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2015 European Waterway cruise – planning update

Shangri La at mooring in Zwartsluis again

Time flies!

Just over a month to go and we should be starting the southbound trip to St-Jean-de-Losne.

When I left Zwartsluis a while ago, Shangri-La was back in the water, berthed at De Kranerweerd.

She is looking good.

Sporting her new main window sunscreens which we have had custom made.

 

New teak sliding hatch

There is very little more for us to do maintenance-wise before we set off.

The main thing for me is to trim and sand down the caulking in the new sliding hatch cover.

Duck scarer!

The local ducks are partial to sitting on the swim platform and making a bit of a mess, and

I am hoping that my new duck scarer is working.

We will find out on our return.

At the moment I am offshore in the North Sea, working.

Have to do something to help pay for our boating pleasures!

Lift in  – May this year

But I have made good use of my spare time out here, and done some pretty detailed planning for the trip down south.

We try not to actually boat more than about 4 to 5 hours a day, and we also like to have at least every third day or so where we don’t move on, but get to see the town a bit more.

French Inland Waterway Guide

With that in mind, we expect to take just over 70 days to do the journey, including about about 25 non boating, rest days.

In addition to the French Canal maps, I bought David Edwards-May’s guide – Inland Waterways of France, which has proved very useful so far.

The French canal maps are also full of useful information including tables which give the distance, number of locks and estimated time between places.

 

Distance table in French Map

Our route looks like this:

From Zwartsluis to Amsterdam via Ijsselmeer and Alkmaar, then Utrecht, Dordrecht and into Belgium at Antwerp.

From there we take the more inland and
non commercial route through Belgium to Liege and up the river Meuse to Namur. We continue up the Meuse and into France at Givet, from where the river is canalised.

Route through France

The route through France is along the Canal de la Meuse, the Canal des Vosges and the River Saone ending up at St-Jean-de-Losne,where Shangri La is booked in to be wintered at beginning of October.

Gosh there are a lot of locks on the route, not to mention a few tunnels.

Total distance will be 1235 kilometres with 187 locks!

The next post should be on the trip itself.

In the meantime – bon voyage and happy boating.

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