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Parisian Royal Holiday

Operated by: Uniworld River Cruises

8 Days from $2,999 per person
The Eiffel Tower in winter

Countries Visited

France ...more France

Locations Visited

Rouen, Vernon, La Roche-Guyon, Mantes-la-Jolie, Versailles, Paris ...more Rouen, Vernon, La Roche-Guyon, Mantes-la-Jolie, Versailles, Paris
  1. Day 1 Paris (Embark)

    Arrive at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.

    meals Dinner
  2. Day 2 La Roche Guyon, Vernon

    Your journey begins in regal fashion today with visits to two châteaux. At Château La Roche-Guyon, you may venture inside for a peek at the sumptuous rooms where French kings were once entertained (and royal hijinks no doubt ensured). Or climb to the top of the fortress tower for marvelous views of the gardens, village and valley below. Spend the evening at another beautiful château, an ideal setting for a concert of classical music. Kings, dukes, duchesses, cardinals, counts—France’s nobility created splendid palaces and intriguing castles. Today the Seine and your luxurious ship carry you to châteaux with close links to the history of French royalty, in a region that was once the borderland between French and English royal power.

    A special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.

    Featured Excursion: Château de Bizy concert

    Choice of Château La Roche-Guyon or “Let's Go” Château La Roche-Guyon fortress tower climb

    Generations Excursion: "Let's Go" Château La Roche-Guyon fortress tower climb
    This excursion is only available on sailings that belong to the Generations program.

    Château de Bizy concert
    The Seine-side gates of an estate long linked to kings open for you this evening. A fairyland of lights illuminates a tree-lined lane through grounds dotted with trees planted by Louis-Philippe, the last king of France, at Château de Bizy, which once belonged to the duke of Penthièvre (the son of Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan). As you reach the house, light streams from the tall windows of the neoclassical façade, welcoming you indoors. Though France has no king now, the house still belongs to descendants of Napoleon’s brothers, who maintain its opulent rooms and regal heritage. Take your seat in the marble-columned drawing room hung with tapestries for a delightful concert. Following the concert, you’ll catch a glimpse of the floodlit stable yard (modeled on Versailles’ stables and all that remains of the original 17th-century palace).

    Château La Roche-Guyon
    From cave dwelling to fortress to castle to palace: This is the history of Château La Roche-Guyon (the Rock of Guy), which takes its name from its medieval lords (traditionally named Guy) and its location, a limestone outcropping—a rock—above the Seine. Medieval knights kept watch for marauding Vikings from the tower high atop the hill and later defended the double wall around a 13th-century manor house; successive lords added to the buildings over the centuries, so you can see not just troglodyte chapels but Renaissance rooms where kings Francis I and Henry II were entertained (and, legend says, Henry IV pursued a lovely chatelaine without success) and handsome 18th-century state apartments. Enlightenment thinkers met with the Duchess d’Enville, who owned the château before the revolution and who had the huge kitchen garden laid out according to Enlightenment principles. You might think, as you walk through the elegantly designed garden and beautifully paneled rooms (mostly without furniture these days, so you can appreciate the Gobelins tapestries without distraction) that the residence’s military function was in the far distant past, but Rommel made his headquarters here during WWII, precisely because the ancient fortifications and caves were so secure.

    “Let's Go” Château La Roche-Guyon fortress tower climb
    The donjon—the keep—guarding the hilltop is the oldest part of the château. Erected in the 12th century, it was linked to the 13th-century castle by a passageway carved into the limestone cliff. Climb the 279 steps chipped by hand into the stone so many centuries ago: The stairway is steep and the steps irregular, worn down in some places by the many feet that have clambered up and down them over the past 800 years. When you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with an amazing view of the village—considered one of the most beautiful in France—far below and the lovely, now-peaceful valley spreading out into the distance. You also get a clear picture of the formal 17th-century layout of the kitchen garden, its squares divided into triangles and crossed with diagonal paths.

    meals Breakfast, Lunch, Captain's Welcome Reception & Dinner
  3. Day 3 Rouen

    Normandy’s medieval capital has a historic quarter that remains amazingly intact. See Rouen’s top sights as well as its splendid Christmas market, held on the square in front of the cathedral Monet painted dozens of times. Inside, you can listen to ethereal liturgical music enhanced by the cathedral’s wonderful acoustics. Another treat awaits at La Couronne—tea and cake at the restaurant where Julia Child had a life-changing first meal in France. The medieval capital of Normandy, Rouen has managed to preserve much of its historic core, despite being turned into a battlefield numerous times.

