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Seine River Cruises and Paris

Journey from the city of Paris to historic towns and through the scenery of Impressionist painters to the Normandy coast

Glide past storybook chateaux and medieval towns, and explore the enchanting gardens and artistic legacy of the River Seine on this unique journey to Honfleur and the D-Day landing beaches of Normandy.

  • Eiffel Tower
  • Monet's Giverny
  • Honfleur

About River Seine Cruises

On the Seine a highlight is Monet’s house and garden at Giverny and other villages made famous by the Impressionist painters including picturesque Les Andelys, birthplace of the artist Poussin. In ancient Rouen see the Market Place where Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake, and the cathedral painted so often by Monet.

At the mouth of the River Seine explore Honfleur, a fishing town with a colourful harbour much loved by painters. Some itineraries offer excursions to the famous WWII landing beaches of Normandy.

GivernyGiverny

Cruise Collection

All of our Seine cruises are shown below. Tick the boxes to filter by date, company, duration and type.

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  • AMA Waterways
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    • CroisiEurope Ship - Seine Princess
      Choice of Ships
      • This is the perfect way to explore Paris in the winter with the ship based in Paris and Le Pecq, and optional excursions available to the city's highlights

      • River Cruise
      • 2017 - Feb, Mar, Oct
        Included with this holiday ...

    • CroisiEurope Ship - Seine Princess
      Choice of Ships
      • A relaxing short breakfrom Paris to Honfleur with the chance to visit the Cote Fleurie and Deauville, including unlimited complimentary drinks on board

      • River Cruise
    • CroisiEurope Ship - Botticelli
      Botticelli
      • Celebrate the festive season on your floating hotel from Paris through scenic Normandy to the historic towns of Rouen and Honfleur

      • River Cruise
      • 2016 - Dec
        Included with this holiday ...

    • CroisiEurope Ship - Renoir
      Renoir
      • See in the New Year on the comfort of a floating hotel from Paris through Normandy to the coast and back, with the ship moored in the centre of Paris for the occasion

      • River Cruise
      • 2016 - Dec
        Included with this holiday ...

    • CroisiEurope Ship - Seine Princess
      Choice of Ships
      • Discover the magical city of Paris and the delightful Normandy coast, taking in Vernon, Honfleur and Les Andelys on this superb value voyage with included unlimited complimentary drinks on board, and optional shore excursions

      • River Cruise
    • Riviera Travel Ship - Swiss Sapphire
      Choice of Ships
      • Learn about the history of the D-Day landings and visit the picturesque towns made famous by impressioniste artists as you journey from Paris to the Normandy Coast. Includes shore excursions and Eurostar or return flights from the UK

      • River Cruise
      • 2017 - Jun, Jul, Sep
        Included with this holiday ...

    • No single supplement on selected 2017 departures!

    • CroisiEurope Ship - Seine Princess
      Choice of Ships
      • Explore the magnificent cities of Paris and Rouen and the charming town of Honfleur, including unlimited complimentary drinks onboard and optional shore excursions

      • River Cruise
    • Viking River Cruises Ship - Viking Longships
      Viking Longships
      • Explore the magnificent city of Paris, visit Claude Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny and see the Normandy beaches. Includes flights, transfers and excursions

      • River Cruise
    • Save up to £1000pp on 2017 dates!

    • Amadeus River Cruises Ship - Amadeus Diamond
      Amadeus Diamond
      • Visit charming villages which inspired famous artists and discover historical gems on this brand new itinerary along the beautiful River Seine

      • River Cruise
    • AMA Waterways Ship - AMA Aria Class ship
      AMA Aria Class ship
      • Highlights of this fantastic voyage from Paris including a visit to Monet's garden at Giverny, the picturesque port of Honfleur and the historic World War II sites of Normandy. Includes shore excursions

      • River Cruise
    • Exclusive savings of up to £1100 per couple!

    • Uniworld Ship - River Baroness
      Choice of Ships
      • Explore magical Christmas Markets and sample seasonal delights on this festive holiday from Paris along the beautiful River Seine. Includes guided excursions, unlimited complimentary drinks and gratuities

      • River Cruise
      • 2016 - Dec
        2017 - Dec
        Included with this holiday ...

    • Save up to £600pp on 2017 departures! Exclusive package from just £2249pp!

    • Uniworld Ship - River Baroness
      Choice of Ships
      • Discover the beaches of Normandy, the historic city of Rouen and Monet’s house and gardens at Giverny on this 7-night voyage from Paris. Includes guided excursions, unlimited complimentary drinks and gratuities

      • River Cruise
    • Save up to 20%!

