About Burgundy: Franche Comté

Pamper your palate in the heart of magnificent Burgundy

Famous Burgundy well deserves its reputation for fine wines and gourmet cuisine. Lush vineyards hug rolling hills, and quiet villages invite you to linger on. Amidst a network of canals flows the majestic Saône River, the focal point of your Burgundy boat hire in France! This beautiful river ushers you into a world of pleasures, a realm that pleases the senses and soothes the soul.

 

Is this your ideal destination?                   BOOK NOW           

Want to see our route suggestions?   EXPLORE 

Map showing where the Burgundy: Franche Comté boating region is in France

Find your bearings...

Burgundy FC Region Map

 = Le Boat Base           = Canal           = Navigable river          = No navigation beyond this point

The perfect boating region for...

Wine Tasting

A lovely bunch of grapes

Did you know that more than 200 million bottles of Burgundy wine are sold every year? And we highly recommend you savour some on your wine-tasting cruise. Tour the Côte de Beaune vineyards and stop by the Maison des Vins in Chalon-sur-Saône for regional wines.

Nature Lovers

Kingfisher on a branch

Burgundy’s rivers and canals are a rich habitat for wildlife. Along the Saône and Doubs you’ll find 42 species of mammals, 30 species of fish and 160 species of birds! Watch for bee-eaters, little ringed plovers, kingfishers, golden orioles, and even the common cuckoo.

Gastronomy

Snails in garlic sauce

Dining in fine restaurants should be part of your Burgundy boating holiday.  Try a flan filled with Burgundy snails at Maison Lameloise in Chagny, a 3-star Michelin favourite. How about Idéal mâconnais, a cake made with meringue and butter cream filling? Or pain d’epices (ginger cake)?

Fishing

Catfish in a net

A fishing holiday in Burgundy means angling for carp, pike, zander, perch and bream. But the real lure for the passionate angler lurks in the depths of the Saône — Silurus glanis (giant catfish). Try the waters near Beaune.

Please note that the Burgundy Franche Comté cruising season lasts from 1st April - 31st October 2020, and then from 1st April - 29th October 2021.

Useful information

Download our region guide

Check out our region guideWe've produced a handy PDF guide for this region to give you an overview of all the stops and things to do along the waterway.

Download our region guide

A bit of background

In Vioménil amidst the beautiful Vosges Mountains, the Saône River bubbles crystal clear, draining the hills and valleys along its run of 480 kilometres (298 miles) to the Rhône River at Lyon. A Burgundy map shows that it’s navigable from Corre all the way to Lyon, a beautiful stretch spanning 371 kilometres (230 miles). Your Burgundy boat hire in France covers some of the prettiest waterways, which include adjoining canals and major tributaries!

The river’s source is 396 metres (1,300 feet) above sea level, and the river makes most of its fall before Gray. From Gray all the way to the Rhône the drop is only 34 metres (111 feet). This means that the Saône is a very gentle river — slow, wide and peaceful below St. Jean-de-Losne on the Big Saône. It is narrower and more rural above Axonne on the Petit Saône.

Roman legionnaires cherished a sacred spring in Chalon-sur-Saône named after the Gallic river goddess Souconna. They called the entire river Sou-conna, and the name eventually stuck. However, the Romans also called the river Arar, which loosely translated means two rivers that fit together. The name arose from the confluence of the River Doubs with the Saône. Seneca described the Saône as “a hesitant river” that couldn’t make up its mind about which way to go!

The Petit Saône, Big Saône and the Seille River are all easy to navigate and suitable for beginners. The adjacent canals are also gentle and inviting.

Take a look at our waterway and lock closures page to find out if there are any scheduled cruising restrictions that will affect your holiday plans.

The locks on the Seille River are self-operated. The locks on the Petit Saône are automatic and have lock keepers; others are self-operated. On the Big Saône, you’ll find three large automatic locks with lock keepers between St. Jean-de-Losne and Mâcon. On the Canal des Vosges, Canal de Bourgogne and the Canal du Centre, all locks are automatic.

Opening hours: Petit Saône locks operate from 09:00-19:00 (7:00 p.m). They are closed for lunch from 12:30-13:30 (1:30 p.m.). Big Saône locks operate from 06:00-21:00 (9:00 p.m.). No lunch closures.

Public holidays:

Fontenoy le Château: Closed 1st May & 1st November.

St Jean-de-Losne: Closed 1st May, 14th July & 1st November.

Branges: Closed 1st May, 14th July & 1st November.

There are numerous well-equipped moorings on the Seille River. Mooring on pontoons or in a harbour is compulsory on the Big Saône.

To find out how to get to each of our bases in this boating region, as well as what facilities and amenities are available at each base or nearby, click on the relevant base below:

  • Hire of the boat and its onboard equipment
  • A fully equipped kitchen
  • Towels and linen for all passengers
  • A boat handling demonstration prior to departure
  • Technical support
  • On-board maps and visitor information
  • Passage through locks
  • Optional holiday extras
  • Boat damage waiver
  • Running costs (diesel, gas, engine wear and tear) - charged by the engine hour.
  • Travel to and from the base(s)
  • Waterside services if you use them (i.e. moorings where a charge is applicable, pump-out if needed, water, etc)
  • Cancellation plan & any travel/personal insurance
  • Food and drink

Interactive map of Burgundy: Franche Comté

Le Boat base  = Le Boat base  Point of interest  = Point of interest

Great to see...

