Voices in Harmony

Concert Tour of France

June 16-23, 2017

 

 
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Welcome

Thank you for traveling with Music Contact International! This website has been created for your group to provide easy access to information about your trip.

The site will be updated regularly with new information. Your daily itinerary become increasingly more detailed as concert logistics are confirmed and as your flight schedules are available. The Bulletin Board is a great place to find travel tips curated for your group by Music Contact International's staff of travel experts.  The Blog is a tool for your group leader to communicate with you and friends and family back home, before, during and after your tour. Peruse recommended books, movies, and websites in the Travel Tips section that have been selected by us to help familiarize you with your destination.  Be sure to check back often and see what's new for your trip!

We pride ourselves on creating customized tours that will create memories to last a lifetime. This web site will help to make the months before departure even more fun and informative.

Sincerely,

Lauren Driscoll - Tour Manager



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Itinerary

Friday, June 16, 2017

Friday, June 16, 2017
  • Depart from Boston on an overnight flight bound for Paris. While on board your flight, select meals, snacks and refreshments will be available.
  • Be sure to read through the great tips and travel information in your Music Contact International handbook!

Saturday. June 17, 2017

Saturday. June 17, 2017
  • Morning arrival in France’s vibrant capital, Paris, with its many must-see places. Be sure to spend some time strolling off the beaten path, as this is the best way to discover the real Paris: a lively cosmopolitan but undeniably French city.
  • Upon arrival, your Music Contact International tour manager will greet your group at the airport.
  • Together, board your waiting motor coach to embark on a guided tour of the city. See some of the most famous Parisian landmarks, including the twelfth-century cathedral Notre Dame de Paris on the Ile de la Cité, the nineteenth century Eiffel Tower and the Napoleonic Arc de Triomphe. The Eiffel Tower was a "temporary" construction by Gustav Eiffel for the 1889 Universal Exposition, but the tower was never dismantled and is now an enduring symbol of Paris. It is visible from many parts of the city, as are the Tour Montparnasse skyscraper and the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur on the Montmartre hill.
  • Following the tour, enjoy time on your own for lunch. Perhaps, in the Latin Quarter, where its bohemian, intellectual center situated on the left bank of the River Seine in the 5th and 6th arrondissements. Once filled with writers, artists, poets, and musicians such as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, and Cole Porter, the Latin Quarter is the birthplace of the city’s creative and romantic spirit. It is bisected by Boulevard St. Michel and Boulevard St. Germain, the neighborhood’s two main arteries, from which hundreds of smaller streets labyrinth.
  • In the evening, transfer to your centrally located hotel and check in. Settle in, unpack, and join your tour manager on an Orientation Walk to get a feel for the local ambiance around your hotel.
  • Tonight, a special Welcome Dinner is planned for your group at a delicious Parisian Restaurant such as the famous Café du Comerce.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sunday, June 18, 2017
  • Enjoy a breakfast buffett in the hotel, before appreciating a free morning to explore Paris on your own. Possibly join your tour manager to visit the famous Musée de l’Orangerie in the Tuilerie Garden which houses some of Claud Monets largest and most famous paintings. Perhaps, visit the Musée du Louvre, the world’s most visited museum, which houses over 35,000 works in the stunning Palais du Louvre, a vast, multi-winged palace that began as a 12th century fortress. Enjoy lunch individually and sample some of the local delicacies at one of the many café’s.
  • Return to the hotel to change into concert attire before transferring to a local church.
  • This afternoon, Voices in Harmony will perform a Concert* in a well-known local church in Paris, such as, La Madeleine. Your choir will be warmly welcomed and greatly appreciated. La Madeleine is a Neo-Classical style church that was inspired by the Maison Carrée at Nimes. Its 52 Corinthian columns, each 20 meters high, are carried around the entire exterior of the building lending way to its grandiose nature. Daily masses, concerts and the most fashionable weddings in Paris are celebrated here.
  • The rest of the afternoon is free for your own adventures. Perhaps, visit the iconic Eiffel Tower constructed in 1889 as the entrance to the World’s Fair. Enjoy a ride up to the second floor observation deck with its stunning views of the Paris skyline. Spend time exploring the Champ de Mars, the large public green space in front of the Eiffel Tower. Take some time to snap a photo posing with the famous monument. You could also stroll the many beautiful avenues and shop the open markets.
  • Tonight, dinner is on your own. Try a standard French meal, which is made up of three courses: hors d’oerve or entrée (starter or soup), followed by plat principal (main course), and lastly fromage (cheese plate) or dessert. Sometimes a salad is offered before the fromage or dessert.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Monday, June 19, 2017
  • In the morning, have breakfast in the hotel dining room, check out of the hotel and board the motor coach on a journey to Normandy with stops in Giverny and Rouen en route.
