Up the Seine to Paris

Leave the mast at home and cruise on the canalised section of the River Seine from above Rouen hopefully to Paris.
No dates yet decided, although sometime between 11th & 20th June would suit some owners.

Ferry crossing of the channel . Caen, Le Havre or Dieppe probably the nearest ports. We have considered launching at Le Havre and boating upstream, but it’s a voyage of 110 km to Rouen on a boring bit of river with nowhere to stop on the way and has to be done on the incoming tide and in daylight. The return is even more problematic with tide. All difficult to plan date-wise and very expensive in terms of fuel.

Therefore we propose to launch at Muids, 60km on the river above Rouen and 184km from Paris. This site has yet to be checked for suitability, but appears to be satisfactory. Speed limit on this section is 20km/hr and whist we might not cruise at this speed it should be possible to reach Paris in 2-3 days (there appear to be only 3 big locks to negotiate on the way). A day or two in Gay Paree should be enjoyable before the return to Muids, all depending on time available.

Bill & Jean
Avocet 26X
Event Organiser


Re: Up the Seine to Paris

Seine Cruise Notes

Mike found this excellent descriptive website:


As already noted, there are at least 2 possible launch sites, Muids 184km from Paris on the river, or Mericourt 121km. Both are described on the above website and make interesting viewing on Google Earth. We will investigate each of these, together with possible fuelling stations during a recce in early April.

Suggested Map:
Navicarte Guide de Navigation Fluviale No1. La Seine aval du Havre a Paris.
Available from http://www.bookharbour.com £23 post free. Excellent large scale complete river guide, pretty well essential for navigation. In French and English.

Outline Plan – open to discussion and variation to suit participants where possible.

Monday 10th June; Ferry Portsmouth-Caen. Possibly 0815/1500hrs
Drive to launch site, probably either Muids or Mericourt. Approx 130-150km.
Tuesday 11th – Wednseday 19th June, Cruise River Seine to Paris and back. 2 or 4 big locks each way.
Motor boating at perhaps 8 knots = 15kph, say 7 hrs/day, allow 2-3 days for journey to Paris, although could be longer as there are interesting places to stop on the way, e.g. Claude Monet Garden near Mericourt could take up some time if desired.

Lock in to Port de Paris l’Arsenal (near Place de la Bastille) for however long we agree.

Avocet would wish latest return to be back at launch site (Muids or Mericourt) by late Wednesday 19th June in time to haul out Thursday morning and then catch the 1630hrs ferry Caen-Portsmouth same day.

Website http://www.vnf.fr has an a form in English to register boat and owner details. Please note that a Mac 26X should be recorded as less than 8 metres (i.e 7.95 ok). There is then a form in French with cost of licence which will be calculated as 6.93 x 7.95 +25.71 = 80.80 Euros for 30 days, but application is then in English and after payment by card, licence can be printed.

Note that Blue Flag rule (CEVNI Rules worth revising!) applies to pleasure boats as well as commercial craft and there are several stretches where cross-over navigation is required.

Bill Avocet 26X

Re: Up the Seine to Paris

Hera is planning to join the Seine rally to Paris. Our plan is also to extend the trip by moving the boat over to La Trinite.

We then have to leave the boat there to come home with the intention of returning to cruise the Morbihan area for a couple of weeks or so. The date is uncertain - maybe mid July but this could clash with the Plymouth event.

Just thought I'd mention it in case anyone is interested in joining us on this "add on" as long as it doesn't clash with the Plymouth event


Re: Up the Seine to Paris

FWIW - I will be in la trinte/Le bono also for 3 weeks, may 5th.

Re: Up the Seine to Paris

Notes of a Recce to the Seine by Bill & Jean Millar 8-9th April 2013.
We were looking at possible launch sites for a Macgregor rally proposed for the upper part of the River Seine towards Paris and back. For reference purposes we used the French Fluviacarte No 1 which covers the full length of the river from Le Havre to Paris and beyond. Good river detail is provided and all locations are clearly indicated by distance in kilometres on the river from the centre of Paris – Pointes Kilometriques or PK numbers.

We found two very suitable marinas:

At PK121, Port de Plaisance de L’ilon. A somewhat remote spot, but very pleasant when we got there. The approach is from Junction 11 on the Autoroute A13 then about 2 or 3 miles of urban road followed by another couple of miles of open but narrower country road quite well signposted to the marina. Very sheltered marina with two good slipways, one easy slope that might need rope extension for launching and one steeper slope, both apparently with good hard surfacing. A modern Capitainerie and a helpful official. Plenty of spare pontoon berths and acres of space for both car and trailer parking, although probably not particularly secure. Petrol available from a pump on a convenient pontoon. Cost of 13 euros for two-way use of slip, no charge for car & trailer parking. Marina berth probably about 12-15 euros overnight. No shopping and only minimum chandlery. “Facilities” not investigated, but probably adequate rather than excellent since this is not a residential marina – more for day boats or short-stay. Nearest supermarket or restaurant probably about 5 miles away.

