Boating Holiday Search

Where would you like to go?
Starting between which dates?
Preferred start day (optional)
Please choose length of holiday
How many in your party?

Advanced options

Pet friendly No pets boat
Motor only Sailing only
Multi showers Multi toilets
Accessible 240V
Wood burner Elite boats
Onboard WiFi Bowthruster
All inclusive New boat

Search by Boat Name

Email Offers

Add your email below to receive our
latest special offers.

We're really social

Follow Waterways Holidays on Facebook Follow Waterways Holidays on Twitter Visit Waterways Holidays on LinkedIn Visit Waterways Holidays on You Tube Follow waterways Holidays Boating Blog

Proud members of

Waterways Holidays Boat Hire Association Memberships

Recommended by

Waterways Holidays is rated 4.9 stars by based on 4062 merchant reviews

British Marine Federation, Waterways Holidays profile Waterways Holidays APCO Membership Waterways Holidays Broads Hire Boat Federation Membership Waterways Holidays Membership
  • Cruise the beautiful French waterways

    cruise the beautiful French waterways...

  • sample fine regional cuisine

    sample fine regional cuisine...

  • Boating Holidays on the Canal du Midi

    enjoy the sunshine on the Canal du Midi...

  • Luxury Boating Holidays in France

    hire a luxury Linssen cruiser...

  • moor next to historic towns & villages

    moor next to historic towns & villages...

  • take time out on the Canal du Nivernais

    take time out on the Canal du Nivernais...

Find your perfect boating holiday in France today. Use our live availability search of over 120 self-drive French hire boats from a choice of 5 bases. Reserve online at direct prices or call our boating team on 01252 796400.

Boating Holidays in France

Boating Holidays in France on the Canal du Nivernais

Take time to discover regional delicacies and fine wine whilst on your boating holiday in France. You'll find locally grown products at weekly street markets in many villages and towns. All our hire bases have English speakers and you'll receive a warm welcome and full tuition on arrival.

Locks: Most locks are either manned by lock keepers or are automatic. Many of the locks are open during the day (please check opening hours) but close at lunchtime. All locks are closed on 1st May and 14th July.

Grocery shopping: Please remember to take some cash with you on your French boating holiday as some shops cannot accept payment by card. The currency in France is the Euro.

Fishing: You'll need to purchase a licence to fish.

Western France



Boating holidays in Anjou, FranceThe region is only 2.5 hours from Paris by car and boasts a network of 300km clear water rivers which are solely used for leisure and tourism. Ideal for beginners, there aren't many locks there are lock keepers to give you a helping hand.


There's something for everyone here; historic castles, abbeys, local annual festivals, numerous waterfront villages, and excellent gastronomy. Nature lovers will enjoy hiking through There's even an option to combine your boating holiday with golf



Grez-Neuville (L'Oudon). Closest airports: Paris-Orly, Nantes Atlantique

Sablé sur Sarthe (La Sarthe). Closest airports: Paris Charles de Gaulle, Paris-Orly, Nantes Atlantique

Laval (La Mayenne). Closest airports: Rennes



Central France

Canal de Bourgogne & Canal du Nivernais

The Canal de Bourgogne connects the Seine Valley at Laroche with the Saône Valley at St-Jean-de-Losne, covering a total distance of 242 km. Leaving the Seine Valley, the canal follows the path of the River Armançon, meandering through lush countryside, passing many historic towns and Chateaux before it reaches the heart of Burgundy.


The Canal du Nivernais links the Loire Valley to the Seine Valley. A beautiful canal full of charm, the Canal du Nivernais has excellent restaurants serving regional cuisine and fine wine. From Vermenton, cruising options include the medieval city of Auxerre via the River Yonne. The main sites in Auxerre include the Cathedral of St. Étienne and the Abbey of Saint-Germain.



St Florentin (Bourgogne). Vermenton (Nivernais). Closest airport: Paris airports.

One way hire: A one way hire option is available between St Florentin and Vermenton. Should you choose one way hire, the direction will be confirmed two weeks before departure. Car / driver transfer can be arranged.



Southern France

Canal de Garonne & Canal du Midi

Dating back to the 19th Century, the Canal de Garonne starts at Castets-en-Dorthe and meets the Canal du Midi at Toulouse. The base at Meilhan is close to Bordeaux, the capital of the Aquitaine region of France. The world's major wine industry capital, wine production in Bordeaux dates back to the 8th century. The canal has lots of straight sections that pass through pretty countryside as well as plenty of historic towns and villages.

The sun-kissed Canal du Midi in Southern France is perhaps the most famous canal in the World. Together with the Canal de Garonne, the Canal du Midi links the Atlantic Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, together with the historic fortified city of Carcassonne, a superb example of a fortified medieval town. The bases at Capestang and Le Somail are located on 'Le Grand Bief', a 54km lock free pound that runs between Argens and Beziers through the heart of the Minervois wine region.


Meilhan (Garonne). Closest airports: Bergerac or Bordeaux and Toulouse.

Capestang (Midi). Le Somail (Midi). Closest airports: Perpignan or Carcassonne or Béziers or Montpellier and Toulouse.

Prefer a boating holiday in the UK? An interactive map of the UK inland waterways is available here.