    • Scenic Ship - Scenic Gem
      Scenic Gem
      • Explore the historic city of Rouen, charming port of Honfleur and Claude Monet's house and gardens in Giverny, and enjoy a two-night stay in Paris on this superb holiday along the Seine. Includes shore excursions, return flights from the UK, complimentary drinks and all gratuities

      • River Cruise
    • Save £750pp!

    • Uniworld Ship - Joie de Vivre
      Choice of Ships
      • This holiday combines a 7-night cruise along the River Seine, made famous by Impressionist artists, with a 7-night cruise through the wine region of Bordeaux. Includes guided excursions, unlimited complimentary drinks and gratuities

      • River Cruise
    • Save up to 20%!

    • Uniworld Ship - River Baroness
      Choice of Ships
      • This unique voyage combines Northern France along the Seine visiting the historic Normandy beaches and Southern France along the Rhone through Provence. Includes guided excursions, unlimited complimentary drinks and gratuities

      • River Cruise
    • Save up to 20%!

River Seine Highlights

Giverny (France)

The small village of Giverny has outdoor cafés, narrow lanes, brightly-painted houses, the Impressionist Museum and Claude Monet's lovely house and gardens. Visitors to his green-shuttered house will see the yellow and blue rooms, and the tranquil Japanese water garden and bridge which were the subject of some of his most famous works.

Giverny

Honfleur (France)

Lovely Honfleur was immortalised by Monet, and the brightly-painted boats and tall houses at Vieux Bassin are just as enchanting today. Quaint streets and artists' workshops lead to the medieval centre, and not to be missed is the oldest wooden church in France, St Catherine's.

Honfleur

Normandy Landing Beaches (France)

Most cruises along the River Seine offer an excursion to visit the World War II Normandy Landing Beaches. On 6th June 1944, the Allies landed around 160,000 troops on the beaches along the Normandy coast of France at five strategic points - this date became known as D-Day. It was seen to be the beginning of the end of World War II.

Normandy Landing Beaches

Paris (France)

Explore Paris and soak up its unique atmosphere. There are many options, including the artists' district of Montmartre, the Louvre, the Georges Pompidou Centre, Musee d'Orsay, the Latin Quarter and Notre Dame Cathedral, and of course, the Eiffel Tower. The Champs Elysees leading to the Arc de Triomphe is one of the memorable views of Paris

Paris

Rouen (France)

Rouen is the capital of Upper Normandy, and has a picturesque medieval quarter of glaze-tiled and timbered houses. Joan of Arc was imprisoned in a tower and burnt at the stake in the marketplace in Rouen. The city is well-known for its astronomical clock and the famous cathedral which was painted several times by Monet

Rouen

Customer Reviews

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My mother and I do a Croisieurope cruise every summer; it is a firm tradition for us. The Paris and Seine cruise is ideal as it easy to access and is interesting. The cruise got off to its usual great start with a nighttime cruise through Paris, sat on deckchairs on the sundeck with strict instructions not to stand up due to low bridges. The city looked amazing from this angle and at this time. The other calling points were Rouen, a wonderful, if reconstructed historical city, and Honfleur, always a firm favourite. One drawback on this cruise was the timings of the landings, with Rouen cathedral closed till after departure, and Honfleur being mostly closed on a Sunday morning. However I took the opportunity to explore parts of Rouen I had not seen, taking in interesting suburban Victorian architecture for my photography website. Honfleur is a very pretty, artistic town, famous for the Impressionists and the composer Sate. The food was excellent. I do not eat meat, but the chef took time to provide truly delicious pescetarian meals without seeming to bat an eyelid. I really, really enjoyed every meal. Big bowls of fresh strawberries were given when desserts were not wished. Wine flowed and was complimentary. On the last night a gala meal was provided and was excellent. (You do not need to dress up for this, and the atmosphere is casual). Cocktails are often provided and drinks at the bar are mostly free. Breakfast is of a high standard. Lunch is a major event, three courses, and as a result expect to spend upwards of two hours a day sat in the restaurant. The cabins, decor of the ship, and public rooms are simple, perhaps a little dated and might not be of the same standard as some upmarket cruises but are comfortable and good value nonetheless. Meals are eaten en masse and initially we had to share a table, but later we were able to have a table for two which is unusual. The commentaries are informative. Information is clear. I did not go on any trips (which cost extra) as I have done them before. Wifi was available in the bar but very, very slow. My favourite part of a Croisieurope cruise is just sitting on deck and watching the unfolding scenery. We were a bit unlucky with the weather on this one, and as a result the bar got quite busy and noisy. Taxis were efficiently and punctually arranged for onward transfer. My only major gripe is arrival at the cruise. There is no waiting room. I was travelling with my elderly mother who cannot walk far or with ease. Our Eurostar arrived punctually and the taxi journey from the station was quick and as a result arrived early. But whilst we were allowed to leave the bags we could not wait onboard, not even in the bar, even though the boat was open; we were politely told to go away and come back later, easier said than done when it is raining and one of you needs a walking stick. The staff were mostly lovely and some crew members especially so.

