Information about the 174km long Canal du Nivernais

Canal du Nivernais map France

The Canal du Nivernais provides an alternative to the main north-south routes from the Seine basin to the Saône and Rhône, connecting the Yonne at Auxerre (upstream from the junction with the Canal de Bourgogne) to the Loire at Decize. Across the Loire from Saint-Léger-des-Vignes is the entrance to the Decize branch of the Canal latéral à la Loire, while the Yonne gives access to the Canal de Bourgogne at Migennes. The Nivernais thus forms a cross link between the Bourbonnais and Bourgogne routes from Paris to Lyon.

The 58km central section of the canal from Cercy-la-Tour (PK 15, on the Loire side) to Sardy (PK 73, on the Yonne side) was built with ‘sub-standard’ locks 30m long, thus precluding its use as a through route by 38.50m barges. This was the main reason for its commercial decline, consequent lack of maintenance and its rapidly deteriorating condition in the 1960s. Thanks largely to the interest aroused by the Saint Line hire base, established on the canal’s summit level in 1964, closure was avoided, the central section being conceded by the State to the department of Nièvre in 1972. A 10-year programme of rehabilitation works, financed by the département with State and regional contributions, secured the canal’s future.

At the same time mooring and service facilities for pleasure boats were set up throughout the length of the canal. Hire bases have come and gone but presently there are five companies offering well over 100 boats for cruising on the canal. It is also regularly navigated by a number of hotel barges, which cruise primarily between Auxerre and Clamecy.

The canal incorporates numerous river sections or râcles, especially in the descent down the Yonne valley. In these reaches the channel is maintained over a width of only 20m from the bank on the towpath side and care should be taken to keep within this limit.

The 4.5km summit level, at an altitude of 262m, connects with the Étang de Baye, an expansive reservoir which becomes a hive of dinghy sailing and other recreational activity during the summer. The summit level includes three tunnels, La Collancelle (758m), Mouas (268m) and Les Breuilles (212m), separated by deep cuttings. The minimum headroom is 3.75m and the minimum width 5.60m. One-way traffic is enforced and controlled by lights.

At Basseville (PK 118.5) the canal crosses the Yonne on the level and at right angles. Previously, during high water, a cable and winch system was used to assist in the crossing. The fixed weir has now been replaced by a  hydraulic, gated weir, adjustable at short notice. Although the crossing must be completed cautiously it is no longer a reason for concern.Canal du Nivernais Region map

There is one branch, extending 3.9km from the râcle du Maunoir (PK 154) to the town of Vermenton, on the river Cure.

The Nivernais is an ideal cruising waterway, offering a wide variety of landscapes and numerous places of interest to visit. The difference in character between the Loire and Yonne sides of the watershed is particularly striking. From the Loire to the summit navigation is almost entirely in man-made cut, following the valley of the river Aron, with broad views across rich pasture land; the Yonne valley is more spectacular, being compact and wooded, with a man-made cut down to Clamecy, then alternating canal and river sections.

History – The Canal du Nivernais was not originally designed as a through route but as a feeder waterway to float firewood from the Morvan to the already established log-floating route on the Yonne and Seine, to serve the needs of Paris. The works begun in 1784 were interrupted by the Revolution. When they were resumed in the 1820s, the project had evolved to a regular navigation for horse-drawn barges connecting the Loire at Saint-Léger-des-Vignes (near Decize) to the canalised river Yonne at Auxerre, a distance of 174km. The canal was opened as such in 1841 but suffered almost immediately from railway competition and was never a commercial success. However, it has become one of the most popular cruising waterways of the Burgundy network over the last 25 years.

Key Waterway Dimensions

  • Max beam: 5.10m
  • Max height: 2.70m
  • Max draught: 1.20m

Local Waterway Links


Locks – There are 112 locks, of which 4 are stop locks. From the summit level to the Loire there are 32 locks and 3 stop locks, While on the Yonne side of the summit there are 76 locks and one stop lock (in addition there are five sets of flood gates numbered as locks). There are several double staircase locks and one triple staircase. There were originally 114 locks, but stop lock 47b and lock 48 at Clamecy have been closed, and navigation here follows the river Yonne instead of the former lock-cut. From Auxerre to Sardy-lès-Épiry and from Cercy-la-Tour to Saint-Léger-des-Vignes (as well as on the Vermenton branch), the lock dimensions are 38.50 by 5.30m. The locks on the central section have reduced dimensions of 30.15 by 5.10m.

