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Navigating and living on the waterways of Continental Europe and news of canal developments.
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TOPIC: Canal de La Meuse

Canal de La Meuse 19 Sep 2020 12:40 #118589

Before I forget: there is currently no place to moor in Tournai. Works going on at the quays have not been finished due to Covid.
Also please mind the fact that passing through historic centre is one way and coordinated by VHF80.
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Canal de La Meuse 18 Sep 2020 21:29 #118582

Don't tell everyone but there's another little gem of a place to stop if you enjoy being totally on your own in the middle of nowhere. There's a huge lake 4 km south of Maastricht - on your starboard side 2 km north of Sluizen Lanaye - easy to miss the entrance. In the lake is a small island with a mooring on the far side just big enough for a couple of boats.

Peter
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Canal de La Meuse 18 Sep 2020 20:03 #118581

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Brilliant Peter thanks that's more great advise. We'll definitely enter Maastricht and stay a night or two as you advise.. Plan is now taking shape...

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Canal de La Meuse 18 Sep 2020 19:49 #118580

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Hi Liza

I assumed it was shut... We are actually just outside the top lift. I just checked out the canal on foot up to lifts 2&3 and it does look beautiful so we might do it just for fun if it is open

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Canal de La Meuse 18 Sep 2020 19:31 #118579

Historic Lifts contact - Phone: +32 78 05 90 59

Yes, Tournai a nicer place than Mons.

Before you get to Namur, make a stop at Floreffe. Free moorings at the foot of the climb up to the old abbey, now a boarding school. Well worth a visit.

A diversion to break the monotony of the Meuse north of Liege is to take the old river route through Vise. The southern access lock seems to open only once an hour but if you're lucky, you may not need to wait long. It's much more attractive and Vise offers a good stopping place.

Don't miss out on Maastricht, one of the most attractive and liveliest cities in NL with free moorings on the mid-river wall, or phone to get through the lock into 't Basin if you need power. Worth a few days' stop if you can spare the time.

Peter

Peter

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Canal de La Meuse 18 Sep 2020 17:56 #118577

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Haha before I get you all replying at once... I just realised Thuin is still in Belgium! So we'll probably do that 🤭

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Canal de La Meuse 18 Sep 2020 17:45 #118576

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Although I just checked out the vignette prices! Wow it really only makes sense if you are travelling for an extended period doesn't it? €115 a day!! I guess that how they get you to buy a year. Well not this year!

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Canal de La Meuse 18 Sep 2020 17:35 #118574

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Many thanks for all the invaluable advise

We weren't aware of the closure on the canal de Ardennes so glad we asked.

We did the Strepy boat lift today and we're in Mons the previous night. It was pretty but was outshone by our experience in Tournai the night before. We are currently just outside La Louviere by the old lift. It seems very shut but perhaps I need to contact someone? Does anyone know the etiquette as my charts don't indicate a VHF channel. Is the house by the lift the place to knock? It would be nice to do that one lift and spend a day and a night on that nice bit of canal.

After that we will definitely take the Meuse up to Liege and around to Antwerp, whether we do the diversion down to Thuin and back again for the experience is to be decided. It does sound lovely.. and although the incline plane looks fun we might save it for another time.

Again thanks for the help.
Pearl & Adam

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Canal de La Meuse 18 Sep 2020 15:01 #118571

The 4 old lifts are operational (did them last week) and will be open until 31 Oct (except if any calamities take place of course).
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Canal de La Meuse 17 Sep 2020 21:00 #118561

I agree that Mons is a good stopping place. It is an attractive marina with a restaurant on site and shops within walking distance. There is a free/low cost bus, to the centre and rail station, that leaves from just up the road. The stop is on the same side as the Capitainerie - ask them for details. It doesn't run on Sundays but taxis are quite cheap.
Best wishes, Brendan

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Canal de La Meuse 17 Sep 2020 19:49 #118558

I meant that doing the Meuse and visiting the St. Q was a rush. You would have time to do the Meuse up to Sedan and back, then on to Gent. I did just that last week and it was lovely. It depends what you want out of your cruise. The downside of this is having to pay for a French vignette and possibly increased anti covid restrictions on re entry into Belgium. (Currently just filling out an online form).
Another possibility is the canal Blaton Ath.

