HOW TO PILOT MY BOAT ?

Can I pilot my boat without any boating licence ?

In France and in the main European countries the well equipped and qualified boatmen have received the local authorities' consent to rent boats without any boating licence.
The staff on your departure base will give you a practical and notional initiation to enable you to manage quickly your boat and the basic rules of the traffic on the waterway.
At the end of this initiation a licence only valid for the whole length of your trip will be given to you.

Will I be able to do it ?

Of course! A great part of our customers are beginners. The piloting lessons at the start of the trip will explain you how to manoeuvre your boat. You will be allowed to ask every thing you wonder about.
You will also have to read really carefully the logbook which would have been given to you at the time of your booking.
In a word -and you will notice it very quickly- you will be quite immediately at ease in operating your boat.

Is it easy to get through a lock ?

Yes it is and you will notice it quite quickly that at each lock new encounters occur : chat with the lock keeper, sometimes purchase of regional products, meeting with others yachtsmen who are also trying to get through the lock.

You will certainly be amazed by these moments full of good humour and social interactions.

Are there all the time lock keepers at the lock ?

Generally speaking, yes there are. Actually, there exist 5 types of locks :

- the manual lock with a lock keeper

- the electric lock with a lock keeper

- the automatic lock with a lock keeper

- the manual lock without lock keeper

- the automatic lock without lock keeper (the instructions to control it will be given to you at the departure and its functioning will be explained to you by the technician on the base)

When can we go through a lock ?

Most of the time, the locks are open from 9 am to 7 pm except on some bank holidays.

At the moment of your booking, you will certainly get the river guide of the area in which you will sail.

This book will show you the schedule of the locks you will have to get through.

Do not hesitate to contact us to know the potential bank holidays during which the locks might be closed.

Do I have to pay to get through a lock ?

No, the crossing is free. Indeed the navigating toll is included in the fare.

In some areas the custom is to tip the lock keeper who will help you to get through the lock. Your departure base will inform you about it. Do not hesitate to ask any questions.

Is this kind of trip dangerous for children ?

No, it is not for the chosen boats have been safely equipped to assure a maximum security ( it is easy to go around on board thanks to the large catwalks protected by the fences on the small barges, vast solarium bridges..).

ACTIVITIES LINKED TO MY CRUISE

Is it possible to get bored during the cruise ?

How should one employ one’s free time ?

It is unthinkable to get bored during a cruise for life on board, the different manoeuvres (getting through a lock, the mooring, ..) and the numerous walks will make you fully take advantage of this unforgettable experience. Nature, inheritance and culture will be there for you.

Is it possible to fish ?

Of course it is! You will have to buy a ‘holiday fishing permit’ on the spot and you will thus take advantage of the river well stocked with fish wherever it be in France or abroad (Ireland is really appreciated by fishermen).

Is it possible to swim ?

Your departure base will tell you all the information you need about it. At any rate there are many lakes, rivers and canals in which swimming is authorized. You just have to bring your swimsuit that you will also need if you want to get tanned on the solarium bridge!

Can we rent bikes or bring ours ?

On each base, bikes can be rented (for children and adults). You can of course bring yours with no problems. You need to bring at least two bikes per boat; they will be really useful for your shopping and for going on walks.

You will also be able to order in advance directly to your base sole baby seats.

PRACTICAL LIFE ON BOARD

Where can I park my car during the trip ?

Every base has a closed and covered parking. In return for a right to park (that you have to pay once you are arrived at the base) you will be able to book your space in advance. If you are going for a one-way cruise you will be able to order on the spot a transfer for your car or for yourself.

Who can we call if there is a problem or a breakdown ?

Even if breakdowns are unusual they can sometimes occur. In this case you will find the phone number of the base in the file given to you at the moment of you boarding.

Our technicians will intervene at very short notice.

Where can we do shopping ?

You will be able to stock up supplies in every village and city being on the riverside. The river guide will precisely suggest you the kind of shops you may encounter.