Draught – For the first 3km from Saint-Léger and from Clamecy down to Auxerre, the maximum permissible draught is 1.70m. The central section is open to vessels with a maximum draught of 1.20m only. (The greater draught of 1.70m is also permissible on the Vermenton branch). Water levels above Clamecy and over the summit to Cercy-la-Tour have been a problem in the past but now difficulties only arise in periods of extreme and extended drought.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: a 10-year dredging campaign was announced in late 2015 which involves extracting 29 000 m3 per year on average. The total of 285 000 m3 is like taking an average of 40 cm over the 7m wide channel throughout the shallow section of the canal (100km long). These works will ensure a regular depth of 1.60m, which means a future authorised draught of 1.40m.

Headroom – From Saint-Léger to La Copine basin (PK 3) the minimum headroom is 3.70m. Onwards, the headroom under the fixed bridges at normal water level is 2.70 m as far as Sardy (this restricted headroom applies to two bridges, at . From Sardy to Auxerre, the headroom is 3.10m, reduced to 2.97 m under the bridge at Picampoix (lock 21) and to about 3.00m under the bridge at Mailly-la-Ville (PK 146). The fixed bridges on the Vermenton branch leave a minimum headroom of 3.35m.

Towpath – There is a good towpath throughout the length of the canal section from Saint-Léger to Clamecy. Along the river sections between Clamecy and Auxerre the official right-of-way is only occasion­ally practicable, or flanked by a departmental road.

Authority – VNF – Direction territoriale Centre-Bourgogne
UTI Nivernais
–    rue au Loup, 58800 Corbigny

Click to enlarge

Canal du Nivernais Waterway Strip

Route description, north to south

PK 174.1     Auxerre bridge (Paul-Bert), large town with all shops and services, junction with canalised river Yonne, quays d/s (see under Yonne)

For convenience we describe Auxerre here as well as under the River Yonne, to which the quays and port de plaisance belong. The town originally became prosperous as an active port on the wine route. Today it is the seat of the government offices and administration for the Yonne département. With 40 000 inhabitants, the town has a gentle, relaxed atmosphere with interesting shops and lots of casual restaurants. The memorable medieval old town starts right behind the quay. From there, walk through the steep narrow cobbled streets with their timbered houses up to the newly restored, magnificent (especially the interior), Cathedral Saint-Etienne.

PK 173.8     Lock 81 (Batardeau) in short lock-cut l/b
PK 173.7     Railway bridge (Batardeau), navigation enters râcle du Batardeau
PK 172.5     Lock 80 (Preuilly) in lock-cut l/b, followed by râcle de Preuilly
PK 170.6     Lock 79 (Augy) in 320m lock-cut l/b, followed by râcle d’Augy
PK 168.6     Lock 78 (Vaux) in 450m lock-cut l/b, followed by râcle de Vaux
PK 167.9     Vaux bridge, village and restaurant l/b
PK 166.2     Lock 77 (Toussac), in lock-cut

Lock-cut separated from the river by a stone wall.

PK 165.0     Lock 76 (Bélombre), bridge (D606), Champs-sur-Yonne 300m, navigation enters the râcle de Bélombre

New pontoon moorings and bollards upstream of the lock

PK 163.6     Railway bridge (Bazine)
PK 163.4     Lock 75 (Bailly) in lock-cut l/b
PK 162.9     Navigation re-enters Yonne (râcle de Bailly)
PK 162.4     Bailly quay r/b, water, electricityAuxerre Junction Plan Yonne Nivernais

Mooring quay, water (might be cut off). The former underground stone quarries are now used by the Bailly-Lapierre wine cooperative. Their speciality is the sparkling Bourgogne Crémant.

