Information about the 170km long Upper Seine

Upper Seine france waterway map

The Seine rises in the hills of the Côte d’Or and discharges into the English Channel near Le Havre after a course of nearly 800km. It is a major transport artery, navigated by a substantial fleet of high-capacity barges and push-tows through most of its navigable length of 412 km down to the seaport of Rouen. From here inland craft share the 11m-deep channel with ships of up to 120 000 dwt down the tidal estuary to Le Havre, a further 105km.

The river is canalised from its confluence with the Aube (and junction with the disused Canal de la Haute-Seine) at Marcilly. For the convenience of plaisanciers entering the system from the English Channel, we describe here the Lower Seine (Seine aval) from Le Havre to Paris, a distance of 348km. For Paris to Marcilly, see Upper Seine (Seine amont).Upper Seine region waterway map

Over the first 68km from Marcilly the river is in effect a branch of the waterway network, developed for large-scale navigation up to the busy grain terminal of Nogent (PK 20). This is open to 1000-tonne barges. Works remain to be completed to bring the waterway to Nogent up to European Class V standards. The river is here called the Petite-Seine. At Montereau (PK 68), it becomes the Haute-Seine, and is joined by the canalised river Yonne on the left bank, forming part of the Burgundy route from Paris to the south of France. A short distance downstream, at Saint-Mammès (PK 81), the Seine connects with the equally important Bourbonnais route to the south, of which the first link is the Canal du Loing. There are further connections with the canalised river Marne at Charenton (PK 163) and the Canal Saint-Martin (one of the Canaux de Paris) in Paris itself at PK 168.

Despite the volume of commercial traffic, the Seine above Paris remains largely unspoilt and offers some of the most picturesque river scenery in France.
The limit between the first and second sections of the waterway is given as the Pont de la Tournelle, on the left bank arm of the Seine past the Île Saint-Louis, rather than the Pont Marie (the official zero point for the lower Seine) on the right bank arm, since navigation is obliged to follow the left bank arm. This is of little importance, however, since the two bridges are level with each other on either side of the island.

Key Waterway Dimensions

  • Max Beam: 5.05m
  • Max Height: 3.40m
  • Max Draught: 1.20m


Locks There are 19 locks between Marcilly and Paris, of which 11 are situated on the Petite-Seine down to Montereau (overcoming a difference in level of 21m), the remaining 8 on the Haute-Seine (overcoming a difference in level of 20m). The first four locks down to Nogent are 38m long and 7.80m wide, although limited to barges of 5.05m beam. The following five down to Bray-sur-Seine are 121.00 by 10.50m (1000-tonne barge standard). The last two locks on the Petite-Seine, Grande Bosse and Marolles, built in the 1970s, are of large dimensions, 185 by 12m. Similar dimensions apply at all the 8 locks on the Haute-Seine below Montereau. All except Varennes have two chambers side by side (one on each side of the weir). All the weirs are of recent construction, with movable gates, and when a certain flood stage is reached one of the gates is lowered to provide a navigable passage. The large locks are electrically-operated and controlled by lights, but navigators must also pay attention to audible instructions given by the lock-keepers.Upper Seine Lock Jaulnes

Draught The maximum authorised draught is 1.20m from Marcilly to Nogent bridge (PK 20), 2.20m down to Montereau (PK 68) and 2.80m thereafter down to Paris. However, until recalibration of the canal section from PK 20.0 to PK 31.1, the maximum draught available upstream from Nogent to Bray-sur-Seine (PK 45) is limited to 1.80m.

Headroom The following table gives the minimum headroom offered by the fixed bridges in the successive sections:

Normal water level Highest navigable water level
Marcilly to Nogent 3.40 2.80
Nogent to Grande Bosse lock 4.35 3.40
Grande Bosse to Paris 5.50 3.60

Towpath There is no towpath along the Seine.

