4 to 6 night half-board ecological cruise through the Somme Region departing from Amiens
We will cruise the beautiful Canal de la Somme and arrange visits to the battlefields, war cemeteries and memorials closely connected to the river and canal.
River trip highlights
- Enjoy the wonderful unspoilt nature of the canal.
- Unwind on the boat’s two sundecks.
- Visit some of the many WW1 memorials along the canal.
- Learn about the French canals and their locks.
- Sample the region’s many gastronomic specialities.
- Visit picturesque villages seen from a different angle.
River trip summary
WHAT WE WILL DO DURING THE CRUISE;
- The Canal de la Somme no longer has any commercial traffic, neither potatoes nor grain.
- The fact that the river Somme enters and leaves the canal at irregular intervals means that there is suddenly additional current and the risk of silting up in various places, which makes it impossible for heavily loaded barges to navigate.
- The local authorities, however, have since 2010 done a major job in furthering canal tourism and keeping the locks and weirs in pristine conditions.
- The gentle navigation will bring total peace of mind and ample chances of observing flora and fauna as the ship advances at only 6 km/h, - pure relaxation!
- The ship’s folding bikes are of course at the disposal of the more energetic guests for cycling on the towpath or discovering the villages and war memorials a little away from the waterway.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE CHARTER PRICE;
- Exclusive use of the barge for your group (max. 4 persons)
- Half-board: breakfast buffets and lunch buffets reflecting local gastronomy
- A “Captain’s Dinner”
- All beverages underway
- Use of the ship's 4 folding bikes and helmets, at your own risk
- Tourist brochures and guides for sightseeing excursions, use of the ship’s WI-FI
- No stress, the captains will handle the boat, provide the food and the domestic logistics.
- However, the guests are requested to take responsibility for their own cabin and bathroom during their stay.
- The final cleaning of the guest area
- All taxes, fuel and mooring charges
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE CHARTER PRICE;
- Transport to and from the boat
- Sightseeing fees
- Dinners at local restaurants
- Your personal Liability, Property, Medical and Travel Insurance.
River trip description
- Our charter cruises start our from Amiens, to either Péronne or Saint-Valery (or in the opposite directions). They normally start on Sunday, but we can be flexible.
- Below is a description of a typical cruise, but again, in case of specific wishes from the guests, we can modify the planning.
Sunday-Day 1: Arrival in Amiens.
- Arrival in the afternoon by train to Amiens. We will meet you at the station and accompany you to the mooring, a nice stroll along the pedestrian street.
- Settle down and have a welcome drink, then go sightseeing in this interesting university town: Notre-Dame Cathedral (the largest Gothic church in France, a UNESCO World Heritage site, - the Notre-Dame of Paris can be contained in there twice), the beautiful botanical garden, Jules Verne’s house with its observatory, various art museums, the old part of town Saint-Leu and more.
- Have dinner in one of the many restaurants in this pulsating town and enjoy the amazing laser show at the cathedral in the evening (mid-June to mid-September).
Monday-Day 2: two hours cruise from Amiens to Lamotte-Brebiere.
- Same sightseeing program as Day 1, lunch aboard.
- In the afternoon we leave Amiens and on the way, we pass by the “hortillonnages” (vegetable gardens in an old moor area) and admire the quaint entrances to the small lots.
- We stop at the renovated lock-keeper house in Lamotte-Brebière. You can walk or bike on the tow-path in the beautiful nature.
As it is Monday, most French restaurants are closed, and we have “Captain’s Dinner” aboard.
- You will enjoy the silence of the night (apart from the rushing river Somme close by, and the occasional frog, coot or duck).
Tuesday-Day 3: two hours cruise from Lamotte-Brebière to Corbie
- After breakfast, we continue on the winding canal (we go upstream).
- Lunch aboard upon arrival. From Corbie, a visit to the Australian memorial and cemetery close to Villers- Bretonneux, site of the ANZAC Day commemoration, is an emotional experience, and you can admire the newly inaugurated Sir John Monash Center which gives a comprehensive explanation of the circumstances of the war.
