The Charente, one the most beautiful rivers of France

A one stop shop for delicious gastronomy, Cognac, pretty countryside,
intriguing town scapes and crystal clear waterways.

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Boating holiday

The Charente, one the most beautiful rivers of France

Charente Boating Holidays. The Charente river was quoted by Francois the 1st, King of France in the 14th century, as being the most beautiful river in the country. He had a nose for good living (literally – he was known as “Big Nose”) and we’re sure that you’ll agree with him once you’ve explored this exceptional waterway.

Your base


The small village of Sireuil on the Charente River is a great base to start your cruise adventure and offers you all the basic amenities to prepare you for your trip.

The short eastward route takes you to the bustling town of Angoulême, capital of the Charente region. It is renown for its artistic culture with an international comic book festival. The city is surrounded by medieval ramparts and sits high above the Charente river with fantastic views of the whole valley. The old town with its winding alleyways and cobbled streets is a great place to explore. The grand 12th century Saint Pierre Cathedral is in the town centre and there’s a cartoon trail with amazing murals giving an interesting juxtaposition of gothic and romanesque architecture.

Heading west, the River Charente winds through vineyards, typical white stone villages, eventually joining the Atlantic Ocean Rochefort.

The clean crystal clear waters along the river are great to swim in and there are supervised beaches near Jarnac and Chateauneuf-sur-Charente.

The banks are lined with fields of sunflowers and rolling hills of Cognac’s vineyards. The town of Cognac itself astride the Charente River. Here you will able to moor and take a stroll through the centre where you can discover the many distilleries of the famous spirit. French Leave Holidays can arrange private tours of The House of Remy Martin, producers of exceptional Cognac since 1724. There are 11 unique experiences for you to enjoy that include a visit of their vineyards, cellars, historic house followed by a tasting. Please ask us for details at the time of booking.

The river continues to Saintes with its Roman amphitheatre and delightful small towns and villages of Fleurac, St Simeux, Châteauneuf, Saint-Simon, Bassac, St Brice, Jarnac, Saint-Savinien. The final stop on this stretch of water is Rochefort. This busy town on the Atlantic coast, also known as Rochefort-sur-Mer, was established in the middle of the 17th century. It has an important military past and housed many naval and military schools. You can explore its architectural heritage and once moored, you can cycle to the ocean’s beaches where you’ll also be able to glimpse the island prison of Fort Boyard.

Local tourist office

The region’s tourist office website is worth visiting when you are preparing your holiday with some great local advice, tips and useful information

A cruise through the canals and inland waterways of France

Holiday Highlights

Beautiful stream

The most beautiful stream in the Kingdom” according to the King

Remy Martin

Visit The House of Remy Martin

Cognac and Pineau

The Cognac and Pineau des Charentes vineyards


Angouleme, comic book capital


Châteauneuf sur charente and L’île Madame beaches

The Routes

Boating map

Holiday Information


Guide Prices for 2023 based on 1 week boat hire
Price period 18 Mar – 28 Apr
23 Sep – 05 Nov
29 Apr – 02 Jun
09 Sep – 22 Sep
03 Jun – 23 Jun
26 Aug – 08 Sep
24 Jun – 07 Jul
19 Aug – 25 Aug
08 Jul – 18 Aug
by air*
by car*
£414pp £521pp £549pp £592pp £626pp
by train*
£814pp £922pp £949pp £992pp £1026pp
by car
Prices are based on Dover to Calais ferry crossings in a standard size car measuring 1.85 x 5m. Eurotunnel & other ferry routes also available.
by train
Prices are based on Standard Class Eurostar service from London to Paris with a connecting fast train service and they include private transfer on arrival and departure.
All prices are a guide. Prices can increase or decrease depending on availability. The prices are based on 2 people hiring a Sedan 800 for 1 week. Other boats and travel options are available please discuss your requirements with our team. We can arrange hotel accommodation before you start or at the end of your boat holiday. Please ask our team for details. Prices can change quickly – you will be quoted the current price at the time of booking. Please visit our special offers page for up to date seasonal discounts.


Boat Choices - Depending on the size of your group and your preferred boat specification it may be necessary to start from from a specific base.

Boat Ranges Brienon Venarey Les Laumes
Estivale More Info Quattro | Quattro S Duo | Sixto | Octo
Confort More Info 900 DP | 1100 | 1350 B 900 DP | 1350 B
Sedan More Info 1000 | 1150 | Primo 1000 | 1010 | 1160N | 1310 | Primo
Riviera More Info 920


Duration Cruise From Sireuil KM Locks Hours
2 Day Weekend A Sireuil – Jarnac – Sireuil 56 18 13h
Short Break A Sireuil – Chaniers – Sireuil 132 30 24h
1 Week A Sireuil – Saint Savinien – Sireuil 198 30 32h
2 Week A Sireuil – Rochefort – Josselin – Sireuil 252 32 40h


Crockery etc

Full supply for the number of passengers + kitchen towel kit

Bedding and Towels:

sheets, blankets/duvets, pillows with cases

Navigation Instruction

Boat Equipment

All equipment necessary for navigation

Temporary Boat Licence

Temporary Boat Licence to use on the waterways of France

Boat Insurance

Please check on arrival  for upgrades to insurance

Breakdown assistance:

Available 7 days per week during base opening times


  • Sailing consumables: this is packaged to include engine fuel and oil, gas for the hot water and stove. On-board equipment monitors usage. This is paid locally and ranges from €5.50 to €12.80 per day depending on boat size.
  • Deposit: You will be asked to pay a deposit of €1000 per boat (1500€ for boats over 10m) and €150 to cover the cleaning (200€ for boats over 10m). This deposit covers the insurance, loss of hire and cleaning if required. The deposit is refundable on the return of the boat at the end of your cruise if it is bought back in clean and undamaged to the agreed return location.
  • SIXTO GREEN: Sailing consumables includes gas consumed on board (heating, hotplates, oven etc.), the charging of the batteries during
    your cruise and maintenance, plus a financial contribution to VNF,  the organization responsible for management of the charging terminals.
  • Cleaning service: full interior & exterior and interior or exterior.


  • Comprehensive waterways guide
  • Bicycle hire
  • Barbecue
  • Garage parking
  • One way transfers
  • Fishing equipment (an obligatory fishing licence costs €25. Please allow 2 or 3 weeks for the application process)
  • WiFi
  • Deck mattresses
  • 12/220v Converter
  • Early pick-up & late return

An all inclusive package is available for cruises of one week and longer. It includes:

  • Comprehensive waterways guide
  • 2 bicycles
  • Cleaning package
  • Fuel & gas
  • Towels & kitchen linen

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To find out more or plan your trip, call us today

+ 44 (0) 1737 452000

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