What do I need to know?

You do not have to be rich to cruise on the French canals, it is possible to live according to your income finding free mooring places and living as you would at home. Market stalls offer good value in fresh fruit and vegetables and sometimes country lock keepers will offer their own produce such as eggs, honey,and vegetables. However since the credit crunch we have to report that prices in France generally have gone up, as they have everywhere else.

Eating out need not be expensive if you avoid smart restaurants and choose a village restaurant instead. Watch where the lock-keepers, barge skippers and lorry-drivers eat (usually a Relais Routiers) and follow suit. The supermarket cafeterias also offer excellent value and usually include a glass of wine.

You only need a passport to enter France if you are a citizen of the EU. From other countries you may need a visa so check with the French consulate before your visit.

You do need a CEVNI certificate, and a licence. The Inland Waterways Helmsman's Certificate would be useful. See following pages.

Any person who is capable of navigating a boat in Britain will not find the CEVNI test difficult.

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