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Seine River Cruises

There may be no river more popular, more romanticized throughout all of Europe than the Seine. Since long before Seine river cruises became the luxury vacation of choice in Europe , writers have sat along the river’s banks in the heart of Paris, letting the languid waters coax from them great prose. In some cases, they also brought the river into their works. In his controversial, though acclaimed novel Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller wrote: “So quietly flows the Seine that one hardly notices its presence. It is always there, quiet and unobtrusive, like a great artery running through the human body. . . . I feel this river flowing through me.”

Similarly, painters have sat along those same banks or followed the river to more pastoral settings in an attempt to capture its tranquil beauty on canvas. And while painters of many divergent styles have made the Seine their muse over the centuries, it is the Impressionists—and Claude Monet, specifically—who pledged their unwavering faithfulness to the river. “I have always painted the Seine throughout my life, at every hour, at every season,” Claude Monet once said. “I have never tired of it. For me, the Seine is always new.”

Even modern day singers and songwriters have shared a profound interest in the river. “I bought a Dutch barge and turned it into a recording studio,” Pete Townshend, lead singer of The Who, once revealed. “My plan was to go to Paris and record rolling down the Seine.”

Paris is a pivotal part of any travel enthusiast’s journey down the Seine. Thomas Jefferson once said of the French capital: “A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and the point of life.” While 19th-century playwright Oscar Wilde opined that “when good American’s die, they go to Paris.”

River Cruising Through Paris

When a Scenic European river cruise stops in Paris, the ship’s travelers are free to explore the city at their leisure. They may choose to participate in one of Scenic’s pre-arranged activities, such as a culinary experience at restaurant 58 Tour Eiffel or dinner and show at Lido on the Champs-Élysées. They could visit local markets with the ship’s chef, and sample many of the delicacies that are sold there; or they could take a walking tour with a resident of the city, learning the secrets that are only privy to Parisians. Alternatively, guests can visit the Palace of Versailles and tour the halls made famous by Marie Antoinette and the French monarchy of the 17th and 18th centuries.

But that is only a sliver of what Paris can offer Scenic French river cruise guests. From the Louvre to Notre-Dame Cathedral, shopping on Champs-Élysées to the clubs and scandalous history of the Moulin Rouge, the City of Lights has something for everyone. And if your travels should take place in the summer, don’t be alarmed if you spot a palm tree or two. Since 2002, tons of sand has been transported to the banks of the Seine each summer, and with the help of transplanted palm trees, beach chairs, and ice cream stands, the banks of the river are transformed into urban beaches called Paris Plages.

The Normandy Coast

If, however, you prefer real beaches to urban interpretations of them, a Seine River cruise is certain to please. Cannes and the rest of the French Riviera may attract most of the world’s attention when it comes to chic coastal destinations in France, but the Normandy coast has its own appeal. There you won’t find turquoise waters the likes of which define the French Riviera and its Mediterranean coastline. Instead, you’ll find a bolder coast—the Côte Fleurie—one that is windswept and dotted with charming coastal villages where fishing is as important as seasonal tourism.  However, travelers who are attracted to the grandeur and affluence of Cannes will find a similar ambiance in Deauville, a seaside retreat that caters to the rich and famous with a race track, grand casino, numerous luxury resorts, and—in early September—an international film festival.

River Cruising Through France

City of Love

Paris

The Seine River is 482 miles long and showcases gothic cathedrals, postcard scenery and legacies of centuries of war. France’s second longest waterway is most celebrated on its World Heritage-listed Parisian banks, however its hidden depths also reveal Impressionist inspirations, medieval masterpieces, picturesque ports and postwar architectural genius.

For History Buffs

Travelers with a penchant for history will enjoy the opportunity to walk along the beaches of Normandy and visit the D-Day Museum at Arromanches, a facility that overlooks Omaha Beach and pays tribute to the many sacrifices that were made there during World War II. History buffs can also visit sites made famous by Joan of Arc in Rouen, as well as the town’s famous cathedral. They can also tour the battlefields from the Somme Offensive, a four-and-a-half-month battle that was fought during World War I, which was one of the largest battles of the war and also marked the first time that tanks were utilized in battle. 

 

A French Culinary Experience

A Seine river cruise isn’t just for beachgoers or history enthusiasts. Lovers of food and drink—and those with a sweet tooth in particular—will want to partake in a cooking demonstration organized by Scenic Cruises, one that reveals the secrets behind France’s revered baked goods. Travelers can also spend a day exploring Normandy’s famous Calvados Route and visiting villages along the way that specialize in the region’s world-renowned apple brandy. In fact, during Scenic’s Seine river cruises, guests can also visit the estate of Manoir d’Apreval for an exclusive tasting of its brandies. The property has specialized in the production of apple-based ciders, aperitifs, and digestives since the beginning of the 20th century. 

