Hire Boat: Tamaris


At A Glance

Key Features:

  • Forward cabin with two single bed convertible to a double bed (not in Alsace and Burgundy)
  • Spacious saloon with interior steering position, opening roof, dining table, convertible double bed or two single beds
  • Rear cabin with double bed and en suite bathroom with shower and toilet
  • Upper sundeck with second steering position and bench seats
  • Shore power available on some models

About canal boat rental holidays and vacations

Self drive hire boats are easy to operate and clients are always given thorough hands-on instruction before setting out – including about dealing with the locks that punctuate French inland ‘voyages’, that are straightforward to become familiar with, and that actually provide lots of interest for the boating holiday or vacation. Steering positions are located either inside the hire boat or outside (in the sunshine) on an aft (rear) deck or on the boat’s roof. Controls are simple – a steering wheel for direction and a throttle linked to an automatic gearbox. Push the lever to go forward, pull back to go into reverse and slow down. Some boats have bow-thrusters to push the boat sideways and help change direction at slow speeds.

On a boating holiday or vacation on the rivers and canals of France it is possible to stop – to moor up – almost anywhere. Against the river or canal bank in the middle of some gloriously peaceful scenic countryside, or to a quayside or pontoon in the middle of a picturesque historic village. Not only does every day bring fresh scenes, fresh pleasures, but also almost every turn of the waterway does the same.

For more information, see the “All About Hire Boating” page


Tamaris regions - North Burgundy-Nivernais | Camargue-Mediterranean | Midi-Languedoc


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Hire Boating – Northern Burgundy and The Nivernais

map loire nivernais► Self-drive boats available in Northern Burgundy-Nivernais-Upper Loire
Hire Fleets and Bases
 France Afloat/Linssen: Vermenton and Tonnere
 Locaboat/Linssen: Joigny, Corbigny and Montbard
 LeBoat: Migennes and Tannay
 Nicols: Brienon and Venarey-les-Laumes

Canal du Nivernais – River Yonne – Canal de Bourgogne

A hundred miles south east of Paris, North Burgundy is a region steeped in culture and history and is considered by some to be the gastronomic heart of France, with its Boeuf Bourguignon, its buttery garlicky snails and its Coq au Vin, not to mention its stunning Chablis wine. To the west of it, the Nivernais Canal links the Loire and the Seine basins and crosses the remote and beautiful heathland of the Morvan.

Among the Nivernais’ natural wonders are the Rochers de Saussois, a limestone bluff that soars above the River Yonne which feeds the canal as it goes, while man-made highlights include the Chateau de Tanlay with its romantic moat and famous trompe l’oeil frescoes. The breathtaking abbey at Vezelay is the starting point for one of the pilgrimage routes to Santiago di Compostella , while Fontenay Abbey was built by St Bernard of Clairvaux in 1118 and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Still on a religious theme, Auxerre is a historic city of such astounding loveliness that it boasts not just an 11th century cathedral, but a 12th century abbey too.

The lives of more ordinary folk are evident Villeneuve sur Yonne and the beautiful half-timbered town of Noyers-sur-Serein with its characteristic mediaeval arcades, where walnuts and truffles were traded and enjoyed as a complement to the fine local wine.

– [below] In the region: Villeneuve sur Yonne, Fontenay, Tanlay, Noyers-sur-Serein, Auxerre, the Morvan, Saussois, the Canal du Nivernais –

yonne-villeneuve-500x300 abbaye-fontenay-500x300 c-de-bourgogne-500x300 tanlay-500x300 noyers-sur-serein-500x300

auxerre-500x300 morvan saussois-500x300 nivernais-lock-500x300 nivernais-liftbridge2-500x300


Hire Boating – Camargue and Mediterranean Coast

map camargue provence► Self-drive boats available in Camargue-Languedoc
 LeBoat: Beaucaire and St Gilles
 Locaboat: Lattes (Montpellier)
 Nicols: Aigues-Mortes and Bellegarde

Canal Rhone a Sete – River Lez

The River Rhone rises in the Swiss Alps and is joined by the Saone at Lyon becoming one of Europe’s major waterways,  and as it heads south it passes memorable and famous towns such as Valence, Viviers (a beautiful hilltop medieval village overlooking the river), Avignon with its famous bridge and papal palace, and finally Arles, where Van Gogh created his most iconic sun-drenched paintings. Here, the Petit Rhone branches off into the Camargue,  Europe’s largest river delta where the reed marshes are teeming with wildlife – including over 350 species of waterbirds, wild black bulls and the famous white Camargue horses. Not to be missed is the fortified crusader town of Aigues Mortes, founded by the French King Saint Louis in 1242.

Heading west from Aigues-Mortes, just metres from the Mediterranean, runs the lock-free Rhone-Sete Canal arriving at France’s own Venetian-style seaport, Sete, and the Etang de Thau, a large inland lagoon, where waterborne visitors may live like kings on fresh moules marinières and bouziegues oysters, washed down with Muscat wines and Noilly Prat vermouth.

– [below] In the region: Sete, Mediterranean, Camargue, Van Gogh/Arles, Avignon, Pont du Gard, Aigues-Mortes –

sete1-500x300 camargue-beach-500x300 camargue-horses2-500x300 avignon-pont-500x300 aigues-mortes2-500x300



Hire Boating – Midi-Languedoc

map midi languedoc► Self-drive boats available in Midi-Languedoc
Hire Fleets and Bases
 LeBoat: Port Cassafieres, Narbonne, Homps, Trebes and Castelnaudary
 France Afloat / Linssen: Capestang
 Locaboat: Argens-Minervois and Negra
 Nicols: Le Somail and Port Lauragais

Canal du Midi – Canal de la Robine

The Canal du Midi has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of the achievement of architect Pierre-Paul Riquet in linking the Etang du Thau in the south east with the River Garonne in Toulouse, effectively connecting the Mediterranean with the Atlantic. His engineering prowess can be seen in the flight of nine characteristically oval-shaped locks at Fonserannes near the ancient city of Beziers, and if ticking off UNESCO sites is your thing, then you get two for one in Carcassonne, where the canal passes close to the ancient citadel that forms one of the most iconic skylines in the whole country.

The canal meanders between the vineyards of Corbieres to the south and the Minervois to the north and a visit to the wine town of Minerve, one of the most beautiful in France, is a treat. A diversion along the Canal de la Robine leads to Narbonne, which dates back to Roman times when it was a strategic trading centre, and even today its covered market, supplied by local producers, is a kind of foodie heaven.

– [below] In the region: Minervois, Minerve, Canal du Midi, Beziers, Narbonne, Carcassonne –

midi-sunflowers-500x300 midi-lock-500x300 midi-canal-500x300 narbonne-500x300 carcassonne-musicians-500x300

^ click to enlarge images and open gallery ^


Self-drive Booking Enquiry to Le Boat

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Our Expertise – France, Cruising the Waterways and Hire Boating . . .

We have explored the rivers and canals of France on our own yacht and motor boat since 2003, logging up nearly 10,000km along most waterways, in most regions, at all times of year. Independent, impartial and enthusiastic, we know well every fleet operator partner and every hire boat, published on french-waterways.com. Our expert advice and booking services are founded on this unique knowledge.



NOTE: french-waterways.com aims to provide the most comprehensive selection of the self-drive hire boats that are available for boating holidays and vacations in France. We have partnered with the leading operators to whom all enquiries are directed (we ourselves do not act as agents, make bookings or take payments). Details here have been provided by the operator and are published in good faith. We cannot therefore guarantee their accuracy nor warrant regarding condition. Boats may be subject to availability, price change, or withdrawal without notice.