The beauty of owning a barge is the wide range of places where you can moor. In Wanderlust we can stay in the heart of cities. We can move our home to the middle of London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Toulouse. She can also be tied to the bank in the midst of the rural vineyards in Burgundy or next to wild forests in the south of France. Europe’s extensive network of inland waterways offers plenty of options. And if we ever grow tired of cruising the freshwater we can pop out onto the sea and hop between the coastal towns. The destinations are endless.
Traveling boat-less through Paris we decided to check out the mooring possibilities. Some of Paris’ live aboard owners keep their barges moored to the bank of the Seine. It’s hard to beat the views! Barges passing through Paris or looking to stay for a few months often find mooring near the Bastille more practical. For those that can plan well in advance and have reserved a space, Port de l’Arsenal, just off the Seine on the Canal Saint-Martin, is an attractive mooring option.
Immediately past Arsenal, the Canal Saint-Martin continues beneath Paris for two kilometers. On the far side of the tunnel is the Bassin de la Villette. In La Villette, boats less than 15 m in length can reserve a spot for an extended stay on the pontoons through the Arsenal capitainerie. Barges longer than 15 m, like Wanderlust, can moor using the basin’s bank-side rings. Stays for the bigger boats are limited to a week.
Now that we have the scoop, we definitely plan on returning with Wanderlust to Paris. It will be like having our own comfortable apartment in the city. And when we tire of the urban intensity of metropolitan France, we can venture back out onto the waterways. Numerous quiet French countryside moorings are only a few days away. It is the best of both worlds.