English Channel to Paris

blampied

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Please can anyone advise.
Pros and cons Channel to Paris. From the Somme or from . Calais
We have an Aquastar 33 which is low enough to get under any bridge on the French waterways.

The plan for this year is to come up the Channel from Jersey.
(6 years ago we went up the Seine to Paris, which wasn't very scenic, so ruling out the Seine)
Which leaves us with two options in at the Somme or in at Calais to get to Paris.

Which of the routes would you reccomend and why?

We would like to continue on down from Paris to the Med.
However that will depend on what happens with BRITEXIT, if we end up restricted to being in Europe for 90 days. That won't be long enough to do the Med unless anyone knows how to apply for an extended visa? If not we will need to return to Jersey.

Anyone know how how to apply for an extended EU France\Spain visa to stay longer than 90 days?
 
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macd

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Which leaves us with two options in at the Somme or in at Dover to get to Paris.

if we end up restricted to being in Europe for 90 days. That won't be long enough to do the Med unless anyone knows how to apply for an extended visa? If not we will need to return to Jersey.

Anyone know how how to apply for an extended EU France\Spain visa to stay longer than 90 days?

I'm not sure it's possible to enter the French waterways at Dover.

It's certainly possible to reach the Med through the French canals in much less than 90 days, although perhaps not at the leisurely pace you might prefer.

This official French site, and the links therein, might help, although I wouldn't hold my breath: https://france-visas.gouv.fr/en_US/web/france-visas/long-stay-visa

I presume you're aware that even in a worst-case Brexit, your boat can remain in the EU for up to 18months, although her crew may be limited to 90 days? That obviously offers the prospect of berthing her somewhere in France and returning to her later.
 

blampied

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Thank you Grehan
We will be departing in April.

I was rather hoping for pointers on which is the most scenic interesting route to travel along.

We travelled from Jersey up the Seine (not the most tranquil route) to Paris then carried on well east through Chanpagne country to Lyon and on to the Med 6 years ago.
Were planning to do a similar trip to the Med this year but want to vary the route / see different things. Hence looking to do either the Calais or Somme route to Paris instead of the Seine. Then from Paris we will take a more Westerly route (sill undecided which one yet) down to Lyon and on to the Med.
 

Grehan

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The Somme is quiet and pretty but not so once one has joined the Canal du Nord/Oise south to the Seine and thence east into Paris. Calais also involves using the significantly commercial Canal du Nord, both in character and traffic.

From Paris the westerly routes are, in order, firstly the Loing/Briare/Loire Laterale canals then the Canal du Centre to Chalon and the Saone. Secondly the River Yonne and Nivernais canal south to the Centre. Thirdly, the Canal de Bourgogne through to Dijon and the Saone.
  • Of these the 'Loire' (or Bourbonnais) route is the most usual, pretty down to Briare although the Loire Laterale less so.
  • The Yonne-Nivernais is the most attractive but you must check depth/height restrictions. We did it in the northerly direction a couple of years ago and thought it outstanding.
  • The Burgundy Canal is also good but there are some drawbacks including weed in some sections, depth, a long-ish tunnel, lots of locks, a lot of hotel barges in the Ouche Valley north of Dijon and the final stretch Dijon to the Saone is very flat and straight.
You should find plenty of water in the system in April, maybe overly rainy if you're unlucky as we were when we did the Burgundy in days of pouring rain, including 30 locks in one day. One just accepts the fact that one is soaked through and impossible to get any wetter!

Of course, vital IMHO to get the appropriate navigation guides once you've decided which route to go for.
 

Sea Devil

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I went in at St Valerie sur Somme a few years ago rather than the Paris route I normally use.

The channel in is slightly challenging and needs 100% attention for the hour and a half it takes from the buoy. St Valery is charming and the club friendly and helpful. You go through a wide sea lock to get into the canal system but at HW its only a few feet rise or fall so you just sit there without mooring up.

The first miles are charming and most enjoyable but then you end up joining a major commercial canal where the barges take precedence over pleasure craft even if you have been waiting outside the lock for ages. That is the downside of the route although it is very interesting going through the Somme area.

Coming in at Calais is similar - I have only done that once. After pleasant domestic canals you end up in 3 lane motorway of a canal which is not so much fun.

The most picturesque route is from Maastrict through the Ardenne but its a long way East from where you are starting from from.

Try the St Valery route if you have already done the Sein - I enjoyed it
 

Grehan

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C de Bourgogne and C du Centre - Important!

Latest news from a VNF user group meeting is that water supply levels (reservoirs) are well down after a winter of little rain. As a result it is proposed (and it seems like this will happen) to reduce water levels in the Centre and the summit level of the Bourgogne down to 1.3m. This is very serious news and affects the viability of all of the alternative 'Bourbonnais' western routes for vessels more than (say) 1.1m-1.2m draft.
I don't have current news about the 'Champagne' eastern route (Marne > Saone) but that is usually much more reliably supplied.
 

Grehan

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Sea Devil

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The Canal de la Meuse is open but will take you further eastwards towards Nancy rather than Reims.
https://www.french-waterways.com/waterways/north-east/canal-ardennes/

These routes have a different feel from the popular French canals and I have enjoyed them very much. One big difference however is that the Netherlands, Belgium and NE France use the main ones extensively to keep lorries off the road. I always tried to keep off the ´mortorways´and favour the many smaller routes. The Majority of Brits use Calais, St Valerie or Le Havre to enter the system but because I used to live in Amsterdam and sailed the Isslemere I got used to using the routes from the Maastrict lock
 
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