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Canal Boats in France

Birmingham
4 posts
2 reviews
Canal Boats in France
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I have been searching the internet for weeks trying to decide on a canal trip in France. We have looked at the Loire/Burgandy area, this looks nice but some of the reviews read that it is very quite. We are looking to visit pretty villages, nice restaurants, wineries, aquaduct, something interesting along the way. Can any suggest a particular trip that they think was amazing.

I like the boat Royal Mystique and it seems to be available in many places.

I really would appreciate any comments.

Janis

42 replies to this topic
Paris, France
Destination Expert
for Paris, Loire Valley
Level Contributor
27,115 posts
2 reviews
6 helpful votes
1. Re: Canal Boats in France
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If this is your first canal trip through France, I might suggest the Canal du Midi. There are a good number of villages and towns one passes through and the canal is probably more animated than any other in France. Here is a list of companies offering boats:

http://www.franceafloat.com/

http://www.leboat.com/

http://www.canalous-plaisance.fr/

http://www.locaboat.com/

Birmingham
4 posts
2 reviews
2. Re: Canal Boats in France
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I have been trying to avoid the canal du midi. It seems to be so busy with boats everywhere. I thought the locks may be really busy. We will be there on the 27 August for one week. We have also heard that is a lot of the local shops will be shut in August

Paris, France
Destination Expert
for Paris, Loire Valley
Level Contributor
27,115 posts
2 reviews
6 helpful votes
3. Re: Canal Boats in France
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I am not sure what it is you are asking. If August traffic and closures are a concern, they will be a concern no matter where you go, the Canal du Midi, the Canal entre Deux Mers, the Canal du Rhone a Sete, any Burgundy canal, the Lot, or even the canal in Alsace. August is national holiday month and people will be on vacation. Shops closed along the Canal du Midi, and I do not think you would even notice really, will also be closed elsewhere.

Perhaps a vacation in July or September would be better for you.

Washington, DC
Level Contributor
51 posts
101 reviews
108 helpful votes
4. Re: Canal Boats in France
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Hi,

Yes, avoid the Canal du Midi the last week in August at all costs!

One of the more 'animated' areas in Burgundy is the area around Migennes. A cruise on the Yonne River and Nivernais canal could be lovely -- the towns of Auxerre, Clamecy and Joigny are quite nice.

Feel free to check out my blog, UnexcusedAbsences.com. I've cruised the canals of Europe for the past 5 years and have posted photos, commentary and detailed maps for each week of travel. Just type 'Nivernais' or 'Loire' into the search box to get started for research in a particular region.

Good luck!

Heather

PS Feel free to contact me off-line if you have more questions.

5. Re: Canal Boats in France

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Washington, DC
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101 reviews
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7. Re: Canal Boats in France
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Janie,

I have rented several times from LeBoat and definitely recommend their company. I've also traveled what LeBoat calls the 'Seaside Cruise.' In fact, it was the very first cruise we took when we purchased our boat 6 years ago! You can read about our adventures and see photos from our cruise which start with the our blog post at http://unexcusedabsences.com/2011/05/a-full-rich-day-he-said/ and continue for half a dozen more entries. It's a great trip to take, but you do need to be careful crossing the Etang de Thau. LeBoat will brief you.

Enjoy!

Heather

8. Re: Canal Boats in France

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Washington, DC
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51 posts
101 reviews
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10. Re: Canal Boats in France
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Hi Janie,

I've not had the pleasure of visiting Majorca, although either trip will be wonderful!

As for security, we are very comfortable in France and have not had any issues. I tend to file all first-world travel in the 'safe' category. I have heard of unlocked bicycles being stolen and several incidents of mischief (drunk teens throwing a flower pot into the water, etc.) on the canals. However, I've not heard of any robberies or assaults of boaters. That being said, we always lock our bicycles (even when on board) and lock our doors.

As for the zika virus, since we're not trying to get pregnant, it isn't an issue for us. Would we love to have a horrible fever and be sick for a week? No, but we're willing to take the risk to visit the places we want to go.

The biggest risk in your proposed itinerary I see is a hurricane in the Abacos. I've cruised there and it's lovely. However, I definitely wouldn't book a hurricane season trip without cancellation insurance.

I'm sure you'll have a great time, no matter what you choose to do!

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