River tourism, slowly but surely

To enlarge the map, click on the image

New-Aquitaine is characterised by a vast river network.

From the Atlantic, you enter via the Gironde, the largest estuary in Western Europe, allowing boats to head up to roughly 160 km in land, via the Garonne, the Dordogne, and their tributaries, the Isle, the Dronne, the Lot and the Baïse.

The Garonne canal is one of the most popular waterways of the region. It is still a dream come true in terms of sailing as, along with the Canal du Midi, it is able to join the Mediterranean from the Atlantic. Nowadays, this waterway is accompanied by a green way, a cycling route allowing amateur sailors to venture inland as they travel.

More to the South, in Adour near to the Pyrenees, there is the chance to discover another part of the region.

Some general information

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In figures
 River cruise on the Baïse near to Vianne

© Alban GILBERT / CRTA

Cruises, whether they are river or sea ones, are a strong growth potential market.

On an international level, Jacques Maillot (Nouvelle Frontière) estimates that the number of cruise passengers should double in the next fifteen years, in particular due to the emerging Chinese demand. “China will be the biggest market in 2030, with at least 15 million cruise passengers. After the Asia-Pacific region, Chinese clientèle will turn towards Europe. ” During an analysis of touristic Europe undertaken by the Chinese in their Hi Europe magazine at the beginning of the Euro 2016 competition, Bordeaux was ranked 12th among European cities, on the same level as Florence and Vienna.

Currently, foreign customers represent between 50% and 70% of the river tourist visitors on a national scale. The amount of river tourism business in France in 2014 totalled between 400 and 500 million Euros (source: Voies Navigables de France).

In its report to the government on sea and river cruises from 2015, Jacques Maillot specifies: “80% of foreign cruise passengers arrive at their embarkation point via direct flights”. He therefore suggests “By way of an example, we could quickly envisage accompanying the creation of direct lines and the accelerated deployment of low cost air lines over all of the river/sea airports.”

Departing from Bordeaux or Bergerac, the connections to Great Britain and Germany (including Berlin, implemented in 2016) are real assets, the British and Germans are two major customer groups for river tourism in France departing from Bordeaux and Bergerac.

The region’s assets
 Wine cruise on the estuary of the Gironde on board Le Sicambre

© Alban GILBERT / CRTA

Bordeaux, the regional capital, has the facilities to receive a foreign clientèle:

  • an international airport, which, in 2015, had the best growth of the major regional French airports with an annual traffic of 5,290,000 passengers, or +7.6 points compared to 2014. Low-cost generated 65% of the growth or 375,000 passengers more than in 2014.
  • The arrival of the LGV, which will place Bordeaux 2 hours 4 minutes from Paris from July 2017 (nearly 18 million passengers are expected on the Paris-Bordeaux route in 2017), could be complemented by the direct connection project via Eurostar between Bordeaux and London and via Thalys between Bordeaux and Brussels.

Finally, thanks to its leading product that is wine tourism, which generates nearly 4.5 million yearly visits, including 31% made by foreigners, the Gironde in particular is well placed to attract developing foreign markets. Tourists have tripled in 15 years in Bordeaux and 80% come to this city to visit it, with 56% coming for the wine tourism and 42% for shopping.

Features of our rivers

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The estuary of the Gironde and the Garonne river
 River boat ride departing from Bordeaux

© Maitexu Etcheverria / CRT Aquitaine

River tourism on the estuary of the Gironde and on the Garonne included: 200 river cruises departing from Bordeaux in 2015, or 30,000 passengers over 38 operating weeks. “That represents 200,000 overnight stays on board and at least 15% of the over-night stays pre- or post-cruise in the city of Bordeaux and its surrounding area”, according to Laurent Hodebar, Director of the tourism mission and city outreach at Bordeaux Métropole. To this you can add the 80,000 users of Day Cruises – river boats without accommodation.

As regards the economic benefits, a study carried out by Voies Navigables de France in 2014 noted the 2.5 million Euros per year generated by the large hotelships (spent by both passengers and companies).
Touristic assets: from the Gironde estuary the vast majority of trips offer a discovery of the emblematic landscapes of the banks of the Garonne: the vineyards of the greatest fine wines in the world sometimes extending to the banks of the river, Blaye and the Vauban citadel, Bordeaux with its noble 18th century façades and an entire UNESCO heritage site, Cordouan lighthouse, etc.

