Information about the 313km long Canal de la Marne au Rhin


The Canal de la Marne au Rhin was completed in 1855 as a vital link between Paris and Alsace and Germany. It presents diverse landscapes, but is consistently delightful along its full length. Waterways author Hugh McKnight rightly judges that the length from Niderviller PK 245 to Saverne PK 269 contains all that is best on the French waterways : the softly rounded countryside of Lorraine, then steep-sided wooded valleys, picturesque Alsatian villages, plus two tunnels and the unique Arzviller inclined plane. The canal passes through the historic towns of Bar-le-Duc, Toul and Nancy, and finishes in style just beyond the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

This was the longest canal in France (313km) until 1979, when a 23km section along the Moselle valley was closed following completion of the Moselle canalisation works between Frouard and Neuves-Maisons. The route from the junction with the Canal entre Champagne et Bourgogne and the Canal latéral à la Marne at Vitry-le-François to the port of Strasbourg on the Rhine is now made up as follows:

  • 131km Western Section
    Canal de la Marne au Rhin, western section (PK 0-131), connecting with the Canal de la Meuse at Troussey (PK 111), and with a short branch to Houdelaincourt (PK 85)
  • 25km Moselle River
    The canalised river Moselle, entered through a new lock, from Toul to Frouard (a distance of 25km, slightly longer than by the original canal),
  • 149km Eastern Section
    Canal de la Marne au Rhin, eastern section, from Frouard to Strasbourg (PK 154-313); this section makes connections with the Nancy branch of the Canal des Vosges at Laneuveville-devant-Nancy (PK 169) and with the Canal de la Sarre at Gondrexange (PK 228).

The western section in particular is now very peaceful. The pretty eastern section has several hire boat bases, justifiably popular.

The canal has two summit levels, the Mauvages summit (altitude 281m) between the Marne and the Meuse, and the Vosges summit (267m) between the Meurthe and the Rhine. The first includes the Mauvages tunnel, 4877m in length, while the second has two tunnels within a short distance at its eastern end, Niderwiller (475m) and Arzviller (2307m). There is a fourth tunnel at Foug (867m), cutting through the low watershed between the Meuse and Moselle valleys.

There was another tunnel 388m long at Liverdun, on the section now bypassed by the canalised Moselle.

There is an obligatory towage service at Mauvages. The times of the tows are 0915 and 1330 eastbound from Demange and 1115 and 1530 westbound from Mauvages. The other three tunnels are ventilated and all craft proceed under their own power when the green light is shown. On entering Foug tunnel from the western end there is a pole to be pushed forwards for 5 to 10 seconds, to inform the tunnel-keeper at lock 14.Marne-Rhin-reg

History – This canal was built concurrently with the railway line and by the same administration, from 1839 to 1855. Their course is parallel, with characteristic S-bends under railway bridges, especially in the descent through the Vosges. The locks were built to dimensions half way between the Becquey and Freycinet standards (34.50 by 5.20m, and sill depth of 1.80 m). German occupation of Alsace in 1871 then also prompted construction of the Canal de l’Est (now the Canal des Vosges) south from Nancy to connect with the River Saône.
The Marne au Rhin was deepened twice, first to 2.20 m (for 1.80m draught) at the end of the 19th century, then to 2.50 m (for 2.20 m draught) in the 1960s, but only through the section east of Nancy. At the same time, the terminal locks leading to the summit level were replaced, west of the Vosges, by the deepest Freycinet lock (Réchicourt), and towards Alsace by the inclined plane of Saint-Louis-Arzviller, a unique feat of engineering, overcoming a 44.55m difference in level. This canal has two summit levels, one between the Marne and the Moselle (also crossing the Meuse), the other between the Moselle and the Rhine.

Key Waterway Dimensions

  • Max Beam: 5.13m
  • Max Height: 3.60m
  • Max Draught: 1.80m

Canal de la Marne au Rhin – Navigation

The information here covers the canal only. See under Moselle the different conditions that apply on that broad river used by Rhine barges (25km link between the eastern and western sections).

Locks There are in all 152 locks, plus the inclined plane of Arzviller/Saint-Louis (PK 255) opened in 1969. The western section has 97 locks, of which 70 fall towards the Marne and 27 towards the Moselle. The locks are 38.70m long and 5.13m wide, except for the new lock connecting with the Moselle at Toul, which was built to slightly larger dimensions, 40 by 6m. The eastern section now has only 55 locks (instead of 78). There are 21 from Nancy up to the summit level. The last, at Réchicourt, is a deep lock (15.70m) replacing the flight of six locks on the original canal. East of the summit level and Arzviller tunnel, a new cut clinging to the side of the Zorn valley leads to the inclined plane, which replaces a flight of 17 locks. These are currently disused, although there are plans to restore the first four locks down to an attractive basin surrounded by pine trees.

From the point where the downstream approach canal rejoins the old line there are 34 locks down to Strasbourg.

The minimum dimensions are the same as on the western section, although the inclined plane (and the new lock at Saverne) were built to the slightly greater width of 5.50m.

