Performance Tour – Paris & Normandy, France!
Our flight departs traveling through the night with meal service en route.
We arrive Paris Charles DeGaulle Airport to be met by our USIT tour conductor and French guide, and we board our luxury European land-cruising, air-conditioned, lav-equipped, touring coach with English-speaking driver. We’ll board the coaches and by 10:00 AM, we are on our way into Paris for a panoramic tour with our licensed Paris guide, showing us the best of Paris that can be seen from the coaches, including the Left Bank, the Opera Quarter, Latin Quarter, and the Champs-Elysees with its Arc de Triomphe as time permits. We’ll stop for lunch on our own around noon, then we’ll go on to enjoy a cruise on the Seine River to see the city sights from the river. Then we walk across the street to the Eiffel Tower (adm. Incl.) to ascend to the highest level for the amazing view of the city. We’ll arrive at the Place de la Republique at about 5:30 PM, on one of the most beautiful squares in Paris, to check into our four star superior Crowne Plaza Republique Hotel, a restored 19th century building. After an early check-in, we are free to settle in and prepare for dinner. Dinner will be provided at 6:30 PM at Le Bistrot Romain on the Place de Republique.
After breakfast at the hotel, we depart for Notre Dame Cathedral, where we will visit the interior and then prepare for our concert in this world-famous cathedral (changing rooms provided). Our concert will last about half an hour. Lunch on our own will be in the area of Notre Dame or l’Ombre de Notre Dame. On your own you can visit St. Chapelle, the fine Gothic cathedral famed for its extensive stained glass and upper chapel, and the Conciergerie, a prison for 500 years, where Marie Antoinette was held before her execution, now a museum. At 2:00, we board the coaches to continue to the Palace of Versailles, famous for its beautiful royal châteaux and extensive gardens. Our visit to Versailles Palace includes the gardens, Hall of Mirrors, Salon de Venus, Royal Chapel, and much more. We’ll have an early dinner, provided at 6:00 PM Chez Cesar, 10 Avenue du General de Gaulle in Versailles before we leave Versailles to avoid the traffic.
After a late breakfast at the hotel, at 9:30, the coach will take us to the Louvre, where our guide will show us the highlights of the famous museum. Originally, in 1190 it was a fortress of King Philippe-Auguste, and today it is a ten-acre complex with over 30 halls of art and history–some of the most famous in the world, including Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa. Lunch on our own is at the food court in the Louvre. We depart at 1:00 PM for our second concert, which is to be held at la Madeleine, the church of the rich and famous in Paris, and is one of the best acoustical venues in Paris. Now we transfer to Montmartre, site of the vast and impressive Sacre Coeur Cathedral with its ovoid dome, the second highest point in Paris. Montmartre has been a place for artists for over 200 years. We’ll enjoy the cafes and artist stalls in Place du Tertre near the cathedral, and we can find an early Parisian church dating to the 6th century and a gallery displaying over 300 works of Salvador Dali. Montmartre is also the site of the last vineyard in the city. We’ll have dinner on our own at the Place du Tertre, and we can shop and watch the local artists working. We leave the Montmartre area by coach and transfer back to the hotel.
Today is a metro day, since the coaches are required to take a day off. So after a leisurely breakfast, at 9:30, we’ll walk out in the square and into the metro station for the short ride to the opera quarter and a guided tour of the amazing Paris Opera House, entering at 10:30. Famous throughout the world for its beauty, its history is equally interesting. Lunch is on our own near the opera. From there, we take the metro to the Champs-Elysees, the 5th Avenue of Paris, starting with the Arc de Triomphe, standing at the top of the avenue. We’ll have the chance to enter and climb to the top of the Arch for pictures (optional admission), and then we can take our time to walk down famous boulevard, shopping and exploring. Late afternoon, we return to the hotel. Dinner is on our own again tonight at one of the many restaurants on the Place de Republique.
Today is checkout day, and we will leave at 8:00 AM. Then we proceed down the scenic Romantic Road and on the way, we’ll stop at Monet Gardens in Giverny. In addition to seeing the garden, familiar to those who know Monet’s creations, we will enter the house where he lived and worked. Then we proceed to the ancient city of Rouen on the River Seine, where we will visit the cathedral and other sites, and enjoy a fine lunch in the square. Included will be the site of Joan of Arc being burned at the stake in 1431. Our next stop is the quaint port of Honfleur for several hours of shopping and sightseeing before continuing on to our hotel in Deauville. Dinner is provided at the hotel tonight at about 8:00 PM. Hotel and dinner:
Today is a memorial day, a time to pay homage to the American and other Allied soldiers that gave their lives in the D-Day invasion. We depart the hotel at 9:00 AM. First we visit the German battery Longues Sur Mer, and then we proceed Arromanches for lunch. From there we proceed to Omaha Beach. We’ll visit the American cemetery at Omaha Beach to sing a dedicatory concert at 2:00 PM and lay a wreath in remembrance of their sacrifice. We’ll have time to hike down to the beach itself. We then return to Deauville, where dinner is on our own, with many fine seafood and coastal French restaurants from which to choose.
Today, we leave early (8:30 AM) for the south coast of Normandy, a morning’s drive. We arrive at lunchtime at the amazing Mont St-Michel, the island Benedictine Abbey and village that are so symbolic of the French Normandy coast. We’ll have time to explore there with our guides, visiting the abbey, the ramparts on the sea, the refectory, and the Knight’s room. After a little shopping on the Rue Grande, we’ll head back toward our hotel. Dinner is provided at 7:30 PM at the hotel. Hotel and dinner
This morning, we’ll have a late breakfast and enjoy the hotel and its facilities. We depart on the coach at about 9:30 for Paris for a little free time or shopping. We arrive in Paris at about 2:00 PM to check in back at the Crowne Plaza Republique. Depart at 7:00 PM for our 7:30 Farewell Dinner together tonight provided at a special restaurant. On our return to our hotel, we’ll stop at the Eiffel Tower for the evening light show.
After another great breakfast, we board the coach to depart the hotel for the airport for our flight home.
Note: Full hot buffet breakfast is provided every day at the hotel. Dinners are provided as shown, and all lunches are on your own.