Paris (Seine) & Villeneuve-sur-Yonne (Yonne River)

Sunday:
We will meet at your hotel in Paris at noon and transfer you by a private minibus van to our mooring post, right next to the Eiffel Tower, where you will board your ship, Aurora, for a welcome reception with champagne and your first lunch aboard, followed by a cruise through Paris. This is the best way of enjoying the city’s beautiful bridges and the architecture. In the late afternoon we will leave the City of Light behind and sail through the outskirts until we enter the serenity of the typical Ile-de-France countryside. Mooring for the night will be in Evry where you will enjoy your lavish gourmet dinner.

Monday:
Cruise from Evry to Samois sur Seine. Possible excursions include the following options:

  • Disneyland for those who are young at heart, a place where endless family magic awaits with a possibility of extensive shopping at Val d’Europe in La Vallée Village conveniently situated right next to Disneyland or experience some fun in Flight Simulator in Val d’Europe (Serris)
  • Chateau de Vincennes (one of the most extensive and best preserved fortified castles in Europe from 14th and 17th century that saw the events such as the Hundred Years War, Battle of Paris or World War II) or Chateau de Champs sur Marne (located 18km to the east of Paris and one of the finest examples of neo-classical architecture in the Île-de-France region. Its rococo decoration and rich furniture bring back to life the refined setting of Enlightenment country houses)
  • Chateau de Fontainebleau, a world-renown palace that welcomed 34 French sovereigns, surrounded by a forest where royalty used to hunt, one of the largest royal castles in France, today a national museum and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, set in the heart of the “imperial town” of Fontainebleau
  • Wild Cat Nature Park (Lumigny-Nesles-Orneaux) the only wild animal park of its kind in Europe
  • Brie de Melun, a cheese farm visit

Tuesday:
Cruise from Samois sur Seine to Montereau F. Yonne, with possible excursions:

  • Barbizon, hometown of the Ecole de Fontainebleau painting Impressionist movement, with the Auberge Gannes where the artists used to live and paint its walls. Convivial and picturesque Barbizon is home to a multitude of art galleries and antique shops. Combine this outing with an extension trip to Milly-la-Foret chapel and Jean Cocteau house
  • Kartland in Dammarie les Lys
  • Safran Aerospace Museum in Moissy Cramayel is a must-see for all aviation lovers, space enthusiasts and would-be astronauts to admire over 100 engines for airplanes, rockets and helicopters.
  • Chateau de Vaux Le Vicomte, one of the most beautiful and sumptuous palaces of France, built for Fouquet, finance minister of Louis XIV, which inspired the building of Versailles by the same 3 artists: Le Vau, the architect, Le Brun, the painter and decorator, and Le Notre, the gardener. Fouquet’s downfall and arrest inspired the origin of the famous story “The Man with the Iron Mask”

Wednesday:
Cruise from Montereau F. Yonne to Courlon, with a possibility of visiting:

  • Provins, a magnificent medieval town in the vicinity of the Champagne region that boasts a fabulous heritage of civil, religious and military architecture with no fewer than 58 historical UNESCO monuments, such as 12th and 13th c. fortified walls, ramparts, merchant houses and medieval trades, Caesar’s Tower – a model castle keep, underground galleries or superb churches. Shopping is available as well as afternoon live shows that take you back in time.
  • Garden-Museum of Antoine Bourdelle in Egreville, situated in an old “Briare” farm, reveals monumental sculptures in an Art Deco-style garden. Among the flowerbeds are exhibited 58 bronze sculptures by Rodin’s student, Antoine Bourdelle.
  • Moret sur Loing, where Impressionists once lived and took their inspiration (Sisley’s house), the Barley Sugar Museum of the nuns of Moret and the Grange Bateliere – thatched roof riverside house, a house of M.Clemenceau, named “Pere la Victoire”,after a stateman, officer and commander during World War I. The most prominent landmarks are the Priory of Pont Loup and the Notre Dame, the City Hall, Villa Sisley, Tour de Bourgogne, Municipal Museum. 
  • Nemours, where one can discover archeological gems in the Departmental Museum of Prehistory with its vast collections, the Castle Museum built in early 12th century, the St. John the Baptist Church founded in 1170 and plenty of old ancient houses, mills, bridges and wash houses enclosed by ditches

Thursday:
Cruise from Courlon to Sens with the following excursions:

  • City center of Sens with the Cathedral St Etienne & Synodal Palace Museum where the bishops used to live. Magnificent collection of religious art and private collection of the bishops, impressive Gallo-Roman archeological treasure in the cellar. Other sights are Maison Abraham or Bishop Palais. Shopping is available, great outdoor market.
  • Montargis also known as the French Venice of the Gatinais region, charming town considered as one of the 100 destinations in France most worth discovering
  • Chateau de Motte-Tilly a national monument near Provins, a perfect example of an 18th-century property. Be won over by the intimate atmosphere and the peace and quiet of its vast gardens sloping down to a bend in the river Seine.
  • Joigny: recommended detour from Sens, a picturesque little town with nearby terraces of Cote St-Jacques overlooking the river Yonne, with a great market, contemporary art museum and plenty of water activities

Friday:
Cruise from Sens to Villeneuve sur Yonne, with an option of visiting:

  • Auxerre a beautiful medieval city with a newly restored Cathedral St Etienne, and the “Tour de l’Horloge”, a magnificent sundial. As a seat of the Yonne department great shopping is available in this bustling city with the cobblestones pedestrian streets in the old quarter and open market
  • Pick-nick and extensive visit & wine tasting of the most famous Chardonnay in the pretty village of Chablis, called the “golden gate” of Burgundy with narrow stone streets and houses dating from the 14th to 16th century
  • Tonnerre with a mystical cloudy-green spring pit of Fosse Dionne, and Hotel Dieu, the old hospital of Marguerite de Bourgogne; possible to extend the trip by visiting Pontigny Abbey (largest Cistercian abbey still standing in Europe, 900 years old impressive building worthy of visiting)

Saturday:
Breakfast on board and late morning return to Paris by our private van.

Excursions are tailor-made to suit your interests. This itinerary may be subject to change depending on local conditions. The route will run in reverse on alternate weeks.