"Normandy in August" by owenaj5 star
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    Le Petit Andelys from Chateau Gaillard
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    AmaLegro in Vernon
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    Captain Major docking the ship
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    Son et Lumiere at Rouen Cathedral
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We have travelled with APT before (Budapest to Amsterdam) so since we had the time (and some money as they aren't the cheapest option) we decided to do a 7 day river cruise on the Seine.  APT are an all-inclusive operator for this tour (they are a sister company to Amawaterways and share boats with them, some of the tours however are explicitly APT and this is one of them.  It leads to a greater number of Aussies and Kiwis on board - it does stand for Australian Pacific Touring after all).


We flew from Manchester to Paris and all transfers are included so we were met be a taxi and taken straight to the ship.  MS AmaLegro docks by the Parc Andre Citroen (opposite the 16th Arr.) and whilst you can see the Eiffel Tower it is a bit of a walk into town (there's always the Metro though).


Check in was swift and efficient and we were soon unpacking in the cabin.  After the mandatory greeting/safety briefing meeting we had our first dinner.  All meals are open seating so that you have the opportunity to sit with different fellow travellers every meal if you wish and thus meet some of the 150 passengers on board.  Dinners are 4 course, waiter service (Appetizer, Soup, Entrée and Dessert) and are served with a different red and white wine every evening.  The cruise includes all basic drinks - soft, bottled water (supplied to cabin as required), beer, wine and some cocktails and spirits.  Premium drinks are charged for.  There are also 2 coffee machines (with hot water) to provide self-service drinks 24 hours of the day.  There were times when the crew could hardly keep up with the maintenance on these (particularly when a trip returns).


The cruise is very dependent on the ability of the cruise director (Sebastien Leroy) and the captain (Erno Major) and his crew and in this case we had a great cruise.  Most of the deck crew are Hungarian whilst the majority of the hotel staff are eastern European, they are all friendly and eager to help.


Even before we set off Sebastien had decided to alter the itinerary from that which we booked as he felt a cruise should cruise more and dock less in one place.  With the Captains assistance then this is what we did (there are other options for the tours in each location):-


Friday: Embark, free to wander into Paris in spare time


Saturday:  Scenic cruising to Vernon, walked into town to the Saturday market and wandered around.  Afternoon tour to Giverny (Monet)


Sunday: Scenic cruising to Caudebec en Caux,  Afternoon tour to Honfleur.  After dinner walked round town.


Monday: Early departure for day trip to Caen (WWII monument and Cathedral plus return via Pays d'Auge  - villages, orchards and for this week only a  medieval jousting tournament)


Tuesday: Bike tour round Rouen then went back in afternoon to walk round at leisure.  In the evening Sebastien took a group up to the Cathedral at 10:30pm for the Son et Lumiere (first set based on Joan of Arc, second on the Impressionists)


Wednesday: Scenic cruising (inc. visit to bridge for those interested to hear from Captain about his equipment and how the hydraulic system works - the bridge house ‘ducks' for low bridges and locks). After lunch Les Andelys and Chateau Gaillard , walked around town ourselves later.  Attended the classical strings trio in the lounge after dinner - excellent set.


Thursday: Up early to walk around Conflans (our docking point) then a tour of Auvers-sur-Oise (Van Gogh).  Afternoon we cruised back into Paris whilst sampling Normandy fare (cider, camembert etc) and completing the usual feedback form!
At 10:30pm the Captain undocked to reverse 400m upstream closer to the Eiffel Tower so we would all have a better view from the sun deck of the Tower's 11pm sparkling show. (the lights flash for 5 mins) before sailing back to base.


Friday: Out of the cabins by 9am with use of the lounge (and all facilities) until your taxi group was called for trip to airport.  [Efficient process].


All the tours have local guides and generally ran with individual radio receivers so that you can clearly hear the guides speaking from up to 25yds away without difficulty.  Some guides seemed to think they were paid by the word but all were knowledgeable and had insights to give.


