La Belle Seine
Seine river cruise, plus Belgium and Paris
15 days, October 9 – 23, 2020
Arranged and guided by Collette Vacation
Escorted by Doug Jackson
Our adventure begins in Belgium, headquarters for the European Union, and renowned for its beer, chocolate, fries, and waffles! We enjoy a four-night stay in Bruges, one of Europe’s most perfectly preserved medieval cities. During a day trip to nearby Ghent, where patrician houses line its streets, we savour the splendour of days gone by. Departing Bruges, we tour the highlights of Brussels and then continue by High-Speed train to Paris.
Arriving in Paris we board our elegant ship and begin a relaxing seven-night cruise along the meandering Seine River, absorbing the culture, art, history, and romance of France’s Normandy region. Sailing to Conflans we visit Auvers-Sur-Oise, once home to 19th-century painters Cézanne and Van Gogh. Cruising past idyllic French countryside we dock in Rouen, Normandy’s historic capital where we see the Gros Horloge astronomical clock. From Le Havre on the English Channel, we explore the city of Honfleur and visit significant D-Day landing sites. At Les Andelys, we visit Château Gaillard and then continue to Giverny to visit the beautiful gardens, which inspired the works of Claude Monet. Returning to Paris, we enjoy a guided tour of the city, and a final night aboard ship.
Disembarking our ship we visit the Palace of Versailles, and complete our vacation with a two-night hotel stay in the exciting city of Paris!
Day 1, Friday, October 9
Depart home, board overnight flight
Following our at-home-pickup-service, we transfer to the Vancouver Airport and depart this afternoon aboard KLM’s overnight flight, non-stop to Amsterdam.
Day 2, Saturday, October 10
Flight arrives Amsterdam, coach to Bruges
Arriving at Amsterdam Airport this afternoon we transfer by coach, crossing the border from the Netherlands into Belgium. Arriving in Bruges, we begin a four-night stay at the Crowne Plaza Bruges, ideally located near Market Square in the heart of the city. This evening is at leisure.
Day 3, Sunday, October 11
Bruges, city tour
Following a relaxing breakfast, we join a local guide for a leisurely paced walking tour along the narrow streets and canals of Bruges, one of Europe’s most perfectly preserved medieval cities. Sights include the Church of Our Lady, Saint Salvator’s Cathedral, and one the city’s most prominent symbols – the 13th century Belfry. The rest of the day is at leisure until this evening’s welcome dinner. Meals BD
Day 4, Monday, October 12
Bruges, day trip to Ghent
This morning we visit the university city of Ghent, its city center lined with patrician houses, conveying the splendor of days gone by. Highlights of our guided walking tour include views of Granvensteen Castle, St. Michael’s Bridge, and St Bravo’s Cathedral. In the city’s pedestrianized center, we’ll pause for lunch and browsing at the Korenmarkt, a beautiful square surrounded by historic buildings, restaurants, shops and bars. Returning to Bruges, our evening is at leisure. Meals B
Day 5, Tuesday, October 13
Bruges, a day at leisure
Today we have the opportunity to explore this beautiful city on our own. Perhaps visit some of the numerous museums and historic churches, ride a canal boat, take a horse and buggy tour, and of course sample the hand-made chocolates, French fries, waffles, and beer! Meals B
Day 6, Wednesday, October 14
Bruges to Belgium to Paris
This morning we depart Bruges and travel by coach to Brussels, Belgium’s capital and headquarters for the European Union. Entering Brussels we see the European Council building and the landmark Atomium structure from the 1958 World Expo. Strolling the pedestrian streets of charming Old Town Brussels with a local guide, we view the picturesque restaurant-lined Rue des Bouchers, the Royal Galleries shopping arcade, and the Manneken Pis statue. At Grand Place, a beautiful square where shops and cafes are housed in ornate 17th-century guild houses, we enjoy leisure time for lunch and browsing. Departing Brussels this afternoon we’re whisked to Paris, France aboard the Thalys high-speed train. Transferring from the Paris train station to our beautiful ship the MS Amadeus Diamond, we unpack once for a relaxing 7-night cruise. This evening as our ship departs Paris, we enjoy a welcome cocktail reception followed by dinner with complimentary regional wines. Meals BD
Day 7, Thursday, October 15
Cruise Paris to Conflans, visit Auvers-Sur-Oise
