East Burgundy Boating Holidays

A boating holiday in eastern Burgundy (Franche-Comté) takes you through France's richest region - noted for its relaxed living, fine wines, excellent cuisine, culture and history.

On the network of tranquil waterways see quaint medieval towns and villages with forests and mountain scenery alongside pastures and fields of wheat.

East Burgundy Area Map

Our eight boat bases give you many options for your cruise in East Burgundy.

Under a backdrop of blue-tinged Vosges mountains Fontenoy-le-Chateau is a typical medieval market town. From our cruiser boat base sail down the Canal de Vosges through forests to join the River Saône.

One of France's most attractive rivers, the Saône has few locks and charming riverside villages. Cruise the Saône from our penichette base at Scey-sur-Saône , once a thriving port for the wine and wheat trades.

East Burgundy - rich in natural beauty

Our boat base at St-Jean-de-Losne is at the crossroads of the Burgundy waterways.

The beautiful Canal de Bourgogne leads north east through rolling hills and famous wine producing areas to the city of Dijon, famed for its palatial buildings and rich heritage.

East from St-Jean-de-Losne the Canal du Rhone au Rhin travels to the foothills of the Jura mountains. From our penichette base at Deluz cruise east to historic Baume-les-Dames and west to Besancon, where the canal arrives via a 394m tunnel under the massive citadel, and on to Dole through a canalised stretch of the River Doubs.

Cruising south, on the west bank of the Saône are the vineyards of Burgundy, home to the world’s finest wines such as Nuit St Georges. Joining the Saône at Chalon-sur-Saône, the Canal du Centre passes the renowned vineyards of the Cote de Beaune and can be explored from our base at St-Léger-sur-Dheune.

Further south the picturesque medieval town of Tournus has a Mediterranean feel. Turn off onto the unspoilt River Seille into the heart of the countryside past delightful villages to our cruiser boat base at Branges near the market town of Louhans. Or continue south of the Saône to Mâcon, famous for its red wines, and with a penichette base.

A cruise in eastern Burgundy takes you through a fascinating and varied region of France.


Area Highlights

Highlights of the Burgundy East Region

  • Famous vineyards near Branges
  • Michelin-starred restaurants and gourmet cuisine
  • Picturesque cruising on the Rivers Saône and Seille
  • Burgundian architecture and quaint villages
  • Dijon, the opulent ancient capital of Burgundy, renowned for its architecture
  • Louhans lively Monday market!
Port in St Leger

Useful Information:

  • River Seille: Easy cruising; self-operated lock; numerous well-equipped moorings.
  • Grande Saone: Between St. Jean de Losne and Macon. There are 3 large automated locks, manned by lock keepers.
  • Petit Saone: Easy cruising. Automatic locks operated by a lock-keeper and self-operated locks.
  • Canal des Vosges, Canal de Bourgogne and Canal du Centre - all locks are automatic some of which are operated by a lock-keeper.
  • Locks are open on most public holidays.

Customer Reviews

We wanted a leisurely trip allowing time to explore enroute. Worked very well with enough time to travel 8 locks beyond Corbigny before returning to base. One way trip very worthwhile with return taxi arranged by Corbigny base. Very efficient. The base also recommended and arranged a restaurant booking and taxi for our last night. Excellent holiday. KH
Joigny - Corbign
Hired a flying bridge Penichette boat from the Corbigny yard and motored on the Canal du Nivernais, a very interesting and quiet canal with local villages to explore each day, with plenty of locks and swing bridges to keep us attentive. JR
Corbigny - Corbigny
We just wanted to thank you on your special, warm and so professional treatment in us all along the way to our wonderful vacation in France canals. We couldn’t hope for anything better. All the process was very easy and friendly and even on the day of our flight when we encountered problems of being in the base on time - you were there fixing things for us. We will recommend all of our friends of course, and we will love sailing with you again in the near future. Keep up the great work you are doing! UG
St Jean De Losne - St Jean De Losne

Suggested Cruises from our base in Burgundy East

Show Full Map
East Burgundy Boat Hire Map

One way cruises are available between bases of the same colour.