- A subsequent visit to the Australian museum in the Victoria School in Villers-Bretonneux gives additional information on the Battle of the Somme.
- You can walk up to the memorial (2.5 km), - another possibility is to put our folding bikes in a taxi. You can bike back downhill on a path among the fields.
- Dinner at the “La Caroline”, a local restaurant serving traditional French food.
Wednesday-Day 4: five hours cruise from Corbie to Froissy
- From Corbie, we continue to Froissy passing the beautiful little Château de Méricourt.
- Lunch aboard in Sailly-Laurette. The comprehensive narrow-gauge train museum in Froissy is open July and August and offers the possibility of a short train-ride in the old wagons that were used to carry ammunition and soldiers to the front (and wounded soldiers back).
- Take a short taxi ride to visit the town of Albert and the impressive underground WW1 museum.
- Have dinner in a restaurant in Albert and come back to your peaceful floating cabin.
Thursday-Day 5: two hours cruise from Froissy to Eclusier-Vaux.
- We continue to Eclusier-Vaux and you walk or bike to the village of Suzanne where you have lunch at the “Auberge de Suzanne”.
- Afterward, you can walk up to the Belvédère from where you have a breath-taking view of the entire Somme Valley with all its lakes.
- On the way back to the boat you can visit the eel ponds close to the mooring.
Friday-Day 6: three hours cruise from Eclusier-Vaux to Péronne.
- We leave the winding Canal de la Somme and enter the large Canal du Nord with its busy commercial traffic.
- We moor at the commercial quay and have lunch aboard.
- You walk to Péronne center, where you can admire the old fortifications and visit the “Historial”, the amazing WW1 museum located in the old medieval castle in the middle of the town.
- You have dinner in one of the many restaurants.
Saturday-Day 7: Peronne, day of departure
- Take some time this morning to enjoy the barge one last time, and do your packing.
- Departure before noon by taxi to the TGV station Haute- Picardie.
Type of experience
Heating / cooling
Languages spoken onboard
Music-sound system / CD player
Books and magazines
Nordic walking sticks
Binoculars for animal watching
How to get there
- Amiens, 1 hour 15 minutes from Paris by motorway
- It can be reached through the motorways A16, that connects Amiens to the Greater Paris region and the ports on the North Sea.
- Or through the motorways A29, that now connects Amiens with Normandy (Rouen and Le Havre) and the East of France (Reims).
- Or the motorway A1, that connects Amiens to the Eastern Greater Paris region via the A29 trunk.
- Amiens is 1 hour from Paris (more than 20 daily return trips).
- The high-speed TGV train station of Haute Picardie is just 20 minutes away, but you need a taxi to get from the station to Amiens city.
- You can book your train ticket on the SNCF Web site (link)
- Amiens is near the (110 km) international Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle airport.
- In addition, thanks to the A16 motorway, Amiens is close (50 km) to the international Beauvais-Tillé airport.
About the area
- They say the river Somme is the backbone of the department, crossing it from east to west. This could also apply to the city of Amiens. The majestic river is the spine of the city, irrigating its different districts.
- Along the Quai Bélu, it flows past the terraces of restaurants in the Saint-Leu district. In the Hortillonnages it transports market gardeners and tourists in their boats, surrounding the plots of fertile soil and creating a multitude of little islets.
- At the Saint-Ladre lakes, the river becomes a marsh, home to an extraordinarily rich eco-system.
- Along the banks of the Saint-Maurice district, in Saint-Pierre Park at Dreuil, it borders the towpath, a paradise for joggers and roller-bladers.
River trip owner
We (Bente and Kurt, of Danish nationality) built the barge in the Netherlands in 2006, and since 2007 we have cruised 19,153 km, passed through 4,661 locks and innumerable tunnels, boat lifts, aqueducts and mobile bridges (as per August 30, 2019).
We still love this peaceful life afloat and invite you to join us and enjoy the amazing network of canals and rivers in Europe.
In 2020 we will again be underway in France and enjoy the Champagne region with its spectacular vineyards (and the wine), but may also spend some time on the beautiful Canal de la Somme with its unspoiled nature and interesting historical sites. This true gem really has captured our hearts.