I find it a tiring holiday since I choose to be fairly busy (there is always the option to do nothing though) but I did find that with all the activity (and despite all the good food - although I had the soup and sandwiches lunch in the lounge rather than the 3 course meal in the dining room - and lots of lattes) that I came home about the same weight.


The cabins are fine - we were on the middle deck - with comfortable beds and sufficient space to store everything.  We heard very little noise (beyond the occasional vacuum flush of a toilet).  The attendants were efficient and any small issues were quickly dealt with.  River cruises seem to specialise in towel sculpture and Georgi came up with a skate and an astounding orang utang (that also required a trouser hanger to attach to the curtain rail!) that we had not seen before.


The food is good and plentiful but how all the chefs work in that small kitchen space is amazing. The bread and pastry chef delivers particularly good fare to my taste.  The ship has a small shop , a small spa and a library (which supplies daily crossword and Sudoku puzzles as well as news bulletins for the 4 nationalities on-board - Au, NZ, GB and US).  There is an exchange book section too but more and more people are converting to e-readers now.  The free WiFi worked well on-board - both in the cabins and the 2 lounges (but is not available on deck) and we barely used the infotainment system apart from watching the odd news program when getting up.


The weather certainly made the holiday (apparently the previous week had been wet every day whereas we had a heavy shower in Caen and a grey morning to Les Andelys), there is not enough room for everyone in the main lounge if it is wet or cold/windy outside and few people get to the quiet lounge at the stern of the boat (nice of an evening).


Altogether a good holiday and one that made us keen to go back to Normandy again - and take another tour with APT, perhaps the Rhone next year. Be aware though that APT are dividing their offer into an all-inclusive option  with extra enhancements and dining options (Royal tours) as well as the luxury version we did above and a less inclusive offering (Travelmarvel) for 2014.

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    Monet's Garden
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Although the main advertised highlight of this cruise is the landing beaches in Normandy, it would be just as much of interest to aspiring artists.

The boat spends the first two nights moored in Paris within easy reach of the Eiffel tower (about 30 minutes walk or a short train ride) and with spectacular views by day or by night. There is a whole day to explore the city, with excursions or independently, before a short voyage downstream on day 3 to the village of Conflans from where a trip was made to the village where Van Gogh spent his final months. The next day the mooring was in the town of Vernon, just a short trip to Monet's garden at Giverny. The furthest point reached on the voyage was the city of Rouen, for 2 nights, from where trips were organised to the Normandy beaches and to the town of Honfleur. A walking tour of the city was also included before the return voyage, including a stop at the lovely village of Les Anderlys, before finally reaching Paris on the morning of disembarkation.

The Avalon Creativity is one of the newer boats on the Seine, owned by an American company so about two thirds of the 140 passengers were American, with the rest a mixture of British, Canadian, and Australian. Cabins were of an average size, but cleverly designed so that it never felt cramped - even in the small bathroom area - and with plenty of storage space (including a safe) and a 'fridge.

Food was excellent and varied, and the drinks (included with the meals) flowed freely with the help of the attentive staff, who were not above providing their own brand of on-board entertainment in the evening - although a couple of outside acts came onboard as well. All staff were very friendly and helpful - especially the English cruise director, Tony, who remained professional, yet accessable at all times, and made sure that everything ran smoothly.

For us it was our first experience of river cruising and we were won over. We had all of the things that we enjoy about ocean cruising, with none of the bad points (enormous boats, long queues, days at sea with no sight of land). A very relaxing and memorable cruise.

"New Year in Paris" by casecraw5 star
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    Our happy party on The Rhone Princess in Paris on New Year's Eve
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    The iconic Eiffel Tower
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    Shopping in Paris
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This is just a quick email to compliment your company Blue Water Holidays for the manner in which they arranged the recent holiday in Paris at New Year for my party of six.  

Your responses to any queries were always prompt and helpful (which is always comforting) and the holiday itself was as promised. Our experience on the Rhone Princess was excellent, accommodation, food and staff were all first class.  

Our only disappointment was at the commencement of the holiday when we discovered that the Rhone Princess had been unable to berth at Quai Grenelle in Paris and we had to be transported by bus some 40+ kilometeres downstream to where she was actually berthed. However, this was unavoidable and out of everyone's control as due to the recent adverse weather conditions the level of the water in the river at that time was too high to allow the vessel to travel under the bridges. Once we got to the Rhone Princess albeit a little late, everthing was fine.  

