View Full Version : Inland Boating in France

01-15-2001, 11:50 AM
Has anyone out there any experience in boating on French rivers and their associated canal system? I am going to be moving to Paris soon, and I am trying to get information on what oppportunities are out there for inland cruising.
Specifically, I am trying to figure out the whether or not one can take a small (12-18 foot) boat and row around the inland waterways, the closer to Paris the better. I was in Paris and I found a few books written by a couple of Englishmen on this very subject and some material does appear in the more general guide books, but everyone it seems always talks about renting or buying motorboats - usually larger cruising types. I have nothing against motorboats, but both I and my fiancee love to row - its that simple. I know people must do this, does anyone have information or contacts so that I might find out more?

01-15-2001, 12:49 PM
Friends of mine host travels aboard their Dutch Barge 'Linquenda'. Bill Wolferstan (author of those fantastic west coast of Canada cruising guides)owns and runs the boat with his family. They travel all thru Europe with her and I highly reccomend them. You can contact his son Jon via e-mail: anciencourrier@hotmail.com

Yanis Abols
02-08-2001, 08:03 AM
you can certainly explore on your own the french inland waterways. The guide books you mention will enable you to choose the areas that are the most interesting or picturesque. There are detailled river maps such as those published by "Editions Cartographiques Maritimes".
The french inland waterways are administered by the VNF (Voies navigables de France).This administration has recently decided to make boaters pay for their presence on the water. Even its quite cheap most of us try to avoid this tax.(very french behaviour you will find out). You can have a look at www.vnf.fr (http://www.vnf.fr)
If you want to get in touch with people with the same interest try to contact the members of "Sequana" (http://perso.clubinternet.fr/jdutert/sequana)They are based in Chatou, a suburb in the west of Paris. They are oriented towards small classic yachts on the Seine.
You can also try the "Centre Nautique de Sèvre et Loire". They are in the west of France, close to Nantes.(http://cnsl.nanoonet.free.fr)
There are also quite active groups on the bigger lakes such as the Lac d'Annecy or the Lac de Genève.
Good luck.

J. Dillon
02-08-2001, 10:01 AM
Did 100 miles of the Canal Du Midi. I charted a small 30' boat in 97. I suppose it can be done with a small row boat but you have to be ready to do a lot of locking.( you work some yourself) In one section we did 13 locks in one day. The novelty wears off after a while. Dockage is free for the most part and part of the boats equipment is two 3' steel spikes and a sledge to drive them. You pull up to a nice bank drive in your bollards, position your plank to the shore and tie up.

The country side is beautiful,the people very friendly and lots of wine and cheese villages.

Carcassone is not to be missed. A bus or a walk from the river will bring you to this restored castle or rather walled city. There you can have dinner and a concert at the cathedral.

If you do it in a row boat, where would you put the bikes? It is almost essential to take them with you. Some of the shopping you will need to do is a bit of a walk with out a bike.

ken mcclure
02-22-2001, 05:33 PM
Read "Voyaging Under Power". Has a buncha reference to the narrow, shallow, and apparently delightful French canal/river system.

[This message has been edited by kwmcclure (edited 02-23-2001).]