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Autumn's Swansong - A Royal River Cruise

Autumn's Swansong - A Royal River Cruise

Join us for our swansong cruise of an inaugural season as we enjoy our final trip from Paris via the Seine and Oise to the Royal city of Compiègne.

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Winter's chill might not be so far away, but late October in Northern France can still be pleasantly warm and the trees should be in their best Autumn colours, so it promises to be a scenic and relaxing break.


For this trip we start by cruising the Canal St Martin in the centre of Paris before continuing from Conflans-St-Honorine where we turn upstream on to the River Oise.   Our cruise then takes us past the old town of Pontoise onwards to L'Isle-Adam and Auvers-sur-Oise, notable for its Van Gogh connections.  Our next river stop is St-Leu-d'Esserent with its Benedictine Church-Abbey, and we pass through Creil and the Roman crossing at Pont-St-Maxence before making for Compiègne and a final day on the Canal Lateral de l'Oise as far as Noyon.   Away from the attractions of our river cruising, there is a compelling selection of visits on the coach, including Chantilly and its Château and Equine Museum, historic Senlis, and the Château de Pierrefonds, with some lovely walking in the Autumnal setting of the great forests which follow the course of the Oise. We also use our boat crew's rest day to offer a free day in Paris.


We stay at two fine hotels, first the 3* Hotel Olivarius in Cergy for 6 nights, then for our last 4 nights we stay at the 4* Mercure at Compiègne South.   


This holiday will operate by coach from Kent, with pick-up points including Medway, Maidstone, Canterbury, Dover, Ashford and Folkestone.  For travellers from further afield we will arrange hotel accommodation in Ashford and pick you up from the hotel on departure day.   We can also arrange for you to leave your car at the hotel at minimal cost.  There is a small extra cost for the hotel room.


Day 1

Depart Folkestone on the 08:20 Eurotunnel crossing, arriving in Calais 10:30 local time. Lunchtime pause in Amiens. Onward journey to our hotel in Cergy, arriving late afternoon.


Day 2`

The coach takes us into the centre of Paris to the Arsenal Marina, where we join our boat. We then cruise the Canal St Martin through to Parc de la Villette and after lunch on board there will be a chance to explore for a few hours before we return to Cergy.

B, L, D

Day 3

In the morning the coach takes us the short distance to Conflans-St-Honorine where we visit the Barge Museum for a fascinating insight into waterways history before we rejoin our boat to follow the Oise upstream from its junction with the Seine to the old city of Pontoise. As our hotel is only a short taxi-ride away there is the option of lingering in Pontoise to see its 12th Century Cathedral of St Maclou.

B, L, D

Day 4

In the morning we visit the town of Auvers-sur Oise, final resting place of Vincent van Gogh and home to several interesting museums and collections dedicated to the great impressionist painters. We then continue our journey upstream to the town of Beaumont-sur-Oise, noted for its imposing 12th-16th Century Church of St Laurent.

B, L, D

Day 5

We continue upstream to St-Leu-d'Esserent where we visit the town's 11th Century Benedictine Church before going on to spend a free afternoon in nearby Chantilly with opportunity to visit the town's famous Château and the nearby Museum of the Living Horse.

B, L, D

Day 6

Today is boat crew rest day so for our last day staying in Cergy the coach takes us back into Paris for a free day of exploration. Those preferring can of course stay local in Cergy, where there is some lovely parkland walking only a few minutes from the hotel bounded by a great meander in the River Oise as it approaches its confluence with the Seine.

B, D

Day 7

We check out of our hotel at Cergy and with our bags safely in the coach locker we rejoin the boat at St-Leu-d'Esserent to continue cruising through Creil and onwards to our next calling point at Pont-St-Maxence. From here we make the short journey to the great medieval city of Senlis, dominated by its 12-13th century Cathedral of Notre-Dame and with supporting attractions which include its Gallo-Roman remains, Abbey of St Vincent, and its Royal Château. At the end of the afternoon we move onwards to Compiègne, our base for the last few days of our tour

B, L, D

Day 8

Returning to Pont-St-Maxence, we continue upstream on the Oise as far as the suspension bridge at the village of Verberie, and from here the coach takes us through the southern part of the Forest of Compiègne to the fairytale Château of Pierrefonds for a guided visit.

