French Rivers and Cities
A relaxing voyage with overnight stops in Rouen and Bordeaux
As one of Fred. Olsen’s smaller ships, Braemar offers all the comforts of a cruise ship while opening up the opportunity to sail on both open water and along France’s scenic rivers, taking you closer to the culture-rich towns and cities that fill this itinerary. From the banks of Rouen, see the spires that inspired Monet and follow the last days of Joan of Arc, or head to Paris to discover the many highlights of this romantic capital. Visit La Rochelle and Lorient, steeped in war history, and spend two days in Bordeaux, revered as much for its outstanding architectural ensemble as it is for its wine.
- 9 nights cruise on Braemar
- 26 meals: 9 breakfasts (days 2-10) 8 lunches (days 2-9) 9 dinners (days 1-9)
- £75 per person onboard credit
- Included onboard drinks package
- Varied daytime activities, lectures, talks and evening entertainment
- 2 formal nights
- Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service
- Embarkation service by Titan staff
- Services of the experienced Fred. Olsen staff on board
- Port taxes
Day 1 - Dover
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home, for your journey to Dover, where our staff will greet you and assist with embarking Braemar (3T+) in readiness for an evening sailing.
Day 2 - Cruising River Seine, France - Rouen (overnight)
Early this morning we sail along the River Seine, winding our way from the English Channel through gorgeous countryside to Rouen. With 2,000 years of history, this city is rich with monuments that inspired Monet to paint numerous canvasses. The incredible Gothic Cathedral dominates the skyline of the superbly restored medieval Old Town, and the Church of St Maclou and Church of St Ouen are also worth visiting for their wonderful Gothic architecture and importance in Rouen’s history. As you walk through the narrow streets you will also find tributes to Joan of Arc, who met her end in the Old Market Square, where a cross now stands. Alternatively, you may like to take this opportunity to visit Paris on an optional excursion. We remain in port overnight.
Day 3 - Rouen - Cruising River Seine
We have a second day to explore the streets of half-timbered houses. The city’s botanical garden is also worth a visit. We return along the river that has inspired many artists over the years, including Claude Monet and Henri Matisse.
Day 4 - At sea
Relax at sea as we follow the French coast south.
Day 5 - La Pallice (for La Rochelle)
La Rochelle has been flourishing as an important fishing, sailing, trading and navel city since the 12th century. It has played a huge role in many battles including the Battle of La Rochelle, the French Wars of Religion, Siege of La Rochelle and the Second World War. Today it is a lively, but much more peaceful place, well worth exploring. The Old Port is the oldest and prettiest part, with fine architecture and monuments, including the impressive ‘Three Towers’ that guard the harbour. The Town Hall, a late 15th century building built in the reign of Henri IV, is also worth a visit for its rich decoration.
Day 6 - Bordeaux (overnight)
The beautiful city of Bordeaux is synonymous with the wine produced from this region, and you will be offered opportunities to travel through acres of wonderful vineyards before pausing at a chateau to savour their produce. But this is just one reason to come here today. Bordeaux is full of historical monuments, 362 in total, with some dating back to the Romans who brought the grapevines to this land. Take a guided tour to learn the rich history or take the opportunity to meander freely amongst the noble streets. Be sure to walk along Rue Sainte-Catherine, a 1.2 kilometre street where many historical buildings are found between the shops, and stroll into Chartrons, the district where the wine trade started and, further along the riverbank, the elegant Palais de la Bourse sits picturesquely on the river’s bend. We remain docked in the heart of the city tonight.
Day 7 - Bordeaux
Enjoy a second day in stunning Bordeaux and surrounding countryside before we depart, late this afternoon.
Day 8 - Lorient
A former German U-Boat base, Lorient played a huge role in the Second World War and was a primary target for Allied bombing raids. Today, the rebuilt city is awash with post 1950s architecture and a number of museums and galleries to discover and explore. The Keroman Submarine Base - one of Germany's most important Second World War U-Boat bases - still stands and is open to the public. It is well worth visiting to understand the importance of Lorient in the war. Alternatively, take a trip across the water to Port Louis where you will find the National Maritime Museum and French East Indies Company Museum. Housed in 16th century military buildings, these museums are rare exhibitions of Lorient’s original architecture.
Day 9 - At sea
Enjoy your final day at sea, perhaps unwinding in the spa with a relaxing massage or settling back with a good book in the comfortable library.
Day 10 Dover
Sail back into Dover early this morning, where you will be met and guided to your Titan vehicle, for the journey home.