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24 December 2014

2014 marked yet another year to sail with a pénichette© boat along the French canals and elsewhere. We would like to take the opportunity to thank you for being a loyal customer, and we wish you a very happy Christmas !

See you next year !

The Locaboat team

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17 December 2014

For a successful canal boat holiday with Locaboat, it's important to make sure you have the right kind of clothing.

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11 December 2014

If you're a beginner, handling and mooring your pénichette© or canal boat can seem a bit tricky at first. But if you follow a few expert tips, it's child's play!

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03 December 2014

More and more of you are opting for a go-where-you-like, no worries, Pénichette® canal boat holiday. For the benefit of any first-timers, we'll explain the reasons why!

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26 November 2014

Paul Devos and his wife had their first holiday on the Canal du Midi in 2003 and have been faithful customers of Locaboat ever since.

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19 November 2014

A Locaboat holiday means relaxation, but it can also mean new experiences: new food, culture, music... and the natural world. As you glide along the canals, you can renew your acquaintance with creatures of all kinds, from the most common to the most rare.

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12 November 2014

Sam Eletre, founder of a company in the hi-tec sector, divides his time between Paris and California, but loves to return regularly to the peace of the canals for his holidays with his wife.

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05 November 2014

What documents should you bring on board and what preparations should you make, before and during your canal boat trip?

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29 October 2014

Ten years ago, quite by chance, this retired couple from Marseilles became totally hooked on canal boat holidays.

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22 October 2014

Leaving your four-footed friend behind when you go on holiday can be quite a wrench. So why not take your pet with you on a waterborne holiday?

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15 October 2014

With 8,500 kms of canals and rivers great and small (of which 6,700 are managed by the organisation Voies Navigables de France www.vnf.fr), France can rightly claim to be Europe's premier inland waterway network. And it’s the only such network to boast two sea coasts: the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.

From the late Middle Ages, steps were taken to start managing riverbanks and waterways to avoid flooding, and to make it easier to transport both people and livestock. It’s even believed that in Germany, Charlemagne tried to construct a canal linking the Rhine and the Danube. But it was towards the end of the 17th century that the real masterpieces such as the Canal du Midi began to be built, and only one hundred years later that the first "tourists" – from the privileged classes, as you would expect, and few and far between – discovered the idyllic pleasures of France's waterways. The start of what we now know as "canal boat holidays" came about in the Roaring Twenties. The first guide to navigation on inland waterways was published in 1927, and in 1934 the director Jean Vigo produced L’Atalante, a cult film that tells the story of a young woman who’s in love with a bargee living on a barge. World War II put an end to all this fascination with inland waterways, and they were forgotten about in the new craze for beaches. It was at the end of the 1960s that local associations began to take an interest in the neglected canals. With the help of the English, who were the experts in canal boat holidays, the first houseboat rental companies opened. So that’s how what we call water-based tourism or sometimes "blue" tourism came about, and nowadays it’s really taken off. So why not join in? Now's the time: bookings for the 2015 season are already available on the Locaboat website.

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08 October 2014

When you try self-drive boat hire for the first time, you might feel a bit stressed. But as long as you stick to just a few simple rules, you should have no problems at all.

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01 October 2014

If your canal boat holidays will take you towards Germany in the near future, to the region around Mecklenburg, Brandenburg and Berlin, just keep following the waterway and it will bring you to one of the best horticultural shows in Europe.

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24 September 2014

Pierre Sallin and his wife Inès are looking forward to their 12th holiday next month aboard a 'Pénichette'® canal barge

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17 September 2014

Two workaholics explain how a fortnight on the water has allowed them to switch off completely from the daily grind... and rediscover peace and quiet.

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11 September 2014

Although we sometimes forget it, France is the number one tourist destination in the world. That gives you a good idea of how many gems there are to discover here. For instance… have you been to the villages of Brittany, Burgundy, or down in the south? On your next canal boat holiday, plan your route to visit (or re-visit) some of France’s most wonderful heritage spots.

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03 September 2014

Patrick Neubrunn has been a Locaboat customer since the 1980s and is a real fan of canal and river cruising. The trip that took his fancy this time was to Venice. A really different experience.

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27 August 2014

Locaboat has many models of self-drive boat available to meet the needs and tastes of its customers. But if you're a novice, it can be difficult to choose. So here's a guide to the main kinds of boat on offer.

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20 August 2014

The inland waterways routes offered by Locaboat have always made it possible to discover landscapes and the pleasures of the table: passing a famous vineyard here, encountering great French specialities there, and local produce just about everywhere. For truly dedicated gourmets or enthusiastic foodies, we're offering a holiday called “La Grande boucle des gourmets” (The Gourmets’ Great Circle Route): three weeks of waterborne relaxation and the best of French flavours!