The Dordogne
 Barge trips, Château de la Malartrie

© Gabares Norbert

The Dordogne is navigable from the Bec d’Ambès, a point of confluence with the Garonne, until Bergerac.

It remains a river favoured for practising certain water sports, canoeing and kayaking especially.

Touristic assets The Dordogne boatman proposes visits to châteaux and villages which illustrate the image of this gentle France so well (La Roque-Gageac, Beynac, etc.). It also combines the pleasure of sailing along a river with enchanting landscapes (such as Lalinde, Limeuil and Trémolat – where the “bend” (cingle) surrounds the land) with that of taking the traditional vessels like the barges, steeped in history and legend.

In Lot-et-Garonne
 River trip on the lateral canal of the Garonne in Lot-et-Garonne

© Alban GILBERT / CRTA

River tourism in Lot-et-Garonne includes 85 house boats and 566 beds, or 2% of the département-level tourist hosting trade and 200km of waterways divided between the Baïse, the Lot and the Garonne Canal. Overnight stays on board a boat represent an estimated turnover between 2.7 and 3.2 million Euros.

Touristic assets: Guyenne with its melodious tone, farmhouses, villages and châteaux, rolling orchard landscapes, local flavours, etc. It is an historically rich land with bucolic landscapes; the South-West festive hub.

Baïse
It consists of 65km of river, including 40km in Lot-et-Garonne, the land of Armagnac and Good King Henry (Henry IV of France). Special departure point: Buzet-sur-Baïse, river intersection at the junction of the Garonne and Baïse canals. You are in Gascogne with a strong personality and popular and gastronomic traditions that are alive and well. Nérac especially remains an essential stopover on the journey, with its château, its bridges and its postcard port.

Lot
The Lot is navigable over 72km. It offers the amateur sailor a surprising touristic richness shaped by history: the farmhouses are renowned evidence of this, several remain essential stopovers. Similarly, discovering the characterful villages like Penne-d’Agenais, Villeneuve-sur-Lot, Pujols, Casseneuil, Castelmoron, Clairac and Le Temple-sur-Lot, as well as the pleasure of good food: farm tours, the prune museum, etc. remain recreational breaks for the sailor.
The Garonne Canal
It runs along the river over 193 km, punctuated by 53 locks and several remarkable works of art, notably the famous Agen canal-bridge. Lined with trees, it is also a towpath that has now become a green way offering a wonderful, completely safe cycling route.

Adour

Welcome to a place between Landes and Pyrénées-Atlantiques. Adour is viable when its settles down after the hustle of the mountains. It becomes Landes; salmon, elver and Bayonne ham country, a legendary country focused on gastronomy, with views climbing towards the Pyrenees

The great produce families

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Aquitaine has a very diversified market that we detail in the following paragraphs. To sum up, we differentiated between:

1. Large vessels
  • River cruise boat: boats at least 80 metres long with 50 seats, offering cruises over several days and trips on dry land. They welcome 130 passengers on average.
  • Barge hotels: boats less than 40 metres long offering 4 to 50 seats and proposing cruises over several days combined with trips on dry land.
  • Pleasure boats: boats welcoming 1 to 1,000 passengers for cruises without accommodation, with or without a restaurant.
2. Individual boating
  • Rental of houseboats or ones that are not inhabitable without a licence. Pleasure boats less than 15 metres, rented by a company, sailing on small waterways.
  • Private pleasure boating.
  • Water sports: canoeing and kayaking, jet skiing, stand-up paddle boats, etc.

River cruise boat

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Le Princesse d'Aquitaine from the CroisiEurope company

©CroisiEurope

Currently, 6 companies offers river cruises in Gironde.

River cruise boat can draw alongside Pauillac, Cussac-Fort-Médoc, Blaye, Bourg-en-Gironde, Bassens, Bordeaux Cadillac and Libourne.

The cruise offer takes place over several days with high-end services sometimes aiming for an equivalent of 4 or 5 stars in a hotel. They allow for the discovery of the cultural assets and features of the sites thanks to various scheduled stops along the waterways.

The cruise product can be offered:

  • as an “all inclusive”: on board a high end boat, trips and transport of passengers are included in the price of the cruise, or,
  • via a la carte services: on board more modest boats, trips are optional and sold on board.
Uniworld

The MS River Royale is a boat of the American cruise company Uniworld, which essentially welcomes Americans.