    Featured Excursions:
    Rouen walking discovery tour with Christmas Market
    Cathedral choir recital and tea time at La Couronne

    Generations Excursion:
    Le Gros Horloge—Clocktower tour in Rouen
    Paint class at Monet's studio
    These excursions are only available on sailings that belong to the Generations program.

    Rouen walking discovery tour with Christmas Market
    Victor Hugo called Rouen the city with 100 bell towers—and easily the most famous of those towers is the one rising above Notre Dame Cathedral, which, at one point, was the tallest building in the world. Begun some 800 years ago, the cathedral acquired a multitude of spires and styles as it was renovated in different eras. When you leave the cathedral square, you’ll walk under the arch housing an ornate Renaissance clock and begin your exploration of the Old Town. The cobblestone alleyways are lined with tall half-timbered houses, characteristic of the region, often with shops on the ground floor and apartments above—it may be a historic district, but it is also a living one. As you enter the Old Market Square, you’ll spot a bronze cross marking the spot where the English burned Joan of Arc at the stake.

    You may explore the Christmas market, which fills the square outside the cathedral, on your own. The scent of cider, crepes and roasting chestnuts drifts through the crisp air as you wander among the stalls, where you’ll find the classic Nativity figures of Provence (called santons) and hundreds of specialty arts and crafts from all over France.

    Cathedral choir recital and tea time at La Couronne
    Step inside the magnificent cathedral, where soaring columns will lead your eye upward to the graceful arches overhead. Lining one side are statues of the Apostles; you can identify them by the symbols they hold—St. Peter, for instance, carries the keys to heaven—and the 13th-century stained-glass windows, which survived Allied bombing in 1944, gild the interior with a soft glow. Richard the Lionheart’s heart is entombed here, a reminder of how closely Normandy and England’s political fates were entwined for many centuries. Pause to admire the charming Christmas crèche before taking a seat in a pew. You are in for a treat: The cathedral’s St. Evode choir school is extraordinary, and the church’s marvelous acoustics will let you hear this ethereal liturgical music as it is meant to be heard.

    Later, follow in Julia Child’s footsteps to La Couronne—which calls itself the oldest auberge in France—on Rouen’s old market square, and experience one of the joys of Norman cooking: the classic tarte Tatin. La Couronne is the place where the renowned chef had her very first meal in France, an epicurean experience that changed the course of her life by inspiring a great passion for French cuisine and culinary traditions.

    Generations Excursion: Le Gros Horloge—Clocktower tour in Rouen
    Rouen’s Great Clock was set into an arch over the street around 1520. On one side you can see the single hand that shows the hours (there is no minute hand); on the other side the works are designed to show phases of the moon and other astronomical phenomena. This clock face is 500 years old but the original clock is actually a century older than the Renaissance archway. Climb the tower—four floors of it—to see the original clock mechanism (it ran without stopping, through war after war, from the 14th century until 1928, when it finally needed to be repaired): it’s one floor above the clock face. The bell tower contains the first city bells allowed to ring the hours (before that, only churches were allowed to have bells in Rouen) and the rooms where the clock “governor,” who was responsible for making sure the clock stayed in good working order, lived. At the top of the tower, you can get a good look at the cathedral’s spectacular spires.
    This excursion is only available on sailings that belong to the Generations program.

    meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  4. Day 4 Mantes-la-Jolie (Versailles)

    The magnificently flamboyant Palace of Versailles was built during a time of absolute power, setting new standards for over-the-top excess with its elaborate gardens, grand state apartments and glittering Hall of Mirrors. All this plus an exclusive “secret” tour that takes you were others cannot go? Priceless.

    Featured Excursion: Exclusive “Secret Versailles” palace tour

    Generations Excursion: Versailles for Royals and Absolute rulers
    This excursion is only available on sailings that belong to the Generations program.

