The River Charente winds its way through the town of Cognac and continues on until it reaches the Atlantic Coast. In times past, barges of salt and then later cognac were traded along the river. And, indeed, the river has been used by man for a very long time, as demonstrated by the old Neolithic canoe found hidden on the banks of the Charente which is now housed in Le Musee d’art et d’histoire within the town of Cognac.
Today the river is used more for recreation than for trade or transportation. Famously described as ‘the most beautiful river in my kingdom’ by a French monarch, the River Charente is perfect for a short canoe or kayak trip to see the beautiful scenery and wildlife along the river. You can also hop on board a chartered sightseeing or dinner cruise, and the very adventurous can plan for a multiple days long self-drive barge cruise through the region.
The marina in the town center or your hotel concierge is the place to check out short-term rentals or cruises. For longer term trips, here are a few websites to check out for further information.
Below are some links where you sign up for a cruise or sign up to rent your own river boat:
Le Boat – Beautiful Boating Vacations http://www.leboat.com/destination/france/charente/the_cognac_cruise
RENT A BOAT
Nicols – The Boating Holiday Speicalists http://www.boat-renting-nicols.co.uk/charente/charente-river-cruise-10.html
Boat Rentals France http://www.southfrance.com/boatrentalsfrance/charente/index.html
FFP Travel – French specialist in canal boat holidays since 1982 http://www.houseboat-hire.com/
Cris’Boat – Canal Boating Holidays in France and Belgium http://www.crisboat.co.uk/