Boating Holidays Masthead
Boating Holidays Masthead

West Burgundy Boating Holidays

The region of western Burgundy (Nivernais Loire) offers magnificent chateaux, peaceful landscapes, ancient villages and plentiful wildlife on a network of pretty waterways. Easy to reach from Paris, the region offers some of the most varied boating areas in France.

Our five cruiser boat bases and four penichette bases offer you an extensive choice of cruises.

West Burgundy Area Map

From our bases at Joigny and Migennes cruise the Canal de Bourgogne south east through Chablis wine country.

Discover the ancient villages of Saint Florentin, Tanlay, and Montbard, and the magnificent chateaux of Tanlay and Ancy-le-Franc.

Take the Canal du Nivernais – the prettiest in France - south from Joigny and Migennes through wooded hills to the rich plains of the Loire Valley. Medieval towns and villages are perfect places to stop and enjoy the cuisine and wines of Burgundy.

West Burgundy - the very heart of France

See historic Auxerre, picturesque Irancy, and Chatel-Censoir, a pretty village with 5th century crypt and ancient church, and also a cruiser boat base. Nearby Vezelay has a main street lined with medieval houses and a World Heritage site church.

Tannay and Corbigny both have boat bases and offer views over the Morvan hills. From Corbigny the descent south to the Loire winds through rich meadows grazed by the famous white Charolais cattle.

Between Sardy-les-Epiry and Baye three successive tunnels lead to a set of 16 closely spaced locks.

Decize, on a hill between two arms of the River Loire, has narrow and picturesque streets and walled fortifications. From our boat bases here and at Dompierre cruise further south through villages with their weekday markets to Digoin, famous for its potteries and aqueduct crossing the River Loire.

To the west of the Nivernais Loire region the gently sloping Canal lateral a la Loire follows the course of the River Loire with very few locks. See Nevers, steeped in history, or the more modern Formula 1 museum at Magny Cours. Enjoy views across famous vineyards to pretty wine villages such as Sancerre.

Going north on the Canal de Briare from our bases at Chatillon-sur-Loire and Briare, see the famous aqueduct at Briare and reach Montargis with its waterside streets and Moret-sur-Loing, home to the impressionist painter Sisley.

A cruise in West Burgundy gives you the choice of cruising routes in the very heart of France.


Area Highlights

Highlights of the West Burgundy Region

  • Easy to reach from Paris
  • Renowned for its wine and food
  • Stunning views from medieval hilltop villages
  • Beautiful architecture
  • Wonderful local markets with fresh produce
  • Hilltop village of Sancerre and its famous wine-producing vineyards
  • Delicious Crotting de Chavignol goats cheese - a local speciality
  • Formula 1 museum at Magny Cours
  • Nevers' rich cultural heritage - a former Roman town
Burgundy Canal Boat Hire

Useful Information:

  • Locks open on most public holidays.
  • Canal lateral a la Loire: An easy cruising route with automatic locks and lock-keepers.
  • Canal du Nivernais: No Commercial barges. Well-kept, easy to operate locks with lock-keepers.
  • Sardy staircase near Baye has 16 locks and a lock-keeper to assist.
  • Canal du bourgogne: Manual and automatic locks with lock-keepers.

Suggested Cruises from our bases in Burgundy Nivernais

Show Full Map
West Burgundy Boating Map

View Routes from:

Boat Holidays from Briare

Briare is located on the banks of the River Loire. From here, you can head north along the Canal de Briare, the oldest canal in the world, or south along the Canal Lateral a la Loire and over the impressive Briare aqueduct, once the longest navigable aqueduct in the world. The town is home to an impressive 19th century castle, Chateau de Trousse-Barriere built in red brick, as well as the beautiful Church of Saint-Etienne, a fine example of byzantine and gothic architecture. Briare also has a fascinating Mosaic and Enamel Museum.