This morning our ship docks in Conflans, situated at the confluence of the Oise and Seine rivers. We visit the nearby town of Auvers-Sur-Oise, once home to several 19th-century painters including Paul Cézanne, Charles-François Daubigny, Camille Pissaro, and perhaps most famously, Vincent Van Gogh. Our tour of Auvers-Sur-Oise retraces Van Gogh’s time here, including Auberge Ravoux where he rented his room, the idyllic fields that inspired his last masterpiece, and his final resting place. This afternoon our cruise continues past captivating scenes of the French countryside. Meals BLD
Day 8, Friday, October 16
Cruise visits Rouen
Today our ship docks in Rouen, the historic capital of Normandy. We enjoy a guided walking tour of this medieval city, highlighting its many monuments and architectural treasures including the cathedral, the Church of Joan of Arc, and the Gros Horloge astronomical clock. Before returning to the ship, you might choose to visit the site where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in the 15th century. After lunch, you may relax aboard the ship, or join our included Abbey Trail excursion visiting the ruins of both St. Wandrille and Jumièges, and learning about the rich history of the churches, castles and abbeys that once populated this region. Meals BLD
Day 9, Saturday, October 17
Cruise docks in Le Havre, visit Etretat & Honfleur
Our ship docks in Le Havre, a city located on the English Channel at the mouth of the Seine River. This morning begins with stunning cliff-top views as we travel to Étretat, a charming fishing village situated on the Normandy coast, where our guided walking tour highlights the various artists who have visited and painted there. This afternoon we visit Honfleur, a remarkable maritime city. Exploring the narrow streets of the old port with a local guide, we’ll view the Lieutenancy, the Old Salt Stores, St. Catherine’s Church, and enjoy leisure time to browse on our own. Meals BLD
Day 10, Sunday, October 18
Cruise docks in Le Havre, visit Normandy beaches
Today we visit the Juno Beach Centre and the Canadian War Cemetery, remembering the sacrifice of 14,000 young Canadians who stormed ashore on D-Day, 6 June 1944, enduring fierce fighting with a cost of 340 Canadian lives and another 574 wounded. With the Allies landing a combined force of about 156,00 troops in Normandy, the D-Day victory became a turning point in World War II and led to the liberation of Europe and the Nazi defeat. After lunch we continue to Arromanches-Les-Bains, to see the remains of the Mulberry port, a temporary harbour developed by the British, to facilitate rapid offloading of cargo onto the beaches during the Allied invasion. This evening we re-join our ship in Caudebec-en-Caux. Meals BLD
Day 11, Monday, October 19
Cruise docks in Les Andelys & Giverny
Docking this morning in Les Andelys, we visit Château Gaillard, constructed in the 12th century by Richard the Lionheart. From its vantage point on a promontory above the Seine, the château offers striking views of the countryside. Continuing to Giverny, we tour Monet’s home and gardens. These tranquil gardens, combining flora and water elements, inspired Monet’s greatest works. We re-join our ship in Giverny and tonight we’re welcomed to the elegant Captain’s Gala dinner. Meals BLD
Day 12, Tuesday, October 20
Cruise returns to Paris, city tour
This morning our ship returns to Paris, and we embark by coach on a city tour featuring views of the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Arc de Triomphe, Les Invalides, the Louvre Museum, the Jardin des Tuileries, and the Champs-Elysées – one of the most famous shopping streets in the world! This afternoon is at leisure to explore the city on our own or relax aboard our ship. Meals BLD
Day 13, Wednesday, October 21
Disembark ship, visit Versailles
This morning we disembark our ship and travel to the outskirts of Paris, to tour the Palace of Versailles, where highlights such as the Hall of Mirrors, the grand private apartments, and the incredible gardens reflect the extravagant tastes of King Louis XIV. Returning to Paris we enjoy a two-night stay at Le Méridien Etoile Paris, strategically located within walking distance of the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Elysées. Our hotel is directly across the street from Porte Maillot, a shopping mall with one of the best department stores in Paris. Meals B
Day 14, Thursday, October 22
Paris, a day at leisure
Following a relaxing breakfast, we enjoy a day in Paris, to explore at leisure until this evening’s farewell dinner. Meals BD
Day 15, Friday, October 23
Paris to home
This morning we transfer to the Paris Airport, to board our Air France non-stop flight to Vancouver. Transfers included to home from the Vancouver Airport.
