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Springtime in Paris

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 stay-put, in-depth tour we will visit all of the sights that you have heard or read about, some that you haven’t, and a few days of exploration outside of the capital. The most recognizable landmark in Paris is, of course, 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 - arguably the most famous street in the world!  

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.

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 panoramic 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, Eiffel Tower, the magnificent Opera Garnier (be on the lookout for “The Phantom of the Opera”), the gothic masterpiece Notre Dame, Place de la Concord, Champs-Elysées, and as a finale - a stop at the grand parfumeur – The House of Fragonard, known for their passionate dedication to the making of fine perfume!
Our morning is at leisure to explore the city 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. Le Marais is the closest you will get to the feel of medieval Paris. It has a fascinating history and has remade itself many times. 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 also the most well-known Jewish quarter in Paris and in much of Europe. 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!
Today we visit the most famous art museum in the world - The Louvre. The number of famous paintings and sculptures in the Louvre is mind-boggling and so is the museum's size! Our guided tour will cover The Louvre’s most important works, such as Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa”, the “Venus de Milo”, etc. You will also enjoy free time to view some of the masterpieces by Brueghel, Goya, Michelangelo, Matisse, Picasso, Rembrandt, Rubens and many more.
Today we leave the city 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!
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!
We leave the city and step back in time to enjoy the grandeur and magnificence of Versailles. Created by the Sun King, Louis XIV, the palace became the envy of all European rulers of the time. We will have a guided tour of the palace, followed by a stroll through the magnificent statue-lined gardens. After our visit we return to Paris, with the rest of the afternoon at leisure.
A final day at leisure to explore on your own. Your Tour Manager will be on hand to advise and assist. You may want to consider joining an optional day-trip to Vimy Ridge to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the Great War. This evening we enjoy our Farewell Dinner followed by a romantic cruise on the Seine - an opportunity to marvel at Paris from a different perspective while the city is dramatically lit. You will see why the nickname for Paris is The City of Light.
We bid adieu to Paris, until next time!
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