View Routes from:

Boat holidays from Deluz

From the new base of Deluz, cruise east towards the foothills of the Jura moutains along the Rhône-Rhine Canal. Along your way, discover Baume-les-Dames and its historic centre. The church of Saint-Martin, the centrepiece of the town, is a listed historic monument.

Cruising west arrive at the fortress town of Besançon by either taking a complete loop of the river Doubs or by a 394m tunnel which passes underneath Vauban's massive citadel. Further west, the River Doubs between Besancon and Dole has been canalised and passes between spectacular cliffs.


One Way Routes

Deluz - Besançon - Dole - Auxonne - Gray - Scey-sur-Saône

One Way • 1 Week • 217km • 49 Locks • 5h /30 day

Deluz - L'Isle sur le Doubs - Beaume les Dames - Besançon - Dole - Auxonne - Gray - Scey-sur-Saône (or vice versa)

One Way • 2 Weeks • 313km • 93 Locks • 3h /30 day

See the Forge de Buffon
Cycling alongside the Burgundy Canal

Boat Holidays from - Mâcon

Mâcon has a distinctly Mediterranean feel with its pastel-painted buildings lining the lovely Saone river. The view across the river with the cathedral towers dominating the skyline is particularly beautiful. Attractions include the famous 15th-century Maison de Bois, whose façade is decorated in elaborate wooden carvings, and the Musée des Ursulines which is housed in a 17th-century convent. The town lies at the heart of the Mâconnais, Burgundy’s southernmost wine-growing areas, which produces mainly dry whites.

Boat Search by Start Base

Start Base: Mâcon


One Way Routes

Mâcon - Lyon - Mâcon - LaTruchère - Louhans - Tournus - Châlon - Chagny - Santenay - Saint-Léger

One Way • 1 Week • 173km • 25 Locks • 4 hr / day

Mâcon - Lyon - Mâcon - LaTruchère - Louhans - Tournus - Châlon - Chagny - Santenay - Saint-Léger

One Way • 2 Weeks • 336km • 35 Locks • 4 hr / day

Out and Back Routes

Mâcon - Cuisery - Louhans - La truchere - Chalon sur Saone - Tournus

Return Trip • 1 Week • 196km • 12 Locks • 5 hr 00 / day

Mâcon - Jassans Riottier - Lyon - Tournus - Port d'Arciat

Return Trip • 1 Week • 163km • 5 Locks • 4 hr / day

Moored Penichette in Burgundy
Vineyard in Macon

Boat Holidays from Scey sur Saone

Climbing north from Scey-sur-Saone on the Canal des Vosges through the forests of the Vosges you cruise through an amphitheatre of ash, silver birch and other trees. The towns of Fontenoy-le-Chateau and Epinal are both well worth a visit.

Going south from Scey-sur-Saone, take the Canal du Rhone au Rhin from Dole to Besancon. It follows the course of the River Doubs past rocky cliffs and between wooded slopes.

Boat Search by Start Base

Start Base: Scey-sur-Saône


One Way Routes

Scey sur Saone - Gray - Auxonne - Besancon - Deluz

One Way • 1 Week • 217km • 49 Locks • 5 hr 30 / day

Scey sur Saone - Gray - Auxonne - Dole - Besancon - Beaume-Les-Dames - L'Isle-Sur-Le-Doubs - Deluz

