aslaug - champagne & somme


canal cruising in france


hotel barge holidays in france

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aslaug - champagne & somme

canal cruising in france


hotel barge in france

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Aslaug - champagne & somme

Canal Barge in France


What a truly unique and wonderful week of cruising on the Somme!
The experience far exceeded our expectations and in particular we appreciated the friendly, welcoming and quality experience that you both provided to our family. We all enjoyed the opportunity to relax and loved the peacefulness of the foredeck and the hammock. Thank you again for your kind and generous hospitality. L. & A.K., Australia.


june - july in champagne
&
august to september in the somme



4 theme cruises


champagne cruise
Somme cruise
battlefields cruise
barge handling course


champagne cruise

You will be cruising on the beautiful river Marne, east of Paris, and discover the land of the wonderful Champagne wines and of course do some serious tasting !
The champagne country. The Marne is a broad, winding river which still has a good deal of commercial traffic. Along the river you will see the vineyards high on the hills and enjoy the beautiful scenery. The battles of the Marne in WW1 are still commemorated and you will have the possibility to visit some of the memorials. We will cruise upstream through 17 locks, pass under Mont de Billy through a 2.3 km tunnel and pass 7 more locks downstream before reaching Reims.
Itinerary




canal de la somme

We have two cruising themes : World War 1 Remembrance cruise (Amiens to Péronne) or nature and cultural cruise (Amiens to St-Valery-sur-Somme).

Along the Remembrance cruise, 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.
Itinerary

During the peaceful cruise on the Canal de la Somme, you will relax on board while cruising leisurely at 6 km/h on the winding canal. Away from stress, you will enjoy Saint-Valery with its vast tidal area, the seals in the bay and its bird reserves. On shore, you will admire beautiful cathedrals and castles along the waterway.
Itinerary




somme battlefields cruise

Aslaug 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. The 1914 - 1918 war cost the lives of more than 16 million young men and wounded double the number. Visiting the Battlefields from a barge is a new concept offering visitors to discover the Historical Somme Battlefields while enjoying the unique and relaxing cruising atmosphere on board a comfortable floating hotel-barge.

Itinerary




barge handling course

This hands-on course will give you the necessary basic knowledge of how to handle a barge of 24m, both on a small, winding canal/river and on a big commercial canal (Canal du Nord). We will be going both upstream and downstream and pass through 14 locks and 6 mobile bridges. The skills obtained will facilitate your further steps to obtain the licence "French Permis Péniche Grande Plaisance" which allows you to navigate boats longer than 20m on inland waterways in Europe.





THE 4 PASSENGER BARGE Aslaug

Aslaug is a new-built, owner-operated barge. She welcomes 4 guests in two well insulated cabins, each with two single beds (80 cm x 200 cm), wardrobe and drawers. Stow-room for extra luggage is available. Each cabin has a ventilation hatch and solid opening brass portholes, its own ensuite bathroom with toilet, shower, washbasin and hair dryer. The interior is fitted out in Danish design and cherry-wood furniture. Hardwood parquet and natural materials give a very healthy interior climate. Breakfast and lunch are served in the saloon or on the aft terrace if the weather is fine, and guests may use the spacious wheelhouse as a lounge. There are two sun decks, both equipped with teak furniture. 4 folding bikes are available for guests.


on board


  • 2019 season
    7 day / 6 night

    1/2 board

    April to September


    3000€
    per cabin (2 people)

    4000€
    Private charter for 2 people



  • short cruise
    5 day / 4 night

    1/2 board

    April to September


    2000€
    per cabin (2 people)

    2500€
    Private charter for 2 people



  • new
    5 day / 4 night

    barge handling course

    April to September


    2500€
    per cabin (2 people)

    5000€
    private charter 2 to 4 people

Price for Aslaug includes:

- 7 days, 6 nights,(or 5 days, 4 nights), breakfasts, lunch buffets, tea, coffee, beverages, one “Captain’s dinner”. Other onshore restaurants are at passengers expenses. In case Aslaug is moored away from any restaurants, dinner will be served on board. - The use of the ship's 4 folding bikes and helmets.
Aslaug offers B&B accommodation, guests are requested to take responsibility for their own cabin and bathroom during their stay.



These rates do not include:

- Air or ground transportation to and from the boat, but we will arrange transport from the nearest train station to the mooring.
- Excursions and tours are at passenger's expenses.
- Your personal Liability, Property, Medical and Travel Insurance.



To avoid currency exchange fees,
• Australians can pay in Australian dollars by direct deposit or credit card.
• New Zealanders can pay in New Zealand dollars by direct deposit or credit card.
• US citizens will be charged in US dollars using credit card.


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how to get there

Château-Thierry, Reims and Amiens are easily reached by train from Paris and you can get to Péronne from Paris, by TGV plus a taxi at your arrival at TGV Haute-Picardie station. Saint Valery is a more remote place harder to get to: Train from Paris to Amiens plus another regional train from Amiens to Noyelles-sur-mer. There you will have to board a narrow gauge steam train like in the good old days.