I would particularly like to thank Laura Parkinson for the efficient way in which at the last minute, she arranged taxis for us whilst we were in Paris which was most helpful and made a big difference.   All in all, an excellent holiday and I would be happy to recommend Blue Water Holidays to others.  

Kind regards,   Keith Crawford.

"Rhone Princess Cruise" by tbs25075 star
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    Cruising down the River Seine
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Three of us took my friend's (one of the three) husband on this cruise as a surprise for a special birthday.  From start to finish it was awesome - the arrangements by Blue Water Holidays, the ship, the staff, the food (especially the food!!) were just the best and we loved every minute.  On the night of the birthday they brought us a cake (we had previously arranged it) with fire works and all in the dining salon sang happy birthday then the staff all came and gave him a birthday kiss.  The food was just out of this world (5* star cuisine).  We had all we could eat at breakfast and three courses with wine (red, white and rose) at lunch and dinner.  On the final night we preceeded dinner with cocktails, had a spectacular gala dinner with dancing afterwards.  The ship is immaculately clean and I can highly recommend it.  Not really suitable for children or young people who like a nightlife but if you want a peaceful, relaxing holiday with places of interest in abundance and plenty to eat and drink this is the holiday for you.  We are already saving for next year.

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Just arrived back from the MS Renoir cruise from Paris to Honfleur, the water was too high to do the Paris bit, but other than that it was a fantastic trip, food incredible, staff wonderful, they could not do enough for you, and even free wine with a choice!!  The weather was not wonderful ..........but when is it..............so if you get sun.....what a bonus!!

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    Seine Princess & us
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    Honfleur
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    Deauville
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    River Seine cruising
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This cruise was 5 star all the way.  The food was out of this world, the staff courteous and generally very good fun.  The organisation left nothing to chance and we will be booking again asap.

To get the best out of the cruise, be realistic.  Check the weather forecast and take appropriate clothing.  The engines are a little noisy so earplugs are a useful accessory for a good night's sleep.

"SEINE CHRISTMAS CRUISE" by liberator5 star
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    THE SKIPPER
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    THE LOUNGE DECKED OUT FOR CHRISTMAS
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    ROUEN XMAS MARKET
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    THE SEINE
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    ROUEN CHOCOLATE SHOP
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    VIKING SEINE AT ROUEN
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We had a thoroughly enjoyable cruise, and were very well looked after by the polite and efficient crew. We fell in love with the city of Rouen, and thoroughly enjoyed the guided tour round the Palace of Versailles. We intend to repeat the experience, probably on the Rhine.

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    The Eiffel Tower
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    Versailles
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    Ceiling at Versailles
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    A hall at Versailles
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    View from the gardens at Versailles
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    Notre Dame from the River Seine
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    The Eiffel Tower at night
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It was bitterly cold during our New Year cruise from Paris. We moored not far from the Eiffel tower, convenient for the Metro, for walking along the river, and for the buses that took us on tours around the city.

We didn't cruise far because of the high water levels that made some bridges too low for the ship to get under, even with its sunroof and bridge lowered. This spoiled the New Year cruise under the bridges of Paris, but meant we were moored close torthe Eiffel tower and the New Year firework display.

The best excursion was to the amazing Palace of Versailles. Our guided tour showed us the many gilded royal rooms and we also explored the gardens. On our last day we walked around Paris, to Notre Dame and the Champs d'Elysee.

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    Dangerous stairs to level 1 cabins
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    Easy stairs from Level 2 to restaurant
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My family and I recently came back from our 21 Day Romantic Seine & Rhone Paris to Barcelona APT tour in June 2013 on board AmaLegro and AmaDagio.  We all had a wonderful time there and I would like to use this opportunity to share my experiences and thoughts with everyone.  Hopefully, people would find my article useful in their decision making and preparation for their trips with APT and/or AmaWaterways.

There are 2 parts of my review:  part 1 covers 3 days in Paris and 7 day on board AmaLegro, and part 2 covers 7 day on board AmaDagio and 3 days in Barcelona.  This is part 1 of my review.

Our trip started with 3 days in Paris where APT organised a city tour visiting the second level of the Eiffel Tower on Day 2 morning and a welcome dinner cruise along the Seine River, followed by a Paris Illuminations Tour on Day 2 evening.  There were 3 "Freedom of Choice" tours offered on Day 3 morning.  All of the tours organised by APT were quite good, but the quality of food and services from the welcome dinner cruise along the Seine River was below average compared to the food and services offered on board AmaLegro and AmaDaigo.

After 3 days in Paris, we were transferred to Seine River on Day 4 late afternoon where our luxury river ship, AmaLegro, awaited.