Fontenoy-le-château has an interesting history so be sure to visit the museum and numerous churches. Discover the old paved streets and alleyways where time seems to stand still, visit the Tower of the Lombards and maybe take a look at the château ruins.

A picturesque and welcoming town, Port-sur-saône has much to offer. Visit an old eighteenth century church, and discover the charming will of the sixteenth century. You'll also want to see the maginificent, eighteenth century bridge: 13 arches long, it spans across all of Saône, offering you wonderful landscape views.

With its tall tower houses, Scey-sur-saone welcomes you with many vestiges of the past. Visit the beautiful eighteenth century church, and walk along the banks of the Saint-Albin canal. The Scey-sur-saone castle cannot be toured but it remains a great sight to see.

For being so small, this town has a lot of history. Ray-sur-Saône has kept its soul over the centuries, as you will see. Discover the former wash basin of the village, and the beautiful Saint-Anne church. The expansive Ray-sur-Saône castle dominates the valley and is open for tours.

Gray is a bustling town, steeped in history with fascinating preserved buildings that you can visit. Most notably are the Eglise, and the fortified chateau of Baron St. Martin, which is now an art gallery & museum.

Sometimes referred to as the jewel of the Saone valley", or " the second capital of Haute-Saône", Auxonne was a strategically important fortified town in the middle ages. Nowadays, it is a market town.

Must see
Square in Dijon

Seat of the Burgundy dukes, it is one of the most attractive cities of provincial France and the historic capital of Burgundy. Discover Dijon and its mediaeval centre full of history, interesting buildings and monuments. Climb the 315 steps of the Philippe le Bon Tower for a splendid view over the rooftops of the city's well-preserved medieval quarter.

Saint-Jean-De-Losne has seen numerous wars during the last few centuries, and was named "Belle-Defense" by the king. There are several downtown monuments about this. Walking through the streets, or over a beautiful bridge, you can also catch sight of Saint-Jean-Baptiste's church.

Must see
Dole, Burgundy

A wonderful city. The port is situated in a very picturesque part of the old town, directly below the magnificent cathedral, less than 100 metres from the old quarter of tanneries. This part of Dole is made up of narrow cobbled streets, and very old houses. You can visit the house where the scientist Louis Pasteur was born, and numerous churches.

Besançon has many gems including its vast parks, wide boulevards and the Battant Quarter which was originally settled by wine-makers. You'll see some beautiful architecture here including seventeenth century facades fronted by wrought-iron balconies. The Citadel was built by the great military architect, Vauban, and offers magnificent views over the city and the river Doubs.

Must see
Verdun-sur-le-Doubs Vision Boat

This pretty and calm village is great for leisurely strolls. There are numerous houses just over the water that you can see when you cross the beautiful Floerew bridge. Verdun-sur-le-Doubs is a good place to stop and relax a bit.

Must see
Produce in a market

Along the Saone, influenced by the history of the Burgundian kingdoms, is Chalon-Sur-Saone. Discover its long and complex history and its beautiful monuments. The market place, with the Saint-Vincent cathedral, is magnificent to see. A truly beautiful city.

Chagny is a pretty town, with plenty of restaurants, including the famous Lameloise. Among the numerous shops, the 18th century apothecary is always interesting. If you have time, visit the contemporary art gallery.

Santenay is one of the villages that played host to the famous Burgundy duke, Phillipe le Hardi. His castle is still there and can be toured. There are also vineyards and a casino in this exciting and pretty town.

Welcome to Tournus, a wonderful city filled with medieval monuments and vestiges. Here, you will have the opportunity to discover the beautiful Saint-Philibert church, with its high medieval tower covered in green ivy. The well-preserved abbey palace is also wonderful to observe and a great place to go for a walk.

Cuisery is one of the four famous Book Villages of France. There are more than a dozen book shops selling collectors' items in gravure, lithography, illuminated text, early comics, etc. You will surely enjoy this cultural visit. The Church of Notre Dame is also pleasant to visit.

Welcome to Branges, a calm and peaceful town. Take the opportunity to cycle along the canal banks, and explore the area. Downtown, you can have a drink on the terrace of a French village bar.

Louhans is a pretty city where you can enjoy walking along the beautiful arcades, where there are many shops and beautiful old buildings to see. Church Saint-Pierre, with its burgundian roof, is beautiful. Try the local speciality chicken, called Poulet de Bresse.

Itinerary suggestions

To help you get an idea of how far you can travel in the time you have, here's a selection of routes to and from our bases in this region. You dont have to stop at all the places listed or follow the route exactly. So long as you return your boat to your end base by the date you've booked - you're free to enjoy your cruise however you like. For a comfortable pace, allowing you time to regularly stop and explore, we'd recommend an average of 2 - 4 hours cruising each day.

Fine wine in Burgundy

The Great River Saône Long Break

Fontenoy-le-Château
Port-sur-Saône
Scey-sur-Saône
Ray-sur-Saône
Gray
Auxonne
Saint-Jean-de-Losne
Seurre
Verdun-sur-le-Doubs
Chalon-sur-Saône
Tournus
Cuisery
Branges

50 hr(s) of cruising

319km 38 lock(s) 10 nights

The Great River Saône Long Break

Fontenoy-le-Château to Branges

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview

Following the River Saône, you will enjoy a picturesque cruising in a land of natural beauty, fine wines and gourmet cuisine. Discover the splendid châteaux near Scey-sur-Saône, visit the city of Châlon-sur-Saône and taste fine wines from the Côte de Beaune’s premier cru vineyards nearby, and stop for an historic walk in the roman town of Tournus or in the military town of Auxonne.

