‘Mainly Monet’ - Saturday start


From the magnificent city of Paris we follow the River Seine towards Rouen, famed capital of Normandy, where Monet painted the cathedral in so many different lights and moods. The following is a suggested itinerary only. Alternatives may be made according to guests' wishes and  availability.

Day 1  Saturday

Your captain will meet you at your Paris hôtel.  You will be escorted to La Chouette waiting for you at a nearby quay on the river Seine.  Soon you will be cruising through the city of Paris, sipping champagne and soaking in the wonderful atmosphere.

As we head out of Paris we pass Asnières and Argenteuil, names immortalised by the Impressionist painters such as Monet and Renoir.  Our mooring for tonight is at the very place these famous artists would meet for rest and relaxation.  Maison Fournaise http://www.restaurant-fournaise.fr at Chatou was their favourite restaurant.  And this is where you will enjoy your first evening meal of the cruise.

Day 2 Sunday

Breakfast is a relaxed affair on board La Chouette.  Waken to the aroma of fresh coffee and warm croissants.

A short early morning cruise takes us to La Grenouillère (The Froggery!).  It was here that Monet and Renoir worked side by side painting the floating pleasure garden.  We carry on as far as Bougival to see where other Impressionists set up their  easels and compare the view today with the one they painted.  Some say Impressionism was born here.

After passing through the lock at Bougival we cruise to Conflans Ste. Honorine at the confluence of the Seine and the Oise rivers and turn right onto the tributary.  A short cruise along this delightful river brings us to Cergy-Pontoise where we moor and recall that the town of Pontoise is where Pissaro made his home,

We take the van to Auvers-sur-Oise where Van Gogh lived and which he introduced to the world through his painting "L'Eglise d'Auvers", (Auvers' Church).

We take lunch in the Auberge Ravoux http://www.maisondevangogh.com where Van Gogh spent his last days and visit the fascinating  museum dedicated to him.  A short walk or van ride takes us to the Chateau d'Auvers where we take a multi-media journey back in time into the Age of the Impressionists.

Supper on board.

Day 3 Monday

Our morning cruise takes us back down the river Oise to the junction with the Seine where we turn right and continue downstream to Poissy, one of Monet’s many home towns.

On our way to lunch we can view several posters of impressionist paintings erected at the very place the artists would have stood to make their masterpieces. 

Lunch is at the bustling restaurant Chez Clement <http://www.chezclement.com/index.php?page=bg > after which we can visit the gardens of Versailles.

Supper on board.

Day 4  Tuesday

Breakfast can be taken on the sun deck as we glide onwards downstream to Limay from where we take the van through some stunning countryside to Le Moulin de Fourges http://www.moulin-de-fourges.com for lunch.

Returning to the barge we visit the

village of Vétheuil where Monet

lived with his wife Camille and

where she was lain to rest in the

graveyard of the church he painted

from his studio-boat on the river.

Supper on board.

Day 5 Wednesday

A short walk across the river is the town of Mantes-la-Jolie.  Free time to take a short walking tour of the town and visit the 12th Century Collegiate Church "Notre Dame" which is a beautiful example of gothic architectureWe then cruise to Rolleboise where we have lunch on board.

This afternoon's visit is to Chateau de la Roche Guyon, parts of which are hidden in the depths of the cliff face.  All along here the caves, hollowed out by pre-historic man, are now used as barns and garages. 

Dinner tonight is at the restaurant of the Chateau de la Corniche http://www.giverny.org/hotels/corniche/corniche.htm which, as its name suggests, is poised high above the Seine with a fantastic panoramic view.

Day 6 Thursday

Our day starts early as we want to get to Monet’s home in Giverny before the crowds.  By special arrangement we can enter at nine o-clock half an hour earlier than others.  After feasting our eyes on the splendours of his garden and the remarkable interior of his house, we walk a few yards through the village to the American Museum of Art where works from Monet’s followers can be enjoyed.

Back to La Chouette for lunch after which we cruise to the beautiful town of Les Andelys nestling under the impressive ruins of Chateau Gaillard built by Richard the Lionheart  at the end of the twelfth century.

Dinner at Le Mistral or La Chaine d’Or.

Day 7 Friday

Depart after breakfast and on the way to Rouen rail station or rental car office we make one last and lasting visit to Rouen Cathedral.  No "Monet Experience" would be complete without this.

During 1892 and 1893 Monet painted many versions of this subject, always, more or less from the same angle, but under different light conditions which made the changing forms all the more striking.

PLEASE NOTE:  On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the opposite direction.

Luxury Barge Holidays in France and Belgium


France:    "Mainly Monet" Paris - Rouen