France, Belgium Netherlands Trip with River Cruise

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<p>My wife and I are contemplating traveling to Europe this year, around October.&nbsp; We are planning to visit Paris (first time for both of us), probably Normandy, also Belgium and Netherlands if there is enough time.&nbsp; Overall time would be about 2 1/2 weeks.&nbsp; We&#39;d like to include a river or barge cruise, four to seven days long, if possible.&nbsp; We&#39;d consider a cruise in any of these countries.</p><p>I would appreciate any suggestions on specific things to see or do, suggestions on where to stay, especially in Paris (maybe rent an apartment for a week?), and recommendations on any river or barge cruise, and companies that provide them.&nbsp;&nbsp; Also, we&#39;d appreciate comments on whether we&#39;re cramming too much into 2 1/2 weeks.&nbsp; Budget: average.</p><p>Thanks in advance,</p><p>&nbsp;</p>

Renting an apartment is a very good idea for Paris.   We have used VRBO for Paris rentals.   If you enjoy art museums, then a week in Paris is a must in my opinon.   We were in Paris 6 years ago for 9 days and didn't see/do everything we wanted to do.  Take a look at, recommened in a previous ITN issue.   

I wouldn't recommend to my clients a river cruise in October. It could be a good option for Southern France but not for the other countries. Chances are the weather to be cool and not so pleasant for river cruise. The Netherlands is a norther country.Viking and Uniworld are good river cruise companies in Europe. is  a barge luxury cruise in France and several others. Renting apartment in Paris is a good idea. I think, Paris for a week and 10 days for the other two countries.