Paris

Family Seminar

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Highlights

Race rowboats in the Grand Canal of Versailles

Learn how to make éclairs and chouquettes in a French pastry cooking class

Study Monet’s Water Lilies at the Musée de l'Orangerie, then paint your own masterpiece

Play Capture the Flag in the famed Luxembourg Gardens


Faculty leader

Jeremy Sabol

Jeremy Sabol, associate director of Stanford’s structured liberal education (SLE) program, specializes in early modern intellectual history, with a focus on philosophy and literature and their relationships to broader historical phenomena. In addition to teaching undergraduates in the SLE program, he has also taught courses in the university’s master of liberal arts program, co-teaching the program’s foundations sequence that provides incoming masters students with a broad intellectual framework for graduate study—from Aristotle to Jean- Paul Sartre. During his graduate studies, he focused on the thought and culture of 16th- and 17th-century France, particularly on figures such as René Descartes and Michel de Montaigne, the mayor of Bordeaux from 1581 to 1585. Jeremy and his wife travel to France and Spain every summer, visiting relatives in Barcelona and cycling in Provence. He is thrilled to be leading our Stanford Family Adventures group on this exploration of Paris.

Itinerary

July 17 –⁠ 25, 2022
Day 1

Paris, France

Bienvenue à Paris! Arrive at the airport and transfer to our hotel, smartly located on the Right Bank near the Palais Garnier Opera House. For our welcome reception, we have chartered our own yacht for a cruise on the Seine, from which we take in the extraordinary views of Paris. Learn how to use the Metro and consider a scenic walk back to our hotel by foot past the Louvre and Palais Royale gardens.

Hotel – Paris Marriot Opera Ambassador Hotel

Day 2

Paris

This morning take a guided tour of the Musée de l'Orangerie, which features many impressionist and post-impressionist works, including eight spectacular floor-to-ceiling murals of water lilies by Claude Monet. Our next stop is the Tuileries, a long stretch of gardens once strictly available for the pleasure of the Royals. Next, we cross the Seine to reach St. Germain-des-Prés, the famous 6th arrondissement on the Left Bank, known for its colorful history, elegant architecture and chic boutiques. Visit the Marché Saint-Germain, a colorful market brimming with fresh produce, flowers and local delicacies, to gather your own picnic supplies to dine al fresco independently before gathering for a guided walking tour. Enjoy late afternoon tea, which serves as an early dinner, at Ladurée, known as “the place to enjoy beautiful food.” This evening, visit the Île de la Cité for a classical concert at Sainte Chapelle.

Hotel – Paris Marriot Opera Ambassador Hotel

Meals – breakfast, dinner

Day 3

Maincy

Journey south of Paris via private coach to Maincy to visit the inspiration for Versailles: the baroque Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte and its expansive estate, which offers a wonderful playground for families. Discover its fascinating history, from plots against the royal court to the outstanding achievements of iconic 17th-century artists. We spend the rest of the day on a series of fun-filled adventures in the surrounding countryside. Explore the Grand Canal on swan-shaped paddle boats or survey the forest on all-terrain bikes in search of the largest tree—planted 300 years ago! Equipped with headlamps and wader boots, embark on challenge course along an underground river going through a series of tests of agility and logic. Pile into a bicycle built for several people and answer riddles around the fables of Jean de La Fontaine as we ride through the countryside. Finally, perfect your courtly curtsy and hone your aristocratic dining manners with a French etiquette class for all—yes, you’ll finally understand what all those little spoons are for! Return to our hotel in the late afternoon and enjoy dinner and the evening at leisure.

Hotel – Paris Marriot Opera Ambassador Hotel

Meals – breakfast, lunch

Day 4

Paris

Begin our day at the Musée d’Orsay, then take the bateaux bus—a hop-on, hop-off bus along the Seine—to Notre Dame, where our young explorers depart for lunch at Paris Plage (Paris Beach). After lunch, young explorers head to Luxemburg Gardens for a grand battle of Capture the Flag. Meanwhile, adults take a stroll through the lively Latin Quarter to see the famed Sorbonne University and the Panthéon, the mausoleum originally built in the 18th century that contains the graves of many of France’s greatest philosophers and writers including Voltaire, Rousseau, Hugo and Zola. After a leisurely lunch in an ancient wine cellar with a celebrated wine connoisseur, adults rejoin their children at Luxemburg Gardens for toy boat races. Return to the hotel for an evening at leisure.

Hotel – Paris Marriot Opera Ambassador Hotel

Meals – breakfast, lunch

Day 5

Reims

Hop on a high-speed train for the ancient town of Reims, which is chock-full of UNESCO World Heritage sites and famous Champagne houses. Since the coronation of the Frankish King Clovis in 496, Reims has been the symbolic home of the intertwining of the French monarchy and Christianity. Visit the Cathedral Notre-Dame de Reims (Our Lady of Reims) and compare it to the other great 13th-century Gothic masterpiece, Notre-Dame de Paris, viewed just yesterday. Pop into the Palais du Tau housing centuries of coronation treasures—crowns, capes and tapestries going all the way back to the times of Charlemagne. Next, everyone dons aprons for a French cooking class where we treat ourselves to the finished creations, followed by lunch. Tour one of the most illustrious champagne houses this afternoon, visiting well-maintained crayères, or chalk tunnels. Originally mined by the Romans, the crayères of Champagne found a place in both WWI & WWII, when they were used to stockpile arms and supplies as well as provide a place of refuge for soldiers. Graffiti from WWII soldiers can still be viewed on the walls of cellars! While parents are sipping, young explorers enjoy activities nearby with their Young Explorer leaders. Return to Paris by high-speed train.

