Canal de Loing, Canal de Briare (Route Bourbonnais)
Cruising in Detail

Information about the 49km of Canal du Loing and the 54km of Canal de Briare, with a total of 51 ecluses (locks).

The Loing (completed 1723) passes through woodland and some pretty villages, but the outstanding feature is the Palace of Fontainbleau, one of the largest French royal palaces, with its gardens and forests. The Briare (completed 1692) continues the Bourbonnais route south and includes locks that have been consolidated from sets of former locks and which are consequently quite deep – it can be necessary to let off crew in advance to be able to take and handle lines.

See also general notes (foot of page).

Basic Information

  • Approximate minimum depth 1.80m, headroom 3.5m, width 5m. These are the ‘book’ values and may vary according to conditions. Navigating the canal should not present insurmountable difficulties to normal pleasure craft and the Bourbonnais (Seine-Loing-Briare-Loire-Centre canals) it is one of the recommended routes from the Channel to the Mediterranean. It is usually reliably and well supplied with water. This may alter during and after long hot summers – the overall route is then not as dependable as the eastern (Champagne) route.
  • Speed limit 8kph. Reckon on 3-4kph overall for a day’s travel including ecluses, or count ecluses and times by half-an-hour each.
  • Some locks fill right ‘to the brim’ and beyond and this means you must have protection down at the waterline and into the water. Fenders must ‘paddle’ and/or use fender boards to keep from floating up and/or use tyres. See Protection.
  • Check your engine cooling water filter frequently – weed, leaves and boué in the water and on the bed can get stirred up as you pass and especially as you go up or down in the lock. See Clogged.
  • VNF sub-division contact telephone numbers: 03 86 71 71 71 (Nevers), 02 38 95 09 20 (Montargis), 02 38 31 26 20 (Briare).
  • Using a pilot-guide book is strongly recommended: Breil Guides or Fluviacarte (Navicarte) Guides.

Canal de Loing

PK48 Moret

A very lovely, historic fortified small town, with gateways and willow tree’d banks. Port de Plaisance01 60 72 81 70 water and electricity

PK 30-50 River Loing

PK30 Nemours

Quayside Halte moorings with water and electricity along the narrow curved route around the town, but may be little space. Moorings / Haltes also at:

PK19 Souppes sur Loing PK15 Néronville PK11 Nargis PK3 Cepoy

PK1 Buges

Halte with pontoons. Site of the first paper mill to print notes for the Bank of France (1804), a long paper manufacturing history. Above – the entrance to the 79km long Canal d’Orleans, abandoned in 1954, but currently in the process of restoration.

Canal de Briare

PK52 Montargis

Port de plaisance with water and electricity. The “Venice of the Gatinais” because of the network of small canals. Haltes also at PK41 Montcresson and PK35 Montbouy

PK29 Chatillon-Coligny

PdP 02 38 92 55 51 water, electricity and services

PK19 Rogny-les-7-Ecluses

Two ports de plaisance 08 77 10 56 46 and 03 86 74 55 92. The village is noted for the old staircase lock (see photo above), replaced more than a century ago by a series of ecluses and now a memorable attraction in the parkland landscape.

PK8 Ouzouer-sur-Trézée

Halte, long length of quay, water and electricity.

PK1 Briare

There are two ports, on the canal by the bridge and by the river. Canal Port (photo above) – port capitain (for the canal and river ports) is Bruno Chanal 02-38-31-24-65 or 06-08-95-03-20 port,briare©lyonnaise-des-eaux,fr  (port,briare©lyonnaise-des-eaux,fr)   VHF Ch 12 (future) – Fuel 1.12€/lire (2010) Over-wintering community, friendly and helpful

The PdP (Quai Mazoyer) along branch down to the river is new (reopened in 1988) (photo: Bruno Chanal).

For the famous Briare aqueduct (Eiffel, 1896), see the Canal lateral a la Loire page.