This is very much a cruise which the owner of a small, private yacht may plan and the perfect voyage for those who love France yet may not have experienced her many off shore islands. The mileage covered over the course of ten nights may be relatively small but the interest along the way is immense. Our voyage is a veritable odyssey of French island life culminating in a cruise along the Garonne River for an overnight mooring in the elegant city of Bordeaux. True the islands we will explore may be only a few miles off shore but their isolation has given them an individuality and a charm which make them very special places.


Highlights


• Enjoy a full day excursion to Les Andelys and Giverny including a visit to the Chateau Gaillard, perched high on a cliff overlooking the river.

• Join a tour to Locronan, one of the most picturesque and preserved Medieval Breton villages which grew from the manufacture of sailcloth.

• Have a day to explore Belle Ile which is the largest of all Breton islands with a dramatic coastline comprising of cliffs, creeks and beaches.

• Discover the sights of Nantes including the Gothic masterpiece of St Pierre Cathedral and the castle of the Dukes of Brittany, one of the last feudal buildings to be built in the Loire Valley and where several French kings have stayed.

• Spend some time on the traffic-free Ile D’Aix which at just two kilometres long by 600 metres wide, is easy to explore by foot.

Embark the MS Serenissima this afternoon. Transfers will be provided from Portsmouth Harbour railway station at a fixed time.
The picturesque port of Honfleur is the base for our day’s exploration of Normandy. You will have the choice of a full day excursion to Les Andelys and Giverny including a visit to the Chateau Gaillard, perched high on a cliff overlooking the river. Built by Richard the Lionheart and the Duke of Normandy in 1196, this magnificent castle is the most dramatic sight anywhere along the Seine between the coast and Paris. After lunch we continue to Monet’s home and famous colourful garden at nearby Giverny. Claude Monet lived here from 1883 until his death in 1926, and laid out the gardens to his own designs. In the museum we will see reproductions of his famous works as well as the Japanese prints he collected. Alternatively, enjoy a morning tour to Rouen. After a scenic drive along the Seine Valley a walking tour of the historical centre will include the Old Market Place, lined by timber framed houses and where Joan of Arc was burned in 1431, Saint Maclou Church and the gothic cathedral. Return to the MS Serenissima for lunch and enjoy an afternoon at leisure.
Located just ten miles off the Pink Granite Coastline, Ile Brehat is a popular retreat for Parisians, many of whom have holiday homes on the island. From the harbour at Port Clos we will enjoy walks along the scenic coastal paths alive with wildflowers and subtropical flora which thrive in the gentle climate. We will visit the 17th century Birlot Windmill and climb to the highest point, at 33 metres above sea level to visit the Chapelle Saint Michel and enjoy the views over the archipelago. Return to the ship for lunch as we sail to the Sept Iles. These wonderful islands are uninhabited by humans, but are home to vast numbers of seabirds. In Medieval times monks tried to settle here on the aptly named Ile aux Moines but the harsh conditions made it impossible.
This morning we arrive in the Brittany port of Roscoff from where we take a short ferry ride to the nearby charming Ile de Batz. This small traffic-free island, at only three square miles, is a perfect place to spend a morning. From the harbour you may wish to join us as we walk to the Jardin George Delaselle where we will be shown around by the head gardener. This exotic garden was developed in 1897 and now contains more than 2500 different varieties of plants originating from as far afield as New Zealand and Chile as well as an excellent collection of palms. Return to the vessel for lunch and this afternoon we will explore the town and its environs. See the impressive Renaissance mansions, such as Maison de Marie Stuart, built by wealthy ship owners around the church and harbour. Continue to Saint Vougay and see the ‘Chateau de Kerjean’, one of the finest Renaissance buildings in Brittany with a fine collection of traditional Leon furniture. Built in the second part of the 16th century, the castle also has a park covering a total area of around 25 acres, completed with a Renaissance fountain.
In the late 19th century the port of Douarnanez prospered as it was a major centre for the sardine industry. Traces of these days still show in the architecture and old fisherman’s houses that line the harbour, whilst at the Port Musee we will find a number of traditional boats at anchor. This morning you can choose to explore the pretty fishing village or join a tour inland to Locronan, one of the most picturesque and preserved Medieval Breton villages which grew from the manufacture of sailcloth. Visit the 15th century church, remarkable for its stone vaulting and stained glass windows, before walking through the craft workshops. You might also be tempted to taste the famous “kouignamann”, a traditional Breton butter cake. Return to the MS Serenissima for lunch as we sail the short distance to Ile de Sein.
