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9 days

Program Overview

Begin the journey in the Loire Valley, also known as the Garden of France due to an abundance of beautiful scenery and stunning châteaux. Much of the culture of this region owes its heritage to the Renaissance period. During this time, the Loire Valley was a playground for royalty, where they constructed storybook castles with extensive gardens. In 1516, the king of France invited Leonardo da Vinci to move to Château du Clos Lucé on his property in Ambroise. As a true Renaissance man, Leonardo da Vinci challenged aesthetic values and rules to discover new ways of seeing the world, inventing imaginative castles, staircases, philosophies and works of art along the way. In the Château Chambord, the double helix staircase was entirely of his design along with much of the brilliant architecture.

Experience more stories of legend and history in Normandy and Versailles. Discover the tidal island of Mont-Saint-Michel, where the rising water determines whether visitors can climb this granite outcrop up to a medieval monastery. Get a WWII history lesson on the Allied troops in Normandy on Utah Beach and at the museum as well as guided tours of Pointe du Hoc, Omaha Beach and Normandy American Cemetery. Go on a visual journey through 11th-century history while viewing the Bayeux Tapestry, which is 231 feet of embroidery depicting the Norman Conquest of England. An essential stop in France is the Palace of Versailles, which was designed to glorify the king and express his power over nature. While here, walk the Hall of Mirrors, where tall windows draw in light and mirrors reflect the gardens across the way.

The rest of the journey is spent in Paris, which is known by many names due to the famed sights and artistic trends. View more of Leonardo da Vinci’s genius artwork at the Louvre, see the national art collections at Musée d’Orsay, and explore the academic side of town in the Latin Quarter. Climb to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, which Napoleon commissioned to celebrate the victory of his French armies, and visit his tomb in Hôtel des Invalides. Experience the historical expanse of the City of Light on visits to iconic landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower and Tuileries Gardens. Stroll through the cobbled streets and charming squares known for the artists and philosophers who have called Paris home.

Daily Itinerary

Learning Outcomes

On this educational journey through the Loire Valley, Normandy and Paris, students take in storybook castles and monumental landmarks that showcase the cultural arts of France. Experience the genius of Leonardo da Vinci through his inventive architecture and famous works of art on castles tours in the Loire Valley and museums in Paris. Discover the stories of thousands of Americans who paid the ultimate price for freedom far from home at the American Memorial Chapel, The D-Day Story and the Utah Beach Museum. Learn the history behind the charming villages and medieval architecture throughout France, including the island of Mont-Saint-Michel, the Palace of Versailles and the Louvre. With a curated curriculum for educators to apply with the program, students are empowered to put their learning into practice before, during and after the trip.

Services Included

Accommodations

Quality, safe hotels with twin or triple occupancy corresponding to the destination.

Transportation

All transportation is provided throughout the program.

Round-Trip Flights

Airfare covers round-trip flights from major airports.

Meals

Two meals are provided daily, breakfast and dinner, featuring local cuisine.

Education

Interactive learning experiences designed to expand educational and career goals.

Tours and Activities

Scheduled activities, experiences and guided tours are all included.

Curated Experiences

Customized experiences developed by travel experts to promote learning and engagement.

Full-Time Tour Directors

Full-time Tour Directors are on site for the duration of the trip, for an all-inclusive experience.

Gratuities

Tips for bus drivers, guides, Tour Directors and meals.

Insurance

International travel insurance is provided for protection in case of accidents, illness, flight interruptions or baggage loss.

Interactive Technology

Advanced student security software that integrates geofencing, logistics, communication and more optimized safety features.

24/7 Support

Dedicated 24/7 staff availability, supporting students every step of the way.

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We offer this trip as a private tour and a combined tour

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