This 110m long vessel can welcome 132 passengers in vast, comfortable and very light cabins – the majority are equipped with large bay windows.
The MS River Royale offers cruises on the estuary of the Gironde departing from Bordeaux, with stops at Pauillac, Blaye, Libourne and Cadillac. Cruise themes offered: a trip on the Garonne and the Dordogne in order to discover the UNESCO World Heritage sites (Bordeaux, Blaye and Saint-Émilion); the most beautiful vineyards in the world; and the gastronomy of the South-West of France.

Language spoken : British English
Opening dates : every week from April to November www.uniworld.com

CroisiEurope

CroisiEurope is an Alsace company targeting a French and European clientèle.
A specialist in river and coastal cruises, CroisiEurope is considered as the European leader in river cruises. Trips are mainly a la carte, bought individually or in the context of a package. The company offers two boats on site:

  • MS Princesse d’Aquitaine, a 110m boat that can accommodate up to 138 passengers
  • MS Cyrano de Bergerac, a 110m boat also, with a 174 passenger capacity.

In the context of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, the company envisages the commissioning of a vessel suited to the high seas in order to join the port of Royan in Charente-Maritime and Bordeaux. “The first trials should take place in Spring 2017”, assures the Deputy Mayor of Royan, Didier Quentin.
Languages spoken: French / British English
Opening dates: March to October
www.youtube.com
Contact: Pontoons for river cruises (Chartrons)- 33000 Bordeaux
+33 (0)8 26 10 12 34
info@croisieurope.com
www.croisieurope.com

Aquitaine Croisières
 Bordeaux company Aquitaine Croisières

©Aquitaine croisières

A small Bordeaux company, Aquitaine Croisières wants to pass on the passion of its Bordeaux and boating origins across several generations

It offers, with the MS Bordeaux (a 78m boat with 49 cabins for 96 passengers), a unique river cruise concept combining wine and cycling tourism, for active holidays (discovering, by bike, the stopover sites), all the while benefiting from a floating hotel comfort: cabins with ensuite, restaurant, bar, three decks to relax, Wi-Fi connection. The trips offered are from 3 to 8 days. The company offers a great variety of cruises on the canal, the Garonne, the Dordogne and the Gironde, as well as scheduling between 170 and 287 kilometres of bike trips every week.

Languages spoken: French / British English / German
Opening dates: May to the end of October
Contact: Benauge pontoon – 24 quai Deschamps – 33190 Bassanne
+33 (0) 6 16 98 12 66 | +33 (0)6 87 19 04 85
www.aquitaine-cruises.com

Viking River Cruises

This American-Norwegian company targets an American, Canadian and affluent Australian clientèle. It is represented on site by the Viking Forseti, a 135m long boat that can accommodate 190 passengers, offering a trip based on luxury and living well.

Viking River Cruises, one of the two American giants of the cruise world, have chosen to bank on the Gironde capital to stopover there, offering, on its floating palace, services equivalent to those of a four star hotel.

Viking River Cruises offers cruises of a length of 8 days / 7 nights, accessible from 2000 dollars, with 6 guided tours, around the theme of wine and heritage, with possible stops at Bordeaux Pauillac, Blaye/Cognac, Libourne/Saint-Emilion and Cadillac.

Language spoken: British English
Opening dates: March to October
Contact: Pontons des croisières fluviales (quais des Chartrons) – 33000 Bordeaux
www.vikingrivercruises.com

AmaWaterways

AmaWaterways is an American company, created in 2002. It now has 21 cruise ships and is one of the largest stakeholders in the business, sailing on the famous European rivers and globally renowned waterways. It targets an essentially American and Canadian clientèle.

With the AmaDolce, a 110 meter long boat, the company offers a luxury river trip. An all inclusive cruise to discover prestigious locations including the Bordeaux vineyards, the military architectural heritage and the natural heritage of the estuary of the Gironde.

Languages spoken: British English
Opening dates: April to October
Contact: Pontons des croisières fluviales (Chartrons) – 33000 Bordeaux
www.amawaterways.com

Scenic Tours

Scenic Tours is the cruise branch of the Australian company Diamond. Since its arrival on the Garonne in August 2015, it is the team from the Bordeaux Excellence incoming agency which guides passengers through the charms of the region, on board the 5 star river boat, MS Scenic Diamond.

