Northern France and its “City of Light” sparkle even more during the holidays. The grand Christmas tree at Notre Dame, enchanting animated window displays on Boulevard Haussmann and the gloriously lit trees lining the Champs-Élysées infuse the city with magic. Combine the festivities of the holidays in Paris and surrounding towns with the world of royalty, and you’ll be treated to a once-in-a-lifetime festive royal journey.
While at Château de Versailles, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most beautiful achievements of 18th-century French art, you’ll be taken on a private guided tour of the Hall of Mirrors, Queen and King’s chambers and Marie Antoinette’s Le Petit Trianon. And in Paris, you’ll be treated to a rare experience with a private cocktail reception hosted by the owners of the luxurious 17th-century Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte. You’ll also get a “Taste of Christmas” in the medieval city of Rouen and indulge in delicious holiday treats at La Couronne, the restaurant made famous by Julia Child. And for those sailing over New Year’s, ring in 2018 against the stunning backdrop of the twinkling Parisian skyline.
Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
Arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, where you will be transferred to the ship.
Château La Roche Guyon, located in one of the most beautiful villages of France, has stood against the chalk cliff since the Middle Ages. While here, you’ll listen to the many stories from the Middle Ages as you enjoy a wine tasting. If you prefer a more active adventure at the château, climb the 276 steps up to the fortress, where you’ll see the beautiful village built on the gently rolling Seine curve. You’ll then travel to Château de Bizy, once home to the duke of Penthièvre. Discover its many charms both inside and out, including the park with sculpted fountains. While here, be treated to a concert. End your day at the festive Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner.
One of France’s best-preserved medieval cities, Rouen is an ideal setting for an old world Christmas Market. On your walking tour, you’ll see the historic quarter and the bronze cross marking the spot where Joan of Arc was martyred. Delve into the festivities of the city’s Marché de Noël, sipping warm cider as you shop for handmade toys and crafts. Be sure to step inside Notre Dame Cathedral to see the crèche and listen to a choral performance. You can also discover some traditional and delicious Norman treats at La Couronne, the restaurant where Julia Child had her first French meal, which was the meal that changed her life.
Enter the famous Hall of Mirrors and you’ll immediately see why Versailles set the standard for over-the-top opulence. Spend the day exploring the decadent world of Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI with a specialist. From the Grands Appartements to the Queen’s Bedchamber, this once-in-a-lifetime exclusive tour behind the palace’s secret doors is one you’ll never forget. Note: A Holiday Gala Dinner will be served on this day on December 6 and 13 departures. The December 20 departure will feature a Christmas Dinner, while the December 27 departure will feature a New Year’s Dinner.
Experience Paris as a true Parisian. Take the Métro to the Île de la Cité, the historic center of Paris, and the great cathedral of Notre Dame. An expert in the history and architecture of this magnificent cathedral is your guide as you explore both inside and out. After you’ve admired Notre Dame’s stained glass, flying buttresses and idiosyncratic gargoyles, cross the Archbishop’s Bridge to the Left Bank and the Latin Quarter, seeing the famous Sorbonne University, the Pantheon and Luxembourg Garden. Throughout the day, you can also take the shuttle from the ship to the Champs-Élysées Christmas markets.
The 17th-century Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte is a combination of three exceptional features: magnificent architecture, luxurious decorations and a breathtaking garden. You’ll have a rare opportunity to enter the lavishly decorated palace for a private cocktail reception hosted by the owner. Afterwards, join a special “Illuminations” tour to discover why Paris has earned the nickname “The City of Light,” and how it sparkles even more at Christmastime.
