Sea and Canal Routes to Med
Welcome to my main page on the Canals and Rivers of France
As you can see there many different sections on the canals. If you are interested in boats and circumnavigating the world there are lots of pages you can access above the red title.
The following links are the routes between the UK - English Channel and the Mediterranean.
This page covers the different routes you can take between the UK and the Mediterranean. There are links from here to detailed information on The Canal du Midi and The Scenic Route as well using a the Lorry Option to transport your boat or just the mast.
The Rhone River Parking Places lists all the know overnight stopping places which are few and far between. Eloise Diary is the daily log of my trip last year from the UK to the Med then back up the Canal du Midi to my home in La Rochelle
If you have little up to date knowledge of the canals and rivers between northern Europe and the Mediterranean, I have published a book which should give you all the information you need in order to get the correct French recognised qualifications and licences to take the boat into the inland waterways of France. It also lists the main routes with details of distance, timing and the appropriate inland waterway chart books - Fluviacarte book charts of the canals that you will require.
Routes Between the English Channel and the Mediterranean
Over 2700 copies sold.... This
book has become the standard work for transiting the French canals to
the Mediterranean and back
Over 2700 copies sold....
This book has become the standard work for transiting the French canals to the Mediterranean and back
Download now from
This is not a pilot book, rather a passage plan and guide to the nicer places between the South Coast of the UK to the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. It can all be done in easy stages, to suit a lightly crewed boat, with perhaps only a couple of people on board who are without ‘offshore’ experience. Actually, it is a lovely way to explore a lot of delightful foreign places.
Download now from
The sales of this book almost equal that of French Canal Routes. Over 2000 copies sold....
From the UK
From the Mediterranean.
There are 2 ways to obtain an ICC:
1. By completing the ICC application form and attaching a photocopy of your Practical certificate at Powerboat Level 2, Day Skipper or above. Consult the list of certificates eligible for conversion on the back of the ICC application form which is available from the RYA or the RYA by email.
2. By taking a practical test at a RYA Training Centre or a RYA Affiliated Club authorised to carry out ICC tests. The test lasts approximately half a day and can be taken on your own boat or one provided by a school or club. The test includes; questions on safety, collision avoidance and for coastal waters; navigation and piloting. In order to operate a sail boat or sailing yacht you will need to approach a Sail Cruising School . Motor Boaters need a Motor Boat School - its going to cost around £250 minimum!
If you are intending to take a boat through the European Inland Waterways system, i.e. canals, rivers, lakes etc. applicants must also have passed a written multiple choice test called the CEVNI (European Inland Waterways Regulations) at an RYA Training Centre or RYA Affiliated Club authorised to carry out tests. The CEVNI test is a multiple choice paper of 14 questions. The pass mark is 11 and usually takes about 10 minutes.
For non British people if you have a certificate of competence to run your boat - USA Captains ticket etc it will be acceptable to the authorities. You will still need the CEVNI test - any nationality can get that at one of the UK training schools who seem to charge around £15-£25 for the 10 minute test! There is a French test and paper and it comprises of the CEVNI plus a 1/2 hour practical - need to use a school motorboat.. lot of hassel - all in French and will cost around £250. Alternatively if you have access to a British address you could use that for your RYA application...
If you are heading from the MED - TO THE ENGLISH CHANNEL OR BORDEAUX and are not European I would just chance it - wave whatever qualification you have written in your own language and express keenness to help! They do ask to see the boat license fee disc at locks - you must get that at least. Recently the French authorities in some of the offices (Particularly the Paris office) have started to ask to see your Certificate of Competence for inland waterways or your CEVNI before issuing the the boats canal license -
VNF = Voies Navigables de France - details of license fees and canal offices - official paper
There is an excellent web site created by a retired 747 pilot which provides 'flip cards' and all the info you need to know before taking the CEVNI exam
For mast tranpot by road * around 1100€
OSSEBILKSTRAAT 19 - BE-8211 AARTRIJKE
EMAIL : firstname.lastname@example.org
WEBSITE ON WWW.MARADLAGO.BE
Demasting and masting in Rouen
Tél : 02.32.10.26.57
Fax : 02.35.70.52.37
Ted Johnson who lives and works in France can get spares to you overnight... and by the inexpensive French Postal Service (really does work - next day delivery)
You can contact Ted at Marine Diesel
This site has a series of tests for the written part of the CEVNI certificate
find out if you know the rules!
Probably the best site for learning boating things on the net!
These web sites may be useful
(Marina at med end of the system)
lists the pilot informaion of the ports from the mouth of the Rhone to Gibraltar.
I am pleased to say this web site is
who have been kind, helpful and understanding. I really recommend them