Outings on the Charente

On board a boat, learn all about the Charente…

If the Charente could talk, would it tell us all about its 350 kilometre journey from the highlands of the Massif Central to ocean? About the adventures of sailors who spent centuries mastering its waters? About the hiding places of the animals thank drank and ate from it along the way? Shhh… Listen closely as the lapping water whispers its countless stories

Fleuve Charente à Port d'Envaux

Outings on the “Ville de Saintes” Gabare

Set sail for an hour of history and poetry… A replica of a traditional flat-bottomed 19th century barge, Ville de Saintes will take you on a lovely excursion with commentary along the Charente. From June to September, you can take advantage of the coolness of the river and appreciate the scenery while learning about the history of barges or while having fun with your family on a fun outing.

Activities on the Charente river

La Gabare Ville de Saintes

Remember to bring your binoculars so you don’t miss out on a thing! To discover all the secrets and the beauty of the river and its shores, put your trust in your guide… and your captain!

La Gabare Ville de Saintes

Gabare worker outing

Were barge workers freshwater sailors? That’s not so sure… Those colourful captains and their wooden boats were essential to trade in eau de vie and stone and to transporting cannons. Discover their history on this boat trip with commentary during a real moment of relaxation.

Special for ages 6-12 – Pirate outing

On Wednesdays, the barge is captained by a pirate. How did that happen? Can you help him find the treasure and reach the southern seas? Come aboard for an adventure full of challenges, games and surprises.

balade pirate sur la gabare à Saintes

Special for ages 3-6 – Storytelling outing

Each Monday, listen to funny or poetic tales of turtles, ducks, sailors and more. A moment of relaxation and joy for young and old alike.

Outing on the solar-powered Bernard Palissy III

From April to October, a river boat that is one-of-a-kind in Europe glides soundlessly on the water. Solar-powered, it gives off no CO2 emissions and makes no waves, which helps to preserve the banks, the natural environment and the flora and fauna.

Bernard Palissy III electro solaire - balade en bateau

On board the boat, the crew will welcome you and tell you all about it! Take a seat on the sun deck to enjoy the scenery and the panoramic views of the passing riverbanks, châteaux, villages and more.

Balade sur bateau electro solaire à Saintes

The Bernard Palissy III is equipped to accommodate bicycles. You can board and disembark in Saintes, Chaniers and Port-d’Envaux. Be sure to book ahead!

Hire a small electric boat

Put on your captain’s hat and impress your family and friends aboard these 5 or 8 seater boats (no licence required). Enjoy the peace and quiet and effortlessly discover the river. It’s an easy way for everyone to have some fun during a 40 to 60 minute outing.

Au fil de la charente

Boating centre in Port-d’Envaux

At Les Canotiers, hire a 4 to 10 seater boat (no licence required), for anywhere from an hour to a day. Between electric boats, canoes, kayaks, paddleboards and waterfront dining, you’ll find everything you need here!

Plage aménagée Port d'Envaux

Just 12 kilometres from Saintes, go for a dip in the Charente (on a beach with bathing facilities and lifeguards all summer long) and take advantage of the activities on offer at the boating centre right nearby.

Are you ready to paddle away in a canoe or kayak?

Let passionate enthusiasts advise you! 13 kilometres away from Saintes, Dompierre-sur-Charente’s canoeing club awaits you…

Make the most of the natural setting of the Charente with a canoe trip to Chaniers or Bussac-sur-Charente with the Saintais Rowing Club.


The “Ville de Saintes” Gabare

Gabare "Ville de Saintes", Place Bassompierre, Saintes, France

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Electro-solar boat Bernard Palissy III

Les Croisières Charentaises "Bernard Palissy III", Place Bassompierre, Saintes, France

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e-boats location

8 Place Bassompierre, 17100 Saintes, France

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Club d'aviron Saintais

Club d’Aviron Saintais, Rue de Courbiac, Saintes, France