Arrive in La Roche Guyon before breakfast and enjoy a morning at your leisure to explore. The village is officially classified as one of France's most beautiful; you will see why as you stroll through the town's narrow streets lined with picturesque houses with wood-paneled facades. After lunch, journey to the town of Giverny, where Claude Monet resided from 1883 until his death in 1926.
Visit the beautiful gardens and charming stone farmhouse where he lived and worked; see the water garden with the recognizable Japanese bridge, water lilies, wisteria and azaleas that inspired many of his masterpieces.† Dinner is served on board. (B/L/D)† Monet garden not available before March 24 or after November 1; a visit to the village of Auvers-sur-Oise, favored by van Gogh and other artists, will be substituted.
Indulge in leisurely morning cruising along the Seine. Spend the afternoon in the medieval city of Rouen, preeminent capital of Normandy. Begin with a walking tour through the center of Old Town, where you see the spectacular Gothic Notre Dame Cathedral, often painted by Claude Monet, and the famous Gros Horloge, a 16th-century astronomical clock.
As you walk among the half-timbered storybook buildings, allow yourself to be transported back through time; see the 14th-century courthouse where Joan of Arc was sentenced to death and the nearby Market Square where she was martyred. Use your free time to discover more of Rouen or visit one of its museums of art or antiquities. Dine on board or at a sidewalk café. Your ship remains docked overnight. (B/L/D)
After breakfast, begin your full-day tour to the historic beaches of Normandy. Drive past Gold Beach, Courseulles sur Mer and Juno Beach on your way to visit such World War II landmarks as Omaha Beach, the American Military Cemetery and Arromanches Debarkment D-Day Museum.
Alternatively, you may take a tour of Bayeaux, where you can admire the magnificent tapestry that chronicles the pre–Battle of Hastings events. Afterward, continue to Normandy's coast and enjoy some free time at Juno Beach after your visit to the museum; then visit the Pegasus Museum. Return to your ship for dinner and relax on board, or take an evening stroll through Rouen. (B/L/D)
After breakfast, disembark for a visit to Château de Malmaison, where Napoleon Bonaparte spent his final days in France. Along with the Tuileries, this elegant manor house, purchased by the emperor's wife Josephine in 1799, served as the seat of Napoleon's French government from 1800 to 1802.
Or, join an optional tour to the luxurious Palace of Versailles , former home of Louis XIV. (B/L/D)Note: In place of Château de Malmaison, Viking Kari, Viking Radgrid and Viking Skaga will enjoy a walking tour of Mantes-la-Jolie with a visit to the Collegiate Church of Our Lady of Mantes, the Duhamel Pavillion and the Museum of the Hôtel-Dieu. The optional tour to the Palace of Versailles is available to all guests.
Viking River Cruises Ships