Updated on 13 April 2023
Reading time: 4 minutes
When it comes to river cruising, Normandy’s rustic beauty is sometimes overlooked as a potential source of fabulous opportunities. We discovered that the River Seine has a lot to offer, as guests who booked a room in an outstanding hotel by the river and embarked on a private day cruise with a local guide, eager to share his passion for his native area. An exquisite day way beyond our initial expectations.
Looking to to explore the wild side of Normandy, Philippe and I got really excited by the idea of taking a river cruise with the company Liberté Seine, aboard a powerboat that can carry a maximum of six people, and which we though could offer the ultimate in sheer effortless enjoyment.
So here we are on a glorious summer’s day, joining our captain Dominique in Muids to board our “yacht” for 3 hours of deconnection and immersion in nature. As we steer away from the pontoon, Philippe joins the captain with obvious enthusiasm to take his first steps into the world of motor cruising!
Exploring the River Seine with a local
Nothing beats discovering a place with a local, born and bred along the River Seine. Exploring this stretch of the river with Dominique feels just like being with a knowledgeable friend who has lived there all his life, sharing local stories, historical facts and personal anecdotes with us. “Did you know I sometimes get asked by international visitors whether crocodiles live in the River Seine?” Undoubtedly, his job seems like a lot of fun and his local culture adds so much richness to our immersive experience.
“Sylvie, would you like to take the helm? ” offers Dominique. A dream comes true! Finally getting the confidence to do it without fear, I actually find it quite easy to be at the helm and navigate smoothly with the reassuring advice of Dominique nearby. We take in the serene sights of the river flowing through open landscapes and abundance of wildlife. When lunch time arrives, we moor the boat and indulge in a gourmet picnic freshly prepared by the team at the Moulin de Connelles. We raise a glass to celebrate this happy day in our life!
An exotic feeling
After lunch, we leave the mainstream river to venture in smaller, off the beaten track waterways heightening our sense of adventure. With the lush, verdant, dense vegetation, we start feeling like we’re in some kind of exotic destination, something like the deep jungle of the Amazon! A true change of scenery.
As the cruise comes to an end, the captain drops us off at the spectacular pontoon of the Moulin de Connelles, a fairy-tale manor house brimming with charm, snugly swathed in pristine parkland. From the boat, the half-timbered façade with turrets and gables, beams and arches set in a haven of greenery offers a dreamy sight!
cosy night by the river
On arrival, we meet the friendly owner, Karine, who greets us and gives us the historical background of this elegant hotel. We discover our beautiful room bathed in sunlight. Design-wise, there’s a sense of warmth and homeliness with many charming, spoiling touches. It commands far-reaching views across the garden and the river.
Living in the moment
In the evening, the fabulous food and the superb setting of the restaurant with a view on the river make the Moulin de Connelles a hedonistic haven. The wonderfully relaxed yet chic dining room combines an emphasis on great ingredients from the area with local charm and stylish panache.
On the menu: zucchini and fried onion velouté, rabbit terrine with small vegetables and berries, sea bass fillet, topped up by a poached nectarine with homemade bourbon vanilla ice cream and seasonal fruit as a desert. All charmingly presented and delicious, matched with a selection of fine wine.
A friendly greeting from the Chef himself, the superb food and hospitality make our dining experience unforgettable and blissful.
The River Seine
Flowing over 770km, the River Seine is a major waterway within the Paris basin, which crosses the cities of Troyes, Paris and Rouen before joining the English Channel near Le Havre.
USEFUL INFORMATION – river cruise
Liberté Seine (Dominique Polny )
Mobile: +33 (0)6 71 32 18 14
Prices 2023 (cruise)
Private, guided cruises from 2 to 6 people/ 395€.
Departure from the Moulin de Connelles.
More itineraries available, ask Liberté Seine.
Dates 2023 (cruise)
From 6th April. Contact Liberté Seine or the hotel below if you choose to stay in.
USEFUL INFORMATION – accommodation
Le Moulin de Connelles****
40 route d’Amfreville sous les Monts
+33 (0)2 32 59 53 33
prices 2023 (accommodation)
Double room: from 160 €
Junior suite: from 250 €
Suite room: from 350 €
Breakfast: 25 € per person
Picnic: from 30 € per person
Dinner: ‘menu carte des Saveurs’ 59 € per person (drinks not included)
Tip: off season, ask for special offers by calling the reception desk.
The picnic onboard the boat is prepared by the hotel
Le Moulin de Connelles will book the cruise for you! You will only have to pay on the spot, on the day of the cruise. Departure from the private pontoon of the Moulin de Connelles.
The Restaurant is open every evening. Closed on Mondays.
Barges are available at the hotel for a romantic tour.
Small pets allowed
Information provided is subject to change.