PK 161.2     Lock 74 (Vincelottes) in lock-cut l/b
PK 160.6     Vincelottes bridge, village and restaurant 400m r/b
PK 160.4     Navigation joins Yonne for 900m (râcle de Vincelles)
PK 160.1     Vincelles quay l/b, water, electricity, shower, slipway, village l/b

Good mooring by the small village, water

PK 159.5     Lock 73 (Vincelles), bridge, navigation enters 5.1km long canal section
PK 158.2     Lock 72 (Rivottes), bridge
PK 156.6     Bridge (Colombier)
PK 156.4     Former branch with disused lock, r/b
PK 155.9     Cravant bridge (D606), mooring u/s r/b, service station, shop in village 500m

Mooring in basin, limited depth

PK 154.4     Lock 71 (Maunoir)
PK 154.1     Junction with embranchement de Vermenton, r/b
PK 154.0     Railway bridge (Maunoir)
PK 153.7     Lock 70 (Saint-Aignan), navigation enters Yonne (râcle du Maunoir)
PK 153.0     Bridge (Croix-Minet), quay d/s l/b, Bazarnes 1000m
PK 152.4     Lock 69 (Sainte-Pallaye)
PK 151.9     Sainte-Pallaye bridge (Romains), village r/b
PK 151.5     Bridge (Parc de Sainte-Pallaye)
PK 151.1     Flood gate 68 (Prégilbert)
PK 151.0     Prégilbert bridge, village r/b
PK 150.1     Lock 67 (Dames), lift bridge d/s, navigation enters Yonne (râcle de Prégilbert)
PK 149.9     Railway bridge (Dames)
PK 148.6     Lock 66 (Saint-Maur), navigation joins Yonne for 640m (râcle des Dames)
PK 147.6     Sery bridge, small village r/b
PK 147.5     Lock 65 (Sery), bridge
PK 146.1     Quay l/b, boatyard, long-term moorings and dry-land storage, repairs
PK 146.0     Flood gate 64 (Mailly-la-Ville), bridge

Take care when Yonne running high, headroom on the canal

PK 145.7     Mailly-la-Ville r/b, pontoon moorings, water, electricity, shower, slipway, all shops
PK 145.4     Lock 63 (Mailly-la-Ville), navigation enters Yonne (râcle de Mailly-la-Ville)
PK 145.2     Bridge (Mailly-la-Ville)

Beware, this is one of the very low bridges on the canal.137-merry-600

PK 142.8     Lock 62 (Parc), navigation joins Yonne for 600m (râcle du Bouchet)
PK 142.4     Railway bridge (Parc)
PK 141.7     Mailly-le-Château bridge, moorings in small basin 30m d/s l/b, village 1000m up hill
PK 141.2     Canal narrows for 350m
PK 140.9     Railway bridge
PK 140.8     Flood gate 61 (Mailly-le-Château), entrance to lock-cut
PK 139.4     Lock 60 (Ravereau), navigation enters Yonne (râcle de Mailly-le-Château)
PK 139.0     Bridge (Graves)
PK 138.0     Flood gate 59a (Saussois), bridge, quay l/b, Merry-sur-Yonne 500m l/b
PK 137.7     Entrance to lock-cut, one-way traffic only
PK 136.5     Lock 59 (Réchimet), navigation enters Yonne (râcle du Saussois), keep close to towpath on outside of bend, restaurant, mooring to bollards possible but awkward
PK 136.1     Bridge (Terres Rouges)
PK 135.9     Railway bridge (Terres Rouges)
PK 135.0     Canal narrows for 235m
PK 134.5     Lock 58 (Magny), bridge
PK 133.1     Bridge (Gade)
PK 132.6     Lock 57 (Châtel-Censoir), bridge
PK 132.5     Châtel-Censoir basin l/b, moorings, Le Boat hire base, 35 berths, night €11, water €3, electricity €4, shower €2, slipway €10, village over bridge
PK 130.2     Lock 56 (La Place), bridge
PK 128.7     Railway bridge (La Place)
PK 127.9     Bridge (Gué Saint-Martin)
PK 127.1     Lock 55 (Lucy-sur-Yonne)
PK 126.1     Lucy-sur-Yonne, bridge, village r/b
PK 125.1     Lock 54 (Bèze), bridge
PK 124.1     Flood gate 53a (Bèze), bridge
PK 123.7     Lock 53 (Crain), canal joins Yonne for 34m
PK 122.8     Coulanges-sur-Yonne, lock 52, bridge, Canalous Plaisance hire base and quay u/s r/b, water, shower, village 1000m over bridge
PK 121.5     Lift bridge (Pousseaux)
PK 121.1     Pousseaux bridge, quay u/s r/b, water, village 200m, Surgy 1000m over bridge
PK 120.7     Canal narrows, one-way traffic (with one passing place)
PK 120.0     End of narrow section
PK 119.3     Bridge (Basseville)
PK 118.7     Stop lock 51 (Basseville)
PK 118.5     Lock 50 (Basseville), navigation crosses Yonne on the level, towpath bridge r/b, weir l/bNivernaisSaussois-Stufft

