Canal and river cruising.

Back from a week of canal and river cruising on a houseboat in the Burgundy area, on the “Canal du Centre” and on the Saône River. You can see the approximate itinerary on the map below. We were on the canal between Saint-Léger-sur-Dheune and Chalon-sur-Saône, including 11 locks, and then on the river (with one lock).

We, including blogger friend Alain and one of his friends, could have chosen another week weather-wise, the spring feeling would probably have been better felt a week later, it was a bit chilly and grey. One advantage was that we were among the first cruisers of the year with no waiting time for locking etc..

Here are first some pictures from the canal part, which means a bit of exercise, jumping on the quays for berthing etc., but also a lot of time to admire the surrounding landscape.  Being in a wine area, we stopped for some tasting here and there and spent a first night at Chagny (with a three-star restaurant – “Lameloise” – which we just admired from the outside).

At Chalon-sur-Saône you reach the River Saône, much wider than the canal, with some commercial traffic. You meet some barges and some large cruising ships…

… but the surrounding banks still offer nice views…

… including a lot of birds.

The overnight stops can be made in medium-sized, nice towns like Chalon-sur-Saône, Tournus and finally at our destination, Mâcon, all with a long history and many landmarks, of course including churches and cathedrals, some dating from the 11th or 12th centuries. Among other photos here below, you may note some from the “Hôtel Dieu” at Tournus, a 17th century hospital which now also houses a museum dedicated to the painter Greuze, born at Tournus.

Fortunately, there were some good signs of the approaching spring.

Here are some sights from the boat, early mornings or evenings.

Alain, who is an experienced skipper, let me manoeuver from time to time, which could be made outside or – more often - inside.


Maria Russell said...

Thank you, Peter for this wonderful post!
Your beautiful photos tell us everything we could ask for.
It's easy to imagine what a great time you had.
So happy for you!

Amanda said...

It must have been a wonderful trip! I was born in the Nievre department and I know those canals pretty well.

Anonymous said...

Pas trop de pluie? Pas trop froid? Alain et toi semblez prendre votre rôle de capitaine très au sérieux!

Studio at the Farm said...

Great post, Peter!! It looks like it was a wonderful, beautiful trip despite the cooler weather. Thank you for sharing all these photos - my artist's eye is inspired.

Alexa said...

Looks like you had a great trip, the weather notwithstanding—and you certainly took some wonderful pictures. Thanks for sharing!

minwks said...

Lovely photos. The mists look wonderful in the canal in the early morning, It is hard to know how long to allow travel time in the canals. We hope to buy one with friends and explore the canals over several seasons,
Thank you for a preview,
regards Janine

claude said...

Je me doutais bien qu'Alain était avec toi. C'est une très bonne idée cette petite croisière sur rivière.
J'en ai fait une mini sur la Sarthe, c'est très agréable.
Merci pour ces beaux clichés.

JPD said...

No mention of wine testing ? I can't believe !

PeterParis said...

Dear JPD, yes there is a mentioning of it... and we certainly did some! :-).

Thérèse said...

Des images très douces, j'imagine que les images des dégustations de vin doivent être un peu troubles... Une formidable idée de petite croisière a faire en début de saison pour éviter les foules.

Tasmania wilderness cruise said...

I think that it was a pretty nice and enjoyable travel for you. Am i right? I am also very much willing to make such sorts of journey that would be sound fantastic for me and will able to give up me recreation. Thanks