Solo Season: French River Cruising

Explore the rivers and countryside of France as you travel an incredible 60 nautical miles up the River Seine to Rouen, perfect stopping off point for a visit to Paris. You will also visit the Gironde and Garonne Rivers and overnight in Bordeaux. All this on board the Fred Olsen Braemar on this great 9 night cruise departing from Dover – with no extra supplement for single travellers! (Book by 1st March for no single supplement offer)

Visiting the beautiful cities of Rouen, La Rochelle (La Pallice), Bordeaux and Lorient and explore the rivers Seine, Gironde and Garonne this cruise is a perfect blend of time to explore and time to enjoy the facilities on board.

FROM Dublin / Dover, UK
DATE 01 April 2017
PRICE Was €2,499 now from €1,659

One of the best things about Fred.’s river cruises is that you get to enjoy relaxing journeys along meandering waterways in the comfort of our smaller-sized, more intimate cruise ships. This French river cruise is no exception, featuring hours of unforgettable, daytime scenic cruising as Braemar takes you closer to culture-rich towns and cities via picturesque waterways.

You’ll experience a relaxing, 60-nautical-mile sail along the beautiful River Seine, admiring unspoilt countryside views after docking overnight in the charming, historic city of Rouen. While in Rouen you’ll have time to explore the medieval Old Town and marvel at the striking gothic cathedral; visit the exact spot where Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake; or even tour to nearby Paris and discover the many highlights of the romantic French capital, including the iconic Eiffel Tower. Braemar will also cruise along the narrow Gironde and Garonne Rivers, sailing straight to the UNESCO-listed heart of beautiful Bordeaux. Explore the charming historic district to see stunning structures and squares such as the 18th century Place de la Bourse; or take a trip the magnificent Medoc Vineyards and sample world-famous wines during a two-day stay in the ‘Pearl of Aquitaine’.

A day in La Pallice offers you the chance to take a short trip to La Rochelle and wander through the pretty arcaded streets of the ‘White City’ in search of historic sites such as the 15th century town hall and the impressive towers which guard the harbour. La Pallice is also perfectly placed for tours to ‘Green Venice’, where wonderful waterways and protected marshlands can be explored on a delightful boat ride. You’ll also enjoy a short stay in Lorient, which was one of Germany’s most important U-Boat bases in World War Two. Here you can admire the rebuilt post-war architecture; visit the concrete caverns of the Keroman Submarine Base that survived relentless allied bombing raids in the war; or simply head across the harbour to Île de Groix to relax amongst the sandy beaches and rocky cliffs.


Day to Day Itinerary:

Day 1: Dover, United Kingdom: Depart Late PM

Following a flight from Dublin to London, you will be transferred to the port in Dover to board the Fred. Olsen Boudicca where you will begin your journey.

Day 2: Cruising Seine River: Early AM

The winding, 485-mile-long River Seine is France’s most important waterway and one of Europe’s most historic great rivers.

Slicing through the country from Dijon, all the way to the English Channel, the Seine is lined by gorgeous countryside, beautiful towns & cities, stunning architecture and some of France’s most famous landmarks, including Notre Dame, the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower on the UNESCO-listed Rive Gauche and Rive Droite banks of the river in Paris. Lay back and relax on a scenic cruise along the Seine, admiring the incredible views that inspired many famous artists over the years, including Claude Monet and Henri Matisse.

Day 2-3: Rouen, France: Early AM OVERNIGHT depart Early PM

Normandy’s delightful 2,000 years old ‘museum city’ and busy river-port on the meandering Seine.

A unique city rich with monuments and museums to visit, there is so much to do, see and explore in Rouen. With narrow pedestrianised streets lined with tall, half-timber houses and a statue marking the spot where Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake, it doesn’t take long to discover this city’s dark history.

Arguably Rouen’s greatest attraction is the incredible Gothic Cathedral which inspired Monet to paint over 30 canvasses. The grand monument is easy to find thanks to its vast spire that soars over a superbly restored medieval Old Town and is not-to-be-missed. Be sure to visit the Church of Saint-Maclou and Church of St. Ouen during your time exploring the city centre. These churches are considered as two of the best examples of gothic architecture in France and are a vitally important part of Rouen’s history.

The city’s beautiful botanical garden – Jardin de Plantes de Rouen – is also worth a visit to see the 600 different plant species and varying types of garden including a rock garden, rose garden and a garden full of medicinal plants. 

Day 3: Cruising Seine River: Early PM to Late Night

Day 4: At Sea:

Day 5: La Pallice (La Rochelle), France: Early AM to Late PM

Founded by Eleanor of Aquitaine in the 14th century, and once a bastion of French Protestantism, this handsome old Atlantic seaport has had a turbulent history.

