One of the highlights at the Rhine-Marne-Canal is the boat lift of Arzviller, with a trough that can carry up to three boats. It was built 1960 and lifts/descends ships by 45 meters. Before, you had to go to 17 locks on 4 km, which took a whole day. Not funny and tough work! Some information (in French and German only) on how the boat lift is working can be found at their website.
You also can visit the boat lift if you are not on your way with a boat. There are tourist boats that go up and down, and you can visit the machine room. Entrance for this room is 4 Euros, you also get some explanations how the lift works. Also included is a museum boat. I found the machine room not that interesting, there’s not much to see, the same with the boat. Now we know why you don’t have to pay for using the boat lift! If you are there with a boat, it’s really not worth spending 4 Euros as you already see lots of the boat lift for free!
This canal diverges from the Rhine-Marne-Canal at the lake “Etang de Gondrexange”. This lake is higher than the canal and is used as reservoir for both canals. There are some other lakes along the canal, and there’s even a canal bridge over one of the lakes which I found funny.
If you come from the Rhine-Marne-Canal and want to continue on the Saar-Canal, then you have to register (by phone) at Lock 1 the day before. I guess it’s similar the other way round. The locks are old and have to be operated manually, and you are not allowed to do it yourself. Therefore, someone is driving with you (with a car on the towpath next to the canal) and will help you passing the locks.
Mittersheim is a little village at the Sarre-Canal and the place where we started with our boat trip. It has a little supermarket where you can get some food for the next days. Better get more than suddenly be stranded somewhere with neither a supermarket nor an open restaurant nearby, as we happened to be! If you look for a restaurant close-by, there’s one at lock 13.
Mittersheim is the base of Canal Evasion, the reception is in a little café (“Café du Port”). The port is currently a building-site… but I guess it will look very nice afterwards!
If you can't pronounce the name of this village then you are having the same problem as me... but the mooring for boats is very nice, with picnic tables and trees. There are some ruins in the village, but there’s not much to see. There’s an old church, and a restaurant next to it that offers some good choices. Xouaxange has no bakery, but if you want to have some baguettes or croissants the next morning, you can order it the day before in the restaurant.
Also very interesting if you drive on the Rhine-Marne-Canal are the tow tunnels near Arzviller. They are 480 m and 2310 m long, and it took us 20 to 30 minutes to go through the longer one.
The tunnels are very small, so they are one-way with some traffic lights that indicated weather you can go or not.
Lutzelbourg is nice village at the Rhine-Marne-Canal. The canal directly goes through it. It’s a beautiful mountainous area, and there’s a ruined castle above the village.
There are lots of possibilities to dock your boat in the village, and there’s a port (base of Locaboat). If you need water or electricity, you also can get it at one of the boxes (2 Euros = 30 minutes electric power). Please note that Lutzelbourg is in the middle of a “lock chain” (I don’t know how it’s called in English), so you have inform the lock-keepers if you intend to stop there. Otherwise people that come from the other direction can’t continue as the next lock is programmed for you.
I've been there last November and it is a charming little place to stay. They have parking...more
I was originally going to stay on the outskirts of Metz since we were using it as a base to see...more
"Marie-Elise Et Claude Pech, Haudainville", Verdun, 55100, France
Good for: Families