Congress pre-tour

Note: This tour had to be cancelled due to a limited number of participants.

Duration: 4 days, Friday 1st June to Monday 4th June 2018.
Costs: 895 €/person incl. VAT
Included in the fee:
Visits: Château de Versailles, the old quarter of Rouen, Jumièges Abbey, Trinity Abbey Church at Fécamp, the Palais Bénédictine, the harbour of Le Havre, the Malraux museum, and the city of Honfleur.
Meals: Gourmet menu at Paris, stand-up cocktail, dinner-cruise, Norman lunch, and dinner in a brasserie.
Hotels: 3 overnight stays in 4 star hotels. 

More details in English / in French 

Friday 1st June

Registered pre-tour participants are invited to meet and get to know each other at 45, rue de Naples, Paris 8ème and will spend a first evening together in Paris. According to their personal choice they will have arrived at Paris the same or a previous day.

Saturday 2nd June

On Saturday, the group will visit the Palace of Versailles. The Palace of Versailles has been listed as a World Heritage Site for 30 years and is one of the greatest achievements in French 17th century art. Louis XIII's old hunting pavilion was transformed and extended by his son, Louis XIV, when he installed the Court and government there in 1682. A succession of kings continued to embellish the Palace up until the French Revolution.

After lunch, the bus will bring the group to Rouen. A guide will show us the historic quarter of Rouen which is reputed for the picturesque cobble stone streets of its historic centre. Charming half-timbered houses used to be built on waterproof stone bases, some of them with richly decorated corbellings made of oak. According to Victor Hugo, Rouen was the City of one hundred bells due to the many churches in the town. The old town of Rouen has preserved many of these sanctuaries from the Middle-Ages and despite the destruction of World War Two, the city boasts some of France’s finest churches. The evening will end with a dinner cruise on the Seine river.

Sunday 3rd June

Sunday the group will visit the Abbey of Jumièges, an ancient Benedictine monastery founded in the 7th century which outlasted the centuries. Today it is a well preserved ruin and witness of a rich past. 
Afterwards the group departs to the town Fécamp. Fécamp is a small city of 20.000 inhabitants located in the heart of the Pays de Caux on the Alabaster Coast, with its pebble beach and chalk cliffs washed out from the sea, its marina, semaphore and abbey. 
Before lunch, there will be a visit of Trinity Abbey. Reconstructed in the 12th century on relicts of an early Benedictine monastery dating back to the 7th century, this abbey was the first pilgrim destination in Normandy before being surpassed by the Mont Saint Michel. 
You will cross the bridge 'Chaussée Gayant' by bus to reach the Northern cliff and Côte de la Vierge with optimal view on the light house and the chapel of Notre Dame du Salut. There will be a panoramic view over the town, the cliffs and the sea before having Lunch at the chapel farm.
In the afternoon the Benedictine palace will be visited. This amazing building built in the 19th century in mixed neo-Gothic and neo-Renaissance style is where the famous alcoholic digestive 'La Bénédictine' is produced. After a stop at the seaside resort of Etretat with a walk on the cliffs with a magical view on the 'Aiguille creuse', the chalk cliffs washed out in arches, and the pebble beach the group starts towards Le Havre with dinner at the Brasserie du Pasino and a free evening.

Monday 4th June

On Monday morning, we will start our visit of the Harbor of Le Havre with a one hour boat tour on the boat 'Ville du Havre 2'. After this we will have the opportunity to visit the Museum of Modern Art André Malreaux. Its impressionist painting collection is the second most extensive in France after that of the Orsay Museum in Paris. The exhibition includes amongst others paintings by Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Gauguin, Alfred Sisley, and Camille Pissarro. Modern art is also represented with works of Henri Matisse, Albert Marquet, Raoul Dufy, Kees van Dongen, Fernand Léger, Alexej von Jawlensky and Nicolas de Staël.

After our museum visit we head to the town of Honfleur, passing the famous Pont de Normandie where you are free to have lunch or visit the town. Honfleur is a little Norman town that represents the Côte Fleurie with its sandy beaches, its charming timber-framed houses in the old streets, the coloured houses along the old harbour and its marina. It is a pleasure to stroll in the paved lanes admiring the oak beams of the salt store­houses, to visit the church Sainte Catherine with two naves supporting an awesome wooden arch, and to have a drink while watching the colourful bustle of Sainte Catherine and Saint Etienne quays. 

in the afternoon, we will leave by bus to Deauville. At the Centre International de Deauville (CID), participants can register for the IIRB Congress, then the bus will bring everyone to their hotel.