When: March 6-13, 2025
Where: Paris to Normandy, Seine River, France
Optional Extensions: We’re planning optional extensions in Paris, and possibly elsewhere. More details after we confirm.
Trip Status: Full, with a waitlist. Sign up to receive a text notification when spots come available.
Join us on our 7-night Paris to Normandy Beaches River Cruise and explore medieval cities and fortresses, castles and gardens, WWII beaches and cemeteries, and more!
- Scenic cruising along the Seine River, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Tour of Château Gaillard, the former stronghold of Richard the Lionheart
- Tour of Honfleur and its picturesque harbor
- Tour of Le Havre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Visit to the Normandy Beaches, including Omaha Beach, the cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, the artillery battery at Longues-sur-Mer, and the village of Arromanches
- Tour of Rouen’s medieval city, including the Notre Dame Cathedral, Medieval Quarter and Great Clock, and the square where Joan of Arc was martyred
- Tour of Lyonsla-Forêt, built on the site of a former fortress and featuring remarkable centuries-old architecture
- Visit to the Latin Quarter and Luxembourg Gardens in Paris
- Walking tour of Auvers-sur-Oise, the last home of artist Vincent van Gogh
- A selection of food and wine tastings during the cruise
- A selection of hikes and bike tours
- Note: Ports have multiple excursion options, so you can personalize your experience.
A cell phone and international data plan for one adult in your party is required for the duration of the trip. Itineraries for 2025 are still being finalized so listed sites may change, but this is what we’re planning so far. This trip is recommended for ages 7 and up.
Cabins, Cost, and What’s Included
We have a private charter, so our group will be the only travelers on board. Our cruise fare is deeply discounted and includes almost everything outside of flights and airport transfers.
Cabins have two twins or one queen bed (your choice of configuration) and are meant for two people. Depending on ship capacity, it may be possible to add a third person to a cabin, but at least one person in the cabin must be age 10 or younger. (Age is determined as of March 6, 2025.)
No additional bedding is provided if three people are in a cabin (there isn’t enough space), so the third person must sleep on existing bedding (2 twins or 1 queen).
Every cabin must have at least one person 18 years old or older.
Our ship doesn’t have triple, quad, or connecting cabins, so if you have a party of 3, 5, 7, etc., you’ll have to pay for an unused spot in a cabin (minus port charges and gratuity). Consider bringing a grandparent or another adult along to fill that unused spot and get the best value.
(The paragraph above assumes that parties of 3 don’t have a third person who is 10 years old or under. In that case, you’ll pay for three people in one cabin.)
We have two smaller single cabins, each with one twin bed, for ages 18 and older. These go fast, so if you want one, register as soon as I open registration.
Cabins are on three decks:
- Lowest cabin deck is mostly below the waterline, except for windows.
- Middle cabin deck sits above the waterline.
- Highest cabin deck is higher above the waterline.
French balconies are similar to a regular balcony, but the space is inside your room. When the patio doors (full glass windows) are closed, it’s an indoor sitting area with a full view. When you slide the doors open, it’s like a balcony, but you can’t step out (there are rails there to keep you from falling into the river). There’s no separate outdoor space. All mid- and high-deck cabins have French balconies. Categories E and D are on the lowest deck and have fixed windows instead of French balconies.
PRICES ARE PER CABIN, NOT PER PERSON
*3 people sharing one cabin, one person must be 10 years old or younger
Category E – Lowest cabin deck, 170 sq ft
No balcony, windows are smaller and don’t open; closer to crew cabins
1 person: $3,549
2 people: $3,930
*3 people: $5,895
Category D – Lowest cabin deck, 170 sq ft
No balcony, windows are smaller and don’t open; a little farther from crew cabins
1 person: $3,819
2 people: $4,200
*3 people: $6,300
Category C – Middle cabin deck & highest cabin deck, 170 sq ft
French balcony, at the end of the deck on both levels
1 person: $4,719
2 people: $5,100
*3 people: $7,650
Category B (Single Cabin) – Middle cabin deck, 140 sq ft
French balcony, twin bed, one person only, smaller cabin, in center of middle deck
1 person: $2,685
Category B – Middle cabin deck & highest cabin deck, 170 sq ft
French balcony, most are in the center of the middle deck, several cabins are close to the end of the highest deck
1 person: $4,989
2 people: $5,370
*3 people: $8,055
Category A – Highest cabin deck, 170 sq ft
French balcony, all are in the center of the highest deck
1 person: $5,079
2 people: $5,460
*3 people: $8,190
Category A+ – Highest cabin deck, 225 sq ft
French balcony, highest deck, larger cabin, larger sitting area
1 person: $6,249
2 people: $6,630
*3 people: $9,945
Suite – Highest cabin deck, 255 sq ft
French balcony, highest deck, largest cabin, larger sitting area, has a tub in addition to a shower
1 person: $6,449
2 people: $6,830
*3 people: $10,245
*3 people sharing one cabin, one person must be 10 years old or younger
Your cruise fare includes port charges, gratuity for ship staff/crew, excursions, and site admissions on our itinerary during the cruise. (Tips for local guides are at your discretion.)
