For a little help with decision-making or some inspiration for new vacation spots, we asked some of our houseboat experts where they most like to let go of their lines. And these are her vacation tips…
Burgundy Franche-Comte: good food and delicious wines
Andreas – since 2011 with Le Boat Germany
“I really like the waterways in France, because they are as diverse as the country and its people. As an example of the diversity of waterways, I would like to recommend the region of Burgundy Franche-Comte to you.
Start for example from our biggest base in St. Jean de Losne, which, by the way, we are enlarging and modernizing once again in order to extend our service for you once more. From this base you have several possibilities to explore this area. Drive e.g. head north and you will find the Saone in its original form again. The Saone becomes narrower the further you go and you can discover nature and its flora and fauna in undisturbed tranquility.
If you like it more lively, just head south. Here the Saone becomes wider and wider and it looks a bit like you are navigating on a lake. From Chalon-sur-Saone you will see the first river cruise ships, which start their journey south from this great city. However, you can navigate this great river individually and without constraint. Be your own captain!
As a tip I recommend you to visit the weekly market in Chalon-sur-Saone. Here you get everything that makes the gourmet heart beat faster. Stroll with all your senses through this beautiful weekly market and smell and taste your way through culinary France.
If you are interested in a tour south from St. Jean de Losne, I recommend you to take a detour to the Canal du Centre. In this canal, which stretches westward from Chalon-sur-Saone, you will experience a completely different waterway that is equally very typical of houseboat vacations in France. When I sailed the Canal du Centre, I fell in love with it. This narrow and quiet canal with its towpaths along the banks and the lovingly decorated small locks is simply idyllic. Just dock once, enjoy a picnic in the green, let God be a good man and enjoy the typical French cheese and wine.”
Canal du Midi: Culinary delights at their best
Mohamed – with Le Boat France since 2016
“My first houseboat trip on the Canal du Midi was a really great experience. After only one week on board I understand why this is the most popular houseboat region. It has so much to offer culturally and at a maximum speed of 12km/h you have plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful scenery.
During my boating vacation, I discovered my homeland, where I have lived for over 20 years, in a completely new way. Pretty villages line up along the canal and the cuisine is excellent. Not that I didn’t already know this, but I’ve actually never eaten as much as I have in this one week. The weekly market in Narbonne is a special attraction for me. For the foie gras and delicious wine alone, I will go again in the future.”
Canal du Nivernais: the perfect combination of nature and culture
Isabelle – with Le Boat France since 1991
“I love the originality of nature and untouched landscapes. That’s why I prefer to relax on the Canal du Nivernais and on the Yonne. The scenery along the waters is so exceptional and varied: starting from the Morvan mountains, continuing through the valleys of the Yonne and ending with the hills near Auxerre.
If you also want to get to know a bit of French culture, this is also the place to go. The Nivernais region combines nature and culture like no other. Everybody will find his favorite place or several places here. My highlights include a relaxing coffee break in Auxerre, a visit to Chatel Censoir (for its history alone), a stop in one of the typical villages like Clamecy or Mailly le Chateau, and a tasting in the vineyards of Chablis. But my absolute favorite place is however Sardy Tal. The fauna and flora as well as the bucolic landscape are so unique that I am always thrilled and start to dream when I am there. “
Charente: A river to remember
Nadege – with Le Boat France since 2006
“My vacation recommendation is the beautiful calming Charente… nowhere is it as quiet and peaceful as on this river. It flows gently through the hilly region and meanders past wonderful vineyards. Get on board in Jarnac and let yourself drift towards Cognac. The magnificent Chateau de Cognac is already impressive, but the story behind it will leave you in awe. Oh, and while you are there, be sure to try the cognac!
On the onward journey I always stop in Saintes. After all, there is always something new to discover in this dynamic city. The best way to see the most important sights is to take a ride on a small streetcar. The historical statues of this ancient Roman city and its famous amphitheater are not to be missed.
You will remember this region and especially the Charente River for the rest of your life and will always have a smile on your face.”
Mecklenburg and Brandenburg: crystal clear water and fresh fish
Steffi – with Le Boat Germany since 2004
“In fact, I’ve been to almost every cruising area, but I’m particularly fond of the Wolfsbruch Marina.
I prefer varied waterways and this is definitely the case up there. For me the highlight par excellence: dropping the anchor and jumping from the boat directly into the lake! Then relax on deck with good music and a tasty wine, and later fire up the grill. Wonderful! Even a short trip from Wolfsbruch Marina is worth it.
If you are on the road for a longer time, then the Muritz is of course part of your tour. One of my favorite towns at the Muritz is Waren. Here it is so nice to stroll, eat ice cream and store. Pure vacation feeling. In July the Muritzfest is a must.
I love fish, so do you? Then you are in Mecklenburg& Brandenburg just right. Everywhere you get the “catch of the day” mostly for little money. Or just cast your fishing rod yourself. Happy fishing!”
Ireland: Green, hospitable and musical
Katja – since 2009 with Le Boat Germany
“My travel tip is the Shannon. It is ideal for boating because it offers a lot of room to navigate and is varied – sometimes it goes over wide lakes, then the river meanders through lush pastureland. I love the green nature and the mentality of the people: People are open, helpful and always ready for a chat. No matter where you dock, you’ll find a pub in every village. Especially on weekends there is a lot of Irish live music played. Hach, my heart rises just thinking about it… By the way, you can eat very tasty in most of the pubs!
A must is the visit of the monastery Clonmacnoise – a really mystical place. I especially liked the dreamy Shannon-Erne-Canal with its lush banks and enchanted river bends.”
As different as the cruising areas are, they all have one thing in common: The incomparable views from the sun deck make every houseboarder’s heart beat faster!