Locks are automatic (‘magic eye’ sensor) from PK 0 to PK 30 (lock 55). Before this lock is reached, the mobile lock-keeper will have supplied you with a remote control unit to be used throughout the rest of the canal. From PK 68 to PK 103 (Toul) the system automatically prepares the next in the series as one leaves the current lock.
The automatic locks in the Strasbourg region are managed in four separate flights: 18-24, 25-36, 37-46 and 47-51, with mobile lock-keepers in the VNF vans often to be seen driving along the towpath. They can be called up on the intercom available at each lock if needed.
The Nancy branch has 14 locks.

Headroom The maximum authorised air draught is 3.60m. Lift bridges are closed at lunchtime from 1200 to 1230.

Tunnels There is a 5km tunnel at PK 86 – PK 92 Mauvages, a 0.75km tunnel at PK 121 Foug, a 0.5km tunnel at PK248 Niderviller and a 2.3km tunnel at PK249-PK 251 Arzviller.

Draught The maximum authorised draught is 1.80m on the western section and 2.20m on the eastern section. Since there is still some commercial traffic, these values can be considered as reasonably reliable.

Speed Speed is limited to 6km/h throughout the canal, and 3km/h when passing moored boats.

Towpath There is a good towpath throughout.

Authority VNF Direction interrégionale du Nord-Est (Nancy)
–    UTI Canal de la Marne au Rhin Ouest
1 rue de l’Ormicée, BP 523, 55012 Bar-le-Duc cedex (PK 0-129)
–    UTI Canal de la Marne au Rhin Est – Embranchement de Nancy, 52 rue Charles de Foucauld, 54000 Nancy (PK 155-222 and Embranchement de Nancy)
VNF Direction interrégionale de Strasbourg
–    UTI Canal de la Marne au Rhin
12 rue de l’Orangerie, 67703 Saverne Cedex (PK 222-313)

Click to enlarge

Canal de la Marne au Rhine – Route description

Western section, Marne to Moselle > Eastern section, Moselle to Rhine <


PK 0.0     Vitry-le-François basin, Vitry-le-François basin, junction with Canal entre Champagne et Bourgogne town centre 500m

Vitry is a pleasant enough small town (rebuilt following wholesale destruction in WWII) and has facilities such as supermarkets and a large ‘brico’ (DIY store). The ‘harbour’ lies on a bend 1km west of pk 0, opposite a large péniche repair yard. It is very small and shallow. However, it is possible to moor up outside, alongside the canal itself, although the quay is not large.
The first section of the canal between Vitry and Bignicourt is fairly straight and featureless, although quiet and rural.

PK 0.2     Commercial quay l/b
PK 0.6     Bridge (Vassues)
PK 0.9     Junction with Canal latéral à la Marne (new cut), r/b
PK 1.7     Bridge (N4)
PK 1.9     Bridge (Saint-Jacques)
PK 3.3     Lock 70 (Saint-Étienne), VHF 20, water, bridge, quay u/s l/b
PK 5.1     Lock 69 (Adecourt), bridge
PK 5.8     Plichancourt bridge, quay and turning basin d/s
PK 6.6     Bridge (Caure)
PK 7.6     Brusson quay l/b, village 300m
PK 7.9     Lock 68 (Brusson), access lights l/b, very tight corner, bridge (D995), aqueduct upstream
PK 9.4     Ponthion bridge, small village 300m r/b
PK 10.0     Lock 67 (Ponthion), bridge, quay and turning basin d/s
PK 12.4     Le Buisson bridge, village l/b
PK 13.6     Bridge (Pré-le-Doyen)
PK 14.4     Bignicourt-sur-Saulx quay l/b d/s, no services

Pleasant mooring in a rural setting, overlooked by the splendid neoclassical château in the Palladian style

PK 14.6     Lock 66 (Bignicourt), bridge
PK 16.3     Étrepy quay l/b, village and castle 300m l/b
PK 16.6     Lock 65 (Étrepy), bridge, aqueduct upstream
PK 18.7     Lock 64 (Pargny-sur-Saulx), bridge, water
PK 18.8     Pargny-sur-Saulx basin and quay for 5 boats l/b, night €3.10, water, electricity, restaurant, village 600m l/b

