Lagny-sur-Marne to Paris. We made it!

Monday July 3.

It was a slow start to the day on Monday with only a short hop to Nogent-sur-Marne. Luckily we had booked a mooring because we took the last space in a very busy marina. The sun came out in the evening so we took a stroll through the park that runs parallel to the river. There are some stunning houses along the river with a variety of architectural styles and we are starting to see a few very modern houses now which make the most of the sun. Lots of big windows.We ate dinner on the deck and watched the river traffic pass by.

Tuesday July 4th. Today was the big day! Paris here we come. First up we moored on the fuel pontoon in Nogent and put in just over 200 litres. The boat has been very economical, just 2.8 litres per engine hour. Also the new engine water cap is proving its €50 cost. No problems now, we are happy to report. Hurrah!

After refuelling we continued down the Marne to a 600m tunnel. The lights were red so Alan called the eclusier on VHF channel 20 as indicated in the chart book but didn’t get a reply so I called the cellphone number and was told 10-15 min wait but after 5 mins the light went green so we figured we’d head on in. We were followed by a boat of Sapiers-Pompiers (firemen) who gave us a cheerie wave. We immediately came to a lock with double red lights and saw there was work going on so we waited about 10 mins and then got the green light. The lock was deep and very big and took a while to descend. Very gentle though. Lots of large spiders hanging off the walls which I did not enjoy. Yuck.
After the lock,  3 large commercials passed us from the other direction and we came to the next lock with double red lights again. We floated around waiting to see what would happen. We heard some talking on channel 19 and I caught ‘bateau de plaisance’. Hmm we figured that was us. I turned around and right behind us was a massive double barge plus pusher bearing down on us. That gave me such a fright it was actually quite funny. Obviously he was asking us politely to get out of his way so we doubled back around him and tied to a waiting pontoon. He tied up ahead on a commercial pontoon and we waited. We weren’t sure if we could even fit in the lock with this mammoth.

Finally the lights went green and the big guy headed in. I called on the radio asking if we could squeeze in and the eclusier said yes so we snuck in at the back next to the pusher part. A little bit nerve wracking but it was a very slow lock so no problems. Finally we headed off the Marne and onto the Seine. We made it to Paris!

The last lock was into the Arsenal. Alan called the Capitain and he set the lock so there was no waiting. The lock was 3.5m and fast flowing but once through they gave us a berth number and with help from our guardian angel Alan from Arwen we were tied up nice and snug in the Arsenal.

It was a big moment for us, 6 years in the making, and a surreal feeling ticking off a bucket list item. We remember walking through the Arsenal marina many times, looking at those lucky people on their boats and vowing we would do that one day.
And we did!

Wednesday July 5th. We took the metro and the RER train out to Charles de Gaulle airport to meet daughter Georgie off her flight from New Zealand. The weather was very hot and muggy so back onboard we opened a bottle of champagne to toast her arrival and relaxed on the deck. It was still 30° at 10.30pm and I couldn’t sleep, even with a fan on the cabin was stifling.

Thursday July 6th. Another hot and muggy day with thunder, lightening and torrential rain in the morning. We headed out for some exploring after the storm passed, walking along the Seine to the Notre Dame and back across to the Louvre, Les Tuileries and finally the Musée de l’Orangerie, an art gallery displaying Monet’s massive Waterlilly series as well as beautiful works by Matisse, Gaugin, Cezanne (my favourite) and other Impressionist and post-Impressionist artists. A small but stunning building and virtually no queues (if the ticket machine hadn’t broken we wouldn’t have had to wait at all). Well worth a look if the size and crowds of the Louvre are too daunting.

It was a beautiful evening and to top it off a crazy Mariachi/jazz/Dixieland band played outside the Capitainerie, opposite our mooring. Bonus! We didn’t go to bed until late when the temperature dropped below 30°.

So an eventful week. It is amazing being on the boat here, like having our own holiday home in the centre of Paris. I could stay for a month, (in fact we met a kiwi couple on their boat who are staying for two months). But at €42 a night, although very cheap for Paris, is expensive so we will have to tear ourselves away at some point!

Here are the stats:
Lagny-sur-Marne to Nogent -sur-Marne. 2.4 engine hours, 20kms, 2 locks

Nogent-sur-Marne to Paris l’Arsenal. 3.2 engine hours, 12kms, 3 locks and 1 short tunnel.

Totals from St Jean-de-Losne to Paris. (48 days)

Engine hours: 90.7

Kms: 521

Locks: 151


Fuel Pontoon in Nogent.

Loving it.

Such fairytale houses.

Fully laden barge.

Short tunnel on the Marne

Oops, didn’t see him there!

Letting him go first I think!

Squeezing into the back of the lock with this guy.

The Seine, Paris.

Not your usual architecture in France. A Chinese restaurant on the Seine.

Paris bridges.

Notre Dame, view from the boat as we turned towards the Arsenal.

L’Arsenal écluse.

Arsenal lock

And we have arrived! Our new home for a week, The Arsenal Port de Plaisance.

Our cat neighbour. Unusual!

A very nice champagne from Mutigny, Zimmerlin-Flamant

Coffee at the Tuileries

Proud Dad and daughter. Notre Dame with a stormy sky!

Notre Dame, stormy skies.

Musée de l’Orangerie.

Monet’s Waterlillies in the Musee de l’Orangerie.

Waterlillies close up. Just stunning.

Cezanne (my favourite)


Eiffel Tower. Obviously.


About khodges2013

Alan and I divide our time between our apartment in Christchurch, New Zealand, and our 11.5m Dutch Cruiser, Silver Fern, on the canals in France. We started out hiring and eventually bought our boat in 2014. The two summers lifestyle is wonderful and we feel very lucky!
This entry was posted in France, French Canal boating, Holiday 2017, Marne River, Paris, Paris and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Lagny-sur-Marne to Paris. We made it!

  1. Lee Gossett says:

    I am living the dream right with you. Another beautiful posting, keep them coming.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Allan says:

    Well done guys. Enjoy your time in Paris. Cheers Polly

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Fab pics. Wow 42euros is pricey isn’t it (but as you say OK for Paris…). I love the paintings by Cezanne too – and particularly his rocky ones – I wonder if you’ve seen (some of) those. I’m sure you must have. Enjoy your time there! The champagne looked wonderful. Certainly lots to celebrate. I’ve googled where the Arsenal is – very central isn’t it. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lauren says:

    eek cat with no ears – what happened to them???? Hopefully not one of those R things!!!
    Love Paris – thanks for the photos brings back memories xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • khodges2013 says:

      It does look rather odd. I’m not sure if it’s a breed thing or a medical thing but he’s very shy. Kind of cute.


    • roz says:

      I was going to ask Karen about the cat – of course – think thats a particular bread? Was it from another boat?


      • khodges2013 says:

        Yes Roz it was from the boat next door. I think it’s a kind of breed that has flat folded ears. Scottish maybe. He wanders around the marina. She also had a tortoise shell. On the other side was a grey and black cat. All very cute.


  5. Jim and Cheryl Hodges says:

    wonderful sail into Paris , , loved it
    cheryl & jim

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lindsay says:

    Great to see the arrival pics. Would have been a canal boating achievement for both of you.
    How did Silver fern handle the deluge of Paris rain !! Made the news and chaos it caused around Paris . .Any leaks ?


    • khodges2013 says:

      That storm was amazing! We were planning on leaving Paris yesterday morning but woke up to loud thunder and torrential rain so stayed in bed! The boat was fine but our closest Metro station was inundated. We are having another go at leaving this morning. Going to cruise past the Eiffel Tower!


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