Authority – VNF – Direction territoriale Bassin de la Seine
UTI Boucles de la Seine
–    Écluse du Pont Vert, B.P. 50, 10401 Nogent-sur-Seine (PK 0-68)
–    26 quai Hippolyte Rossignol, 77000 Melun (PK 68-150)
–    Avenue Pierre Mendès-France, 94340 Joinville-le-Pont (PK 150-165)
–    quai de la Tournelle, 75005 Paris (PK 165-169)
–    65 quai de l’Écluse, BP 74, 95313 Cergy-Pontoise (PK 51-110)
–    Subdivision d’Amfreville-sous-les-Monts: BP 8428, Pitres, 27108 Val de Reuil Cedex (PK 110-242)
–    66 av. Jacques Chastellain, Île Lacroix, 76000 Rouen (PK 225-242)
–    Grand port maritime de Rouen, 34 boulevard de Boisguilbert, 76000 Rouen (PK 242-348)

Click to enlarge

Upper Seine region waterway strip

Route description


N.B. The distances above give a cumulated total of 67.0km instead of the original 67.7km. The effect of meander cutoffs upstream is almost cancelled by the lengthening of the navigable distance between Bray and La Tombe, hence this difference of 0.7 km. The modifications have not been accounted for in the right-hand column, for upstream vessels.

PK 169.1    Bridge (Pont de la Tournelle)
PK 168.7    Bridge (Pont de Sully)
PK 168.6    U/s tip of Île Saint-Louis, Bras Marie r/b forbidden, navigation re-enters the Seine

PK 168.2    Entrance to Canal Saint-Martin, r/b, to enter canal (for Arsenal marina – Fayolle Marine website) moor at pontoon u/s or call on VHF 9 (see Paris canals)

Justly famed as The Place to Stay (for a few days or the entire winter), the Arsenal basin lies just upstream from the Île Saint-Louis, between the river and the Place de la Bastille. It belongs to the Canaux de Paris, but information is reproduced here as it is so important for boaters on the Seine. At the southern, river, end access is via an écluse (open 08:00 to 23:00). There is a waiting pontoon just downstream from the entrance with a telephone to call up the harbourmaster.. Mooring up can be tricky (the pontoon is a little wobbly) when the river current is strong and the passing peniche and river bus traffic passing by can be hectic. At the northern end the basin connects with the Canal Saint-Martin and many passenger tourist boats go through that way. The port is well run and surprisingly safe and secure. It is, however, very popular and booking or phoning ahead is strongly advised.