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Fontenoy-le-Château: Fontenoy-le-château has an interesting history so be sure to visit the museum and numerous churches. Discover the old paved streets and alleyways where time seems to stand still, visit the Tower of the Lombards and maybe take a look at the château ruins.
  • Selles: This small village is famous for its swing bridge, “Le Pont Tournant”, which dates from 1886. Moor close to the restaurant of the same name to visit the town’s historic washhouse, fountain and old church. Take the opportunity to stock up on delicious goats’ cheese at the Biodéal Rousey Cheese Factory, then cycle to visit the glassworks in nearby Passavant-la-Rochère, where the traditional art of glass blowing has been practiced since 1475.
  • Port-sur-Saône: A picturesque and welcoming town, Port-sur-saône has much to offer. Visit an old eighteenth century church, and discover the charm of the sixteenth century. You'll also want to see the magnificent, eighteenth century bridge: 13 arches long, it spans across all of Saône, offering you wonderful landscape views.
  • Scey-sur-Saône: With its tall tower houses, Scey-sur-saone welcomes you with many vestiges of the past. Visit the beautiful eighteenth century church, and walk along the banks of the Saint-Albin canal. The Scey-sur-saone castle cannot be toured but it remains a great sight to see.
  • Ray-sur-Saône: For being so small, this town has a lot of history. Ray-sur-Saône has kept its soul over the centuries, as you will see. Discover the former wash basin of the village, and the beautiful Saint-Anne church. The expansive Ray-sur-Saône castle dominates the valley and is open for tours.
  • Gray: Gray is a bustling town, steeped in history with fascinating preserved buildings that you can visit. Most notably are the Eglise, and the fortified chateau of Baron St. Martin, which is now an art gallery & museum.
  • Auxonne: Sometimes referred to as the "jewel of the Saone valley", or " the second capital of Haute-Saône", Auxonne was a strategically important fortified town in the middle ages. Nowadays, it is a market town.
  • Saint Jean de Losne: Saint-Jean-De-Losne has seen numerous wars during the last few centuries, and was named "Belle-Defense" by the king with several downtown monuments about its history still remaining. Walking through the streets, or over a beautiful bridge, you can also catch sight of Saint-Jean-Baptiste's church.
  • Verdun-sur-le-Doubs: This pretty and calm village is great for leisurely strolls. There are numerous houses just over the water that you can see when you cross the beautiful Floerew bridge. Verdun-sur-le-Doubs is a good place to stop and relax a bit.
  • Chalon-sur-Saône: Along the Saône, influenced by the history of the Burgundian kingdoms, is Chlaon-Sur-Saône. Discover its long and complex history and its beautiful monuments. The market place, with the Saint-Vincent cathedral, is magnificent to see. A truly beautiful city.
  • Tournus: Welcome to Tournus, a wonderful city filled with medieval monuments and vestiges. Here, you will have the opportunity to discover the beautiful Saint-Philibert church, with its high medieval tower covered in green ivy. The well-preserved abbey palace is also wonderful to observe. A great place to go for a walk.
  • Cuisery: Cuisery is one of the four famous Book Villages of France. There are more than a dozen book shops selling collectors' items in gravure, lithography, illuminated text, early comics, etc. You will surely enjoy this cultural visit. The Church of Notre Dame is also pleasant to visit.
  • Branges: Welcome to Branges, a calm and peaceful town. Take the opportunity to cycle along the canal banks, and explore the area. Downtown, you can have a drink on the terrace of a French village bar.

 

50 hr(s) of cruising

319km 38 lock(s) 10 nights
Vineyards of Burgundy

The Vosges and Saône Cruise

Fontenoy-le-Château
Port-sur-Saône
Scey-sur-Saône
Ray-sur-Saône
Fontenoy-le-Château

38 hr(s) of cruising

208km 52 lock(s) 7 nights

The Vosges and Saône Cruise

Fontenoy-le-Château RETURN via Ray-sur-Saône

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview

Varied and unique, France barge vacations in the heart of Burgundy have proven you made the right choice for a getaway! You leave the pretty town of Fontenoy-le-Châteaux and head out on the Canal des Vosges. You find yourself amidst beautiful scenery punctuated with pretty villages, each seeming to have its own palatial château! Relax and do some fishing on the River Saône!

