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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

Blue Water Holidays Blog