canal boat holidays in Europe

canal cruising in france

Canal Cruising in France

Representing Locaboat Holidays in Australia & New Zealand since 2002

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fabulous european waterways

canal cruises in france

the french canals

  • canal du midi - camargue
    most popular canal in france

    The Canal du Midi winds gracefully through a typically Mediterranean landscape: vines, cypresses, pine trees and a riot of flowers exude their glorious aroma whilst cicadas and crickets shrill all around. Shaded by plane trees you will journey from town to town, each with its tale to tell from an eventful history. Carcassonne, Béziers, Narbonne and many others invite you to taste mouthwatering regional specialties and such unusual wines as Pacherenc, made from late-picked grapes. To see on the skyline the towers of Carcassonne is a heart-stopping moment, so formidable are the fortifications restored by Viollet le Duc and now granted World Heritage status by UNESCO.

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  • south west
    Lot - baise - Garonne - Tarn

    This region boasts 300km of navigable waterways, covering five very varied rivers and canals. The region's reputation for fine food and wine adds to the delights of a cruise here. There are several remarkable structures to be seen like the 580 meter long aqueduct at Agen with its 23 arches. You can cruise to Montauban, Moissac and then into the River Tarn to cruise as far as St Nicholas de la Grave, 12km of outstanding natural beauty. The 80km cruise in Lot valley offers a spectacular scenery combined with medieval villages like Clairac and Castelmoron, Villeneuve-sur-Lot and Penne-d'Agenais. Cruising the Baïse, takes you through lush and intimate countryside. Discover fortified towns, gentle hills and flowery meadows. You will visit Vianne, Lavardac, Nérac, the Cistercian Abbey of Flaran and Valence-sur-Baïse.

  • burgundy & the river saone
    The South Burgundy

    Sail along the Canal du Centre and enjoy world-famous wine producing villages such as Mercurey, Santenay and Montrachet. The itinerary will offer plenty of opportunities for a swim in the River Saône, the River Doubs or the River Seille. Heading up the Canal des Vosges towards Fontenoy le Château and Epinal will take you through the magnificent Vosges Forest. The River Saône with only few locks, offers a comfortable cruise through rural scenery. The Seille is also a delightful river which winds its way as far as Louhans.

  • Burgundy & upper loire
    famous Briare aqueduct

    The Canal de Briare is the oldest canal in the world since it was built under Henry IV (1896). Heading north, the Canal du Loing will lead to Montargis along waterside streets lined with half-timbered houses. Then you will cruise towards Nemours, Ferrières, Château-Landon and Moret-sur- Loing, town of famous English painter Sisley. Travelling south from Briare, you will cross the impressive “Pont Canal de Briare”, built by Gustave Eiffel, and follow the “Canal Latéral à la Loire” towards Sancerre, famous for its white wine, Apremont-sur-Allier, a village listed within The Most Beautiful Villages of France, La Charité-sur-Loire and Nevers.

  • nivernais & burgundy canal
    heart of burgundy

    Close to the Canal de Bourgogne and the Canal du Nivernais, Joigny is the ideal location to discover Burgundy. Linking the Yonne to the River Saône, the Canal de Bourgogne built between 1775 and 1834 is lined with plan trees and buildings ranging from abbeys to fortified farmhouses. You’ll find also magnificent Renaissance chateaux in Tanlay or Ancy-le-Franc. The Abbey of Fontenay is a short bike ride away. The valley of the Yonne is wide and gently winding. Villeneuve-sur-Yonne features fortified gates and Sens, 16th century half-timbered houses dominated by the superb cathedral of St Etienne. Upstream from Joigny lies Auxerre and its golden roofs of its elegant town houses. The Canal du Nivernais passes through many wine-producing villages such as Irancy. Vezelay, starting point of the pilgrimage to Compostela is not far.

  • Brittany
    country of Merlin the Wizard

    Gateway to the magical country of Merlin the Wizard and the Fairy Viviane, the Nantes-Brest canal remains one of the most beautiful waterways in France. Your cruise starts from our new base at Saint Martin sur Oust. Cruising on the Canal de Nantes à Brest and the Vilaine River, you could pass cities full of history such as Arzal, Blain, Dinan, Josselin, La Gacilly, Malestroit, Messac, Nantes, Nort-sur-Erdre, Pontivy, Redon, Rennes, Rohan, Sucé or Tinteniac. Several routes are available: You could cruise south towards Redon and Nantes, north following the Vilaine River toward Rennes and Dinan and for the most adventurous head west and climb the numerous locks into the heart of Brittany to Pontivy.

  • alsace - lorraine

    Cruising the Alsace region will take you right through traditional villages with gorgeous flower-filled balconies. The "Canal de la Marne au Rhin" goes right through the very heart of Strasbourg. On your way to the home of the European Parliament, don’t miss the beautiful town of Saverne and the Ducal Palace. If you choose the Canal de la Sarre, you’ll cruise through leafy woodland and welcoming small towns full of traditional inns. On your way back, you’ll be amazed by the huge and powerful boat lift of Arzwiller which replaces 17 locks! Along the Belgian border the Ardennes region, on is famous for its wild life. It is the perfect destination for nature lovers. The Canal de la Meuse meanders through the beautiful orchards of Lorraine as far as Verdun. Further north, the cities of Namur and Dinant are very lively and welcome a lot of tourists.