Going upstream, wait at the open écluse de garde until Basseville lock (50) has opened then, keeping away from the barrage/weir, go straight into the lock without slowing.

PK 117.7     Bridge (Envilliers)
PK 117.1     Lock 49 (Garenne)
PK 116.6     Bridge (Presles)
PK 116.1     Bridge (N151, Clamecy bypass)
PK 116.0     Flood gates (Forêt) l/b, navigation re-enters canal (boats heading u/s, turn left through these gates)
PK 115.9     Small island, pass on l/b side
PK 114.5     Entrance to former lock-cut, l/b (lock 47b Clamecy-Saint-Roch), disused, navigation follows Yonne
PK 113.9     Bridge (Bethléem), moorings along quay l/b for Clamecy
PK 113.7     Lock 47 (Les Jeux), swing bridge u/s, navigation enters Yonne
PK 113.6     Clamecy, moorings u/s of lock, night €6, water, electricity, shower, pump-out, small town l/b
PK 112.9     Bridge (Picot)
PK 112.0     Flood gate r/b, connection with Yonne (not navigable)
PK 111.7     Lock 46 (Maladrerie), bridge
PK 111.6     Basin l/b
PK 110.6     Lock 45 (Armes)
PK 110.1     Chevroches bridge, small village, quay d/s l/b, mooring for restaurant, water, electricity
PK 109.3     Lock 44 (Chantenot), bridge
PK 107.2     Bridge (Cuncy), quay with bollards l/b, picnic, overnight
PK 106.5     Lock 43 (Cuncy), bridge
PK 105.7     Swinging footbridge (Villiers), abandoned, permanently open
PK 104.8     Villiers-sur-Yonne bridge, village l/b, moorings d/s r/b, water, electricity
PK 104.6     Lock 42 (Villiers)
PK 103.7     Canal narrows, one-way traffic for 200m
PK 102.8     Lock 41 (Esselier)
PK 102.5     Brèves bridge, village 300m, turning basin
PK 102.3     Lock 40 (Brèves)
PK 100.2     Asnois bridge, village 200m
PK 99.2     Lift bridge (de l’Âne), mooring with bollards d/s r/b, picnic area
PK 98.1     Double staircase lock 38/39 (Tannay), bridge, Tannay 2000m
PK 96.8     Bridge (Gravelot), Tannay 2000m (all shops, wine cellar)NivernaisTunnelCurve-Ballinger
PK 95.8     Cuzy bridge, quay u/s l/b, moorings both banks, restaurant, village 400m, Le Boat hire base (Tannay), night €12, water, electricity, shower
PK 95.5     Lift bridge (Curiot)
PK 94.5     Lift bridge (Saint-Didier)
PK 93.5     Lock 37 (Moulin Brûlé)
PK 93.2     Lock 36 (Laporte), bridge, quay d/s l/b
PK 92.2     Lock 35 (Châtillon)
PK 92.0     End of one-way section
PK 90.7     Monceaux-le-Comte bridge, quay u/s r/b, village 1000m
PK 90.0     Canal narrows, one-way traffic for 2000m (with passing places)
PK 89.6     Lift bridge (Marais)
PK 89.6     Dirol quay l/b, water
PK 89.4     Lift bridge (Thoury)
