World War One Commemorative Cruise - Stage 2 Picardy
World War One Commemorative Cruise - Stage 2
Sites of historic and artistic significance in Northern France
World War One Commemorative Cruise - Stage 2
Take a gentle cruise through landscapes that saw heavy engagement throughout The Great War and pay homage to those who bravely fought for their countries. We see many monuments erected in memorial of fallen heroes and towns and villages that owe their freedom to the multi-national troops, as well as visiting sites associated with some of Europe's finest painters.
This cruise is fully inclusive of six nights accommodation, gourmet meals, fine wines and open bar, daily excursions, local transfers and full use of all onboard amenities.
This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. We will try to adapt the visits to reflect the interests and nationalities of the guests on board.
Itinerary & Hotels
Béthencourt-sur-Somme day 1
We meet at the designated meeting point in Paris and transfer to the hotel barge moored in Bethencourt-sur-Somme for a Champagne welcome and introduction to the crew and barge. Time perhaps for a cycle ride before dinner on board.
Hôtel Barge - PanacheStrasbourg
Panache is a spacious, 128 feet long hotel barge featuring a stunning sun deck, a social dining and bar area with a piano and 6 double or twin junior suites, accommodating 12 guests. There are six crew, including an on-board chef, to ensure a comfortable and relaxing stay aboard.
There are panoramic windows in the saloon bar area and the barge has been finished in a traditional yacht style with brass and mahogany fittings. The large sun deck features a spa pool and an alternate dining area. There are twelve bicycles for guests' use, to explore the scenic towpaths.
All cabins are en suite and have twin handbasins and oversized showers.
The Master Chef aboard Panache ensures to produce reginal specialities such as -
- Braised veal in red wine
- Roasted duck a l'Alsacienne
- Magret de Canard aux Mirabelles
- Le Baeckeoffe d'Alsace
You can expect to find wines such as Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Pouilly Fume, Reisling Grand Cru and Chablis Premier Cru on the wine list.
The cheeseboard will also feature regional greats such as Tomme Fermier d'Alsace, Munster-géromé, Tomme de Yenne, Mattons, Roussot and Caprice des Dieux.
Béthencourt-sur-Somme to Noyon day 2
This morning, we visit the site of the first day of the Battle of the Somme, where 23,000 men died on July 1st, 1916. We visit the moving Thiepval memorial, a monument to 75,000 “missing” from this battle and the visitor centre with its wonderful archival film footage and photographs from the era. Other optional sites which can be visited today include Newfoundland Park memorial where the Newfoundland Regiment of 700 men was wiped out in just 40 minutes; the huge Lochnagar crater created by a British mine attack; the South African memorial at Longueval; the famous little town of Pozières with its nearby Gibraltar bunker; the ancient Windmill monument and infamous Tommy Café. We return to the barge for lunch and then enjoy a cruise through countryside and the Libermont tunnel to our mooring at Noyon. Dinner on board.
Noyon to Compiègne day 3
Today there is a choice of tours. We can visit Bellicourt, where American and Australian tanks and troops successfully breached the Hindenburg Line in the autumn of 1918 in one of the most important American engagements of the war. Another option is to visit Villers-Bretonneux, a village whose liberation in 1918 claimed over 1,200 Australian soldiers’ lives. Every year, the ANZAC Day ceremony is held at the town’s memorial where over 10,000 Australian servicemen are commemorated. We can then move on to Le Hamel, memorial site of General Monash’s astounding 93 minute victorious battle over the Germans with his Australian and American forces. After lunch back on board, we continue our cruise, joining the River Oise and moor at Compiègne. Dinner on board.
Compiègne to Auvers-sur-Oise day 4
After breakfast, we head out to the Armistice Clearing deep in the forest of Compiègne. This was the venue of the signing of the Armistice in a carriage of Marshal Foch’s private train on November 11th 1918. The clearing and its museum tell a fascinating story that stretches far beyond November 1918, as it was also on this famous train that Hitler insisted the French capitulate to Germany in 1940. We re-join the barge and continue south, passing barges laden with various merchandise, to our mooring at Auvers-sur-Oise. Dinner tonight is at a local auberge.
Auvers-sur-Oise to Bougival day 5
This morning we walk in the footsteps of Vincent Van Gogh. The painter spent the last part of his life in this picturesque village and was buried in the local cemetery. Here and there, panels indicate the scenes portrayed by the painter. It is the district around the church, however, that constitutes the favourite “place of pilgrimage” for art lovers. We then rejoin the barge to continue our cruise, now heading up the River Seine after reaching the mouth of the Oise, towards our overnight mooring at Bougival. This evening, you should have time for a stroll through the village, following “the Impressionists Walk” where you will find reproductions of Impressionist paintings located in the precise locations where these works are believed to have been painted. Dinner on board.
Bougival to Paris day 6
There are two options for today’s tour: we may continue with the Impressionist theme and visit Claude Monet’s beautiful gardens at Giverny, or we can visit Château de Malmaison, a charming estate purchased by the Empress Josephine while Napoleon Bonaparte was away fighting the Egyptian campaign. It houses many fine artworks in lavish apartments and there is a notable rose garden. Returning to the barge, we cruise to Paris, gliding past the futuristic La Defense business district with its impressive concrete and glass architecture. The cruise culminates with a magical cruise through Paris, known as the “City of Lights”, past floodlit monuments and the illuminated Eiffel Tower, whilst enjoying the Captain’s Farewell Dinner. We moor overnight in central Paris.
Paris day 7
After breakfast, disembark the hotel barge and transfer to the designated drop off point - Hotel Westminster in Paris.
Route & Location
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