Alsace-Lorraine and Saarland

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

Would you like to see what's happening now? Here is our webcam at Niderviller base.

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

From the former pottery town Niderviller it is just a few kilometers to the east to the passage through 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 is the Arzviller ship lift. It's a major tourist attraction. The lift saves going through 17 locks and 8 hours of driving. 3 houseboats at a time are lifted up or down 44.5 meters. In the high season and holidays, you should plan for some waiting time, but it is easily filled by having a tour of the facility.

After driving through the picturesque valley of Angers, you should have a walk in Lutzelbourg plan to watch the famous glassblowers and -glassgrinder at work. The village is overlooked by a ruined castle dating from the 12th century. A few kilometers east invites the bustling Saverne with its beautiful half-timbered houses on a city tour. The nearest major town is Strasbourg, capital of Alsace. Drop anchor in the northern suburb of Souffelweyersheim and use public transport for the shore or continue to Strasbourg port and moor your boat within walking distance from the city center. Strasbourg has a cosmopolitan atmosphere with a strong french influence. Nevertheless, the capital of Alsace is easy to navigate and has retained its charm in the city centre. The famous cathedral must not be missed. South of Strasbourg leads to the Rhone-Rhine canal.

Saar channel: From Niderviller to Sarreguemines

The Saar channel in Alsace-Lorraine was built between 1862-1866. With a length of just over sixty kilometers, it connects the Marne-Rhine Canal to the south with the Saar at Sarreguemines (Sarreguemines) in the north. Three lakes make the channel today 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 result is wonderful lake views, which are partly right and left of the channel. 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. Between locks 29 and 28 of the Saar channel there is an estuary with beautiful views of Sarreguemines and a small marina. This marina is located directly in front of the magnificent "Casino", a building that was built for the workers of the stoneware factory and is decorated with ceramic pictures.

Saar: From Saarbrücken to Saar castle

Once you leave Sarreguemines you are already in Germany. No license to travel is required. The next step in your journey is to go to Saarbrücken, then you need a sport boat license. Fortunately, the flow of the Saar is normally not too strong, so that the joy of the really beautiful landscape with forests and river bends is not tarnished.

At Saarland 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 of the country. There are many restaurants and pubs and a farmer's market on saturday. There is also the ancient former ironworks, Völklingen, which since 1994 has been a designated World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Today, the "Ferrodrom" invites you to take a trip to the old days. 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. It's walking distance from the marina to the source of Bietzener medicinal water. It's an adventure for all ages.