Another of Brittany’s main fishing ports and a centre for the French tuna industry, the town of Concarneau also appeals as a destination in its own right with its historic ville close, the walled city, built on a small island in the centre of the harbour. Spend the morning exploring the narrow streets or climb onto the ramparts for spectacular views. Return to the ship for lunch and there is a choice of excursions this afternoon. You may choose to explore the town further, maybe visit the Musee de la Peche which explores the history of the fishing industry or the nearby Chateau de Keriolet. Alternatively, join us as we visit pretty Pont Aven, located on the estuary of the Aven River made famous by the many painters including Paul Gauguin, who were attracted by the village setting and came here at the end of the 19th century and formed “L’Ecole de Pont Aven” school of painting which focused on colour and symbolism. We will enjoy riverside walks, view the numerous watermills and see the spots where the artists used to paint. We return to the ship via the traditional village of Kerascoet, a lovely site offering wonderfully preserved thatched cottages dating back to the 15th century.
We have a day to explore Belle Ile which is the largest of all Breton islands with a dramatic coastline comprising of cliffs, creeks and beaches. This morning we will leave our berth in La Palais and drive to see the Grand Phare, the island’s tallest lighthouse, the Port Coton needles lying off the coast and the village of Kervilahouen where Claude Monet spent time painting the wild coast. We end our tour at the picturesque harbour at Sauzon before returning to the MS Serenissima for lunch. This afternoon is free to see the sights of Le Palais, the island’s capital, which is dominated by a star shaped 16th century citadel.
The former capital of Brittany, Nantes grew as a shipbuilding and industrial centre throughout the 18th and 19th centuries to become one of France’s most important ports. We will discover the sights on a walking tour this morning including the Gothic masterpiece of St Pierre Cathedral and the castle of the Dukes of Brittany, one of the last feudal buildings to be built in the Loire Valley and where several French kings have stayed. We will also see the town hall, Graslin Theatre, Feydeau Island and the Place Royale and admire views of the town, harbour and Loire River from St Anne Mound. Return to the ship for lunch and enjoy an afternoon to explore further independently. For those who wish to travel further afield join us as we drive past rocky headlands and long sandy beaches, to the fortified town of Guerande, a colourful town surrounded by ramparts. Our guide will show you the highlights of this pretty town on a walking tour followed by time at leisure to explore the Medieval streets lined with beautiful 17th and 18th century houses before returning to the MS Serenissima this evening.
Over breakfast we arrive at La Pallice, our base for a morning on Ile de Re and one of the jewels of the Charentaise coast. Enjoy a guided tour of the village of St Martin, the island’s capital, and some free time to explore the port and the narrow streets or visit the lovely food market before we return to La Rochelle through the island’s southern villages and salt marshland. Enjoy some time at leisure in La Rochelle to discover the old town and harbour or maybe explore the World War Two museum located in a former German underground bunker before we sail over lunch. Spend the afternoon on the traffic-free Ile D’Aix which at just two kilometres long by 600 metres wide, is easy to explore by foot. Once heavily fortified to protect the naval base at Rochefort, today it is a much more peaceful place. Enjoy time to explore Fort Liedot, which was used as a prison during the French Revolution, see the house where Napoleon spent his last hours before his exile to St Helena or simply stroll the cobbled streets.
During the early morning we will sail down the Garonne River arriving at our central berth during breakfast. On our morning tour we will explore the history and beauty of the elegant 18th century city centre with its stunning buildings including the Grand Theatre, built in 1773 by Victor Louis, the 13th century Cathedrale St Andre as well as the Chartrons district, a lively quarter which used to be the cradle of the wine trade in Bordeaux. We will also see the World War Two German submarine base, the beautiful squares including the Place de la Bourse and the right bank where we discover the wonderful view over the 18th century river front. Return to the ship for lunch and this afternoon either choose to explore the city further independently or join us on an excursion to the UNESCO World Heritage classified Saint Emilion region and village. We will visit the main monuments of the town including the Collegiale church and its magnificent cloister, the ramparts and the market place before driving to a nearby vineyard where we learn about the local techniques of wine making during the visit of the cellars, before enjoying a wine tasting.
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to London.

