Printed Navigation Guides

There are two series of chart-guides that cover the network – Breil and Fluviacarte. Each provides a detailed map of the subject river or canal, page by page, kilometre by kilometre, with information (in French, English and German) about locks (width, rise, number of chambers), bridges (air draft), depths, towns and villages; and moorings. Whilst it is possible to travel using just a waterways system map plus the various waterway signs that warn, instruct, or provide information en-route it is preferable to have better information to hand. In addition, the definitive hard-back ‘pilot’ book and accompanying maps, covering the waterways network in fine detail, have been edited by David-Edwards-May, published by Imray and Transmanche.

French canal navigation guide Breil

Breil Navigation Guides

Maps and detailed guidance books for each canal and river, published by Breil.

Breil Guides

French canal navigation guide Fluviacarte

Fluviacarte Navigation Guides

Maps and detailed guidance books for each canal and river, published by Fluviacarte.

Fluviacarte Guides

French canal navigation guide Imray

Imray / Transmanche Guides

Maps and detailed guidance books for each canal and river, by Imray and Transmanche.

Imray Guides

Waterways, Regulations and Techniques

We provide a unique resource of 80 detailed information pages, covering every canal and navigable river in France. Each is available separately as a downloadable PDF file, or as part of a set that includes other waterways in the same region. In addition, we provide a similarly unique resource of pages of essential information about waterway characteristics, routes, regulations and practical boating techniques.

Depths + Dimensions

Depths, heights (air clearances) and widths for French rivers and canals.

Canal Dimensions

80+ French Waterways in Detail

Every river and canal
~ unique, expert detail ~

Canal routes to the Mediterranean

Canal Routes to the Mediterranean

Waterway routes through France to the Rhone and the Med – and Atlantic to the Med.

Routes Through

Canal du Midi in Unique Detail

The history, essential data, maps, navigation information and cruise options. PDF to download.

The Midi in Detail

Rules and Regulations

Qualifications and Competances
| ICC and CEVNI | Equipment |
VAT | Pets


Navigation Fees

The VNF vignette licence to cruise the rivers and canals. Cost and How to Purchase. VNF offices.

Navigation Fees

Coastal Ports and Connections

All the Channel, Mediterranean and Atlantic ports giving access into the French waterway network.

Coastal Ports

Students hired by the VNF to man manual locks

Locks (écluses)

Overview | Signals
Operational aspects and VHF
Configurations | Notes | Video

Lock Technique

Shoreside Services

Water | Electricity
Bottled Gas | Fuel


Masts, Transport and Trailing

Stepping and Unstepping
Mast Transportation
Trailed Boating


Rhone river France weather currents

Weather and Water

Weather and Wind
River heights and currents
The Rhone


Waterway and guidance pages have been compiled and edited by David Edwards-May (waterways consultant, president of Inland Waterways International and author of ‘Inland Waterways of France’) and Jenny Ruff. Information is also founded on the extensive 10,000km of canal and river cruising experience of the team since 2003.