River Cruising: Paris to Normandy’s Beaches

This was our second river cruise experience and I have to say this itinerary was a both inspirational and educational with lots of great meals in between!

The exposure to Impressionistic Art and the Artists was amazing. Listening to the tour guides tell the history of each artist made them come alive! The visit to Claude Monet’s Gardens in Vernon duplicated the feeling from his artwork. And, to see how Vincent Van Gogh lived, in Auvers-Sur-Oise,“his room” and to actually follow his footsteps from his home to the field where he painted was eye opening.

 We visited Cathedrals in the big cities, an Abbey and Monasteries in the small towns; including a guided tour with a 72 year old monk in Caudebec. In Les Andelys, we walked through ruins of a church that dated back to the 11th century, which gave you food for thought of an ancient life style.


The visit to the Normandy Landing Beaches was poignant and spiritual, highlighted by an exclusive Avalon Memorial Service to the 9000 plus service men and women in the American Cemetery. The afternoon before the Normandy Excursion, Avalon includes an onboard lecture about D-Day, not to be missed.

 The Avalon Ship, Tapestry II, is exceptional. The size of the suites are large at 200 sq. ft.(the largest in the industry) and the 11 foot wall to wall, floor to ceiling window let’s you take in the beauty of the passing river scenes.

The dining experience was fabulous! Every meal featured choices for every palate. We loved the lamb chops, duck and roasted turkey: all prepared using local ingredients. My favorites, however, were the amazing French pastries…..cream puffs, crepes, cakes with dreamy fillings!!


Au revoir mon ami,


Karen and Vinnie Franco

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