Good mooring with services

PK 19.1     Lock 63 (Pargny-sur-Saulx aqueduct), aqueduct  upstream
PK 20.9     Bridge (Ajot)
PK 21.7     Lock 62 (Ajot)
PK 23.0     Lock 61 (Chaîne), bridge
PK 24.5     Lock 60 (Sermaize-les-Bains), bridge
PK 24.6     Sermaize-les-Bains basin, quay l/b, no services, small town 600m l/b
PK 24.7     Pipeline crossing
PK 24.9     Bridge (Remennecourt)
PK 25.2     Railway bridge, quay u/s l/b, caution, heavily silted
PK 25.7     Lock 59 (Remennecourt), bridge
PK 27.4     Lock 58 (Chevol), bridge
PK 28.1     Contrisson basin, quay l/b, village 400m
PK 28.4     Lock 57 (Contrisson), bridge
PK 29.1     Lock 56 (Braux), bridge, quay d/s l/b
PK 29.6     Railway bridge
PK 30.0     Lock 55 (Haie Herlin)
PK 30.6     Lock 54 (Damzelle), private quays u/s and d/s
PK 31.1     Lock 53 (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce), cement works, quay u/s l/b
PK 31.7     Lock 52 (Revigny), bridge, water
PK 31.8     Revigny quay l/b, water, small town 1500m r/b
PK 32.0     Overhead power lines
PK 32.8     Lock 51 (Bois l’Écuyer), bridge
PK 33.8     Lock 50 (Petit-Fraicul)
PK 34.6     Lock 49 (Grand-Fraicul)
PK 35.3     Neuville-sur-Ornain quay l/b, no services, village 1000m r/b
PK 35.6     Lock 48 (Neuville-sur-Ornain), bridge
PK 36.7     Lock 47 (Doeuil), private quay u/s l/b
PK 38.5     Lock 46 (Mussey), lift bridge, water, basin u/s, Val d’Ornain l/b
PK 39.2     Lock 45 (Chacolée)
PK 40.3     Lock 44 (Varney), bridge, quay d/s l/b
PK 41.2     Lock 43 (Rembercourt), quay u/s r/b, restaurant
PK 43.1     Fains-Véel quay for 3 boats l/b, water, electricity, village 500m
PK 43.3     Lock 42 (Fains-les-Sources), lift bridge, lights r/b
PK 44.5     Skew railway bridge and road bridge (D994)
PK 44.5     Lock 41 (Grand-Pré)
PK 45.0     Lock 40 (Pont-Canal de Chanteraines), aqueduct u/s
PK 46.2     Bridge
PK 46.3     Lock 39 (Bar-le-Duc), bridge, water, waiting bollards u/s l/bBar-le-DucPlan
PK 46.8     Bridge (Triby)
PK 47.0     Bar-le-Duc quay for 10 boats l/b, water, electricity, slipway, turning basin, town l/b over railway

Historic pretty small town, for many hundreds of years it was virtually an independent state and only became formally part of France in 1776. Birthplace of the bicycle. Quayside and finger pontoon moorings with services, near a railway station. (photo: bridge over the River Ornain, which runs parallel with the canal)

PK 47.5     Lift bridge (Marbot), quays u/s, no services
PK 47.9     Lock 38 (Marbot), lift bridge (Cimetière)
PK 48.6     Lock 37 (Popey)
PK 49.2     Railway bridge and main road bridge (N135), delicate passage, proceed with caution
PK 49.9     Lock 36 (Savonnières)
PK 50.5     Lock 35 (Longeville), bridge, aqueduct u/s
PK 51.5     Longeville basin, village 800m
PK 51.7     Lock 34 (Grande-Chalaide), bridge
PK 52.2     Bridge (Petite-Chalaide), Longeville r/b
PK 53.3     Lock 33 (Maheux)
PK 54.1     Lock 32 (Tannois), bridge
PK 54.4     Tannois quay l/b, heavily silted, no services, village 300m
PK 54.6     Lock 31 (Silmont), bridge
PK 55.6     Lock 30 (Guerpont)
PK 56.3     Lock 29 (Bohanne), bridge
PK 56.9     Lock 28 (Tronville), bridge
PK 57.9     Tronville bridge, quays r/b, no services, turning basin, village 300m
PK 58.9     Lock 27 (Chessard), bridge
PK 59.5     Lock 26 (Nançois-le-Petit)
PK 60.2     Lock 25 (Velaines), bridge, water
PK 60.5     Velaines bridge, quay d/s l/b, village over railway
PK 61.6     Lock 24 (Maulan), bridge
PK 62.2     Lock 23 (Villeroncourt), bridge
PK 62.3     Motorway bridge (N4 Ligny-en-Barrois bypass)
PK 62.5     Ligny-en-Barrois basin r/b, quay for 7 boats, water, electricity, shower, slipway, restaurant, town centre 500m

Small port de plaisance, reportedly shallow

PK 62.7     Lock 22 (Ligny-en-Barrois), bridge, water
PK 63.3     Bridge (Herval)
PK 64.1     Lock 21 (Gainval)
PK 64.8     Lock 20 (Grèves)
PK 65.3     Givrauval quay l/b, no services, village 200m
PK 65.6     Lock 19 (Givrauval), bridge
PK 66.9     Lock 18 (Longeaux)
PK 67.4     Longeaux bridge, quay u/s l/b, no services
PK 68.0     Menaucourt basin l/b
PK 68.2     Main road bridge (Patouillat) and railway bridge

N.B. Locks 17 (Menaucourt) to 1 (Demange) are equipped for automatic operation with radar detection, for easier transit maintain constant speed between locks.

