Blue Water Holidays
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
Experts in River and Small Ship Cruising Holidays since 2002
01756 706500 +44 1756 706500
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
01756 706500
+44 1756 706500
Seine River Cruises

Seine River Cruises

Cruise the River Seine from the glittering city of Paris through the scenery of Impressionist painters to historic towns and the Normandy coast. Sail past storybook chateaux and medieval towns, and explore the enchanting gardens and artistic legacy of the area.

Our wide range of voyages along the Seine visit many highlights of the region, including Honfleur and the D-Day landing beaches of Normandy, Monet’s house and garden at Giverny, or the magnificent Palace of Versailles and Napoleon’s Chateau Malmaison.

Cruise Collection 2019 / 2020

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

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

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.

We have travelled with APT before (Budapest to Amsterdam) so since we had the time (and some money as they arent 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 (theres 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, Entre 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 dAuge - 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 Towers 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.

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 Monets 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.

Total Reviews: 15 Read More Reviews...