Paris Ile-de-France Travel by Canals and Rivers

Paris Ile-de-France offers many water sports activity, but people tend to appreciate slower cultural cruises on river Seine or on the region's canals, to appreciate venues and monuments differently. Living on water has become trendy in Paris Ile-de-France. Many people now rent or buy a boat or barge converted into houseboats so do not be surprised.

Canals in Paris

  • Ourcq river converted into a canal on 10 km
  • Clignon "small canal from Montigny-l'Allier (Aisne) to Neufchelles (Oise) on 2 km
  • Ourcq canal on 97 km from Mareuil-sur-Ourcq (Oise) to Paris
  • Saint-Martin canal in Paris on 4.5 km
  • Saint-Denis canal from Paris to Saint-Denis on 6.6 km

The canals traditional role

Paris needs the canals for its water supply. Around 200 000 m3 /day are carried by the canals, this being only non-drinking water usage, representing 60 % of Paris needs.

Cargo transport

The main canals used for cargos are the canal Saint-Denis and canal de l'Ourcq. Cargo transport only takes place on 20 km out of the total canal length but its role is still huge. One Freycinet type barge carries as much as ten 35-ton lorries, with no noise produced. 1,000,000 tons of cargo are carried each year like this.

The new role of canals

Leisure and tourism activity are developing fast, like passenger boats activities, canoeing, restaurants and cruises on houseboats... This canal network is controlled by many modern means, and many locks, pumps and mobile bridges are remotely controlled for instance.

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