Itineraries


1 - CHAMPAGNE CRUISE - Château-Thierry – Epernay – ReimS




mONDAY, Day 1, CHATEAU-THIERRY

You will arrive in the afternoon by train from Paris. Settle down and go for a walk in the old part of the town with its beautiful houses and ruins of a medieval castle. You may also wish to take a taxi and visit the amazing Oise-Aisne American Cemetery and Memorial (23 km away) which commemorates the achievements of United States forces (the Marines) who fought here during World War I. As it is Monday, French restaurants are normally closed, and we therefore serve the “Captain’s Dinner” aboard.

tUESDAY, Day 2, Château-Thierry to Dormans

We will have lunch aboard upon arrival in Dormans. You can walk or bike to the winegrowing villages around the town. Admire the old castle and the Chapel of Reconnaissance which was built in 1920 in commemoration of the two victories of the Marne in WW1. Have dinner at a local restaurant.


wEDNESDAY, Day 3, Dormans to Ay

We will have lunch aboard underway in Damery. We leave the river Marne and enter the Canal Latéral à la Marne and in the afternoon we moor in Ay. You will take a taxi or bike to Epernay, the capital of Champagne, lying in the heart of the Champagne vineyards. You will have ample possibilities of visiting several champagne houses with their kilometers of vaults and tunnels in the limestone underground. Dinner in a restaurant of your choice. Unfortunately, the pleasure port of Epernay is very small and does not offer a mooring for larger ships, therefore we moor in Ay.


thursday, Day 4, Ay to Condé-sur-Marne

You can visit some of the approx. 40 producers and the viticulture and tools museum in Ay and have lunch in a local restaurant. We continue to Condé, and you can hike or use our bicycles to go to Bouzy, 4 km from Condé. Bouzy is a “Grand Cru” village which grows not only Champagne but the famous red wine that was used for coronation banquets in Reims. Another idyllic village is Ambonnay, 3 km from Condé. Dinner-buffet aboard when you return.


Friday, Day 5, Condé-sur-Marne to Sept-Saulx

We will go up through a “staircase” of 8 locks and have lunch aboard at the waiting quay in front of the Mont de Billy tunnel. It is always an adventure to navigate underground, and this tunnel is one of the best. In Sept-Saulx we moor at a silo quay, another experience. You can visit the French war cemetery and bike to Verzy, a village renowned for its dwarf beeches. Dinner in the “Cheval Blanc” restaurant in Sept-Saulx.


Saturday, Day 6, Sept-Saulx to Reims

Lunch aboard in Sillery where you can visit another WW1 cemetery close to the harbour. We continue to the city of Reims, passing through an industrial area, and moor to a bank not far from the center where it is less noisy than in the harbour. There is an amazing outdoor light-show on the cathedral in the evening, not to be missed.


Sunday, Day 7, Reims

You will have time to go and visit the beautiful Cathedral which has witnessed the coronation of 25 kings of France as well as a number of Champagne houses which offer guided tours and sampling. Departure by TGV to Paris in the afternoon.


On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.


2 - from Amiens to Peronne




Sunday, Day 1, 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 hortillonnages, the beautiful botanical garden, Jules Verne’s house with its observatory, various art museums, the old part of town Saint-Leu etc.). Have dinner in one of the many restaurants in this pulsating town and enjoy the amazing light-show at the cathedral in the evening which transforms the huge grey building into the colorful sight it once was (mid-June to 3rd Sunday of September).

Monday, Day 2, Amiens – Lamotte-Brebière. (2 h. cruising)

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 cycle 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 coot or duck).


Tuesday, Day 3, Lamotte-Brebière – Corbie. (2 h. cruising)

After breakfast we continue on the winding canal where the river Somme enters from time to time adding current to the canal (we go upstream). Lunch aboard. 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 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 bicycles in a taxi. You can cycle back downhill on a pathe among the fields.


Wednesday, Day 4, Corbie – Froissy. (4.5 h. cruising)

From Corbie, we continue to Froissy passing the beautiful little château in Méricourt. Lunch aboard. The comprehensive narrow-gauge train museum in Froissy is open July and August (and some special days in Spring) 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, Froissy – Eclusier-Vaux. (1.5 h. cruising)

Next morning you can walk from Froissy to the small village of Bray-sur-Somme close to which the (in)famous Red Baron, Manfred von Richthofen, was shot down in 1918 (Australians and French still dispute who had the honour) and visit the small museum. Then we continue to Eclusier-Vaux and you walk or bike to the village of Suzanne where you have lunch at the “Auberge de Suzanne”. Afterwards you can walk up to the Belvédère from where you have a breathtaking 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. Dinner buffet aboard.


Friday, Day 6, Eclusier-Vaux – Péronne. (3 h. cruising)

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.


Saturday, Day 7, Péronne.

Departure around 11 am by taxi to the TGV station Haute-Picardie.



On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.


3 - Amiens to Saint-Valery-sur-Somme




Sunday, Day 1, Amiens.

Arrival in the afternoon. We will meet you at the train 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 hortillonnages, the beautiful botanical garden, Jules Verne’s house with its observatory, various art museums, the old part of town Saint-Leu etc.). Have dinner in one of the many restaurants in this pulsating town and enjoy the amazing light-show at the cathedral in the evening which transforms the huge grey building into the colorful sight it once was (mid-June to 3rd Sunday of September).