The MS Amadeus Diamond
Our 146 passenger 4-deck ship offers modern technology, outstanding service, and superb dining with all meals included - buffet breakfasts, buffet/served lunches, afternoon coffee & tea, served dinners with complimentary regional wines, midnight snacks, and a 24-hour coffee station. The Sun Deck features deckchairs, chessboard, putting green, walking track, and the Lido Bar. On the Mozart Deck, are the Upper Cabins, the Amadeus Club indoor quiet area, the outside covered Panorama deck, and the Panorama Bar and Show Lounge. On the Strauss Deck, are the Middle Cabins, the reception desk, the gift shop, and the spacious one-sitting Panorama Dining Room. On the Haydn Deck, are the Lower Cabins, a fitness/massage center and a hair salon.
LA BELLE SEINE
Our itinerary includes moderate physical activity, blending some longer days with shorter days and leisure time. Walking tours, as well as walking slightly longer distances, upstairs or on uneven walking surfaces should be expected.
Our itinerary is subject to change due to unforeseen changes in water levels, delays at the locks, weather conditions, and other circumstances that may arise along the waterway. These changes may include items being missed; however, when possible, every effort will be made to substitute another attraction.
This tour requires that a Canadian passport be valid until January 24, 2021. However, we strongly recommend having a passport with seven-month validity for all travel outside Canada – valid for this tour until May 23, 2021.
- Airfare and taxes Vancouver to Amsterdam with return from Paris
- 4 nights Bruges hotel accommodations
- 2 nights Paris hotel accommodations
- 7-night Seine River cruise
- Baggage handling
- Gratuities to drivers, guides, cruise personnel
- Attractions and shore excursions as described
- At home pickup and return (lower mainland)
- 27 Meals (12 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 9 dinners)
- Collette Insurance (see below)
All cabins are the same 161 square foot size. Middle and Upper deck cabins have floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, which open to a French Balcony. Lower deck cabins have a smaller fixed window. Amenities for all cabins include two floor-level beds (separate or put together), a private bathroom (with shower, toilet, and basin), air conditioning, television, and in-room safe.
Tour Price (Canadian Funds)
Each person, 2 sharing:
Lower deck cabin..........$12,390
Middle deck cabin.........$13,480
Upper deck cabin..........$13,690
Single person (limited availability):
Lower deck cabin…......$16,590
Middle deck cabin.........$17,680
Upper deck cabin..…....$18,090
$1,200 per person, 10 days after reservation
Waiver & Insurance Plan
(included with your tour)
Payments for this tour are fully refundable until April 3. After April 3, in the event of cancellation for any reason prior to the day of departure, the Collette Cancellation Waiver, which is included with this tour, guarantees a full refund of all payments, less a cancellation fee of $450. On the day of departure the cancellation fee is 100% of the total price unless the cancellation is for a medical reason supported by a doctor's letter, in which case only the $450 cancellation fee will apply.
The plan does not cover any single supplement charges. If your travelling companion cancels, you may continue by paying the single supplement, or cancel and receive a refund less the cancellation fee. After departure, the plan provides transportation home and a refund of unused services, if you are forced to cancel due to personal illness, or the personal illness or death of an immediate family member. You, your travelling companion, and any immediate family member booked to travel with you must be medically capable of travel when you pay your deposit.
The Collette plan also includes medical coverage without exclusions due to age or pre-existing medical conditions. Please note that you must have valid hospital and medical insurance under a Government Health Insurance Plan of a Province or Territory of Canada. For full details, please review the Description of Coverage information for the Collette Cancellation Waiver & Insurance Plan.
- Jackson Tours Inc. is a registered tour operator in the Province of British Columbia, registration #1347. Deposits by BC residents are secured by the British Columbia Travel Assurance Fund, through Consumer Protection BC.
- Jackson Tours is a member of the Better Business Bureau of Mainland British Columbia.
We do not accept credit card payments. Avoiding credit card fees, allows us to put more value into your tour. Your personal cheque is welcome.
At Home Service, Door-to-Door Pickup and Return
Service included throughout the lower mainland from Chilliwack to Vancouver.
Jackson Tours at Roblin Travel Service
#102B – 45793 Luckakuck Way, PO Box 428
Chilliwack BC V2P 6J7
Toll-free phone: 1-800-541-8687
Chilliwack phone: 604-858-9481
Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.