PK 68.5     Lock 17 (Menaucourt), aqueduct u/s
PK 69.2     Lock 16 (Nantois), bridge
PK 70.4     Lock 15 (Naix-aux-Forges), bridge, quay u/s l/b, no services
PK 71.1     Lock 14 (Pont-canal de la Barboure), aqueduct u/s
PK 72.6     Saint-Amand-sur-Ornain bridge, quay d/s l/b, no services
PK 73.1     Lock 13 (Saint-Amand)
PK 74.2     Lock 12 (Charmasson)
PK 75.5     Lock 11 (Tréveray), VHF 20, bridge, water, village 500m l/b
PK 75.7     Turning basin and quay l/b, no services
PK 76.1     Lock 10 (Charbonnières)
PK 77.0     Lock 9 (Petite-Forge), private quay u/s l/b
PK 77.9     Lock 8 (Laneuville-Saint-Joire)
PK 78.4     Saint-Joire bridge, quay d/s r/b, village 500m
PK 79.0     Lock 7 (Saint-Joire)
PK 80.2     Lock 6 (Boeval)
PK 80.8     Lock 5 (Abbaye d’Evaux)
PK 82.2     Lock 4 (Montfort)
PK 83.2     Lock 3 (Bois-Molu)
PK 83.9     Lock 2 (Demange-aux-Eaux)
PK 84.1     Bridge (Croix-des-Morts)
PK 84.6     Demange-aux-Eaux quay for 4 boats r/b, water, village 700m over bridge

Good mooring close to the junction with the Houdelaincourt branch

PK 84.8     Lock 1 (Demange), bridge, water, beginning of Mauvages summit level
PK 85.1     Junction with embranchement de Houdelaincourt l/b, turning basin
PK 85.3     Bridge
PK 86.6     Mauvages tunnel, western entrance, depth 4.80m, height 3.30m on sides, 5.20m at apex

Wait for passage of the chain tug, morning or afternoon. Passage takes approximately one hour.

PK 91.5     Mauvages tunnel, eastern entrance, waiting quay with bollards

N.B. Locks 1 to 12 are equipped for automatic operation, with radar detection.

PK 92.3     Mauvages bridge, village 500m
PK 94.0     Lock 1 (Mauvages), end of Mauvages summit level
PK 94.6     Lock 2 (Villeroy), bridge
PK 95.3     Lock 3 (Chalède)
PK 95.9     Lock 4 (Grand-Charme), bridge
PK 96.8     Lock 5 (Saint-Esprit)
PK 97.6     Lock 6 (Corvée)
PK 97.9     Sauvoy bridge, small village 300m r/b

Birthplace of Nicholas-Joseph Cugnot, inventor of the first self-propelled mechanised vehicle in 1769

PK 98.2     Lock 7 (Sauvoy)
PK 98.6     Quay r/b (Sauvoy)
PK 98.8     Lock 8 (Varonnes), bridge
PK 100.0     Lock 9 (Biguiottes)
PK 100.9     Lock 10 (Haut-Bois), bridge
PK 101.7     Lock 11 (Vacon), bridge
PK 102.5     Lock 12 (Void), VHF 20, water
PK 103.9     Void quay, no services, footbridge, village l/b
PK 104.0     Void bridge
PK 107.1     Main road bridge (Croix-le-Pêcheur), N4
PK 109.4     Bridges (Naviot)
PK 110.3     Troussey aqueduct (over Meuse)
PK 111.3     Junction with Canal de la Meuse, l/b
PK 115.9     Pagny-sur-Meuse bridge, quay for 10 boats d/s r/b, water, village 200m
Good pontoon mooring with services, but a sleepy village
PK 117.5     Railway bridge
PK 118.0     Cement works and quays, north bank
PK 119.9     Bridge (Lay-Saint-Rémy), basin, quay u/s l/b, water
PK 120.4     Bridge (Ugny), beginning of Lay-Saint-Rémy cutting

PK 121.6 Foug tunnel
PK 121.6 Foug tunnel

PK 120.6     Foug tunnel, western entrance
PK 121.5     Foug tunnel, eastern entrance

Plenty of width and headroom in this tunnel, controlled by lights. Mooring on the small island (remnants of the former écluse) on the east side of the tunnel.

PK 121.6     Basin (Foug), mooring for 8 boats, no services
PK 121.9     Locks 14 and 14A (twin chambers), VHF 20, caution, lights indicate which lock to enter
PK 122.6     Lock 15, bridge, water
PK 122.8     Industrial quay, l/b, mooring permitted
PK 123.3     Lock 16, water
PK 124.0     Lock 17
PK 124.3     Industrial quay, l/b
PK 124.7     Lock 18, bridge
PK 125.4     Lock 19
PK 125.7     Railway bridges
PK 126.1     Lock 20, bridge
PK 126.8     Lock 21
PK 127.4     Lock 22, bridge
PK 127.5     Railway bridge
PK 128.2     Lock 23
PK 128.9     Lock 24
PK 129.7     Lock 25, bridge, water
PK 129.8     Toul quay (Porte de France), basin r/b with pontoon moorings for 35 boats (smaller vessels only), night €4.73, water, electricity, showers, canal office l/b, railway station and town centre 500mToulMarnePlan

Attractive port between the two écluses. Toul is a substantial old fortified town with all the facilities one could need. Good train station with links to Paris, Nancy, Strasbourg, and down the Moselle valley to Luxemburg and Germany.