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13 August 2014

To keep its fleet up to date, Locaboat regularly sells some of its self-drive boats. Fans of all-year-round boating holidays, here's what you need to know!

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06 August 2014

Holland is synonymous with canals: this small country threatened by the sea has always pumped water from the land to build navigable waterways. So what could be better than exploring its visual, floral, cultural, gastronomic, historic and architectural riches aboard a self-drive boat?

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29 July 2014

Holidaymaker and professional inland waterway boatmen are agreed: learning to manoeuvre a self-drive boat is no problem. Even so, there are a few basic rules that you need to know before you step aboard. The first of these is being able to recognise the main inland waterway signs.

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23 July 2014

When they’re not going for a dip or a cycle ride, playing board games or driving their boat, fishing on the canal or the river is one of the favourite pastimes for our sailors who cruise the inland waterways.

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16 July 2014

Maybe you already know about this, but all the 42,000 plane trees on the banks of the Canal du Midi have been affected by a disease that threatens to wipe them out. In order to rescue this wonderful heritage, Locaboat is sponsoring “Operation Replant the Canal du Midi”.

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10 July 2014

To the west of the Petit Rhône, in the Gard department, the Petite Camargue is a nature reserve that was classed as a "Grand site de France" this year. In other words, although the name might be “petite”, its landscapes and natural resources are anything but small.

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02 July 2014

Two workaholics explain how a fortnight on the water has allowed them to switch off completely from the daily grind… and rediscover peace and quiet.

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25 June 2014

Benoît Collin-Vincent is a lock-keeper at Joigny. As a boy he used to spend his time playing on the Ardennes Canal, and now it’s his turn to help inexperienced Locaboat sailors to navigate their first lock on the Burgundy Canal.

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18 June 2014

Travelling through Alsace and Lorraine on a rented canal boat can be a superb way of taking in some enjoyable festivals and interesting exhibitions. Make the events calendar your first port of call!

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12 June 2014

Nowadays, almost all the self-drive boats available for hire from Locaboat, from the “Terrasse” to the “Flying Bridge”, are fitted with what's known as a “bow thruster”. This is a small electric or hydraulic motor that can make manœuvring much easier, especially when docking or leaving the harbour, or when passing through a lock.

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04 June 2014

For Philippe Corset, boating is a great way to recharge your batteries, but it’s also a chance to reflect on what life's all about…

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28 May 2014

Francis and Françoise Richard, a 70-something-years-young Greek couple, have been regular Locaboat customers since 1991. They go cruising in a Pénichette®  twice a year.

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21 May 2014

Rain or fog… the weather’s taking a dive? Aboard your self-drive boat, bad weather doesn’t mean a bad holiday. Quite the opposite, in fact.

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14 May 2014

It may not be as famous as the Canal du Midi, but the Canal de Garonne runs through peaceful countryside with a very rich cultural and architectural heritage… Check it out!

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13 May 2014

Our brand new base in Saint-Martin-sur-Oust is ideally located, inviting you to discover the numerous possibilities of fluvial navigation that offers the region of Brittany, which landscapes will no doubt amaze you.

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07 May 2014

Setting off on a Locaboat self-drive boat and  living your life at the pace of the waterways and nature, that’s the best way to recharge your batteries, both figuratively and literally! Florence Menguy, Locaboat’s Director of Operations, is more concerned with the literal sense… She explains how to keep current on board!

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30 April 2014

Steering a boat for the first time might seem frightening. But as Florence Menguy, Operations Director at Locaboat, explains, all new skippers are shown the ropes from A-Z before they are put in charge of their Penichette.

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16 April 2014

It was back in 1996 that Denis Ravy discovered Locaboat and canal cruises along the Canal du Midi. Every year for almost 20 years, this company boss has faithfully returned to his post at the wheel of a Locaboat. Here he gives us the benefit of his expert tips for a first experience of self-drive boat hire ...

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14 April 2014

Right in the middle of the most famous vineyards of France such as the Côte de Beaune, the Côte Chalonnaise and Beaujolais, our base of Saint-Leger-sur-Dheune will give you the opportunity to discover the treasures of the Canal du Centre.

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09 April 2014

Europa 400, 600 and 700… three models of top-of-the-range self drive boats whose comfort and design are irresistible.

The Europa models of self drive boats are different from the Pénichettes® and look more like mini-yachts. With their elegant lines, these boats are the last word in attention to detail. The communal area (called the 'saloon' in boating terminology) is bright and glass-covered. The double steering positions (outside and inside) mean that you can get the best out of your holiday whatever the season. These models are the ideal choice for a cruising holiday along the canals and rivers of Europe.

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02 April 2014

From the Marne Canal to the Rhine, a distance of 378 km, you will have plenty of time to (re)discover the beauties of Alsace and Lorraine aboard your Pénichette®. It’s culture and nature all the way from Strasbourg to Nancy.

