Speak to a France Specialist (Mon-Fri 9am-5:30pm) 1300 858 304

About Self Drive Boats

About Self Drive Boats

You are the captain as you make your way along peaceful canals to discover the charm and mystery of hidden France. You have the freedom to stop whenever, and mostly wherever, you please, stepping off your boat to explore the many attractions of the local area on foot or by bicycle. No experience or licence is required to operate these boats and we can suggest models to suit everyone’s requirements - from small families to larger groups.

ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY

Access to and from the base

Our experienced staff can advise you of the closest airport, train station or car depot.

Ease of navigation

No experience required. Prior to departure, a captain’s handbook is provided and a demonstration is given at the base. Technical assistance during your cruise is available if required. Average cruising per day is 5 hours. We have considerable expertise in this unique type of holiday and are happy to share our personal cruising experience with you.

Locks

Most locks are automatic and operated by a lock keeper, some canals have manual locks. The time taken to go through a lock is 15-20 minutes on average (but varies depending on season and traffic). Our team can advise which canal is suitable for your requirements.

Where to moor

Generally, you can moor anywhere you want along the public canals or river ways. There are some restricted and private areas, but in most cruising regions, finding free moorings is not a problem. You may however, prefer to moor in a public or private marina which, for a fee, offer facilities such as electric hook-ups, water refill, showers, snacks, etc. Moorings in marinas are subject to availability so we recommend you call the marina a few hours before your arrival.

Bikes

We recommend you confirm bikes in advance. You can explore the surrounding towns and villages or simply ride along the footpath in search of a baguette!

Prices

All prices shown are per boat for weekly rental (8 days/7 nights). They are based on low season and should be used as a guide only. Actual prices vary according to region, boat type and time of year.

THINGS TO CONSIDER

Choosing a region

When considering a self-drive canal boating holiday, we recommend starting by choosing the region in which you wish to cruise. The following pages contain information about the regions and the benefits of each one. It is a very personal choice – everyone will be attracted to different aspects of self-drive canal boating, so it is important to choose a region that suits your group best.

Choose your region

Choosing an itinerary

The next thing to consider is the type of itinerary. Would you like to see as much of the region as you can with a one-way cruise (supplement applies, contact our team for more details), or would you prefer the convenience of returning to your starting point with a round trip? Sample itineraries in each region are available on this page: Self-Dive Boat Itineraries. Or you can also create your own. 

Self-Drive Boat Itinerary

Choosing your boat

Our boats come in a variety of layouts, so it’s easy to find the perfect one for you. Couples, families, and even large groups of friends will feel at home. When you have made these decisions, you need to consider the type of boat you would like for your trip. Boats vary in size and standard, but all contain separate sleeping cabins, fully-equipped kitchens and bathrooms with linen and towels. We recommend booking a boat with one extra sleeping cabin to store your luggage. View our available boats

Our Boats

Making a booking

Once you have considered all of these factors, we will be able to provide you with a quotation for your chosen travel dates. Please contact us if you would like more information or advice.

EXTRAS AVAILABLE

  • Late check out
  • Early boarding
  • Cruising assistant
  • Starter pack
  • Sundowner pack
  • Ecological cleaning pack
  • Cleaning service
  • Standard adult bike
  • Standard child bike
  • Tag-a-long bike
  • Bike child seat
  • Bicycle theft waive
  • BBQ and lantern
  • Sunder cushions
  • Angling pack - Only available in Douelle and Jarnac
  • Stand-up paddle boards - Only available in Jarnac (Charente), Douelle (Lot), St Jean de Losne (Burgundy), PortCassafières (Camargue)
  • WiFi
  • Special occasion gift basket

Enquire Now

Call us

Prefer speaking to us over the phone? Our French Specialists would love to help you out!

AU 1300 858 304

Opening Hours:
9am - 5.30pm Monday to Friday

Find out more information from our French Travel Specialist

Call us

Prefer speaking to us over the phone? Our French Specialists would love to help you out!

AU 1300 858 304

Opening Hours:
9am - 5.30pm Monday to Friday

  • Enjoy independent regional France holiday on board a beautiful boat. Being the captain of a boat without any licence is possible in France! You can visit world famous monuments, explore small villages and go to the markets to taste some French delicacies thank to this unique way of travelling! French Travel Connection will recommend the best itinerary and boat for you at the best price. Discover our special offers now!
    View Special Offers: Self-Drive Boats »
  • As the captain of your own boat, you won't just be holidaying on it, you'll also be driving it. Don't worry though, it's so easy that you don't need any license or experience! Think about your canal boat like your home on the water, fully equipped and functional with a large & well decorated interior. We offer an incredibly wide selection of boats, so you can find just the right one for your party. Browse our canal boats in France to choose the layout, features or style that you like best.

    View Boats »
  • Do you need help in planning your self-drive boat holiday itinerary in France? We offer various destinations in the different regions of France as you cruise along the beautiful waterways such as Canal du Midi and Camargue.

    View Itineraries »
  • You are the captain as you make your way along peaceful canals to discover the charm and mystery of hidden France. You have the freedom to stop whenever, and mostly wherever, you please, stepping off your boat to explore the many attractions of the local area on foot or by bicycle. No experience or licence is required to operate these boats and we can suggest models to suit everyone’s requirements - from small families to larger groups.

    View About Self Drive Boats »

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