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North - North-East

Nord plan rental of licence-free barges on rivers and canals of France

The Marne, Doubs, Rhine, Aisne, Moselle and various other rivers are connected to one another by many canals, including the Rhône-Rhine Canal, the Marne-Rhine Canal, the Aisne-Marne Canal, the Sarre Canal and the Meuse Canal, meaning that you will have plenty of options to choose between, whether you wish to take a return or a one-way trip, or even do a loop - it's up to you!

As migratory regions close to Paris, Alsace and north-eastern France are very well served by all means of transport - road, rail and air.

Alsace-Lorraine, the Ardennes, Picardy and the Bay of Somme are located at the intersection of Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium, meaning that you will find a real mixture of cultures in these parts. You may not quite feel that you are still in France, but you will certainly not forget that you are in Europe.

rental of licence-free barges on rivers and canals of France

Not to be missed

tourism stroll france holiday boat launch barging small barge

  • The range of gastronomic delights on offer here is as vast as the region itself, with Alsatian sauerkraut, Quiche Lorraine, Alsatian beers and wines and champagnes coming top of the list. Of course, this doesn't mean that you should overlook the flammenküche, onion tarts, Munster cheese, white pudding, andouille sausage, and often fruit-based liqueurs produced locally, either. After all, a quick cycle along the towpath will soon help offset any overindulgence!
  • The Cathedral of Notre Dame de Strasbourg and the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Reims are the two highlights of the region's architectural heritage, whilst the canal boat lift at Arzviller will no doubt be the highlight of your time on the water. What is likely to impress more than anything, however, is the sheer number of waterways, both rivers and canals, as well as the omnipresent nature you will enjoy along the way.
  • If you do find yourself with a little spare time, whether before or after your cruise, you might like to head for Paris to visit the capital and maybe even extend your adventure with a stay at Disneyland Paris.

A few stops along the way

The Alsace-Loraine region, the Ardennes, Picardy and the Bay of Somme are vast and so rich that the following towns and cities are a far from exhaustive list of what the region has to offer.

cruise rental boat house sailing holiday barge small barge Strasbourg is the capital of Alsace and indeed of Europe, as the seat of the European Parliament, and its city centre is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Rhône-Rhine and Marne-Rhine Canals will take you right into the centre of the city, where there is certainly plenty to explore. Even the bridges are each more impressive than the last.
A visit to Notre Dame Cathedral is a must, and be sure to check out at least one, or even several of the local restaurants for the best culinary specialities Alsace has to offer.

The Marne-Rhine Canal runs through the magnificent city of Nancy, where UNESCO Humanity World Heritage Site Place Stanislas is just a few minutes' walk from the port. Cultural life in this regional capital is also very intense.

After passing through the 2.3km-long Arzvillier tunnel you will take the famous inclined plane also known as the boat lift, the only one of its kind in France, that has been in service since May 1968 and replaces a series of 17 locks.

The city of Reims, so famous for the coronation of the Kings of France, is divided by the Aisne-Marne Canal. You will be able to moor your boat not far from Notre Dame Cathedral, and with no load limitation on your boat and a speed limit of 8km/h you will have perfect conditions for transporting the bottles of champagne you will have bought from the major producers of Reims or from the various vineyards you will come across as you sail along the canal.

Poetry enthusiasts will be sure to stop off at the birthplace of Arthur Rimbaud, Charleville Mézières, and to visit the museum dedicated to the poet. The basilica of Notre Dame, meanwhile, boasts 1,000m² of stained-glass windows and was created by René Dürrbach, an associate of Pablo Picasso.

From the small port of Cappy you might like to set off to explore the Bay of Somme, one of the most beautiful bays in the world, where the nature, and its ornithological reserve in particular, is even more striking than the architecture.