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Fontenoy-le-Château: Fontenoy-le-château has an interesting history so be sure to visit the museum and numerous churches. Discover the old paved streets and alleyways where time seems to stand still, visit the Tower of the Lombards and maybe take a look at the château ruins.
  • Selles: This small village is famous for its swing bridge, “Le Pont Tournant”, which dates from 1886. Moor close to the restaurant of the same name to visit the town’s historic washhouse, fountain and old church. Take the opportunity to stock up on delicious goats’ cheese at the Biodéal Rousey Cheese Factory, then cycle to visit the glassworks in nearby Passavant-la-Rochère, where the traditional art of glass blowing has been practiced since 1475.
  • Port-sur-Saône: A picturesque and welcoming town, Port-sur-saône has much to offer. Visit an old eighteenth century church, and discover the charm of the sixteenth century. You'll also want to see the magnificent, eighteenth century bridge: 13 arches long, it spans across all of Saône, offering you wonderful landscape views.
  • Scey-sur-Saône: With its tall tower houses, Scey-sur-saone welcomes you with many vestiges of the past. Visit the beautiful eighteenth century church, and walk along the banks of the Saint-Albin canal. The Scey-sur-saone castle cannot be toured but it remains a great sight to see.
  • Ray-sur-Saône: For being so small, this town has a lot of history. Ray-sur-Saône has kept its soul over the centuries, as you will see. Discover the former wash basin of the village, and the beautiful Saint-Anne church. The expansive Ray-sur-Saône castle dominates the valley and is open for tours.
  • Fontenoy-le-Château: Fontenoy-le-château has an interesting history so be sure to visit the museum and numerous churches. Discover the old paved streets and alleyways where time seems to stand still, visit the Tower of the Lombards and maybe take a look at the château ruins.

38 hr(s) of cruising

208km 52 lock(s) 7 nights
Madeleine Chruch in Tournus

The Medieval Markets Cruise

St. Jean-de-Losne
Seurre
Verdun-sur-le-Doubs
Chalon-sur-Saône
Tournus
Cuisery
Branges
Louhans
St. Jean-de-Losne

37 hr(s) of cruising

293km 14 lock(s) 7 nights

The Medieval Markets Cruise

Saint-Jean-de-Losne RETURN via Louhans

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview

The call of vendors in the weekly market every Monday in Louhans reminds you that the ritual has gone on since medieval times. You bargain with merchants, and buy a baguette, some cheese and a bottle of wine. Then you head out on the River Seille. France barge vacations in Burgundy combine rural charm with watersports, shopping and fine dining!

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Seurre: A scenic town nestled next to a canal, Seurre is known for being the native village of the famous French writer, Bossuet. His house can still be visited and has been transformed into a little museum. In Seurre, you can enjoy a local popular dish, the pôchouse serruoise, made from fish.
  • Saint Jean de Losne: Saint-Jean-De-Losne has seen numerous wars during the last few centuries, and was named "Belle-Defense" by the king. There are several downtown monuments about this. Walking through the streets, or over a beautiful bridge, you can also catch sight of Saint-Jean-Baptiste's church.
  • Verdun-sur-le-Doubs: This pretty and calm village is great for leisurely strolls. There are numerous houses just over the water that you can see when you cross the beautiful Floerew bridge. Verdun-sur-le-Doubs is a good place to stop and relax a bit.
  • Chalon-sur-Saône: Along the Saône, influenced by the history of the Burgundian kingdoms, is Chlaon-Sur-Saône. Discover its long and complex history and its beautiful monuments. The market place, with the Saint-Vincent cathedral, is magnificent to see. A truly beautiful city.
  • Tournus: Welcome to Tournus, a wonderful city filled with medieval monuments and vestiges. Here, you will have the opportunity to discover the beautiful Saint-Philibert church, with its high medieval tower covered in green ivy. The well-preserved abbey palace is also wonderful to observe. A great place to go for a walk.
  • Cuisery: Cuisery is one of the four famous Book Villages of France. There are more than a dozen book shops selling collectors' items in gravure, lithography, illuminated text, early comics, etc. You will surely enjoy this cultural visit. The Church of Notre Dame is also pleasant to visit.
  • Branges: Welcome to Branges, a calm and peaceful town. Take the opportunity to cycle along the canal banks, and explore the area. Downtown, you can have a drink on the terrace of a French village bar.
  • Louhans: Louhans is a pretty city where you can enjoy walking along the beautiful arcades, where there are many shops and beautiful old buildings to see. Church Saint-Pierre, with its burgundian roof, is beautiful. Try the local speciality chicken, called Poulet de Bresse.

37 hr(s) of cruising

293km 14 lock(s) 7 nights
Discover Dole, a quaint French town

The Pasteur Cruise

St. Jean-de-Losne
Dole
Besançon
St. Jean-de-Losne

37 hr(s) of cruising

194km 52 lock(s) 7 nights

The Pasteur Cruise

Saint-Jean-de-Losne RETURN via Besançon

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview

On a Pasteur Cruise boat rent in Burgundy, you depart from the bustling port of St. Jean-de-Losne with its cobblestone streets and impressive architecture. You make your way to the old port of Dole, birthplace of Louis Pasteur, and you stroll the beautiful parks and wide boulevards of Besançon, where the majestic Citadel dominates the skyline.

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Saint Jean de Losne: Saint-Jean-De-Losne has seen numerous wars during the last few centuries, and was named "Belle-Defense" by the king. There are several downtown monuments about this. Walking through the streets, or over a beautiful bridge, you can also catch sight of Saint-Jean-Baptiste's church.
  • Dôle: A wonderful city. The port is situated in a very picturesque part of the old town, directly below the magnificent cathedral, less than 100 metres from the old quarter of tanneries. This part of Dole is made up of narrow cobbled streets, and very old houses. You can visit the house where the scientist Louis Pasteur was born, and numerous churches.
  • Saint-Vit: A small town where you can fill up at the supermarket, and discover the Osselle Cave (3km from the mooring). Stroll along the pedestrian-friendly pathway to admire the variety of its crystallisations, exceptional colours, stalactites, stalagmites and other geological curiosities. Close to the Doubs River, there’s a lake with a sandy beach, water slide, children’s playground, and volleyball and petanque courts.
  • Besançon: Besançon has many gems including its vast parks, wide boulevards and the Battant Quarter which was originally settled by wine-makers. You'll see some beautiful architecture here including seventeenth century facades fronted by wrought-iron balconies. The Citadel was built by the great military architect, Vauban, and offers magnificent views over the city and the river Doubs.

