6 ideas for river cruises on the waters of Eastern France

Rivière en Alsace

Discover the Grand Est region at your own pace on a canal cruise: calm and serenity guaranteed!

The Grand Est region abounds in hidden treasures along its peaceful rivers. So what better way to discover this beautiful region than on a river cruise? Come aboard one of our boats and let us guide you along the Moselle, Meurthe or Marne rivers. These cruising itineraries will allow you to discover breathtaking landscapes, picturesque villages and learn more about Alsatian and Lorraine culture. Get ready for an unforgettable river cruise experience, a promise of wonder and relaxation in the heart of the Grand Est!

Getaway between Lorraine and Alsace: heritage and gastronomy

Lutzelbourg Canal de la Marne

Shutterstock – Traveller70

Embark on a tourist and culinary journey between Alsace and Lorraine! Your adventure begins in Lutzelbourg, a beautiful village in the Moselle Zorn valley. As you cruise along, you’ll admire Lutzelbourg castle, local crystal artisans, traditional corbelled houses and churches with bulbous bell towers. Don’t miss the Saint-Louis Arzviller inclined plane, an impressive structure that replaces no less than 17 locks. During your 4-hour cruise, you’ll also have the opportunity to sample regional gastronomic specialties such as sauerkraut, charcuterie and delicious mirabelle and quetsche tarts.

Follow the cruise route from Lutzelbourg, which extends over a distance of 30km, passing through 5 locks. Your itinerary takes you along the Canal des Houillères de la Sarre, surrounded by lush countryside, to Sarreguemines. Next, the Marne-Rhine canal takes you across the Alsatian plain, with a stopover in Saverne to admire the Palais des Rohan. Your journey ends either in Strasbourg, with its majestic cathedral, or in Nancy, famous for its glassworks and magnificent Place Stanislas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This cruise is ideal for lovers of local specialties, both culinary and cultural.

Passage of the Plan Incliné d’Arzviller and the large lock at Réchicourt le Château

Plan incliné de Saint-Louis-Arzviller

Photo credit: L’Oiseau Rose

The cruise departs from Lutzelbourg, on the Marne-Rhine canal. In the town center, you can admire the majestic Lutzelbourg Castle with its three keeps. You’ll also see the marina and the stores of the famous Cristallerie Wurm. In Arzviller, plunge into the heart of history with a visit to the machine room and museum barge of the inclined plane boat elevator. Niderviller is also full of surprises, with its flower-filled village, famous for its earthenware and porcelain factory, and its impressive tunnels.

If you feel like it, a trip to Sarrebourg will allow you to discover its earthenware and archaeological porcelain, as well as magnificent stained-glass windows by Marc Chagall. Finish your naval tour in Réchicourt, where you can observe the highest lock in France, a sight not to be missed. A unique experience awaits you!

A relaxing getaway on the Saar Canal for nature lovers

canal des houillères de la Sarre

Shutterstock – Gugu Mannschatz

Embark on the Saar Canal, between Hesse and Saarbrücken, for a picturesque trip through enchanting landscapes. You’ll pass through the Marne-Rhine Canal and the former Saar Coal Canal, offering a breathtaking diversity of landscapes. Admire the wild ponds of Gondrexange, Stock and Mittersheim, true havens of peace and nature. In Mittersheim, take advantage of the many outdoor activities on offer, for a fun cruising experience!

If you prefer to continue your adventure in Germany, head for Saarbrücken, the federal capital of the Saarland. Embark now on an exceptional cruise in the magnificent Alsace-Lorraine region.

Discover the Pays des Étangs on a 4-day cruise

Presqu'ile de Tarquimpol

Photo credit: poulpygraphyOTPS

Marvel at the natural beauty of the Canal de la Sarre, inaugurated in 1866, and admire the breathtaking scenery lining this majestic forest, surrounded by the Gondrexange, Stock and Mittersheim ponds. Fishing enthusiasts will be delighted to find over 1,500 hectares of fish-filled waters home to a wide variety of species, including zander, pike, perch and carp. Offering a well-deserved break, the Langatte wellness center invites you to relax and recharge your batteries.

And don’t miss the Sainte Croix animal park, where over 1,500 animals roam in semi-liberty, for a unique experience in communion with nature. For a historical getaway, explore Fénétrange, a picturesque medieval village with oriel windows and a night watchman.

You’ll sail for 18 hours on a 40km circuit spread over 4 days. Throughout this adventure on the Plateau Lorrain, you’ll be captivated by the 20 locks along the way, offering fascinating sights at every turn. Discover the highest lock in France near Réchicourt-le-Château, reaching an impressive height of 16.38 m.

Last but not least, don’t forget the Presqu’île de Tarquimpol, on the banks of the Etang de Lindre. This was once an authentic town, with a theater that could accommodate over 10,000 people, now buried.

Discover the Pays du Sel and the city of the brewers

Brasseur l’Arsenal à Marsal

Photo credit: Terres d’Oh!

Rendezvous at the marina in Lagarde, Moselle, for a 66km crossing of the waters. Take advantage of the opportunity to rent a vintage car to discover the Pays du Sel and its brewers. This 12-hour cruise, spread over 3 days, will give you the opportunity to discover Lorraine’s rich cultural and industrial heritage.

Then plunge into the heart of the Pays du Sel region, before stopping off at the famous birthplace of Lorraine brewing: Marsal, a haven of peace in the heart of a preserved natural environment recognized as a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. In Marsal, visit the Musée du Sel, just a stone’s throw from which you can discover a salt pond.

Cycling enthusiasts can take advantage of a new bike path along much of the route. And with over 10 restaurants along the way, you’ll be sure to enjoy the culinary delights that will enhance your trip. It’s the ideal cruise for all beer and nature lovers!

Craft escape in Alsace Bossue

Bissert-Harskirchen

Wikimedia – Wolfgang Bauer

Your adventure begins in Harskirchen, a charming Alsatian village nestled in the natural region of Alsace Bossue. Crossed by the Saar, the Naubach and the Canal des Houillères de la Sarre, this village offers you the unique experience of cruising along the waters of Alsace-Lorraine and exploring its treasures. You’ll marvel at its picturesque setting and its water mill, which has been in operation since the 18th century. To add a touch of the sacred to your escapade, the baroque church of Harskirchen is a religious site not to be missed.

On your journey along the Saar Coal Canal, you’ll stop off at Sarralbe, where the magnificent scenery of the Saar Canal and the Albe River awaits you. Take advantage of this stopover to discover the Musée du Pays d’Albe – La Maison des Têtes, which will plunge you into the history of the aquatic Maginot Line of the Second World War. And don’t miss a visit to the Church of Saint-Martin, nicknamed the « Cathedral of the Saar », and the old Porte d’Albe, both of which are not to be missed. If you’re a gourmet, you’ll be delighted to find a number of typical, Michelin-starred restaurants in the region.

So, are you ready to embark on an unforgettable river cruise in the Grand Est? Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a family adventure or a cultural or culinary discovery, this region offers a multitude of cruise options to suit all tastes. Which itinerary would you choose to cruise this region rich in history and charm?