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French Boating Holidays

The country with the biggest choice for boating holidays in Europe is France. Boating in France takes you along a mixture of rivers and canals through some of the most beautiful countryside in Europe.  And on top of that, there is all the famous French food, and of course, the equally famous wines.

Caprice Cruising past the Chateau Josselin on the River Oust, Brittany
Chateau Josselin on the River Oust, Brittany

Alsace Lorraine

Alsace Lorraine has been fought over many times by Germany and France, hence much of the architecture has a Germanic flavour.  The main towns in the region are Strasbourg and Nancy.  The main boating routes are along the Canal de la Marne au Rhin, along the Moselle or the Canal des Houilleres de la Saar.


Set either side of the River Loire Anjou is a region steeped in history.  We offer boating along the rivers Mayenne and Sarthe.


The area is rich in history. Previous Dukes of Aquitaine have included English Kings such as Henry II or Richard I.The two waterways in the Aquitaine region are the River Baise and the Canal Latéral à la Garonne


This region offers both beautiful countryside and traditional cities and villages.  The River Meuse provides the area's major waterway.


Being close to the western Channel ports, Brittany is one of the more popular regions for boating in France.  It has over 460 miles of waterways.  The main cruising routes are along the River Erdre, Canal d'Ille-et-Rance and the River Vilaine


Burgundy wine needs no introduction.  There are two regions in Burgundy for boating: Franche Comte and Vosges, and Nivernais Loire

Franche Comte and Vosges

This lies in the east of Burgundy.   The cruising areas include the River Seille, the River Sâone, the Canal de Bourgogne and Canal de l'Est.

Tour de Constance, Aigues Mortes
Tour de Constance, Aigues Mortes

Nivernais Loire

On the western side of Burgundy you can cruise the Cana du Nivernais, the Canal Latéral à la Loire, the River Yonne and again, the Canal de Bourgogne.


The river Charente has a reputation for being one of the loveliest rivers in France.  It passes through such famous towns as Angouleme, Cognac and Saintes before reaching the sea at Rochefort which was a major French naval base in the age of sail.


The River Lot flows through some spectacular Gorges, particularly around Bouzies.  The river is a bird watchers paradise, with the opportunity to see eagles, kingfishers and herons plus may other waterfowl.  Another not to be missed sight is medieval Cahors, along with its famous fortified Valentré Bridge

Somme Picardy

The Canal de la Somme is a very peaceful waterway.  You start in Cappy and can either go to the coast at Saint-Valéry via Amiens with its spectacular cathedral. Alternatively head in the other directions and head for St Quentin with its beautiful early 16th century town hall.  It also has the advantage that is very close to Calais for both the ferries or the Channel Tunnel.

South of France

There are two main waterways in the South of France: the Canal du Rhône à Sète and Canal du Midi. The Canal du Rhône à Sète travels close to the Mediterranean coast through the Camargue, famous for its flamingoes. There is also the medieval walled city of Aigues Mortes, the departure point of the disastrous seventh Crusade

The Canal du Midi was built at the end of the seventeenth century and is now a UNESCO world heritage site. It is part of waterways joining the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. At the time of building it was considered the greatest engineering feat of its age.

If you don't recognise any department or region please check the French Departments and Regions Map