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River Cruise - Paris & Normandy
Nothing is quite the same as a river cruise!
We started in Paris where we could see the Eiffel Tower from the deck of our ship. After being welcomed aboard by the entire staff (including the captain who carried our bags in from the taxi!), we headed to our cabin. Having only experienced large ship cruising before it was quite different to realize we only had a maximum of 140 on board.
Each day we would dock in the center of a town and explore the area (most of the time only steps away) with a local guide. Other days we might walk those same few steps to get on a bus to be transported to a highlighted destination.
Depending upon the tour (which one daily was included in our price) sometimes we stayed in town to explore on our own and knew we were just a few minutes away from our 'home away from home'. Paris was one place we were docked right by the and spent the day on our own exploring Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, and even the Eiffel Tower. Other days we toured Normandy to see the craters and bunkers left over from WWII and Le Chateau de Versailles which is hard to describe the elegance of a former time. Another day we went to Wineries, cheese factories, quaint towns all were part of our tours.
Each night we were welcomed home. Being greeted by the friendly staff with teas or coffee (and sometimes cool cloths) to refresh us after our day exploring. Dinner was an event. No assigned seating. If you met someone and wished to sit with them that evening, go for it! The food was always a reflection of the area since the chef would gather the ingredients from a fresh market each day. After dinner, local talent, historians, musicians, etc would entertain you.
After a few days on board, you realized that friends had been made and the experience was one you would repeat. Below are some of the places and people who made our trip so enjoyable.