One Way Routes

Briare - Cosne-sur-Loire - Sancerre - Nevers - Decize - Dompierre

One Way • 1 Week • 176km • 33 Locks • 4 hr 30 / day

Out and Back Routes

Briare - Chatillon-Sur-Loire - St-Satur - Sancerre - Marseille-Les-Aubigny

Return Trip • 1 Week • 154km • 30 Locks • 4 hr 45 / day

Briare - Rogny - Chatillon-Coligny - Montargis

Return Trip • 1 Week • 104km • 62 Locks • 4 hr 45 / day

Briare - Chatillon-Sur-Loire - St-Satur - Marseille-Les-Aubigny - Nevers

Return Trip • 10/11 days • 206km • 38 Locks • 5 hr 00 / day

Briare - Rogny - Chatillon-Coligny - Montargis - Nemours

Return Trip • 10/11 days • 170km • 92 Locks • 3 hr 30 / day

Briare - Chatillon-Sur-Loire - St-Satur - Nevers - Decize

Return Trip • 2 weeks • 270km • 56 Locks • 4 hr 00 / day

Briare
Briare Canal

Boat holidays from Chatillon sur Loire

Enjoy the beautiful countryside all around Chatillon-sur-Loire plus wander downtown and visit the beautiful church that dominates the city. You can try fishing in the river, or if you prefer a bike ride, there are several good cycle paths to explore.


One Way Routes

Chatillon sur Loire - Decize

One Way • 1 Week • 133km • 26 Locks • 27hrs

Chatillon sur Loire - Decize - Auxerre - Migennes

One Way • 2 - 3 Weeks • 316km • 151 Locks • 76hrs

Out and Back Routes

Chatillon sur Loire - Sancerre - Chatillon sur Loire

Return Trip • 1 Week • 180km • 38 Locks • 36hrs

Chatillon sur Loire - Briare - Montargis - Chatillon sur Loire

Return Trip • 1 Week • 122km • 62 Locks • 30hrs

Boat Holidays from Corbigny

Corbigny is gateway to the Canal du Nivernais which was built between 1783 and 1842 and has some of the most stunning scenery on the French Waterway. A highlight of the town is the Corbigny Abbey, an 18th century abbey which hosts a music festival each summer. There is also a Gothich 16th century church and traditional old houses in the town. Cruise south to Decize or north to Auxerre and descend towards the River Seine.


One Way Routes

Corbigny - La-Collancelle - Châtillon-en-Bazois - Decize - Dompierre

One Way • 1 Week • 122km • 70 Locks • 4 hr 15 / day

Corbigny - Clamecy - Vermenton - Auxerre - Joigny

One Way • 1 Week • 128km • 62 Locks • 4 hr 45 / day

Out and Back Routes

Corbigny - Tannay - Clamecy - Châtel-Censoir - Corbigny

Return Trip • 1 Week • 108km • 62 Locks • 4 hr 15 / day

Corbigny - Tannay - Clamecy - Coulanges - Vermenton - Corbigny

Return Trip • 10/11 Days • 158km • 92 Locks • 4 hr 15 / day

Corbigny - Châtillon - Decize - Nevers - Sancerre - Corbigny

Return Trip • 2 Weeks • 340km • 168 Locks • 6 hr 00 / day

Boat holidays from Decize

Situated at the junction of the Canal du Nivernais and the Canal Latéral à la Loire, and at the confluence of the Rivers Loire and the Aron, Decize is an interesting town to visit, and is full of history. Walk along the charming winding streets and discover the old fortified walls and the ruins of the Castle Decize. Visit the beautiful church Saint-Aré and marvel at the view over the Loire from the huge old bridge.


One Way Routes

Decize - Tannay

One Way • 1 Week • 99km • 72 Locks • 35hrs

Explore the charming Canal du Nivernais between Decize and Tannay and visit the grounds of Anizy chateau at Pannecot and the fabulous chateaux at Chitry-les-Mines and Chatillon-en-Bazois. Tannay overlooks the River Yonne, surrounded by vineyards.

Decize - Chatillon sur Loire (or vice versa)

One Way • 1 Week • 133km • 26 Locks • 27hrs

The Canal lateral a la Loire takes you to the hilltop village of Sancerre and its famous vineyards, where you can sample the delectable wines of the region. The Roman town of Nevers and the old town of Marseilles-les-Aubigny have a rich heritage to discover.

Out and Back Routes

Decize - Digoin - Paray-le-Monial - Decize

Return Trip • 1 Week • 130km • 32 Locks • 24hrs

Cruise to picturesque Digion, known for its ceramics and excellent fishing, stopping en route at the famous Romanesque Basilica at Paray-le-Monial.