PK 89.0     Lock 34 (Dirol), bridge
PK 88.5     Lock 33 (Mont), bridge
PK 88.0     Canal narrows for 100m, no passing
PK 86.3     Lift bridge (Chazel)
PK 86.1     Railway bridge (Mortes)
PK 85.9     Lock 32 (Mortes)
PK 85.5     Turning basin
PK 84.9     Quay, r/b, mooring possible both sides, no services
PK 84.6     Lock 31 (Gravier), bridge
PK 84.4     Marigny, l/b
PK 84.2     Lock 30 (Marigny), bridge
PK 83.2     Lock 29 (Chitry)Chitry-les-Mines Junction Plan Canal du Nivernais
PK 82.5     Lift bridge (Germehay)
PK 82.1     Chaumot basin, l/b, moorings, night €12.50, water, electricity, shower, slipway, restaurant, camp site
PK 82.0     Bridge (Chitry), D977bis
PK 81.9     Chitry-les-Mines basin r/b, Marine Diesel boatyard, 30 berths, night €5, water, electricity, shower, village 300m (no services), preferred mooring for access to Corbigny 3000m
PK 81.3     Lock 28 (Chaumot)
PK 80.7     Marcy basin
PK 80.2     Lock 27 (Marcy), bridge
PK 79.8     Double staircase lock 25/26 (Eugny)
PK 79.6     Basin r/b, moorings, water, electricity
PK 79.5     End of cutting
PK 79.3     Bridge (Eugny), D958, 2500m Corbigny
PK 78.8     Bridge (Chaise)
PK 78.6     High bridge (Chaise)
PK 78.2     Beginning of La Chaise cutting, one-way traffic, Yonne feeder with flood gates, r/b
PK 77.6     Lock 24 (Yonne), bridge, basin d/s r/b, Locaboat hire base, pontoon moorings, 24 berths, night €13.50, diesel, water, electricity, shower €2.50, slipway, pump-out, repairs
PK 77.1     Lock 23 (Pré Colas), quay d/s l/b
PK 76.6     Lock 22 (Surpaillis)
PK 76.3     Lock 21 (Picampoix), bridge (reduced headroom 2.97m) Marcilly 2000m
PK 76.2     Picampoix quarries, bridge, former loading quay r/b
PK 76.0     Lock 20 (Bois des Taureaux)
PK 75.4     Lock 19 (Petite Corvée)
PK 74.8     Lock 18 (Creuzet), bridge
PK 74.4     Lock 17 (Champ du Chêne)
PK 73.8     Sardy-les Épiry, basin l/b, swimming pool, village  500m over bridge
PK 73.6     Lock 16 (Sardy), bridge, spring water
PK 73.4     Lock 15 (Champ Cadoux), last of the 30m locks
PK 73.0     Lock 14 (Pré Ardent)
PK 72.7     Lock 13 (Doyen)
PK 72.6     Lock 12 (Pré Doyen)
PK 72.2     Lock 11 (Bellevue)
PK 71.9     Lock 10 (Patureau-Volain), basin d/s
PK 71.7     Lock 9 (Fussy), moorings d/s r/b
PK 71.5     Lock 8 (Mondain)
PK 71.3     Lock 7 (Gros Bouillon)
PK 71.1     Lock 6 (Planche de Belin), bridge
PK 70.9     Lock 5 (Demain)
PK 70.8     Lock 4 (Roche)
PK 70.7     Lock 3 (Patureau)
PK 70.6     Lock 2 (Crain)
PK 70.4     Lock 1 (Port-Brûlé), end of summit level
PK 70.2     Bridge (Port-Brûlé)
