- Monet's Waterlillies
The tranquil village of Giverny is best known as the location of Claude Monet's home and garden.
- Gardens of Versailles
André Le Nôtre's extravagant landscape vision for the gardens took some forty years to complete.
- Le Jardin des Plantes
Dating back to 1691, this botanic garden extends over 25 acres.
Spend a day and night soaking up the magic of Paris.
See the place where Joan of Arc met her executioners in Rouen's old town.
- Travel by train
- All Inclusive
Cruise the Seine to see world-famous gardens
Northern France’s most famous river, the Seine, flows through a host of historic towns, quaint villages and even the elegant capital. En route from Normandy to Paris explore some wonderful formal and contemporary gardens in the company of your expert host, who'll also give you an insight into the gardens you'll be visiting with two fascinating briefings.
In addition to tours of historic Rouen and iconic Paris, you can look forward to included excursions to Rouen's Jardin des Plantes, Chateau de Miromesnil, Le Jardin Plume, Monet's garden at Giverny and the famous Gardens at the Palace of Versailles.
20 meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners
Free bar open 13 hours a day†
- Optional travel insurance underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance SE, UK
- Return Eurostar travel and transfers
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Saga drinks reception
- Expert gardens host who will deliver two on board briefings
- Saga Cruise Escort
- Entertainment and activities on the ship
Plus these excursions:
- Walking tour of Rouen
- City tour of Paris
- Jardin des Plantes
- Château de Miromesnil
- Le Jardin Plume
- Monet's Garden
- Gardens of Versailles
25/06/2020 UK to Paris
Travel to Paris via Eurostar and transfer to embark A-Rosa Viva this afternoon.
Settle in to your cabin and enjoy a welcome drinks reception and dinner on board as your cruise begins this evening.
26/06/2020 Les Andelys
After a night of cruising arrive in the small town of Les Andelys early this morning. Enjoy your included trip to Le Jardin Plume, a seven-acre garden created in 1996 which utilises a formal design structure in the French tradition with parterres and potagers. It combines this with a contemporary planting scheme that sees grasses and perennials rise above the clipped hedges in a shimmering arrangement of form and colour.
Back in Les Andelys a stroll along the river here will offer beautiful views of the Seine Valley’s dramatic white cliffs, half-timbered houses and the hilltop ruins of Château Gaillard. This former stronghold of Richard the Lionheart changed hands a number of times during the Hundred Years’ War, and if you’re feeling sprightly you might like to hike up to the ruins, the perfect way to work up a thirst for some of the region’s famous cider or the apple brandy, Calvados. Resume your cruise just before dinner and moor in Caudebec in the early hours.
Today’s excursion is to the gardens of Chateau de Miromesnil, where writer Guy de Maupassant was born. Here the walled park is home to a large and splendid working potager, and the lovely gardens contain a notable clematis collection. You have the rest of the day at leisure in Caudebec-en-Caux, where you might like to enjoy a stroll along the Seine river banks, admiring the gardens and houses that line the peaceful waterway. In the town’s historic centre you will find the 15th century gothic style church of Notre-Dame, an attractively ornate church with a pretty bell tower that Henry IV reputedly said was the most beautiful in his kingdom. There are numerous decorative stone carvings on the exterior while inside there are some impressive medieval stained glass windows and a 16th century organ.
Among the other notable landmarks in Caudebec-en-Caux are the 12th century Maison des Templiers – among the oldest houses in Normandy and with a facade featuring gothic style arched windows. The attractive house is thought to have once been a temple, hence its name.
28/06/2020 Caudebec-en-Caux to Rouen
After setting sail at breakfast and cruising through the morning you'll arrive in Rouen after lunch and can look forward to a walking tour to reveal the highlights. From the Vikings and Dukes of Normandy, to Flaubert and Monet, history permeates the old quarter of tall, half-timbered houses, great churches and lovely parks, all carefully restored since the war. Victor Hugo called Rouen the city of 100 church spires. It gained notoriety in 1431 when Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in the middle of the market square. The town is also the birthplace of Gustave Flaubert, famous author of Madame Bovary.
Remain moored in Rouen overnight.
Today you can look forward to a morning excursion to Rouen's Jardin des Plantes. Dating back to 1691, the garden was developed by a series of owners, including both the Scottish banker John Law and Napoleon! In 1832 it was turned into a 25-acre botanical garden and today you find some 600 plant species here, including roses, rhododendrons, wisteria, iris, and hemerocallis.
Set sail again this evening and cruise overnight towards Vernon.
Look forward to the opportunity to visit Monet's house and garden in the nearby village of Giverny. Monet spent 43 years of his life here – and it remains an enchanting and inspiring space. You'll see the now familiar Japanese-inspired water garden, shaded by weeping willows, and get to admire the colourful flower garden which surrounds the artist's former home.
The famous Impressionist lived and worked here from 1883 until his death in 1926. He began renovating the garden in 1890, taking inspiration from the Japanese prints he collected and once remarked, ‘My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece.’ The pink-painted house with its green shutters, the studios and the gardens, including the Japanese bridge and the famous lily pond, are all lovingly maintained and instantly recognisable from his paintings.
Set sail this afternoon and spend the rest of the day cruising back to Paris, mooring in the capital in the early hours.
Wake up in the 'city of light' where an included tour this morning shows you the Eiffel Tower and Champs-Élysées among other famous sights. Experience Parisian daily life on a drive along the Champs-Elysées which is lined with designer boutiques and is the place for fashionistas to stop and be seen.
After lunch on board your final horticultural visit will be to see the celebrated gardens of the baroque Palace of Versailles. André Le Nôtre's extravagant landscape vision was designed to reflect French royal power and took some 40 years to complete. It is the perfect example of the classic French style with parterres, water features and bosquets – ornamental groves – and all on a very grand scale. The palace was created in the French baroque style and designed to be the palatial centre of Louis XIV's absolute monarchy. The theme of sun gods is found throughout the gardens – Louis XIV styled himself as the 'sun king' – and solar imagery and statues of Apollo abound. Admire the stunning perspectives, numerous statues, and the UNESCO-listed fountains.
Later enjoy a farewell dinner on board.
02/07/2020 Paris to UK
Disembark after breakfast for your return journey by Eurostar.
†Free bar excludes Champagne, branded spirits and drinks from the wine list.
Bar opening times may vary subject to the daily programme on board. Some of the highlights may only be seen on optional excursions at an additional cost, or by exploring independently.
Optional excursions on this cruise are only bookable on board and are subject to minimum numbers.