Beer lovers will enjoy the Easter getaway beer themed cruise on the scenic Canal de St Quentin in North France with beer sommelier Cheryl Cade. The seven-day trip showcases the beers of the Artois with brewery visits and on-board tastings. Overnight accommodation is based at the

perfectly situated

three-star Ibis alongside the Basilica in the centre of St Quentin. Departing 16 April, the price is £1,225 per person and includes all travel and transfers, excursions,


board and six nights’ accommodation.

Other options include:

Birdsong in Spring: an early season three-day short break cruise on the River Somme hosted by a professional nature guide and featuring visits to local birdlife attractions. Departing 25thMarch, the full board trip costs £445 and includes overnight accommodation at a three-star hotel in Amiens and transport, transfers and excursions.

A Remembrance Cruise on the Somme: a four-day trip featuring guided visits to nearby battlefield sites and memorials with three-star accommodation in central Amiens. Departing 6 April, the price is £545 for a full board programme including travel, accommodation and transfers.

A Gourmet Cruise from Aisne to Champagne: A peaceful 6-day trip along the canals which link the valleys of the Oise, Aisne andMarne, finishing in the great city of Reims. This 6-day full-board tour-cruise includes fine dining a la carte at the lakeside four-starQualysHotel at Lac d'Ailette and costs £1,175

Champagne Voyage down the Marne: a week long itinerary offering a rare chance to explore the heart of the Champagne region by cruising nearly 100 miles of the Marne between Epernay and Meaux, with visits to the Mercier Champagne House and overnight accommodation in Chateau- Thierry. Departing 1May, the seven-day cruise costs £1095 per person for a full board programme including travel, accommodation and transfers.

Natalia’s licensed capacity is 55 although company policy is to restrict numbers to around 40 to ensure plenty of on board space. It is the first boat of its scale in the world to have been designed and fitted with modular hybrid diesel-electric engines enabling it to cruise silently for six hours.

Most Backwaters' tour-cruises are for oneweek and the pace is so gentle the boat is invariably within easy commuting range of

Gently cruising the river Seine

the same hotel throughout. With the hotel stay comes that bit of extra space, freedom and choice that regular hotel-boat cruisers are denied.

Unaccompanied travellers may find the Backwaters cruise option especially attractive. Although hotel single occupancy supplements are passed on as additional to the holiday price, they are typically less than £200 for the week and compare favourablywith themuch higher supplements that usually apply to lone occupancy of on-board double-cabins.

For the full programme, more information and to book visit or call: 01303 263 422

The Shepway & Canterbury Advertiser PAGE 41

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