Our base at Lutzelbourg provides a French welcome in the Moselle department of Lorraine, with its castle and its famous crystal workshops. Whatever the direction you sail in, half-timbered houses adorned with colourful window-boxes, onion domed church towers, intricate wrought-ironwork and a hundred small details give the villages a festive air. Wherever you stop, you’ll find the food equally special: sauerkraut and sausage as well as mouth-watering plum and greengage tarts. Cruising the Canal des Houillères de la Sarre you pass mainly through woodland with the odd small town to tempt you with a restaurant meal. At Sarreguemines you’ll be charmed by the hand-decorated pottery. On your return you’ll travel on the boat lift at Arzviller which replaces 17 locks. Following the Canal de la Marne au Rhin you pass through Saverne with its ducal palace and across the Alsatian plain to the heart of Strasbourg. Heading back up north, towards Toul, a town fortified by Vauban and offering fine views over the loops of the river Moselle, you are entering Lorraine. Its countryside is just as fine as its cities, of which Nancy with its Stanislas square, listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, is a highlight.