European Inland Waterways

Welcome to the European Inland Waterways Section

There are almost 30,000 kilometres of rivers and canals in mainland Europe. Cruising Association members have been enjoying them safely for many years, using the wealth of information and advice available through the CA's European Inland Waterways Section (EIWS).

Cruising the Inland Waterways of France and BelgiumOur long-established guide Cruising the Inland Waterways of France and Belgium was first conceived in 1975 and since then has grown into a 216-page publication that is arguably the most authoritative and up to date English-language guide available to the inland waterways of those two countries. Annually updated with the help of Section members, it is now in its 24th edition and contains a wealth of information on cruising routes, cruising preparations, supplies, equipment, licences and documents, useful addresses, books and websites etc. It also lists over 250 mooring places throughout France and Belgium, with comments upon facilities, depths, prices, closest shops and restaurants and nearby attractions. Printed copies are available from the CA shop.

Helpful free guides

The Section also offers no less than twelve separate illustrated French Canal Mooring Guides, which are being added to each year to eventually form a comprehensive suite of guides. Currently the guides cover the Canal du Centre, Canal du Loing and Canal de Briare, Canal entre Champagne et Bourgogne, Canal Latéral à la Loire, Canal Latéral à la Marne; the River Marne, Canal du Rhône au Rhin, Canal du Rhône au Rhin (Nord), Canal de Colmar, Canal de la Sarre and River Saar, Canal de la Marne au Rhin (Est) and Canal de la Marne au Rhin (Ouest).

The Guide to the German Rhine, was first published in 2018 and is therefore the most up to date guide in English to moorings and other facilities on the Rhine from Basel to the Dutch border. It is planned to gradually extend this guide in future years to cover the whole of the German waterway system.

There are two guides for the Netherlands, Through the Netherlands via the Standing Mast Routes, which provides detailed navigational information on 14 different routes by which yachts can transit the Netherlands and covers nearly 1,000kms of waterways from Vlissingen near the Belgian border to Delfzijl close to the border with Germany and, new for 2020, 50 Great Cruising Routes in the Netherlands.

In addition to the invaluable and up to date information these guides provide, purchasers of the France & Belgium, German Rhine or either of the Netherlands guides who wish to join the CA online can benefit from a 25% discount offer on their first year's membership subscription! You'll find details in the guide.

Details of all these guides and prices can be found in the CA Shop.

Finally, winter layup and refuelling on the European waterways are not forgotten. Section members can access details of over 80 locations in France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands where a boat can be safely left for long periods or taken for repairs. Similarly, details of over 300 locations where fuel can be obtained is included in the France and Belgium and German Rhine guides.

Further member benefits

Underlying this comprehensive suite of publications are two further member benefits. CAptain’s Mate, the CA’s proprietary app, links with all the Section publications and enables members to post updates on mooring locations and facilities as they travel throughout the European inland waterways. In addition, the Section has its own separate European Inland Waterways forum where members regularly exchange information or seek helpful advice on every conceivable topic related to inland waterway cruising.

Members are kept in touch with Section affairs by the dispatch of occasional newsletters as well as through announcements on the forum and the Section arranges an Annual Seminar and Lunch at CA House in London, usually in November, where both new and old members can meet to exchange information and advice, pass on experience of cruising the inland waterways and generally socialise with like-minded cruisers.

Download the EIWS flyer for a summary of the benefits of joining the CA's European Inland Waterways Section.

Forthcoming Events

There are no forthcoming events currently scheduled.

To see seminars and lectures organised by members of the CA see here, or to see a calendar of all events see here.

Interested in Finding out More?

Please contact the Section Secretaries, Neil and Betsan Caldwell and Gordon Knight at or
CA staff at or +44 (0) 207 537 2828.

Cruising Sections


Covers the Baltic Sea, Norway, Iceland, Greenland and Faroes. Holds a popular introductory seminar every spring.


Covers Western France, Spain and Portugal as well as crossing Biscay. Holds a popular introductory seminar every spring.

Blue Water

For those sailing outside of European waters. Holds a popular Blue Water seminar in the summer.


Covers waters from Land’s End to Cape Wrath. Meets at various west coast venues to share knowledge on all aspects of cruising the region.


For those cruising the south coast of the UK, Channel Islands, and France from the Belgian border to NW Brittany. Holds an annual seminar and summer rally/cruise-in-company.

European Inland Waterways

Covers over 30,000 km of navigable rivers and canals passing through over 20 countries. Meets spring and autumn at CA House.


Covers the Mediterranean from Spain and Morocco in the west to the Levant in the east, and includes the Black Sea. Meets at CA House in the winter, and afloat in the summer.

North Sea

Covers the UK, Belgian and Dutch coasts. Meets at East Coast venues to share knowledge on all aspects of cruising the region.

Local / UK Sections


For members who live in Australia and New Zealand and who sail in the Northern Hemisphere.

CA London

CA London events are held at our Limehouse HQ.

East Midlands

Talks are held in various venues in the East Midlands.


Meetings held at Blackwater Sailing Club and mid-week lunches arranged.


Winter talks are held in Maidstone, and joint rallies are organised with Essex and Suffolk sections.


Summer rallies with weekend meets. Winter talks with ‘club’ suppers usually at a Hamble yacht club or marina.

South West

For members living in or cruising the areas from Portland Bill to the Isles of Scilly and along the north coast of Cornwall, Devon and Somerset to Bristol.


Joint meetings are arranged with the Royal Harwich Yacht Club at Woolverstone.

Thames Valley

Winter talks are held at the Upper Thames Sailing Club in Bourne End near Marlow.


Talks are held at Lilliput Sailing Club, Poole.

West Midlands

Year round events held at Severn Motor Yacht Club, also winter meetings held at Ashwood Social Club Kingswinford.

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