Inside single

£ 3895 GBP pp
Inside single
Inside single cabins range in size from 9.9 to 11.52 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Inside cabin

£ 3895 GBP pp
Inside cabin
The inside cabins are approx 10 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Standard Stateroom

£ 4095 GBP pp
Standard Stateroom
The standard staterooms range in size from 10 to 15.5 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Standard Single

£ 4095 GBP pp
Standard Single
The standard single cabins range in size from 7.1 to 12.7 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Standard Stateroom Plus

£ 4195 GBP pp
Standard Stateroom Plus
The standard staterooms range in size from 10 to 15.5 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Superior Stateroom

£ 4395 GBP pp
Superior Stateroom
The superior staterooms range in size from 11 to 19.6 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Deluxe Stateroom

£ 4595 GBP pp
Deluxe Stateroom
The deluxe staterooms range in size from 15 to 25.4 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Standard Stateroom Sole

£ 5095 GBP pp
Standard Stateroom Sole
The standard staterooms range in size from 10 to 15.5 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Standard Stateroom Plus Sole

£ 5195 GBP pp
Standard Stateroom Plus Sole
The standard staterooms range in size from 10 to 15.5 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Junior Suite

£ 5295 GBP pp
Junior Suite
The junior suites range in size from 20.9 to 21.7 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Owners Suite

£ 5595 GBP pp
Owners Suite
The owner’s suites are 22.7 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Executive Suite

£ 5595 GBP pp
Executive Suite
The executive suites are 25 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Serenissima

Vessel Type: Small Ship

Length: 87 metres

Passenger Capacity: 107

Built / refurbished: 1960 / 2013

Prior to her life as the MS Andrea she spent many years cruising the Norwegian coast as the Harald Jarl. The decision by the Norwegian owners, Hurtigruten to invest in much larger new vessels, presented an opportunity to the American company, Elegant Cruises to purchase the vessel in 2002. After a substantial refit of over $20 million in Sweden she began her new life of worldwide cruising.

Perhaps, one of the best known and loved features of this vessel is its unique style. During the major refit in Sweden the then owners commissioned Swedish interior designers to create a Gustavian style interior. This bright Swedish 18th century influenced, country house style works particularly well on a vessel of this vintage, providing intimacy and classic nautical sensibility often lacking in larger vessels.

Accommodating just under 100 passengers, the 59 cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience and are fully air conditioned with a modern shower and toilet, telephone, flat screen televisions and other thoughtful appointments. There are eight different grades of cabin arranged over five decks and with the exception of the five inside cabins, all staterooms feature either windows or portholes.

The free seating Venice Restaurant accommodates all guests in one sitting. In addition there is an outside dining area for when the weather and itinerary permit. A new addition to the vessel is a Lido area on Deck 5 with a bar and Jacuzzi.

Other facilities on board include two lounges, a small library with two computers for internet access, a spacious observation deck, fitness area, massage and an elevator. The vessel is equipped with Zodiac craft allowing us to visit remote places where normal tender arrangements are not possible.

The European captain, officers, expedition staff, and crew offer a first class service and have been selected for their professionalism and caring attitudes. The atmosphere on board is warm and welcoming and dedicated to discovery and relaxation.

Cabin layout for Serenissima
Serenissima

Serenissima in Italy and FranceSerenissima

Italy and France Expedition Expedition

11 Days from
£ 3895 GBP pp

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1800 107 715

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