All meals are included – breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, desserts, snacks, sandwiches, and multi-course dinners. Drinks include sparkling wine and juices for breakfast, regional wines, beer, and soft drinks for lunch and dinner, with cappuccino, latte and espresso available upon request. Coffee, tea, and water are available all day, and bottled water is provided in the cabins.
Your cruise fare doesn’t include airfare, airport transfers, any extra tours or excursions you do on your own, any meals while off the ship, trip insurance, and the optional pre- and/or post-cruise extensions.
Payment Schedule, Cancellation, and No-Refund Policy
A $100 per-person, non-refundable registration fee is required and will be charged to your debit/credit card when you submit your request for spots. This fee is separate from your cruise fare. If I can’t accommodate one of your cabin category choices, this fee will be returned.
Half of your cruise fare is due within 7 days of my confirmation of your spots. I can’t hold spots after 7 days. The remaining balance is due by August 31, 2023.*
*NOTE: I need full payment this far in advance because this a deeply discounted custom cruise with unforgiving contract terms. The contract must be signed a year or more in advance, and once signed, I’m responsible for paying for the entire ship, regardless of whether all cabins are filled or not. This is also why I can’t refund any payments for any reason (medical, job lay-off, death in the family, anything). Your cabin/spots aren’t transferable.
Please make sure you understand and agree with this before you register – no refunds, no matter what. I can’t afford to pay for empty spots. Your signed registration form and payment acknowledges your understanding and agreement with my no-refund policy. Spots/cabins are non-transferable.
I accept checks (personal, bank checks, BillPay through your bank) and Zelle transfers through your bank (if your bank allows you to transfer the full amount – no split payments).
I don’t accept credit or debit cards (other than for the registration fee), money orders, PayPal, Venmo, anything that requires me to provide my account number to a third party, or any other payment method.
Travel insurance that covers your expenses if you cancel the trip is highly recommended. Thoroughly research policies to make sure of the reasons you can cancel, and that it covers emergencies and any unforeseen circumstances such as sickness, death of a loved one, and acts of God (natural disasters, etc.). Pandemics and civil unrest usually aren’t covered, so make sure you check carefully.
Food Allergies, Special Needs
Make sure you list any food allergies or other special needs on your registration form. I’ll check to see if your needs can be accommodated before I confirm your registration. (No money will be refunded, and special accommodations can’t made due to allergies or other special needs if you don’t tell me about them when you register.)
Airfare and transfers to and from the airport are not included in the price. Don’t purchase non-refundable airfare until the trip is confirmed. Airlines have their own refund policies and I have no control over them.
I’ll email flight recommendations/details after the cruise is confirmed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is this trip still open? Are any spots left? Will you have a waitlist? Is it first come, first serve.
I’ll update this page if we run out of spots. I can’t answer “do you have spots left” questions because I receive registrations throughout the day. What’s available when I get your email may not be available five minutes later.
Waitlists are based on a lottery system (not first come, first serve). Notifications go to everyone who signed up, and everyone has an equal chance of getting spots, regardless of when they sign up.
When the cancellation period for a trip closes, the waitlist also closes since we can no longer replace spots.
To increase your chance of getting spots on my waitlist “lottery,” make sure to follow the instructions in the text you receive and provide the requested information.
Is the price per person?
It’s per cabin, not per person. For example, a Category E cabin is $3,930 total for two people. The cabin is $3,549 if there’s only one person in the cabin.
This is a lot of money to send to someone I don’t know, especially so far in advance and with no refunds. Can you provide references?
I could provide references from families who’ve traveled with me since I began doing these trips in 2006, but references can be faked.
Instead, read my About page to find out more about us, then do a search of “Carolina Homeschooler trips” and “Traveling Homeschooler trips.” If I’ve cheated anyone, it’ll be all over the internet. My “Traveling Homeschoolers” name is newer, created in 2016 to differentiate between my local member trips, and trips that are open to everyone, so search both names.
