France » Canal entre Champagne et Bourgogne | French Canal

A new name for the old canal "Canal de la Marne à la Saône"

Canal entre Champagne et Bourgogne | French Canal: Characteristics & Overview

Rating of waterway

Length of waterway: 224 km
Number of locks: 114
Lock dimensions: 38.50 x 5.08
Max. depth: 1.80
Max. headroom: 3.50
Degree of difficulty: Some experience is an advantage
Requirements: No license asked for hired boats
Character of waterway: old waterway, to be rediscovered
Profile of waterway: Commercial traffic and tourism
Facilities groundside: Sufficiant

Weitere Informationen

Waterway has access to:

Canal de la Marne au Rhin | French Canals
Canal latéral à la Marne | Canal in France
River Saône, Corre to Auxonne | France

A boating holiday from Champagne over the Haute Marne to the Haute Saône
Advantage: There is not much traffic, canal and locks are well looked after and one gets therefore well along.
Disadvantage: Especially the region of the Saône side doesn’t offer many shopping facilities. Once passed the tunnel it gets much better.
Boat hirers see under “infrastructure” and “Saône Corre-Auxonne”.

Marne-Saône Canal, Champagne – Ardennes, Franche Comté, canal and history
After the Franco-German War France had to give Alsace and Lorraine to Germany. It therefore didn’t have access to the east anymore.  Only in 1907, the last stretch to the Saône got navigable. Some of the locks are served and some work with photocells. This also applies to lift- and swing-bridges.

The three canals; Latéral à la Marne, Marne au Rhin and Marne à la Saône are meeting  at Vitry le François.
Vitry is a small town with about 25'000 habitants and offers all amenities as well as a Gourmet restaurant.  One can get started easily and enjoy the lovely surroundings. In the middle of Pertes, then, the “Cigogne Gourmande” invites for a stop and enjoyment. At St. Dizier than we get the opportunity to fill up our pantry. We continue to the small wharf of Laneuveville (wharfs are rather seldom here but one can use the silo quays since they are hardly occupied today).  Wide fields get more and more replaced by light woods and there are many small villages along the canal. After 108 km we reach the old weaving town of Chaumont where we tie-up at the port. The center is about 3 km away, we therefore take our bikes for shopping and at the evening, we move our boat another 2 km to the small place of Chamarande where we can invite ourselves at the “Au Rendez-vous des Amis” for dinner. At km 138, Rolamport is waiting where we can do our shopping this time comfortably by foot. Soon after, the old town of Langres is awaiting us. The way up is a bit hard but the walkabout on the defense wall and the view is a nice recompense.
Next day, the 5 km long tunnel of Balesmes is coming along. It is a real adventure! After about one hour light is back and we can respire while passing the small village of Heuilley Cotton.
Soon after we recovered, we stand in front of a flight of 9 locks. Vilegusien-le-Lac comes just right for another stop. The autumn sun invites us for a visit to the barrier lake of Villegusien. It is fed by the small brook Vingeanne which will accompany us down to the Marne. The further 57 km to the Saône unfortunately offer no shopping possibilities and no Restaurants. But, the villages St. Seine-sur-Vingeanne and Fontaine Françaises can easily be reached be bike from lock 29, St. Seine! Wharfs are no problem along the way here. After the lock Chemin de Fer, at the latest, we should have decided whether we want to continue on the Saône south- or northwards….