Decize to La Charité-sur-Loire to Decize

Short Break Return Trip • 4 Days • 136km • 34 Locks • 30hrs

Boat Holidays from Dompierre

Our base at Dompierre in Southern Burgundy is a crossroads. Lining the canal banks are chateaux, abbeys and medieval villages. The Pal wildlife park near Dompierre offers some spectacular attractions with almost 500 animals from five continents able to roam in natural settings.

South from Dompierre reach the magnificent Digoin aqueduct which takes you on to the Canal du Centre, built in the 18th century to link Roanne to Chalon-sur-Saone. The Digoin aqueduct crosses the River Loire - a real waterways crossroads. Digoin is famous for its potteries, and a museum housed in an 18th century hostelry is devoted to them.


One Way Routes

Dompierre - Decize - Cercy - Chatillon - Corbigny

One Way • 1 Week • 122km • 63 Locks • 4 hr 15 / day

Dompierre - Decize - Nevers - Sancerre - Cosne-sur-Loire - Briare

One Way • 1 Week • 176km • 33 Locks • 4 hr 30 / day

Dompierre - Digoin - Decize - Nevers - Sancerre - Cosne-sur-Loire - Briare

One Way • 2 Weeks • 280km • 101 Locks • 4 hr 30 / day

Dompierre - Decize - Chatillon en Bazois - Clamency - Auxerre - Joigny

One Way • 2 Weeks • 260km • 129 Locks • 4 hr 30 / day

Out and Back Routes

Dompierre - Digoin - Paray-le-Monial - Roanne - Dompierre

Return trip • 1 week • 189km • 38 locks • 4 hr 45 / day

Dompierre - Decize - Cercy - Chatillon en Bazois - Dompierre

Return trip • 1 week • 170km • 58 locks • 5 hr 00 / day

Dompierre - Decize - Nevers - Sancerre - Briare - Dompierre

Return Trip • 2 weeks• 356km • 70 Locks • 5 hr 00 / day

Briare aqueduct
Charite Sur Loire

Boat Holidays from Joigny

Travel from Joigny through Chablis country past ancient poplar trees and buildings ranging from abbeys to fortified farmhouses. Tie up close to the superb aqueduct at Saint Florentin and climb up to its church to admire the superb stained glass.

From Joigny take the Canal du Nivernais and travel through the Yonne valley and glorious French scenery. Romanesque churches abound and famous wine producing regions lie close to the canal.


One Way Routes

Joigny - Auxerre - Vermenton - Clamency - Corbigny

One Way • 1 Week • 128km • 62 Locks • 4 hr 45 / day

Joigny - Tanlay - Ancy-le-Franc - Montbard

One Way • 1 Week • 111km • 52 Locks • 4 hr 45 / day

Joigny - Sens - Tanlay - Ancy-le-Franc - Montbard

One Way • 10/11 Days • 227km • 84 Locks • 4 hr 00 / day

Joigny - Tanlay - Ancy-le-Franc - Venarey - Pouilly-en-Auxois - Chateauneuf - Montbard

One Way • 2 Weeks • 233km • 195 Locks • 4 hr 45 / day

Joigny - Sens - Moret - Briare - Sancerre - Nevers - Decize - Dompierre

One Way • 2 Weeks • 379km • 105 Locks • 5 hr 00 / day

Out and Back Routes

Joigny - Tanlay - Ancy le Franc - Montbard - Joigny

Return Trip • 10 / 11 Days • 222km • 98 Locks • 4 hr 45 / day

Joigny - Ancy Le France - Tanlay - Montbard - Venarey - Joigny

Return Trip • 2 Weeks • 246km • 134 Locks • 5 hr / day

Joigny - Villeneuve - Sens - Bray - Nogent-sur-Seine - Joigny

Return • 10/11 Days • 256km • 48 Locks • 4 hr 15 / day

Joigny - Sens - Montereau - Moret - Montargis - Briare - Sancerre - Nevers - Decize - Chatillon - Baye - Corbigny - Clamecy - Auxerre - Joigny

Circular Route • 3 Weeks • 553km • 214 Locks • 5 hr 15 / day

Burgundy Canal
Montbard

Boat holidays from Migennes

Migennes is ideally situated at the head of the Canal de Bourgogne, the Rivers Yonne and Armançon. Here, you will walk with pleasure into the green public spaces, or along the flower-lined streets. Take time to see the pretty church, Christ-Roi.


One Way Routes

Migennes - Tannay (or vice versa)

One Way • 1 Week • 100km • 50 Locks • 28hrs

Explore the narrow streets and quaint shops in Vermenton and enjoy lively Auxerre, a Gothic city with a soaring cathedral. Try a wine tasting in Tannay, or venture into Chablis country.

Out and Back Routes

Migennes - Sens - Joigny - Migennes

Return Trip • 1 Week • 88km • 20 Locks • 21hrs

Visit the fabulous Gothic cathedral cities of Sens and Migennes on the River Yonne and stop en route at the medieval markets in Joigny and Villeneuve-sur-Yonne.

Migennes - Châtel Censoir - Migennes

Return Trip • 1 Week • 130km • 62 Locks • 32hrs

Migennes - Ancy-le-Franc - Migennes

Return Trip • 1 Week • 106km • 45 Locks • 29hrs

Along the Canal du Borgogne discover cultural treasures, splendid chateaux, restaurants and markets at St Florentin, Tonnerre and Tanley.

Migennes - Auxerre - Migennes

Short Break Return Trip • 4 Days • 50km • 38 Locks • 19hrs

Moor up in pretty Gurgy, sipping Vouvray wine and savouring Crottin de Chavignol goat cheese with friends.

Boat Holidays from Montbard

Montbard in Burgundy was the birthplace of naturalist Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon. Parc Buffon on the outskirts of the town has a magnificent tower which offers panoramic views, as well as an Orangerie which houses a museum. Nearby is the spectacular Fontenay Abbey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site nestled in a beautiful valley. Built in a Romanesque style, it is one of the oldest Cisterian abbeys in Europe with many of the original buildings still intact. From Montbard you can head north along the Burgundy Canal to the impressive chateaux of Tanlay and Ancy-le-Franc or south to picturesque Pouilly-en-Auxois and Chateauneuf.


One Way Routes

Montbard - Ancy-le-Franc - Tanlay - Joigny

One Way • 1 Week • 111km • 52 Locks • 4 hr 45 / day

Montbard - Tanlay - Ancy-le-Franc - Venarey - Pouilly-en-Auxois - Chateauneuf - Joigny

One Way • 2 Weeks • 233km • 195 Locks • 4 hr 45 / day

Out and Back Routes

Montbard - Ancy-Le-Franc - Tanlay - Tonnerre - Montbard

Return Trip • 1 Week • 115km • 62 Locks • 4 hr 00 / day

Montbard - Venarey - Pouilly-En-Auxois - Chateauneuf - Montbard

Return Trip • 1 Week • 122km • 144 Locks • 6 hr 30 / day

Montbard - Pouilly-En-Auxois - Chateauneuf - Pont D'Ouche - Montbard

Return Trip • 10 / 11 Days • 142km • 166 Locks • 5 hr 00 / day

Montbard - Pouilly-En-Auxois - Chateauneuf - Dijon - Montbard

Return Trip • 2 Weeks • 212km • 236 Locks • 5 hr 00 / day

Chateauneuf

Boat holidays from Tannay

Tannay is a pretty little village that has existed for centuries. After it was destroyed during the 14th century, people decided to build fortifications around it and they can still be seen today.


One Way Routes

Tannay - Decize (or vice versa)

One Way • 1 Week • 99km • 72 Locks • 35hrs

Tannay - Migennes (or vice versa)

One Way • 1 Week • 100km • 50 Locks • 28hrs

From Tannay cruise to the beautiful medieval artisan town of Clamecy, explore the narrow winding streets and enjoy a superb meal in a local restaurant. Visit nearby Chablis for a real Grand Cru experience, then take in Auxerre with its magnificent cathedral at the old heart of town.

Out and Back Routes

Tannay - Châtel Censoir - Corbigny - Tannay

Return Trip • 1 Week • 106km • 52 Locks • 34hrs

Auxerre at night
Canal du Nivernais

Please note that hours suggested above are approximate

Back to the Top