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No.7 - A Springtime Cruise on the Somme

No.7 - A Springtime Cruise on the Somme

A short break designed for complete relaxation as we make the easy transfer from Folkestone to Calais and onwards to Amiens to enjoy a 3-day cruise on the River Somme.

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Our break takes us eastwards on a course of about 55km between Long and Corbie, as the navigable Canal de la 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 and the excellent and reasonably priced Brasserie Jules is right next door to the hotel.

 

Day 1

Depart Folkestone on a morning Eurotunnel crossing , then a journey of under 2 hours from Calais to Long, where we board for an afternoon cruise, with lunch, as far as Picquigny. This is an especially rural stretch of the Somme valley, with the river flanked by woodland for much of its route. If you don't know the French inland waterways this will be quite a revelation - the Somme is just part of a 10,000 km river and canal network!

On arrival in Picquigny we rejoin the coach and make the short hop into Amiens where we check-in to our hotel and relax for the evening to make our choice of the many bars and restaurants close by.

L

Day 2

We allow ourselves some time in the morning to check-out the shopping in Amiens and perhaps visit the Friday market (coach transfer needed as it's a bit out of the centre). Early in the day is also the best time 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.

At 12 Noon we rejoin the coach for the transfer to Picquigny, and for this afternoon's cruise we head back into Amiens, with the cathedral making for a spectacular skyline as its profile lines up perfectly with the canal heading - photographers take note! We again enjoy lunch on board as we pass through some delightfully winding and secluded stretches of river, arriving back in Amiens by late afternoon.

B, L

Day 3

Today we might be heading for home but one of the joys of being so close to Calais is that we can make good use of our travel days, so after checking-out we return to the moorings in Amiens and rejoin the Natalia for an onwards cruise as far as the small town of Corbie.
This morning'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. If Spring is on time we should be seeing the first greenery and no shortage of spring bulbs.

Corbie will bring our canal and river journey to a close after 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 for home, and we will aim for a return crossing departing Calais around 19:00 for our early-evening return to Kent.

B, L

B=Breakfast Included, L=Lunch Included

What’s 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

  • Tea, coffee and drinks from the bar during cruising

 

Our Hotel:

 

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 Brasserie Jules 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 3 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.

 

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 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.

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

Thursday
09:30hrs – 17:30hrs

Saturday & Sunday
Closed