PK 168.0    Bridge (Pont d’Austerlitz)
PK 167.8    Métro viaduct (Viaduc d’Austerlitz), line 5
PK 167.7    Bridge (Pont Charles De Gaulle)
PK 167.0    Bridge (Pont de Bercy), Métro viaduct (line 6)
PK 166.5    Footbridge (Passerelle Simone de Beauvoir)
PK 166.2    Bridge (Pont de Tolbiac)
PK 165.6    Bridge (Pont National) and railway bridge
PK 165.3    Motorway bridge (Boulevard Périphérique), u/s limit of city of Paris
PK 164.3    Bridge
PK 164.2    Bridge (Nelson Mandela)
PK 163.7    Charenton footbridge and pipeline crossing (passerelle d’Ivry-Charenton), quay u/s r/b
PK 163.6    Ivry power station unloading quay l/bJunction Plan Seine Marne Alfortville Charenton
PK 163.5    Confluence of Marne, r/b
PK 163.3    Ivry-sur-Seine bridge
PK 162.3    Industrial quay r/b
PK 161.1    Lock 10 (Port-à-l’Anglais), chambers r/b and l/b, VHF 18, weir
PK 161.0    Vitry-sur-Seine suspension bridge
PK 159.9    Alfortville industrial quay r/b
PK 159.3    Footbridge and pipeline crossing
PK 158.8    Basin r/b (power station)
PK 158.6    Skew motorway bridge (A86)
PK 157.5    Choisy-le-Roi bridge, quay u/s l/b
PK 155.6    Railway bridge
PK 154.6    Boat harbour (Amicale des Navigateurs de Villeneuve Triage) r/b, 50 berths, 1st night free, water, electricity, shower, crane 2t, slipway, repairs
PK 152.4    Villeneuve-Saint-Georges bridge, industrial quay d/s, town centre r/b
PK 150.0    Lock 9 (Ablon), chambers r/b and l/b, VHF 22, weir
PK 148.9    Confluence of Orge, l/b
PK 148.0    Railway bridge (Athis-Mons), industrial quays d/s l/b
PK 147.8    Vigneux boat harbour (Port Premier Paris Sud) along public park r/b, 40 berths, no overnight mooring, water, electricity, shower, pump-out
PK 146.4    Draveil boat harbour in basin r/b, 85 berths, new berths for boats and barges up to 24m, night €28, water, electricity, shower, slipway €10-13, restaurants
PK 146.0    Juvisy-sur-Orge bridge, town l/b, industrial quays d/s l/b
PK 145.0    Basin (Port Longuet) l/b
PK 144.3    Port of Viry-Châtillon, l/b, boat harbour r/b
PK 142.9    Port-aux-Malades boat Harbour, r/b
PK 141.8    Ris-Orangis bridge, town 1000m l/b
PK 138.7    Lock 8 (Evry), l/b, two chambers, VHF 18, weir
PK 137.7    Evry bridge, quay, boat moorings u/s l/b, station 400m l/b
PK 137.4    D/s tip of island, navigation in l/b arm
PK 136.6    U/s tip of island, navigation in l/b arm
PK 136.5    Commercial port of Corbeil-Essonnes l/b
PK 136.0    Motorway bridge (Francilienne, N104)
PK 134.7    Confluence of Essonne, l/b
PK 134.4    Corbeil-Essonnes bridge, quay u/s l/b, town centre l/b
PK 131.4    Commercial quay (Bas-Vignons) l/b
PK 131.2    Saintry-sur-Seine boat harbour r/b, 20 berths, petrol, no overnight mooring, water, electricity, crane 4t, slipway, repairs
PK 129.7    Lock 7 (Coudray), chambers r/b and l/b, weir between, VHF 22, water, pipeline crossing
PK 128.8    Morsang-sur-Seine boatyard (Chantier Klein)
PK 125.5    Saint-Fargeau-Ponthierry harbour l/b (Port Seine École Loisirs), 56 berths, night €12, water, electricity, slipway
PK 123.4    Seine-Port boat harbour (Cercle de Voile) r/b, village and restaurant 500m r/b
PK 122.6    Former lock (Citanguette) l/b
PK 119.4    Bridge (Sainte-Assise)
PK 116.0    Boissise-la-Bertrand quay and village r/b
PK 115.8    Lock 4 (Vives-Eaux), l/b, two chambers, VHF 18, weir
PK 112.9    Boat club l/b
PK 111.8    Boissettes boat harbour (Port Saint-Jacques), 50 berths, water, electricity, slipway
PK 111.0    Railway bridge (Mée), public quay u/s r/b, factories l/b
PK 110.2    D/s tip of Melun island, navigation in l/b arm (r/b arm for boat harbour, see above)
PK 110.0    Melun bridge No 3
PK 109.7    Melun bridge No 2, quay d/s r/b, town centre 400m r/b
PK 109.6    Melun bridge No 1
PK 109.2    U/s tip of Melun island, navigation in l/b arm, r/b arm for boat harbour, 14 berths, night €7, water, electricity, pump-out, restaurant
PK 109.1    Boat harbour l/b (Brice la Plage), night €7, electricity, restaurant
PK 107.3    Railway bridge (Pet-au-Diable), boat club u/s l/b
PK 102.0    Chartrettes bridge, village 1000m r/b
PK 101.1    Lock 3 (La Cave) l/b, two chambers, VHF 22, weir
PK 100.9    Chartrettes boat club r/b, 5 berths, night €1/m, water, electricity, wifi, restaurant 500m
PK 97.7    Bridge (Fontaine-le-Port)
PK 93.6    Samois-sur-Seine mooring for 6 boats l/b, night €9, water, electricity
PK 93.0    Samois island, navigation in r/b arm
PK 90.3    Bridge (Valvins), moorings, water, electricity
PK 89.8    Avon quay l/b, boat harbour (Stéphane-Mallarmé), 70 berths, water, electricity, shower
PK 84.2    Champagne-sur-Seine bridge, Thomery boatyard and slipway u/s l/b

Junction Plan St-Mammes

PK 83.5    Lock 2 (Champagne) r/b, two chambers, VHF 18, weir, quay u/s r/b, moorings
PK 82.5    Voulzie Aqueduct (pipeline crossing)
PK 81.5    Confluence of Loing (Canal du Loing) l/b
PK 81.1    Saint-Mammès bridge, quays d/s l/b for 25 boats, night €9.50, fuel, water, electricity, shower, town centre l/b
PK 79.7    Boat moorings
PK 77.4    Power station cooling water outfall r/b
PK 76.6    Former lock (Madeleine) r/b, power station
PK 76.0    Overhead power lines
PK 75.4    Private basin r/b
PK 71.2    Lock 1 (Varennes) in short cut, r/b, VHF 22, bridge, water
PK 70.4    Railway bridge (Corbeil)