Hotel – Paris Marriot Opera Ambassador Hotel

Meals – breakfast, lunch

Day 6

Paris

Visit the Marais for a walking tour of this historical and trendy hub. Discuss Paris’ rich dessert history while stopping in chocolate and pastry shops to taste, compare and contrast chocolate flavors and textures, macaroons and other delights. Glimpse hidden gardens and visit 17th-century architectural stunners such as Place des Vosges, Hotel de Sully and the home of Victor Hugo. Continue on to the Centre Pompidou, an iconic 1970s building, housing one of the best modern and contemporary art collections. At the top of this extraordinary museum, promenade on the terrace that overlooks the French capital, then enjoy a highlights tour with our guide and free time to explore the museum en famille. Lunch is just steps away at a traditional restaurant, famous for their aligot (mashed potatoes with cheese) and bottomless chocolate mousse! Following lunch, enjoy free time in this vibrant neighborhood packed with activities and museums. After dinner on our own, enjoy a quieter Musée du Louvre, one of the world’s greatest art museums, open late on Fridays.

Hotel – Paris Marriot Opera Ambassador Hotel

Meals – breakfast, lunch

Day 7

Paris

This morning, families vie for the coveted Museum Expert badge during the Great Museum Race. Based on Stanford Reunion’s beloved Great Race, families work together to get their “passports” stamped at different stations at the following museums: Musée de l'Armée, Musée National de la Marine, Museum de l’Homme and the Musée du Quai Branly. As a team, families seek out masterpieces on a list provided by Stanford Family Adventures and take selfies with the works of art. Stanford staff members will stamp the family’s “passport” for each museum when they have passed the test. The last station will be at the base of the Eiffel Tower. The first family to make it to the base of the Eiffel Tower with the most stamps wins. Then ascend the Eiffel Tower to enjoy splendid views over the city. This afternoon and evening are at leisure, so shop till you drop or enjoy one of the many family-friendly activities that Paris has to offer on your own.

Hotel – Paris Marriot Opera Ambassador Hotel

Meals – breakfast

Day 8

Versailles

Travel by private coach to the Château de Versailles, one of the grandest achievements of French architecture. Enjoy a guided tour before exploring the exquisite gardens. Adults enjoy a stylish lunch while young explorers picnic in park followed by row boat races on the grand canal! Adults and kiddos meet up this afternoon to make the difficult decision between two fun activities: a visit to the royal stables to view an incredible show by the Equestrian Academy of Versailles; or free time together to rent golf carts, bikes or Segways (ages 12+) to explore the glorious park. This evening back in Paris, celebrate our incredible adventure together with a festive farewell dinner.

Hotel – Paris Marriot Opera Ambassador Hotel

Meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 9

Paris / Home

Indulge in your last croissants and say au revoir to your new friends as you depart for home.

Hotel – Paris Marriot Opera Ambassador Hotel

Meals – breakfast

Day 10

Day 11

Day 12

Day 13

Map of trip's locations
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Map of trip's ship

Our ship

Trip details

Group size / age

42 participants (ages 6+)

Cost*

$8,595 per adult, double occupancy
$8,295 per child (ages 6–18), double occupancy
$9,795 per person, single occupancy

Note: Triple pricing available upon request (pricing will vary based on the number of children and their ages).
*Stanford Alumni Association nonmembers add $300 per person

Included

Educational program with lecture series and predeparture materials, including an education resource list and travel information · Young Explorer program and activities for kids · Services of our professional tour manager to assist you throughout the program · All tours and excursions as described in the itinerary · Gratuities to guides and drivers for all group activities · 8 nights of deluxe hotel accommodations · 8 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 2 dinners · Welcome reception · Transfers and baggage handling on program arrival and departure days · On-tour quarantine-related trip-cancellation, -interruption and -delay insurance coverage  · General medical, accident and evacuation insurance

Not included

Your personal flights to and from the program · Passport and visa fees · Immunization costs · Meals and beverages other than those specified as included · Independent and private transfers · Nonquarantine-related trip-cancellation, -interruption and -delay insurance coverage · Baggage insurance · Excess-baggage charges · Personal items such as internet access, telephone calls, laundry and gratuities for nongroup services

Air arrangements

You are responsible for booking and purchasing airfare to the start location and from the end location of the program. These air purchases are NOT included in the program cost. To assist you in making these independent arrangements, we will send you details with your confirmation materials on when to arrive and depart.

