The hydraulic boat lifts of the historic Canal du Centre

  • Historic Canal du Centre, hydraulic boatlift
  • Historic Canal du Centre, hydraulic boatlift
  • Historic Canal du Centre, hydraulic boatlift
  • Water attraction
  • Industrial heritage
  • River cruises

Visit the historic Canal du Centre and its funicular boat lifts. These timeless masterpieces are listed by UNESCO.

Situated in the province of Hainaut, these 4 hydraulic lifts, built beginning of the XIXth century, are standing monuments to the Belgian Industrial revolution.

Creating a network on inland waterways in Belgium meant building a new section for the Canal du Centre, including a the largest boat lift ever built and a 73.15 metres drop.

There is much to discover during this visit: an impressive machine room, a movie explaining how the lift works, a panorama over the whole construction and the region, an exhibition presenting the fossils found during the project.

Visit, walk and cruise:

There are different ways to experience the Canal du Centre, depending on what you feel like on the day:

A cruise on the canal and a visit of Strépy

Starting at the funicular boat lift of Strépy-Thieu, duration 4 hours.

This cruise, complete with historic commentary, takes you through the locks, boat lifts and swing bridges.

A little train will drive you along the tow path, all the way to the machine room at lift number 3. You can also step onto the Strepy-Thieu boatlift: this giant made of steel is the biggest in the world. Have a look at the immersive trail "A land of geniuses" and watch the movie presenting how the lift was built.

Electric boat rental

From the Cantine des Italiens, you can rent a boat and cruise peacefully along this historic canal.

Nearby is an Interpretative Centre on immigration. Bring your own picnic or treat yourself to a meal at the restaurant there.

Bike rental

From the Strépy-Thieu boat, boat lift number 3 or the Ronquières inclined plane.

The regional industry has left the region with a network of towpaths, now used as tranquil foot- and cycle-paths. They are the perfect way to discover the boat lifts and many gems of the province of Hainaut

Boat cruises are not accessible to persons with reduced mobility.







from € 11.5 to € 14.25
from € 7.5 to € 12
Electric boats: 35€ per boat for 5 passengers, 45€ per boat for 7 passengers. Deposit: 50€ . Guided tours for individuals, large families fee applies: 11.50€ Group visits: 20 persons min.

Information on the walk


Minimum duration1:00
Maximum duration2:30



  • Bike hire


  • Cafe
  • Shop
  • Car parking
  • Cycle rack
  • Parking
  • Restaurant
  • Barbecue/picnic area


    Pets not allowed


    FR - EN - German - NL
    NL - FR - DE - EN

    Additional information

    Parking busYes
    Secure ParkingYes
    The information provided is an indication only. We advise you to inquire directly with the organisers of the event that interests you before you leave.