View of the River Loire, France’s longest river, at the famous wine-producing commune of Sancerre Le Papillon

+ 33 (0)6 86 28 11 55 Revel in a laid-back cruise through Burgundy, admiring the scenery and pausing for lunch. A guide will take guests on visits to special places of interest. Slow down and enjoy the ultimate Burgundian experience.

Linssen Boating Holidays Choose to visit Burgundy, the Canal du Midi, Brittany or the southwest of France on a Linssen motor yacht.

Locaboat Holidays +33 (0)3 86 91 72 72

Pick a self-drive barge from this fleet of 380 boats and take an exciting journey through a choice of regions. The website suggests key spots to see.

Minervois Cruisers +44 (0)1926 811 842

A quality canal boat hirer based 144 ❘ FRANCE TODAY Feb/Mar 2018 FT166.BOATING GUIDE.indd 144 05/01/2018 16:03 Untit

in the south of France on Le Canal des Deux Mers, Minervois Cruisers offers wonderful French touring holidays – no previous experience necessary.

MS Elisabeth (From May – September) + 33 (0)6 24 50 45 88 Allow Martine and Bernard to look after you from your arrival right through to the end of the trip. Relaxation, gastronomy, bike rides, castle visits, wine tasting and a spot of pétanque are all par for the course.


+44 (0)2392 401 320 +33 (0)2 41 56 46 56

The regions of Alsace, Brittany, Burgundy and the Canal du Midi are all covered in boating trips from Nicols. The company’s experienced teams will train first-timers before they set out on their own.


+44 (0)7909 151 611 Owners Kevin and Isabelle welcome guests to Barge Nilaya for a champagne reception, continental breakfasts, gourmet dinners and trips along varied routes less travelled.

Roi Soleil

Closer to a yacht than a barge, the Roi Soleil combines the best of both worlds. Three spacious cabins, a 1920s-inspired saloon, spa pool and lounge beds.

Saint Louis

+33 (0)7 87 35 33 60 The Saint Louis offers relaxing mornings en route to a lunchtime destination, typically followed by an excursion in the afternoons.

Barge Luciole +44 (0)1625 576 880 The Luciole is privately-owned

and celebrating 40 years as a family-run business. Captain Francisco expertly takes guests along the Nivernais canal and there are also bus excursions.

RIVERS While France’s canal network is extensive, most of its inland waterway system is composed of its many fleuves and rivières – and cruise companies take advantage of these broad passages of water with fleets of luxury boats and ships. Gourmet catering, on-board spas and spacious accommodation are all available with this leisurely mode of transport. For couples and families seeking a completely hands-free experience, there’s nothing better.

Originating in the department of Côte-d’Or, passing through Paris and joining the English Channel via Honfleur, the Seine is the poster child of French rivers. It’s a constant presence in the capital, and a host of



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