B, L, D

Day 9

Our cruise resumes at Verberie and continues to Compiègne where we then give ourselves a free afternoon to explore this historic city with its Royal Château, and other attractions as diverse as the National Museum of cars and Tourism, the 12th Century Joan of Arc Tower, Museum of Historical Figurines, and old Salt Cellars.

B, L, D

Day 10

Although we have already reached Compiègne, we return to the boat to enjoy a taste of canal cruising for our last day. We continue upstream to the end of the navigable section of the Oise at Janville. Here we switch to the Canal Lateral à l'Oise and continue to Pont L'Èveque where we alight to spend a free afternoon in Noyon, with its huge cathedral, Noyon Museum and surviving cloisters of the old hospital Hôtel-Dieu.

B, L, D

Day 11

It's homebound day but we are not so far from Calais so we make an initial stop to visit the Armistice Wagon at Rethondes - very close now to the centenary of that historic occasion. From here we will continue northwards, breaking again to spend an extended lunchtime in Arras before going on to Calais for our crossing.


B=Breakfast Included, L=Lunch Included, D =Dinner Included

What’s Included:


  • Executive Coach Travel with pick-ups across Kent

  • Assistance with booking taxi connections and/or hotel stay pre-departure

  • Eurotunnel crossings

  • 6 night hotel stay at the 3* Hotel Olivarius, Cergy, with breakfast and restaurant dinner

  • 4 night hotel stay at the 4* Mecure Compiègne South, breakfast and dinner

  • Cruise itinerary with on-board lunch including a glass of wine on all cruise days

  • On demand tea and coffee throughout cruising

  • Beers and local prestige wines available for purchase on board

  • Coach Excursion programme as detailed

  • Entrance charges to Barge Museum at Conflans, Château Pierrefonds (guided), Armistice Wagon



Our Hotels:


The Hotel Olivarius in Cergy is a spacious apart-hotel located close to the river and in quiet and pleasant tree lined avenue.   Its rooms are accessed by open walkways overlooking an enormous central atrium, making this a very different type of hotel experience.  The rooms too are generously proportioned and in keeping with the apart-hotel theme they are a mix of studio and one-and two- bedroom apartments, all with kitchenette for anyone who needs to self-cater.


The Mercure Compiègne South is situated on the southern outskirts of the city and only about 500m from the edge of Compiègne Forest and its network of wide walkways through the trees.   As an Accor 4* the hotel has all the facilities we would expect and a particularly well-rated restaurant





Our tour package includes lunches aboard the boat on all cruise days.  Our hotel in Cergy is B&B only, but we include evening meals using the cluster of restaurants around Cergy Port, no more than 10 minutes' stroll from the hotel.  Our hotel stay in Compiègne is dinner, bed & breakfast.



On Board Facilities:


Our boat has been designed to comfortably accommodate a coachload of passengers in lounge-standard seating and there is additional seating outside for those wanting to take in the views and fresh air.  There are 6 bikes on board free of charge for anyone who would like to ride the towpath.  The boat has two WC/washrooms and a galley serving beers and wines.  Tea, coffee and drinking water are always available at no charge.  There is no smoking on board.


Departure from Kent:


Anyone from further afield please feel welcome to join us on this or any other Buzzlines tour.  We are happy to arrange parking for you here in Kent, or we can pick you up from Ashford International Station – only 37 minutes by HS1 from London St Pancras – and help you to find overnight hotel or B&B stops. 



Environmental Policies


Our boat is hybrid-engined and normally charges overnight from shore supply.  Its diesel engines are only used if battery power is exhausted, so most of the time you can look forward to silent cruising free of exhaust fumes.  The saloon roof is bedecked with solar panels which reinforce battery endurance and support the boat's air conditioning system.


We also operate to a strict waste-avoidance policy.  We try to completely avoid the use of single-use plastics and we work to a responsible recycling code.  All meals and drinks on board are served using normal crockery, cutlery and glassware.  Our crew also has a brief to support the recovery from rivers and canals of floating litter whenever this is practicable.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Name Address Contact Details
Ashford International Htl Ashford International Hotel
Folkestone Bus Station Bay E, Folkestone

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Buzzlines Travel
3a-3b Defiant Close, Terlingham Forum, Hawkinge, Kent, CT18 7SU
01303 261 870

Opening Hours

Monday – Wednesday, Friday
09:00hrs – 17:30hrs

09:30hrs – 17:30hrs

10:00hrs – 14:00hrs