37 hr(s) of cruising

194km 52 lock(s) 7 nights
The beautiful Roman city of Auxerre

The Napoleon Cruise

St. Jean-de-Losne
Auxonne
Gray
Ray-sur-Saône
Scey-sur-Saône
Port-sur-Saône
Fontenoy-le-Château

32 hr(s) of cruising

210km 32 lock(s) 7 nights

The Napoleon Cruise

Saint-Jean-de-Losne to Fontenoy-le-Château

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview

You’re a fan of history, and in this part of Burgundy you can’t resist poking about the museum honouring Napoleon Bonaparte in Auxonne. He attended artillery school in this lovely city in 1788, prepping for his future escapades. As you head north, you stop in the old trading port of Gray for a bite to eat — beef bourgignon or smoked sausage with a glass of local Chassagne-Montrachet!

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Saint Jean de Losne: Saint-Jean-De-Losne has seen numerous wars during the last few centuries, and was named "Belle-Defense" by the king. There are several downtown monuments about this. Walking through the streets, or over a beautiful bridge, you can also catch sight of Saint-Jean-Baptiste's church.
  • Auxonne: Sometimes referred to as the jewel of the Saone valley", or " the second capital of Haute-Saône", Auxonne was a strategically important fortified town in the middle ages. Nowadays, it is a market town.
  • Gray: Gray is a bustling town, steeped in history with fascinating preserved buildings that you can visit. Most notably are the Eglise, and the fortified chateau of Baron St. Martin, which is now an art gallery & museum.
  • Ray-sur-Saône: For being so small, this town has a lot of history. Ray-sur-Saône has kept its soul over the centuries, as you will see. Discover the former wash basin of the village, and the beautiful Saint-Anne church. The expansive Ray-sur-Saône castle dominates the valley and is open for tours.
  • Scey-sur-Saône: With its tall tower houses, Scey-sur-saone welcomes you with many vestiges of the past. Visit the beautiful eighteenth century church, and walk along the banks of the Saint-Albin canal. The Scey-sur-saone castle cannot be toured but it remains a great sight to see.
  • Port-sur-Saône: A picturesque and welcoming town, Port-sur-saône has much to offer. Visit an old eighteenth century church, and discover the charm of the sixteenth century. You'll also want to see the magnificent, eighteenth century bridge: 13 arches long, it spans across all of Saône, offering you wonderful landscape views.
  • Selles: This small village is famous for its swing bridge, “Le Pont Tournant”, which dates from 1886. Moor close to the restaurant of the same name to visit the town’s historic washhouse, fountain and old church. Take the opportunity to stock up on delicious goats’ cheese at the Biodéal Rousey Cheese Factory, then cycle to visit the glassworks in nearby Passavant-la-Rochère, where the traditional art of glass blowing has been practiced since 1475.
  • Fontenoy-le-Château: Fontenoy-le-château has an interesting history so be sure to visit the museum and numerous churches. Discover the old paved streets and alleyways where time seems to stand still, visit the Tower of the Lombards and maybe take a look at the château ruins.

32 hr(s) of cruising

210km 32 lock(s) 7 nights
Romanesque church in Tournus

The Côte de Beaune Cruise

Branges
Cuisery
Tournus
Chalon-sur-Saône
Chagny
Branges

28 hr(s) of cruising

176km 32 lock(s) 7 nights

The Côte de Beaune Cruise

Branges RETURN via Chagny

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview

You'll start your cruise in Branges, a calm and peaceful town. Take the opportunity while you are here to cycle along the canal banks, and explore the area. Downtown, you can have a drink on the terrace of a French village bar. You'll then cruise to Chagny, taking in the picturesque villages of Cuisery, Tornus Chlaon-Sur-Saône along the way. Chagny itself is a pretty town, with plenty of restaurants, including the famous Lameloise. Among the numerous shops, the 18th century apothecary is always interesting. If you have time, visit the contemporary art gallery.

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Branges: Welcome to Branges, a calm and peaceful town. Take the opportunity to cycle along the canal banks, and explore the area. Downtown, you can have a drink on the terrace of a French village bar.
  • Cuisery: Cuisery is one of the four famous Book Villages of France. There are more than a dozen book shops selling collectors' items in gravure, lithography, illuminated text, early comics, etc. You will surely enjoy this cultural visit. The Church of Notre Dame is also pleasant to visit.
  • Tournus: Welcome to Tournus, a wonderful city filled with medieval monuments and vestiges. Here, you will have the opportunity to discover the beautiful Saint-Philibert church, with its high medieval tower covered in green ivy. The well-preserved abbey palace is also wonderful to observe. A great place to go for a walk.
  • Chalon-sur-Saône: Along the Saône, influenced by the history of the Burgundian kingdoms, is Chlaon-Sur-Saône. Discover its long and complex history and its beautiful monuments. The market place, with the Saint-Vincent cathedral, is magnificent to see. A truly beautiful city.
  • Chagny: Chagny is a pretty town, with plenty of restaurants, including the famous Lameloise. Among the numerous shops, the 18th century apothecary is always interesting. If you have time, visit the contemporary art gallery.

