The River Somme, which meanders gently through the countryside of Picardy in north-east France, takes its name from a Celtic word meaning ‘tranquillity’, and we will discover just why this is so apt as we cruise silently along the waterways of the Somme on board our eco-friendly, electrically powered barge. The only noises to be heard will be the gently lapping water and the sound of fellow guests sipping wine and eating a delicious lunch of local produce.

On most canal stretches there are towpaths on which guests are welcome to walk from one lock to the next. As cruising is slow you can keep up with the boat or even get ahead of it and take pictures and admire the scenery and wildlife.

We will three half day cruises in the course of our tour, with the rest of the time spent exploring our host city of Amiens and visiting some of the outstanding gardens of the region. These include the Moulin Venton, with a host of water features; the unique floating gardens of Les Hortillonnages and Maizicourt, recently voted the best garden in Picardy by French TV viewers.

Supplements (per person)

  • Single room supplement £360.00
  • Optional excursion to Naours £20.00
  • Insurance             £75 (under 65); £150 (74-65); £225.00 (75-90)
  • Overnight accommodation before or after the tour available on request in London – ask for a quotation

What's included?

  •  Accommodation
  •  Services of a professional tour manager
  •  Comfortable coach travel throughout
  •  Ferry crossings
  •  Meals - as per the itinerary
  • Three half-day cruises on the Somme waterway with lunch and wine included
  • Visits to the gardens of Moulin Ventin, Maizicourt and André van Beek; boat trip on Les Hortillonages; visit to the Château de Long

Today's Price

Benefit from this limited time offer:

  • Pay a low deposit of £50, was £100.

Single supplement: £360

Tour highlights:

  • Three half-day cruises on the Somme waterway with lunch included
  • Boat trip round the floating gardens of Les Hortillonnages
  • Elegance at the Château de Long
  • Tranquil country garden with many water features
  • Picardy’s top garden as voted for by French TV viewers

Tour details

Dates 17 June 2021 - 23 June 2021
Duration 7 days
Today's Price

Benefit from this limited time offer:

  • Pay a low deposit of £50, was £100.
Single supplement: £360 Balance due by 25 March 2021
Activity Level
Tour code BPGC210617

Departure Points

Location Depart Return
London (Tothill St) 0700 1600
London Gatwick (Copthorne Hotel) 0815 1445
Dover (Ferry Terminal) 0930 1330

Please note all timings are approximate and may be changed. They will be confirmed when the joining instructions are sent out, approximately ten days prior to departure.

Book Now or call 01334 657155 if you have any questions

17 June 2021: Itinerary

We depart by coach from central London and Gatwick for Dover, where we catch a mid-morning ferry to Calais. On arrival we continue to Amiens in the Picardy region of north-east France and check into our hotel. Dinner is served in the evening.

Meals include: Dinner

After breakfast we make our way to Picquigny where we board our electrically-powered barge and cruise silently along the tranquil waterway that runs alongside the River Somme as far as the village of Long, a distance of around 18 kilometres. Designed to serve as a floating observation lounge, our boat allows us to cruise in armchair comfort with close-up views of the passing scenery. We will enjoy a light lunch of French specialities and accompanying wine as we cruise.

In the afternoon we visit the Château de Long, an elegant building in pink brick and white stone built in the early part of the 18th century. The Château has extensive gardens overlooking the river and is renowned for its rose gardens and orangery.

We return by coach to our hotel, where dinner is served in the evening.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Following breakfast we transfer by coach for a visit to the Moulin Ventin (Mill Garden) at Paillart, set around the River Noye, a tributary of the Somme. Born from a passion for nature, the garden contains some exceptional trees, herbaceous and aquatic plants and roses. A 19th century water mill and numerous water features characterise this tranquil country garden.

After some free time for lunch in Beauvais (not included), we continue to the picturesque gardens of the painter André van Beek who discovered his second passion in gardening and created an all year round garden of colourful blooms.

Dinner is served in the evening back at our hotel in Amiens.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast we transfer to Abbeville, the capital of maritime Picardy, where we re-join our barge for another day of relaxing cruising as we set out again for Long, but this time cruising upstream. We will cruise for around 16 kilometres at a gentle pace only occasionally interrupted by locks, with lunch on board included once more.

After disembarkation in Long, we make our way by coach to the Gardens of Maizicourt, recently voted the best garden in Picardy by TV viewers. Once a formal French garden it was abandonded during the 19th century until its current owners bought the property and recovered it from the forest of brambles and nettles that had taken over. The backbone of hedges of beech, holly and box remain and have been restored to the neat symmetrical lines and pruned shapes that once dominated the garden. Examples of planting combinations include irises with astilbe, phlox and geraniums, and roses with an underplanting of astilbe, irises, hostas and day lilies.

We return to Amiens once again, with dinner served in the evening.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Following breakfast we spend the day in our host city of Amiens. In the morning we visit the remarkable floating gardens of Les Hortillonages, which cover 300 hectares of small islands and are criss-crossed by 55km of canals. The ancient marshes were originally exploited for their peat and later for market gardening purposes. The area is now a nature reserve, where the flora and fauna enjoy a calm protected environment. The gardens are best appreciated from the water and our visit includes a 50-minute guided tour by boat (also electrically-powered), each boat carrying 12 people, so we may split into smaller groups for the visit.

The afternoon is free to explore Amiens at leisure. Highly recommended is a visit to the Gothic Cathedral of Notre-Dame, which was built between 1220 and 1270 and is the tallest cathedral in France.

Dinner is served in the evening.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast we once again transfer by coach to Picquigny and rejoin our barge, this time sailing upstream along 17 kilometres of waterway and though a total of 3 locks back into Amiens. Lunch will be served on board once more and, arriving back into Amiens the rest of the afternoon is free to explore the city at leisure. Alternatively, you may wish to join our optional excursion to the underground city of Naours.

Dinner is served in the hotel in the evening

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast drive back to Calais and take the ferry to Dover, contiuiing to Gatwick and London where we expect to arrive in the evening.

Meals include: Breakfast

17 June 2021: Additional Info

17 June 2021: Accommodation

17 June 2021: Enquiries

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