PK 69.3     Bridge (Breuilles)
PK 68.6     Tunnel (Breuilles), 212m long
PK 68.2     Tunnel (Mouas), 268m long
PK 67.2     Tunnel (La Collancelle), 758m long
PK 66.6     Bridge (Les Poujats), canal narrows, one-way traffic
PK 66.5     Quay (Poujats), Aqua Fluvial hire base, 45 berths, night €5, fuel, water, electricity, shower, crane 14t, slipway, pump-out, repairsBaye Junction Plan Canal du Nivernais
PK 66.0     Lock 1 (Baye), bridge, beginning of summit level, Baye 200m, restaurant
PK 63.8     Lock 2 (Bazolles)
PK 63.6     Lock 3 (Bazolles), bridge, moorings u/s and d/s r/b, Bazolles 500m (bar/tabac, baker, small shop)
PK 61.8     Bridge (Mougny)
PK 59.7     Triple staircase lock 6/5/4 (Chavance), bridge
PK 59.5     Basin (Chavance) r/b, mooring bollards
PK 59.4     Double staircase lock 8/7 (Chavance)
PK 57.1     Double staircase lock 10/9 (Mont-et-Marré), bridge, moorings u/s, restaurant and swimming pool l/b
PK 56.1     Lock 11 (Orgue)
PK 54.6     Lock 12 (Orgue), bridge
PK 53.9     Lock 13 (Mingot), bridge (very low), Aron aqueduct u/s
PK 53.8     Bridge (Mingot), warning, very tight curve
PK 51.2     Châtillon-en-Bazois bridge, village l/b, château r/b
PK 51.0     Lock 14 (Châtillon-en-Bazois)
PK 50.6     Lock 15 (Châtillon-en-Bazois), bridge, moorings and Canalous Plaisance hire base u/s r/b, night €7, water €4, navigation leaves river
PK 49.1     Stop lock 16 (Cœuillon), bridge, navigation enters river Aron, keep to towpath side, r/b
PK 47.5     Bridge (Pont), follow channel on outside of bend, Alluy 1500m
PK 46.3     Bridge (Éguilly)
PK 45.9     Lock 17 (Éguilly)
PK 42.7     Lock 18 (Meulot), bridge
PK 41.9     Bridge (Cray), Biches 500m
PK 41.3     Bridge (Romenay)
PK 40.8     Lock 19 (Villard), bridge
PK 38.8     Lock 20 (Brienne)
PK 38.1     Lock 21 (Fleury), moorings u/s l/b, water, shower €2, restaurant r/b, campsite with swimming pool and picnic area, Brienne 1000m
PK 36.4     Lock 22 (Bernay), bridge
PK 35.0     Bridge (Prairie)
PK 33.6     Bridge (Magny), quay r/b
PK 32.1     Lock 23 (Saigne), bridge
PK 31.2     Bridge (Anizy)
PK 31.0     Lock 24 (Anizy), navigation leaves river, mooring basin
PK 29.7     Panneçot port de plaisance l/b, suitable for smaller vessels only, 20 berths, night €8, water, electricity, shower, slipway, pump-out
PK 29.6     Stop lock 25 (Panneçot), bridge, navigation enters river Aron
PK 29.5     Panneçot, mooring l/b d/s of lock, village over bridge
PK 27.7     Lock 26 (Sauzay), bridge
PK 26.0     Bridge (Hâtes de Scia), basin l/b
PK 24.6     Bridge (Baudin)

