Franche-Comté & Saône – The Natural Paradise

Navigate along the peaceful waterways of the Saone river and the wonderful Rhone to Rhine, Bourgogne and Vosges canals

The Gallery

Doubs valley

Franche-Comté & Saône – The Natural Paradise

Franche-Comte Boating Holidays. The convergence of four waterways gives you a diverse choice of routes to enjoy on your cruise. The France Comté region in the east of the country is a nature paradise. It shares a border with Switzerland and has some exceptional landscapes to discover including the mountain ranges of the Jura and Vosges, its wild forests and many lakes. The Saone has few locks and is perfect for fishing.

You have 2 departure bases to choose from


Port-sur-Saone is a charming little town. It’s a great base to start your cruise – heading north towards Epinal on the Canal des Vosges. This waterway has a breathtaking scenery through gorges and forests stretching down to the waterside. The little medieval village of Fontenoy-le-Chateau is definitely worth a moment to discover. Bains-les-Bains is a short stroll from the canal and a great stop for a bite to eat. The beautiful town of Epinal with its cobbled streets sits either side of the Moselle river. There’s museums, monuments, great shopping and loads of bars and restaurants to enjoy. If you choose to head south, the village of Gray is on the water’s edge where there’s a medieval castle and Basilica to discover.


Dole is a great starting point for your cruise. Its marina is located at the foot of the old town where you can visit the Notre-Dame Collegiate. This 16th century Basilica dominates the skyline. The town is the birthplace of Louis Pasteur and there’s a museum in his canalside house. The Doubs river leads to the Rhone & Rhine canal and is considered one of the most beautiful waterways of France. It meanders through winding river bends, steep valleys that are rich with fauna, flora and wildlife. On route visit The Osselles caves, oldest caves open to the public in France, Besançon and its Vauban citadel, Baume les Dames and many other villages and towns that provide many stops worth visiting.

We recommend that you have previous boating experience is you choose the river Doubs routes.

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 – follow this link

A cruise through the canals and inland waterways of France

Holiday Highlights


The Vauban citadel at Besançon.

Castle of King

Louis XI at Auxonne

Notre Dame

Birthplace and pastor and church of Notre Dame in Dole

19th Century

Notre Dame Basilica in Gray

18th Century

castle in Ray sur Saône

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*
£544pp £695pp £733pp £794pp £847pp
by train*
£854pp £1005pp £1043pp £1104pp £1157pp
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 including private transfers on arrival and departure.
All prices are a guide. Prices can increase or decrease depending on availability. The prices are based on 2 people and 1 week boat hire – Sedan Primo.  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 Port Sur Saône Dole
Estivale More Info Duo | Quattro | Sixto Duo | Quattro | Quattro S | Sixto | Octo
Confort More Info 900 DP | 1100 | 1350 B 900 DP | 1100 | 1350 B
Sedan More Info 1000 | 1010 | 1170 | 1310 | Primo 1000 | 1010 | 1160N | 1170 | 1310 | Primo

From Port Sur Saône

Duration Cruise From Port Sur Saône KM Locks Hours
2 Day Weekend A Port Sur Saône – Ray s Saône – Port Sur Saône 80 14 13
B Port Sur Saône – Selles – Port Sur Saône 82 16 15
A Port Sur Saône – Gray – Port Sur Saône 124 22 24
1 Week A Port Sur Saône – Mantoche – Port Sur Saône 158 22 26
B Port Sur Saône – Bains Les Bains – Port Sur Saône 118 44 28
1 Week
(One Way)
A Port Sur Saône – Gray – Dole 154 23 24
10 Days A Port Sur Saône – Epinal – Port Sur Saône 210 132 65



Duration Cruise from Dole KM Locks Hours
2 Day Weekend A Dole – Osselle – Dole 72 20 13
B Dole – Auxonne – Dole 64 20 12
C Dole – Saint John de Losne – Dole 44 18 10
Short Break A Dole – Besançon – Dole 112 40 23
B Dole – Mantoche – Dole 150 24 22
C Dole – Verdun Sur le Doubs – Dole 114 18 20
1 Week A Doile – Baume les Dames – Dole 182 62 37
B Dole – Ray Sur Saône – Dole 250 32 40
1 Week
(One Way)
A Dole – Gray – Port Sur Saône 154 23 24
2 Weeks A Dole – Montbèliard – Dole 294 114 69
B Dole – Sellesa – Dole 434 60 76


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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