The locks you will encounter on a self-driven barge trip are wonderful mechanical devices, many of which were built hundreds of years ago. Generally, they are open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. with a one-hour break for lunch. In France there is no charge for locks. At many locations you will find a lock-keeper to assist you. However, there are some exceptions. The locks of the CHARENTE and the LOT are operated by the boat's crew. As a result you can cruise all the daylight hours with no worry over opening hours or public holidays. These maneuvers demand a crew of at least 2 agile people. The BURGUNDY CANAL has some locks (10) to be maneuvered on your own. Certain locks are automatic and instructions will be given on your departure.


In general, the lock-keepers don't work on certain holidays: Easter Sunday, Whit Sunday, May 1, July 14 and November 1. However, there are some exceptions: