Information about the 108km long canalised river Yonne

Yonne location map France

The canalised river Yonne extends from Auxerre, where it joins the Canal du Nivernais, to its confluence with the Seine at Montereau, a distance of 108km. Over the first 22km, down to the junction with the Canal de Bourgogne, it forms part of the Nivernais route, a cross link between the Bourgogne and Bourbonnais routes from Paris to Lyon. The rest of the waterway forms part of the Bourgogne route, the shortest but most heavily locked of the three main routes across central France. The Yonne is an attractive cruising river, with huge locks but little commercial traffic (except in the lower reaches). The river is avoided by lock-cuts at three places: Gurgy, Joigny and Courlon.Yonne region map

History – The river was a free-flow navigation through the ages, until Poirée successfully tested in 1834 (near Clamecy) his design for a needle weir. The design was improved by Thenard five years later, and the Government then approved works to canalise many rivers on this basis. One weir and lock were built on the Yonne after 1840, but most of the works were conducted from 1861. The locks were enlarged to Freycinet standards in the late 19th century, then again to their current dimensions after World War II.

Key Waterway Dimensions

  • Max Beam: 8.30m
  • Max Height: 4.20m
  • Max Draught: 1.80m


Locks – There are 26 locks. The nine between Auxerre and Laroche-Migennes (junction with Canal de Bourgogne) are 93m long and 8.30m wide. The next 14 down to Port-Renard are 96 by 8.30m, while the last three are slightly wider (10.50m). Many of the locks have sloping sides, which are particularly awkward for boats proceeding downstream. The crew should be at the ready to fend off with boathooks.

Draught – The maximum authorised draught is 1.80m.

Headroom – The lowest bridges are the Pont de la Tournelle in Auxerre and Courlon bridge (PK 87). The first offers a headroom of 4.40m above normal water level, reduced to 4.20m above the highest navigable water level (over the navigable width of 8.30m). The corresponding dimensions at Courlon are 4.80 and 4.40m.

Towpath – There is a good towpath throughout.

Authority – VNF – Direction territoriale du Bassin de la Seine
UTI Yonne
–    60 quai de la Fausse-Rivière, 89100 Sens

Click to enlarge

Yonne waterway strip

Route description

PK 108.0     Confluence with Seine (PK 68)
PK 107.9     Montereau-Fault-Yonne bridge (Yonne), moorings for 22 boats, night €10, water €1.53, electricity €3, shower €1.50, slipway, town centre l/b
PK 107.1     Skew road bridge (Pont Georges Pompidou), D605
PK 104.7     Lock 17 (Cannes), sloping sides, r/b, weir

At this lock and the two that follow, there is no pontoon to moor to within the lock chamber.

PK 104.4     Cannes-Écluses bridge, quay for boats u/s l/b, village 200m
PK 100.6     Lock 16 (Brosse), sloping sides, r/b, weir
PK 98.0     Footbridge
PK 97.6     Sand barge quays
PK 96.2     Lock 15 (Barbey), sloping sides, r/b, weir
PK 93.8     Misy-sur-Yonne bridge, mooring d/s r/b, village 300m
PK 91.8     Lock 14 (Port-Renard), end of lock-cut, navigation re-enters Yonne
PK 90.1     Lock 13 (Vinneuf), sloping sides, bridge, pontoon to tie up to within the lock chamber
PK 89.1     Bridge (Gain)
PK 88.6     Bridge (Morlaix)
PK 87.1     Bridge (Courlon) and flood gate
PK 87.0     Entrance to Courlon lock-cut, r/b
PK 86.9     Courlon-sur-Yonne r/b
PK 85.0     Serbonnes r/b
PK 84.4     Serbonnes castle r/b
PK 80.2     Lock 12 (Champfleury), r/b, weir

Yonne Vanne Aqueduct
The Vanne aqueduct carrying the water supply line to Paris.

