Burgundy holidays on the Saone
We are on the way with the houseboat on the Saone. As houseboat newcomers we can no longer call us. We were with one last year Houseboat on the Mayenne on road. Besides, we have this year stayed on a houseboat in Holland. From there we went on trips to the Dutch tulip paradises. This time we are on our Burgundy holiday for six days and five nights with a houseboat on the Saone in Franche Comté in France. With more houseboat experience, we can now see differences. Our houseboat tour on the Saone has a completely different character than that on the Mayenne. Traveling on the Saone by houseboat has a very special charm.
Explore Burgundy by houseboat
Not everyone thinks of discovering this region of France on the water when they go on holiday in Burgundy. We discovered how nice it is to travel around Burgundy in a houseboat on our houseboat tour on the Saone.
By houseboat on the Saone
Start of our tour with the houseboat on the Saone is the Small town of Gray about 50 minutes northwest of Besancon in France. From Munich it takes about six and a half hours by car. We leave shortly after six in the morning and arrive at 14.00 in the afternoon. So we have enough time to do the paperwork and buy groceries for the week before getting our houseboat.
That's what a houseboat vacation is like
The houseboat is a popular alternative to boating. Here we explain what a houseboat tour on the Saone is all about. If you want to do a tour with the houseboat, then you should find out beforehand about the advantages and disadvantages of a houseboat.
Shopping and restaurants
Already last year, we have the experience that there are only a few ways to replenish your supplies. There are places on the Saone that we can visit. But there are limited shopping. Unlike on the Mayenne, we can always stop for a cup of coffee or a drink on this tour. We tried on this tour for the first time a Diabolo Orangeade and Diabolo Citron. We cooked every day in our galley on board the Magnifique. Because not always there were restaurants directly at the moorings or marinas. So our evenings were relaxed and good conversation. Enjoying a glass of wine, where we could watch the sun in peace as it set on the horizon.
Unlike on the Mayenne, we could dock on the Saone River all over the shore. For this we had steel nails on board, which we simply hammered into the bank. We attached our houseboat to it and were thus independent of jetties. Especially for breaks on the way and walks, swimming breaks or bike rides, this was convenient. Because that's how we were able to invest in all places that appealed to us. (However, the plank could have been a bit wider on which we climbed the shore, which was sometimes a shaky affair.)
electricity and water
Since we had to recharge our batteries and cell phones as a travel blogger, we were forced in the evening to stay in marinas or campsites. Only there could we connect 220 V power and record water. On the way, only 12 V is available, and if six people want to shower, the water on board is not enough for two days.
Limited stock on board
Getting used to are the cabins and the baths on board. Thank God we followed the advice of LeBoat and took small luggage with us. Backpacks and bags that we could fold up and stow in the narrow shelves under the beds. A large suitcase, with which we travel otherwise, would have been completely out of place here and would have stood in the way all the time. Initially, access to the bathroom proved difficult, as you had to squeeze through the very narrow door, but we also got used to it and appreciated the privacy, since we had a private bathroom in our double cabin.
By houseboat on the Saone - the perfect river for houseboat beginners
We found it very pleasant that there were only a few locks on the Saone. These were all (!) Automatic, which means that we did not have to rely on the lock keepers' breaks as on the Mayenne, but were able to operate them ourselves. The handling of the locks has already been explained in detail in a “captain's handbook”, which we received with the booking confirmation. What turned out to be complex turned out to be very simple on site.
Locks on the tour by houseboat on the Saone
This is how the locks work on a houseboat tour on the Saone: turn a rope once in the middle of the river to signal the arrival of our boat to the lock – wait until the lock gates open – slowly enter and pull the boat with the bow and stern ropes Hold the edge of the lock - signal the lock that the lock gates can be opened - continue. It couldn't be easier!
Sometimes farmers from the area were waiting at the locks to help us secure the boat and offer us samples of their products: cheese, wine, jams or honey from their own production. And a little chat at the lock was still possible! French savoir vivre as you wish. This made our houseboat tour on the Saone a real pleasure.
Current on the Saone
Unlike on the Mayenne, the current on the Saone was very weak in both directions. Therefore, the Magnifique, our houseboat on the Saone, was easy to control. Helpful was the bow thruster. Roland von nach-holland.de, our sovereign helmsman, supported by Angelika von wiederunterwegs.comThey brought the Magnifique through the narrowest locks and two tunnels whose entrances were narrow and in one case even curvy.
Our crew on the houseboat on the Saone
It turned out to be particularly good that we had six people on board. Two people were able to take on the tasks involved: two people at the wheel, two people at the bow and stern. This was our crew, that of Christina von cityseacountry.com was completed, the ideal cast for our tour with the houseboat on the Saone. Helpful was also the boat experience that Angelika and Christina could already collect on a motor boat in the Mediterranean and a catamaran on an Atlantic crossing. This benefited us, above all, in the operation of the electricity and water connections on board, but the two always knew how to help.
Cycle and walking paths - on the way by houseboat on the Saone
Along the Saone, we were always accompanied by paths along the banks that were ideal for bike tours or walks. At the wider parts of the river there were bays where we could swim. So our days with the houseboat on the Saone were never boring, but offered something new every day. Nevertheless, our houseboat tour on the Saone was very relaxing and relaxing - perfect for a holiday with family or friends.
Conclusion: a tour with the houseboat on the Saone is varied
The only thing we regret when we return to Gray on the Saone on the sixth day of our tour is that it's already over. We could all have continued for weeks. Our crew had grown into a great team after these days together and it was hard for us all to say goodbye to the Saone and the Magnifique. But who knows: maybe more houseboat tours will be waiting for us in the future? We are ready for new adventures!
Helpful and worth reading are Angelika's stories of Schippers and locks - houseboat driving in France.
Christina from City, Sea, Country has Tips on what to know when renting a houseboat, And you travel decelerates on the Saone.
Simone of nach-holland.de rightly raves about ours Drive on the Saone in the Franche Comte, Her great photos show how beautiful it is there.
Do you already know:
- The villages of the Saone in Franche Comté
- 16 tips for beginners on a houseboat tour on the Mayenne
- The Saone in Franche Comté - the river of the swans
- France travel destinations
- Camargue France
- Nile cruise
Source by houseboat on the Saone: research on site. We thank LeBoat and Tourisme Franche Comté for inviting us to this trip. However, our opinion remains our own.
Text By houseboat on the Saone: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline