Boat rentals and river cruises in France

A river cruise through France It is undoubtedly the ideal way to explore and discover the hidden treasures of various regions connected by inland waterways. You have as many opportunities for suggestions for French cruise itineraries as for inland waterways as a French river cruise offers you the Europe's largest river network with 8000 km of waterways.

The great advantage of this way of traveling is that during the day you can sail or dock at any point on the shore to take a walk, visit a town on the route or simply disembark to buy food. You have to bear in mind that when night comes, sailing is prohibited, so it is best to dock at some point on the route to rest or find a charming restaurant to savor an exquisite dinner.

The best thing is that you can take bicycles on board, either for touring or mountain, ideal for making interesting excursions in the surroundings. Upon boarding, you receive a river guide to consult during your French river cruise as a loan (you can also buy it in advance). In the river guide you can consult all the possible routes, location of the ports, their services, berthing points, locks location, etc. As well as activities to do or suggestions of restaurants where to go during your river cruise in France.

Whichever canal or river you decide to navigate, one thing is for sure: you discover France from a different perspective with the incentive that you yourself decide the places where you want to stop, the towns and cities you want to visit or the places natural that you want to discover. Not seduced by the idea?

Discover the most beautiful canals in France and Europe to rent your river boat

River tourism in France allows you to travel at a different pace and have the time to discover varied landscapes and taste everything that France has to offer. A river cruise in France offers you many suggested itineraries. Renting a boat on the canals of France allows you to discover 9 sailing regions from another point of view: the deck of your boat, a marvel!

Before the train existed, the best, and perhaps the fastest, way to communicate and travel in Europe was through rivers and canals. In this sense, France is the country par excellence for river tourism, with its nature, culture and difficulty to choose from, if you go with your own boat.

More than 8,500 kilometers of navigable canals linking five major rivers: the Seine, the Loire, the Garonne, the Rhine and the Rhône. The offer of river cruises in France and boat rentals without a license is wide and the experience, of course, must be lived.

Before the arrival of the railroad, the proliferation of channels in Europe was favored, due to the complicated maintenance of the rivers to make them navigable, together with the strategic needs of fast communication routes to transport goods.

The desire of Louis XIV to mark his reign with an imperishable work, together with economic and political needs, pushed to put into practice an old chimera of the French rulers: the construction of a waterway that would allow internal communication.

Currently the channels are used for tourism, leisure and even as housing. The French State is the owner and its management is entrusted to the public entity Voies Navigables de France.

Among the activities linked to the canal are

  • The flow of ships between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea
  • River tourism in boats for hire without a license or restaurant boats.
  • Rowing (in urban areas)
  • The cycle tourism, roller skating or hiking on its shores.

The most prominent channels for river tourism in France

  • Canal du Midi or Half Day: it is the one that connects Toulouse with the Mediterranean and runs sunny between the vineyards of the Languedoc region. It is one of the most famous navigable canals in the world, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco, with a special beauty thanks not only to the landscape, but to the canal itself, with the passages through the locks and the bridge-canals.
  • Burgundy Canal, There are 1,500 kilometers of rivers and canals where it is impossible not to enjoy
  • Lateral canal of the Loire, Located in the center of France, it is the area of the most spectacular castles, the most beautiful and romantic gardens, medieval fairytale villages and Roman cities.
  • Nivernais Canal: 180 kilometers to link the Loire basin with that of the Seine. They say that it is the most beautiful canal in France because of the calm with which it runs and because of the landscape that accompanies it.

 The regions covered by these channels

  • Canal du Midi
  • Camargue
  • Burgundy-Yonne Canal
  • Burgundy-Loire Canal
  • Burgundy-Nivernais Canal
  • Brittany
  • Charente
  • Anjou
  • Alsace-Lorraine
  • Aquitaine
  • Franche Comté
  • Lot
  • Ardennes

Find out more about each region below or if you prefer, choose the boat first.



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