Explore the Vieux Bassin, the historic harbor in Honfleur’s colorful town center. Invading Normans chose it for its strategic location, which later made it a hotly contested town during the Hundred Years’ War, when it bounced between English and French control before permanently landing in France’s realm. From the 16th to the 18th centuries, Honfleur was a lucrative fishing and trading port, and wealthy ship owners built the tall townhomes that surround the harbor. In the 17th century, Samuel de Champlain and other explorers charted courses to the New World from these docks. Honfleur evolved yet again in the 19th century. It became a popular coastal resort and a favorite haunt of painters, so much so that a circle of significant painters formed the “école de Honfleur” here. Members of this influential school, including Claude Monet, Gustave Courbet and native son Eugène Boudin, lay the groundwork for the burgeoning impressionist movement. Today, sailboats and yachts anchor on the quay, making the harbor as picturesque as ever. Stroll through the colorful harbor and along the narrow side streets to see Honfleur’s landmarks. The wooden Church of Sainte-Cathérine, crafted by 15th-century shipbuilders, is a special standout with ceilings over its two naves that resemble upturned hulls. (Moderate)

Return to the ship for lunch.

Free Time: Explore Honfleur on your own this afternoon. Indulging in Normandy’s delectable culinary treats should be high on your to-do list! The region has an enduring tradition of producing specialty cheeses that are among France’s best with the rich milk of Normande cows. Seek out its four world-class cheeses, Camembert de Normandie, Livarot, Neufchâtel and Pont-l’Evêque, which are all AOC-certified for origin and production methods. Pair them with some fresh, crusty bread and a glass of the crisp, local apple cider!

Tonight, gather with your fellow travelers to regale each other with tales of your Seine journey during a festive Farewell Reception and Dinner.

Day 9 – Depart for gateway city

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After breakfast, disembark the ship. AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for a group transfer and Cruise Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer depart for Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport for your return flights home. Passengers departing independently to the airport must disembark the ship by 9 a.m. Your Travel Director will provide the details.

 

Ship: MS Renoir

 

Show Full Itinerary

Your Journey

Grand Seine River & Normandy Passage

By participating in an Alumni Association of the University of Michigan travel trip, you have stated that the Alumni Association has the exclusive right to use video and other visual/audio portrayals of You or Your likeness taken during Your trip in any medium of any nature whatsoever for any purpose, including advertising or promoting the services of the trip without any compensation being paid to You. Any such portrayal or likeness shall be the exclusive property of the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan.

(9 days)
Starting price: $3,695
No Single Supplement
Deposit per person: $600
Europe
AHI
Type: River Cruise, Shared Departure, No Single Supplement

You must be an Alumni Association member to travel with us. Questions? Email Michigan Alumni Travel at alumnitravel@umich.edu.

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