A really different early-season short break by coach from Kent as we make the hop from Calais to Amiens to enjoy a 3-day cruise on the River Somme, and mark Mother's Day in style!Book Now
Our break takes us westwards on a course of about 55km between Corbie and Long, as the navigable and canalised River Somme weaves its way through a network of lakes formed centuries ago by flooded peat extractions, further enhanced by neighbouring woodland and cultivation, with just the occasional village and lock.
We stay in Amiens at the centrally-situated 3* Holiday Inn Express, and as the hotel does not operate an evening restaurant we allow guests to dine out at personal preference. There is a selection of good and inexpensive restaurants in the St Leu riverfront including those that open on Sunday evenings, one of those is the well-rated Brasserie Jules, next door to the hotel.
Total cruise time and distance approx 16hrs, 55km, 10 locks
Depart Dover on a morning ferry crossing, then a journey of under 2 hours to Corbie, where we board for an afternoon cruise, with lunch, into Amiens, where our hotel is only a few hundred metres away. This afternoon's cruise takes us through the fascinating network of island gardens known as the Hortillonnages. These islands once prospered as commercial market gardens, and although that activity has declined in recent times many of the islands have been taken on as second homes and are emerging as beautiful gardens. We might be quite early in the season, but if Spring is on time we should be seeing the first greenery and no shortage of spring bulbs.L
Although Monday mornings can be quiet in French towns and cities with many shops closed, it is still the right time of day to visit the wonderful UNESCO-listed Cathedral of Notre-Dame, if we are lucky enough to catch some morning sunshine the east side stained glass windows are truly spectacular. Later in the morning we re-embark in Amiens, and for today's cruise we continue gently downstream as far as the village of Picquigny. We again enjoy lunch on board as we pass through some delightfully winding and secluded stretches of river.B, L
Today we may be heading for home but as we are so close to Calais we have plenty of time to enjoy some more cruising before we start our homebound journey in the afternoon. After checking out of the hotel, today's cruise starts again from Picquigny and continues as far as the delightful village of Long, overlooked by its Chateau and Church. This will bring to a close our river journey of around 55 km with a total of 10 locks, three of them double chambered. Once again we enjoy lunch on board Natalia before we depart, and we will aim for a return crossing departing Calais on a Eurotunnel crossing around 19:00 for our early-evening return to Kent, hopefully with time for a hypermarket stop.B, L
B=Breakfast Included, L=Lunch Included
Executive Coach Travel departing from Ashford and Folkestone
Assistance with booking taxi connections and/or hotel stay pre-departure
Eurotunnel or Ferry crossings
Free time in Amiens
2 Nights Hotel stay at the 3* Holiday Inn Express in Amiens, with breakfast
Daily cruise itinerary with on-board lunch including a glass of wine
Tea, coffee and drinks from the bar during cruising
The 3* Holiday Inn Express is centrally-situated in Amiens close to the main railway station, the pedestrianised shopping boulevard, the UNESCO-listed Cathedral Nôtre-Dame, and the St Leu waterfront and Hortillonnages island gardens. The hotel was fully refurbished during winter 2014/15 and offers free wifi and a complimentary espresso facility, with 61 Channel TV in-room including BBC and CNN. There are lifts serving all floors.
Evening meals are not included in the package but there is a wide range of reasonably priced restaurants in the city centre and along the St Leu waterfront within a few minutes' walk, and the excellent Jules Brasserie is next door to the hotel.
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.
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 operate 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.
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.
Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.
Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.
|Ashford International Htl|| Ashford International Hotel |
|Folkestone|| Bus Station Bay E, Folkestone |
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