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Navigating and living on the waterways of Continental Europe and news of canal developments.
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TOPIC: Best route from Rotterdam South

Best route from Rotterdam South 29 Aug 2019 15:13 #109110

  • Richard Acke
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Hi Peter and Hi Malcolm,

thanks guys, its really great having your input. We left Liege today and heading towards Namur. traffic is thinning down as is the water! Do you by chance know any of the names of marinas in the places you have mentioned that you can recommend? my ideal would be a place I can haul her out and put her on the hard for the winter, she is 14 tons. I will try and attach a photo of our fine old tug boat!

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Best route from Rotterdam South 28 Aug 2019 13:56 #109065

Hi Richard, Only way is Meuse to Namur, then Charleroi and the Centre to the Escault. Mooring in Valenciennes was good and then it is an easy run down to Etrun and then Cambrai. We found the route very pleasant. No problems with water depth. You will find winter mooring at Cambrai, St. Quentin, Chauny and Sillery.
Cheers, Malcolm

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Best route from Rotterdam South 28 Aug 2019 13:12 #109062

Peter Cawson wrote: You can't "cut the corner" via the Pommeroeul a Conde as it's officially closed, though I seem to remember someone getting through by local negotiation recently.

The Pommeroeul a Conde canal in France has been a very closed, overgrown muddy ditch for years. I've cut my way through the undergrowth on foot but you'd not even get a kayak along it! You can get into the Belgian end but you can't go anywhere. Last I heard the French were asking the Belgians to pay to remove the pollution in the ditch, from the Belgian coalfields in the area.

Pete

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Pete Milne, Quo Vadis , Europe

Best route from Rotterdam South 28 Aug 2019 13:04 #109061

  • Peter Cawson
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Fred - the obvious route from Maastricht to Valenciennes is via Namur, Charleroi and Mons. That's the Maas / Meuse, Sambre, Charleroi-Brussels, Centre, Niny-Blaton-Peronnes, Escaut. You can't "cut the corner" via the Pommeroeul a Conde as it's officially closed, though I seem to remember someone getting through by local negotiation recently. This route is about 260 km with 23 locks and should take about 43 hours of motoring.

It takes you down the Sprepy-Thieu ship lift (73 m drop) or the 4 ancient lifts if they are open and you have the opportunity to take a short diversion to travel the Ronqueries incline plane (69 m drop over 1 mile). All straight forward but Charleroi is often very busy at the canal junction where special care is needed, and there's nowhere to stop in Charleroi. If you have time to spare, consider continuing on the Sambre to Thuin or beyond. The Haute Sambre is a most attractive river with no commercial traffic and several good stopping places.

There's a theoretically faster route via Antwerp (fewer locks but more km) but that's not likely to be your best choice.

Peter

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Best route from Rotterdam South 28 Aug 2019 12:34 #109058

  • Richard Acke
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Hi Malcolm, thanks very much for your thoughts, we have just arrived in Maastricht and will follow your route if we can get across from Maastricht to Valenciennes (any thoughts on that?) how was the route you described, was it pleasant, interesting? cheers Fred

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Best route from Rotterdam South 19 Aug 2019 09:50 #108828

If you want to avoid big shipping I have just come North from the Marne via Reims and Chauncy and the St. Quentin canal to Cambrai and then via Valenciennes and Korstrik . This avoids the canal de nord. All very peaceful. From south of Reims you can take the Champagne to Bourgogne to the Saone.

Malcolm

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Best route from Rotterdam South 19 Aug 2019 09:28 #108825

  • Balliol Fowden
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The Maas is undoubtedly the safer route.

Regarding the French part of your trip I am not up to date with the latest water shortage and stoppage situations in France, thus what north/ south routes remain available, but as a guide we used to do Bruges to Auxerre in about 90 hours, so say 80 hours from Tournai, although getting to Auxerre (Aquarelle) at the moment may be difficult because I believe the lock at Villeneuve sur Yonne is still closed. However you should be able to get well into Burgundy and somebody else will be better able to advise for that region.

Balliol.

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Best route from Rotterdam South 19 Aug 2019 09:10 #108823

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Peter Cawson wrote: > The slightly safer route would be the Maas into Belgium, but due to water shortages and closures you would then have to track west from Namur to Gent before you can proceed south, and the route will be rather slower.

Yes, but no need to go via Gent - going via Valenciennes then Canal do Nord would save lots of distance if travelling from Namur to say Paris.

Peter


Sorry, brain fade. I intended to type “Tournai.”

Balliol.

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Best route from Rotterdam South 19 Aug 2019 07:58 #108821

  • Richard Acke
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Thank you Peter,

great info, I will look at this option. I hope to be heading off at the end of the week from just North of Rotterdam.

thanks for your time

Richard

NZ

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Best route from Rotterdam South 19 Aug 2019 07:57 #108820

  • Richard Acke
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excellent info thanks so much. Sea trials are underway and whilst all seems to be going well she is an antique with low freeboard and an old engine! The less time I spend in the company of big shipping and open water the better. (Although of course she has been working in this environment since 1932).

Any suggestions on a good marina to keep her for the winter, something within reach of a few weeks cruising (heading South)?

many thanks for your time

Richard
New Zealand

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Best route from Rotterdam South 19 Aug 2019 00:27 #108813

  • Peter Cawson
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> The slightly safer route would be the Maas into Belgium, but due to water shortages and closures you would then have to track west from Namur to Gent before you can proceed south, and the route will be rather slower.

Yes, but no need to go via Gent - going via Valenciennes then Canal do Nord would save lots of distance if travelling from Namur to say Paris.

Peter

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Best route from Rotterdam South 18 Aug 2019 21:56 #108811

  • Balliol Fowden
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Lovely tug!

What is her draft?

I presume you have just bought her? Perhaps some trials before setting off across big busy waterways, which you cannot really avoid?

The quickest route south will be Nord / Dordste Kil/ Holland’s Diep/ Volkerak.

Then either:

Schelde-Rijn Kanaal towards Antwerp, then Zeeschelde to Gent

or

Krammer & Oosterschelde to Hansweert, then Westerschelde to Terneuzen, then ship canal to Gent.

From Gent take the Boven Schelde upstream to Mortagne, and you are in France.

Subject to tides and weather you can do that in about 3 days, but take care and prepare: you are going to be on some big, busy and open waterways / estuaries.

The slightly safer route would be the Maas into Belgium, but due to water shortages and closures you would then have to track west from Namur to Gent before you can proceed south, and the route will be rather slower.

Balliol.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Johann Schepers

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Best route from Rotterdam South 18 Aug 2019 19:40 #108807

  • Richard Acke
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Hi, I am new to this and keen to seek advice on the best canal routes heading South from Rotterdam. I have an 88 year old 10m tug boat and 5 weeks to get as far into France as possible. I then need a marina or place to store her for the winter. any help would be greatly appreciated. (draft 1.25m)
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