PK 129.9     Bridge (Génie)
PK 129.9     Lock 26, VHF 20
PK 130.5     Bridge (Caponnière), Saint-Mansuy quay d/s r/b
PK 130.7     Railway bridge
PK 130.7     Saint-Mansuy lift bridge
PK 131.2     Lock 27, VHF 20, bridge, Lorraine Marine boatyard d/s r/b, turning basin, possible mooring and services for larger vessels

Lorraine Marine (Duncan Flack) is a well-respected boat repair and maintenance facilitiy, mooring (sometimes crowded) and offers secure overwintering. It is a small port but with a friendly, informal atmosphere. You have to walk a little way to the shops but not too far and the town has good supermarkets, a brico, etc.

PK 131.4     Entrance to new link to canalised Moselle, r/b
PK 131.6     Lock 27A, bridge
PK 131.7     Junction with canalised river Moselle

PK 3.2 Houdelaincourt basin

This junction marks the entrance to the ‘boucle de Nancy’ or Nancy loop. See the map below for the choice of itinerary, and the corresponding page references under the present Canal de la Marne au Rhin, the Moselle and the Canal des Vosges.

Houdelaincourt branch
PK 0.0     Junction with main line
PK 0.8     Bridge
PK 3.2     Houdelaincourt basin, quays


Eastern section from the Moselle to the Rhin


PK 154.6     Junction with canalised Moselle, embranchement de Frouard, port of Nancy-Frouard (canal not navigable north and west from this point), 12 berths, waterPompey-Frouard-Plan
PK 154.7     Bridge (access to Frouard railway station), quay
PK 156.1     Motorway bridge (A31)
PK 157.8     Champigneulles bridge (Pont de la Gare), basin pontoon moorings for 8 boats d/s l/b, no services, town centre 200m l/b
PK 158.6     Skew railway bridge
PK 160.3     Industrial quays d/s l/b
PK 160.5     Maxéville bridge
PK 161.1     Quay (Saint-Sébastien) l/b, water
PK 161.8     Bridge (Trois-Maisons)
PK 162.3     Malzéville lift bridge and footbridge, quay u/s l/b, water and Service Navigation subdivision
PK 162.6     Pipeline crossing
PK 162.8     Bridge (Gaz de la Sarre)
PK 163.1     Footbridge (Pépinière), quays u/s r/b
PK 163.5     Lift bridge (Sainte-Catherine) and footbridge
PK 163.6     Basin (Saint-Catherine), mooring for péniches, water and electricity, city
PK 163.7     Bridge (Pont Saint-Georges, tramway line T1)
PK 163.8     Nancy port de plaisance in basin l/b, 40 berths, night €8.50 to 22.50, fuel, water, electricity, showers, slipway, pump-out, wifi, restaurant, capitainerie and tourist office at the bridge

Port de plaisance Bassin St-Georges, services. Nancy was the French centre of Art Nouveau. Place Stanislas is reckoned the finest town square in France.

PK 163.9     Bridge (Tiercelins), quays u/s r/b, no services
PK 164.3     Pipeline crossing
PK 164.5     Bridge (avenue Charles E. Collignon)
PK 164.6     Covered footbridge (hospital)
PK 164.7     Tomblaine bridge
PK 164.8     Disused railway bridge, industrial quays and basin u/s
PK 165.6     BridgeNancyPlan
PK 165.8     Road bridge (D674, boulevard du Millénaire)
PK 165.9     Footbridge
PK 166.4     Lock 26/26a, bridge, basin d/s
PK 166.5     Jarville-la-Malgrange quays, no services, town l/b
PK 167.3     Bridge
PK 167.7     Pipeline crossings
PK 168.5     Laneuveville-devant-Nancy basin, junction with Nancy branch, l/b

See description of the Nancy branch at the end of the main line, page M-R-13.

PK 168.6     Bridge
PK 168.7     Lock 25/25a, water
PK 169.5     Bridge (Noue)LaneuvevillePlan
PK 171.9     Lock 24/24a, bridge, water, industrial quay d/s r/b, basin u/s l/b, no services
PK 172.1     Private viaduct (pipeline crossing)
PK 172.5     Saint-Phlin aqueduct (over Meurthe)
PK 175.6     Chemical factory, quays and conveyor bridges
PK 175.8     Varangéville bridge, quays u/s, town r/b

Quayside mooring

PK 176.2     Footbridge, basin u/s l/b
PK 177.0     Lock 23/23a, water, bridge, industrial quays u/s
PK 177.7     Conveyor bridge
PK 177.9     Private bridge (Solvay works)
PK 178.0     Conveyor
PK 178.1     Private bridge (Solvay works)
PK 178.6     Dombasle bridge, basin d/s badly silted, proceed with caution, water and electricity, preferred mooring as far u/s as possible, town with all services 400m l/b

Mooring pontoons, near France’s biggest salt production works.

