Louvre, Musee d'Orsay, Versailles

We are taking the Normandy, Loire, Paris trip in October. According to the itinerary, it says to pick up the "Tauck pre-paid tickets for the Versailles excursion." It's unclear WHEN and what this excursion is - before we meet for dinner? And when in Paris, it sounds like we get a bus tour past the sights with the rest of the day free - so we need to get our own Louvre tickets if we want to go. And the final day, there is a tour of the Musee d'Orsay, but when? am/pm? If I have to get tickets/go places, I need a little help with the timing. Thanks!


  • edited September 2019

    Looks as if you are a Tauck newbie. Whatever time you arrive at the hotel and check in identifying yourself as on the Tauck tour, there will be an envelope waiting for you with instructions from your tour director, all about dinner, other useful stuff and the tickets. I am quite sure of that. The tour director may even already be there. Many people arrive a day early so may have gotten their tickets the day before, giving everyone the opportunity go when is most convenient for them. The tour page says you go to visit it on your own, it’s just down the street from the hotel. Versailles is not in Paris. When we went we took a train there (let’s just gloss over that we got on the wrong train at first!)
    The clue about the site seeing tour in Paris, is that no lunch is included, so I guess you will be finished around noon. Tauck tries to make sure meals are at acceptable times.
    I am not sure when the Louvre closes, but personally I would not bother if you haven’t got a full day to do it, go back to France another time and see it at leisure. The D’Orsay visit will be in the morning, this is always how it works with Tauck without much exception.the best thing is to call Tauck directly and they should be able to help you, no one from Tauck regularly monitors the forum.
    I’ve been to many of the places you will be visiting. You are going to have a wonderful time. Be very careful everywhere in Paris for pickpockets, I could tell you many stories of robbery, assault, scams etc I know of from myself and friends who have visited Paris over the years.

  • We stayed at the Trianon Palace for the start of our Seine cruise. It literally shares a fence line with the Versailles grounds. Just outside the entrance/small parking lot is the Queens Gate which you can enter with no charge. In fact most of the grounds (hundreds of acres) are free and open. The palace itself, the trianon complex and the fountains on weekends are where you need a ticket. Get a map from the concierge with the best walking route from the hotel as you can end up walking miles. You might also spend some time on the Versailles website to help familiarize yourself with the layout.

    Our Tour Directors were at the hotel in a tiny room opposite reception the morning of the first tour day.

  • We took this trip last June. It is great! There are so many really fascinating visits.The Normandy Beach part of the trip is unbelievable. I hope you have the retired British General as your local guide for Normandy.
    The tickets for Versailles were waiting for us at the hotel along with the welcoming package. It was a morning drive-around the Paris sites and an inside tour of Notre Dame. (For those people that stayed an extra day, the local Paris guide arranged to take the Tauck guests to the Louvre.) The Orsay is also in the morning so you do have both afternoons free. If you haven't bought Rick Steve's Paris guide, I would suggest it. He describes a Louvre Light visit where he directs you to the highlights when time is limited. He also gives great advice on how to get around the city and how to maximize your time. We are devoted Tauck travelers but I always buy a Rick Steves guide (if available for the location) to plan our free time.

  • If you like Monet, you should include the Marmatton Museum in your exploration. It is a small less travelled museum but very nice.

  • And remember, if you run out of Monet, then go for baroque (rim-shot). Say it aloud if you don't get the joke. :)

  • Ken - You're referring to Count de Monet played by Harvey Korman, right?

  • Thanks for the tips and timing! I just like to know if/when we need to book ahead of time vs showing up and being told we should have reserved a tour spot weeks ago! So afternoons in Paris free to tour and wander and do museums or whatever on our own. Since we are unlikely to return to Paris any time soon, I do want to hlt the highlights this time.

  • wegolf, thanks for making this post. I came on here today to ask the same questions! We are on a small group tour so have an after hours tour of the Louvre included in our itinerary. I needed to make sure what other sites we would be going into, not just driving by. My husband wants to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower so I need to work that in as well as Sacre Coeur and Montmartre.

  • Several years ago, I did a great walking tour of Montmartre (which includes Sacre Coeur) run by Paris Walks, which is operated by the same company that does London Walks. (I also did 2 other of their walks.) . Not every walk is offered every day, but their schedule is on line (paris-walks.com). Like London Walks, you meet your guide at a metro station. No need to reserve or pay in advance of the walk.

  • Our last Tauck visit to Paris included both Marais and Montmarte walking tours. Of the two I enjoyed the Marais more though I didn't expect to. Montmarte was so over run with tourists and artists trying to guilt you into having a bad portrait done. The view of Sacre Coeur is best at the bottom of the steps vs right in front.

  • wegolf and Rochelle59, we are looking at this trip and would appreciate you posting a brief review upon your return since Tauck is not showing traveler reviews on the trip pages at this time. Since they both appear to be small group tours I would be interested to know the size of the groups, were you pleased with the TD, how were the tour guides in Normandy and is the Le Meurice as special as it appears? Thanks and have wonderful/safe travels!

  • LeMeurice is definitely as special as it appears!

  • edited October 2019

    taxare, my trip isn’t until next May. I’m a planner so I start reading and setting things up way in advance. I hope wegolf comes back with current info for us.

    Claudia, were those the optional afternoon walking tours?

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