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Canal de La Meuse 17 Sep 2020 18:02 #118554

Correction / clarification of my last message. My suggested stopping place at Lock 4 (by ruined Roselies chateau) is in fact on the Sambre beyond (downstream) of Charleroi so not directly on the suggested route unless you want to travel right through the hellish industry of Charleroi. It's a place well worth experiencing though not so exciting now the blast furnaces are closed.

Peter

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Canal de La Meuse 17 Sep 2020 17:26 #118552

I would also recommend the route suggested by John, although I doubt very much that the 4 old lifts will be working, at least not for pleasure boats.

Small suggestions of changes to that route - stop at Mons on the way if you haven't visited before. Bit of a walk, but an interesting town, then stay at the foot of Strepy-Thieu lift near the bridge and walk to the new lift. Take the tour around the place if open and also the trip boat that takes you up the first of the historic lifts, through 2 ancient lifting bridges and to the pump house at the next lift which you can visit if you arrive in the trip boat. Good excursion and the trip boat much more likely to be allowed up the old lift. The return to the new lift is likely to be by a little tram.

Next day (as suggested) take the turn towards Ronquieres, but stop first at the top and take a tour of the place. The exhibition there is excellent and illustrates the lives of 3 generations of commercial bargees and how they get their cargo contracts, etc. Then descend the incline plane and stay overnight at the bottom, but take a walk or bike ride along the old canal and derelict locks that Ronquieres bye-passed.

Then (as suggested) return up the incline plane and on to Charleroi (nowhere to stop in the town, but a good overnight stop is at the top of Lock 4 where's there are ruins of a magnificent chateau close by) and continue as far as you have time for, stopping at abbeys, etc along the way - and Thuin where there's a barge museum and an ancient tram that still operates. It's a long but rewarding climb to the top part of the town.

Have a great trip.

Peter

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Canal de La Meuse 17 Sep 2020 15:59 #118548

Pearl,
As John says La Meuse there and back would be a bit of a rush in 2-3 weeks. Rather we would recommend the following route which we did on Beatrix (18.5m) last year.
Head from Peronnes to Port de Thieu - a very nice mooring on a lake through a lock off the main canal. Then go up the Strépy-Thieu boat lift - turn left at Seneffe on to the Brussels Canal to go down the The Sloping Lock of Ronquières
Plan Incliné de Ronquières - site touristique / spend the night at the bottom and then double back up to come down the 4 Ascenseurs à bateaux du Canal du Centre historique to the Port de Thieu. That is if they are open and I have just seen after starting to write this that they might be closed!
Then go back up the new boat lift and on to Charleroi. There turn right up La Sambre through the post industrial port of Charleroi and then up river as far as you like. It's a very pretty river even the rusting part of Charleroi is interesting with its amazing graffiti and there are great free moorings in the town of Thuin - a very nice place to while away a few days.

Best of Luck,
Simon and Judy

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Canal de La Meuse 17 Sep 2020 13:04 #118543

If you are going down the Meuse, you are heading for Holland. I suspect you mean up the Meuse and this is currently open up to Sedan with enough water and delightful scenery. Not sure how you are planning to come back up the St.Quentin, unless you went via the Canal des Ardennes, which is closed. In any case, it would be a bit of a rush in 2-3 weeks.
You could comfortably go up then back down the Meuse, then head back to Gent enjoying the scenery and weather while getting to know your boat on quieter waterways.

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Canal de La Meuse 17 Sep 2020 09:14 #118536

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Hello all

This is our first cruising on our barge and we are currently at Peronnes.

The plan was to go over the Strepy boat lift then down the Meuse and back up the St Quentin before going back to Gent, as we only have 2-3 weeks and that's about when this amazing late weather should run out.

I've read this thread but the last entry is last September. Can anyone tell me if the Meuse is open and with enough water at present?

Another option would be to go down the Sambre as far as we can (Houtmont?) and come back up again then do the Belgium end of the Meuse and around the Gent via Antwerp.

Any help and advise would be much appreciated.

Pearl

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