Alsace-Lorraine and Saarland

Wide cornfields, rich wildlife, forests, vineyards, picturesque villages and numerous of reservoirs characterize the location between the Rhine and the Vosges area. The allure of boating in this region is also due to the wealth of historic hydraulic structures: manually operated and fully automated locks, several tunnels and the boat lift of St. Louis-Arzviller. With more than 220 km length, the Saar is the largest tributary of the Moselle.  


Sauerkrauttour Karte - die Hausboottour durch Deutschland und Frankreich

free of license

Turn: Saverne - 3 to 7 days

  • Niderviller, Saverne and back: 3-4 days / 46 km Tour / 26 locks

Turn: Strasbourg - 7 to 10 days

  • Niderviller, Strasbourg and back: 7-10 days / 132 km trip / 70 locks

license fee

Easy ride: Wine Route - 7 to 10 days

  • Niderviller-Sierck-les-Bains: 7-10 days / 236 km trip / 40 locks

Rhine-Marne Canal over Saverne to Strasbourg

There are only 2 km eastwards between the former pottery town Niderviller  and the two tunnels of Niderviller. They are 500 meters and 2 kilometers long. It's a real experience to be remembered. After the second tunnel you will see the Arzviller ship lift. It's a major tourist attraction. Because of this lift you will save 17 locks and 8 hours of driving. 3 houseboats can be lifted up or down 44.5 meters.   

After driving through the picturesque valley of Angers, you should take a walk in Lutzelbourg. Plan to watch the famous glassblowers and -glassgrinder at work. The village has a castle ruin from the 12th century.

A few kilometers eastwards you will arrive in Saverne with the beautiful half-timbered houses. The nearest major town is Strasbourg, capital of Alsace. Drop anchor in the northern suburb of Souffelweyersheim and use public transport ashore or continue to Strasbourg port and moor your boat at walking distance from the city center. Strasbourg has a cosmopolitan atmosphere with a strong french influence. Nevertheless, in the capital of Alsace it is easy to navigate and it has retained its charm in the city centre. The famous cathedral should not be missed. South of Strasbourg is the Rhone-Rhine canal.

Saar canal: From Niderviller to Sarreguemines

The Saar canal in Alsace-Lorraine was built between 1862-1866. With a length of more than 60 km, the canal connects the Marne-Rhine Canal with the Saar in the south and with Sarreguemines (Sarreguemines) in the north. Today three lakes make the canal an attractive route for nature-loving boaters: The Gunderchinger Weiher (Etang de Gondrexange) directly at the branch, the stock pool (Etang du Stock) and the Mittersheim Weiher (Etang de Mittersheim). The results are wonderful lake views, which are partly right and left of the canal. The towpath is an established bicycle path which is mostly paved and quickly leads to great places to swim. Nestled in a natural landscape with meadows, forests, small ponds, large lakes and sleepy villages, the canal winds gently through Alsace-Lorraine. Meanwhile, the locks automatically work with self-service (via remote control), so that no appointment is necessary.

The Saar flows to Sarreguemines. The river bed here is lower and offers beautiful views. There is an estuary with a beautiful view of Sarreguemines and a small marina between lock 29 and lock 28. This marina is located in front of the magnificent "Casino", that building was built for the workers of the stoneware factory and is decorated with ceramic pictures.

Saar: From Saarbrücken to Saar castle

When you leave Sarreguemines you are already in Germany. There is no boating license required. The next step on your journey is Saarbrücken, there you need a sport boat license. Fortunately, the flow of the Saar is normally not too strong, as a result the joy of the really beautiful landscape with forests and river bends is not tarnished.

In Saarbrücken you can reach the beautiful city center in a few steps. In addition to the annual Saar Festival, the city offers many cultural highlights during the year. There are many restaurants and pubs and a farmer's market on saturday. There is also the ancient former ironworks, which has been a designated World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1994. Today, the "Ferrodrom" invites you to make a special trip. This attraction is especially fun for younger crew members. There is a bistro and cafe on site. Gradually nature is reclaiming the coal mines and metallurgical site again.

Merzig is located a few kilometers from the Saar loop. The walking distance from the marina to the source of Bietzener medicinal water is very short. It's an adventure for all ages.