 

28 hr(s) of cruising

176km 32 lock(s) 7 nights
Vineyards in Burgundy

The Grands Vins Cruise

Branges
Cuisery
Tournus
Chalon-sur-Saône
Branges

26 hr(s) of cruising

192km 8 lock(s) 7 nights

The Grands Vins Cruise

Branges RETURN via Mâcon & Chalon-sur-Saône

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview

France barge vacations in the Maconnais-Beaujolais wine region of Macon indulge your palate with the local white wines. As you approach the city, which dates back 2,000 years, you can just taste the light and dry wine crafted from chardonnay and pinot blanc grapes. Another local favorite is Macon supérieur, a white wine with higher alcohol content. You’re up for that too!

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Branges: Welcome to Branges, a calm and peaceful town. Take the opportunity to cycle along the canal banks, and explore the area. Downtown, you can have a drink on the terrace of a French village bar.
  • Cuisery: Cuisery is one of the four famous Book Villages of France. There are more than a dozen book shops selling collectors' items in gravure, lithography, illuminated text, early comics, etc. You will surely enjoy this cultural visit. The Church of Notre Dame is also pleasant to visit.
  • Pont-de-Vaux: Take the 3.5km long canal which will lead you to Pont-de-Vaux town. The town hall houses a small museum with local artists’ paintings. Behind the harbour master’s office there’s the House of Water and Nature, with exhibitions dedicated to wildlife and the environment, with multimedia displays that children will love. Try your hand at fishing at the lake, south of the port - day fishing licences are available at the Tourist Office.
  • Mâcon: Mâcon is one of the oldest cities in France, and the capital of southern Burgundy. Despite its age, it was badly damaged during the religious wars so few relics of its past remain. One of its marvels is the Maison de Bois, built between 1490 and 1510, and certainly the most famous house in the city. Its wooden façade is decorated with a multitude of statuettes of monkeys and men. Stroll through the city and you’ll see St. Pierre church. Stop to admire its elegant twin spires which dominate over the town.
  • Tournus: Welcome to Tournus, a wonderful city filled with medieval monuments and vestiges. Here, you will have the opportunity to discover the beautiful Saint-Philibert church, with its high medieval tower covered in green ivy. The well-preserved abbey palace is also wonderful to observe. A great place to go for a walk.
  • Chalon-sur-Saône: Along the Saône, influenced by the history of the Burgundian kingdoms, is Chlaon-Sur-Saône. Discover its long and complex history and its beautiful monuments. The market place, with the Saint-Vincent cathedral, is magnificent to see. A truly beautiful city.

26 hr(s) of cruising

192km 8 lock(s) 7 nights
Winetasting in Burgundy

The Burgundy Wines and Cheeses Cruise

St. Jean-de-Losne
Seurre
Verdun-sur-le-Doubs
Chalon-sur-Saône
Chagny
St. Jean-de-Losne

26 hr(s) of cruising

154km 28 lock(s) 7 nights

The Burgundy Wines and Cheeses Cruise

Saint-Jean-de-Losne RETURN via Chagny

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right 

Overview

Follow down the River Saône up to the dynamic city of Châlon-sur-Saône then turn to the Canal du centre to reach the town of Chagny. You are now between 2 of the most famous vineyards of the World, the Mâconnais and the Côte de Beaune! Take the most of these fine wines by tasting them with some the local cheeses and gourmet cuisine! Just relax and make the most of the patrimoine and gastronomy of Burgundy!

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Saint Jean de Losne: Saint-Jean-De-Losne has seen numerous wars during the last few centuries, and was named "Belle-Defense" by the king with several downtown monuments about its history still remaining. Walking through the streets, or over a beautiful bridge, you can also catch sight of Saint-Jean-Baptiste's church.
  • Verdun-sur-le-Doubs: This pretty and calm village is great for leisurely strolls. There are numerous houses just over the water that you can see when you cross the beautiful Floerew bridge. Verdun-sur-le-Doubs is a good place to stop and relax a bit.
  • Chalon-sur-Saône: Along the Saône, influenced by the history of the Burgundian kingdoms, is Chlaon-Sur-Saône. Discover its long and complex history and its beautiful monuments. The market place, with the Saint-Vincent cathedral, is magnificent to see. A truly beautiful city.
  • Chagny: Chagny is a pretty town, with plenty of restaurants, including the famous Lameloise. Among the numerous shops, the 18th century apothecary is always interesting. If you have time, visit the contemporary art gallery.

26 hr(s) of cruising

154km 28 lock(s) 7 nights
Vision boat cruising through Burgundy

The Burgundy Vineyards Short Break

Branges
Cuisery
Tournus
Chalon-sur-Saône
Verdun-sur-le-Doubs
St. Jean-de-Losne

20 hr(s) of cruising

144km 6 lock(s) 4 nights

The Burgundy Vineyards Short Break

Branges to Saint-Jean-de-Losne

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview

The Jura wine region lies off the stern as you head out from Branges on the River Seille at the start of your Burgundy boat rent in France. As you travel, the magnificent vineyards of the Mâconnais and Chalonnais spread out before you! Cycling along the towpaths into Roman villages and larger towns brings you close to land and its people. Relax with wine at a pretty café!

