REFLECTIONS OF FRANCE WITH SWAN HELLENIC

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Here’s a lovely cruise from Swan Hellenic.

From the historic naval port of Portsmouth set sail across the English Channel to the port of St Malo, whose main attraction is its walled citadel. Stroll along the ramparts guarding the old town or head just over the border into Normandy to visit Mont St Michel, a magnificent abbey perched high on a rocky outcrop.

Enjoy the ship’s facilities during a day at sea, and then sail the Garonne River to Bordeaux. An overnight in port gives ample opportunity to explore this elegant city, nestled in the heart of the renowned Medoc wine region, where some of the most famous red wines in the world are cultivated. Head further afield to explore medieval St Emilion, entered by one of seven gates which form part of the original fortifications.

From La Palllice explore La Rochelle, an important harbour since the 12th century guarded by three impressive towers, or head into the tranquillity of the wetland known as ‘Green Venice’.

Next Minerva reaches Lorient, positioned along the beautiful southern coast of Brittany. Explore ‘village of artists’ Pont Aven and discover Quimper’s Gothic cathedral and half-timbered houses before sailing to Belle Ile. This ‘beautiful isle’ boasts a temperate climate and a picturesque coastline and is renowned for its opera festival.

On to Brest, France’s main naval port, which is steeped in maritime history, before arrival at the car-free isle of Sark. Located between Guernsey and Jersey, this diminutive and scenic Channel Island is a pleasure to explore on foot.

Sail on to Rouen, reached via a scenic cruise down the River Seine. The city boasts the splendid Notre Dame Cathedral, whilst nearby Giverny is where you will discover Claude Monet’s house and the gardens he so loved to paint. Minerva sets her sights on Portsmouth after a day in Honfleur, from where you may visit Caen’s Peace Garden, a tranquil site commemorating the Normandy Landings.

Full details of the cruise are found here http://www.swanhellenic.com/cruises-overview/reflections-of-france/

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