I am highly disappointed with my experience of the 'Christmas in Paris' tour. I found the itinerary very misleading and the tour to be an overall waste of time and money. The itinerary gave the impression of a much more inclusive tour, whereby we'd be visiting attractions such as the Louvre, the Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower. However, all the tour included was a coach ride to these destinations with a very brief background explaining their significance as we drove past on the coach. A large proportion of the tour was "free time", where we'd then have to make our way back to these very destinations such as the Louvre and Eiffel Tower and pay from our own money to gain access.
The very reason why I selected the tour was to obtain exclusive access to public places, such as prebooked tickets to the Louvre and going up the Eiffel Tower. Instead, the tour was mostly going back to the popular places that makes Paris so beautiful in our "free time", paying for our own access and waiting hours in line for each activity. As it was, tickets to the Moulin Rouge show was an additional expense I prepared to pay for. However, the basics of the very reason of wanting to visit Paris was not actually included in the trip.
Really, the only things that were included within the tour that was in the sum of $715.00 was the coach hire, a three course Christmas dinner, a boat ride along the Seine River, accommodation (at a very poor quality hotel) and standard daily breakfast at the hotel. Prior to departure, I know the hotel itself is $95.00 per night as advertised via their website on the selected dates of the tour, and river cruises are easily obtained without the need for a tour in Paris for about $35.00. I don't believe the Christmas dinner was at that great in quality to really justify the remainder of the expense relating to the tour and the coach proved to be more hassle than its worth, where we couldn't even be dropped off to our hotel properly because the coach wouldn't fit or the driver was only allowed to drive within particular hours. Other times, arrangements were indicated to the group that the driver would park outside a particular place but then we'd have to walk further as he didn't leave early enough after dinner to make sure the coach was nearby.
For a four day trip, this is very disappointing. I stayed at a hotel in Saint Germain for the first day prior to the tour starting in Paris and stayed at an airbnb for a further three nights after the tour ending in Paris.My only regret visiting Paris would be wasting the money purchasing the tour which could have otherwise been spent staying longer at places with more lively accommodation in the heart of Paris. As I found the hotel that formed part of the tour really uninspiring with nothing really surrounding it, that you need a car to get to anywhere significant.
I would like to note that our Tour Manager was very friendly and approachable and I had no issues for that aspect of the tour. She made a bad tour, a somewhat bearable one.
For those considering purchasing this tour, my overall recommendation would be to save yourself the time AND money, and go through airbnb to have a much more positive and authentic Parisian experience.