PK 179.2     Lock 22, water
PK 180.5     Sommerviller bridge, quay u/s l/b with services, village 500m l/b

N.B. Locks 21 (Sommerviller) to 7 (Réchicourt) are equipped for automatic operation with radar detection

PK 181.1     Lock 21, bridge, salt works u/s r/b
PK 182.6     Lock 20, bridge
PK 183.4     Crévic bridge, bankside mooring, village l/b
PK 187.0     Maixe bridge, quay and village u/s r/b
PK 187.5     Lock 19, bridge
PK 189.3     Salt works, quay r/b
PK 189.9     Lock 18, VHF 18, bridge
PK 190.7     Einville-au-Jard basin l/b, quay for 10 boats, water, electricity, shower, village 300m

Halte nautique in basin. Basic shops and café in village

PK 191.1     Bridge, private quay u/s r/b
PK 191.4     Bridge (D914)
PK 193.4     Bridge
PK 194.7     Bauzemont basin, quay and small village r/b
PK 194.9     Lock 17, bridge
PK 195.2     Bridge
PK 197.3     Hénaménil bridge, quay d/s l/b, village 500m l/b
PK 198.7     Lock 16, bridge
PK 199.9     Parroy quay for 10 boats d/s r/b, night €4.60, water, electricity, village 1000m r/b

Attractive mooring, bollards on stone quay backed by grassy bank beside a campsite. The site opens out onto a wide pool formed when the land was flooded between the original sinuous course of the canal and the straight cut opened out in the 1960s.

PK 200.0 Bridge
PK 201.1 Bridge (Parroy)
PK 203.0 Lock 15, bridge
PK 203.2 Mouacourt basin l/b, small village 300m l/b
PK 205.7 Xures bridge, basin d/s, quay and village r/b
PK 206.1 Lock 14, bridge
PK 207.8 Lock 13, bridge
PK 209.2 Lagarde bridge, basin u/s r/b, Navig’France hire base, 40 berths, night €8, diesel, water, electricity, showers, crane 10t, slipway, repairs, restaurant

Long-established port de plaisance in the most popular part of the canal

PK 209.5     Small quay with boatyard, water
PK 209.7     Lock 12, bridge, water
PK 213.0     Lock 11, bridge
PK 215.1     Lock 10, bridge
PK 215.9     Moussey bridge, basin d/s r/b, village 1000m l/b

Quayside mooring

PK 217.0     Lock 9, bridge, water
PK 218.6     Lock 8, disused railway bridge, basin u/s r/b
PK 219.4     Lock 7, bridge, basin (Saint-Blaise) d/s, quay r/b
PK 219.8     Beginning of new cut l/b (bypassing flight of 6 locks, r/b)
PK 222.1     Lock 2 (Réchicourt), bridge, water, beginning of summit level, water

This deep lock (16m rise) takes half an hour to complete one half-cycle, so you may be obliged to wait some time, in which case take time to visit the disused flight of six locks that this deep lock replaced in the 1960s. However there now follows (travelling east) some 33km of lock-free summit level canal leading to Arzviller.

PK 222.4     Former access to flight of 6 locks r/b
PK 222.5     Old lock (open, narrow passage)
PK 223.1     Bridge (Col des Français) over cutting
PK 224.2     Stop gate
PK 225.3     Turning basin

A quiet lakeside mooring just off the canal

PK 227.6     Junction with Canal de la Sarre ; Heads north to Saarbrücken, mooring 2km along the bief, before the first lock : Port du Houillon, with services.
PK 227.7     Footbridge
PK 229.5     Gondrexange bridge, stop gate, village 200m
PK 230.2     Bridge (Prés)
PK 230.3     Skew railway bridge
PK 232.0     Bridge (Hertzing)
PK 232.4     New road bridge (N4)
PK 232.5     Bridge, basin d/s r/b
PK 233.0     Cement factory,  conveyor bridge and pipeline crossing, private quay r/b
PK 233.2     Héming bridge (Pont de Lorquin), quays d/s r/b, village 400m r/b
PK 233.8    Towpath bridge
PK 236.0     Xouaxange bridge over narrow cutting, one-way traffic, pontoon for 4 boats d/s l/b, water, electricity, restaurant, small village r/b
PK 237.9     Destroyed bridge, narrow passage
PK 238.8     Laforge aqueduct (length 45m)
PK 239.7     Bridge (Germain)
PK 240.3     Hesse basin and Le Boat hire base r/b, 20 berths, night €10, diesel, water, electricity, showers, crane 10t, restaurant, village 300m

Another long-established port de plaisance and hire base, with a huge boat shed. All functional rather than pretty. One of the canal’s feeders enters the basin on the opposite side of the basin.

PK 240.6     Bridge (Le Village), basins with quays both sides
PK 240.8     Skew railway bridge (disused)
PK 241.0     Bridge (Charmenack) over Hesse cutting, 465m long (one-way traffic)
PK 243.1     Bridge (Neuhof)
PK 243.6     Destroyed bridge, narrow passage
PK 243.7     Schneckenbusch bridge, mooring l/b, small village
PK 244.3     Bridge (Brouderdorff)
PK 244.9     Bridge (Buhl)
PK 245.5     Niderviller-Neubruch bridge, quay for 15 boats d/s l/b, Kuhnle Tours hire base, night €13.80, diesel, water, electricity, showers, crane 25t, repairs, wifi, restaurant, village 1000m

Kuhnle Tours hire base in Niderviller-Neubruch, PK 245.5
Kuhnle Tours hire base in Niderviller-Neubruch PK 245.5 ©Martin Dudle-Ammann



Attractive harbour in an expansive basin on the south side of the canal.

