Discover the elegant village of Chantilly, named for one of the grandest of French châteaux, and spend a day exploring the heart of the Champagne region. During your excursion to the rolling vineyards where Champagne originated, you’ll visit an estate where the legendary sparkling wine is produced and stored in cool limestone caverns beneath acres of vineyards. You’ll also tour Reims, home of the imposing cathedral where French monarchs once received their crowns.
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Board an overnight flight to Paris, France.
Arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport and transfer to Chantilly, France
Arrive in Paris today. If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, our representative will meet you at the airport and assist with your transfer to Chantilly. You’ll have time to settle into your hotel before joining your City Host for an orientation walk around the area. Later, you’ll meet up with fellow travelers for a Welcome Dinner at a specially selected local restaurant featuring the best regional specialties.
Included Feature: Welcome Dinner featuring authentic local cuisine
Explore Chantilly as you please
Today, explore Chantilly as you wish, perhaps sleeping late in your Deluxe hotel or stroll charming side streets. Chantilly has a storied history of equestrian pursuits; perhaps you'll head to the equine museum in converted stables, or admire the stallions at the racecourse. Lunch and dinner are on your own today.
The Reims Cathedral, and a visit to a classic champagne estate
Delve into the mysteries of one of the world's most revered libations on your full-day excursion to the Champagne Region around Reims. Our first stop is the massive Reims Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where, for centuries, French sovereigns knelt and received their crowns. Enjoy free time for lunch on your own in Reims. Culinary Feature: Afterwards, we'll pass among gently rolling vineyards to a classic Champagne estate, where you'll learn how the sparkling wine is produced using a method developed in the 18th century. (The hillsides and cellars here are also collectively a UNESCO World Heritage Site.) During your visit, descend to cool limestone cellars where rows of bottles are racked until they reach the perfect stage of fermentation and "sparkle." Lunch and dinner are on your own today.
Tour Montmartre, sample some local chocolate, then embark on your base tour
After a leisurely morning in Chantilly, transfer to the Montmartre District in Paris, for a guided walking tour of the historic artists’ enclave. During your visit, take the "Montmartrain" to the top of the hill to enjoy the sweeping view of Paris from the plaza below the great domed church known as the Basilica of Sacré-Couer. You’ll have free time to explore on your own and have lunch before transferring to the ship to join your fellow passengers, who are arriving for Day 2 of the base tour.
Go back in time to discover some of the crowning achievements of French civilization, including the Palace of Versailles and Gardens. On this special extension, you’ll stay just outside Paris in the charming village of Versailles, in a lovely hotel that’s steps away from the spectacular royal château and its acres of perfectly-manicured gardens. In addition, round out your journey with plenty of opportunities for cultural and culinary immersion during your free time.
Tour the palace and gardens of Versailles
Following breakfast onboard the ms Renoir this morning, you’ll disembark the ship and transfer to Versailles for your post-trip extension.
You’ll visit UNESCO-listed Versailles Palace and Gardens — one of the greatest examples of French art and architecture through the ages — during a guided tour. The sprawling palace, with its acres of perfectly manicured grounds, is either the crowning glory of French architecture or the ultimate symbol of excess, depending upon your point of view. Either way, it must be seen to be believed. Inside, behind more than a half-mile of white-stone façade, you’ll find approximately 700 rooms, ranging from ornate royal bedchambers to the glittering Hall of Mirrors.
Enjoy an afternoon and evening at leisure today, savoring lunch and dinner on your own.
Free day to explore Versailles
This morning, after breakfast at your hotel, you’ll have a free day to explore the village of Versailles at your leisure.
Lunch is on your own today. Perhaps you’ll want to indulge in some of the luxurious delicacies found throughout Versailles, including upscale bistros and patisseries that rival neighboring Paris.
This evening, join fellow travelers as you bid France adieu with a special Farewell Dinner.
Depart for home today
After breakfast at your hotel, you’ll transfer back to the Paris airport where you will board your flight home.