    Exclusive “Secret Versailles” palace tour
    It was the official residence of the country’s kings and queens from 1682 until the revolution, and although the monarchy possessed other palaces, Versailles stood alone in magnificence. Your local expert, a historian, will take you into the private apartments of the courtiers, each room beautifully restored to look as it did in 1788. In these chambers and antechambers, parlors and boudoirs, you’ll find lush silk draperies, exquisite marquetry tables, gilded beds, Aubusson carpets and porcelain ornaments that reveal the elegance of the 18th-century nobility’s lifestyle, as well as the extravagance that helped fuel the rage leading to the revolution. Climb the great staircase and enter the jaw-dropping Hall of Mirrors, where the absolute ruler of France held court for the ambassadors of Siam, Persia and the Ottoman Empire, as well as all the great seigneurs of France. Ladies intrigued behind their fans, plots were hatched and careers were made and destroyed beneath the sparkling chandeliers here.

    Following lunch, visit Marie Antoinette’s Petit Trianon, the charming house and garden—originally built for Louis XV’s mistress Madame de Pompadour—where the queen escaped the formality of court life and relaxed with her closest friends. Take some time to admire the vast formal gardens, which the Sun King loved and on which he lavished fortunes. With its Grand Canal, hundreds of fountains, manicured parterres and thousands of trees, it remains one of the world’s great gardens.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner
  5. Day 5 Paris: Ile de la Cite and Latin Quarter

    Join a local expert for a guided walk through two of our favorite neighborhoods in the “City of Light,” the Île de la Cité and Latin Quarter. Wander the streets with stones worn by countless notable artists, writers and philosophers, including Matisse and Picasso, Hemingway and Fitzgerald. The cultural, political, artistic and financial heart of France, Paris is entrancing, magical and exhilarating. Every view is postcard worthy, and for the next few days it is yours to enjoy.

    Choice of Taste of Christmas walking tour to Paris Left Bank or Exclusive guided "Let's Go" bike ride along the Left Bank

    Generations Excursion: Taste of Christmas with tasting and Ferris wheel
    This excursion is only available on sailings that belong to the Generations program.

    Generations Excursion: Taste of Christmas with tasting and Ferris wheel
    Here’s a day of seasonal treats! The Grande Roue—the great wheel—is only erected at Christmastime in Paris. It stands on the Champs Elysées, a huge circular punctuation mark for the Christmas market there, and it offers fantastic views of the city’s landmarks. The Christmas market takes its cues from the oldest markets in France—those in Alsace—so you have a chance to taste some of the traditional treats of that region: yummy cookies known as bredele, and perhaps a crepe or waffle.
    This excursion is only available on sailings that belong to the Generations program.

    meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  6. Day 6 Paris: Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte and "Illuminations" tour

    After visiting Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, Louis XIV was so green with envy that he gave his modest hunting lodge a total makeover. See the inspiration for Versailles on an excursion to this elaborately decorated winter wonderland, where the owner will host an exclusive reception for Uniworld guests. Tonight, we’ll treat you to a Paris illuminations tour.

    Featured Excursions:
    Exclusive reception at Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte
    Paris “Illuminations” tour

    Generations Excursions:
    Scavenger Hunt at Musee du Louvre
    Eiffel Tower tour
    These excursions are only available on sailings that belong to the Generations program.

    Exclusive reception at Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte
    Louis XIV first encountered the work of Louis Le Vau, Charles Le Brun and Andre Le Notre at Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, the palatial estate created by his finance minister, Nicolas Fouquet. He admired it greatly—so greatly that after he had Fouquet imprisoned, he took what he liked from the estate and recruited the architect, the painter and the landscape designer to turn Versailles, his modest hunting lodge, into the spectacular palace it is now. Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte has been exquisitely restored, and, at this time of year, it is transformed into a fairyland: Roaring fires blaze in marble replaces; lavishly decorated Christmas trees add festive color to the stately rooms—every salon looks fit to receive the Sun King once again. Tour the splendid rooms and then gather in the grand salon, with its magnificent Christmas tree, for an exclusive reception.