Located on the French west coast, the historic city of La Rochelle is one of the busiest seaports in the Bay of Biscay. Founded in the 10th century, La Rochelle became an important harbour in the 12th century and has flourished as a fishing, sailing, trading and naval city ever since.

Steeped in history, La Rochelle has played a huge role in many battles and wars in centuries past, including the Battle of La Rochelle, the French Wars of Religion, Siege of La Rochelle and the Second World War. Today the city is lively, vibrant and remarkably well-preserved with excellent shops, restaurants, bars and cafés to enjoy and charming ancient streets to explore.  

The Old Port is the oldest and prettiest part of the city and is well worth exploring. Here you’ll find the city’s finest architecture and historic monuments, including the impressive ‘Three Towers’ that guard the harbour. There’s also a huge aquarium to visit and explore too.

Days 6-7: Bordeaux, France: Early AM OVERNIGHT depart Late PM

Beautiful Bordeaux is world renowned for it’s famous wines, but there’s a lot more to this fine French city than vineyards and claret.

Known as the world’s wine capital, Bordeaux’s appeal as a tourist destination is easy to understand. A large number of visitors from all over the globe visit this beautiful French city every year to get a taste of what makes this wine-rich region so special.

Away from the vineyards there is plenty more to see, do and love in Bordeaux. Stretched along the banks of the rivers of Aquitaine, this ‘City of Art and History’ is home to 362 historic monuments, with some buildings dated back to Roman times. A large portion of the city centre – 1,810 Hectares in fact – is listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site and an ‘outstanding urban and architectural ensemble’. The site takes around 2 hours to explore and is a must-visit.

While in Bordeaux be sure to visit Place des Quinconces, one of the largest squares in Europe. There are several spectacular churches dotted around the city and other landmarks of note include the neoclassical Grand Theatre de Bordeaux.

Day 8: Lorient, France: Early PM to Late PM

A former German U-Boat base, Lorient played a huge role in the Second World War and was a primary target for Allied bombing raids. Today, the rebuilt city is awash with post 1950’s architecture and a number of museums and galleries to discover and explore.

Serving as the location of one of Germany’s most important U-Boat bases in the Second World War, much of this French city was destroyed by Allied air raids. Lorient was subsequently rebuilt after the war and much of the city’s architecture and points of interest date from the 1950’s.

Day 9: At Sea:

Day 10: Dover, United Kingdom: Arrive Early AM

Following your disembarkation, you will be transferred to the airport to get your return flight to Dublin.

9 Nights accommodation aboard the Braemar, operated by Fred. Olsen Cruise Line. (See ship info tab for more information on the Braemar)

4* Fred. Olsen Braemar Cruise Ship

A five-deck atrium creates a very light, spacious and airy interior, giving Braemar a very modern feel, while still maintaining the relaxing atmosphere for which Fred. Olsen’s vessels are renowned. Cascading decks at the stern give plenty of room for taking in the air and enjoying the sunshine. Stylish public rooms feature polished wood and gleaming brass, subtle lighting and luxurious fabrics.

Refitted in 2008 and carrying around 900 passengers, the 24,000 tonne Braemar has more then 80 passenger cabins and suites with balconies. Facilities include the comfortable Morning Light Pub and Observatory Lounge, which enjoys spectacular views over the bow – just the places to enjoy a pre dinner drink.

For fine food there is the Thistle Restaurant on the main deck, while on Marquee Deck the Grampian Restaurant offers a more intimate atmosphere in a formal setting. Informal dining is available in Palms Cafe.

During special-interest cruises, activities are available in the Arts and Crafts Room. Two open-air swimming pools, separated by open air jacuzzis on Marquee Deck, together with a Children’s Pool and poolside bar will help you get the most from your time on board.

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Dates & Prices

01 April 2017 Was €2,499
now €1,659
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01 April 2017 Now €2,179 Oceanview
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Book by 1st March for no single supplement offer

Price inclusions

  • Return flights Dublin to London
  • Return Transfers airport / port
  • 8 nights accommodation aboard the Fred. Olsen Braemar
  • Fine dining on a full board basis
  • All onboard entertainment
  • One check-in bag of 15kgs and one 10kgs carry-on per person
  • Taxes and charges of €130

Booking remarks

  • Book by 1st March for no single supplement offer
  • Inclusive of taxes and service charges as indicated
  • Non-refundable deposit of 15% due on confirmation of booking
  • 2% surcharge if balance is paid by credit or charge card
  • Optional Insurance available on request (conditions apply)
  • Drinks packages available to prebook – only €12 per person per night
  • Gratuities from €5 per person per night payable at the end of your cruise onboard M.S. Braemar
  • These prices are guidelines only and are subject to change and availability. Pricing will be confirmed at time of booking.
  • Office Use M1707