  • Depart for Giverny, (travel time approximately 1 hour) the town where well-known Impressionist painter, Claude Monet lived at the end of his life. Take the opprtunity to expore the Musee Claude Monet House and Gardens. Monet was passionate about gardening and designed his flower gardens with a variety of colors. In the house discover the blue reading room and sunny yellow dining room.
  • After, stop in the town of Rouen, home of Joan of Arc. (travel time is approximately 1 hour and 25 minutes) and the capital of Upper Normandy that was once one of the most prosperous cities in medieval Europe. Take time for lunch at one of the many café’s.
  • Following lunch, enjoy a guided tour of Rouen, see the Old Town and its Place du Vieux Marché, where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in 1431. Appreciate Le Gros Horloge, or “Great Clock,” a Gothic belfry and clock face installed on an archway over a gate in the city’s ancient Roman walls. Admire St. Ouen’s Abbey and the Church of Saint-Maclou, two stunning Gothic style churches with imposing spires. The Rouen Cathedral, crowned by the highest spire in France, is a work of art of gothic and flamboyant gothic architecture. Its exceptional dimensions are breathtaking, as well as the amazing façade covered by sculptures, like a lace of stone. Monet was fascinated by the facade of the Rouen cathedral so much so that he painted it about 30 times, in different types of weather, and at different hours of the day.
  • On arrival of your chateau hotel, check in, refresh, and settle in to your new surroundings before dinner. Travel back in time during your dinner in the Knights’ Dining Room, while tasting elegant and authentic cuisine based on flavours from the past, with a little modern twist from the chef.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tuesday, June 20, 2017
  • Following breakfast in the chateau hotel, embark on a guided sightseeing tour of the Normandy Beaches, the historic site of Operation Overlord, or D-Day, the Allied invasion of western Europe during World War II. Travel along the Normandy coast and see towns and beaches dotted with memorials, monuments, and cemeteries from the war. See Omaha Beach, D-Day’s most intensely fought after beach, whose assault was the responsibility of United States Army troops.
  • After, enjoy free time for lunch in one of Normandy’s coastal towns nefore visiting the Caen Memorial, a museum dedicated to peace. Built on the site of a former bunker, the Caen Memorial is considered the best World War II Museum in France. Caen is the capital of Lower Normandy and was ruled by William of Normandy in the 11th century before he conquered England. Nine hundred years later, the two month Battle of Caen devastated the town in 1944. Much of the city burned in a fire that raged for 11 days, and the downtown area had to be almost entirely rebuilt after the war. Caen is now a busy commercial city, the administrative center for the region. As you approach, admire Caen stone, a cream colored limestone quarried nearby the city and used extensively in its architecture.
  • This evening enjoy dinner on your own in Caen before heading back to the hotel for the night.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Wednesday, June 21, 2017
  • In the morning, breakfast is served in the hotel dining room; enjoy a morning of free time at your leisure. The Hostellerie du Chateau (where you will be staying) is a charming, quiet and peaceful hotel located at the heart of the Cotentin peninsula.
  • Enjoy lunch at your leisure before putting on your concert attire and performing an evening concert as part of the Fete de la Musique (Make Music Day or World Music Day.) This is an annual music celebration taking place in over 120 countries on June 21. The concept was originated by the French Minister of Culture, Jack Lang, as a musical celebration on the day of the solstice.
  • This evening, Voices in Harmony will perform a concert* in Caen at a local church, such as Church of Saint-Pierre for local residents and guests. Your choir will be warmly welcomed and greatly appreciated. After, take some time to discuss your music with your attendees.
  • Tonight, dinner is on your own in Caen.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Thursday, June 22, 2017
  • After breakfast, depart on a guided walking tour of Honfleur with an English speaking guide. You will walk through the sleepy habor town, largely unchanged for over 400 years. See were the Seine River begins and the colorful fishing boats moored just steps away from café’s and shops. The beautiful Sainte-Catherine, the main church in Honfleur with its unque wooden exterier, that could be mistaken for a townhall if not for its bell tower.
  • Enjoy a walk through the city center and perhaps enjoy lunch here. The cobbled quays and alleyways of Honfleur, along with the harbor, restaurants, and galleries combine to create a unique atmosphere of charm and style. This small fishing town has been the inspiration of many artists.
  • Following lunch and free time for exploration in the beautiful Honfleur, board the motor coach, and depart for the hotel.
  • Tonight you will enjoy a festive Farewell Dinner at the hotel with French specialties. There will be ample opportunity to recount the many highlights of your tour!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday, June 23, 2017
  • After breakfast, check out, load your motor coach, and depart for Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport and your return flight to Boston.
  • While on board your flight, select meals, snacks and refreshments will be available. Welcome home!

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