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Le Boat Canal Holidays

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Queensland...
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Le Boat Canal Holidays

Help! We are six fit 60 year olds planning on a canal trip from Port Cassafieres to Beaucaire with Le Boat. We have boating experience although not with locks. We had been looking at Vision3, Mystique and Magnifique but then thought we could go cheaper but after reading reviews about the boats being old and knocked about, we need advice. Can anyone recommend a boat? We would like ensuites and are prepared to pay for the better boats if advisable. Also is 10 days too long? Any thoughts on the route we have planned.

Thanks in advance!

Paris, France
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1. Re: Le Boat Canal Holidays

The route has very few locks as it traverses the Etang (lake) de Thau and then the Camargue. If this is your first time boating in France, I might suggest you change the route and travel west to Castelnaudary rather than Beaucaire. If you are traveling in August, it will be quite warm at night and the misquotes are quite ferocious in the Camargue during summer months.

As far as the boat, you never know what you will receive when it comes to age and condition. No matter what boat you choose, do a thorough inspection before you depart the base to include: rope condition, water pressure, operation of the toilets, confirm the hours on the Hobbs meter (used to charge fuel usage), and water levels. Consider each person has his own pair of gloves which can make handling rope much safer and easier.

There is a great deal already written on the forum about boat travel. A search could offer many useful ideas.

Queensland...
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2. Re: Le Boat Canal Holidays

Thank you. It is our first time on the canals in France. We chose this trip because it only had 3 locks but will look into your suggestion. We are thinking May/June. Yes the reviews on the boats are varied.

Bath, England
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3. Re: Le Boat Canal Holidays

Canalou based at Agde, have a wide range of boats, form the very posh indeed down to the cheap and cheerful.

http://www.canalous-canaldumidi.com

I see they have quite a few places to go from, you might want to consider a one-way trip, it will let you see more of the canal.

Edited: 16 April 2013, 12:43
Queensland...
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4. Re: Le Boat Canal Holidays

Thank you ChrisPink. I am looking into Canalous now. Have you been on one of their boats and if so what route did you take?

Auckland
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5. Re: Le Boat Canal Holidays

Hi, interested to read about your forthcoming canal trip. We are interested in doing the same area in July next year and would appreciate hearing from you at the end of your holiday. Route taken and company and boat used would be so helpful. We too were looking at the Le Boat company perhaps with their Royal Mystique boat. We would also be 2 couples in the same age group as you.

Queensland...
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6. Re: Le Boat Canal Holidays

Sorry won't be much help to you as go June 2014. We had to book early because of work commitments, and planning visits to other countries as well. We are going from Port Cassafieres to Beaucaire, and have booked Magnifique after Vision 3 wasn't available for some reason. By all accounts sounds like a great trip!

MAIDENHEAD, UK
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7. Re: Le Boat Canal Holidays

Hi

We ( 4 of us aged around 60) are going with Les Canalous via their sister company FPP who are essentially their travel agent . Like you this is our first time on the Canal Du Midi

We leave next Saturday (1st June) for one week

After vast amounts of research we chose them because of the (apparently) high quality of their Premium fleet and the good value for what you get. A lot of companies charge extra for the items and services they include on the Premium Fleet

We have booked the Tarpon 37 for 4 people ( 2 X ensuite) but they do a Tarpon 42 which has 3 bedrooms

We also chose them because we wanted to do a one way cruise from Agde (on TGV route) to Carcassonne ( which they have) and the allowed time is only 25 hours sailing - quite reasonable to do in one week ...and not too many locks

From what I can gather most of the locks are now electric but you still have to help on one side of the lock and this does mean, it would seem, climbing up some steps.

Communication has bee a little mixed ( slow to respond at times ) but on the whole very good and we did get all our questions. They have sent us VERY good advance information on what you have to do and various rules and procedures

Much of the advice I read said to be wary of the Etang du Thau - mozzies in summer and any sort of wind at other times can mean you are not allowed to travel - it is effectively like the open sea

We will let you know how we get on !!!

Paris, France
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8. Re: Le Boat Canal Holidays

There are just under 40 locks between Carcassonne and Agde. Perhaps that´s not too many but it´s still quite a few. Pacing and time management will be important.

In reference to the Etang de Thau, the water is brackish sea water and the lake contains one of the largest commercial oyster beds in the world. I could be wrong but my understanding of mosquitoes is that they prefer stagnant fresh water, not salt water. Any ¨mozzies¨ you encounter along this route are unlikely to have originated from the waters of the Etang de Thau.

Additionally, while most of the Etang de Thau is very shallow, about .5 to 5 meters in depth, winds in excess of 10 knots (Beaufort 4) can cause the lake to be very choppy, even white capped. Most canal boats are not constructed for operation under these conditions; engines do not provide sufficient power and their drafts are much too shallow for stabilized movement. Winds in the morning are likely to be calm but afternoon winds can, at times, make the lake impassable for canal boats. Prior to any crossing, the captain should inquire, either at the Capitanerie in Sete or Marseillan, about appropriate meteorological conditions for traversing the lake.

Queensland...
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9. Re: Le Boat Canal Holidays

Forgot to say Magnifique is with Le Boat. We live in the tropics so mozzies are an everyday occurrence for us. We plan to cross the lake early morning as well. Just wish it was this June we were going!

Morpeth, United...
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10. Re: Le Boat Canal Holidays

can anyone recomend any books on this canal. We are going from Port Cassafieres in July.