Take a step back in time to admire the decadence of the late 1800s at the stunning Palais Garnier Opéra House, inspiration for the play Phantom of the Opera. This 19th-century opera house is one of the most opulent buildings in Paris and one of the most recognized opera houses in the world. Commissioned by Napoleon III, it was created in the popular Beaux Arts style of the time with heavy glass chandeliers, sweeping marble staircases and gilt decorations, and today it is home to the famous Paris Ballet. After visiting it, you’ll do as the Parisians do and make your way to two of the city’s most celebrated department stores on the Boulevard Haussmann. Christmas shopping is one of the many true pleasures of a Parisian Christmas, which is primarily due to the fabulous festive ambience that the city creates with decorations and illuminations. Each year, for the past 50 years, these world-famous department stores, Le Printemps and Galeries Lafayette, vie with each other to create the most amazing Christmas window displays with 3-D animation and festive store interior decorations. Should you wish to explore a different side of the city, hop on a bicycle and peddle to the Left Bank. Cap your festive day off at the Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner.
Disembark the ship and transfer to Charles de Gaulle Airport for your flight home.
|Depart Date||Return Date||Price||Discount||AvailabilityPrice|
|5 Dec 17||13 Dec 17||$2949pp||
|12 Dec 17||20 Dec 17||$2849pp||
|19 Dec 17||27 Dec 17||$2849pp||
|26 Dec 17||3 Jan 18||$3249pp||
#Solo Friendly Departures. Single Supplement waived on these dates. Call for details.
NOTE: Flights must arrive between 5am and 5pm and depart between 6am and 6pm. Airport arrival and departure transfers are included on arrival and departure days only.
Order of sightseeing may change throughout the itinerary. Substitute visits to other sites may occur during your trip due to water levels or other uncontrollable factors.
Price shown is per person based on two people sharing a twin bedded Stateroom and cruise in category 5 Cabin. Single rooms are available at a supplement. Cabin upgrades available at a supplement. Port Charges included.
Early Booking and Pay in Full Discounts vary based on Stateroom category.
AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift! Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.
Frequent Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation.
Special Discounts and Promotions: At times we offer discounted departures. These discounts are valid for new bookings only and are not combinable with any other discounts other than our Frequent Traveler Discount and $100 AARP Member Discount. Other restrictions may apply, please call for details.
Cancellation Penalties: 90-60 days prior to departure: 35%; 59-30 days prior to departure: 50%; 29-1 days prior to departure: 80%; Day of departure: 100%.
Length: 410 ft / Width: 37.5 ft / Voltage: 110/220 volts / Guests: 128 / Staff: 52
Royal Suites: 2 (410 sq ft) / Suites: 8 (260 sq ft) / Staterooms: 54 (162-194 sq ft) / Rivers: Seine River
Uniworld’s newest Super Ship—S.S. Joie de Vivre—is designed to reflect the “joy of living” as it cruises the Seine River in northern France. This luxurious 128-passenger vessel is a showcase for handcrafted furniture, sumptuous fabrics, beautiful antiques, gilded accents and every modern convenience. The Salon de Toulouse features a full-service bar and art and antiques curated from renowned auction houses and private collections. Enticing dining venues include Le Restaurant Pigalle, Bistro Saint-Germain and Café Flore. Intimately scaled so it can dock in the heart of Paris, the Joie de Vivre features two Royal Suites, eight Junior Suites, and 54 staterooms, all with made-to-order Savoir of England beds and marble-lined bathrooms.
Click HERE to view a PDF of ship facts.
S.S. Joie de Vivre features lavishly appointed riverview staterooms and uniquely designed suites. All accommodations have custom-made-to-order Savoir of England beds with handcrafted headboards, high-thread-count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, a menu of pillow options, and marble-lined bathrooms. Guests staying in suites also enjoy enhanced amenities and services, including professional butlers.
This meticulously designed ship features enticing public areas and luxurious amenities, including a beautiful lounge filled with art and antiques, multiple dining venues and bars, a well-equipped fitness center and enclosed heated swimming pool, Serenity River Spa, and a Deck de Montmartre with a life-sized checkerboard and comfortable seating, ideal for relaxing and savoring in the ever-changing views.
Le Club l'Esprit
Salon de Beaux-Arts
The currency in France is the Euro (€). While it’s a good idea to bring some euros for when you first arrive in France, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate when you arrive in your destination. The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in France. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling. It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.
We suggest bringing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. Keep in mind that your shoulders and knees should be covered while visiting religious sites. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.
We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.
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