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26 March 2014

Ever since the late 1980s, Philippe Corset and his wife have been cruising on the canals of France, either with their family or with friends. This is the story of a quiet passion for travelling the waterways.

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19 March 2014

Anyone who has developed a taste for barge holidays will tell you the same: nothing recharges your batteries like going with the flow.

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12 March 2014

Easter Monday, the holidays of 1 and 8 May (which fall on a Thursday this year), Ascension Thursday, Whitsun… all perfect opportunities to try out a boating holiday.

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07 March 2014

Alain Trouvé, who spent a week holidaying with his family on board a Locaboat boat, talks about how easy it is to handle a canal barge.

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18 February 2014

Choosing canal boat holidays means choosing a different way to explore France. Whether you're cruising through Brittany, Alsace or along the Canal du Midi, you'll be bowled over by the unexpected gems along the way, perfectly-preserved and full of history.

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12 February 2014

Final checks: before taking charge of your canal boat, make sure you haven't forgotten anything, even though there will be plenty of stop-offs at villages for shopping, whether for pleasure or necessities, on your barge cruise.

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11 February 2014

It can be done… whether you’re a student, employed or retired, a family, a group of friends or a couple, with young children or teenagers, canal boat holidays are simple and don’t have to be expensive…

Holidays aboard a self-drive boat are fun for everyone: adults and kids, the young and not so young… When it comes to budgeting, it all depends on what you expect and what's available. But there's always a way to keep the costs down. The longer you book in advance, the better the deals we can give you. We also do special reductions to suit different types of customers: couples, families (there's a much-reduced price for children) or groups of friends who want to hire a large boat.

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03 February 2014

Using barge holidays to attend cultural events is an excellent way of getting to know an area. All you have to do is to arrange your dates for self-drive boat hire around the most interesting events.

Barge cruises that leave from Ketzin, about 40 km from Berlin, are a wonderful way to get to know the capital of Germany and its surroundings. This region, crossed by rivers such as the Spree and the Havel, has a wealth of culture and lots of unmissable events.

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30 January 2014

With the River Saône, the Canal du Centre, the Burgundy Canal and the Loire, there is no shortage of opportunities to cruise along among the vineyards and grands crus.

The Canal du Centre, which passes through the vineyards of the Côte Chalonnaise and the Côte de Beaune, will allow you to discover villages with names that are strangely familiar: Mercurey, Rully, Maranges, Montrachet… The Mercurey vineyard is one of the oldest appellations in France, mainly producing red wines*. It is one of the best growths on the Côte de Beaune or the Côte de Nuits and is one of the great Burgundy wines. So, of course, it’s impossible not to try at least one glass. Rully produces mainly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Maranges produces a red wine with notes of red fruit and liquorice or a white wine that makes you think of white flowers. As for Montrachet, it is one of the most prestigious wines in Burgundy

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27 January 2014

A 60-year-old couple, their two 30-year-old children, with their partners, and a little girl of three… and the canal barge glides along the Burgundy Canal. Alain Trouvé tells the story.

I heard about Loacaboat from some colleagues at work and I soon had the idea of organising family canal boat holidays When my daughter and her husband, who live in South Africa, came home for the summer it gave us a chance to all get together with my son and his partner. So off we went, six adults and our three-year-old granddaughter, on a canal boat along the Burgundy Canal.

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15 January 2014

Arriving in the canal boat by Venice lagoon, seeing the campanile and towers of La Serenissima rising over the horizon... an unforgettable experience offered by Locaboat.

There's no better place than Venice for a romantic break… If you hire a self-drive boat, you can explore unknown islands, wreathed in mist, step off onto deserted landing-stages and stroll along the back streets where tourists never go: just the two of you, enjoying Venice off the beaten track. You'll never forget that moment when you arrive in front of the Piazza San Marco, the Basilica and the Doges’ Palace, then go off hand in hand for a stroll around the city.

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08 January 2014

Canal boat holidays are all about having time to relax and enjoy life. If you go for a bike ride when you reach a stopping-off point, your holiday will carry on at the same gentle pace as life aboard a canal barge.

Towpaths, forest tracks, footpaths and small country roads are often found close to canals and rivers. Whether you choose choose canal cruises in France, the Netherlands, Germany or Ireland, there is nothing nicer, once you set foot on dry land, than having a bicycle for getting about. In fact, it's a must. It means you can easily reach the surrounding villages and towns, visit châteaux and listed sites, do a bit of shopping or simply explore the area close to your waterway.

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07 January 2014

Spending your holidays in a self-drive boat (no licence required) is a different way to explore the history and heritage of a region. If you set off from Joigny or Montbard, the cruise offered by Locaboat will enable you to discover two wonderful châteaux that stand on the banks of the Burgundy Canal. Just step aboard and go with the flow of the water and of history...