2015 European waterway trip – On the Saone River

On the Saone River

Leaving the Canal de la Marne a la Soane, and entering the Saone was a milestone and a great relief.

We were now a handful of locks and about 40 odd kms from our end point at St Jean-de-Losne, with nearly a week in hand.

Wide locks on the Saone

The pressure was off, the river was wider and deeper than the canal and there did not appear to be any low bridges, so we could keep the canopy and radar arch up.

The locks were much wider and in better condition.

All wonderful!


So after one lock we tied up in Pontaillier-sur-Saone, at the Canalous hire base.

A very good little marina – the 9 Euro included water and electricity, as well as use of the ablutions and wifi.

That afternoon the rain came down in buckets, so we stayed on board for the rest of the day.

Bit like a Chinese Laundry

Next day we did a bit of exploring.

The town itself was lovely but very small.

The marina shop had loads of interesting things, and we bought a new boat hook, some working gloves for Karen and a couple of new canal maps for the region.

One thing the marina didn’t have was laundry facilities, but apparently the camp site across the bridge did.

Clean – Ship shape and Bristol Fashion

Karen did several loads of washing.

Unfortunately the drier was as good as useless, so the back deck looked a bit like a Chinese Laundry for a while.

And I took the opportunity to give the whole outside of the boat a good clean.

All this continuous lock activity had made her look a bit grubby.


In the end we spent 2 full days here.

Our last stop before St Jean was Auxonne, a mere 16 km and 1 lock away, so we were tied up by just after 13.00.

Another very good marina, also run by H2O, though without the repair facilities.

Might well consider wintering Shangri La here next year.


The town of Auxonne was another beautiful old town.

Much bigger than the last few places we had visited, and we were able to stock up on food stuff.

On the way here we had been in the company of another Valkkruiser, similar to Shangri La, owned by an Australian couple.

They also stopped here in Auxonne and we got to meet them and had drinks on their boat one evening.

Canal du Rhone au Rhin

En route we passed the entrance to the Canal du Rhone au Rhin, with a commercial cruise boat entering the lock.

Tight squeeze.

Could well be where we go next year?

Approaching St Jean-de-Losne

We had another 2 lovely relaxing days here before heading off on the final leg of the trip to St Jean-de-Losne.

Next – wintering in St Jean-de-Losne

Read Karen’s blog for a different perspective on our travels.

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