Winding its way leisurely through the heart of Paris and enchanting Norman countryside, the Seine River is France’s second longest. Flowing from the English Channel, it takes you past apple orchards and farmlands, romantic castle ruins, the former homes of Napoleon and Richard the Lionheart, and the historic D-Day beaches of Normandy. A Seine River Cruise gives you the chance to explore Versailles one day and Monet’s Giverny garden the next, not to mention all the iconic sights of Paris from the Eiffel Tower to the Champs-Elysees....
Vernon, Northern France - Seine
Paris, France - Seine
Rouen, Northern France - Seine
Claude Monet fans and gardening enthusiasts alike will want to put Vernon at the top of their bucket list – you can see the Impressionist artist’s blooming lovely gardens in all their glory at the nearby Monet Foundation in Giverny! Beyond its artistic associations, Vernon’s also home to the stately Chateau de Bizy and features a charming village centre with half-timber houses, outdoor cafes and lovely river views.
Explore the history and romance of the City of Lights, famed for its bistros, high fashion and fine art. Enjoy the Paris views from the top of the Eiffel Tower, admire the intricate details of the Notre Dame Cathedral and view masterworks like the Mona Lisa in the iconic Louvre Museum. From gorgeous art nouveau cafes to the industrial style of the Pompidou building, the city’s architecture is always inspiring!
Normandy’s capital is famous for its beautiful pedestrian centre, featuring architecture straight out of the Middle Ages with its half-timbered houses and cobblestones. The Rouen Cathedral of Notre Dame was a favourite of Claude Monet, and you’ll find additional examples of Gothic style in the churches of Saints Ouen and Maclou. The city’s known for its associations with Joan of Arc, featured in its modern museums.
There’s really no wrong time to tour the Seine, with each season holding its own charms. From the twinkling lights and Christmas markets of winter to the changing leaves and apple harvest of autumn, there’s a strong case to be made for cruising in the colder months! Paris is infamously beautiful in the springtime as its trees blossom and temperatures start to rise. However, summer is also a peak time for Seine cruising particularly during the month of August when Parisians leave town to escape the heat, meaning you’ll have the city all to yourself!
The Seine stretches from Paris all the way to Honfleur, passing through the gorgeous Normandy region along the way. Start with top Parisian highlights whether you fancy seeing the gargoyles of the Notre Dame Cathedral, taking a jaunt up the Eiffel Tower or viewing masterworks at the Louvre. Stop off at Vernon to tour Monet’s famous gardens and the Baroque splendour of Bizy Castle, and Rouen to explore perfectly preserved half-timbred medieval streetscapes. Les Andeyls are charming fishing villages housing the ruins of Chateau Gaillard, while Honfleur has much to offer including a 15th century church crafted entirely from wood.
Touring down the Seine is fuss-free - there’s no need for a visa to visit the Seine region if you’re a British citizen, as this river is located entirely within France. Just double check the expiration date on your passport to make sure it’s up to date! If you have a different type of British nationality, check the current entry requirements on the French Foreign Ministry website for up-to-date info. If you fall in love with the Seine (and who could blame you!) and wish to stay for a longer period over three months, contact the French Embassy for assistance.
The food alone gives plenty of reason to visit the Seine region, starting with the fresh seafood sourced from Normandy’s coastline. Oysters, scallops, and lobsters are beautifully prepared in simple buttery sauces in Honfleur’s bustling eateries. The region’s cheese is world-famous, including locally made Camembert, Neufchatel, and Livarot varieties to liven up your cheese board. The river passes through apple orchards, which are used to make mouth-watering tarts and tempting tipples like cider and calvados. Be sure to try the dairy-licious local rice pudding called ‘Tergoule’ or the ‘Sucres de Pommes’, a sweet apple candy made in Rouen.