Welcome on board - Bienvenue a bord - Welkom aan boord

Roundabout in Roubaix
liftbridge in Spierecanal
Entrance Spierecanall from the Scheldt
a narrow canal


Kortrijk to Lille (or vice versa) by Spiere canal and
Canal de Roubaix

Leaving medieval Courtrai, going through a set of very old locks you enter the Canal Bossuit leading to the Scheldt river. Then through the Spiere Canal (Canal de l’Espierre) and the Canal de Roubaix to Lille in the North of France.

In 2011 we were the first big barge doing the entire length of the Spiere Canal after it had been closed for over twentyfive years.
It is a small and narrow canal, with a length of no more than 40 kilometres starting in Belgium at the Scheldt river, taking you through a lovely country side. We pass two borders, first from Flanders to Wallonië and than the French border.
In France it is called Canal de Roubaix, passing more urbanised and sometimes industrialised country.
Digging started in 1821 and was finished in 1843. Unitl the closure it became (less and less) economically important.click to enlarge
Navigating 20 locks and a handful of bridges cruising these canals takes 5 days.
Special is the passage, permission is given only once a day, under the two bridges from the roundabout in Roubaix. With the help of four men all traffic is stopped and many people like to watch the passage.

Besides that there is enough to see and do while underway.
Such as tasting the local beer, Satcheur (a satcheur is the person towing the boat along the towpath) in the pub in Leers on the French-Belgian border.
Or a not to be missed a visit to the special Musée de la Piscine in Roubaix, housed in the old swimming pool.
Roubaix is a big city with lots of shopping possibilities.
Or a game of Jeu de Boules on the track next to the mooring in Marque en Baroeul.

Since the opening in 2011, fortunately we than passed right away, there have been troubles causing stoppages for longer periods of time. But.....we keep trying.

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