France Atlantique

Welcome to the Atlantic Coast of France

The Fance Atlantique Captain is Alan King who can be found on ‘Annie Dear’ (M346) at the end of pontoon Y in the old port at La Roche-Bernard on the Vilaine.

Visitors welcome especially at mid-day. He is contactable via email


Le France Atlantique Capitaine est Alan King (M le Roi) que l’on retrouve sur « Annie Dear » (M346) au bout du ponton Y du vieux port à La Roche-Bernard sur la Vilaine.

Les visiteurs sont bienvenus surtout à midi. Il est joignable par email


Visiting France-Atlantique and coming from and/or returning to the UK?

UK formalities

1. Report your proposed voyage departure from the UK electronically via the GOV.UK sPCR online system or C1331 (email or post).

2. Report your proposed arrival back in the UK electronically via sPCR or C1331 (email or post), and on arrival – fly the ‘Q’ flag and telephone National Yachtline 0300 1232012

3. If you are returning your vessel to the UK for the first time post-brexit (31/12/2020), then 2. above applies. You do not need to be physically on the vessel. You may have instructed a delivery crew or responsible person on your behalf.

RGR (Returned Goods Relief) may be applicable if you were the original ‘exporter’. This is best checked on a case by case basis by contacting HMRC Compliance unit currently via telephone 03000 588298

French formalities

1. Report your proposed arrival at a designated entry port by completing a ‘Formulaire Douanes’ and sending it by e-mail to the Capitainerie at your chosen port. On arrival, visit the Capitainerie with hard-copy. There is no need to get your passport stamped as they will forward it to Les Douanes and it has the passport details on it.

2. Using the same form, report your proposed departure at the Capitainerie of your chosen port of departure by e-mail and hand in or deposit hard copy. They will then e-mail it to Les Douanes – there is no need to get passport stamped.

3. If you wish to bring a vessel into France – to avoid paying TVA (VAT) you may only leave the vessel for 18 months and then it must visit a foreign port (e.g. Jersey) – then another 18 months starts again.


This is just a brief overview of the current system (June 2024) – basically sPCR or C1331 UK and ‘Formulaire Douanes’ in France.

All liable to change at a moment’s notice.

Just about every port on the Brittany coast is now a designated entry port including St Malo, Treguier, Roscoff, and L’aberwrach.

Events Proposed for 2024

Events for 2024
15 AugustArzal Fest Noz

Tips for cruising the France Atlantique

Wifi – Most marinas now offer a password free wifi service – usually with a network that has ‘plaisanciers’ in the name. Otherwise, you must ask at the Capitainerie.

Passeporte Escales – Most marinas in our area are members. Providing that you remember to check out of your home port – most marinas offer the first two night free on a single stay. In some ports, if you are away for more than 14 days – there may be other perks such as a free lift out, this is not usually publicised so please ask.

Free bus services – many of the Islands and some cities offer a free bus service, allowing visitors to travel within the locality without charge?  Where several circuits are on offer, (eg Ile de Noirmoutier), you can hop from one circuit to the next.  These services are usually available during July and August.  Ask at the Tourist Information Centre as these free services can prove very useful when ‘marina-bound’, due to inclement weather etc.

SNCF travel – Stuck in Les Sables, or La Rochelle? then visit the local railway station – last year there were some excellent offers available for travelling within the Region.

Arzal Lock – Boats entering the Vilaine are always given priority so the Lock times shown relate to the opening of the lock.  Boats leaving the Vilaine usually enter the lock 15 to 20 minutes past the times advertised.

Arzal – Camoel Marina – new pontoons have been added to the Camoel side.  If visiting this marina then request a berth on the Camoel side where it is more sheltered and quiet.

If you have any advice/tips on cruising the Morbihan, Loire Atlantique, Vendee and Charente areas then let your Captain know by emailing  Also, of any events that may be of interest.

Have a great sailing season and hopefully will see you on the water.