SEINE RIVER CRUISE: FROM HONFLEUR TO PARIS
Captivated by the shifting effects of sunlight on the Seine, Monet spent several months rising at dawn to paint the river from his studio boat. His Mornings on the Seine series has since been exhibited all over the world, showcasing the truly magical character of this ever-changing river, witness to thousands of years of history.
In 2018, as ACE celebrates its 60th birthday, we are delighted to announce the launch of our spectacular new Seine river cruise. Our private vessel the MS Renoir will take us from the town of Honfleur, with its picturesque Old Port, to the vibrant streets of Paris, stopping at Duclair, Rouen and Vernon en route. Several ACE experts – including art historians Colin Bailey and Peter Higginson alongside historians Imogen Corrigan and Christopher Catling – will provide unique introductions to sites from the Bayeux Tapestry and Norman Abbeys, to Monet’s stunning garden at Giverny, resplendent with April flowers.
19th century art history will be a central focus of the tour. Excursions to some of France’s most impressive art collections – from a private visit to the charming Musée Eugène-Boudin in Honfleur to the treasure troves of the Musée Marmottan Monet and Musée d’Orsay in Paris – will be supported by illuminating lectures from our art historians, immersing us in the lives of the artists and the people and places they sought to capture. Complementing the daytime excursions, international pianist Emilie Capulet will draw on Impressionist themes in a series of engrossing afternoon and evening recitals.
Long before the Impressionists captured the colours and light of the region, however, the Seine bore witness to the construction of magnificent medieval abbeys. Embraced by a meandering curve in the river, stately Jumièges Abbey with its mix of Caroligian and Romanesque architecture would later be described by Victor Hugo as “the most beautiful ruins in all of France”. Saint Wandrille, meanwhile, was one of the first Benedictine abbeys to be founded in Normandy and retains an active monastic community today. We make visits to both these sites, in addition to uncovering the rich medieval history of the towns along our route and that most celebrated remnant of Normandy’s medieval past: the Bayeux Tapestry.
The cruise builds to a magnificent finale in Paris, culminating in a Gala Dinner on board the MS Renoir featuring playing from longstanding ACE Tour Director John Bryden.
We stay throughout the tour on the MS Renoir, a five-anchor vessel offering accommodation of a luxurious 4-star hotel standard alongside generous public areas, a spacious sundeck and a range of facilities.
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