PK 78.6     Pont-sur-Yonne bridge, quay d/s l/b, village with all services 100m
PK 76.1     Vanne aqueduct (Paris water supply)
PK 74.7     Hotel (Le Manoir de l’Onde) l/b
PK 74.5     Lock 11 (Villeperrot), sloping sides, r/b, weir
PK 71.9     Motorway bridge (A19)
PK 71.0     Saint-Denis quay and village r/b
PK 69.5     Lock 10 (Saint-Martin), r/b, weir
PK 68.0     Commercial quays r/b
PK 67.6     Road bridge (Pont Neuf)
PK 67.3     (Boats heading u/s) river divides, navigation in r/b arm
PK 66.8     Sens bridge, concrete quay with widely-spaced bollards d/s r/b, water, electricity, town centre, restaurants r/b
PK 66.5     River divides, navigation in r/b arm
PK 65.3     Lock 9 (Saint-Bond), sloping sides, r/b, weir
PK 62.6     Bridge (D1060, Sens bypass)
PK 60.5     Lock 8 (Rosoy), sloping sides, r/b, weir
PK 59.5     Quay (Rosoy) r/b
PK 57.0     Étigny bridge, village 400m l/b
PK 56.0     Lock 7 (Étigny) with sloping sides, r/b, weir
PK 54.1     Quay (Passy) r/b, private quay l/b
PK 50.5     Lock 6 (Villeneuve-sur-Yonne) with sloping sides, r/b, weir
PK 50.0     Villeneuve-sur-Yonne bridge, boat moorings d/s l/b, 25 berths, night €8.50, water €4, electricity €4, showers €2, slipway, repairs, crane on request, small town and hotel/ restaurant r/b
PK 44.9     Lock 5 (Armeau) with sloping sides, r/b, weir
PK 41.8     Villevallier bridge, mooring r/b
PK 40.3     Lock 4 (Villevallier), r/b, weir
PK 37.4     Bridge (D606)
PK 37.0     Villecien r/b

Yonne Saint Aubin lock
Saint-Aubin lock, where this boat preferred the comforting presence of the péniche to the pontoons. © Daniel Stufft

PK 36.1     Saint-Aubin-sur-Yonne quay and village r/b
PK 36.0     End of lock-cut, navigation re-enters Yonne
PK 35.4     Lock 3 (Saint-Aubin) with sloping sides, bridge
PK 32.7     Bridge (Épizy) and flood gate
PK 32.6     Entrance to Joigny lock-cut, r/b
PK 31.6     Quay l/b (Port des Maillotins), Locaboat hire base, 12 berths, night €14, water €3, electricity €3, showers €2.50, slipway, repairs, restaurant 100m
PK 31.1     Joigny bridge, quay and town centre r/b
PK 28.7     Lock 2 (Pêchoir), l/b, weir
PK 24.8     Lock 1 (Épineau), l/b, weir, boat club with slipway d/s r/b
PK 23.8     Laroche-Saint-Cydroine bridge, village r/b, pontoon d/s r/b, night €5, water, electricity
PK 22.9     Quay (Coches), r/b, Migennes 500m
PK 22.7     Junction with Canal de Bourgogne, r/b
PK 22.6     Railway bridge (Laroche)
PK 22.4     Boatyard (Chantier Fluvial de Migennes)
PK 22.2     Bridge (Charmoy)
PK 21.8     Bridge (Migennes)
PK 21.4     Confluence of Armançon, r/b
PK 21.1     Lock 9 (Gravière), l/b, weir
PK 17.9     Bassou bridge, village 400m l/b, Bonnard r/b, free mooring for 4 boats, showers at camp site €2.20Junction Plan Yonne Migennes
PK 17.0     Lock 8 (Bassou), r/b, weir
PK 15.6     End of Gurgy lock-cut, navigation re-enters Yonne
PK 15.4     Lock 7 (Raveuse), bridge d/s
PK 14.0     Lock 6 (Néron), bridge d/s
PK 12.9     Appoigny bridge (skew), commercial quay u/s l/b, village 1500m l/b
PK 12.0     Bridge (Chaumes)
PK 10.6     Bridge (Gurgy) and flood gate
PK 10.5     Entrance to Gurgy lock-cut, r/b
PK 10.1     Gurgy quay, r/b, free mooring for 12 boats, water €5, electricity €5,  showers €3, pump-out, wifi, no services in village
PK 8.9     Motorway bridge (A6, Autoroute du Soleil)
PK 7.5     Lock 5 (Monéteau), r/b, weir
PK 6.8     Monéteau bridge, mooring r/b
PK 5.9     Lock 4 (Boisseaux), l/b, weir
PK 4.3     Lock 3 (Dumonts), l/b, weir
PK 3.2     Bridge (D606 Auxerre bypass)
PK 2.5     Lock 2 (Île Brûlée), l/b, weir
PK 1.0     Lock 1 (Chaînette), l/b, weir
PK 0.8     Bridge (Pont de la Tournelle)
PK 0.7     Bridge (Jean Moreau), hotel boat and trip boat moorings u/s l/bJunction Plan Yonne Auxerre
PK 0.3     Auxerre footbridge, boat harbour r/b, Aquarelle harbour, 40 berths, night €11.80, diesel, water €5.20, electricity €4.85, showers €2, gantry 10t, slipway and winch, pump-out, storage, repairs, wifi, city centre and cathedral l/b

Moorings on west bank quayside, which has been improved by the town in recent years, but more for hotel barges and passenger boats than plaisanciers, or at the port de plaisance opposite, but can be very popular, with boats often rafting up two or three deep. Supermarket nearby.

PK 0.0     Connection with Canal du Nivernais (Pont Paul-Bert in Auxerre)

Cruises, holidays and vacations on this waterway

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