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Branges: Welcome to Branges, a calm and peaceful town. Take the opportunity to cycle along the canal banks, and explore the area. Downtown, you can have a drink on the terrace of a French village bar.
  • Cuisery: Cuisery is one of the four famous Book Villages of France. There are more than a dozen book shops selling collectors' items in gravure, lithography, illuminated text, early comics, etc. You will surely enjoy this cultural visit. The Church of Notre Dame is also pleasant to visit.
  • Tournus: Welcome to Tournus, a wonderful city filled with medieval monuments and vestiges. Here, you will have the opportunity to discover the beautiful Saint-Philibert church, with its high medieval tower covered in green ivy. The well-preserved abbey palace is also wonderful to observe. A great place to go for a walk.
  • Chalon-sur-Saône: Along the Saône, influenced by the history of the Burgundian kingdoms, is Chlaon-Sur-Saône. Discover its long and complex history and its beautiful monuments. The market place, with the Saint-Vincent cathedral, is magnificent to see. A truly beautiful city.
  • Verdun-sur-le-Doubs: This pretty and calm village is great for leisurely strolls. There are numerous houses just over the water that you can see when you cross the beautiful Floerew bridge. Verdun-sur-le-Doubs is a good place to stop and relax a bit.
  • Saint Jean de Losne: Saint-Jean-De-Losne has seen numerous wars during the last few centuries, and was named "Belle-Defense" by the king with several downtown monuments about its history still remaining. Walking through the streets, or over a beautiful bridge, you can also catch sight of Saint-Jean-Baptiste's church.

 

20 hr(s) of cruising

144km 6 lock(s) 4 nights
Enjoying Burgundy wine on deck

The Pasteur Short Break

St. Jean-de-Losne
Dole
St. Jean-de-Losne

16 hr(s) of cruising

48km 18 lock(s) 4 nights

The Pasteur Short Break

Saint-Jean-de-Losne RETURN via Dole

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right 

Overview

From Saint Jean de Losne, follow the Canal du Rhône au Rhin, immerge yourself in a part of the history of France! Discover the medieval city of Dôle and its listed monuments like the Louis Pasteur Museum. Along your way, taste the local specialties: you are nearby world famous vineyards of Burgundy and of the Jura!

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Saint Jean de Losne: Saint-Jean-De-Losne has seen numerous wars during the last few centuries, and was named "Belle-Defense" by the king with several downtown monuments about its history still remaining. Walking through the streets, or over a beautiful bridge, you can also catch sight of Saint-Jean-Baptiste's church.
  • Dôle: A wonderful city. The port is situated in a very picturesque part of the old town, directly below the magnificent cathedral, less than 100 metres from the old quarter of tanneries. This part of Dole is made up of narrow cobbled streets, and very old houses. You can visit the house where the scientist Louis Pasteur was born, and numerous churches.

 

16 hr(s) of cruising

48km 18 lock(s) 4 nights
Delicious cheese market in France

The Petite Saône Short Break

St. Jean-de-Losne
Auxonne
Gray
St. Jean-de-Losne

16 hr(s) of cruising

129km 10 lock(s) 3 nights

The Petite Saône Short Break

Saint-Jean-de-Losne RETURN via Gray

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview

Billed as France’s largest centre for inland boating, the busy and picturesque town of St. Jean-de-Losne is situated at the junction of the Burgundy Canal and the River Saône. Museums, art galleries, restaurants, and modern facilities make this an ideal place to start your Burgundy boat rent in France! Gray and Auxonne invite you to linger!

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Saint Jean de Losne: Saint-Jean-De-Losne has seen numerous wars during the last few centuries, and was named "Belle-Defense" by the king. There are several downtown monuments about this. Walking through the streets, or over a beautiful bridge, you can also catch sight of Saint-Jean-Baptiste's church.
  • Auxonne: Sometimes referred to as the jewel of the Saone valley", or " the second capital of Haute-Saône", Auxonne was a strategically important fortified town in the middle ages. Nowadays, it is a market town.
  • Gray: Gray is a bustling town, steeped in history with fascinating preserved buildings that you can visit. Most notably are the Eglise, and the fortified chateau of Baron St. Martin, which is now an art gallery & museum.
  • Saint Jean-de-Losne: Saint-Jean-De-Losne has seen numerous wars during the last few centuries, and was named "Belle-Defense" by the king. There are several downtown monuments about this. Walking through the streets, or over a beautiful bridge, you can also catch sight of Saint-Jean-Baptiste's church.

16 hr(s) of cruising

129km 10 lock(s) 3 nights
Wine tasting in Burgundy

The Vosges Short Break

Fontenoy-le-Château
Fontenoy-le-Château

12 hr(s) of cruising

52km 22 lock(s) 3 nights

The Vosges Short Break

Fontenoy-le-Château RETURN via Ormoy

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right 

Overview

You’ve discovered that boating in France offers you many pleasures! You’re travelling down the Canal des Vosges and meeting up with the River Saône, and all the way Burgundy’s stunning beauty surrounds you! After cruising awhile, you stop in Corre to eat at a waterside café and to explore the museum, and then it’s off again to Port-sur-Saône for a spot of cycling and tennis!