The Scenic Diamond is a 135m long boat with 78 suites that can transport 156 passengers. The company offers a “Beautiful Bordeaux” trip on the estuary of the Gironde, the Garonne and the Dordogne, via the prestigious locations in the Bordeaux vineyards and the essential sites of natural and cultural heritage.
Languages spoken: British English
Opening dates: April to October
Contact : Pontons des croisières fluviales (Chartrons) – 33000 Bordeaux
www.scenic.com.au

The barge hotels

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©Le Kevin

Cruises in barge hotels plan for stops with excursions in minibuses, coaches and even by bike, to visit the region inland.

The barge hotels target a high-end clientèle looking for French culture.

The prices vary from 1,200 Euros to 5,000 Euros per person for a week-long trip depending on the season and the services desired (vs 700 to 3,300 Euros for the large hotelships).

The high-end position attracts a clientèle which is 96% foreign (2013 data) including: 48% American, 15% British, 14% Australian.

Aquitaine Croisières

La Mirabelle, a 38m, 12 cabin barge hotel, offers, to a maximum of 30 passengers, the option of more intimate and private cruises. Present in the Aquitaine Basin since 2003, it sails around Bordeaux on the Garonne, the Dordogne and the Gironde, as well as on the Garonne Canal.

Contact : ponton Benauge – 24 quai Deschamps – 33190 Bassanne
+33 (0)6 16 98 12 66 | +33 (0)6 87 19 04 85
www.aquitaine-cruises.com

Le Kevin

On a different note entirely, Le Kevin, the only solar barge hotel in the world, has, for the last 5 years, been offering the chance to discover downstream Lot in tranquillity; a lively river and a welcoming territory. For a lunch or a weekend, various visits to natural sites, villages and producers.
Contact: quai des Gabarres 47440 Casseneuil
+33 (0)6 88 40 76 21
www.bateau-solaire.fr

Pleasure boats

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Our region is a trendy destination where the pleasure boat offer, otherwise known as day-cruises, is very comprehensive.

ON THE DORDOGNE
The Nobert Barges
 Barge trips, Village of La Roque Gageac

© Gabares Norbert

They are motorised replicas of the sail barges of the 18th and 19th centuries, offering 48 seats. The trips are with a guide in French or with audio guides for foreigners. They leave from La Roque-Gageac, a village classed among Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (most beautiful villages of France) and cover 6.5km up to the Castelnaud bridge.

Language spoken: French
Opening dates from 26th March to 31st October
Contact: Les Gabares Norbert – Le Bourg – 24250 La Roque-Gageac
+33 (0)5 53 29 40 44
gabares-norbert@norbert.fr
www.gabarres.com

ON THE GIRONDE ESTUARY AND THE GARONNE

The city of Bordeaux has become “THE” fashionable destination, an attractive city, ranked as the number one destination in 2017 by Lonely Planet. A break for a boat trip in a river boat completes the visit programme.

La vedette La Bohême

The company offers ocean trips with a welcome at the starting point of Verdon-sur-Mer, on the tip of the Médoc peninsula. The trip invites you to discover the wonderful estuary sites, the oldest lighthouse in France – Cordouan, a listed historical monument, nicknamed the “Versailles of the sea”. Two ferries are in operation: La Bohême II (80 passengers) and La Bohême III (99 passengers).
Languages spoken: French / British English
Opening dates: from April to October
Contact: La Bohème – 33123 Le Verdon-sur-Mer
+33 (0)5 56 09 62 93 | +33 (0)6 09 73 30 84
contact@vedette-laboheme.com
www.vedette-laboheme.com 

Le Marco Polo

It is a cruise ship with a 150 passenger capacity, which takes you for a day or an evening to discover Bordeaux and the wonders of the estuary (Bourg, Blaye, Cadillac, etc.).
Le Marco Polo was built in 1960 in Sweden. This wonderful boat is 33.5 metres long
Le Marco Polo offers several packages: a gourmet cruise, a cruise with wine events or a guide, stops in the most beautiful châteaux with tours and tasting sessions for the best Bordelais vintages, or even a cruise accompanied by a jazz trio.

