Sunday – Bruges
Boat Ride through Bruges
You are met at the designated meeting point and transferred to the hotel barge, moored in the picturesque town of Bruges. Lovingly referred to as the “Venice of the North”, Bruges is laced with small canals and magnificent squares. Deserving of its UNESCO World Heritage Site status, our guests are continually delighted by this gem. After a Champagne and Canapes welcome, your tour guide will arrange a canal boat ride, so you can see the architecture from a different perspective. Dinner aboard.
Monday – Bruges to Ghent
Tour of Bruges
After breakfast, enjoy a peaceful cruise along the canals out of Leiden and through the oldest lock in Holland at Leidschendam. After lunch, we drive to the world famous Keukenhof Gardens with the largest display of flowers in the world. Here you will see hundreds of varieties of tulips, hyacinths and other beautiful bulbous plants. Return to the hotel barge moored in the center of Delft. Dinner on board.
Tuesday – Ghent to Oudenaarde
The “Mystic Lamb”
This morning your guide will escort you into Ghent. Our visit includes the magnificent cathedral with its fabulous painting ‘The Mystic Lamb’, painted by the Van Eck brothers. There’s also an assortment of wonderful boutiques nearby. After lunch, we begin our cruise up the River Schelde to the town of Oudenaarde, where we will moor for the night. Dinner aboard.
Wednesday – Oudenaarde to Tournai
Bridge with Holes
This morning your tour guide will escort you through the streets of medieval Gouda, where you will see the most famous of all stained glass windows in Holland. A leisurely stroll through town is a must, with its “Disneyesque” main square and small boutiques. After lunch we cruise through towns clinging to the canal sides to our overnight mooring at Uithoorn. Dinner on board.
Thursday – Tournai to Arleux
Cathedral of Ghent and the Mystic Lamb
We continue along the River Schelde as it winds its way through the town of Valenciennes to the junction with the Canal du Nord at the little French village of Arleux, the meeting place of many of the barges setting south towards France. Along the way we will drive to the town of Cambrai. Dinner aboard.
Friday – Arleux to overnight mooring
This morning we begin our climb over the Vermandois Hills of Picardy, through the many deep locks and several tunnels of the Canal du Nord, one of which is over 3 miles long. The scenery is spectacular, giving you the opportunity to see rural France at its best. Well maintained towpaths follow alongside the canal that allow for great cycling. After lunch, we have a wonderful excursion to Amiens to visit what must be one of the greatest of all Gothic cathedrals in France, with its towering spires and magnificent columns. Dinner aboard.
Sunday – Peronne to Compiegne
The Royal Palace of Compiegne
Today we cruise down to the Oise River valley to moor in the busy riverside town of Compiègne, with its Royal Palace and huge square. There are many places to visit, including the train where the World War One Armistice was signed. Dinner aboard.
Monday – Compiegne to Auvers-sur-Oise
The Oise River Valley is truly beautiful. Our cruise today takes to Auvers-sur-Oise, where we moor for an opportunity to explore this charming Van Gogh scene. This is where he lived and painted many of his last and most important paintings and where he stayed in a small room above a local café. We will have an afternoon walk around the town and visit the cemetery where Vincent and his brother are buried. Dinner aboard.
Tuesday – Auvers sur Oise to Conflans
Monet Gardens of Giverny
Today we take a day excursion to Giverny to visit the home and gardens of Claude Monet, probably the most famous of all the Impressionist painters. We will have lunch at a local auberge. During your walk you will see the famous ‘Lily Pond’ and the ‘Japanese Bridge’ that inspired so many of his paintings. We will moor for the night in Conflans, which is the junction of the Oise and Seine Rivers. It’s here that many of the commercial skippers retire, thus the reason for so many vessels moored alongside the quays. Dinner aboard.
Wednesday – Conflans to Paris
Napoleon and Paris – all in one day
As dawn breaks we cruise up the mighty River Seine to Bougival and visit Malmaison, the home of Napoleon, to see its many lavishly decorated rooms furnished by Josephine. We rejoin the Savoir Faire for lunch and continue our cruise into Paris, past the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral to moor in the heart of Paris. Captain’s Farewell Dinner aboard.
Thursday – Paris
Departure 9.30 am
After breakfast we disembark the Savoir Faire and transfer you to your designated drop off point in Paris.
Please note: this is a sample itinerary which may be subject to change depending on local conditions.