At PK81, Marina Port St Louis. It was actually called “nouvelle” marina, but in fact gave the distinct impression of being slightly old and run-down. However the chap that we met there was very helpful and indicated that we would be welcome. The approach is from Junction 7 on the A13, D153 to Poissy, then D190 for a short distance before turning on to a minor road with parked cars making life difficult, but not impossible, for half a mile or so to the marina gate. The marina is in a very sheltered basin off the river. Lots of spare pontoon space, some with electricity, petrol available from a pump. Good slipway. Marina “Facilities” not investigated, but probably pretty basic. No sign of any chandlery or shopping, but there may be a simple cafeteria open in the summer. Big supermarket and MacDonalds about a mile away; probably other small shops and restaurants around there also. Security for car and trailer may not be brilliant – there is a gated compound, but it looked to be pretty full. There is lots of space outside. Cost for use of slipway is 11 euros. Overnight berth in marina 10 euros. No charge for paring car & trailer.


We were impressed by the size of the river. It is big and wide, much more so than the non-tidal stretches of the Thames. No apparent strong flow; very big barges and long river cruisers passing up and down – not an excessive number but maybe three or four an hour; enormously long locks to accommodate barges (located at PK 73, 49 and 17), although only about 3 or 5 metre rise/fall, probably have to allow an hour or so to pass through depending on other river traffic.
Normandy has quite a lot of interesting tourist attractions, castles, museums, etc. Although we would not be boating past Giverney, the Claude Monet Garden would be within a relatively short drive from either marina and we thought definitely worth a visit (although go in the early morning as it gets very crowded, even in April).


Both marinas are suitable for our purposes. The one at PK121 is probably the more “salubrious”, but it is a longer distance from Paris and the 40km from there to PK81 (which would also make a good intermediate fuelling stop) might just be a bit of a flog at speed on a big wide river with perhaps not a lot of interesting scenery, although there are a couple of towns to pass by. We therefore tend towards the marina at PK 81, but are happy to be influenced by a majority vote. There are no locks on the river between the two marinas. The question therefore is:

Do you prefer to motor up the Seine (and back) for a distance of 121km or 81 km? See Plans A&B below.

Getting there.

Travelling from Winchester we favour a channel crossing by ferry from Portsmouth to either Caen or Le Havre. Brittany Ferries with three choices daily to Caen offers the most flexibility, but DFDS/LD Lines with a night crossing to Le Havre and a late afternoon return is both convenient and considerably cheaper and so would be our choice. Le Havre to PK 121 is about 85 miles; to PK 81 about 100 miles taking the A13 which has several stretches of “peage” or tolls. If others were to take the short seas crossing Dover-Calais, the drive would be somewhat longer, but autoroutes with tolls do go fairly directly to either location.

Suggested outline Plan A

This assumes that we start at PK 121 and allows 2½ days to get to Paris
Monday 10th June: Depart Portsmouth LD Lines Ferry at 2300hrs
Tuesday 11th June: Arrive Le Havre 0800hrs. Drive to Marina, approx mid-day arrival. Launch and prepare for next day departure.
Wednesday 12th- Thursday 13th, maybe part Friday 14th; motor up river to Paris.
Part Sunday 16th, Monday 17th, Tuesday 18th; Motor back from Paris to Marina.
Wednesday 19th; day free for local sight-seeing, tourism etc.
Thursday 20th; Haul out then drive to Le Havre for Ferry at 1700hrs to Portsmouth.

Suggested outline Plan B

This assumes that we start at PK 81 and allows 2 days to get to Paris
Monday 10th June: Depart Portsmouth LD Lines Ferry at 2300hrs
Tuesday 11th June: Arrive Le Havre 0800hrs. Drive to Marina, approx mid-day arrival. Launch and prepare for next day departure.
Wednesday 12th- Thursday 13th, motor up river to Paris.
Monday 17th, Tuesday 18th; Motor back from Paris to Marina.
Wednesday 19th; day free for local sight-seeing, tourism etc.
Thursday 20th; Haul out then drive to Le Havre for Ferry at 1700hrs to Portsmouth.


In both plans, there is an uncertainty about the time involved to get into and out of the Paris marina, through an entrance lock, and involving perhaps some bureaucracy with the Capitainerie. Plan B has a bit more latitude in time and has the benefit of giving a bit more time in Paris.
We favour Plan B, but will be happy to go along with Plan A if that is preferable to others. Detailed instructions on how to find the marina will follow.

Bill & Jean

Re: Up the Seine to Paris

Thanks Bill. Excellent recce. As discussed Plan B works well.

I've booked our ferries - looking forward to it.

Any late comers? - be quick - ferry tickets going fast!


Re: Up the Seine to Paris

Full address of the Marina for Plan B launching is

Nouvelle Marina Port Saint Louis
Avenue Vanderbilt
78955 Carrieres-sous-Poissy


Re: Up the Seine to Paris

An update for the record.
The four participants (Avocet, Hera, Day Dreamer & Humbug) have each booked ferry crossings that enable arrival at Port St Louis Marina on Monday 10th or Tuesday 11th June. With the aim of taking a couple of days for the 50 mile cruise up river, marina berths have been reserved at Paris Arsenal for 13th & 14th June. Otherwise plans remain flexible, but with the aim of getting back to Port St Louis by 18th or 19th June.
Avocet 26X

Re: Up the Seine to Paris

Tenacity is very envious. Hope you all have a good time (including Ratty) and looking forward to some articles for the newsletter (which I have now started!)