Languages spoken: French / British English
Opening dates: all year long
Contact: Embarcadère Montesquieu, quai des Queyries, face à la rue Nuyens – Bordeaux-Bastide.
+ 33 (0)6 07 22 34 29
http://croisieres.marcopolo-bordeaux.com

Bordeaux River Cruise (formerly Gens d’Estuaire)
Bordeaux River Cruise

©ETCHEVERRIA Maitetxu

Offers numerous cruises to meet all your expectations with its fleet made up of three vessels:
– Le Sicambre, the latest arrival in the fleet is a restaurant-boat that can accommodate up to 250 passengers,
– La Sardane, a river boat with 74 seats,
– Le Silnet is a quick and comfortable water-taxi with 12 seats.
Bordeaux River Cruise offers you a rich programme. By way of an example: restaurant cruises, excursion cruises, UNESCO cruises, the latest development in 2017 – the Cité du vin Pass & tasting cruises as well as apéro Bord’O (cruise with aperitif and tasting).
More specifically for groups: Ile en Idylle cruise, or Terre & Océan estuary cruises.

Languages spoken: French, British English, Spanish, Portuguese
Opening dates: May to October in general
Contact: Bordeaux River Cruise pontoon – 2 quais des Chartrons – 33300 BORDEAUX
+33 (0)5 56 39 27 66
contact@bordeaux-river-cruise.com
www.croisiere-bordeaux.com

Les Croisières Burdigala

The company offers you a vast choice of “a la carte” cruises, for groups and individuals, and river trips to discover Bordeaux and the Port de la Lune from the river. Accessible to people with reduced mobility. Their boats:
– L’Aquitania, a 150-seat river boat,
– Le Burdigala, a 74-seat river boat
– La Clapotine, a 17-seat water taxi,
– Le Leopard d’Aquitaine, the latest arrival in the fleet, this yacht can accommodate up to 12 passengers.

Languages spoken: French, British English, Spanish
Contact: ponton des Croisières Burdigala – Quai des Queyries, face au n°7 – 33100 Bordeaux-Bastide
+33 (0)5 56 49 36 88 | +33 (0)6 07 19 75 86 | +33 (0)6 89 66 49 61
croisieresburdigala@orange.fr
www.croisieres-burdigala-bordeaux.fr

L’Arawak

An old rig and the last tuna boat built in 1954 at the Breton Port of Etel, listed as a heritage interest boat and moored at the Lormont pontoon, at the foot of the Aquitaine bridge, L’Arawak allows you to discover the natural and historical heritage of the surrounding area via trips on the Garonne and the estuary.
L’Arawak can accommodate 23 people on board.

Languages spoken: French
Contact : place Aristide Briand – 33310 Lormont
+33 (0)6 43 86 04 12
contact@bateauarawak.com
www.bateauarawak.com

ON THE BAïSE, in Lot-et-Garonne
Les croisières du Prince Henry

© Alain BEGUERIE / CRTA

75-seat varnished wood barge. From Nérac, one hour along the Baïse to discover the youth of Prince Henry, the future King of France, in the city, up to the lock.

Languages spoken: FRENCH, BRITISH ENGLISH, SPANISH
Opening dates: from March to October
Contact: Cale Haute Capitainerie du Port 47600 Nérac
+33 (0)5 53 65 66 66 | +33 (0)6 18 98 24 73
info@croisieresduprincehenry.com
www.croisieresduprincehenry.com

Croisières Cathy

Departing from Lavardac, the Cathy takes you on a cruise for the day on the Baïse, with the option of lunching or dining on board.

Language spoken: French
Opening dates: from April to November
Contact: 1 quai Laprade – 47230 Lavardac
+33 (0)6 09 33 15 96
www.croisierescathy.com

ON THE GARONNE CANAL
Gabarres Val de Garonne

The company offers discovery trips, lunches on the water, private days, children’s entertainment, etc. Services on site: sale of regional produce, drinks, ice creams, boat rental without a licence, bike rental.

Language spoken: French
Opening dates: from March to October
Contact: Gabarres Val de Garonne – Pont-des-Sables – 47200 Fourques-sur-Garonne
+33 (0)5 53 89 16 85 | +33 (0)6 13 45 44 85
emeraudenavigation@wanadoo.fr
www.emeraude-navigation.com

ON THE LOT
Gabarre Fuméloise

Sailing on the Lot river for over twenty years, the venerable Gabarre Fuméloise is still as lively as ever, and now offers you new events – going through locks and hiking routes – completing the boat trip. Events and tasting sessions on board.

