Cruise the Rivers Saone and Seille on this tranquil and historic cruise to Louhans the capital of the Bresse region.
Just 1 hour from Paris by high speed train (2 hours by car), our Venarey-les-Laumes base on the canal de Bourgogne is an easily accessible option for a boating break. Additional cruising routes are also available from our base in the northern section of the Canal de Bourgogne at Brienon-sur-Armancon.
Choose from over 500 river and canal boats available from 24 bases located in France, Germany and Portugal. For those who appreciate fine dining and excellent wines Nicols recommends a canal barge holiday in the Charente.
From the Nicols base at Harskirchen begin your boating holiday in “Alsace Bossue”: this area is located in the earth of the Regional Natural Park of the Northern Vosges, classified as a “European Destinations of ExcelleNce” (EDEN). Heading north from Harskirchen, you will reach Sarreguemines, famous for its pottery (Faience Museum, Garden of Faience), before crossing the German border to begin a “European” boating holiday through France, Germany and Luxembourg.
Cruise then on the Marne to Rhine Canal through the Niderviller tunnels, cross the famous inclined boat lift at Arzviller: unique in Europe, it replaces 17 locks and saves a whole day's travelling for boats and barges!


Our boat rental base at Plagny in the Nivernais region is located at the meeting point of two waterways: the Canal Lateral a la Loire and the Canal du Nivernais, one of the most popular destinations for boating holidays.
If you are travelling south, stop off at Nevers, a town famous for its art and history, known for its Cathedral, Gothic-inspired Duke's Palace, 11th century Roman church, and ceramics and pottery factories (including the oldest in France).
You can also explore the Loire Valley by boat from our Nicols boat hire base in Rogny close to Briare… Nicols also offers a one way boating holiday from Rogny to Plagny (or vice versa) which allows maximum cruising time for exploring the scenery and sites that can be found along this route. We had an excellent cruise with great weather, superb landscapes, a wide variety of stopovers and a boat that was comfortable and safe for the children. A week's boat trip will allow you to explore as far as the town of Sete, close to the Etang de Thau: when King Louis XIV decided to open the Canal de Midi out into the sea, the port of Sete was created and inaugurated in 1666, celebrated by nautical jousting that is now strongly associated with the town. En route visit Seurre and Tournus before arriving in medieval Louhans where houses on the Grand Rue have stone facades and 15th century timber surrounds and the Church of St Pierre with its magnificent spire and richly decorated roof is. Jean-de-Losne in the heart of Burgundy, cruise the clear waters of the Saone stopping at the many attractive towns with their distinctive multi-coloured glazed roofs.
The most prestigious has to be the Cistercian abbey at Fontenay (World Heritage Historical Monument).


For an exceptional boating holiday try the three week "Centre of France loop" cruise navigating on the Nivernais, Bourgogne and Val de Loire ! Chagny is home to the Michelin starred Lameloise restaurant and at the heart of Cote de Beaune wine-making. However, you can also explore the great Burgundy castles that are only a short walk or bike ride away such as: Bussy, Tanlay, Ancy le Franc, Nuits, Maulne…or other fascinating sites such as the Alesia Museum-park celebrating the historical battle between Vercingetorix and Caesar in 52 BC. It was also home to great writers, poets and singers: Paul Valery, Jean Vilar, Georges Brassens and painters who exhibit in galleries all over the world.



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