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From Loire to Seine - a Waterways Odyssey

From Loire to Seine - a Waterways Odyssey

Join us for a serene fortnight of canal and river cruising and afternoon coach excursions in the heart of France as we follow the inland waterways network along a 130-mile route between Sancerre, on the Canal Lateral de la Loire, and via the Canals of Briare and Loing, then downstream on the Haut-Seine to conclude in Paris.

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Our waterway route takes us through some 60 locks, and with good towpath alongside the canal sections there is plenty of opportunity to walk or cycle.   We stay for our fortnight at three good hotels, first the 3* Le Clos Martin in the old town of Sancerre perched on top of a hill overlooking the surrounding vineyards; then the 3* Brit Hotel located just outside Montargis; and finally at a 3* situated close to the Gare de Lyon in Paris.


Our 2-week programme takes us into no less than 5 of the iconic Departements straddling the Loire and Seine - Nièvre, Yonne, Cher, Loiret and Seine et Marne, and then of course into the centre of Paris itself.  The heart of France dressed in the colours of Autumn – what an enticing prospect!  Our cruising itinerary comprises a mix of half-day and full-day cruising, and there are also some free days where we allow for statutory driver rests.


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 10:00 local time. Late lunch pause near Reims. Onward journey via Troyes on autoroute then via the N77 breaking at Auxerre and a lovely late afternoon scenic journey via the D965 to our hotel at Sancerre where we aim to arrive by 18:30. After check in we are free to choose our own restaurants in Sancerre old town.

Day 2

Cruise the Canal Lateral de La Loire northwards from Sancerre to Neuvy-sur-Loire, afternoon visit to the fine city of Bourges, notable for its green spaces and magnificent cathedral.

B, L

Day 3

Our cruise continues to Briare, where we cross the great aqueduct and moor in town before lunch out at the local restaurant L'Estancia. Afternoon visit to one of the great vineyards of Sancerre or Pouilly.

B, L

Day 4

Cruise continues on the Canal de Briare to the lock at Petit-Chaloy, then an afternoon visit to Château Sully-sur-Loire (guided)

B, L

Day 5

Cruise all day to Montbouy via Rogny-les-Sept Ecluses. Lots of opportunity to stroll or cycle the towpath as there are a good many locks to slow the boat's progress.

B, L

Day 6

Free in Sancerre. Taxi can connect with main rail line at Tracey-Sancerre (about 5km from the hotel) for anyone wanting to break out for trains to Nevers, Moulins or Paris


Day 7

Check out of our hotel in Sancerre and rejoin the boat to cruise onwards to Montargis where we allow free time in the afternoon for sightseeing and shopping in town before returning to check-in for our stay in the Brit Hotel just south of Montargis. Evening meal in hotel.

B, D

Day 8

Continue cruising northwards on the Canal du Loing, finishing the day near to Château-Landon. We then make an afternoon visit in the coach to the lovely medieval town of Villeneuve-sur-Yonne with its striking gate-towers at each end of the main street. Evening meal in hotel.

B, L, D

Day 9

Our cruise continues northwards on the Canal du Loing to Nemours (taking until mid-afternoon). Late afternoon free in Nemours.

B, L, D

Day 10

The cruise continues northwards from Nemours to Moret-sur-Loing. Extended lunch-break to visit the gated town of Moret with its impressionist connections.

B, L, D

Day 11

Cruise from Moret-sur-Loing, joining the Seine at Saint Mammès. We then follow the Seine about 20km downstream past Fontainebleau towards Melun, with a visit by coach in the afternoon to the lovely town of Provins.

B, L, D

Day 12

Today we rest the boat crew and offer a free day in Fontainebleau. We begin by checking out of our hotel in Montargis and we then make initially for the plus-beaux village of Barbizon, again notable for its association with the impressionist painters, before leaving the afternoon free to enjoy lunch in Fontainebleau and visit the Royal Palace. The aim is to offer you a fairly independent day so we don't group you for lunch or palace visit and you pay your own way. If the weather is kind it may be a colourful walk into the great forest of Fontainebleau. On leaving Fontainebleau we head into the south side of Paris for our final hotel, which will be a 3* situated close to Gare de Lyon. As there is a vast choice of restaurants here and good options to stroll or take the metro, we leave our last three evenings free for you to explore Paris and eat out under your own steam.


Day 13

[We have a relief driver joining us for the last two touring days and the return home] We return to Melun to continue on the Seine for a full day cruise aiming for Vitry-sur-Seine where the river is joined by the Marne. For anyone preferring there is of course the option to take advantage of already being in Paris to forego the cruise and enjoy a free day in the city.

B, L

Day 14

For our final day of cruising we rejoin the boat to see some of the best of Paris via the Canal St Martin as far as the Parc de la Villette where the cruise concludes. After some free time to enjoy lunch aboard the boat in the parkland setting, the coach returns us to the hotel in good time for a bit more exploration of Paris.

B, L

Day 15

After a leisurely breakfast we depart for our homeward journey, aiming for a lunch break in or near Senlis. We expect our return Eurotunnel crossing to be timed for early evening and to be back in Kent around 8pm our time


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 Le Clos Martin in Sancerre old town, with breakfast

  • 5  night hotel stay at the 3* Brit-Hotel in Montargis, with breakfast and dinner

  • 3 night hotel stay in a 3* Hotel located near the Gare de Lyon, with breakfast

  • Cruise itinerary with on-board lunch including a glass of wine for 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 all listed destinations (unless otherwise stated)



Our Hotels


The 3* Brit Hotel Le Clos St Martin in Sancerre is nicely situated for us in the heart of Sancerre's old town with lots of shops and restaurants close-by.  Recently refurbished, the hotel has an unassuming exterior but inside it is cosy and welcoming, and it earns consistently good ratings.   As the hotel does not operate an evening restaurant we work to a bed & breakfast tariff for our first week and guests are free to choose from a range of restaurants just a short stroll away.


The 3* Brit-Hotel on the southern outskirts of Montargis is from the same chain as our Sancerre hotel and enjoys consistently good ratings.  There is adjoining restaurant where we enjoy supper.  All 53 rooms offer free WiFi, 24-hour room service, and LED TVs. Premium bedding, coffee makers, and free bottled water are among the other amenities available to guests


Our final 3 nights will be spent in a 3* Hotel in Paris, bed & breakfast allowing guests the freedom to choose their own evening meal venue.





Our tour package includes lunches aboard the boat on all cruise days, and also Monday 8th October when we enjoy lunch out at a restaurant in Briare.  Evening meals are included for our 5 nights in Montargis, but customers should please budget for evening meals out for all 7 evenings in Sancerre, and for our three evenings in Paris.  Please also budget for lunches on days when we do not cruise (ie the travel days to and from the UK, plus the 11th (free in Sancerre) and 17th (free in Fontainebleau)



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 boats 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.

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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06 Oct
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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