Paris, France wouldn’t be the City of Love it is today if it weren’t for the iconic Seine River that flows through the heart of it. The entire city evolved around the river that acted as both a transportation and commercial waterway hundreds of years ago. Even to this day, the river Seine seems to have a magnetic pull on the people of Paris, drawing together tourists, Parisians, and artists alike.
The Seine River’s mouth starts in northeastern France and flows northwesterly through Paris and into the English Channel. Because of this useful connection, the Seine River has been fought over for thousands of years. Back in the Iron Age, the Celts were the first people to use the Seine River for personal gain, utilizing it for trade and transport. The Romans came next to rule the Seine, creating massive trade routes directly along the river.The City of Paris was built around the Seine and to this day, its Le Havre port is France’s largest international shipping port.
Scenic’s river cruises on the Seine River hit all the cultural must-sees of France. The Seine flows through the romantic Isle-de-France region into Les Andelys, an area that holds King Richard the Lionheart’s Chateau Gaillard. Scenic guests have direct access to the stunning castle that once was built by King Richard I to defend the English against a French invasion. Tour the castle and take in the breathtaking viewpoint that overlooks Les Andelys below.
The Seine continues on past Les Andelys and into another historic region of France. Rouen sits directly on the river’s banks and is the capital of Normandy. It holds much historical significance as it was the setting in many famous French events. Take in the famous sights of Joan of Arc (who was tried and sentenced here), visit the Rouen Cathedral and explore the Museum of Fine Arts, which includes masterpieces by Monet and Delacroix. Scenic guests also have the opportunity to go on a full day excursion to the Somme battlefields, the site of a historically-significant World War I battle.
The Seine River eventually winds its way to Honfleur, a coastal city that faces the English Channel. There’s so much to see in this city. Visit the Normandy beaches, explore glamorous Deauville, observe the Landing Museum at Arromanches, and take part in a private cocktail event in the Manoir d'Apreval.
Caudebec-en-Caux is a region famous for inspiring many iconic paintings by the world’s most well-known artists. Scenic guests can visit Monet’s former residence and gardens in Giverny and see Vincent van Gogh's last place of residence at the Le Maison de Van Gogh in the town of Auvers-sur-Oise.
We save the best for last! The Seine River winds its way into Paris, where guests have over a day to explore the best attractions of this stunning city, independently or with a professional guide. Finish your river cruise on a high note with a visit to the Versailles Palace, a site rich in history and famous for its over-the-top decadence.
No matter which attractions you choose to visit while in Paris, the memories you make here will stay with you long after our Scenic cruise ship docks.