Normally, when you think of the Seine River, you immediately think of Paris, with views of the Pont-Neuf and the Eiffel Tower. But in reality there is much more to this river. Paris is actually about the half-way point on the river, if you start at its beginning near Dijon, France, to where it drains into the Atlantic Ocean near Le Havre, on the English Channel. In total, the river is almost 500 miles long.
The Seine River has become a very popular river cruise destination in recent years. The most popular route on the river is from Paris to Normandy, with both the embarkation and debarkation points in Paris.
While many different cruise lines operate on the Seine, they vary slightly on the actual stops they make along the way. In this post, I will cover the stops that are generally made by Avalon, AmaWaterways and Viking River Cruises.
As there are entire travel books written about Paris, it is impossible to summarize this city in a short paragraph. So, rather than try to cover all of the places to go in Paris, we will leave it that two major events will be happening in 2024. The first is the summer Olympic games. The other is the reopening of Notre Dame Cathedral after the disastrous fire that happened there in April 2019.
There are options for Pre- or Post-Cruise guided tours in Paris with some of the cruise lines.
Located just outside of Paris, Le Pecq is the location of Chateau Malmaison, the final residence of Napoleon, his seat of government from 1800 until 1802.
The Palace of Versailles is offered as an excursion from this location as well.
Located just west of Paris on the Seine, points of interest at this stop include the residence of Napoleon and the resting place of Vincent Van Gogh.
Vernon is an extremely old settlement, first known to have been inhabited around the year 750.
While the town itself is worth a stroll, most cruise lines offer an excursion to Claude Monet’s gardens at Giverny from this location.
In Rouen, you definitely have the feel of Medieval Europe, with half-timber buildings. Rouen is probably best known as the place where Joan of Arc was tried and executed.
Located approximately halfway between Paris and Le Havre, Les Andelys was originally founded in the 6th century.
The major point of interest here is the Chateau Gaillard, built by Richard Lionheart in the 12th century.
The cruise lines that visit here typically offer a tour of the town or the castle ruins.
This is undoubtedly one of the major points of interest on these cruises. Guests on these cruises will often have the option of visiting Omaha Beach, the American Cemetery, or the site of the British and Canadian landing points.
Keep in mind that 2024 will mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day and several options for special cruises for this date are available.
Le Havre lies at the mouth of the Seine where it empties into the Atlantic.
Virtually destroyed by repeated aerial bombings during World War II, the city was completely rebuilt after the war, and has a very modern feel to it.
Paris is the starting and finishing point for these cruises. Getting to Paris is extremely easy with flights from several international airports in the United States, including Atlanta, JFK, Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, Charlotte, North Carolina and Chicago.
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