You can also get a sense of who we are if you follow me on Facebook and read the posts there.
It’s too stressful to send money if you don’t trust me. Please research before you register and pay.
Do you think you’ll fill the ship and be able to confirm the cruise?
We were able to confirm our first river cruise (Danube) and second (Rhine), and hope this one will fill up, too!
I’ve never been on a river cruise before. Can you give me an idea of what the ship is like, activities, etc.?
The ship may change (since it’s 2 years out), but most river cruise ships are similar – the top deck is open for viewing and hanging out with friends. The remaining decks are half cabins, half social areas (lounge, seating areas, restaurants, etc.).
Most cabins are 170 square feet, with two singles at 140 square feet, and several larger cabins at 225 and 255 square feet. The lower category (and less expensive) cabins have fixed windows, while the higher category cabins have French balconies with full-length windows that open.
Rooms have two twins or 1 queen (they hook the twins together to make the queen). Although we didn’t receive any complaints about the beds, their twins and queens seemed a little smaller than regular twins/queens (to me – others thought they were normal twin/queen size, so maybe it was just me).
You don’t have to pay extra to get better food (like you do on ocean cruise ships) or pay extra for drink packages (soft drinks and adult beverages). You don’t have to pay extra for excursions, either. They’re all included in the price. Port charges and gratuity are also included in the price.
The focus of river cruising is on the places we visit, not the ship (the opposite of ocean cruises), so there aren’t a lot of planned ship activities during the day (because we’re out touring).
In the evenings, we enjoy socializing, playing games, and just spending time together. They also bring local entertainment (musicians, etc.) on board.
There’s plenty to do, but also time for parents and children to socialize and bond. And we did plenty of socializing on our Danube cruise. We left that ship feeling as if we were one big, extended family. It was amazing!
Does the description list everything we’ll be doing?
We usually have a choice of tours each day, so you’ll have a lot of choices – tours, walks, hikes, bike rides, etc. However, I’ve listed some highlights of what to expect. (The itinerary for 2025 hasn’t been finalized yet, but it should include the highlights I’ve listed.)
When will you post information about the optional pre- and post-cruise extensions?
I’ll post more information when I confirm the cruise.
I have young children. Can we all share one room? I have a baby, toddler, preschooler – do they count in the price?
We can’t accommodate babies, toddlers, or preschoolers on this trip. It’s recommended for ages 7 and up, and everyone counts in the price. Most cabins are limited to two passengers, but you may be able to add a child 10 years old and younger to your cabin. (But they can’t bring in an extra bed, so you have to use the existing bedding for two.)
Should people with mobility issues go on this trip?
We’ll have “gentle walker” versions of most tours to accommodate travelers with mobility issues. There’s no elevator access to the lowest cabin deck (Category E and D cabins), or the top (open, non-cabin) deck. There’s very limited access for guests confined to wheelchairs.
Describe your issues in the “special needs” section of the registration form and I’ll make sure we can accommodate your issues before I confirm your spots.
What cities will we fly into and out of?
We’ll arrive and depart from Paris for this cruise. I’ll provide more flight information when I confirm the trip. Please don’t book your flights until I confirm and send you more details.
What payment methods do you accept?
The non-refundable $100 registration fee must be paid by credit/debit card when you submit your registration. It’s separate from your cruise fare.
For your cruise fare, I accept checks (personal, bank checks, BillPay through your bank) and Zelle transfers (if your bank offers that, and if they allow you to transfer the whole amount in one transfer – no split payments).
I don’t accept credit or debit cards (other than for the registration fee), money orders, PayPal, Venmo, any payment method that requires me to provide my account number to a third party, or any other payment method.
What are COVID or any other health requirements? Are vaccinations or masks required?
We don’t know what health requirements (COVID or others) will be in place for 2025. Even if we did, requirements could change even a week or two before our cruise. Only register if you’re willing to accept whatever requirements are in place when we travel.
Want to go?
- This cruise is full, with a waitlist. Sign up to receive a text notification when spots come available.
- If you don’t receive a confirmation with payment information within 5 days, please email me.
- Half of your cruise fare is due within 7 days of receiving my confirmation of your spots. The remaining balance is due by August 31, 2023. (Your registration fee is charged upon submission of this form and is separate from your cruise fare.)
- And that’s it! Email me if you have any questions.