    Paris “Illuminations” tour
    Paris calls upon her most talented lighting designers to create spectacular holiday illuminations throughout the city in an event called “Paris Lights up Paris.” This evening, you’ll take a scenic drive past some of the capital’s most festive displays. Traveling along the Right Bank, you will pass a number of the 37 bridges that dress up the Seine in a dazzling array, from the oldest, the Pont Neuf, decorated with grotesque figures, to the most stunning, the single-arched Pont Alexandre III, with its elegantly sculpted art nouveau nymphs, winged horses and lamps. After turning around the pink granite obelisk and the gilded fountains at Place de la Concorde, the famously fashionable Rue de Rivoli will come into view. Then you’ll see the two most famous theaters in Paris at each end of the majestic Boulevard de l’Opéra: the Comédie-Française (French National Theater), where the French classical repertoire is performed, at the south end, and, at the north, the Palais Garnier, which hosts the National Opera and Ballet companies. The sophisticated Place Vendôme is distinguished by the bronze-wrapped Vendôme Column, topped by a statue of Napoleon as a Roman emperor, and by posh designer salons, five-star hotels and fine jewelers. Tonight the enchanted square will unveil illuminations of shimmering crystal effects that match the precious bejeweled ornaments displayed in the shop windows. Your illumination tour will come to an end at the Place du Trocadéro, where you’ll have a view of the city’s signature landmark, the Eiffel Tower, and its delightful, dynamic light show.

    Generations Excursion: Scavenger Hunt at Musee du Louvre
    You’ll need a camera for today’s adventure, which starts under the Louvre Museum’s glass pyramid. There you’ll join up with a team and receive your map of the museum (it’s huge) highlighted with a list of treasures—artworks that fit the theme of beauty and the beast—to find. You’re going to have just two hours to locate as many as possible and snap photos of your team in front of the designated beauty or beast. The clues can be sneaky, so you’ll need skill, strategy, teamwork and maybe a little luck to win. Ready, set, go!
    This excursion is only available on sailings that belong to the Generations program.

    meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  7. Day 7 Paris: Opera House

    The shop windows of Paris are truly an art form, particularly during the holidays when they attract throngs of delighted onlookers. See these enchanting displays for yourself today on one of the city’s chicest streets. We’ll also take you inside the Paris Opera, described by its architect as a “Versailles for everyone.”

    This evening, a special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner will be prepared for you.

    Choice of Walking discovery tour to the Paris Opera and Boulevard Haussmann or Paris city roofs

    Walking discovery tour to the Paris Opera and Boulevard Haussmann
    Step inside one of the city’s most lavish institutions, the Opéra de Paris Garnier, also known as Palais Garnier. And indeed it is a palace, a palace dedicated to the performing arts. Work on this extravagant opera house began in 1865 and continued for 15 trouble-filled years, which included the discovery of an underground lake beneath the construction site. (It’s still there, incidentally—connected to an enormous cistern where carp swim and rescue divers train.) Despite the many difficulties, the result is dazzling: With chandeliers hanging from the mosaic ceiling, red-velvet wall coverings and draperies, gold leaf, cherubs and marble friezes, it is a glorious tribute to Second Empire sumptuousness. It is named, fittingly, for the man who designed this “Versailles for everyone,” Charles Garnier, an unknown architect who won a competition to build a new opera house. Your next stops are equally colorful. Le Printemps and Les Galeries Lafayette, two splendid department stores on Boulevard Haussmann, not far from the opera house, celebrate the season with spectacular window displays. Often created by top fashion designers, the displays—charming, over-the-top, whimsical and amazing—attract large, appreciative crowds. Drift from window to window, admiring them, and then spend some time shopping in the area.

    meals Breakfast, Lunch, Captain's Farewell Reception & Gala Dinner
  8. Day 8 Paris (Disembark)

    Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport for your flight home.

    meals Breakfast
PWPP Parisian Royal Holiday Map Uw 2020
Price Includes

Generations Family Program (select sailings)

Share the allure of France with the special young people in your life with historically rich experiences designed to spark lifelong learning.

Dining

  • All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
  • 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions
  • Welcome and Farewell Gala Dinners
  • Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, specialty coffee and tea, soft drinks and mineral water

Accommodations

  • 7-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the magical S.S. Joie de Vivre
  • Lavishly appointed riverview staterooms and suites have handcrafted Savoir® of England beds, high-thread count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, and a menu of pillow options
  • Free Internet and Wi-Fi access

Excursions

  • 6 days of excursions, fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
  • Guided “Taste of Christmas,” “Let's Go,” and “Do as the Locals Do” programs
  • State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio-headset system on all excursions
  • Use of Nordic walking sticks

Experiences

  • 1 country: France
  • 2 UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise Manager
  • All transfers on arrival and departure days
  • Captivating onboard local entertainment
  • Cultural enrichment, including a Signature Lecture

All fares are per guest in US Dollars based on double occupancy unless otherwise noted.