Compared to our previous experiences with AmaBella and AmaVerde travelled from Amsterdam to Budapest in 2011, AmaLegro is very similar to those 2 ships but a few years older, e.g. all of the facilities and set up are similar.  There are public lounges in the front and back of the ship, free internet and Wi-Fi access, and gym.  The cabins are well equipped and reasonably spacious. 

The food and shore excursions were certainly the highlights of my cruises.  The quality of the food (3 meals, morning tea, and afternoon tea) was excellent and services from the restaurant and bar staff were very attentive and always do their best to anticipate customers' needs.  For example, unlike AmaBella and AmaVerde where I always had to ask (or should I use the word "beg") to have my water and non-alcoholic drink refilled during my meals, AmaLegro is the only the ship where my drink always being refilled before it ran out, I never had to ask.  However, if you only drink alcohol, then there won't be any problem because the wait / bar staff constantly walking around with red & white wine to refill everyone's glass.  Also, there was no limit on the drink (included in the fee already), so I have seen some people started drinking from the afternoon all the way till late at night.  For people don't drink much alcohol, you do feel like you are substituting other people's drink.

My favourite shore excursions along Seine River were (1) Giverny where we visited the home of Claude Monet and its famous gardens; (2) Rouen, heart of Normandy region; (3) picturesque  Honfleur; (4) beautiful Les Andelys and Chateau Gaillard built by Richard the Lionheart; (5) Chateau de Malmaison, home of General Napoleon and Josephine.  All passengers on walking tours were accompanied by Quietvox and people could join different groups to suit their fitness level.  There was daily information session every afternoon by the tour director informing everyone the details of shore excursions for the next day.  Our tour director, Mr Peter Whitehead, is an Australian who always gave animated information sessions filled with lots of humour.

If you are planning to participate in Rouen cathedral light show at 11pm, then please make sure that you take a torch with you from the ship reception before you leave.  And always ask your tour director where to meet once the light show finished.  There was a problem at the night walk to the Rouen cathedral during my trip, e.g.  on the way walking from the ship to cathedral with our tour director, Mr Whitehead, there was no information from him about where to meet after the light show and he didn't organise any torch for us.  So after the light show, all of us were very confused with what to do next, and it took us a while to find Peter W because there were many people and not much light in the square, then we have to walk back to the ship in the dark by ourselves.

Despite the excellent food and outstanding services provided by the ship crew, and mostly well-coordinated shore excursions, there is a critical safety concern associate with the design of the spiral staircases to level 1 cabins.  Compare to all other stairs in the ship, the tight construction of these stairs with narrow staircase width, steep gradient, and handrail on  only one side, they are not easy for the elderly passengers to use.  With majority of the passengers on board over the age 50, every day I saw elderly passengers struggling with these stairs.   I am a much younger person and even I found the stairs gradient very challenging. I always had to slow down and hold on to the handrail tightly when walking up and down the stairs.  I felt climbing up these stairs was like a rock climbing exercise because these stairs are just too steep. 

When my family and I raise our concern about the unsafe design of stairs to level 1 cabins, and asked if we could have an upgrade to upper level cabins e.g. either we paid extra or for free, given the ship was not at its full capacity.  Peter W said that he would investigate but he didn't think upgrade would be possible.  He never got back to us.  During the same conversation, Mr Whitehead also indicated that "we got what we paid for" and we should already know there are stairs to level 1 when we booked our trip.     I found Mr Whitehead's comments rude, unfair, and I felt his tone was quite condescending.  Later, I found out tour director's room is on level 2, so he might not aware of how difficult these stairs are to elderly passengers, thus, dismissed our concern as just some silly nonsenses.

We were aware of the existences of the stairs at the time of booking, but we didn't know the design and shape of the stairs to level 1 is so "elderly user unfriendly".  There was neither information nor photos on APT brochure providing any indication on the shape and design of the spiral staircases to level 1 cabins.  When we were on-board AmaBella and AmaVerde last time, we stayed on level 3 and the stairs were easy.  If we were given clear information (e.g. photos) about the design and shape of the level 1 stairs at the time of booking, then we would be able to assess the situation accurately and make an informed decision, e.g. we would not have chosen level 1 cabins.  All other stairs in the ship are quite easy to use.

