1/30/2024     by Justin Gibson

Set Sail Along the Seine with Avalon Waterways

Few names are as renowned for European river cruising as Avalon Waterways, and few rivers are as enchantingly scenic as the Seine. Below is an information amuse-bouche — a small taste of ports and excursions you can expect to enjoy with them while traversing this storied river. Many of these cruises begin and end in Paris; for the full effect, you’ll have to imagine kicking off or concluding your cruise to the following ports with a Champagne toast atop the Eiffel Tower.


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The Castle of Auvers-sur-Oise houses landscaped gardens in addition to an exhibition on Van Gogh.


A charming historic commune just outside Paris proper, Conflans-Sainte-Honorine is a dreamscape brought to life — no wonder Van Gogh called it home! A guided tour of Auvers-sur-Oise will have you walking in the footsteps of the famous artist, viewing the very same landscapes and village scenes that he captured in his paintings. Or, if the legend of Napolean proves to be more enticing, then a guided tour of the ever-opulent Château de Malmaison is called for. This 150-acre estate was home to Napoléon and his wife Joséphine and even served as the seat of government for a brief couple of years. Retracing the domestic life of France’s emperor makes for an insightful outing.


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Scenic landscapes, like this old timbered water mill, abound in Vernon, France.


Further north up the river is Vernon — a quiet commune sporting half-timbered homes, historic chateaux and countless picturesque spots immortalized by Claude Monet. Monet himself called Vernon home; you can tour his estate in Giverny, as well as the flower and water gardens he captured across 250 paintings, for a one-of-a-kind chance to bring his masterpieces to life. His estate today houses the Fondation Claude Monet; a museum dedicated to the artist’s life. Strolling the two gardens proves to be a fair amount more enriching with the benefit of context. Or, perhaps you’re keen to create your own scene of bliss: There are plenty of options to choose from. Get moving with a fun and active day kayaking, set off on a leisurely guided tour of Vernon’s marvelous medieval streets or enjoy a sailing outing, complete with a traditional French luncheon.


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The sun sets over the city of Rouen.


As the capital of Normandy, Rouen has played a prominent role throughout time. Among the Gothic churches, the cobblestoned streets and the medieval half-timbered houses are bucket-list sights: tributes to the martyred Joan of Arc, the 16th-century Astronomical Clock and the Cathedral of Notre-Dame are all marquee sights to see on a guided walking tour. The cathedral (what with its three different-styled towers) is certain to catch your eye if you’ve spent any time studying Monet’s work — he painted over 30 canvases of the façade!

Ready to set sail with Avalon Waterways on an enchanting cruise down the Seine River? Reach out to one of our travel agents first. Not only will you have plenty of time to experience the sights and experiences listed above, but you’ll also enjoy the fruits of our dedicated labor — hard-earned wisdom and expertly curated recommendations pair perfectly with the exclusive perks and amenities we have access to. Our agents know Avalon Waterways well, so we can help you choose, plan and book your cruise vacation to perfection.


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