Beware, this is one of very low bridges on the canal.

PK 23.6     Lock 27 (Moulin d’Isenay), bridge
PK 23.2     Moulin d’Isenay basin, l/b, Vandenesse (village and château) 3000m
PK 22.6     Former lift bridge
PK 21.6     Lock 28 (Isenay), bridge
PK 21.5     Isenay quay, l/b
PK 20.9     Lift bridge (Tremblay)
PK 20.1     Bridge (Saint-Gratien)
PK 18.6     Lock 29 (Chaumigny), bridge
PK 17.1     Bridge (Martigny), overnight/picnic mooring l/b
PK 15.9     Lock 30 (Cercy-la-Tour), bridge, basin u/s r/b, navigation leaves river
PK 15.6     Cercy-la-Tour quay r/b, pontoon moorings, water, electricity, showers at camp site on l/b of river Aron, slipway
PK 15.4     Stop lock 31 (Cercy-la-Tour), bridge, navigation enters river Aron

Beware, this is another of the lowest bridges.

PK 13.7     Bridge (Coulangette)
PK 12.6     Bridge (Vernizy)
PK 9.9     Saint-Gervais bridge and basin, l/b, Verneuil 2000m
PK 8.7     Bridge (Roche)
PK 8.2     Lock 32 (Roche), Andarge aqueduct u/s
PK 7.5     Bridge (Marcou)
PK 6.5     Site of a former footbridge
PK 4.9     Lock 33 (Champvert), bridge
PK 4.7     Champvert, quay r/b
PK 3.7     Bridge (du Port)
PK 3.1     La Copine basin, r/b
PK 3.0     Railway bridge
PK 2.9     Bridge (Copine)
PK 1.9     Lock 34 (Vauzelles), bridgeDecize Junction Plan Nivernais
PK 1.4     Bridge (Saint-Thibault), quays above and below, r/b, night €10, water, electricity, pump-out, Decize 1000m
PK 0.9     Lock 35 (Loire)
PK 0.0     Saint-Léger-des-Vignes, junction with the Loire and the Canal latéral à la Loire, quay r/b

Connection to Canal latéral à la Loire via river Loire and Decize branch
See map right. The branch belongs to the Canal latéral à la Loire, but the route is described here for convenience (the PK given here are not official).
PK 0.0    Canal du Nivernais enters the river Loire
Turn left (upstream) on river Loire.
PK 0.3    Quay r/b, just above the confluence of the river Aron
PK 1.1    Decize halte, r/b, concrete quay with timber edge and bollards, 90m long, town centre 400m
A welcome recent development allowing boats to moor on the broad river and visit and shop in Decize, a small town but with a good range of services. Market on Friday.
PK 1.3    Bridge (Decize)
PK 1.8    Entrance to Decize branch of Canal latéral à la Loire
PK 1.8    Lock 16ter (Decize), lift up to 4.00m, bridge
PK 2.1    Decize basin, length 380m, Le Boat hire base, 80 berths, night €9, water, electricity, showers, slipway, restaurant, wifi
Good new port de plaisance in the large canal basin. Intermarché supermarket close by with fuel.
PK 2.3    Lock 16bis (Saint-Maurice), lift 2.50m, bridge
PK 2.4    Junction with Canal latéral à la Loire, through route (PK 68)

Vermenton branch

PK 0.0     Junction with main canal (râcle du Maunoir, km 154.1)
PK 0.7     Lock (Noue), bridge
PK 2.2     Bridge (Moulin Jacquot)
PK 2.5     Accolay bridge, quay u/s l/b, capacity 10 boats, water, electricity, shower at  camp site, slipway, village l/b

Very good moorings, currently being extended, pleasant village, active water-jousting centre and  formerly an art pottery centre.

PK 3.0     Lock (Accolay), bridge
PK 3.8     Flood gate (Vermenton), bridge
PK 3.9     Vermenton quay, France Fluviale hire base, 12 berths, night €8, diesel, water, electricity, repairs, village 500m

Cruises, holidays and vacations on the Canal de Nivernais

hotel barges france


Hotel barges are elegant and supremely comfortable, converted from traditional vessels or created as cruising boutique hotels from new. You’ll experience the smoothest of relaxing week-long vacations in high style looked after by an expert captain, professional masterchef, knowledgeable local excursions guide and attentive English-speaking cabin staff.

self-drive canal boat rental france


Hiring your own cruising boat is an ideal way to explore and experience the pleasures and treasures that the French waterways have to offer. Hire boats come in different sizes, to suit a couple, a family or you and your friends, and your ‘hands on the wheel’ holiday can be arranged from start to finish by any of the reputable companies to be found on

self-drive canal boat rentals map
Base locations map – North/West Burgundy