When you are getting through a lock some lock keepers also sell some fresh products: vegetables, eggs, poultry, quite financially easy of access. It is also the opportunity to speak with them and to learn a bit more about the area you are travelling in.

You will also have the possibility to order in advance directly to your base a listing of supplies (free service).

RIVER SIGHT SEEING AND DISCOVERY

Are there restaurants nearby ?

In many places and in speaking with the lock keepers, the residents and the other yachtsmen you will discover nice places in which you can eat and taste the regional gastronomy.

At the time your departure your base can give you a listing of recommended restaurants.

Can we stop everywhere ?

Of course, you can. You can choose to moor in developed marinas (charge with the water / electricity connexion for some) or in the middle of nowhere. You just have to moor in a place without any forbidding signs and to follow some simple navigating rules: no mooring in front of a lock, in a bend or in a narrow passage.

The mooring picket and the sledgehammer present on board will help you to moor in the heart of the nature.

Will we be able to do some sight seeing nearby ?

There will always be something to visit all along your voyage. Actually, you will not only visit the riverbanks you will follow during the cruise. Your river guide will recommend you the best tourist spots. You will be able to go there by bike, taxi or on foot.

Am I going to meet people ?

There are many occasions: speaking with the lock keepers, meeting with other yachtsmen or residents.

Do not hesitate to make the first move for you will often meet accessible and really nice persons.

What about the whether ?

The area and the period chosen will determine the whether of your holidays. Whatever it be, this enriching experience will still leave you a very strong souvenir. You have to bear in mind that you will live by the water and that it is advisable to bring a woollen garment wherever and whenever you go.

How can I correctly choose the area ?

The choice is large and you will have to consult our website and the different voyages.

Sun and warmth are necessary for your holidays? One of our voyages on the canal du midi or in the south west of France will suit you.

You prefer visiting green places and fishing? You will be spoilt for choice between the Bourgogne, Ireland and Germany.

You will discover these areas in a light you did not expect.

Do not hesitate to contact us for some advice.

What length of time is better for a cruise ?

Everything will depend on the length of time of your holidays. We propose trips for the week end or for the full week but also long week ends or mini weeks. You can go to 10, 11, 17 or 18 days and even several weeks. After consulting the planning we will inform you about the availability that can fit with your requirements

COMFORT ON BOARD

Is there heating ?

All the boats are equipped of a high-performance heating system (gas-fire heating for the forced hair heating or diesel oil for the central heating).

Is the boat equipped of linen and crockery ?

Yes, it is. On the boats you will find all the beddings you will need for you trip on board (duvet, quilt cover, sheets, and pillow-cases).

Concerning the kitchen, no worries: oven, baking tray, fridge, sink, pressure-cooker, pots and pans... everything is there!

Finally a full crockery assortment will be given to you for the maximum number of passengers on board.

You will be able to live in autonomy on board, cooking and resting freely.

Are pets allowed on board ?

Your pets are welcomed on board. You just have to bring their habitual equipment (basket, blanket ..) because nothing is planned for them and it is preferable not to let them sleep on the beds.

If you have a dog, be careful to keep him on a leash as soon as you go down from the boat.

An extra payment of 26 euros will be asked to you at your arrival on the base ( for 2 pets maximum, whatever the length of the cruise).

Can we go on a cruise only by twos ?

For sure you can! The handling of the boats is really easy and it will be the occasion to do several romantic stops on the riverside.

Is there enough space on board ?

The aim of a river cruise is not to be confined in the boat. The closeness of the nature, the handling of the boat and the piloting in the outdoors will give you a feeling of matchless liberty.

At the meal times you will find a cosy and well thought environment where it will be a pleasure to tell your day.

When do I have to book ?

Do never hesitate to contact us to know the availability or just to have a piece of advice.

The river cruise is a kind of booming leisure and the boats that we propose are very much in demand. Contact us as soon as possible in order to organize your cruise in the best conditions.