Room arrangements

Families stay in superior hotel rooms, which are between 200 to 250 sq. ft. and typically have one king bed or two twin beds. If you plan to have three people in one room, please indicate your bed preference for the first two people. We will request a rollaway for the third family member. For families in multiple rooms, Travel/Study always requests rooms that are next to each other or as close as the accommodations permit. If your family would like interconnecting rooms, please indicate as much when you register. Travel/Study can request interconnecting rooms on your behalf but the hotel will not guarantee them in advance. Quad rooms are available upon request, but most families will likely be more comfortable in two double rooms.

What to expect

We consider this program to be a moderately strenuous program that is at times physically demanding and busy. Some days require early-morning starts and/or go into the late evenings; we often have a full schedule of excursions, lectures and special events. Daily excursions involve one to three miles of walking, with tours as long as three hours on city streets, which are, in some cases, uneven or cobblestoned. Many sites and buildings do not have elevators and also do not allow buses to pull up in front, thus requiring a walk of several minutes, sometimes uphill, to reach the entrance. Our journey requires travel by motor coach, with most drives no longer than 90 minutes. There are a few excursions by public transportation (Metro) and by train.

Average temperatures in Paris in mid to July range from the mid-70s (°F) to the mid-80s; however, come prepared for potentially hot weather as heatwaves are becoming more frequent. Although all of the hotels and motor coaches used in this program are air-conditioned, some of the museums and other sites we visit are not.

With travel requirements and local Covid-19 conditions in constant flux, travel protocols for our destination will be shared with confirmed travelers closer to departure. (To read more about Travel/Study’s approach to ensuring traveler health and safety, visit our Covid-19 Travel page.) Participants must be physically fit, active and in good health. We welcome travelers 6 years of age and older on this program.

Request information

This program is still in development. Dates are subject to change and details on trip costs are not yet available. Submit your request to be among the first to receive notification when final details are available. At that time, you will have the opportunity to place a deposit, ahead of our general audience.

Request

Get started

If you’re ready to reserve your space, click on the “reserve” button below to place a deposit. Please note: you’ll need to log into your Stanford Alumni Association account to complete the transaction. You do not need to be a Stanford Alumni Association member or an alum to create an account.

Questions? Call the Travel/Study office at (650) 725-1093.

Reserve

Contact us

For all other inquiries, complete the form below or email us at family-adventures@alumni.stanford.edu and a Travel/Study associate will contact you within one to two business days.

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Stanford Travel/Study Terms and Conditions

Eligibility

We encourage membership in the Stanford Alumni Association as the program cost for nonmembers is $300 more than the members' price. The nonmember fee is waived for anyone traveling as a paid guest of a current member, as well as for emerita or emeritus faculty and staff. To purchase a membership, call (650) 725-0692 or click here for more information.

Deposits, Payments and Cancellations

A $1,000-per-person deposit is required to reserve space on this program. Final payment is due 120 days prior to program start. Deposits and any payments are refundable, less a $500-per-person cancellation fee, until 120 days prior to program start. After that date, refunds can be made only if the program is sold out and your place(s) is resold, in which case a $1,000-per-person cancellation fee will apply.

Insurance

Stanford Travel/Study provides all travelers who are U.S. or Canadian citizens with minimal medical, accident and evacuation coverage, as well as on-tour quarantine-related trip-cancellation, -interruption and -delay insurance coverage, under our group-travel insurance policy. Our group policy is intended to provide minimal levels of protection while you are traveling on this program. You may choose to subscribe to optional nonquarantine-related trip-cancellation, -interruption and -delay insurance coverage and/or baggage insurance. Information offering such insurance will be included in your confirmation materials. The product offered includes special benefits if you purchase your insurance within 14 days of receiving your welcome email.

Responsibility

The Stanford Alumni Association, Stanford University and our operators act only as agents for the passenger with respect to transportation and exercise every care possible in doing so. However, we can assume no liability for injury, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity in connection with the service of any automobile, motor coach, launch or any other conveyance used in carrying out this program or for the acts or defaults of any company or person engaged in conveying the passenger or in carrying out the arrangements of the program. We cannot accept any responsibility for losses or additional expenses due to delay or changes in air or other services, sickness, weather, strike, war, quarantine, force majeure or other causes beyond our control. All such losses or expenses will have to be borne by the passenger, as tour rates include arrangements only for the time stated. We reserve the right to make such alterations to this published itinerary as may be deemed necessary. We reserve the right to cancel any program prior to departure, in which case the entire payment will be refunded without further obligation on our part. We also reserve the right to decline to accept or retain any person as a member of the program. No refund will be made for an unused portion of any tour unless arrangements are made in sufficient time to avoid penalties. Baggage is carried at the owner's risk entirely. The airlines concerned are not to be held responsible for any act, omission or event during the time passengers are not on board their plane or conveyance. Neither the Stanford Alumni Association, nor Stanford University, nor our operators accept liability for any carrier's cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a nonrefundable ticket in connection with the tour. Program price is based on rates in effect at the time the brochure is published and is subject to change without notice to reflect fluctuations in exchange rates, tariffs or fuel charges. As a condition of participation, all confirmed participants are required to sign an Assumption of Risk.

California Seller of Travel Program Registration #2048 523-50

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