PK 246.0     Bridge (Hombesch)
PK 247.0     Bridge (Niderviller-Altmuhle), port de plaisance u/s, 11 berths, night €4.60, water, electricity, shower, slipway, restaurant

The ‘public’ port de plaisance for Niderviller. Visitor moorings to sheet piling quay on south side.

PK 248.0     Niderviller tunnel, western entrance

One-way only, controlled by lights. Tunnel length 475m.

PK 248.5     Niderviller tunnel, eastern entrance
PK 249.0     Basin (quays to tie up and wait for passage if necessary)

Arzviller inclined plane, opened in 1968 for 250t barges, is now a major tourist attraction. © Nordlicht
Arzviller inclined plane, opened in 1968 for 250t barges, is now a major tourist attraction. © Nordlicht

PK 249.3     Arzviller tunnel, western entrance

One-way only, controlled by lights. Tunnel length 2307m. Depth 2.70m, height 4.50m on sides, 5.10m to apex.

PK 251.6     Arzviller tunnel, eastern entrance
PK 251.8     Arzviller basin
PK 251.9     Entrance to new canal section, r/b, bypassing flight of 17 locks (if using towpath, follow that of the old flight)
PK 252.0     Saint-Louis bridge, village 1000m r/b
PK 254.7     Saint-Louis-Arzviller inclined plane, VHF 18, basin u/s with waiting quay r/b as required

One of the major features of the French canal system, opened in 1969 to replace 17 écluses which took eight hours to negotiate. Boats travel up and down the slope (height 44.5m) very smoothly in 41m long water-filled steel caisson containers. Controlled by lights. Moorings in the lower basin. No services here and no pedestrian access.

PK 255.3     Bridge
PK 255.6     New cut rejoins original line of canal below lock 17, l/b
PK 256.0     Lock 18, water
PK 256.1     Railway viaduct (Hofmuhle), turning basin d/s
PK 256.7     Lock 19, bridge

N.B: Locks 18 to 30-31 are a regulated flight with automated operation, activated by lights.

PK 257.5     Lock 20, water
PK 258.1     Locaboat hire base in basin r/b, caution: very tight bend, 5 berths, €10 (first night, then €5), water and electricity €5, showers €2.50, repairs, restaurant
PK 258.5     Lock 21, bridge, water
PK 258.7     Lutzelbourg quay and l/b, picturesque village
PK 258.9     Port de plaisance, water €2, electricity €2, shower €1, restaurant

Very pretty village, quayside mooring, services

PK 259.1     Lock 22, bridge, water
PK 260.3     Lock 23
PK 261.1     Lock 24
PK 262.2     Lock 25
PK 263.0     Lock 26, lift bridge, mooring possible d/s r/b
PK 264.3     Lock 27, footbridge
PK 264.9     Lock 28, bankside mooring possible d/s l/b

Dramatic scenery with ruined castles on cliff tops.

PK 266.1     Lock 29, bridge (D132)
PK 266.3     Railway viaduct (Haut-Barr), quay u/s l/b, no services
PK 268.4     Footbridge
PK 268.5     Bridge (D1004)
PK 268.6     Deep lock 30/31, VHF 18, bridge, end of regulated flight
PK 269.0     Saverne basin, Nicols hire base and moorings l/b, 40 berths, night €9.30, water, electricity, shower €2.10, slipway, restaurant, limited moorings r/b, town centre r/b

Extensive port de plaisance, services. A typically Alsatian, small town. Half timbered, painted or carved, houses and the immense red sandstone summer palace of Cardinal Louis de Rohan.

PK 269.5     Bridge (Orangerie)

N.B: Locks 32 to 36 are a regulated flight with automated operation, activated by lights.

PK 270.1     Lock 32, railway bridge u/s
PK 271.0     Lock 33, bridge
PK 272.0     New road bridge (D1404)
PK 272.2     Lock 34, bridge
PK 272.5     Lock 35
PK 273.7     Lock 36, bridge, end of regulated flight
PK 273.8     Steinbourg bridge, quay d/s r/b, village 800m l/b
PK 277.1     Dettwiller bridge, quay u/s r/b, no services, village 1000m l/b

Bankside mooring

PK 277.6     Lock 37, beginning of regulated flight to lock 41
PK 278.0     Bridge (D112)
PK 278.9     Lock 38
PK 279.3     Bridge
PK 279.8     Lock 39
PK 280.1     Lupstein bridge, bankside mooring, village 500m r/b
PK 281.4     Lock 40, bridge, Wilwisheim 700m l/b
PK 281.8     Bridge
PK 283.2     Bridge
PK 283.6     Lock 41, bridge, end of regulated flight
PK 286.2     Hochfelden bridge, quay d/s l/b, village 1000m l/b

Port de plaisance (basin) and simple moorings

PK 288.0     Lock 42, bridge, quay (Mutzenhouse) d/s r/b
PK 288.8     Schwindratzheim bridge, village 800m l/b
PK 289.1     Lock 43
PK 290.7     Waltenheim bridge, quay d/s r/b, water, village 200m r/b
PK 291.0     Lock 44, bridge
PK 292.1     Lock 45
PK 293.0     Bridge
PK 294.0     Lock 46, bridge, end of regulated flight, restaurant d/s l/b
PK 296.8     Bridge (D30), quay d/s r/b, no services, Brumath 2500m l/b

Mooring for excursions into the Brumath forest.

