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BE AWARE :
Nowdays when you are looking on the internet for a Driver/Guide or a Private Guided Tour by car/minivan/minibus it is very difficult to find out how it works ! In order to help you Driver-Guide-France gives you some answers to the questions you might ask yourself :
1°) Will the driver/guide accompany us inside the museum or the monument ?
When you book a private tour with Driver-Guide-France You Book a tour with a qualified tour guide ! That means He/She will accompany you inside the museum or the chateau mentioned in the description of the tour ;We can also add the gardens ( for instance at Versailles or Giverny ). In France to be authorised for guiding people inside a public museum or chateau ( such as the Louvre or Versailles ) You must be qualified for that ;That means the guide needs to show his License at the entrance of the museums or chateau ; (this is also the only way to skip the main line since there are specific entrances for the tour Guides ); besides ,in most cases the guide needs to apply in advance an authorisation to the museum/chateau (hence the program of the tour set according to the schedule given by the museum or the chateau ).
Our piece of advise : If you really want a private guided tour insidethe museum/monument always double-check on the description of the tour whether the driver/guide will accompany inside or is it tour which includes an Audio-guide ? which means you have to visit the place on your own !
2°) Which are the museums/monuments where a Qualified Tour Guide and an authorisation are mandatory ?
- The Palace of Versailles
- The museum of the Louvre ( Groups over 6 people ;extra-costs)
- The Museum of Orsay ( Impressionnists painters )
- The Operahouse ( Paris )
- The museum of l'Orangerie ( Monet's Water-Lilies-Paris )
- The palace of Fontainebleau
- The Abbey of the Mont Saint Michel
- The Chateau of Chambord
3°) Do we need a qualified tour guide for a sightseeing tour ?
Officialy no ,it is not mandatory ; but you can easily imagine that a Qualified Tour Guide knows about the History of the city or its monuments you will see during your tour since he/she has been trained for that purpose .
4°) Do we need a qualified tour guide for a tour to Champagne or to Burgundy ?
The answer is still No since the main Houses of Champagne and Burgundy have their own tour guides ! hiring a qualified Tour guide is just a matter of "comfort" ! for instance you can add a bit of History by visiting the cathedral of Reims during your tour in Champagne region, or the abbey of Fontenay, the Basilica of Vezelay while in Burgundy ;Your guide can also stop by a quaint village along the way,visit with you a local food market so that you'll probably learn a little bit more about the history of the region and the local culture .
5°) What is the definition of a Qualified Tour Guide in France ?
To become an Official Tour Guide in France,you need to get a diploma ! That means you need to pass an University entrance examination; then you will attend a 1-year program ; you'll study Arts History,French History ,Geography and Communication ; eventually you'll seat a final exam and if you succeed,you'll be officially qualified for guiding people inside the public museums and monuments,all over the country . Yet at Driver-Guide-France we do think that a 5-year experience as a Tour Guide is necessary for knowing the tricks of the "trade " ! plus it is quite understandable that this time is also necessary for learning about the numerous museums and monuments we have here in Paris and throughout the country ! this why in 2016 in order to distinguish ourselves from the other services you can find on the internet and to provide to our client a top quality service ,Driver-Guide-France will offer only tours which require a Qualified Tour Guide * ! That means our tours will include a private guided tour inside a museum or a monument ; for instance in Paris : the Louvre Museum ,the Orsay museum,the Orangerie Museum, the Operahouse;Around Paris: the castles of Versailles and Fontainebleau ,and as for the countryside it could be a cathedral ( Reims or Rouen ) or an abbey ( The Mont Saint Michel or Fontevraud or Fontenay ) or a private chateau ( for instance Chenonceau or Vaux le Vicomte ).
N.B :* Sometimes A qualified tour guide is not mandatory ( inside a cathedral or a church or building privately owned ) or because there are organized guided tours on the spot ( for instance the main Houses of Champagne/Wineries in Burgundy ) or open-air sites ( like the Landing Beaches in Normandy ) ; Regarding the religious buildings and private chateaus a qualified tour guide ensure you a guided tour of the best quality ; regarding the tours to Champagne/Burgundy and the Landing Beaches Driver-Guide-France will arrange a private tour with a local expert so that you are still ensured of enjoying the advantages of a totally private and guided tour !
NO STRESS ! PICK-UP/DROP OFF AT YOUR HOTEL/APARTMENT DOWNTOWN PARIS !
No need to rush or to find out how to get to a departure point ! Your Driver/Guide will pick you up directly at your adress,at the anticipated pick-up time ! Gas ,Tolls ,parking and taxes are all included !
NO WAITING LINES !
Regarding the busiest Museums,such as the Louvre or Orsay museum,your Driver/Guide will have already your entrance tickets,or even your Museum Pass (TBD with him/Her, according to your plans ), so that you'll be able to skip the main lines !
NO AUDIO-GUIDE ! PRIVATE GUIDED TOUR ARE INCLUDED !
Since your Driver/Guide is qualified as an Official ,Expert Guide he/she will guide you within the main museums/monuments and castles ! No need to find out which number you have to dial on the Audio/Guide and it is much more interactive and friendly !
CUSTOMIZED AND TOTALLY PRIVATE TOURS !
Our tours are totally private ! You won't be mixed with another party ! The great advantage also ,you can arrange your tour according to your centers of interest ! The itinerary can be discussed with your Driver/Guide !The tour is all yours ! Photostops and breaks at your convenience !
LUXURY CARS,MINIVANS & VANS
Our vehicles are all recent,fully equipped with air conditioned ;They are roomy and comfortable ! According to the French law,they must undergo an annual checking and they are fully insured with a specific professionnal insurance,know as Private Hire Insurance.
OFFICIAL AND EXPERIENCED INCOMING TRAVEL AGENCY !
Since 2004 Driver-Guide-France have been operating as Incoming Travel Agency,based in Paris ; It is registered at the French Official Register Atout France In France the code of Tourism and its articles L.211-1 through L.213-7 dictate the conditions of activity for Travel Agents.Any Agency must have a licence number,valid for 3 years,that can be check online on the website of Atout France ,the national agency for French Tourism Development : Atout-france.fr