© Emmanuel Berthier
Get on the Brittany canals All you need to get ready for your escapade

Get on the Brittany canals

Can you feel the little thrill of freedom and excitement when you think about casting off? Before letting yourself go and enjoying the landscapes of the canal, fully immersed in the green paradise of Brittany, here are a few tips to navigate serenely!

When to go?

You can navigate the Brittany waterways from early April until the last days of October. Before setting off, as the weather can sometimes play up, don’t forget to check the notices to skippers (FR) – in general, the site dedicated to Brittany’s waterways (FR) is a great source of information.

Good news: it’s free to navigate on the Breton canals! You don’t need a pass. However, it is forbidden to navigate at night.

Which type of vessel?

Do you own a boat and need to check that it is suitable for our canals? All the technical data (FR) can be found on the Brittany’s waterways website. Everything goes on the water: small electric boats, mini yachts, pedalos, barges, rowing boats, canoes, etc., and sail boats are also allowed! It is possible to lower the mast in the ports of Redon (FR) and Dinan (FR).

I want to rent a boat

Whether you want a habitable boat for a river adventure as a group for several days, or a small, easy-to-handle electric boat for a few hours, there are renters to find the vessel you need, ranging from the luxurious to the most affordable. No need for a permit! They will teach you the ropes before you set off. Some propose one-way cruises – you start in  Morbihan and return the keys in Ille-et-Vilaine for a true nomadic experience. Come on, let’s go!

River cruises

Our tips

In addition to sun cream and caps, don’t hesitate to take bikes on board: super practical for getting croissants for breakfast, venturing inland a bit, or just for the pleasure of cycling along the towpath.

How do the locks work?

It is free to pass through the locks and the lock keepers are there to help you. Let them know when you are getting close! They will do everything to ensure you enjoy your experience, including helping with manoeuvring and giving you some handy hints.

Note: no service between 12.30 a.m. and 1.30 p.m.; always turn up at least 15 minutes before closure. The exact navigation times to reach the locks can be found here (FR).

What speed?

No racing on the canals! Take it easy! Respecting the 5 to 10 kph authorised  depending on the waterway means first and foremost ensuring your safety and that of others. It also minimises the effect caused by the eddies from the boats on the banks.

Code of good practice

You are in a natural environment, so remember to adopt the right actions and good practices from the start: no inappropriate behaviour, as you could damage the life or reproduction of certain local species – or make others proliferate.

  • Collect and do not use plastic bags.
  • Do not fish anything below the authorised size.
  • Use detergent-free water on board. Use black soap or… no washing up until the next stop.
  • Only get rid of your waste and waste water in the areas specifically for this purpose.

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Official website of tourism in Brittany
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