One Way • 2 Weeks • 313km • 93 Locks • 3 hr 30 / day

Out and Back Routes

Scey sur Saone - Port sur Saone - Corre - Fontenoy - Scey sur Saone

Return Trip • 1 Week • 138km • 36 Locks • 4 hr 30 / day

Scey sur Saone - Gray - Pontailler - Auxonne - Scey sur Saone

Return Trip • 1 Week • 202km • 26 Locks • 5 hr 00 / day

Scey sur Saone - Gray - Auxonne - Dole - Scey sur Saone

Return Trip • 10 / 11 Days • 266km • 46 Locks • 5 hr 00 / day

Scey sur Saone - Gray - Dole - Besancon - Scey sur Saone

Return Trip • 2 Weeks • 368km • 86 Locks • 5 hr 30 / day

Scey sur Saone - Gray - Seurre - Tournus - Louhans - Scey sur Saone

Return Trip • 2 Weeks • 506km • 42 Locks • 5 hr 15 / day

Ray Sur Saone
La Saône

Boat Holidays from St Leger

Go south from St Leger-sur-Dheune and Chalon-sur-Saône is an essential stop. This traditional Burgundy town is noted for its history and fine food. Tournus, another picturesque medieval town, marks the frontier to a different landscape, with its Mediterranean feel.

Cruising the Canal du Centre from St Leger-sur-Dheune you pass through some of the most renowned vineyards of the Cote Chalonnaise. Along the misting valley of the Dheune sparkle the varnished tile roofs of charming villages. At the foot of the Cote Chalonnaise are world-famous wine producing villages: Mercurey, Santenaywith its 13th century church of St Jean de Naroise standing amid the vines, Montrachet, synonymous with fine whites, and Rully with its 12th century castle.

Boat Search by Start Base

Start Base: Saint-Léger


One Way Routes

St Leger - Santenay - Chagny - Chalon - Tournus - Louhans - Mâcon

One Way • 1 Week • 173km • 25 Locks • 4 hr 00 / day

St Leger - Santenay - Chagny - Chalon - Tournus - Louhans - Mâcon - Lyon - Mâcon

One Way • 2 Weeks • 336km • 35 Locks • 4 hr 00 / day

Out and Back Routes

St Leger - Chagny - Chalon - Tournus - Pont De Vaux

Return Trip • 1 Week • 168km • 36 Locks • 5 hr 00 / day

St Leger - Monceau les Mines - Paray le Monial - St Leger

Return Trip • 1 Week • 138km • 84 Locks • 5 hr 15 / day

St Leger - Chagny - Chalon - Verdun dur le Doubs - St Jean de Losne - St Leger

Return Trip • 10 / 11 Days • 190km • 36 Locks • 5 hr 00 / day

St Leger - Chagny - Chalon - Seurre - Dole - Besancon - St Leger

Return Trip • 2 Weeks • 334km • 94 Locks • 5 hr 00 / day

See the Forge de Buffon
Penichette Boat 1500FB

Other two-week routes are obtained by combining suitable one-week routes.

Please note that hours suggested above are approximate

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Port-sur-Saone - Mantoche - Port-sur-Saone

Oneway • 7 Days • 158km • 22 Locks • 26 hrs

Port-sur-Saone - Gray - Dole

Oneway • 7 Days • 154km • 23 Locks • 24 hrs

Port-sur-Saone - Epinal - Port-sur-Saone

Oneway • 10 Days • 210km • 132 Locks • 65 hrs

Port-sur-Saone - Bains-Les-Bains - Port-sur-Saone

Return • 7 Days • 118km • 44 Locks • 28 hrs

Port-Sur-Saone - Gray - Port Sur Saone

Shortbreak • 4 Days • 124km • 22 Locks • 24 hrs

Dole - Gray - Port-sur-Saone

Oneway • 7 Days • 154km • 23 Locks • 24 hrs

Dole - Montbeliard - Dole

Return • 14 Days • 294km • 114 Locks • 69 hrs

Dole - Selles - Dole

Return • 14 Days • 434km • 61 Locks • 76 hrs

Dole - Baume-les-Dames - Dole

Return • 7 Days • 182km • 62 Locks • 37 hrs

Dole - Ray-sur-Saone - Dole

Return • 7 Days • 250km • 32 Locks • 40 hrs

Dole - Besancon - Dole

Shortbreak • 4 Days • 112km • 40 Locks • 23 hrs

Dole - Mantoche - Dole

Shortbreak • 4 Days • 150km • 24 Locks • 22 hrs

Dole - Verdun-sur-le-Doubs - Dole

Shortbreak • 4 Days • 114km • 18 Locks • 20 hrs