I filed a formal complaint to APT after the tour to raise my concerns on the (1) stairs safety, and (2) unsafe and poorly coordinated nigh tour at Rouen.   APT addressed my concern about the night tour swiftly by immediately issuing a memo to all tour directors and ships that they must provide torch to passengers for all night tours.  APT told me that because the night tour to Rouen cathedral was an informal tour, therefore our tour director, Mr Whitehead, thought there was no need to do any coordination.  APT was initially sceptical to my concern about the level 1 stairs and told me that these staircases comply with European safety standards, and since nobody ever complaint about the stairs and have been no accidents recorded, then it must be an isolated problem.  Our tour director, Mr Whitehead, declined any wrong doing in telling us "you got what you paid for".  So I had no choice but to liaise with other level 1 passengers and encourage them to contact APT and tell APT what they thought about level 1 stairs.  In the end, APT agreed to pass on my suggestions regarding a second handrail to AmaWaterways for future consideration, and APT would encourage anyone who has disclosed their mobility concerns to book cabins on level 2 or 3 in the future. 

APT refused to refund us the portion of gratuities that would go to tour director, Mr Whitehead, because that was already included in the overall fee.  I was very disappointed with their decision because I thought gratuities were supposed to use to encourage good performance, not insulting customer.

Overall, my family and I had a lovely time in Paris and on board AmaLegro.  It could have been perfect holiday for us if it wasn't the dangerous stairs and humiliating experiences with the tour director, Mr Whitehead.  We do not hold any grudge or vendetta against APT or AmaWaterways, but we want to share our experiences with people who are considering taking the European river cruise with APT / AmaWaterways, so people would be much better prepared than us.  Personally, I am disappointed with APT / AmaWaterways for not accepting my suggestions of proactively showing photos of spiral staircases to level 1 cabins to customers who are considering booking level 1 cabins as that would help customers to do an accurate risk assessment and make an informed decision.  I wonder if such conduct would be counted as "misleading or deceptive conduct" under "Australian Consumer Law" because the law requires a business to tell a customer all relevant details about a product or service, e.g. a complete story.  A business is legally required to ensure that the overall impression conveyed is complete and accurate taking into account all illustrations.

The Titan home to airport service was very good and I would recommend it highly, especially if you need assistance with luggage. We were helped at every stage and a rep was at the airport to assist check-in.

The Paris river cruise was excellent. It was intimate and easy to make friends. Persons travelling alone seemed at ease and were included in all groups. Some people, like ourselves, did not go on all the tours. On these occasions , we were treated to individual attention at meals on the ship and were given help to call a taxi to visit the local town on our own. The captain made it possible to take stunning pictures of Paris by day and by night by sailing as close as possible to the centre. The highlight for us was Monet's garden at Giverny, but for many American passengers the trip to the Normandy beaches, including Omaha, was the most memorable. The accommodation on the ship was a little cramped, but the crew made up for this by their willingness to help everyone.

 

The train ride, first class, from Paris to Bordeaux was easy and embarkation on to the second ship went without a hitch. Bordeaux was simply wonderful. We were docked right in the centre and were able to watch city life from the deck. Again the crew were exceptionally helpful and the attention to detail was impressive. The tours, which included lunch at a chateau in Sauternes, were very well thought out and on every occasion there were groups for ‘gentle walking' for those less able passengers. The area is relatively new to river ships and was surprisingly un-touristy and natural. We didn't want to leave.

Travelling home was without incident and the cheery face of the Titan driver was at Gatwick to drive us home.

 

This was not a cheap holiday, but with all drinks, tours and gratuities included, it was good value for money.

A fantastic four night cruise with Croisieurope as usual. The cruise leaves and returns from the centre of Paris which is handy for connections and was very relaxing as all meals are provided and there are opportunities to either relax on deck or opt for some excursions. The food was excellent and served in a single seating, and all drinks were included as well. The cabins are quite basic, but comfortable and air conditioned. The crew were helpful and friendly. The highlights of the cruise included a nighttime sail through an illuminated Paris, sitting on deck and passing under low bridges, the lovely town of Honfleur where we had a whole day to spend at leisure, and a morning in the beautiful city of Rouen. There is now French tv throughout the cruise and English-speaking commentary is available on request.

"Viking Cruise" by edwards4 star

 

My Wife and I had a most memorable Holiday thanks to Blue Water and Viking Cruises. The service we had from you was excellent particularly in view of my wifes need for a special diet. The Viking Staff looked after her very well, particularly the Head waiter who was exceptional. The staff where all very hard working and looked after us incredibly well. The ship was also spotlessly clean.The food,wine weather and the company were brilliant. What more can one ask? Many many thanks, Yours, Pat & Alan Edwards.

 

"First but not Last" by John Leghorn4 star

My wife and I have just returned from a short river cruise on the Seine.It was our first river cruise and it certainly wont be our last.

