Travelling through France by waterway, without a boating licence, by renting a river boat: this is an original and very pleasant experience, to spend a few days' holiday with family or friends.
River tourism offers holidaymakers a sensational way to discover the different regions of a country, geographically as well as historically and culturally. Rental of a river boat rental without a boating licence represents a particularly convivial way of travelling, giving complete freedom to cruisers who can then decide where they want to moor: near a beautiful castle, a picturesque village or a magnificent nature reserve.
- A delightful adventure along the water
- An exceptional network of waterways
- River navigation within everyone's reach
A delightful adventure along the water
This type of holiday is perfect for everyone, whether you want to recharge your batteries as a couple, share some quality time with friends, or enjoy a family holiday. River boats for rent usually provide comfortable living for up to 12 people. You will be able to sleep on your barge, walk along the water, observe the birds and fish along the banks, and multiply exciting stops, according to the taste and pace of each person.
River tourism invites you to venture beyond the river banks. With this kind of cruise, you will discover, nearby, a pretty village, a good restaurant or famous tourist sites. Often accessible on foot, they can also be reached by bicycle. Whether it's for a weekend or a week, you will discover a rich heritage along the canals, along with delicious local gastronomy. For example, with river boat sailing in Brittany, you will have the opportunity to taste local seafood, cider and tasty galettes.
Our river boat rental agency offers bikes for rent. You can, of course, bring your own bikes with you, if you wish. You can also ride your bike freely on the towpaths along the canal, and discover the surrounding nature in a different way, as well as the many villages near the river. It’s a worthwhile experience. You will leave the boat (momentarily) with peace of mind, since it will obviously be fitted with secure locks.
Upon departure, the boat's owner will provide you with a river map, which will list for the chosen region the main sites of interest near the river, as well as possible refuelling points. This map will allow you to plan your preferred excursion for the next day, and if nothing appeals to you, or if you are tired or prefer to spend time with family or friends, you can just rest quietly on-board. River boat rental is another way to go sightseeing. It is a different kind of tourism, closer to nature and more convivial.
As the boat's fuel tank is full at the beginning, and the autonomy of the boats in diesel is generally two weeks, all you have to do is sail towards the adventure! If your stay on the water lasts longer, you can easily refuel at one of the many ports of call.
An exceptional network of waterways
With its 8,500 km of navigable waterways, France has the largest river network in Europe, which touches all the regions and enables you to discover their nature, history, heritage and gastronomy. There is something for every taste and according to the most diverse itineraries, with notably the canals of Burgundy, of the Centre and the Canal of Nivernais, in the countryside.
Near the Morvan regional natural park, the Nivernais canal offers an exceptional walk. It connects the Loire to the Seine, that is to say…Burgundy is not left out, with a quiet and historic canal, from Roanne to Digoin.
To the south of the Nivernais, in the Loire Valley, you can also enjoy an exceptional heritage: castles, valleys, forests, nature and history are calling you. Nearby, the Loire River offers historical walks along the water, towards Nevers and the vineyards of Sancerre, to finish in style.
You can also choose the sun of the Canal du Midi and the Camargue. For example, the Canal du Midi connects Toulouse to the Mediterranean Sea: it is an explosion of flavours and the chance to visit many sites. But don't forget Lot, Marne and Aquitaine… In Loire-Atlantique, the canal from Nantes to Brest will take you on the path of the old slate industry of the 19th century. Renting a river boat is a different way to visit the beautiful regions of France. The canal that connects Nantes to Brest, in Brittany, dates back to 1858…
Whatever your choice, in any case, the weather will be with you, since rentals are generally from March to October, and the boats are heated and have hot water. Very simply, hot water is produced when the boat engine is running. So if the hot water tank happens to be dry (in case of a long stopover), just turn the engine on again, and hot water will be produced again.
As for the landscapes travelled through, every season has its charms, be it the budding flowers of spring, the warmth of summer, or the auburn countryside of autumn.
River navigation within everyone's reach
Piloting a river boat (up to 15 metres long) is done without a boating licence and does not require any particular physical condition. The piloting is very simple, no special skills are required. The models offered by the professionals are quite easy to operate, regardless of the price. A short training given by an instructor of the base, before departure of the cruise, is more than enough for novices. It only takes two to get through the locks. Passage of the locks is very simple. Just go slowly and be patient. This can be a good opportunity to chat with the lock keeper, and perhaps meet other apprentice sailors.
Of course, during boarding, the owner will show you the operation of the devices and will initiate you into piloting on the waterway. Starting by ignition key, forward and reverse, turning to the right and skirting the bank when passing another boat, are the main concepts to master… With a speed that usually does not exceed 8 km per hour, you are sure to become a seasoned captain in no time.
Different models of boats are dedicated to freshwater navigation, this is the case with our boats with no licence to rent. For example, you can choose the river boat with a living space similar to a well-lit apartment and easy to move around in. Unless you opt for a river boat excursion for canal cruises instead. The latter is particularly appreciated for its manoeuverability and comfort. Depending on your desires and preferences, the barge could also be a good choice. Capable of accommodating up to 12 people, this type of boat is ideal for enjoying sunny cruises with your loved ones.
You will only sail during the day, as night navigation is forbidden. You will be able to moor according to your wishes and make as many stops as you like. A river cruise enables you to relax for a weekend or a week and enjoy calm surroundings. But it also calls for swimming, an unusual excursion, and meals prepared on site since the boat offers all the necessary comfort and equipment (hob, oven, fridge, crockery…). It's a resolutely different kind of tourism. What pleasant moments shared, with family or friends, to get together and experience unforgettable memories!
Renting a river boat is a great experience to share, with friends, as a family, as a couple, everything is possible!