A River Cruiser’s Guide to the River Seine
The River Seine is France’s 2nd largest river but perhaps the most known because it does flow through the capital, Paris (unlike the Loire, France’s longest river) and is the longest navigable river in France! The river flows slowly from its source in the Cote d’Or region of Burgundy 280km through Paris and Rouen, across Normandy and then empties into the English Channel. From the ‘City of Light’ to the famous Normandy beaches of WWII, the Seine has history running along its river banks! But of course, not only will a river cruise along the Seine indulge you in history… but also in great cuisine and wines!
Highlights of a Seine River Cruise
Paris is one of the most romantic European cities, attracting love birds from all around! On a trip to Paris take the time to wander through the beautiful city or even relax in the city park and experience the arty culture… oh and be sure to admire the stunning view from the top of the Eiffel Tower!
If it’s your first time in Paris a city tour might be of interest - to tick off all the must-see sights? Many river cruises will include a city tour of Paris which will visit many of the city’s highlights! Including… the Cathedral of Notre Dame, Chateau Malmaison, the Arc de Triomphe and of course the Eiffel Tower! Perhaps you have been to Paris before? Be sure to visit those places you missed last time… or fill your time shopping in this fabulous city!
Although Paris is the most common reason for people to choose the River Seine – there are other highlights and plenty of other sights to see along the way!!
Giverny is one of France’s most visited sights – most famous as being the set for water-lily pond! But of course many will know Giverny for being home to Claude Monet, a world-famous impressionist artist! Whilst living here, Monet created his famous gardens – working to immortalise his ponds! On a visit to Giverny you will have the opportunity to see Monet’s house and wander through the enchanting gardens!
Be aware that on this day you will be docked in Vernon, but it is just a short drive away from Giverny Village which is located in the countryside! PLUS most itineraries that stop at Vernon will include a tour or shuttle to Giverny!
Sat along the river banks of the Seine, is the medieval city of Rouen, also known as the ‘city of 100 spires’! Firstly, be sure to check out the beautiful skyline as you sail towards Rouen – it’s impressive! As the capital of Normandy, Rouen is a cultured and historic city and although the city has been restored, it was dramatically damaged during WWII. A popular sight for tourists is the marker on the pavement in the place du Vieux Marche where Joan of Arc was burnt at stake as a witch in 1431. Most will also visit the outstanding Cathedral of Notre Dame – most famous because it was Claude Monet who recognised the insightful effect that light had on the building’s façade and he then began to paint at different times of the day.
When to go?
You will find that most cruise lines operate on the Seine between March and October, with a few still sailing until December. If you are looking for warmer weather I highly recommend visiting during the summer months May – August/Sept.
Who is a Seine river cruise for?
A cruise along the Seine is of course perfect for those wishing to explore the history of both France and Normandy! But aside from history, the Seine is great for indulging in the local cuisine and wine! Oh and don’t forget about the love birds – the Seine is a perfect romantic get away!
Cruise lines that operate on the Seine
The Seine is a popular river cruise and so it is no surprise that most river cruise lines operate on the river - including AmaWaterways, Avalon Waterways, Scenic Tours, Viking River Cruises. The date you wish to travel and the choices of itinerary will most likely narrow down your search & of course it will come down to personal preference! When you speak to one of our river cruise experts they will give their honest advice and help you to find a river cruise suitable to yourself – you may wish to travel all-inclusive, in which case you will look at Scenic Tours, UniWorld and Tauck! Or perhaps all-inclusive does not appeal? AmaWaterways are a five star cruise line that provides excellent value for money!
Which is the best river cruise operator? Find out what we think here!
Looking for a great deal? Visit www.rivercruising.co.uk to find the right river cruise for you!
Alternatively, call one of our friendly river cruise experts on 0800 810 8229.
Come back soon. Jess Nuttall - RiverCruising.co.uk