Still had a line but probably short compared to general public, favorite Paris museum. Giverny is relaxing and lovely.
This lovely little tour was the perfect mini-getaway from the hustle and bustle of Paris. Rolling through the countryside in the comfy, air-conditioned bus was quite relaxing. The audio guides were informative, and strolling through Monet's garden and house was absolutely blissful. Along with the delicious, local gelato enjoyed with fellow travelers from all over the world, I could not have asked for a better experience.
I very much liked both pieces of this tour, but it did work differently than I thought it would when we signed up. We met up with Chloe in the morning, and she did an amazing job taking us through d'Orsay. I have to admit, I am kind of medium about art, but this was a trip with my husband and my parents, and they really wanted to do this. I was very pleasantly surprised. Chloe did a great job making the museum accessible, and we went around with a smallish group of about 12. At the end of the couple of hours that she took us through the museum, we were 'let go' for about two and half hours. We explored the museum more and then got lunch. Then we met back up with Chloe and there was a bus out to Giverny with about 40 people. The drive was lovely and she took us around for a bit and then we had about an hour and a half free before heading back. It did feel like two separate tours, both of which were enjoyable, but it was unexpected.
Musee d'Orsay tour was great. Our guide Joelle was very good and we had a private tour with her. However, our letter told us to meet at the elephants foot and Joelle was told to meet us at the horse. It was a bit confusing with so many people in the area.
Giverny tour was good too. We felt the tour guide could have talked to us about the surrounding area as we drove in the coach as we hadn't been in that part of France before.
YES YES, do Musee d'Orsay and Giverny, No, don't attempt to do them on the same day. You'll short change both.
Museum tour was postponed by a worker strike, but tour company handled a reschedule nicely with some confusion. Museum guide was knowledgeable and personable. We were rushed, though. Not enough time to stand back and take in the beauty of paintings we'd traveled thousands of miles to see. think National Lampoon's vacation and Chevy Chase at the Grand Canyon.
Giverny is incredible. Monet's home and gardens are well worth the drive. However, the tour left only enough time to quickly walk through. Also, very crowded, so the time was spent waiting to move through the site. No time left to enjoy the adorable little French village around the farm and gardens.
A little site / Monet information was provided by the guides on the bus prior to getting to Giverny, but the actual location was not guided. They made a big production of providing wireless communicators to all guests, but these were used for only a few moments, just to relay where entrance, exit and bathrooms were located. Then we needed to carry these devices with us for the sole purpose of returning them back on the bus. I think a little paper map would have sufficed and been less of a time sink.
The guides were very nice but had no concern for those at the back of the line. The tour company was very disorganized, crowded and chaotic. Even if you purchase tickets in advance, you only receive VOUCHERS for tickets. So all guests must stand in a very long line to trade those vouchers for the tickets that will let them get on the bus. No communication occurs between the ticketing personnel and the guides or drivers, so mis-information is the norm. It made the start of the tour exhausting, confusing and stressful. Buses were clean, modern and comfy.
I've used this local tour operator's affiliated tour co.s in other cities with great success. I was not impressed with Paris office.
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