Languages: French, Dutch
Opening dates: from April to November
Contact: Gabarre Fuméloise – Embarcadère du passage – 47500 Fumel
+33 (0)5 53 71 13 70 | +33 (0)6 31 89 60 36
gabarrefumeloise@tourisme-fumel.com
www.tourisme-fumel.com

Les Croisières du Lot

Au départ de Port Lalande à Castelmoron-sur-Lot (à 20 km à l’ouest de Villeneuve/Lot), partez avec Les Croisières du Lot pour des promenades commentées de 1h30 ou un déjeuner-croisière d’une demi-journée et découvrir la rivière Lot et ses collines berceau du pruneau d’Agen.

Languages: French, English
Opening dates: from May to November
Contact: Les Croisières du Lot – Port Lalande – 47260 Castelmoron-sur-Lot
+33 (0)7 78 11 16 50
contact@lescroisieresdulot.fr
www.lescroisieresdulot.fr

ON THE ADOUR
Croisadour

On the Adour, on board La Hire II, a 72 seat sight-seeing river boat, or Le Pastel, a picturesque motorised barge, Croisadour offers cruises with meal stops and guided tours on the river. In the wake of the barges, La Hire is guided by the towpath. Discover Landes via its rivers!

Language spoken: French
Opening dates: March to November
Contact: 102 Quai du Roc – 40300 Peyrehorade
+33 (0)5 58 73 25 87
croisadour@free.fr
www.croisadour.com

Bateau Le Coursic

A 55-seat Dutch boat for trips and cruises on the Adour or its tributaries. Cruises with commentary and text ranging from one hour to a day, with a stop for lunch in an inn.

Language spoken: French
Opening dates: February to December
Contact: 4 rue de Coursic – 64100 Bayonne
+33 (0)5 59 25 68 89 | +33 (0)6 32 64 11 42
adourloisirs@free.fr

Individual boating

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Boat rental without a licence

 River trip on the lateral canal of the Garonne in Lot-et-Garonne

©Alban GILBERT / CRTA

Also known as narrow boats, they can be rented generally for a weekend or a week. The opening up to sailing generally starts mid-March and finishes in October. The languages spoken on site are generally French and British English and for some companies German and Spanish.

Aquitaine Navigation

The port of Buzet-sur-Baïse is located on the Garonne Canal, at the junction of the Canal, the Lot and the Baïse. Aquitaine Navigation offers river holidays on the very comfortable and well equipped boats (barge deck with sliding bay door, double pilotage, towed swimming pool, etc. A hospitality team ensures the amateur sailors are initiated in piloting the boat and preparing their cruise as they would like. It is also possible to rent a barge or bikes for a day or half-day.

Contact : Port de Buzet – Val d’Albret – 47160 Buzet-Sur-Baise
+33 (0)5 53 84 72 50
contact@aquitaine-navigation.com
www.aquitaine-navigation.com

Emeraude Navigation

House boat rental without a licence on the Garonne Canal. Boats able to accommodate up to 12 people. Option of renting: Mountain bikes – hybrid bikes – electric hybrid bikes.

Contact: Emeraude Navigation – Port de Pont-des-Sables – 47200 Fourques-sur-Garonne
+33 (0)5 53 89 16 85 | +33 (0)6 13 45 44 85
emeraudenavigation@wanadoo.fr
www.emeraude-navigation.com

Le Boat
 The Lot valley - River tourism in Hauterive

©smav.lot.47 / CRTA

European leader of river tourism, Le Boat offers a wide choice of boats, traditional or very luxurious, from 2 to 12 people, all perfectly equipped. Sailing without a licence on the Garonne Canal, the Baïse or even the Lot. Bike rental for boat rental customers.

Contact: 44 rue de l’écluse – 47430 Le Mas-d’Agenais
+33 (0)4 68 94 42 80
info@leboat.fr
www.leboat.fr

Minervois Cruisers

House boat rental for cruises along the river. Come and enjoy an original trip as a family or among friends. Minervois Cruisers also offers port moorings and bike rental.

Contact: Minervois Cruisers – 47180 Meilhan-sur-Garonne
+33 (0)5 53 64 07 88
meilhan@minervoiscruisers.com
www.minervoiscruisers.com

Locaboat Holidays

From Agen port, you head into the heart of a 300km sailing basin on rivers and canals with varied routes steeped in history.
Along the river, between leisurely trips on the bridge, you stop to take a walk or a bike ride (rental possible at the port), or even to fish – Locaboat Holidays lets their customers know where to get a fishing licence.

