France » Canal latéral à la Marne | Canal in France
The southern connection between Champagne and Paris
Canal latéral à la Marne | Canal in France: Characteristics & Overview
Rating of waterway
|Length of waterway:||66 km|
|Number of locks:||15|
|Lock dimensions:||38.50 x 5.08|
|Max. depth:||1.80||Max. headroom:||3.50|
|Degree of difficulty:||For beginners (few locks)|
|Requirements:||No license asked for hired boats|
|Character of waterway:||no rating|
|Profile of waterway:||Commercial traffic and tourism|
Waterway has access to:Canal de la Marne au Rhin | French Canals
Canal de l`Aisne à la Marne | French Canals
Canal entre Champagne et Bourgogne | French Canal
River Marne | France
Canal latéral à la Marne
Ile de France / Champagne-Ardennes
River Marne used to be navigable to the accesses of Marne-Rhine and Marne-Saone canal at Vitry-le-François. But it was on this stretch always rather capricious, once it has high water and soon after one could walk through it. For this reason, in 1845 the Canal lateral à la Marne was built and is also today still often used by fright vessels.
Advantage: A very well maintained canal with a good offer for tourism (Champagne). One has also the possibility to get to Reims, over the Aisne-Marne canal, and then to Normandy, Picardy and Pas-de-Calais.
Disadvantage: No special wharfs for leisure boats and no houseboat hirers.
It's a very nice region for gourmands.
As from the last town of navigable Marne, Epernay, we go back for about 3 km and pass the first lock into the Marne side-canal. Another 6 km and one lock further, we stop at the Quai of Ay, one of the many very charming villages of Champagne. Perhaps you’re lucky too and find the small Restaurant which made us so happy… Where ever one stops along this stretch, there is a nice, well looked after village. At Condé sur Marne the link to the Aisne turns off, on this you get in one day into the capital of Champagne, Reims. (See to this Canal de l’Aisne à la Marne). Three days later, we are back on the side-canal and just manage to reach Vraux, where we get fresh water in our tank. Our next stop is Chalons en Champagne, Reims was nicer, but a walk through the alleyways of the old town is well worth while. And, in the Restaurant “Angleterre” attracts a Michelin star!
This results in a bit late morning but we manage the last stretch to Vitry le François without trouble. Being an old junction for navigation, it has all services for repairing smaller or bigger damages on board. In the meantime the crew is taken care of at the small town.
Vine and Dine
As far as wine’s concerned one world should be enough Champagne! But, one must not forget that many other red and white wines of very good quality are cultivated in this region.
Food is light, fish, mussels, oysters and quails are often served, not to forget about the fantastic cheese variety!