This 10-day itinerary includes some of the must-sees of Paris and then explores historic Normandy and the breathtaking Loire Valley. With the perfect combination of rustling-bustling city culture and romantic countryside landscapes, highlights include the Louvre, Versailles, Château de Chenonceau, D-Day Beaches, and more. In addition to performing in Paris, your ensemble will have the opportunity for a concert at the royal Château de Chambord in the Loire Valley, constructed in the 16th century by King Francis I of France and one of the most recognizable châteaux in the world. Your last performance takes place at the American Cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach, final resting place for many heroes of our Greatest Generation.
Departure from the United States.
Bienvenue à Paris! Arrive in the City of Light this morning and meet your dedicated, Encore Tour Manager. Get acquainted with this graceful city’s cobblestoned streets, charming cafés and vibrant neighborhoods. Paris is called the “City of Light” for its role as a center of education during the Age of Enlightenment (it was also one the first cities to adopt streetlights). After settling in, immerse yourself in local culture by practicing your French with painters and vintage book sellers along the storied Seine. Tonight, enjoy a special welcome dinner together with your group!
Your day begins with a guided sightseeing tour that takes you past some of the most famous attractions in Paris. Your expert local guide will show you the magnificent Arc de Triomphe at the top of the Champs-Élysées, Napoleon's final resting place at Les Invalides and the Gothic wonder of Notre Dame. This afternoon, explore the phenomenal collection on display at the Musée de la Musique, home to legendary instruments such as a piano belonging to Chopin and a guitar belonging to Brassens. In the afternoon, transfer to a local venue for rehearsal and your debut performance this evening!
This morning board an RER commuter train to visit the ornate palace at Louis XIV's Versailles. Your visit includes the Hall of Mirrors, where the Treaty of Versailles was signed, and the breathtaking surroundings. Don't worry if you don't have time to cover every room of this vast palace. The best stuff is in the gardens and grounds: all 1,976-acre gardens, 200,000 trees, 50 fountains and 620 jets of water worth. This afternoon, you’ll return to Paris where you'll have some free time in the afternoon to explore Paris' arrondissements at your own pace. Tonight, enjoy an upgraded dinner cruise along the Seine!
Depart Paris for the Loire Valley drive to Chartres Cathedral, famous for its precious stained-glass windows. Continue to the Loire Valley, check-in to your hotel and take some time to relax in this picturesque region.
Experience the beauty of the Loire Valley today. Your first stop is in the town of Amboise, where Leonardo da Vinci is buried. From there, we visit Chenonceau, the château of six women, built over the River Cher in an exquisite Renaissance design. It features a moat, drawbridge, towers and turrets—and great stories about resistance to the Nazi army. Then marvel at the mighty Château Chambord, the sprawling creation commissioned by François I, towering over its deer-filled park. During your visit, perform your second concert to the many visitors of Chambord. Return to Loire for dinner and your overnight stay.
Drive to the Normandy coast and visit the lovely island monastery of Mont St. Michel. This medieval abbey, once an important pilgrimage site, is surrounded by water at high tide. Continue to the St. Malo area for the evening and stretch your legs with an evening walk around the quaint streets of this walled city.
Today walk in the footsteps of history as you visit many of Normandy’s important World War II sites. See what is remaining of the temporary Mulberry harbor constructed at Arromanches to help offload cargo during the invasion. Entrance to the Arromanches 360 Cinema is included. Next pay tribute at the American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer before descending from the bluff to walk along Omaha Beach, where you may have the opportunity to perform.
After breakfast, board your motor coach and return for your final day in Paris. The day is free for you to explore this beautiful city. Perhaps stop for a photograph in front of Paris' most famous site of all, the Eiffel Tower, and learn the history of this once not-so-popular attraction. Celebrate your successful performance tour with a farewell dinner as a group.
Return to the U.S.
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