HOTEL BARGES / RAYMONDE IN PARIS
PARIS - ITS LEGENDARY SITES - THE COVERED ARCADES - "OLD PARIS" DISTRICTS
DAY 1 | PARIS
Passengers are welcome to board the MS RAYMONDE , our traditional French canal barge, at 6:00 p.m . Completely renovated in April 2013, the MS RAYMONDE is one of the most modern canal barges in operation today. After you've comfortably settled in your cabin, we'll introduce our crew during our welcome party. You'll enjoy dinner on board, followed by a traditional Titi Parisen (Parisian Street Urchin) show on board. Out boat will stay moored at the Quai de Grenelle overnight, near the Eiffel Tower.
DAY 2 | PARIS and its famous sites - Canal Saint Martin
While you begin your day with a breakfast buffet on board, we will cast off and spend the morning cruising along the Seine and Canal Saint Martin, starting at Quai de Grenelle and finishing at the Bassin de la Villette. This is a journey through the very heart of districts that are so typical of the “real Paris”. We will travel up the Seine, cruising past the Trocadero gardens, Tuileries park, and Ile Saint Louis before joining Canal Saint Martin near Bastille. Our boat will pass through a tunnel, resurfacing near République, as the canal opens out onto wide avenues lined with ancient trees. The Canal Saint Martin area has kept all the charm and romanticism from its former working-class-neighborhood days. Here, the elegant footbridges, the nine locks, and bustling quays bring back the atmosphere of the “Paris of Yesteryear”, with a shabby-chic retro charm that is very fashionable at the moment. We'll arrive at the Bassin de la Villette at the end of the morning, just in time for lunch on board, before spending the afternoon on a guided tour of Paris. During our excursion, you will see the capital's major must-see sites, such as the Place de la République, the Grands Boulevards, the Opera, the Place de la Madeleine, Place Vendôme, and the Louvre. We will walk through time and history as we discover the area around Palais Royale. Starting at the Palais Royal, you'll be taken on a new and original walk through the prettiest covered arcades in Paris. Often used as shortcuts for pedestrians, every one of these walkways is like a village in the heart of the capital. While the galleries have retained all their historical charm, modern designers, such as Shiseido, JP Gauthier, Stella McCartney, and many others have also brought their own touch of luxury and extravagance. After our full day, we'll return on board for dinner, at the Bassin de la Villette where we will moor for the night. This area is a very popular meeting point for tourists and locals of all cultures and ages.
DAY 3 | Canal Saint Martin - PARIS and the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district
You'll begin your day with breakfast on board as we cruise Canal Saint Martin, arriving at Trocadero in the middle of the morning. The MS RAYMONDE will be moored just a few feet from the Trocadero gardens. Created for the 1937 World Exhibition, the Trocadero gardens provide a wonderful vantage point for the best views of the Eiffel Tower. You'll enjoy free time in Paris to relax or explore as you wish, by visiting a museum, shopping, or strolling along the streets and avenues. Paris simply abounds with fine buildings, monuments, and museums.
After exploring all morning, you'll return to the boat for lunch on board. In the afternoon, there will be a guided visit to help you discover the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district. We'll set off by coach from Trocadero , and take the “Triumphal Way” route, passing by the Arc de Triomphe , down the Champs Elysées and around the Place de la Concorde, before arriving in Saint-Germain-des-Prés . This district is one of the truly legendary places where history, architecture, art, and society best symbolize the soul of Paris. Here it is said that you can still sense the presence of Sartre, de Beauvoir , or even Juliette Greco, because ' Saint-Germain-des-Prés exists after life'. You will then work your way through a maze of streets and little squares where you will discover buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries. Near the Odéon , all the legendary Revolution-era figures ( Danton , Marat and Doctor Guillotine) await our arrival, and we can take a break at the oldest café in Paris, the Procope . Near the Seine, artists and writers give way to antique dealers and luxury boutiques. After our tour, we'll return to the coach which will take us back to our boat. In the evening, you will enjoy our gala dinner on board, followed by a “Paris by night” cruise to see the city lights from the water (depending on water levels). Our boat will moor for overnight at the Quai de Grenelle.
DAY 4 | PARIS
Enjoy one last breakfast on board before disembarking at 9:00 a.m .
For the safety of our passengers, the captain and crew of the boat may decide to modify the navigational itinerary. The order of the excursions may be reversed to ensure the best organization of your cruise.