Alsace and Ardennes - a blend of cultures
Bordered by the Vosges mountains and the Black Forest of Germany, Alsace offers a boating holiday in superb scenery plus interesting towns and cities such as Strasbourg. Neighbouring Ardennes takes you through forests into Belgium.
Famous for its wines and beers, Alsace has a unique French and German ambience. Our four boat bases offer a range of cruises on rivers and canals – see timber-framed houses with bright window boxes, storks nests on chimney tops, and magnificent cathedrals and impressive buildings.
Eastbound from our base at Hesse descend France’s most spectacular boat lift at St Louis-Arzviller. Opened in 1969, the inclined plane replaces 17 locks along the Canal de la Marne au Rhin and raises or lowers boats 150 feet in just 20 minutes.
Then reach our barge base at Lutzelbourg, with its castle and crystal workshops. Cruise on to Saverne, noted for its chateau and beautiful rose gardens.
Next reach Strasbourg, home to the European Parliament and with a town centre classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is best seen by boat as the waterways take you through the very heart of the city.
Just south of Strasbourg, the Canal du Rhone au Rhin runs parallel to the vineyards of Alsace, their Riesling ideal with sauerkraut and the local plum tarts.
West from Lutzelbourg ascend the Arzviller boat lift, and after Hesse spend time at the Gondrexange lake before reaching beautiful Nancy and its excellent shopping.
North from Gondrexange follow the canal to the pottery town of Sarreguemines and Saarbrücken, capital of Germany’s Saarland.
From Saarbrücken a licence is needed to cruise into Germany, or a skipper can be arranged. If so, a fascinating 2-week three country circular cruise is possible to Trier on the River Moselle and through Luxembourg via Metz and Nancy back to Hesse.
West of Alsace is the forested region of Ardennes, home to wild boar and deer.
From our barge base at Pont-à-Bar follow the River Meuse through gorges to Charleville-Mezierès and picturesque villages and towns into Belgium on a one-way cruise to our barge base at Dinant-Anseremme.
Alternatively from Pont-à-Bar cruise south to Verdun or south west towards Champagne country.