Fares are capacity controlled and are subject to change at any time without notice.

Availability of all stateroom categories cannot be guaranteed.

Single Supplement applies for single accommodation.

Itineraries, hotels, and vessels may change, and substitute visits to other sites may occur during your trip due to water level fluctuations and other uncontrollable factors.

The order of sightseeing and docking ports are subject to change according to port authority assignments.

Prices exclude additional port charges of $190 per person

Dates & Prices
Airfare is not included, but can be added to quote upon request
  • Generations Program
Classic French Balcony Deluxe French Balcony Suite Grand Suite Availability Price
Start Date: Sun, Dec 6, 2020
Return Date: Sun, Dec 13, 2020
S.S. Joie de Vivre Paris to Paris
$3,299 pp $4,099 pp $4,999 pp $6,499 pp $8,599 pp Request Quote
Start Date: Sun, Dec 13, 2020
Return Date: Sun, Dec 20, 2020
S.S. Joie de Vivre Paris to Paris
$2,999 pp $3,799 pp $4,699 pp $6,199 pp $8,299 pp Request Quote
Generations Program
Start Date: Sun, Dec 20, 2020
Return Date: Sun, Dec 27, 2020
S.S. Joie de Vivre Paris to Paris
$3,299 pp $4,099 pp $4,999 pp $6,499 pp $8,599 pp Request Quote
Generations Program
Start Date: Sun, Dec 27, 2020
Return Date: Sun, Jan 3, 2021
S.S. Joie de Vivre Paris to Paris
$3,299 pp $4,099 pp $4,999 pp $6,499 pp $8,599 pp Request Quote
Ship Information
LIVE JOYFULLY, TRAVEL ELEGANTLY

The S.S. Joie de Vivre brings the joy of living to northern France with a design reflecting 20th-century Paris. The ship’s innovative Club L’Esprit transforms from pool area to cinema to dining venue before your eyes.

Click HERE to view a pdf of ship facts (and click HERE to download software to open a pdf file).

 

Inaugurated: 2017
Travels on: Seine River
Guests: 128
Staff: 54

Suites: 8 (260 sq ft)
Deluxe French Balcony: 16 (194 sq ft)
French Balcony: 29 (194 sq ft)
Classic: 9 (180-162 sq ft)

Length: 410 ft
Width: 37.5 ft
Voltage: 110/220 volts

SUITES

Lavishly appointed riverview stateroom (260 sq ft - 24 sq m) with a French balcony

Handcrafted Savoir® of England bed, built-in closet, hair dryer, safe, individual thermostat, flat-screen TV with infotainment center and satellite, and bottled water

FRENCH BALCONY

Lavishly appointed riverview staterooms (194 sq ft - 18 sq m) with a French balconies

Handcrafted Savoir® of England bed, built-in closet, hair dryer, safe, individual thermostat, flat-screen TV with infotainment center and satellite, and bottled water

Marble bathroom with L’Occitane en Provence bath and body products, plush towels, towel warmer, cozy bathrobes and slippers

CLASSIC

Lavishly appointed riverview stateroom (162-180 sq ft - 15-17 sq m)

Handcrafted Savoir® of England bed, built-in closet, hair dryer, safe, individual thermostat, flat-screen TV with infotainment center and satellite, and bottled water

Marble bathroom with L’Occitane en Provence bath and body products, plush towels, towel warmer, cozy bathrobes and slippers

Reviews
Service
Vacation
Independent Reviews
Trusted Customer
Monday, December 22, 2014
Service
Kari is wonderful and GET delivers what they promise.
Response from Grand European Travel:
I appreciate your comments about your booking agent Kari. She truly does go above and beyond and I will be sure to share your comments with her. So happy to see that you enjoyed your Holiday Cruise. Hope to see you again soon! Dee-Grand European Travel
Monday, December 29, 2014
Vacation
The river Baroness and her crew are committed to providing uncompromising service. Rooms could be a bit larger.
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