Navigating and living on the waterways of Continental Europe and news of canal developments. (Public)

Boat Rental Recommendations Please

  • Mike Gibbons
29 Jan 2023 10:55 #133723 by Mike Gibbons
Replied by Mike Gibbons on topic Boat Rental Recommendations Please
Hi Craig
If you liked Migennes to Auxerre then you'll love the Nivernais which is in a different class. The run to Tannay is fine - loads of boats do it and it's a very manageable cruise.
Le Boat offers you one type of 'holiday' boat but there are others - steel boats and Dutch cruisers including Linssens from, for instance, France Afloat at Vermenton which we've used several times.

Hope you find what you want.

Mike Gibbons

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  • Craig Campbell
29 Jan 2023 03:22 #133700 by Craig Campbell
Replied by Craig Campbell on topic Boat Rental Recommendations Please
I did the Canal du Midi as a one way rental with Le Boat from Castelnardary to Homps in October of 2013. Never had to wait for a lock, perfect weather.  I can’t imagine doing it in high season, don’t know how you would get anywhere.  They have a new class of boats that I haven’t been on but seen that look like good options, they are called Horizon.

I haven’t done the Nivernias, but I have looked at Le Boat there and they had a one way from Migennes to Tannay.  Don’t know if it is still available, but would consider it myself since my boat is too deep a draft for the Nivernais.  I have been from Migennes to Auxerre on my boat and it is very pleasant. 


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  • Peter Cawson
  • Topic Author
28 Jan 2023 17:46 #133692 by Peter Cawson
Replied by Peter Cawson on topic Boat Rental Recommendations Please
Many thanks Rob. The first EU waterway I travelled was the Baise and very nice it was too. We rented a very ancient ex-Broads hire boat that had somehow found its way there. The "charter company" was a rather scruffy couple who lived on one of their 2 boats while renting the other!

Yes, certainly "one size bigger" makes sense and most of my co-travellers will be unattached so separate cabins for all.


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  • Rob Davidson
28 Jan 2023 17:30 #133691 by Rob Davidson
Replied by Rob Davidson on topic Boat Rental Recommendations Please
We used Le Boat before buying our own boat but that was 16 years ago.  They are well run and have the best variety of boats and were good for one way rentals.  Locaboat and Nichols are the other big ones in France.
I would add the River Baise and Garonne lateral to your list.
Always rent a boat one size bigger than you think you need so that you have room for your luggage.

Rob DaviDson - ARMIDA

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  • Paul Hayes
28 Jan 2023 17:14 #133690 by Paul Hayes
Replied by Paul Hayes on topic Boat Rental Recommendations Please

The Lot is wonderful river to hire on.

That's all I can say about it 😁

The following user(s) said Thank You: Peter Cawson

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  • Peter Cawson
  • Topic Author
28 Jan 2023 16:13 #133689 by Peter Cawson
Boat Rental Recommendations Please was created by Peter Cawson
I’m looking to rent boats for two or three holidays this year to explore waterways I was unable to visit in my own boat.  Can anyone recommend (or warn against) rental companies, particularly ones that offer one-way rentals.

Also recommendations most welcome of waterways to travel - apart from northern, central and eastern France where I’ve often visited.  Lovely countryside, interesting architecture and pretty villages that haven’t yet lost their bars and restaurants are more important than museums and art galleries! 

Under consideration:

Midi - When is a good time to travel?  I’d want to avoid the very high temperature period (presumably July and August) and particularly busy times such as school holidays.  Best section and local rental bases?

Nivernais –Best section and charter bases?

Brittany – Never visited by boat (apart from the Rance under sail), so any recommendations welcome

Lot – Which closed-off sections is best to visit and location of charter bases?

The Mecklenburg Lakes - Cover a vast area, so recommendations of best parts and rental bases.  I’ve read Blue Flag articles as well as Doughty’s excellent account of his adventures, so on my Bucket List.

South Holland – I had planned to visit last year but couldn’t in the end.  Possibly Leiden to Weesp via Haarlem, but avoiding Amsterdam.  Where are charter bases?

Many thanks in anticipation from anyone familiar with these areas, particularly past or present renters.  PM’s specially welcome.


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