Contact: Locaboat Holidays – 1 Quai de Dunkerque – Port de la gare du Pin – 47000 Agen
+33 (0)5 53 66 00 74
agen@locaboat.com
www.locaboat.com

 Canoeing on the Dordogne

©Alban Gilbert / CRTA

Water sports
Still in the context of individual boating you can discover the Dordogne and the Garonne in a different way…

  • via canoe-kayak
    In Périgord it is practised on the five main rivers of the département: the Dordogne, the Vézère, the Isle, the Dronne and the Auvézère. www.dordognecanoe.com… Over 5,400 boats are offered for rental, from spring to autumn. The Dordogne is the number one département in France for practising canoeing with the only 4 seater family canoes on the market – the famous C4 canoes!
    Likewise, it is possible to go down the Garonne in a canoe-kayak or in a SUP (stand up paddle) with a guide with Bordeaux-Canoë – http://bordeauxcanoe.com
  • via jet-ski with Bordeaux Jet – http://www.bordeauxjet.fr/
  • and sailing with La Galantaise de croisières and the “Capesterre” 11.5m sailing boat, for 9 people maximum, departing from Verdon

Projects and novelty

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 Port and water sports area of Bourg

©Tourisme Bourg

A good number of projects are geared towards the development of “river tourism”...

River tourism fluvestre brings together activities associated with rivers – like local water sports (canoeing, boat fishing, rowing, canoeing-kayaking, etc.) – and activities practised along the waterways – like hiking, fishing and heritage discovery visits.

Projects and latest developments

  • Le Musée de la Mer et de la Marine (sailing and ocean museum) is being built a stone’s throw from the Cité du Vin. Its opening is planned for the end of 2018. The monumental construction of an area of over 13,000m2 is planned over 7 floors.
  • The landscaping and urban design of the Quais de Pauillac with the creation of a pedestrian and cycle path along the banks.
  • The creation of a port in open water (50 rings) in Blaye.
  • The redevelopment of the Port of Plassac and the creation of footpaths along the estuary.
  • The development of the banks of the Dordogne and the Isle in Libourne.
  • The development of the quays and banks of the Garonne in Langon.
  • On the Baïse, the port of Buzet, known as an essential hub for river tourism, is the point of contact for travellers and holidays makers travelling by bike. The Accueil vélo boards, awarded by the National French cycling tourism federation, taking centre stage at the entrance of the harbour master’s office, ideally located on the green way.

Events:
In 2017, Bordeaux is celebrating the river as they do every odd year. The river festival will take place from 26th May to 4th June 2017, in the heart of the capital of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, with, once again this year, things starting off at the Solitaire du Figaro – Eric Bompard Cachemire.
www.bordeaux-fete-le-fleuve.com/

Conclusion

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 Small Barge on the Baïse

©CDT47 / CRTA

The river is another way to spend your holidays.
This method of slow travelling is characteristic of slow tourism, allowing for discovery and a full enjoyment of life’s pleasures. You will be drawn in by our heritage, our expertise and our very warm, kind, Gascon welcome.

Green tourism is one of the keys to the success of our region. Moreover, doesn’t it put everything in place for, and base the majority of its activities around, practising hiking and cycling tourism, kick starting this duo of slow tourism and ecology?

Lastly, eight good reasons to choose the destination:

  • Bordeaux, leader in tourism on an international scale.
  • The Canal du Midi, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1996.
  • Bordeaux, known the world over for its vineyards, stands out now with the completely new Cité du Vin, a Guggenheim of wine.
  • A rich heritage which begins in Pre-history (opening on 15th December 2016 of the complete replica of the Lascaux cave) and continues with the châteaux, the farmhouses and the modern wineries built by famous architects.
  • The most beautiful villages of France, more romantic than ever…
  • A rich gastronomy. To mention but a few specialities: oysters, caviare, salmon, foie gras, duck breast, Canelés, prunes, etc.
  • The Dordogne is listed by UNESCO as a “Man and Biosphere Heritage” site. Furthermore, the bed and banks of the Garonne are fully a part of the Natura 2000 European network.
  • Green ways developed on the towpaths of canals and rivers are enjoyed by families and bicycle experts: V80 along the Garonne Canal or the cycle route of the Lot Valley.
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One Comment

  1. Peter De Vries
    20 February 2017 at 13 h 18 min Reply

    Could not agree more: a houseboat holiday is the most relaxing way to enjoy your holiday.

    Bon voyage!

    Peter

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