Monday, Day 2, Amiens.

Lunch aboard, dinner in a restaurant of your choice.


Tuesday, Day 3, Amiens – Picquigny. (2.5 h. cruising)

We leave Amiens and stop at Samara and have lunch aboard, after which you can visit this pre-historic theme park. We will continue to Picquigny where you can admire the medieval castle ruins and the church. Dinner at the “Les Oliviers” restaurant.


Wednesday, Day 4, Picquigny – Long. (3 h. cruising)

We continue on the winding canal and have lunch aboard in Long. In the afternoon you can visit the beautiful Château de Long and its huge, well-kept park. Another unique sight not to miss is the museum of the old Hydroelectric Power Plant. The village of Long got rich from the extraction of peat and became one of the first towns in France to install electricity and drinking water in each house, - an unheard-of luxury at the time. Dinner at the “Le Comptoir Bleu” restaurant.


Thursday, Day 5, Long – Abbeville. (3 h. cruising)

On our way to Abbeville, you will again observe that the Canal de la Somme is an angler paradise. We pass many quaint small angler huts and several beautiful manor houses. Lunch aboard before reaching Abbeville. In Abbeville, a medium-sized town, you can visit the old Belfry containing the archeological Boucher de Perthes museum. Also interesting are the Saint-Vulfran Collegiate and the Saint-Sepulcre church with its beautiful stained-glass windows by Alfred Manessier, one of the biggest non-figurative artists, inspired by the light of the Bay of Somme. Dinner at the “Etoile du Jour”, a restaurant in a beautiful old half-timbered house, or in another restaurant of your choice.


Friday, Day 6, Abbeville – Saint-Valery-sur-Somme. (2.5 h. cruising)

The canal from Abbeville to Saint-Valery is a long straight line, but we will be going through four mobile bridges and through the big sea-lock out into the tidal sea-port. Lunch aboard. The Baie de Somme is one of the most beautiful bays in the world, with vast tidal waters, dunes, a rich bird life, a seal reserve and the famous “prés-salés” (salty marshes). It was from Saint-Valery that William the Conqueror sailed to conquer England in 1066, and Jeanne d’Arc has been kept prisoner in the castle in 1431. Dinner at one of the many restaurants in this seaside resort..


Saturday, Day 7, Saint-Valery-sur-Somme

You will leave the boat before noon and go by the narrow-gauge steam-train to Noyelles-sur-Mer from where you can take the regular train back to Amiens.



On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.


4 - WW1 cruise / 5 day round trip Amiens - Amiens




Sunday, Day 1, Amiens.

We will meet you at the train station in the afternoon and accompany you to the mooring, a nice stroll along the pedestrian street. Free time in the afternoon and evening to discover the city : Notre-Dame Cathedral, UNESCO World Heritage site, the largest Gothic church in France, twice the size of Notre-Dame in Paris; the hortillonnages -stunning floating gardens- , the botanical garden, Jules Verne’s house, several art museums, the old town. In the evening, choose one of the many restaurants in town and watch the amazing night-show at the cathedral in the evening which converts the huge grey building into the colorful sight it once was.(mid-June to 3rd Sunday of September)

Monday, Day 2 .Battlefields guided Tour.

Today, a comfortable air-conditioned minibus driven by one of our outstanding battlefields expert guides will come and pick you up at the boat for a full day battlefields tour. This excursion is optional and you will have to confirm your participation at time of booking. We have built this all cruise itinerary around this tour, unanimously appreciated by Australian visitors – read feedback – and it would be very sad to miss such an opportunity to hear the true story of those dreadful days. Battlefields tour option: 130 Euros / person. Click here for details.
While on tour, the boat will cruise from Amiens to Corbie where you'll return after the Tour. A buffet dinner will be served on board.


Tuesday, Day 3, Corbie - Froissy (3.5 h. cruising)

From Hamelet, close to Corbie, you can take a horse-carriage ride to the trenches around the memorial of Le Hamel. It gives a good impression of the landscape and the conditions of the WW1 soldiers. We have lunch aboard and sail to Froissy, passing the beautiful little château in Méricourt. The comprehensive narrow-gauge train museum in Froissy is open July and August (and some special days in Spring) 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). “Captain’s Dinner”on the boat.


Wednesday, Day 4, Froissy – Corbie (3.5 h. cruising)

After lunch on board in Corbie, you can visit the the memorial of Le Hamel with its very comprehensive explanatory tablets. There is a good view across the Somme river valley and the hills the soldiers had to climb. You can put our folding bicycles in a taxi and cycle back downhill to the canal. Dinner at the “La Caroline”, a local restaurant serving traditional French food.


Thursday, Day 5, Corbie – Amiens. (4 h. cruising)

We have lunch on the way at the renovated lock-keeper house in Lamotte-Brebière and afterwards pass the “hortillonnages” (vegetable gardens in an old moor area) and admire the quaint entrances to the small lots. Arrival in Amiens late afternoon. Departure on foot or by taxi to the station.



Bon voyage!