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Fontenoy-le-Château: Fontenoy-le-château has an interesting history so be sure to visit the museum and numerous churches. Discover the old paved streets and alleyways where time seems to stand still, visit the Tower of the Lombards and maybe take a look at the château ruins.
  • Selles: This small village is famous for its swing bridge, “Le Pont Tournant”, which dates from 1886. Moor close to the restaurant of the same name to visit the town’s historic washhouse, fountain and old church. Take the opportunity to stock up on delicious goats’ cheese at the Biodéal Rousey Cheese Factory, then cycle to visit the glassworks in nearby Passavant-la-Rochère, where the traditional art of glass blowing has been practiced since 1475.

 

 

12 hr(s) of cruising

52km 22 lock(s) 3 nights
Tournus town on the river bank

The Petite Bresse Short Break

Branges
Cuisery
Tournus
Branges

10 hr(s) of cruising

88km 6 lock(s) 3 nights

The Petite Bresse Short Break

Branges RETURN via Tournus

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview

The boat moves gently on the River Seille toward beautiful Tournus, where you plan to stop for the night, dine in a café and explore. A Burgundy boat rent in France turns out to be exactly what you envisioned, a unique and relaxing way to see mediaeval cathedrals and small towns amidst a pastoral paradise of vineyards and forests.

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Branges: Welcome to Branges, a calm and peaceful town. Take the opportunity to cycle along the canal banks, and explore the area. Downtown, you can have a drink on the terrace of a French village bar.
  • Cuisery: Cuisery is one of the four famous Book Villages of France. There are more than a dozen book shops selling collectors' items in gravure, lithography, illuminated text, early comics, etc. You will surely enjoy this cultural visit. The Church of Notre Dame is also pleasant to visit.
  • Tournus: Welcome to Tournus, a wonderful city filled with medieval monuments and vestiges. Here, you will have the opportunity to discover the beautiful Saint-Philibert church, with its high medieval tower covered in green ivy. The well-preserved abbey palace is also wonderful to observe. A great place to go for a walk.

10 hr(s) of cruising

88km 6 lock(s) 3 nights

Our Feefo reviews

Feefo is an independent and impartial review service that requests reviews directly from those who have been on a Le Boat vacation. Below you can read what our past customers think about their Le Boat experience, and trust that what you read is unfiltered, unedited and uncensored.

Added on 29 September 2019

John Poirier said

Great congregate space inside and out, large windows, comfortable beds. Engine worked well. Lovely pastoral cruising, interesting and beautiful ancient villages, fabulous food and wine!
READ MORE
Branges - St. Jean-de-Losne
Vision 4
Added on 22 September 2019

John Thomas said

Well equipped boat, pleasant and helpful staff Boat had maintenance problems - hatches and windows leaked in rain Great location - only a few locks and interesting towns
READ MORE
Branges - Branges
Caprice
Added on 07 September 2019

Richard Lovegrove said

I was organising a large group, chartering a number of boats. While problems did arise, Le Boat staff were helpful, hardworking and efficient in dealing with these and suggesting logistical solutions. An interesting and varied route with some attractive surroundings and interesting challenges.
READ MORE
St. Jean-de-Losne - Branges
Mystique
Added on 07 September 2019

Tom Fitzpatrick said

good support service and would recommend to others Nice scenery on rivers and nice stops
READ MORE
St. Jean-de-Losne - Branges
Vision 4
Added on 07 September 2019

David Beattie said

Good briefing and boat in good condition Beautiful area with pretty towns and good food and wine
READ MORE
St. Jean-de-Losne - Branges
Clipper
Added on 06 September 2019

Barbara Austin said

An excellent pick up and return checking service. The staff were extremely helpful. Our whole journey as delightful. A relaxing time in rural France. We enjoyed being late in the season with little traffic on th canals.
READ MORE
Fontenoy-le-Château - St. Jean-de-Losne
Horizon 4
Added on 19 August 2019

John Morrison said

This is the 4th time we have used Le Boat. They know what needs to be done and they certainly appear to be good at doing it. The service from booking to boarding in Fontenoy Le Chateau was seamless. We had a problem with a faulty water meter so ran out of water. Unfortunately our call was after hours and the service operator spoke only French - so our problem remained unresolved until the following day. The staff are excellent. A taxi was not available to take us to the railway station on St Jean de Losne, so a staff member transported us to the station. Brilliant!! Beautiful river scenery with delightful towns
READ MORE
Fontenoy-le-Château - St. Jean-de-Losne
Elegance
Added on 14 August 2019

Nir Sagie said

We got very good service, the staff is very kind and available for any request Great area. many ways to go
READ MORE
Hi Nir, Thank you for the positive feedback. I'm glad to hear that you were well looked after by our teams and that you had a great holiday. We hope that we can welcome you on board again soon. All the best, The Le Boat Team
St. Jean-de-Losne - St. Jean-de-Losne
Continentale
Added on 31 July 2019

Evgeny Kandiba said

it was real amazing vacation perfect crew and grate price
READ MORE
Hi Evgeny, Thanks for the positive feedback. It's great to hear that you enjoyed your cruise in the Continentale. We hope to welcome you on board again soon! All the best, The Le Boat Team
Branges - Branges
Continentale
Added on 06 July 2019

Joerg Vanselow said

Friendly service flexible when necessary and customer focused. Well done. Extended their opening hours when we arrived late. Thank you
READ MORE
Hello and thanks for the positive feedback. I'm really glad to hear that you had a lovely holiday and that our teams did such a great job of looking after you. I hope that we can welcome you on board again soon!All the best,The Le Boat Team
Branges - St. Jean-de-Losne
Horizon 2