PK 67.1    Confluence of Yonne l/b
PK 67.0    Montereau-Fault-Yonne bridge (Seine), quays, town centre d/s l/b
PK 66.6    Industrial basin l/b
PK 66.4    Bridge (Saint-Martin), Montereau bypassJunction Plan Yonne Seine Montereau
PK 65.4    Railway bridge (TGV Sud-Est Paris-Lyon)
PK 65.3    Motorway bridge (A5)
PK 63.7    Railway bridge
PK 61.7    Marina in former gravel pit, r/b
PK 61.1    End of lock-cut, navigation re-enters Seine
PK 60.8    Lock (Marolles), VHF 18, bridge, water, telephone
PK 60.7    Marolles-sur-Seine bridge, moorings u/s l/b, water, electricity, village l/b
PK 59.3    Entrance to Marolles lock-cut, l/b, weir r/b
PK 57.9    Conveyor bridge
PK 56.6    La Tombe bridge, quay u/s l/b, small village
PK 55.8    Former lock-cut entrance l/b (heading u/s, keep to Seine)
PK 51.5    Bridge (Roselle)
PK 47.8    Lock (Grande Bosse) l/b, VHF 22, weir, bridge
PK 44.3    Entrance to former Bray/La Tombe lock-cut, l/b, navigation continues in Seine
PK 43.8    Bray-sur-Seine bridge, public quay u/s l/b for 4 boats, water, electricity, slipway, small town l/b
PK 41.9    D/s tip of Jaulnes island, navigation in r/b arm
PK 41.3    U/s tip of Jaulnes island, navigation in r/b arm
PK 41.1    Lock 9 (Jaulnes), r/b, weir
PK 37.6    Conveyor bridge
PK 34.9    Lock 8 (Vezoult) l/b, weir r/b, water, fender piles
PK 34.3    End of cut, heading u/s keep to l/b arm
PK 33.7    Entrance to new cut l/b
PK 33.1    Noyen-sur-Seine bridge, village 1000m l/b, private moorings d/s r/b (Le Port Montain), water sports area in bypassed loop of river
PK 31.1    End of lock-cut, navigation re-enters Seine
PK 30.5    Lock 7 (Villiers-sur-Seine), bridge, basin u/s
PK 29.7    Bridge (Villiers-sur-Seine)
PK 27.7    Bridge (Courceroy)
PK 25.9    Lock 6 (Melz), bridge, water
PK 22.7    Bridge (Beaulieu)
PK 22.3    Basin, l/b
PK 22.2    Lock 5 (Beaulieu), flood lock, bridge, water, basin d/s l/b
PK 22.0    Entrance to Beaulieu/Villiers-sur-Seine lock-cut, r/b
PK 21.7    Main road bridge (D619, Nogent bypass)
PK 21.5    End of new cut
PK 21.0    Entrance to new meander cutoff, r/b
PK 20.5    Grain silos, quays l/b
PK 19.6    Nogent bridge (Pont Saint-Edme), quay d/s l/b beyond mill stream outfall
PK 18.7    Lock 4 (Nogent) in cut, r/b, water, Service Navigation
PK 18.5    Nogent-sur-Seine boat moorings for 4 boats in mill stream (Bief des Moulins) l/b, 600m, fuel (on request), water, electricity, attractive historic town centre
PK 16.6    Railway bridge
PK 16.5    End of lock-cut, navigation re-enters Seine
PK 16.3    Lock 3 (Bernières), sloping sides, bridge, water
PK 14.8    Bridge (des Ouitres)
PK 13.8    Lock 2 (Marnay), bridge, water, small village r/b
PK 11.8    Bridge (des Soupirs)
PK 11.0    Pont-sur-Seine lift bridge and footbridge, quay u/s r/b, village r/b
PK 8.5    Bridge (Pâtures)
PK 8.2    Crancey aqueduct (length 26m, restricted width)
PK 7.9    Bridge (Maugis), Crancey 500m l/b
PK 4.1    Basin l/b (silted up)
PK 3.3    Lock 1 (Conflans), bridge, water
PK 3.2    Entrance to Conflans-Bernières lock-cut, l/b
PK 0.8    Marcilly-sur-Seine bridge, pontoon u/s l/b, water, electricity, showers, slipway, village r/b
PK 0.4    Confluence of Aube and Seine
PK 0.0    Junction with Canal de la Haute-Seine (restoration in progress to Méry-sur-Seine)