As a family of 5 we would like to do a canal cruise. Where do we start?
Travelling as a family I would definitely recommend a rental boat cruise on the canals of France and for one week. The Canal Du Midi, Burgundy region would be perhaps the most popular, but others like Alsace, Loire Valley or even the South West regions are also extremely attractive. All suggested cruise itineraries are located in the most picturesque villages with what you would expect in regards to markets and points of interest like Chateaux, vineyards and historic sites. I personally recommend to select a one way cruise option rather than the return trip (which is the same itinerary return). There is a small supplement for the one way but definitely worth the expense.
When selecting the cruise from one base to the other, we recommend the one on the canals rather the larger rivers. Also the lesser number of locks the better it is. It is not so much the distance that you cover but the scenery and tranquillity of the cruise that most Australians are looking for. Again, canal cruising is a concept for a holiday and a great alternative to a driving holiday and I would call it ‘luxury camping on water’… great for families or a group of friends.
You do not need a permit, just a 45 minute training upon check-in and ‘off you go!’...
Here are our top 6 reasons for choosing a canal boat holiday:
- A leisurely experience. As we always say, you can cruise at your own pace in your own place. It's not about rushing here and there, but about relaxing when and where you want.
- Different Views. Sit up on the sundeck and experience ever changing views as you cruise along. Each day can bring something different, from looming castles to flowering fields.
- It's Intimate. Unlike large cruise ships or barges, the Le Boat fleet sleeps from 2 - 12 passengers on board making for an intimate getaway with family or friends. No crowds!
- Flexibility to explore. Explore as much off the boat as on! You can hire bikes for biking to the local towns, or just walk around the beautiful countryside, visiting museums and markets as you like.
- Immerse in the local culture. As you cruise through the French towns, it's a chance to really submerge yourself in the culture - meet the locals, chat with lock-keepers and eat traditional delicacies like the Cassoulet of Castelnaudary.
- You only have to unpack once! Your boat will act as your floating hotel, both your accommodation and your transport!
Our rental boat partner Le Boat offers rental canal boat holidays all over France and Europe such as Germany, Italy, Holland, Belgium, Poland, Ireland, Scotland and the UK. 5% discount applies to all our BLOG readers and past clients. For more advice on selecting the right region, boat or time of the year, call us - We will be more than happy to assist you further in selecting the right Cruise.
Comments from Joyce R.
We journeyed from Trèbes (Carcassonne) to just short of the nine locks at Béziers and found this to be an ideal return trip within the space of a week. The scenery is stunning, there are plenty of restaurants and towns along the banks of the canal and not too many locks to negotiate. We had a wonderful week. A word of advice: Always wash your hands well after handling ropes that have been in the canal waters.
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