PK 297.5     Bridge (D60)
PK 300.3     Eckwersheim bridge, village 1200m r/b
PK 300.6     Lock 47
PK 301.7     Lock 48, VHF 18
PK 302.0     Vendenheim swing bridge, village 500m r/b
PK 302.2     Railway bridge
PK 302.4     Bridge (D263), quay (Vendenheim) d/s r/b, no services

Village mooring

PK 303.9     Bridge
PK 304.5     Motorway bridge (A4)
PK 305.0     Bridge (D63, motorway access road)
PK 305.2     Bridge
PK 305.7     Lock 49, bridge, Reichstett 800m l/b
PK 306.9     Souffelweyersheim quay r/b, water and electricity, village 800m r/b

Port de plaisance with basic services in a pleasant ‘out of town’ location. Excellent public transport links into Strasbourg. The municipality has been rewarded several times for its floral displays.

PK 307.0     Lock 50, bridge
PK 307.9     Railway bridge
PK 308.0     Bridge (D468)
PK 308.7     Hoenheim bridge, village r/b (Strasbourg suburb)
PK 309.5     Bischheim bridge, quay u/s r/b, town centre 300m r/b
PK 309.9     Bridge (rue de la Zorn)
PK 310.2     Schiltigheim bridge (tramway line B), quay d/s r/b, town centre 800m r/b
PK 310.6     Lock 51, footbridge
PK 310.7     Bridge (Wacken)
PK 311.3     Lock 52 (stop lock), bridge
PK 311.6     Junction with river Ill, turn right for access to centre of Strasbourg and northern section of Canal du Rhône au Rhin
PK 311.9     Bridge (Rose Blanche)
PK 312.6     Bridge (Porte du Canal)
PK 313.0     Canal terminates in Bassin des Remparts (basin in the port of Strasbourg), Junction with Rhin, 1.2km through northern locks of the port of Strasbourg, water, electricity, slipway

Strasbourg detailsFor Strasbourg, continue through the Bassin des Remparts to moor at Koejac Yachting, which offers moorings, fuel, chandlery, repairs and maintenance (lift-out) at quai des Belges (see plan)

The river Ill flows through the centre of the historic city and is navigable through to the quay at the junction with the Canal des Faux Remparts, even beyond but use of this route is strongly discouraged so as not to interfere with the incessant movements of the passenger boats. Hence the recommendation to take a skippered boat trip to appreciate the city. There are connecting locks into the Rhine to the north-east and the south-east. The separated (northern branch) of the Canal du Rhône au Rhin begins south-west of Strasbourg and heads 31km south, parallel with the river, to Boofzheim and then into the Rhine/Grand Canal d’Alsace. See also under River Ill. A proper port de plaisance for Strasbourg has been promoted for more than 20 years, in the Port de l’Hôpital, but the lack of funding has constantly blocked it.

Embranchement de Nancy
PK 0.0     Junction with Canal de la Marne au Rhin (PK 169)
PK 0.2     Lock 13 (versant Meurthe), bridge, Laneuveville-devant-Nancy 200m r/b
PK 0.4     Lock 12, railway bridge u/s, private quay u/s r/b
PK 2.5     Lock 11, bridge
PK 3.9     Lock 10, basin u/s r/b
PK 4.2     Lock 9, bridge
PK 4.5     Lock 8, bridge (D71)
PK 4.7     Lock 7, basin u/s r/b
PK 4.9     Lock 6, basin u/s r/b
PK 5.1     Lock 5, basin u/s r/b
PK 5.3     Lock 4, basin u/s r/b
PK 5.4     Lock 3, basin u/s r/b
PK 5.6     Lock 2, basin u/s r/b
PK 5.7     Bridge
PK 5.8     Lock 1 (versant Meurthe), bridge, beginning of Mauvais Lieu summit level
PK 6.0     Motorway bridge (A33)
PK 7.1     Bridge and railway bridge (siding)
PK 8.2     Motorway bridge (A330)
PK 8.5     Lock 1 (versant Moselle), bridge (D570), end of summit level
PK 9.2     Lock 2
PK 9.3     Railway bridge
PK 9.6     Lock 3
PK 9.9     Lock 4
PK 10.1     Lock 5, bridge (D115)
PK 10.2     Junction with Canal des Vosges, turning basin

Cruises, holidays and vacations on the Canal de la Marne au Rhin

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 – Alsace