DAY 1 | Sept. 17. Depart for Paris, France
Provided for Air Program participants.
DAY 2 | Sept. 18. Paris
Upon arrival in Paris, transfer to the Adagio Bercy, located in the Bercy Village near the Seine, Parc de Bercy and the convenient Cour Saint-Emilion Metro station. Become acquainted with the easy-to-use Paris Metro system this afternoon before taking a walking tour of the Bercy neighborhood. This evening, attend a Welcome Reception and Dinner at a Parisian restaurant. (D)
DAY 3 | Sept. 19. Paris
Lecture: The Story of Paris. Enjoy a historic perspective before venturing into the city.
Excursion: Le Marais. Marais means “marsh,” but this neighborhood is much more elegant than its name. Explore the heart of artistic and cultural life in Paris on a walking tour of this intimate neighborhood, once the nucleus of Jewish life.
Independent Exploration: This afternoon is yours to explore Le Marais and beyond. Browse the art galleries and stylish boutiques, visit the Musée Picasso or stroll the regal Place des Vosges, Paris’ first square. (B)
DAY 4 | Sept. 20. Paris
Independent Exploration: Enjoy a morning of independent exploration.
Excursion: Garnier Opéra House. Step off Les Grand Boulevards into the Garnier Opéra House, commissioned by Napoleon III. See the Grand Foyer, marble staircases and ceiling painted by Chagall, then go behind the scenes to learn how this opera house inspired “The Phantom of the Opera” and Edgar Degas’ paintings of dancers. (B)
DAY 5 | Sept. 21. Paris
Independent Exploration: Spend the morning enjoying the city.
Excursion: Paris by Boat. This afternoon, board a private boat and cruise the Seine. Glide past the Tuileries Gardens, Île de la Cité, Notre-Dame and Île Saint-Louis before entering the tranquil, leafy Canal Saint-Martin. (B)
DAY 6 | Sept. 22. Burgundy
Excursion: Bourgogne. Travel Le TGV, France’s high-speed train, to Dijon, capital of Burgundy, to discover the town’s landmarks, including stately stone mansions, a trio of churches and half-timbered homes from the 15th and 16th centuries.
Local Flavor: Return to Paris for dinner at one of the city’s many excellent restaurants. (B, D)
DAY 7 | Sept. 23. Paris
Independent Exploration: Maybe today you will spend the morning uncovering the secrets of the Left Bank. Perhaps you’ll visit the home and art studio of Eugène Delacroix or the elegant Italianate church Eglise St. Sulpice, famous for its appearance in “The Da Vinci Code.”
Excursion: The French Revolution. Learn about the French Revolution as you explore the Latin Quarter with a guide. Named for the scholars who spoke Latin in this intellectual hub, the quarter is filled with history. See the hall where Danton and the radical Cordeliers’ club held their debates, visit the oldest café in Paris and hear about the guillotine and the death of Marat.
Local Flavor: This evening, enjoy a classic French meal in a Paris restaurant. (B, D)
DAY 8 | Sept. 24. Paris
Lecture: The Treasures of D’Orsay. The famous Musée d’Orsay showcases French art of the 1800s and early 1900s, including works by Manet, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Van Gogh, Cézanne and Gauguin. Enjoy an expert overview of the museum and the impressionist movement during a morning lecture.
Independent Exploration: Enter the Musée d’Orsay with insider insights, and relish the impressionist masterpieces at your leisure. (B)
DAY 9 | Sept. 25. Paris
Lecture: Treasures of the Louvre. Constructed as a fortress in the 12th century and rebuilt as a royal residence in the 16th century, the Louvre is home to arguably the world’s greatest art collection. Learn about the museum and the best way for you to approach it during this valuable lecture.
Independent Exploration: Navigate the Louvre with ease. Afterward, treat yourself to a gelato as you stroll through the Jardin des Tuileries or sneak away to Palais-Royal, one of Paris’ most romantic gardens. (B)
DAY 10 | Sept. 26. Versailles
Excursion: Versailles. Explore France’s grandest palace, including the Hall of Mirrors where the treaty of Versailles was signed. Just a short trip out of the city, the baroque chateau was the kingdom’s political capital and the seat of the royal court from 1682 until 1789. A headset rental is included so that you can explore at your own pace.
Independent Exploration: The remainder of the day is at leisure to explore on your own. (B)
DAY 11 | Sept. 27. Paris
Excursion: Rouen. Journey to the ancient city of Rouen, the capital of Normandy, in comfort aboard the regional train. An expert guide leads us past half-timbered houses along medieval Rue du Gros Horloge and to Cathédrale Notre Dame, painted repeatedly by Claude Monet, who was fascinated by the play of light on its towering façade. Hear the haunting story of Joan of Arc who was burned at the stake in Rouen’s central square in 1431. (B)
DAY 12 | Sept. 28. Paris
Excursion and Lecture: Hemingway’s Paris. Return to 1920s’ Paris as you visit some of Ernest Hemingway’s favorite haunts. Enjoy a literary lecture at the famous bookstore Shakespeare and Company. Learn about Hemingway’s expat circle, which included Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Independent Exploration: Continue your exploration of Paris at your leisure. Consider an afternoon exploring Montmartre, the highest spot in the city. See the resting place of Degas and the old avant-garde, and climb the stairs or take the funicular to the iconic Basilique du Sacré-Coeur. (B)
DAY 13 | Sept. 29. Paris
Lecture: Contemporary France. Learn about issues and events that are shaping modern France.
Excursion: Paris and World War II. Stroll the neighborhood of Saint-Germain-des-Prés and learn about Paris during the Occupation during this fascinating walking tour. This charming district dotted with storied cafes was a meeting place for artists, writers and intellectuals.
Independent Exploration: Make the most of an afternoon at leisure.
Local Flavor: This evening, share stories with fellow travelers and gather for a delicious meal in a classic Parisian restaurant. (B, D)
DAY 14 | Sept. 30. Paris / Reims
Excursion: A Sparkling Experience. A speedy journey on the TGV takes you to the ancient city of Reims in the heart of the Champagne region. Enjoy a wine tasting and learn why it has been said that the French nation was born here. Witness the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims and other sites.
Independent Exploration: You may opt to spend the rest of the day in Reims. Taste bubbly in Gothic cellars or dine at one of Reim’s brasseries or haute-cuisine establishments. (B)
DAY 15 | Oct. 1. Paris
Independent Exploration: Relish the last day of your adventure in Paris. Soak up the atmosphere as you window shop with locals, people watch from the perfect park bench or see something new off the beaten path.
Local Flavor: Join fellow travelers for a Farewell Reception and Dinner in a Paris restaurant. (B, D)
DAY 16 | Oct. 2.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your journey home. (B)