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Overview
Itinerary
Fitness / Practicalities
Tour Director


  • Discover centuries of history along France’s most famous waterway, all from the comfort of our privately chartered vessel, the MS Renoir

  • Several ACE Tour Directors provide their unique perspectives on our historical and artistic visits, perfectly complemented by afternoon lectures and evening piano recitals

  • Delve into the rich heritage of Paris, Rouen and Honfleur, while making excursions to the Bayeux Tapestry, two Norman abbeys, and Monet’s beautiful garden at Giverny – the subject of so many of his most famous works

“A brilliantly worked out programme full of interest all the time”

“Superbly organised”

“Varied and stimulating”

- ACE customers on the previous Seine River Cruise: From Honfleur to Paris

 

Captivated by the shifting effects of sunlight on the Seine, Monet spent several months rising at dawn to paint the river from his studio boat. His Mornings on the Seine series has since been exhibited all over the world, showcasing the truly magical character of this ever-changing river, witness to thousands of years of history. 

 

We are delighted to announce the return of our spectacular Seine river cruise in spring 2024. Our private vessel the MS Renoir will take us from the town of Honfleur with its picturesque Old Port to the vibrant streets of Paris, stopping at Caudebec, Rouen and La Roche Guyon en route. Several ACE experts – including art historians Sarah Burles and Suzanne Fagence Cooper, musician Emilie Capulet and medievalist Imogen Corrigan – will provide introductions to sites from the Bayeux Tapestry and Norman Abbeys, to Monet’s stunning garden at Giverny, resplendent with spring flowers. 

 

19th century art history will be one of the central themes of the tour. Excursions to some of France’s most impressive art collections – including visits to the treasure troves of the Musée Marmottan Monet and Musée d’Orsay in Paris – will be supported by illuminating lectures from our art historians, immersing us in the lives of the artists and the people and places they sought to capture. Complementing the daytime excursions, international pianist Emilie Capulet will draw on Impressionist themes in a series of engrossing recitals.

 

Long before the Impressionists captured the colours and light of the region, however, the Seine bore witness to the construction of magnificent medieval abbeys. Embraced by a meandering curve in the river, stately Jumièges Abbey with its mix of Carolingian and Romanesque architecture would later be described by Victor Hugo as “the most beautiful ruins in all of France”. Saint Wandrille, meanwhile, was one of the first Benedictine abbeys to be founded in Normandy and retains an active monastic community today. We will make visits to both these sites, in addition to uncovering the rich medieval history of the towns along our route and that most celebrated remnant of Normandy’s medieval past: the Bayeux Tapestry.

 

The cruise builds to a magnificent finale in Paris, culminating in a celebratory Gala Dinner on board the MS Renoir. 

 

We stay throughout the tour on the MS Renoir, a five-anchor vessel offering accommodation of a luxurious four-star hotel standard alongside generous public areas, a spacious sundeck and a range of facilities.

 

 

OUR TOUR DIRECTORS

 

Art history expert Sarah Burles, BA, will be our guide at several of the museums and galleries in our itinerary. Sarah studied History of Art at Cambridge and gained a Masters at University College London; she spent twelve years working at the Fitzwilliam Museum and is an experienced tour leader as well as an Arts Society accredited lecturer. Sarah has a passion and enthusiasm for making museums and their collections accessible.

 

Suzanne Fagence Cooper, MA, PhD, is an art historian and curator who specialises in 19th century art. She has worked at the V&A Museum and York Art Gallery, where she curated the 2019 exhibition Turner, Ruskin & the Storm Cloud. An accredited Arts Society lecturer, Suzanne is the author of How We Might Live: At Home with Jane & William Morris (2022), and will introduce the ACE group to some of the galleries on our itinerary, as well as the gardens at Giverny. 

 

Medieval historian Imogen CorriganBA, MPhil, FRHistS, FRSA, is a proficient lecturer and tour leader who studied at the universities of Kent and Birmingham. An expert on church art and architecture, she is the author of Stone on Stone: The Men Who Built the Cathedrals (2019). Imogen is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and an accredited Arts Society lecturer. She will guide the group at Jumièges and Rouen and lecture on the Bayeux Tapestry.

 

Emilie Capulet, MA, MMus, PhD is an award-winning concert pianist, lecturer and musicologist. She performs worldwide and has recorded Beethoven, Chopin and Tomasi to critical acclaim. She is the recipient of a prestigious Leverhulme Research Fellowship. Emilie studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and is the BMus (Hons) Programme Leader at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

 

Guest musician Nicholas Wearne, BA, MPhil, will join the group in Paris for an evening duet with Emilie Capulet following our Gala Dinner. A former ACE Bursary student, Nicholas is a Senior Tutor at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. His career as a solo organist has taken him all over the world and he has held the position of organist at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square.

Days
7
Cost
£3095
Tour Code
SEIC-24
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