The Marne-Rhine Canal
312 km long, the Marne-Rhine canal links the Marne (Vitry-le-François) with the Rhine (Strasbourg).
The Marne-Rhine canal boasts two summit pounds: The first (Mauvages) lies between the Marne and Moselle basins, and the second (Gondrexange) between those of the Meurthe, the Sarre and the Rhine.
The first reach is fed by diversion from the Ornain and pumping in the Meuse (Troussey), the Méholle and the Moselle (Valcourt), as well as a pumping station at Vacon. The second reach is fed by the reservoir lakes of Gondrexange and Le Stock (35,000,000 m³), themselves being fed by the Sarre and its tributaries. This is complemented by pound-to pound pumping from the Meurthe at Dombasle and by numerous water intakes from rivers running alongside or crossed by the canal: Ornain, Saulx, Moselle, Sarre, and Zorn.
The Canal de l'Est
The Canal de l'Est connects the Meuse and the Moselle with the Saône. It begins at Givet, in Champagne-en-Ardenne, merges over 20 km with the Marne-Rhine canal as it crosses Lorraine, and ends at Corre in Franche-Comté. Its total length is 439 km.
The canal follows the course of the Meuse as far as Pagny-sur-Meuse, joining - via the Toul Gap - the Moselle, which it follows upstream as far as Golbey. There follows a winding course, dotted with numerous locks that enable it to reach the valley of the Côney, a small tributary of the Saône.
Also called the Canal de la Meuse, the northern branch, from Givet to Troussey, which joins the Marne-Rhine canal, is 272 km long.
125 kilometers long - only 74 of which are on Vosges territory - the southern branch, from Neuves-Maisons, is also called the Canal des Vosges.
In the Meuse, you can navigate along two central lines, namely: the Marne-Rhine canal and the Canal de l'Est. You can also make the most of the very beautiful marinas in several towns.
Hiring "live-in boats" is an original way to explore the tourist attractions. There are several options: by the day, weekend, or by the week. One organisation at Dun-sur-Meuse offers boat hire without a licence.
Another in Verdun offers boat trips by the hour, half day, or whole day.
See also : list of Haltes fluviales in the Meuse (pdf 70 kb)