The Seine River originates in the Burgundy region of France, near the commune of Source-Seine. It flows northwest through Paris and eventually empties into the English Channel at Le Havre, covering a distance of about 777 Km's (483 miles).
River cruises on the Seine usually don't cover the entire length of the river, instead focusing on the stretch between Paris and Normandy where excursions to significant World War II sites like the D-Day landing beaches are included.
The Seine has inspired countless artists, most notably the Impressionists. Towns like Giverny, where Monet's famous garden is located, are popular stops on Seine river cruises.
The capital of Normandy, Rouen, is known for its timber-framed houses and Gothic architecture, including the cathedral that inspired a series of paintings by Monet. Joan of Arc was also tried and executed here, adding another layer of historical interest.
While the Seine is generally not suitable for swimming today it was once turned into a massive swimming pool for a brief period in the 18th century. In 1776, the French government built a structure known as "La Baignade," which allowed Parisians to swim in a section of the river enclosed by wooden planks.
Locals have used the level of water reaching the Zouave statue on the Pont de l'Alma bridge in Paris as an unofficial gauge for flooding. When the water hits the statue's feet, the Seine is considered to be at flood level. During extreme floods, water has reached up to the statue's thighs or even higher.
Home to Impressionist master Claude Monet for over 43 years, explore the estate and meander through Monet's garden at Giverny - a bucket list experience not to be missed.
Enjoy a taste of French provincial life with a stroll through the riverside town of Les Andelys, home to Château Gaillard, commissioned by Richard the Lionheart in the 12th century.
Discover the historic and artistic in Rouen. Home to the Church of Saint Joan of Arc and site of her martyrdom, the city also inspired many of Monet's artworks with its Gothic architecture.
Pay your respects to fallen WWII soldiers at the landing beaches of Normandy, and learn about American and Canadian war efforts when you visit nearby memorials and cemeteries.
After the delights of Paris, venture out to the magnificent Palace of Versailles. With its extravagant interiors and intricate gardens, you'll spend the day in awe at this UNESCO-listed site.
Europe River Cruises