Rental Boats

Self-drive Boating Holidays in France (& beyond)

Le Boat - Canal du Midi, Marseillan
Le Boat - Canal du Midi, Marseillan
France Afloat - Canal du Nivernais, Burgundy
France Afloat - Canal du Nivernais, Burgundy

Drive-your-own rental boats offer relaxing and adventurous holidays throughout the waterways of France, as well as other parts of Europe.  

Whether you love ‘messing about in boats’, or want a floating base from which to explore, rental boats are ideal, providing accommodation and transportation in one neat package.  They’re fun for all ages and no licence is required, so everyone can take the wheel.

We have explored most of the French canals and rivers since working on hotel barges in the 1980s, so can advise on your perfect getaway.  Rental boats come in all shapes and sizes - traditional houseboats, stylish cruisers and steel-hulled mini-barges - and can sleep from two to twelve people.  They are fully equipped, so all you need to bring is food and drink, a camera, a good book and perhaps a fishing rod!  Contact us and we will find you the best boat on the best route for your holiday afloat.

There are bases throughout France, for one way as well as return cruises, so you can embark on your personal voyage of exploration, cruising at your own pace.  Bicycles give you the freedom to search out fresh croissants for breakfast, enjoy lively markets and discover the villages, vineyards, history and the people.  Moor overnight in a tranquil country spot, or tie up at a village quay and try a local restaurant, or self-cater aboard. 

"Hello Robert

I thought you would like to have some feedback on our France Afloat board hire which you organised last September.   It was a fantastic holiday and just as we imagined it, thank you, despite the weather not quite playing ball.   Your notes and proposed itinerary were really helpful thanks.    We did though spend more time in Carcassonne (3x nights and two whole days) and used the port, instead of freedom camping along the canal sides, which proved to be a bonus for us as we could walk up and down to the old city several times with ease.   This was the highlight of the whole canal trip for everyone.  

France Afloat were very efficient and helpful at both ends.  Even when we arrived a night early at Castelnauldary, they accommodated us happily by “double bunking” us alongside the wharf.   Great staff both ends to work with.  Thanks again for making booking our boating trip so streamlined and enjoyable.   Helen & David (and fellow crew)"

"Dear Robert,
We have just realised that we have not written to THANK YOU for organising our wonderful Garonne Canal /Baise River canal boat holiday.  As always, you did an excellent job by creating a very detailed and thorough itinerary inclusive of where to eat, what to see, etc. which made for a successful holiday.    We had a great time, was lots of fun and very enjoyable.   We did lots of things wrong, but no one fell into the canal - we learnt a lot and now consider ourselves 'experts' at canal boating.  Kind regards,  Jan and Geoff"