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Old 07-07-2010, 08:15   #1
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Cruising European Canals

We and another cruising couple have decided to spend a couple of weeks doing canals in Europe this fall. At first we thought we'd do some UK canals, then we thought wine would be better than beer so we switched to France. The French sites were confusing so as newbies we're thinking of UK again. We're hoping to do this in September and would appreciate any help as to region, how things work etc.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:11   #2
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Hi Vasco,
If I were you I'd think again and do France:-0
If you insist on doing the UK then maybe consider either the Norfolk Broads where you've a variety of open waters, rivers and canals; or the CALEDONIAN Canal across Scotland where you'ver got the canal interpersed by Lochs (including Nessies).
We spend a week in France two years back doing excatly that - it was lovely.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:27   #3
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Hi Vasco,
If I were you I'd think again and do France:-0
If you insist on doing the UK then maybe consider either the Norfolk Broads where you've a variety of open waters, rivers and canals; or the Corinian Canal across Scotland where you'ver got the canal interpersed by Lochs (including Nessies).
We spend a week in France two years back doing excatly that - it was lovely.
JOHN
That should read Caledonian Canal across Scotland
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:28   #4
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Indeed - thanks for the correction.
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Old 08-07-2010, 07:32   #5
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Here's a link for the UK canals UK Holidays and Leisure Guide | Canals, Boating & Walking | Waterscape
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Old 08-07-2010, 08:40   #6
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We have some friends that recently sold their Sabre sailing yacht and are in the process of buying a canal barge in Europe. Last evening we raised the issue of their preferance of France or the south of France verses England. Their preference, far and away, was the south of France for both the weather and the food. You might want to take a look at houseboat and canal barge rental on the canals of France with h2olidays .

For what its worth...
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Old 08-07-2010, 09:02   #7
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If you like lots of open water and space, maybe the English narrow canal systems arnt for you, unless of course, you want to experience the victorian like settings and the industrial heritage.
Things can get rather busy on the canals here and its not uncommon to wait 3 or 4 hours to get through some of the busiest locks.
Another problem thats looming fast is the water shortage due to the dry winter. There are due to be restrictions soon on the hours in the day that locks will opperate to save water, so that might spoil a vacation if it doesnt rain a lot soon.

Same goes for the rivers in uk, Trent, Thames, Severn, all getting a bit low.

France, Germany and Holland between them have 5000 miles of river and canal systems, which are generally wider, deeper and deserted in comparrason, but unlike the UK, where there is still no restriction on who can hire a boat and cruise, on the continent you will need a minimum of an ICC licence, so make sure your AYA/RYA paperwork is sufficient and bring it with you. Its mainy colregs type knowledge and experience.

France is vast. You can chug along all day and hardly see a soul in some parts. THat also means shops, water stops and ameneties are few and far between, but you have the bonus of exploring the genuine country, not the touristy traps usually associated with vacations


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Old 08-07-2010, 12:18   #8
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... France is vast...
It's a matter of perspective, all things being relative.

Metropolitan France covers an area of about 550,000 square kilometres.
Great Britain occupies an area of about 209,300 sq. km., and England about 130,000 sq. km.
By way of comparison, N. America’s Great Lakes occupy about 208,610 sq. km.; Lake Superior about 82,100 sq. km., and Canada’s Wood Buffalo National Park covers about 44,800 sq. km.
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Old 09-07-2010, 21:14   #9
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We did France in Sept 08 had a great time ate out most nights at small resturants. Using the locks was no problem. Had bicycles for day trip to vinyards. I would do it again.

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Old 09-10-2010, 01:45   #10
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Canals and rivers in France

I've come to this thread very late, but the "Afloat in France" website has comprehensive information and photographs about travelling and enjoying the French waterways, canals and rivers. Just recently updated, too.
French Waterways
We have passed the summer on the River Lot - quiet, outstandingly pretty and pretty cheap with no licence to be bought and many moorings free with free water and power.
River Lot*Afloat in France | Cruising the French waterways, canals and rivers by boat
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:45   #11
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Re: Cruising European Canals

Hello,

I am interested in getting my sailing boat to Oxford. It draws around 1.6m so this presents a problem - also the height without the mast is probably 2.5m.

Does anybody know how I can take this boat to somewhere in the proximity of Oxford University via the UK waterways?

Martin
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