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Springtime in Paris

France
Paris, better known as La Ville Lumière  (The City of Light), is considered Europe’s most romantic city.   
From Montmartre to the Champs-Elysees, and beyond, this city has provided inspiration to countless artists, writers and musicians through the ages. Today Paris is equally renowned for its cuisine, museums and spectacular art galleries. It is a city like no other, and all who visit experience a true joie de vivre!

On this in-depth tour we will visit all of the sights that you have heard about, some that you haven’t, and a few days of exploring outside the city. The most recognizable landmark in Paris is the Eiffel Tower, built for the 1889 World’s Fair - considered one of the most beautiful structures in the world. Other famous landmark include the Arc de Triomphe (a magnificent monument built for Napoleon in 1809), the beautiful Cathedral of Notre Dame, the Louvre (the world’s largest museum which houses the “Mona Lisa” and the “Venus de Milo”) and the Champs-Elysees - perhaps the world’s most famous street!  

A highlight of our tour will be our evening cruise on the River Seine - a chance to enjoy a unique view of the city - a wonderful experience especially at night when the city is dramatically lit and the Eiffel Tower sparkles! 

Another highlight will be our dinner-show at the original Moulin Rouge - home to the world’s most legendary cabaret show and birthplace of the “can-can” dance.  Outside the capital we will visit Versailles – the lavishly decorated Royal Chateau built by Louis XIV – the Sun King, as well as a visit to Giverny – the country home and gardens of the famous Impressionist painter Monet. And the tour wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the exclusive Champagne region of France to discover the history and secrets (and of course a tasting) of the “King of Wines”! 

We will stay at the centrally located First Class Holiday Inn Bastille (or similar) – a quaint and intimate yet modernized hotel located within walking distance of Notre Dame, the Seine River, the Left Bank and more.

* Those joining any of our tours to Europe must be able to  walk fairly long distances and climb stairs easily.

Itinerary / Excursions

We depart for Paris.
Upon arrival we will enjoy a short tour of Luxembourg Gardens and then proceed to our centrally located hotel. The balance of the day is at leisure until this evening’s Welcome Dinner.
On today’s city tour we will cross between the left and right banks across the ornate bridges, and see the major highlights of Paris: the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, Place de la Concord, Champs-Elysées, the gothic masterpiece Notre Dame, and so much more. Included will be visits to the Eiffel Tower, the magnificent Opera Garnier, and the grand parfumeur – The House of Fragonard, known for their passionate dedication to the making of fine perfume!
We leave the city and step back in time to visit two magnificent architectural masterpieces! Our first visit is Versailles and the magnificent grandeur of Louis XIV’s (Sun King) Palace, which became the envy of all European rulers of the time. We enjoy a guided tour of the palace, followed by a stroll through the impressive statue-lined gardens. Then we continue to the Chartres Cathedral - a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of history’s greatest architectural achievements. This exquisite Gothic building has housed the tunic of the Blessed Virgin Mary since the 9th century, making it a leading pilgrimage center.
We leave the city again to visit Giverny, where Monet lived and created a stunning garden of diverse symmetry and colour. Monet mixed the simplest flowers (daisies and poppies) with the rarest varieties and let them grow freely. This is where he painted the ‘Japanese Bridge’, and the delicate ‘Water Lilies’ which have been forever immortalized in his incredible works! In addition, included will be a visit and lunch at the local Musee des Impressionnismes - an art museum focused on the Impressionist period.

This evening we enjoy a Champagne Dinner-Show at the venue made famous in Toulouse-Lautrec’s paintings - the world renowned Moulin Rouge, birthplace of the Can-Can!
Our morning is at leisure to explore Paris on our own. This afternoon we ride the local metro to see a different side of Paris - with an afternoon walking tour of the historic Marais district - the closest you will get to the feel of medieval Paris. A glance at some of the beautiful buildings and houses indicates the wealthy status of the former residents. This is where Victor Hugo lived and wrote Les Misérables. Today this area houses many art galleries, design shops and is one of Europe’s most well-known Jewish quarters. From here we continue to another historic area: Montmartre and the Sacre Coeur. At the Place du Terte we can watch the artists at work while they try to capture the magic of Paris on canvas!
There is so much to do and see in Paris, and your Tour Manager will be on hand to advise and assist. You may want to join an optional day-trip to Vimy Ridge Memorial, which honours the Canadians who died here during the First World War.
We venture to the heart of Champagne country today to discover the history and secrets of “The King of Wines”. We visit the historic city of Reims – not only the capital of the Champagne region but also home to the legendary monk, Dom Perignon, who accidently invented this prestigious sparkling wine. Our included lunch in Epernay features the delicious cuisine of the region. After lunch we will tour one of the world famous champagne house cellars, enjoy a tasting session of the local champagne and view the magnificent vineyards from its tower!
Morning at leisure to explore on your own. This afternoon we visit the world’s most famous art museum - The Louvre, which features a mond-boggling number of famous paintings and sculptures! Our guided tour will cover The Louvre’s most important works, such as Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” and the “Venus de Milo”. There will be free time to view some of the masterpieces by Brueghel, Goya, Michelangelo, Matisse, Picasso, Rubens Rembrandt and many more. This evening is our Farewell Dinner followed by a romantic cruise on the Seine - a chance to marvel at “The City of Light” while it is dramatically lit.
We bid adieu to Paris, until next time!
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