 It exceeded our expectations--the boat itself( Seine Princess) was very comfortable and the food was excellent.On board entertainment was organised which I hadnt expected although there was no prsssure to join in ---it was a very relaxed approach which we appreciated.

 The crew were very friendly and well organised

 The only suggestion we would make is that the bed linen although clean now needs replacing.

 

Our River Seine cruise was a good holiday and the staff on the Anacoluthe were lovely: attentive, charming and funny at the same time.  The meals varied from superb to merely OK, with the lunches being better than the dinners  - at least in my opinion.  The low spot was a dinner of white fish with small bones, potatoes and semolina, but that was by no means typical. The wines, which were part of the package at lunch and dinner, were excellent and well chosen.
 
The drawback was that the level of the Seine was high because of the rainfall and the bridges are low.  As a result the barge could not get through Paris to Compiegne or Giverny, and we moored in the south of Paris. We did these visits by coach, which was just about OK, but it meant getting back to the barge through northern Paris, which was very slow.  Obviously it would have been more pleasant to sail to these places, but it could not be helped. This problem did detract from the enjoyment of the holiday.
 
We chose the holiday because I saw from your website that there was no single supplement.  If I had not seen that, we might have chosen a quite different holiday.  As it turned out, it was good value for money and an enjoyable experience. If in future I choose another river cruise, I will certainly look at your website and I would recommend you to friends who were interested in this kind of holiday.



Blue Water Reviews

Paris to the Normandy Landing Beaches Cruise Review

Thurs 25 Jun 2015

"Remember that famous line from the Wizard of Oz - 'There's no place like home…' - well maybe that's not quite true because having just spent four nights on the Avalon Waterways ship Tapestry II, I have definitely found my home from home!

Arriving at the ship, we had a friendly greeting from the ship's Captain and Cruise Director, and were shown to our suite where our luggage was waiting for us. What a beautiful cabin, with floor-to ceiling windows the entire width of the room, which glided open to allow the French sunlight to flood the cabin. There is a seating area so you really do feel like you are sitting on your own private balcony, and with a chilled glass of wine straight from the mini bar, what better way to watch the world go by. My spacious en-suite had a huge power shower, crisp white bathrobes and complimentary L'Occitane toiletries, replenished daily.

Sam on the Avalon Tapestry II Enjoy a drink with friends in the stylish bar Relax outside and take in the passing scenery Stylish and contemporary decor on Avalon Tapestry II Enjoy gourmet cuisine with local ingredients Monet's House in Giverny Monet's Garden Les Andelys Normandy Landing Beaches World War II Cemetery World War II Cemetery Avalon Tapestry II

Possibly my favourite part of any trip is the food, and I was not disappointed. Breakfast is buffet style, with a master chef always on hand to whisk up a delightful omelette. Lunch is also a buffet, but with an a la carte menu too. A delicious 4 course dinner was served from 7pm which included complimentary wines, beer and soft drinks. There is so much food and it is all exquisitely presented, fine dining at its best.

The Club Lounge at the rear of the Sapphire deck has a tea/coffee station which is available to guests 24/7 and a great place to relax with a book from the library or catch up with friends and family via the internet. There is also the Sky lounge on the top deck where al-fresco dinning is an option, weather permitting. There are many areas where you can escape to a quiet corner, especially on the sun deck where you can dip your toes in the whirlpool or enjoy the passing scenery.

The River Seine is the most beautiful river I have cruised on, and during my 4 days we cruised from Paris as far as Caudebec, winding in and out of stunning Vernon, Les Andelys and Rouen. Excursions are included to make the most of the destinations we visited; I have always wanted to visit Monet’s house and gardens and during my half day excursion I must have taken over 100 photos. My most memorable day was the Normandy Landing Beaches. Accompanied by our English speaking tour guide this was a full day excursion by coach. We first stopped at the war cemetery and then Pegasus Bridge on the River Orne which the British paratroopers captured before the landings. Lunch was provided in Courseulles-sur-Mer which sits on famous Juno Beach. A very moving day and one I shall never forget.

The atmosphere on board the Tapestry II is very relaxed. The delightful staff are attentive yet discreet and always happy to serve with a smile and a joke. From opening your front door and stepping into the private Mercedes for your private home to airport transfer, to closing the door on your luxury French balcony suite, you are truly made to feel like a privileged member of the Avalon Waterways family. I will always have fond memories of this cruise and will certainly one day return to my new found 'home'."

Sam, Blue Water Holidays Cruise Specialist

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