For Art Connoisseurs

Art connoisseurs will also be rewarded with a stop at the Museum of Fine Arts in Rouen, an institution that was founded by Napoleon Bonaparte and is home to an extensive collection of Impressionist works, including masterpieces by Renoir and Monet; a visit to the charming village of Auvers-sur-Oise, which is where Vincent van Gogh lived for the final two months of his life; and a stop at Giverny, where guests can visit Monet’s former residence and the gardens that served as the subject of many of his most famous paintings. Of course, these are just a handful of the many experiences that passengers can expect during a Scenic Seine River cruise.

Scenic Space Ships: All Inclusive Luxury Riverboats

Scenic Gem

Honfleur

Seine River cruises take place aboard Scenic Gem, a 361-foot custom-built vessel that was designed to sail the historic waterway and can access the port city of Honfleur in Lower Normandy thanks to a unique design. Built in 2014, Scenic Gem is configured in the same way and with the same proportions as the larger vessels in the Scenic fleet, but due to its smaller size, it accommodates only 128 passengers in 64 cabins.

Seine River Cruises

Fly Free Economy Class

Gems of the Seine

11 days
Paris > Paris
Cruise along the Seine on an 11 day journey from Paris to Honfleur. Tour the historic Normandy beaches and visit Giverny where you can see Monet's gardens.
from $6,230
Standard Suites Fly Free

Enchanting Rhône with Paris

11 days
Nice > Paris
Board a luxurious Scenic Space-Ship and cruise the Rhône to Chalon-sur-Saône. Travel from the beautiful Île-de-France region to Paris & explore the city.
from $6,260
Standard Suites Fly Free

Enchanting Rhône with Barcelona & Paris

14 days
Barcelona > Paris
From the city of dreams to the city of light, enjoy a 14 day journey from Barcelona to Paris. See the sights of the Sagrada Familia to the Champs Elysées.
from $7,700
Save Up To $2,000*

Jewels of Europe with Paris

18 days
Paris > Budapest
Lights sparkling on the river, enchanting towns, romantic culture - find it all on this all-encompassing 18 day European experience from Paris to Budapest.
from $8,665

Jewels of Europe with Paris

18 days
Budapest > Paris
Have an amazing experience on this 18 day cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam. Afterwards visit for 3 days one of the most romantic cities in the world, Paris.
from $8,665
Standard Suites Fly Free

Spectacular South of France with Paris

16 days
Paris > Nice
Experience the delights of France on a luxurious 16 day journey from Paris to Nice. Discover the magic of Paris, culture and cuisine that makes it famous.
from $9,185
Save Up To $2,000*

Jewels of Europe with Paris & Prague

21 days
Paris > Prague
Feast your eyes upon the sensory delights of Amsterdam, Cologne, Rhine Gorge and more on this 21 day journey from beautiful Paris to stunning Prague.
from $9,355
Standard Suites Fly Free

Spectacular South of France with Paris & Monte Carlo

19 days
Paris > Nice
Cruise the spectacular rivers of the South of France in 5-star luxury and soak up the sun in Monte Carlo on a lavish 19 day journey from Paris to Nice.
from $10,360
Standard Suites Fly Free

Spectacular South of France with Paris & Barcelona

19 days
Paris > Barcelona
Discover Paris and cruise the South of France from Chalon-sur-Saône to Tarascon before falling in love with beautiful Barcelona on this 19 day adventure.
from $10,625

Gems of the Seine & Beautiful Bordeaux

21 days
Paris > Bordeaux
Discover the best of France, including a 10 day cruise along the Seine that starts in Paris, combined with a 10 day cruise through the Bordeaux region.
from $11,035

Gems of the Seine & Unforgettable Douro with Madrid

24 days
Paris > Madrid
Over 24 days journey on the Seine River in France, before stepping on the Scenic Azure for a cruise along Portugal's Douro River, finishing in Madrid.
from $13,125

Gems of the Seine & Beautiful Bordeaux with Madrid

24 days
Paris > Madrid
A leisurely pace through a number of beautiful destinations is the ultimate luxury. Experience France and Spain's best in 24 days from Paris to Madrid.
from $12,575
Fly Free Economy Class

Gems of the Seine & South of France

23 days
Paris > Nice
Discover the best that France has to offer on a 23 day journey from Paris to Nice. Cruise the Seine and Rhone rivers past the vineyards, castles & villages.
from $13,855

Gems of the Seine & Unforgettable Douro

21 days
Paris > Porto
Discover two of the most magical rivers in Europe, with a 10 day luxury cruise along the romantic Seine and a 10 day cruise along the beautiful Douro.
from $11,700

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